Re: Fight, fight!

1

Similar, but doesn't seem to have been linked here in a few years: a mass knife fight among every US president ever.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 9:18 AM
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I liked this but, in keepng with a current theme for me, Bernie Sanders is overrated.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 9:24 AM
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I did clench viscerally at the idea of Bernie Sanders roaring at me in rage. Something about his attitude and voice.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 9:37 AM
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This is stupid. It is stupid every election year and it isn't getting less stupid. Just tell people that their favorite politicians make them look tough and cool, like Marlboro cigarettes, and skip the lumpen poetry of the creative writing student who doesn't want to look like a pussy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 9:49 AM
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Who killed your puppy, Flip? Jeez.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 9:57 AM
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It was dark and the little guy just darted out before I could even touch the break.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:05 AM
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It really is incredible what a historically weak pack the 2016 crew is on a bar fight metric. Let's look at the Democratic and Republican nominees going back to 1948.

Obama and McCain for sure beat out the entire pack. I think Romney does too, as a big square-jawed Mormon mean guy. Bill Bradley obviously takes this whole pack. Doughy Clinton of 1996 is a tougher call but you know he got into some scrapes in Arkansas and could get up in the mix. Bob Dole was handicapped but was a war vet and mean as fuck. George HW Bush was shot down over the pacific, narrowly escaped being eaten by a Japanese unit that had turned to cannibalism, and was CIA, so he would take this entire pack. Then there's a weak-ass phase in the 80s. Reagan was an old wuss stage fighter, fuck him. Mondale and Dukakis -- middle of the pack lumpy nerds even against the 2016 crew. But then you get Carter, Navy man, sailors know how to brawl. Gerald Ford, football player, brawler. Nixon, creep, wuss, but mean and grew up in Whittier and even pre-Mexican you know those guys knew how to fight. Beats this list. McGovern, military service, bad ass. Humphrey, OK, maybe not that tough, maybe doesn't beat this pack. George Wallace, redneck brawler, takes the 2016 pack. Lyndon Johnson, are you fucking kidding me, all this weak crew ends up dead. Goldwater, fucking square-jawed cowboy rafting hero/Jewish department store owner, definitely takes out this whole crew one-handed. Kennedy, war hero, Irishman with a chip on his shoulder, takes out this crew. Eisenhower, are you fucking kidding me, quiet but the guy knows how to kick ass. Adlai Stevenson may have been a wuss, probably. Truman grew up in mobbed-up Missouri and kicks the ass of this crew. Dewey, not sure, hardcore prosecutor, definitely looks like he'd take the 2016 crew. So that takes us back to 1948. Even though the current crew has access to good gyms and MMA training, they are an unusual bunch of wusses.

Wussification of America, it's a real thing that happened.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:06 AM
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I forgot George W Bush. Much as I hate that draft-dodging fuck, he was fit as all hell and takes out the entire 2016 crew.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:09 AM
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I thought he had balance issues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:11 AM
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Also forgot Gore. Ex-Marine, takes the entire 2016 crew easily.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:14 AM
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Flip doesn't like things. It's an ethos.

Ever since Mr. Rogers won the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, I think it's hard to judge how one of these contests would go without seeing it in practice.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:14 AM
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Kerry?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:15 AM
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Re: 7.GHWB: Wow, I had no idea.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:15 AM
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I thought Gore was army.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:15 AM
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I thought he had balance issues.
They all had balance issues: they ran for President.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:17 AM
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Alzheimers may be setting in. But obviously Kerry is top-5 post-1948 presidential candidate brawler. War hero, navy, big dude.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:17 AM
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Plus, windsurfing really builds up arm and core strength and balance.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:18 AM
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As far as I can recall, Kerrey (not Kerry) is the only special forces guy to run for president. Also, the only candidate whose announcement I attended.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:19 AM
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Huh, I had thought for years for some reason that Gore was a marine. But you're right, he was Army. Still takes out the entire 2016 crew easily.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:20 AM
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Dissenting from the OP, the Clinton one was funny/apt, too! Who has got more grit than Hillary?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:20 AM
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The link in 13 has got me once again reading the cannibalism articles in Wikipedia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:21 AM
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The rankings in the attached list are absurd--the worst sort of clickbait, intended only to prompt irritated responses. They don't deserve critique, and I won't play along. Having said that, in response to 8, O'Malley is also pretty damn fit--what makes you think GWB would obviously take him out?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:21 AM
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The winter 2016 topical version of this list should have been a metric of how well they are capable of exacting revenge on people who have left them for dead after being mauled by a bear.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:22 AM
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I think you're the first person to remember that O'Malley was running for president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:23 AM
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13 is nightmarish.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:24 AM
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"As far as I can recall, Kerrey (not Kerry) is the only special forces guy to run for president."

Jesse Ventura is apparently considering a run this year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:26 AM
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What, you're telling me you never tried long sashimi?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:27 AM
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obviously Kerry is top-5

I dunno. I've heard that the third purple heart was pretty fishy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:31 AM
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I think Hillary's grit and political acumen are way, way overrated. One thing I hear a lot from people is that Sanders supporters are hurting the Democrats' chances at taking the White House by being critical of Clinton. But they wouldn't say this unless you thought their candidate was so fragile that she needed a basically uncontested primary to win. And her campaign responds so clumsily to just the most basic challenges. There are totally reasonable criticisms to be made of Sanders as a nominee and they skipped past them and into mudslinging territory by accusing him of wanting to repeal Obamacare (which is a bit like saying that Harry Truman was weary of putting boots on the ground in Japan; it's true, but it leaves out an obviously critical detail).


She's only won two elections in her whole life. Sanders has won thirty years worth of them. As a quasi-socialist. We get told that mainstream Dems say that kinds of reactionary things they do because they have to do it to go along and get elected. But Bernie appears to be jus about wholly exempt from such games. I wonder why people aren't thinking about the kind of grit and acumen it has to take to get away with completely ignoring American political norms. If Bernie didn't know what he was doing, he'd have been eaten for breakfast by the Tea Party, or by the 1994 Republican storm.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:33 AM
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28. He's killed men. Definitely a contender.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:49 AM
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I read 7:Dewey and mistakenly started thinking of Earl Warren, whose first political post was DA in my county, and who got his name for taking on corruption generally and the KKK specifically. I started looking for more info on that period, and found that in 1938, when he was standing for state AG, his elderly father in Bakersfield was murdered with a pipe, and the murder was never solved. It seems to probably have been from a robbery, but Warren's office was at least partly involved in the investigation, which allows for juicy theories.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:52 AM
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One thing I hear a lot from people is that Sanders supporters are hurting the Democrats' chances at taking the White House by being critical of Clinton. But they wouldn't say this unless you thought their candidate was so fragile that she needed a basically uncontested primary to win.

Surely one doesn't expect objective analysis from the political partisans who might say this sort of thing. In any event:

1. If failing to become president is evidence of a lack of grit, then she's already proved she lacks grit. But this seems like a foolish measure. If one wants to argue that Al Gore lacks grit, it's not merely because he lost the electoral college. True: Maybe he could have fought harder. And certainly - unlike Hillary - Al ultimately abandoned the fight, folded up his tent and headed to the Oscars. That might be evidence of a lack of grit. Hillary never gives up.
2. People who think that Hillary needs to have an uncontested primary in order to win are obviously ridiculously wrong. So wrong, in fact, that it's hard to imagine that anybody believes this.
3. People can have their campaigns damaged slightly and have it cost them the presidency. If the net effect is negative, then partisans are correct to worry about that negative effect. The idea that political opposition is only damaging to weak candidates is, on its face, nonsensical.

Otherwise, you seem to just not like Hillary - you find her dishonest and whatnot. Nothing else you said addresses the issue of toughness.

The video in the OP link was, of course, from the Benghazi hearings. That was grit. I think Bernie -- also a tough guy! -- could have pulled off something like that. Not O'Malley, though.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 11:18 AM
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Jim Webb: now more than ever.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:07 PM
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I think 7 is better than the OP (though it doesn't take into account age and health at the time the people ran for office -- I think Kennedy's back problems were severe enough, for example, that he wouldn't be a favorite against the current field).

Also this seems overstated: Wussification of America, it's a real thing that happened.

The primary thing that demonstrates is that it used to be much more common for politicians to have active-duty military experience and that within the last 10 years there has been a shift such that it is no longer notable if a candidate didn't server.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:16 PM
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This is arguably on-topic-ish:

Friend of the Blog SEK offers this misguided take on the Sanders commercial.

He seems to think the young Sanders supporters are rubes who are unaware that Bernie is from a very different generation.

Of course, I'm a dinosaur myself and I liked the ad, so my view is probably colored by that. But it seems effective. One way or another, a presidential candidate pretty much has to buy into some kind of American exceptionalism, and this seems like a nice way to say "Woohoo! America!" without being ironic or insincere.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:33 PM
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Clearly Bernie needs to cut a commercial featuring that "rap" music the kids are into these days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:44 PM
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The concern right now is the early primary states. They're white and rural. The ad works for that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:44 PM
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37: First visibly non-white person 20 seconds in, another 10 seconds after that, 5 in the 40s, and one more in the very last scene. So I'm That Guy who complains about seemingly forced diversity in advertisements and also about the lack of it, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:52 PM
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So I'm That Guy who complains about seemingly forced diversity in advertisements and also about the lack of it, I guess.

Yglesias made the same point:

Now the striking thing about this ad, as Jamelle Bouie hints, is that especially for a Democrat it's very white. There are a handful of nonwhite faces, but you are looking overwhelmingly at white people often in very white settings like northern New England. The soundtrack is very white.

That's not because Sanders has a problem with black and Latino people. It's because the ad is very sincere and very genuine. It shows Sanders in his home region, which is very white, and it has footage from the crowds at Sanders rallies, which are very white. But given the demographics of the Democratic Party in 2016, it's pretty striking.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 12:55 PM
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5: Sorry. I reached my limit with the tough-guy posturing about three weeks into this election cycle, and punk-rockin'-for-SPIN-in-1987 tough guy pretensions are still pretty annoying.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:03 PM
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Sanders hanging out with Killer Mike not a thing?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:04 PM
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Anyone who thinks masculinity is important in a bar fight has never seen a drag queen fight.

Ok neither have I but supposedly they're pretty rough.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:07 PM
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The main issue with a lot of the attacks on Bernie now coming out of the Clinton camp is they're either veiled or overt critiques of his voter base. There are far more effective ways to run against Bernie than, "only stupid/sexist/misguided people would vote for this guy." I agree that now that Bernie is a viable contender (not necessarily viable winner, but that's not the same thing), she needs to treat him like a serious threat, and that's not a great position to be in, structurally, but she's still doing a tone deaf job. Co-option of the popular parts of his plank* while positioning herself as the far more realistic winner should be her campaign strategy. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets some traction by pushing her endorsement by PP, which is no matter how you spin it a blow to the Sanders.
Painting Sanders as someone he's obviously not (sexist) and in support of things he's obviously not (interested in dismantling public healthcare) is only going to be counterproductive, as it makes her appear incompetent, sleazy, and desperate.
Bernie's achilles heel right now appears to be race, in large part because of optics and some well-publicized mis-stumbles rather than substantive policy differences. Since he's the only actual civil rights activist in the race,** this seems like something he could play up more as his commitment to ending racism specifically rather than just through economics, though the optics of this could also be challenging, as he could be portrayed as stuck in the 60s on this issue.***


*81% of Americans want "Medicare for all"
**Like, student organizer for SNCC, helped end racial segregation at UChicago, marched with King on Washington.
***"I was super enlightened and radical on this issue a billion years ago, but now society has superseded my original position and I've never caught up" is a trope for old leftists.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:11 PM
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Sanders hanging out with Killer Mike not a thing?

I'm still hoping for that music video.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:13 PM
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So I'm That Guy who complains about seemingly forced diversity in advertisements and also about the lack of it, I guess.

Well, its campaign rally footage from some pretty white states. Getting three black people from Iowa and both of the ones in New Hampshire isn't bad.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:14 PM
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But anyways, interestingly, race as a relative blind spot is something Clinton seems to be much more adept at attacking Bernie on than she is on gender, and is doing it with far more finesse than when she tried to do it to Obama (which, admittedly, it's far harder for a middle aged white lady to be the candidate of black people in a race against a black Chicago community-organizer than against a cranky old white man from the second whitest state in America.)


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:16 PM
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attacks on Bernie now coming out of the Clinton camp

Do you have links to anything you find particularly notable? I feel like most of what I saw (over the past couple of weeks) said that the two campaigns haven't made many direct attacks on each other. I have the impression that it's gotten more contentious recently, but don't know exactly what approach they're taking.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:23 PM
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Bernie is relatively weak with baby boomers who like Hillary. A remember the 60s ad is not so crazy.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:26 PM
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47
I was mostly thinking of Chelsea Clinton's attack on him. This seems like such an own goal for Hillary. What she should say is, "yes, we'd both love all Americans to have adequate healthcare, but my plan is more realistic politically and anyways none of this will happen if the double headed Trump-Cruz monster takes over."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:28 PM
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Here's a better link about the event.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 1:32 PM
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I guess the most optimistic read on the Sanders campaign is that (a) he will lose and do so graciously and relatively promptly but (b) the relative success of the campaign will help to build a movement of people who are willing to vote for more left-socialist candidates even after he loses. I'm pretty skeptical that (b) will happen, though, and mobilizing around a Presidential candidacy seems like an unlikely vehicle for an organized political movement, but it's not impossible.

Bad or indifferent results would include him winning the nomination, which would be terrible, or him creating a die-hard and substantial band of general-election Hillary defectors, which would be terrible, or him and his campaign fading away into obscurity forever in two months with no lasting impact, which wouldn't really matter much, and also seems like the most likely result.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:03 PM
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Leaving the generational and the race issues to one side (not that they're unimportant, they're huge), that's an odd ad rhetorically. I mean, the song's called "America", which makes sense for a political ad, but it's a love song, and the lyrics, which are really in the foreground, come across as Bernie professing his love for the electorate and asking it to love him back and come on a journey with him.

Which... it's a campaign strategy, but I'm not sure romantically wooing the American people is going to work for an elderly guy with a raspy Brooklyn accent.

(Also, and I may be confused about this, "I've got some real estate here in my bag" is grass, right? Less controversial than it used to be, but still bold.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:05 PM
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The Genius website has a more innocent interpretation -- The "real estate here in my bag" suggests that all the singer owns is enough to fit into a bag and that home is wherever he and she are.

But the important thing to know is that no one listens to lyrics.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:11 PM
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Being popular with white males is also bad for a democrat in the general election. Sanders would crush Trump.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:16 PM
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i mean not bad


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:19 PM
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The idea of a Trump -- Sanders general election just freaks me out. I'd be up at night worrying about pogroms.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:23 PM
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Being popular with white males is great. Trying to win the Democratic primary (or winning it) with 20% of the black and hispanic vote is a whole different thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:26 PM
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Anyway, he needs to change that number soonish if he wants to be anything but a spoiler.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:31 PM
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52: I didn't hear it that way. First, the song is intended to convey a mood - it's not an argument. As peep suggests, nobody was thinking about the lyrics of "Born in the USA" when Reagan used it.

(Though your point is well-taken that the lyrics are in the forefront.)

What is the mood Sanders is trying to convey? I suggested above that it was non-ironic, non-stupid support for American exceptionalism. More specifically, Simon and Garfunkel here aren't wooing the audience - they are the audience. They've come to look for America, and they find it, in Bernie Sanders.

America isn't Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. America is Bernie Sanders.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:33 PM
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I have absolutely no fear that any of the Republican candidates can get elected this time. An incredible Republican candidate could swim against the demographic tide for probably the last time in the next few elections. But none of the clowns on the Republican stage can win the general election this year. If they can win the primary, they're too far out there for the general.

So Sanders winning the nomination would be great (so much as you like his platform). Clinton would be good too. I am not seeing a downside for Democrats this year.

Fret if you want to fret, but the Democrat this year is going to win by a larger margin than Obama did last time. I'll happily back that with the same bet I won from Von Wafer last time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:33 PM
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" 20% of the black and hispanic vote is a whole different thing."

he does need to turn that around.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:35 PM
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Rubio is the only one to worry about.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:36 PM
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I think the tarring of Sanders for having a largely white base and for appearing to target mostly white votes has more to do with the fact that he doesn't have the luxury of not focusing his efforts on Iowa and New Hampshire -- two very white states -- than it does with any sort of general deafness to issues of people of color. The numbers show that his base is really pretty diverse other than skewing very young.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:37 PM
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Asking for real, rather than having a pre-existing opinion, I don't have any real idea how this comes out (and really, I don't think he has a shot at the nomination, he's just staying in for longer than I'd expected).

It's very clear that Clinton is much stronger among black and Latino voters than Sanders. If somehow he won the nomination anyway, is there any reason to think he'll depress turnout among minority voters, or would people be just as likely to vote for whoever the nominee is?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:41 PM
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60: The economy is starting to freak me out a bit. We're not all that dependent on trade, but I don't think we're strong enough to weather a worldwide (semi-)crash. And if the economy goes in the shitter, then any Republican can win.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:46 PM
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Probably depends some on the Republican nominee. Sanders v. Rubio would certainly depress Latino turnout. Black turnout is not going to be what it was in 2008 regardless. I'd expect a more substantial decline in black turnout with Sanders than with Hillary, and especially if the primary divides on racial lines, as it might. But that's just a guess.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:46 PM
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I had gathered that Sanders used a Paul Simon song. From reading here I see that I had assumed a different song. I have no idea why, because American Tune really wouldn't work for a campaign. It isn't upbeat at all.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:53 PM
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The idea that a Republican can't win the upcoming election is nuts. Obama won in 2012 51-47 of the popular vote and the election was substantially closer than that in the swing states any Democrat would need to win. There are way more conservatives/moderates in this country than there are liberals, particularly among people who vote. There are lots of possible ways a Democrat could lose this election, based both on external factors and internal ones, like nominating Bernie Sanders. I do think that a mainstream Democrat is more likely than not to beat a Republican this time around. That's especially true if the Republicans go hard-right with their candidate. But "more likely than not" is not at all the same thing as being sanguine about it and there are so, so many ways the Democrats could lose this one, with disastrous consequences.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:54 PM
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If somehow he won the nomination anyway, is there any reason to think he'll depress turnout among minority voters, or would people be just as likely to vote for whoever the nominee is?

He won't win the nomination without flipping the black and Latino vote in his favor, much the way Obama did eight years ago. This doesn't seem likely, but it doesn't seem impossible either - and if he accomplished it, it seems likely to carry over into the general election. In this regard, there is no reason to be enthusiastic about Hillary that couldn't also apply to Sanders.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:57 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 2:57 PM
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Well, he'd have to at least split the black and Latino vote; wouldn't necessarily have to win them, he just couldn't stay at 20%.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:01 PM
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The Republican candidate would have to get at least 65% of the white vote to win this one and that's not going to happen. They aren't charismatic enough, even on display as candidates, to get two thirds of all white votes.

Trump has funny hair and unflattering pictures everywhere. He doesn't "look like" a president.

Cruz is smarmy with girly eyes and his party hates him.

Rubio is short.

The rest are already forgotten. Someone with enough charm could overcome the demographic trough the Republicans are in, but that someone isn't running.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:03 PM
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The Republicans handed the Latino vote to Democrats this year. I'm hoping the effect lasts at least as long as the Prop. 187 effect has lasted in California.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:04 PM
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Any Republican could win if the economy crashes hard enough.

I could imagine Sanders - just as a nominee - becoming a Leon Blum-type hate-magnet.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:06 PM
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64.2: I think everyone's assuming that A-A turnout drops at least somewhat post-Obama, and so the question becomes "by how much?" And it's entirely possible that there's a real enthusiasm gap among A-A Dems between Hillary & Bernie.

That said, I don't think the numbers work to make it a real concern. In 2012 66% of blacks turned out to vote, and voted 93% Dem. They were about 13% of all voters, and their Dem votes were 15.6M of 129M cast. Let's stipulate that turnout drops to 64% if HRC and 62% if Bernie* does, and that the Dem percentage drops a few points against anyone but Trump. 91% of 66% is 14.8M, while 91% of 62% is 14.3M (ignore population change here). Is that enough to throw the election? I'll admit that a half million votes is more than I guessed going in. Could be 0.4% of all votes cast.

TBH, I think the issue of women voters probably swamps racial effects, just because there are 70M women who voted in 2012, and so even a tiny shift in their preference could be a million votes. 1% more turnout and 1% more of them vote Dem, and that's huge.

*this is all for the sake of argument; I kind of think that BLM means that the black electorate is fired up this year no matter who is running. But I want to look at whether it really moves the dial


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:11 PM
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He doesn't "look like" a president.

This kind of argument about electability used to be persuasive, but it isn't anymore . Barack Obama didn't "look like" a president. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton don't look like presidents either.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:12 PM
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74: That's exactly right. To say that the Republicans are, in general a bad bet is nonetheless frightening. I think the pros will tell you the odds are something like 60/40. If the actual odds are 5-1 in favor of the Democrats, that's still appalling, and far from no chance whatsoever.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:13 PM
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That said, I don't think the numbers work to make it a real concern.

What you want is this tool.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:14 PM
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Sanders and Clinton don't look like traditional presidents, but Trump looks like a clown.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:16 PM
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45: Getting three black people from Iowa and both of the ones in New Hampshire isn't bad.

Hey! I've lived in NH for years, and I have to use the fingers on both hands to count all the black adults* I've ever met in the college town where I live, and I'd have to take off at least one sock and shoe to include the few more that I've seen, now and again, in the local grocery store. So don't exaggerate.

*To be clear, I am not counting either college students or children.


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:18 PM
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78: Thanks, I played with that once, but in isolation from any discussion, so it wasn't interesting.

Fiddling with it now, NC keeps flipping back and forth, but I have trouble putting Dems at risk without radically reducing minority turnout. Raising non-college-educated whites from 57% turnout to 71% does nothing, frex. I finally got things really close by jacking up whites, greatly depressing blacks, nudging down Asians, and reducing Latino turnout while moving them slightly GOP-ward. But it was only the last move that flipped any states, and frankly it seems so implausible for anyone butRubio, and maybe not even him. I don't think Cruz' background overcomes all the ways in which he's identified with the worst xenophobia of Republicans, plus his zealous Evangelicism will isolate him from a good chunk of the Latino electorate (I know there are Eval. Latinos, but they're a minority, and secular Latino culture is heavily Catholic).

BTW, are the pros frankly acknowledging that either Bernie or Hillary will see a measurable jump in white votes? I mean, we all remember that calculation that Obama in '08 "lost" something like 3 percentage points in the form of Kerry voters who voted GOP, right? 8 years later, I'm sure some of those are hardened wing nuts, but I'd be shocked if the Dems don't gain a point or two among whites, even if you strip out gender effects for HRC (I think she's going to crush among white women, although it's possible that there are enough non-racist white chauvinist men to wipe out much of the effect).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:31 PM
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This may have been more relevant in the other thread, but this is the sort of attack on Vernoe that just seems deeply disingenuous:

https://mobile.twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/690282068950016000


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 3:41 PM
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It's very clear that Clinton is much stronger among black and Latino voters than Sanders. If somehow he won the nomination anyway, is there any reason to think he'll depress turnout among minority voters, or would people be just as likely to vote for whoever the nominee is?

Let's not forget the dude marched with MLK and hangs out with Killer Mike.

But I agree with 69-70, if Bernie can win the primary, he'll have done so by peeling off minority support from Hillary, and the democratic base will rally around the candidate. As someone else pointed out somewhere, both Hillary and Bernie are very popular.

I'd also question the assumption that minority vote will decrease. A larger % of the black vote voted in 2012 than 2008, as much against the Republicans as they did for Obama. If you recall, the GOP GOTV effort primarily involved crowing loudly about how blacks were too lazy to vote and by aggressively pushing Jim Crow-era voting laws. The Republicans have only managed to up their loud racism in these intervening four years. The Dems could nominate a sweet potato and minorities (and women of reproductive age) come out in droves to defeat Cruz/Trump (Crump?).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 5:14 PM
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78

Thanks for the link! I'd seen the headline but assumed it was a stupid analysis article.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 5:17 PM
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I have to say, I did not expect the GOP to gang up on Cruz even if it means a Trump nomination. I figured they were Jeb/Rubio > Cruz > Trump, but apparently not.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 8:09 PM
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Everybody hates Ted Cruz. He's a uniter, like that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 8:23 PM
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Killer Mike = Tyson? Depressing if he has a halo effect for black voters - he should be a pariah.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:35 PM
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Whoops, no, different guy. Ignore 87.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-16 10:36 PM
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A member of a popular rap combo, m'lud.

Talking to Sanders here:

http://youtu.be/LCnrQZbqIQU


Posted by: nattaGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 12:50 AM
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Fiddling with it now, NC keeps flipping back and forth, but I have trouble putting Dems at risk without radically reducing minority turnout.

Are you a Republican secretary of state?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:42 AM
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True stories of hard to believe near-fights:
Oxford don A. J. Ayer taking on Mike Tyson
Hillary Clinton goes undercover to expose racist schools down South.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:32 AM
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Let me point out that Sarah Palin is the only one who has actually been in a bar (OK, a BBQ) fight...


Posted by: GnOlEd DaRb | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 7:13 AM
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Bar fights aren't good. They piss off the bartenders something fierce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 7:16 AM
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If 91 isn't a reference to the other thread, it is an extremely weird coincidence...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 7:33 AM
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75* to 83.last. OTOH, if it were true that the black vote was inelastic, then it'd turn out in midterms, and it sure as hell doesn't, even after the lesson of 2010. Hell, the 2014 midterms happened at maybe the peak of #BLM, and (unless I'm badly mistaken) A-A turnout wasn't elevated much if at all. In fact, I recall stories about boosted turnout that had to be walked back.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:37 AM
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95

Yeah, that might be, though I would say midterm effects are complicating the 2014 comparison. The black vote was depressed in 2010, which is why Republicans assumed it would be low in 2012 as well, whereas it ended up being higher than 2008. Obama in 2012 might have still helped boost in more than I am accounting for, but I would argue that a bump above 2008 levels is as much due to overt Republican racism.*

I was reading this, and it got me wondering how much Hillary currently running the campaign she thinks she should have run against Obama, not realizing Sanders is a different beast. Obama was mainly running on the idea he was young, new, and above partisan politics, and plugged into millennial culture.** This time, Hillary has loaded her campaign up with young stars (K Perry, D Lovato, L Dunham), but millennials/leftists don't want young, cool, and un-divisive, they want cranky, partisan, and someone who cuts the bullshit.

*In 2008, the Republicans were still pretending not to be the party of overt racism, and McCain spoke out against birtherism and appeared to be genuinely trying to shut down the most racist attacks on Obama from his own party.
**Contra the media narrative on "Obamabots," I don't know a single Obama supporter who thought him to be an actual leftist. Most people (including me) saw O & H as roughly averaging out to the same on the issues, and decided that 1) Obama was an once-in-a-generation skilled politician, which might help against Republican intransigence, and 2) they'd rather have someone who wasn't the wife of the president before-last as the next president.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:53 AM
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"Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton" really did bother me. I think "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton" would still bother me if the Republicans weren't trying to make it "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush" before they realized that the last Bush is somehow less inspiring than the other two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:57 AM
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The more I think about this, I think she's getting terrible advice. If she showed up in full policy wonk mode, and did some sort of substantive presentation on something important to people (like lowering drug costs), she'd probably win a lot more respect from millennials. Instead, it appears people who haven't paid attention to pop culture in the past 20 years are giving her advice on how to be "cool", and there's nothing less cool than that. Also, one of her biggest weaknesses is she's been painted as a wealthy privileged elite who cares more about helping her rich friends than common people, hanging with and acting like a celebrity like one of the worst ways to fight this issue.*

*Who knows why she was late and only had 5 minutes to talk, but again, the optics are terrible. She may have turned 90% of the people in the room into Bernie supporters.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:04 AM
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97

Yeah this. I think a ton of people felt and feel this way. It's like, there are 300 million+ people in the country, can't we find someone who's not immediately related to a former president?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:07 AM
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I certainly thought Obama might be further left than Clinton, just because Clinton surrounded herself with Bill-Clinton-era retreads. I don't think I was alone in thinking that (I remember apo saying something similar).

But then Obama surrounded himself with the same Bill-Clinton-era retreads.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:07 AM
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Also, what do you think the NRO feels about Trump? I can't really tell.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:49 AM
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Roy Edroso has that question covered.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:05 PM
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Ted Cruz has a net worth of $3 million and no health insurance. Is it wrong to wish that he gets an expensive disease?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:08 PM
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??
I thought senators automatically got health insurance. Or shouldn't he be covered under his wife's cushy Goldman-Sachs plan?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:11 PM
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Obamacare doesn't work if you want to be a big asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:13 PM
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they want cranky, partisan, and someone who cuts the bullshit.

I heard that Jerry Brown had been keeping a close eye on the race, with an eye to getting in if Clinton implodes. (The same source says that Brown expects Clinton to implode.) But Brown didn't expect Sanders to be running. Sanders already occupies the cranky old man, no bullshit, singleminded niche, and is currently doing the hard work of running. So no Jerry Brown for the rest of you!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:20 PM
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104: Members of Congress no longer automatically get coverage. They can buy their own coverage privately, of course, but in order to get an employer (in this case, the federal government) subsidy/contribution, they have to go through the Obamacare exchanges.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:23 PM
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105, 107

Wow, that is commitment to assholery.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:36 PM
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Is it wrong to wish that he gets an expensive disease?

Yes, it is wrong, but ONLY because he would simply buy coverage as soon as he was diagnosed with the expensive disease AND YET STILL rant publicly about Obamamcare.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 1:54 PM
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Several times a week my roommate eats at the black establishment greasy spoon in our neighborhood (the place where local and national politicians go when they want to court the "black vote"),* and he says he's overheard lots of conversations by people saying how they prefer Sanders to Clinton, except they're worried about his electability. (The Sanders campaign is also active in rap forums, and getting a lot of traction there too (also thanks to Killer Mike)). It seems like this is mutually reinforcing in both directions: as long as Sanders isn't seen as electable, he isn't, but once that flips, if enough groups decide he is electable, he could actually seriously threaten Clinton and win over more of the minority vote. It appears she's increasing her attacks both on his electability and on race, so her campaign might be thinking this too.

*One hungover Sunday morning I ran into David Brooks and Rahm coming in to shake hands, and I have to say it didn't help


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 2:01 PM
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90 is funny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:17 PM
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100 rings true. Not many people who were at all informed expected Obama to be as far left as, say, Bernie Sanders, but there was absolutely a consensus among Obama primary voters that he was likely to be somewhere left of Clinton, whether it was one inch, one step, or one mile. Nobody--and I mean nobody--voted for Obama because they thought HRC was too far to the left. In that way, it's sort of like the drunk's random walk: almost literally without exception, Obama voters thought he was either identical to HRC or to her left, which means the average Obama voter though he was visibly leftward.

FWIW, the archives here are available payment-free, and you can see some of the really vicious arguments, exactly zero of which were predicated on voting for Obama lest the Democratic Party be saddled with a closet Red named Clinton.

Seeing 110 on preview, I should note here that I think RT is way overstating Sanders' unelectability. I don't think any of us know enough to speculate which GOPers he'd do better or worse against, and I think the press would actively align against him (as they did against Gore), but I don't think he's unelectable the way, I dunno, Alan Grayson is. Ultimately his record is that of a reasonable guy who's within the mainstream of American political culture, even if his policies would be outside the mainstream. If Dems have a favorable wind, I don't think Bernie alone is enough to sink them, but I do think he gets fewer votes against most Republican nominees than HRC does. There are, believe it or not, Obama voters who take Brooks seriously, and that group would be very reluctant to vote for Bernie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:28 PM
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I thought that, as a relative unknown, there was a better chance for him to reveal himself as liberal. I still think he's well to the left of HRC but political constraints blur this difference.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:35 PM
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I thought he was going to start the apocalypse but was pleasantly surprised.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:37 PM
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Or disappointed, depending on how grumpy I was that week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:42 PM
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112

Yeah, I think Bernie's biggest problem are the "Brooks Democrats," and what they'll do if he wins the Dem nomination is interesting. People with anything to lose if Republicans get in power (young women, minorities, the middle class) will vote for the Democrat, but rich white people who prefer Hillary to Cruz because they're worried about their stock portfolios are starting to flip out.

They're already treating him like warmed over Lenin who somehow wandered out of a Vermont haystack and into the primary instead of a career politician who has been in national politics for 20+ years. I think what people on the Left like about him is that he *is* a political insider who's managed to remain relatively true to his principles while still operating within the framework of American politics. He combines actual Leftist values with political pragmatism, a combination that is rarely found in politicians.

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/21/the-seven-stages-of-establishment-backlash-corbynsanders-edition/


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:44 PM
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Corey Robin "...but all the liberal commentary on the Democratic primary has gotten me so irritated"

I have been waiting for the so-called left-of-centre Democrats to bare their knives and attack Bernie. This week it has begun. Loomis, Yggles, Klein. This particular crowd is utterly unable to resist the umm most powerful moral faction in the Democratic Party and can handle absolutely anything but being called racist.

As I have said, I just don't care anymore. Bernie will lose, cause of the above, and doesn't excite me anyway. Will vote straight D as I have since 1972, but won't do the caucuses even if it mattered in Texas.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:54 PM
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113

I've been actually pleasantly surprised by Obama's recent foreign policy. He's radically shifted US foreign alignment for the better, in ways that will be hard if not impossible to undo. Ending sanctions with Iran and Cuba are "Nixon in China" moments, and honestly, make me far more hopeful about the future than much else that has happened internationally in the past years. Refusing to be bullied by Netanyahu is also a plus, and one that had to happen for the Iran deal to go forward. The giant, months-long tantrum pitched by Republicans show they realize the significance of this. Obamacare is also a victory, and very likely a permanent one too. We may have gotten Hillarycare with Clinton, but I doubt we would have gotten the Iran deal.

My biggest issue with Obama is the TPP, which I think would be a total disaster, and I don't totally trust a President H Clinton to keep opposing it when she's not running in a primary against Sanders.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 3:55 PM
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I forgot Coates hackwork on Bernie, loved by Loomis and the LGM crowd.

Link is to a Counterpunch takedown of Coates.

Not coincidentally of course, serving the Black Caucus and feminists also ingratiates you with the left wing of Wall Street and IP billionaires. Rich and righteous, the best of both worlds.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:04 PM
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I think RT is way overstating Sanders' unelectability.

Hypothetical question, how much of a difference would there have to be between their electability for it to be a concern? Let's say that somebody thought Clinton would have a 70% chance of winning as the nominee and Sanders would have a 55% chance? I'd look at those numbers and think that they're both electable (both favored in fact), but that the difference is still meaningful.*

[A] career politician who has been in national politics for 20+ years.

I think that's true; I also think that one of the things which can be difficult about running for president for people who haven't been preparing for it for years is that there is the sheer range of questions that come up, and which they are expected to be prepared for (at least if they're a Democrat).

That's why I find something like the Vox conversation about how reporters should regard policy proposals put out by campaigns interesting in terms of what it says about the Democratic primary.

Matt Yglesias: As people have started taking Bernie Sanders' campaign more seriously, something that's come up is a lot of more wonkishly-minded people are noticing that his policy proposals -- especially on health care but also to an extent on bank regulation -- are a bit hazy and don't stand up to a ton of scrutiny on details.

...

[Ezra Klein] If they release a proposal for what they're going to do about a major problem in American life, I think the right stance is to demand that that proposal actually answer the question it's posing. I don't want to be complicit in candidates saying they have a plan on X when they really don't.

.But second, and perhaps more importantly, I think the media broadly underestimates how much work actually goes into the creation of campaign policy proposals.

Particularly for campaigns that are well-staffed, these proposals often take weeks or months, reflect the opinions of a wide variety of outside advisors, and are endlessly hashed over in internal debates. For reasons that are probably worth a separate conversation, I think the media systematically underestimates how telling and predictive the product of these kinds of processes is, and systematically overestimates how telling and predictive a candidates' offhand comment on a hot mic is.

Finally, I think there's really good evidence that politicians feel very constrained once in office by the promises they made during the campaign.

. . .

Dylan Matthews: I think the final point is fair. That said, I worry about that your second criticism is a bit circular. It's true that Hillary Clinton's college affordability plan, say, was workshopped over the course of months. But that's because basically every left-leaning higher ed wonk with government experience and/or the specialized knowledge to work through a plan like that is backing Clinton.

Now, maybe that's a point in Clinton's favor, but I think we're assuming that Sanders has resources at his disposal that he probably doesn't.

I'm sort of in the middle on that debate. I'm not too concerned if Sanders doesn't have a detailed college affordability plan at this point. I would like to know that the campaign is capable of producing one if he becomes the likely nominee, because I do think that effort is worthwhile.

But, more than that, I am extremely unlikely to, say, read Clinton and Sanders college affordability plans myself and yet, I would strongly like to see reporters reading them and treating them as serious policy arguments, because I do find that useful information.

* I picked the numbers as an example, I don't know what odds I'd give myself. I'd like to believe Megan that any Democrat will win this year, but I'm not ready to feel confident about that yet.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:05 PM
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Hypothetical question, how much of a difference would there have to be between their electability for it to be a concern? Let's say that somebody thought Clinton would have a 70% chance of winning as the nominee and Sanders would have a 55% chance? I'd look at those numbers and think that they're both electable (both favored in fact), but that the difference is still meaningful.*


Those are roughly to the percentages that I'd roll with right now, though I'd switch it to chance of winning for Bernie at 35% or so if the Republicans nominate any mainstream "moderate" candidate (i.e., a Rubio, not a Cruz or a Trump). Regardless, as I've said above, there's not even close to enough potential actual benefit in a Bernie win to be worth that risk (you need to look at benefits, as well as costs). But I'm repeating myself.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:10 PM
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Someone in the Baffler recently said (contra the complaints that Sanders' health care proposal was a poorly sketched 8 pages) that Obama-the-candidate's healthcare proposal in 2008 was pretty weak stuff, too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:11 PM
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The Corey Robin linked above is worth reading. He is outraged. I am very amused.

I forgot Krugman, and according to comments, Juan Cole.

Interesting how the knives came out all at once, from so many sources.

Like I said, I don't care about Sanders, I just like to despise the Establishment.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:15 PM
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Obama-the-candidate's healthcare proposal in 2008 was pretty weak stuff, too.

There's a comment in the conversation linked above which touches on that (though I find Ezra's final sentence in the quoted paragraph confusing):

Ezra Klein: I think the Obama case is interesting, and for a very specific reason: the information flow here goes both ways. I think Obama's team was, to some degree, persuaded that they would need an individual mandate, and there would be support for proposing that policy (even with its obvious political dangers) by the outcome of that debate. Another way of putting it is that absent the serious vetting of the details of Obama's plan it's possible that the final bill doesn't have an individual mandate because Obama decides he was against it and can't afford that flip-flop.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:16 PM
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120

I think it's hard to pick odds until knowing who the Republicans nominate. If it's Trump, the chances of a D win are a lot higher than if it's Rubio. Though if it's Trump, the establishment might just have an angry meltdown and refuse to vote. Or they might decide Trump is more into the optics of crazy than actual crazy, and go for the plutocrat over the guy who really will raise their taxes. Man, this is so weird. Who would have thought Sanders vs. Trump was even a remotely plausible thing to wonder about 6 months ago?

Cruz vs. Sanders is interesting. The Republican senate has basically threatened mutiny under a Cruz presidency. The NRO is pushing Cruz now, but the Republican establishment is actively campaigning against him. If you have two candidates who are both hated by their respective establishments, one who threatens to significantly raise taxes and the other who has threatened to default on US debt, I'm...really not sure what would happen.

I'm also beginning to wonder if Rubio is the next Scott Walker. He's the ideal candidate on paper, and he's the guy Reasonable Democrats(TM) are all the most scared of, but he's also kind of a political dud. He's been stuck at 10-11% and in third or fourth place everywhere for months, despite months and months of boosterism by all establishment Republican organs.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:22 PM
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I'd like to believe Megan that any Democrat will win this year, but I'm not ready to feel confident about that yet.

If you can find a way to convince yourself, you totally should. Without the worry that one of those clowns could win, this has been the funnest election season I can think of. The schadenfreude is just wonderful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:23 PM
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One of the thing that amuses me id all the people who claimed they were left of the Party, and welcomed the Sanders candidacy as a chance to "move Clinton left." I always knew they were utter bullshit, and as soon as Bernie generated any serious heat, would return to the rich and powerful wing and so reasonably explain why Bernie was poison.

Robin at the end of his piece talks about the long prescription, beloved by the scum at LGM, to not depend on the Presidency and leaders, but work from the bottom-up, on the streets, in the precincts, build a movement. I know, again, that the minute untamed movement politics showed any traction these same people would turn on a dime, and find reasons this particular movement was just handing the country to the far Right. So reasonable they'd be.

There is a small possibility the President Bernie, old crank, does what banker's Obama could have done, and unleash the streets out of frustration with centrist and courtier Democrats.

That could be fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:24 PM
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Like, Kasich is now second in NH, and I can't imagine that's not in part a fuck you to the establishment and to their promotion of Rubio. A Kasich win is probably the worst possible outcome if you're hoping for a moderate (Christie/Bush/Rubio/Kasich) to win. He's political kryptonite everywhere outside a few more lefty states, and his win there helps tank the chances of a more "palatable" establishment gaining ground on Crump.

Also, to clarify, I think Sanders would beat Cruz, but the establishment freakout would be epic.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:26 PM
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A Kacish a good reason to vote for Clinton.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:29 PM
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Sentence complete more good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:29 PM
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I think he fired my hottest former boss but I don't want to ask her if that's what happened.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:31 PM
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You know...

You Shouldn't Fucking Care If Repubs Win

If you are building a populist revolutionary movement, you don't stop if you win one election, you don't stop if you lose one election

Cruz as President, with Congress and the Courts, facing a nationwide revolutionary movement will overreact. What they does can be reversed, if you seriously believe that the movement has a majority or means of reaching one.

This is not "worse so better" although the rich and privileged left will lay that one you. And goddamn the bourgeois left will come after you viciously, and claim you are destroying lives and killing babies.

But that is what a populist or leftist movement means, and what it will always look like. The reasonable and empathic folk will hate you, and have better arguments.

The electability arguments are immoral, and strategically bankrupt.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:35 PM
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Sanders-Cruz: I still can't believe the match-up could be two atheists. I thought deep piety was going to be a requirement for another generation or so.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:36 PM
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The Corey Robin linked above is worth reading.

Yes. The comment that I find most interesting is his #13 -- not coincidentally one that he flags as being provisional, and something that he's still thinking about. Some of the criticisms of the Clintons seemed fair and worth taking a shot at (3,8, probably 12). There was also a fair amount to which I simply thought, "I am clearly not the person that you are intending to address with this piece." Oddly the point at which I felt the most frustration was this:

You'll be hearing a lot in the coming weeks about what a political savant Hillary Clinton is--and what a political naif Bernie Sanders is. You already have. On Sunday or Monday, I counted five such articles alone.
.

One of the things that I've been feeling, over the last couple of days of discussing Clinton/Sanders on unfogged, is that I am curious about the election, but I have very little desire to convince anybody of how to vote -- I am content to just see how things plays out.

And that makes me very impatient with arguments about, "somebody over there just said something stupid." I'm curious to know what other people find persuasive, or think are they key issues in the campaign, I don't care at all about trying to either figure out what the "consensus opinion" about the campaign is or in trying to argue with it. Why bother?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:37 PM
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You've only got dogs for dependents. I'd rather not have four horrible years just to heighten the contradictions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:37 PM
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135 to bob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:38 PM
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The Republican implosion is in part seen in you have different wings of the party deadly divided, in a "brook no compromise take my ball and go home" way. The NRO crowd are threatening to defect from the GOP if Trump is nominated. The GOP senate is threatening mutiny against Cruz, and the establishment is campaigning against him harder than any primary opponent is. Breitbart/Redstate/crazier-than-Fox crows are demanding Trump or they'll sit out the election. If Rubio had Obama-levels of talent he could probably kept everyone together, but he doesn't and things are going to shit.

The people who hate Trump and/or Cruz would both prefer a Hillary presidency than to have their hated candidate win. The NRO crowd thinks Trump is a Hillary-style Democrat, and they'd rather have a "disaster" presidency under Hillary pinned on the Dems so they can win big in 2020, rather than a "disaster" Trump presidency pinned on the Reps and a total Dem landslide in 2020. The establishment people who hate Cruz think he's a rat fink sociopath with no sense of basic human decency, and he'd screw over the Republicans down ballot in the worst ways possible if he could benefit at all, so the terribleness of a Hillary victory would be worth it to see Cruz's political career crushed. The bloodlust Trump supporters think everyone but Trump are all RINO pussies with smaller balls than Hillary, so if there's no difference why bother rewarding a Republican establishment who's ignored them.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:42 PM
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Hypothetical question, how much of a difference would there have to be between their electability for it to be a concern?

Despite the fact that I think that's a great question, my answer is that it doesn't make any difference at all.

A world in which the Democratic Party nominates Sanders is different than any world we can imagine at this stage. I suppose if Hillary implodes in some completely unpredictable way - the classic live girl or dead boy* - then we want to ponder whether we want a candidate who won essentially by default.

But if Bernie beats her fair and square, it means that American politics are different from what we think, and I wouldn't presume to deny my fellow Americans the opportunity to vote in a general election for a socialist -- or even someone who semi-plausibly calls himself a socialist.

*But how much would a live girl matter? Remember, before 1992, having an affair exposed was enough to disqualify a presidential candidate. The times, they are a changing -- though I suppose the dead boy would still be a bit much.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:44 PM
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all the people who claimed they were left of the Party, welcomed the Sanders candidacy as a chance to "move Clinton left." I always knew they were utter bullshit, and as soon as Bernie generated any serious heat, would return to the rich and powerful wing and so reasonably explain why Bernie was poison.

That's basically a fair summary of my viewpoint. It is a totally reasonable position! I'm fine with Sanders' candidacy, and was planning to vote for him myself, unless he actually has a serious chance to win the nomination or divide the party, in which case I'm dead-set against it. The candidacy is fine as a nudge to the left for Clinton; it's not fine as a way of seriously increasing the odds of a Republican victory. Because, as I've said ad nauseum, the risk/reward tradeoff is just not there.

I'm still not clear on whether he actually has a serious chance to win the nomination; I guess he probably doesn't, so I should still be in favor of him, but I wish my Facebook page wasn't so annoying about it. Anyhow, I just sent Hillary some money because the Sanders people on social media were pissing me off sufficiently.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:44 PM
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137: I am still loving and agreeing with all of Buttercup's analyses.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 4:57 PM
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I would add that the crazy Republicans are running on pure spite now. They want the "establishment" Republicans (who constantly betray them by not getting rid of Obamacare) to lose more than they want to win the whole thing. I have no sense that the party will rally together in the general to vote down a Democrat.

The best part is that the demographics are even more against them in 2020. This is their last chance in a long while and they're fucking it up. Again, I could not enjoy this more.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:07 PM
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126: I don't agree about Democratic inevitability, and therefore I feel very guilty about my glee at the Rise of Trump.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:08 PM
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Jerry Brown had been keeping a close eye on the race, with an eye to getting in if Clinton implodes.

I had heard the same thing about Biden. And even some faint whispering about Gore (Al, not Vidal).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:13 PM
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141

Yes, exactly. Traitors (and impotent pussy losers) are worse than straight up enemies, especially when the enemies are demonstrating strength.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:13 PM
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140: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Buttercup for president!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:15 PM
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Was Buttercup even born in the US?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:18 PM
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Aww thanks guys. I was! I figured my membership in YPSL and DSA had permanently politically disqualified me, but Sanders seems to be proving otherwise. It turns out not writing a dissertation gives you too much time to obsessively follow politics on the internet.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:24 PM
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the classic live girl or dead boy

The classic phrasing is the opposite: dead girl or live boy. (This has been a moment of evening pedantry. Thank you.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:25 PM
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I guess in HRC's case we should give her the benefit of the doubt and flip it. There has been an undernews thing going on for years that she and Huma have a thing... In her case, people might actually sympathize, given their respective spouses.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:27 PM
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Nate Silver is apparently surprised that the mainstream (David Brooks etc) Republicans are attacking Cruz instead of Trump, and says this makes Trump more plausible.

Wrong. Works like this. Hold Cruz down, primaries don't give a plurality or Trump majority. Trump found with dead girl or live boy on eve of convention, convention goes open, checks and cash fly like confetti, Jeb or Rubio becomes nominee. I said it first.

And after the last year, Jeb or Rubio looks all moderate as fuck for the general.

Repub base expects to get kicked.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:35 PM
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Sixty-six years ago, Woody Guthrie was writing enraged lyrics in response to his racist white landlord...Fred Trump.

Remarkable piece of scholarship. Well worth reading the full article if you just saw the small clip on Lawyers Guns and Money.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:50 PM
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(My record of political prediction continues to be terrible. I thought Jeb was going to be the Republican nominee (and I feared Scott Walker), and then I thought it would be Rubio. Now the only thing I'm sure of is that more elected Republicans seem to hate Cruz than I would ever have suspected.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 5:52 PM
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And while I'm serial commenting, I think I agree with 80+% of Buttercup's comments in this thread.

I do disagree strongly about thinking Obama was to HRC's left -- not only did I think so in 2008, so did quite a number of my nearest and dearest. And I don't think we were crazy to think so. Not on every policy, but definitely on military/endless war/torture/indefinite detention.

He had taught constitutional law, he had opposed the Iraq War (though he wasn't in Congress at the time) and he was speaking far more strongly about closing Guantanamo. (Did HRC even say she would?) Heck, Phil Carter of Intel Dump had a position with his campaign and early in his administration.

Seven years later, Obama's drone policies, retaliation against whistleblowers, and unwillingness to punish US torture and other war crimes are to me the most painful wounds of his presidency.

I regard the drone stuff in particular as his equivalent of FDR's Japanese internment. It should follow his legacy in shame for the rest of life and beyond. And I say that as someone who on balance thinks Obama has been an outstanding president.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:07 PM
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Also, most transparent administration ever.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:18 PM
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I forgot to say that what little weight I lent to the Rev. Wright controversy back in 2008 just made me trust Obama's bona fides more. I couldn't imagine HRC ever attending a church service -- even once -- with a preacher who would give (what I perceived to be) a pretty standard social justice activist analysis of the US.

I might have felt differently about this had I bothered to actually listen to any of the Wright speeches/sermons.

...

OK, I just read the excerpts on his Wikipedia entry. With the exception of the Pearl Harbor and HIV conspiracy theories, all of that stuff is a) utterly standard left-wing (and sometimes right-wing) critique of the US. I've probably witnessed someone giving that speech 30 times in my life, never mind reading versions of it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:28 PM
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Also, most transparent administration ever.

Good point. I was sort of lumping that in with the whistleblowers, but it deserves its own mention.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:29 PM
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Pretend my 155.last has a comma instead of a period, and b) in the appropriate place to connect it to the last part of the sentence.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:31 PM
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I do disagree strongly about thinking Obama was to HRC's left -- not only did I think so in 2008, so did quite a number of my nearest and dearest. And I don't think we were crazy to think so.

Wait, what are you disagreeing with? I thought JRoth's point was that everybody thought Obama was to Clinton's left.

The broader point that I would make is one about institutional constraints. I believe that Obama is temperamentally to "the left" of Clinton, I am even inclined to think that his actions as president are to the left of what Clinton would have done had she won in 2008. I'm not sure about either of those things, I am fairly confident that Obama ran as a liberal challenger to Clinton.

I think there are a couple of reasons for that, part of it she was vulnerable to a challenge for her support for the Iraq war. Part of it is that, as a challenger, it was helpful to have a campaign that would appeal to activists -- and a crucial part of his delegate math was winning caucuses based on higher-intensity support. So there were strategic reasons to campaign from the left.

I also think that, within a primary campaign, left or right is not necessarily a matter of policy differences (while the differences are important, the candidates will agree on far more than they disagree) but also a matter of "vision" (for lack of a better word) and selling oneself as a personality.

Hence this article (which I wanted to link to partially as a response to Bob's claim that Ezra Klein has been attacking Sanders)

But I was struck more by the sentences that come right before Flores's endorsement of Sanders's political revolution. She writes:

"I believe that Bernie Sanders wakes up every day with these things on his mind. That the unfairness of it all weighs on his heart, just like it does mine, and that when he is elected, he will do whatever it takes to make America the land of opportunity again."

This, I think, is the core of the problem Clinton faces. There is no commitment dearer to her than her longstanding, unceasing work on behalf of children. Her roots in that effort run much deeper than Sanders's -- as engaged as he is by the class war, there's no evidence that he's as personally or politically passionate about children as Clinton is.

But Sanders has nevertheless convinced Flores that he cares about the child she met, that he is angry about the injustices that child faces, in a way Clinton simply hasn't.

In 2012, much was made of the fact that Barack Obama polled behind Mitt Romney on all sorts of measures but had a huge, persistent lead when voters were asked whether the candidate "cares about people like me." Sanders's fundamental advantage over Clinton is that as voters get to know him better, they come to believe he cares about people like them in a way Clinton doesn't. Whether that's true or not is, politically, beside the point -- it's a huge and growing problem for Clinton that Democrats like Flores think it's true.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:34 PM
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I'm disagreeing with Buttercup in 96, who said:

**Contra the media narrative on "Obamabots," I don't know a single Obama supporter who thought him to be an actual leftist. Most people (including me) saw O & H as roughly averaging out to the same on the issues, and decided that 1) Obama was an once-in-a-generation skilled politician, which might help against Republican intransigence, and 2) they'd rather have someone who wasn't the wife of the president before-last as the next president.

I definitely did NOT see "O&H as roughly averaging out to the same on the issues."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:41 PM
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Ah yes, thanks. I skimmed over that comment. I would also disagree with that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:42 PM
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Also, the endorsement in 158 is extraordinarily moving. Read the whole thing.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 6:54 PM
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158 is hilarious.

Ezra Klein is fucking good, and the whole thing is enthusiastic and repeated praise of Clinton, with the sadness that she isn't adequately making the people understand how wonderful she is.

Example:"There is no commitment dearer to her than her longstanding, unceasing work on behalf of children. Her roots in that effort run much deeper than Sanders's -- as engaged as he is by the class war, there's no evidence that he's as personally or politically passionate about children as Clinton is."

"Class war" is a dogwhistle toward feminists.

I ain't engaging in a link war, Klein's been attacking Sanders for months.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 7:42 PM
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Bob is right about Ezra Klein. He's a sneaky SOB when it comes time to stick the knife in. Vox is slowly but surely working to convince millennials that they all need to grow up and support Hillary.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:13 PM
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159

I read a lot of feminist blogs at the time, and the standard line was, "Obama's not as lefty as you think he is." I remember chatter too about how Hillary's healthcare plan was to the left of Obama's, and I remember thinking that, all things being equal, I'd want Obama over Hillary because of the dynasty issue. I do remember thinking Obama was left of Hillary on Foreign Policy, which turned out to be partly right, but I agree with you on the drone stuff. That was actively disappointing.

163

Vox, Slate, and 538 all seem filled with Very Smart People(TM) who seem to be brain dead when it comes to astute social analysis. They're poster children for the claim that intelligence in one narrow area doesn't translate into intelligence in everything. They probably could get better, but they're so enamored of themselves and their narrow, UMC white establishment world they've never left that they're totally blind to what is happening to the US.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:23 PM
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164a:

I remember supporting Obama over Hillary in the primary precisely because I thought that Democrats ought to be in the business of punishing anyone who voted for Iraq whenever possible. To be honest, I think we still ought to be in that business. The whole thing was just such an insane con job. The revisionism and outright amnesia from people on this subject fourteen years later makes me sick. I think that any politician who supported the war ought to be permanently regarded as untrustworthy and should under no circumstances be taken seriously on issues of foreign policy.


164b:

I think you'll love this article.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:35 PM
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This thread led me to look up the old Poorman post about poker with Dick Cheney.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:40 PM
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165.2: That post is great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:45 PM
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Let's all post pundits' GPAs and SAT scores.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:48 PM
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Vox, Slate, and 538 all seem filled with Very Smart People(TM) who seem to be brain dead when it comes to astute social analysis. They're poster children for the claim that intelligence in one narrow area doesn't translate into intelligence in everything.

Boy howdy is that right. I can think of one exception but in general that rings very, very true.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:55 PM
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165.1

Yeah, totally agree. We've irreparably fucked up millions of lives (including/especially millions of women, who are now dead/homeless/ISIS sex slaves), and people (who are not brown and Muslim and halfway around the world) need to be made to pay.

165.2

Loved that link. Ugh. Not only is the "I was a fuck-up but my parents' privilege means I got a billionth chance" a class narrative, it's a gendered narrative too.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 8:59 PM
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Also, I have never particularly warmed to Ezra Klein's brand of journalism (that's a personal taste thing; I don't judge those who do).

When I do get linked to his articles, it's remarkable how often they seem to be multilayered defenses of the status quo. And that "defense" of Clinton in the article linked above is pretty darned weak tea, as bob and others note.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:01 PM
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I've actually been surprised by how *little* attention the Iraq vote has been getting in the primaries. I mean, it was the central issue that cost Hillary the nomination in 2008. Why isn't it still being used against her? It it just considered old news at this point?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:04 PM
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after spending three years laughing at Hillary for President remarks, I'm starting to take them quite seriously


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:08 PM
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To be fair, he was like 21 at that point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:14 PM
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165.last is great. In a depressing way.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:15 PM
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172:

Almost every time I've brought it up, even with people who are generally friendly to Sanders, people roll their eyes at me just like Hillary did when she got asked about it in the first debate, as if to ask when liberals are ever going to let that go. And then they go on to hold forth about how somehow Sanders just doesn't seem to be realistic on foreign policy, just like Ezra Klein does?

It makes me want to throw things. The lies of the Bush administration were a necessary but not sufficient condition for the war in Iraq. The total failure of Democrats like Hillary Clinton -- whether out of cowardice, hawkishness, or outright corruption -- to present publicly the obvious arguments against the steaming pile of lies put forth by the Bush administration was what really sent us hurtling into insanity. This at a time when everyone I read and everyone I spoke to saw the obvious con in action and somehow half of the Democratic leadership didn't. And one hundred thousand Iraqis died over it.

How is it that we continue to listen to the people who were at best disastrously wrong and at worst corrupt and that we continue not to listen to the people who were right about the things everyone else was wrong about? A Democrat literally said to me the other day that no one could have known to have listened to naysayers about Iraq because they were all on the fringes of mainstream thought! And then he went on to say that we really can't trust what Bernie says about ISIS because it's on the fringe of mainstream thought.

I remember hearing as a child about things like the Iran Contra scandal, about our installation of dictators in third world countries as a means of procuring cheap resources, our coziness with the shah of Iran, and all of the other disastrous and morally reprehensible pieces of American foreign policy in the 20th century. And I remember coming to the understanding that these were things that people didn't really talk about when we talked about foreign policy now for some reason or another. Even the smart people writing in the newspaper just sort of... didn't acknowledge these things.

I'm probably much younger than most people on the site -- only 26 -- but god damn does it hurt to watch this collective willful amnesia continue. It really just makes my stomach churn.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:29 PM
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Because I hate myself, a couple of weeks ago I listened to Slate XX podcast on why millennial women supported Bernie. Here's a transcript from memory:

Three Gen X women:
1: "How could a woman support Bernie? This makes no sense. Is it because young women are stupid?"
2: "Yeah, I mean, he's not a hot black man like Obama, so what could young women see in him? He's like their grandfather. Do they even speak the same language? Does he campaign in lolcats? We don't get it"
1: "Maybe they're doing it to get laid by Bernie bros."
3: "Wait wait, just to be totally contrarian for a moment, could it be possible they care about the issues?"
1,2: "no of course not."
3: "yeah, I didn't think so."

I'm someone who can handle reading the NRO every day, but I don't think I can handle Slate.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:30 PM
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Dang, you're even younger than me!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:31 PM
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178 to 176. I'm pretty sure Buttercup is older than me, but I don't think by much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:32 PM
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WHO LET TRIVERS ON THE LAWN


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:33 PM
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176

Yeah, seriously. And then we wonder why people hate us. The psychological legacies of colonialism and white supremacy run deep. We feel some vague sense of entitlement control certain countries, and certain lives are just less valuable than others. People deny it, but actions speak louder than words.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:34 PM
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176

Welcome, child.

179

Yeah, probably. I'm on the older edge of millennial.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:35 PM
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158 is hilarious.

Vox, Slate, and 538 all seem filled with Very Smart People(TM) who seem to be brain dead when it comes to astute social analysis.

Bob is right about Ezra Klein. He's a sneaky SOB when it comes time to stick the knife in. Vox is slowly but surely working to convince millennials that they all need to grow up and support Hillary.

Also, I have never particularly warmed to Ezra Klein's brand of journalism . . . And that "defense" of Clinton in the article linked above is pretty darned weak tea, as bob and others note.

For fuck's sake people*, I feel like there's a goalpost somewhere, but it's moving around so much it's making me dizzy. Which, probably, means that you aren't directly disagreeing with me, just taking the opportunity to snark at Ezra.

But, because I feel grumpy, and caught in the crossfire, let me ellaborate on what I meant in one 158.

First off, my comment about Bob could have been more specific, but was a parenthetical. I stand by my main points that (a) if Hillary Clinton is the favorite for the nomination the space for a challenger is to her left. (b) Obama successfully ran in that lane in the primaries (even if there's reason to think that he wasn't far left of her) and (c) Sanders is also running as the left challenger and almost certainly would look at what the Obama campaign did well in that role.

Having written that, I have a new thought. In the primaries Obama had the biggest support among (in no particular order) (a) people who wanted a progressive challenge to Clinton, (b) young and minority voters (c) educated, middle-class, politically active people -- the unfogged demographic arguably. Sanders is currently doing well with young and lefty voters, and I'd be curious to know how he's doing among the unfogged demographic (again, not a precise term, just a convenient label).

Now, only the Ezra Klein link. The comment by Bob that I was referring to in my parenthetical was this:

I have been waiting for the so-called left-of-centre Democrats to bare their knives and attack Bernie. This week it has begun. Loomis, Yggles, Klein

Perhaps I neglected to adjust for Bob's levels of hyperbole but my point was just that the article linked in 158 was a fare cry from baring a knife.

I do think vox has been moderately pro-Hillary in that there's a consistent tone of "Hillary is a competent, accomplished, professional." I have noticed that more than excess criticism of Sanders. But I certainly don't read all of their articles, so I could be missing that.

But, if I'm correct, that vox has a default belief that "Hillary is a competent, accomplished, professional." That isn't knifing Sanders, that's exactly the sort of thing that a political campaign has to overcome. If vox is the force that convinces millennials to support Clinton instead of Sanders then Sanders is not a good enough politician to win the nomination.

I don't know that this is worth my feeling of impatience. But . . .. *shrug*

Finally, I didn't link to the article because I thought it was a "defense of Clinton" I linked to it because I thought it was correct about how Sanders was doing well and why the endorsement matter. And I do agree with Witt:

Also, the endorsement in 158 is extraordinarily moving. Read the whole thing.

* I've been sick all week (hopefully on the tail end of it) and I'm sure that's making me less patient.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:37 PM
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And I see that the conversation has moved on while I was writing that. 176 is well said.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:39 PM
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Another thing that swung me firmly into the Obama camp, in addition to the Iraq war vote, hating dynasties, and the racist dogwhistling of Clinton's campaign, was the ridiculous sexism from older feminists. There was a huge narrative that young women just had jungle fever ("once you go black, you never go back" jokes), or were supporting Obama out of self-hatred or to impress their male friends. Stuff like that from Republicans was expected, but from ostensibly feminist women was infuriating.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:40 PM
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I think I'm the same age as Ezra Klein, actually. I had better grades in high school, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:40 PM
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177:

The sense I get from speaking with my female millennial friends about Hillary Clinton is that many of them have had enough callous and horrible female bosses/managers/professors to be much more cynical about where focusing on representational gains at the expense of structural concerns gets us.[1]

I think NRO is less depressing than Slate. At least they aren't pretending that they're anything other than spiteful, privileged fucks defending the status quo because it's been kind to them.

[1] I have a pet theory that when systems are hostile towards groups of people but not so hostile that none of them will join the elites, the members of these groups that make it into the elites are much more likely than average to be delusional about the levels of discrimination that others from their group face. This may be because they internalize some of the system's hatred towards the group, but it also seems useful as a coping mechanism. It takes an incredibly strong will to make it past high levels of discrimination, and spending even an ounce of energy thinking about that discrimination might be detrimental. I think this is what's behind people like Ben Carson.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:43 PM
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183

Apologies if you felt attacked, I in no way had you in mind when I was venting my frustration with Vox/538/Slate etc.

Your question is interesting. From comments so I get the sense younger commenters are more pro Sanders and older commenters tend to be more pro Hillary, but I don't know how true that is for the general unfoggetariat (nor do I really know most people's ages).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:45 PM
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I get the impression that most Unfogged people don't have strong opinions on Hillary vs. Bernie at this point. Certainly nowhere near as strong as Obama vs. Clinton in 2008. Maybe we just talk about it less than we did then, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:48 PM
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As for age, this is a heavily Gen-X crowd, with a few outliers in both directions. Not sure what, if anything, that means for preferences in the primary this year.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:49 PM
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Generation Awesome, where have you gone?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:56 PM
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189

That could be true too. TBH it hasn't been much of a race so far, because Clinton was until a few weeks ago considered to be the only serious candidate.

187
On NRO, yes, and they get so amazingly and deliciously pissy when something doesn't go their way. Also, in violation of internet laws everywhere, their comment section is orders of magnitude more intelligent than the posts (low bar, I know). But you can read serious and cogently argued political debates between various parts of the Republican party/Conservatives.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 9:58 PM
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Maybe you should just do an ethnography of NRO commenters for your dissertation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:04 PM
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Notes from a Palinese Cockfight


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:08 PM
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It practically writes itself!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:10 PM
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183:

I'm really glad you took the time to write up this comment. I want to address this bit specifically.


But, if I'm correct, that vox has a default belief that "Hillary is a competent, accomplished, professional." That isn't knifing Sanders, that's exactly the sort of thing that a political campaign has to overcome. If vox is the force that convinces millennials to support Clinton instead of Sanders then Sanders is not a good enough politician to win the nomination.

Vox is very, very popular with millennials and seems to be trying to position itself with us as a trusted source going forward. I've been following them for a while and have noticed how subtle a lot of what they do is.

A big part of their model is playing on kind of general youthful insecurities about not being the kind of person who can be taken seriously by grown-ups. This allows them to really get away with being quite condescending. If you can dig up some bits about Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio from maybe a year ago you'll notice that in many circumstances they are offering pre-packaged opinions disguised as analysis. They are quite literally telling the reader what to think and in what regard to hold Ryan and Rubio -- namely, as people with whom they disagree, but who are moderate, pragmatic, genuinely concerned with the poor, and possible to reason with. For a while, it's great. It's rather easy to walk around parroting Vox articles to people and they'll think you're a serious person with liberal, nuanced, informed views with informed disagreements with conservatives.

The Vox team likes to present itself as the people who can cut through all the bullshit. This includes pretense to objectivity; at first it seems to make them appear somewhat more trustworthy for wearing their opinions on their sleeves and mixing news and editorial content. It's also digestible, easy to read on the train or even at a traffic light, and mostly non-threatening to the status quo. Which starts to seem funny after a while. Their opinions just happen to all be so moderate. It starts to seem weird that the writers are all so ideologically similar. And nothing is great. And nothing is terrible. They always have kind of a level head.

So when they're kind of moderately pro-Hillary, you have to understand that that's as extreme as they get on anything. And that they have spent loads of effort cultivating this lie that reasonable adults only take stances which are tempered by detached moderation on any issue ever. So this kind of vague, pro-Clinton tone that the publication as a whole really comes off to me as an enthusiastic endorsement. Especially when taken alongside some recent stories about Bernie Sanders that are simply disingenuous with even the slightest context (like the one where they pointed out that he seems to have a lot of white people in his ads[1] or the one where they called his foreign policy incoherent even though Hillary's is patently reckless and insane and Bernie's is basically Obama's anyway and it's not like any candidate is going to credibly do anything with the military other than defer to its top-ranking officials) which I can really only view as outright character assassination.

Like I said, Ezra Klein is sneaky.

[1] He is spending all of his time, money, and energy in Iowa and New Hampshire at this point because he can't afford not to.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:13 PM
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TL;DR on my last post is that

1) Vox's whole business model is built around appearing to be pleasantly moderate and pragmatic on everything, so moderate pro-Hillary sentiment can fairly be interpreted as enthusiastic endorsement

2) Vox knows millennials love Bernie and don't trust Hillary, and they know their audience well enough to know they have to pay Bernie some lip service; the usual media condescension tricks that work with Gen-X and Baby Boomers will lose millennial trust completely.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:17 PM
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193
I've thought about that, but my committee would kill me and stuff like that is considered a "post-tenure" project.

194
Hahaha


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:17 PM
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Oh, and

3) There have, nonetheless, been disingenuous articles about Sanders, which is why I don't buy that they actually do just happen to have a moderate pro-Hillary stance.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:18 PM
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Vox is very, very popular with millennials and seems to be trying to position itself with us as a trusted source going forward.

I was going to question this, but then I remembered that my millennial FB friends do seem to link to it quite a bit, though not necessarily positively. (The planners in my feed certainly have their well-informed opinions about Saiselgy's hobbyhorses, for one thing.) It's interesting to see this perspective from someone significantly younger than the liberal-blog crowd that dominates Unfogged and out of which Vox arose. I don't read it regularly myself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:21 PM
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Awesome, Trivers is two years my junior. It's nice to see some young blood here, even if I only ever delurk to post unhinged rants because I'm enamored of bob's style and also mentally ill.

I'm definitely feeling the Bern, but I'll vote for Hillary if she gets the nom. Or I'll vote green because I live in non-competitive North Dakota. Or maybe Trump? Because... honestly, are we ever going to get to burn shit down? I hope so, and I'd like to take part in the burning while I'm still spry and relatively uninterested in my own long-term future. Are parents with careers ever bomb-throwers?


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:22 PM
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193

I tried to convince my cousin (a CS grad student with AI) interests to write a computer program to take as input a collection of article tags and produce synthetic Breitbart articles about them, but I'm afraid just doing plain old boring Reddit comments like everyone else. It might have to wait until I have more motivation, but even then I'll probably do a much worse job than he would.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:22 PM
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186
You are correct in my age assessment.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:30 PM
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Man, maybe unfogged is a younger crowd than I initially, thought, even if I am still rather on the young side for it.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:31 PM
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204

We're all old souls.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:33 PM
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The young souls are all on Tumblr.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:38 PM
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or Reddit


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:44 PM
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From way back at the top of the thread: Obama and McCain for sure beat out the entire pack.

Presidential candidate McCain had to have help putting on a sports jacket because his injuries left him unable to lift his arms above his chest. I'm sure he's mean and tempermental, but headbutting will only get you so far in a bar fight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:52 PM
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That's what they all said about John McCain.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 10:59 PM
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I'm about ready to drive over to Oregon and make a citizens arrest. Can citizens arrest people for violating federal law?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:00 PM
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Hey proto your 201 is just about where I'm coming from.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:02 PM
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210

I dunno, but I do feel vindicated by my tank invasion plan, now knowing the secret govt. plan was, "let racist yahoos do whatever the fuck they want and destroy priceless native artifacts."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:10 PM
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I'm not sure why you'd expect Vox to be Sanders friendly, other than some lingering Klein/Yggles sympathy. It's a tech startup, for fuck's sake. They're not exactly known for being economically lefty.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:23 PM
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I don't expect them to be friendly to any particular candidate. I do expect a baseline level of integrity that they are lacking.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:31 PM
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210, 212: Oh for fuck's sake. The assholes in Oregon are trying to demonstrate that the jackbooted federal thugs care more about a bunch of fucking birds and artifacts than about HUMAN LIVES of REAL AMERICANS and was anything they did really worth the number of people killed by the overreaction and why couldn't the feds have just reasoned with them and come to a peaceful resolution? And the feds are calling their bluff and saying "Nope, the shit you're doing is bad for sure but we're not going to just march in there and kill you for it," and now they don't know what to do so they just keep upping the ante provocation-wise and venturing out occasionally for snacks, and sometimes getting arrested for using stolen vehicles to do so.

This may or may not be the best approach tactically, and a lot of people in Oregon seem to be getting frustrated with it, but it's not like the feds are just arbitrarily deciding to surrender to the militants. For all the talk of "Vanilla ISIS" and so forth I don't see a lot of recognition that these guys really are legitimately dangerous, and it's not like the Iraqi police are marching in and arresting regular ISIS for their numerous crimes. Indeed, the tactics that have been used against ISIS have a decidedly mixed record so far, and just as a general matter nihilistic terrorist groups are hard to deal with unless you're willing to match them in willingness to commit atrocities.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:36 PM
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Define dangerous. No, they're not going to invade Salem, but, like, was Aryan Nations dangerous? You could equally argue they weren't, and they didn't carry out an armed invasion of federal property. The Southern Poverty Law center has been tracking the Oregon militiamen since the late 80s, and they consider them a hate group because of the extreme white-supremacist views. I don't think letting hate groups take over federal property to avoid angering more hate groups is the right thing to do morally, even if it might make sense tactically.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:48 PM
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I'm not sure equally is the right word there.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:54 PM
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I agree with Teofilo here. They're practically asking to be made martyrs for their stupid and misguided cause. And generally I think it is better to err on the side of not kicking the hornet's nest of a massive angry right wing insurgency.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-22-16 11:59 PM
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they just keep upping the ante provocation-wise
A pretty fundamental flaw with the Feds strategy, no? Unless you believe trashing the reserve is as far as they and those they are encouraging will go.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:02 AM
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Define dangerous.

Every cop who goes in there to arrest them is going to die, along with a bunch of the occupiers themselves, until they run out of bullets. The carnage is going to overshadow everything they've done to that point, and inspire a lot of people who have vague grievances against the government at this point to more active sympathy with the militants, despite their extremely crazy and unsympathetic ideology. The crazier sympathizers will start bombing federal buildings, the same way they did the last time this happened in the 1990s. No, these idiots are not going to foment an actual revolution, but they can still do plenty of damage short of that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:03 AM
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But there has to be a point where the law is enforced. Emboldening racist assholes to get away with disregarding law also has negative consequences, which involves even worse racist yahoos doing even worse things. Also, I haven't been following this, but are they getting any support anywhere? To what degree would crushing them even make them martyrs at this point?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:03 AM
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Pipe Flint's old water supply into their systems.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:04 AM
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I wrote 221 before I read 220.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:05 AM
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They're now building a justice system:

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/01/13/antigovernment-extremists-oregon-now-plan-their-own-justice-system


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:07 AM
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But there has to be a point where the law is enforced. Emboldening racist assholes to get away with disregarding law also has negative consequences, which involves even worse racist yahoos doing even worse things.

For sure, but they haven't yet, have they? Obviously there's a limit to usefulness of this strategy, but I'm not sure we've reached it yet. No one has died yet, for one thing.

Also, I haven't been following this, but are they getting any support anywhere?

Not particularly, AFAICT, and the locals seem to almost uniformly hate them at this point. But that could be seen as the strategy working, in the sense of giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

To what degree would crushing them even make them martyrs at this point?

Way more, at least potentially. Killing people is a really big deal.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:08 AM
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Killing white people making a political statement in the US is a big deal, anyway.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:11 AM
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Well, yes, but I think we want to move in the direction of killing people being a bigger rather than a smaller deal in general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:12 AM
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225/226

Yeah, I suppose it's possible. I do think if the people of Harney county think you're too anti-government, you've pretty much lost everyone. IIRC they're the most right wing county in OR.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:14 AM
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We need to send Ted Cruz in there to reason with them.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:16 AM
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The government could use the area surrounding the refuge headquarters as temporary radioactive waste storage.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:40 AM
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That would kind of suck for the birds, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:44 AM
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Send all the "going Galt" people to join them. Then mop up after the anarchy and civil war.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:02 AM
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I let Buttercup talk me into reading the comments at NRO. She's basically right, though a bit too kind. I would have thought there was nobody in the camp of people who hate the Republican establishment more than Obama because while Obama is evil the Republican establishment is a bunch of pussy traitors, just because it may be genuinely the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and yet they're there.

I still think Sanders gets squashed like a bug in the either the primary or the general election, and the behavior of Vox is exactly the mechanism by which it will happen. Everybody respectable in the media and Democratic politics will "spontaneously" decide there's just something wrong with Sanders, and the voters will take their word for it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:54 AM
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I found the way the establishment took down Dean in 2004 was instructive. Kerry was way behind in Iowa, and then his campaign hired one specific guy to organize their caucuses. Josh Marshall proclaimed that Kerry would win Iowa because he hired this one specific guy. Then Kerry won, and the media just knifed Dean with that Dean Scream quip. I didn't even like Dean and I found it shocking.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:58 AM
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If there is a recession between now and the general election, I think all the logic that makes Hillary more electable than Bernie goes out the window. A Hillary candidacy would absorb the angst arising against Democrats as the party in power during troubled economic times. Bernie would have some immunity to that, and his leftest bonafides would have a broader appeal than they would during a time of prosperity.

Bank of America says chance of a 2016 recession is 20%, though I would put it a bit higher than that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 6:57 AM
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Good thing there's absolutely no history of economic difficulty being associated with extreme reaction as opposed to support of the left wing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 7:01 AM
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I assume reaction will go to both extremes. I think Ted Cruz would do well in that environment, blaming immigrants and attacking the deficit and talking about belt-tightening and family budgets.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 7:16 AM
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I think my personal distaste for "if thing get worse maybe people will like X better" remains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 7:18 AM
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I think teo's 220 is an exaggerated prediction. I think the Feds should be dealing with this much more aggressively than they are. The occupiers should have no power, no heat, and no water. They should be very uncomfortable. They should be isolated, no communications, no packages. We militarized all our law enforcement, and we can't treat these fuckers to bright lights all night, obnoxious sounds, and whatever else we do to people to make their existence unpleasant without risking anyone's safety? I think waiting them out rather than forcing the issue and risking violence is OK, but I don't see why they're being treated like unpleasant houseguests.

I'm furious on behalf of the staff there, especially the researchers, obviously. I know what federal labs looked like before and after the Oklahoma City bombings and after the Sept. 11 attacks, and it's incredibly sad. Formerly open sites where neighbors could walk dogs or drive through forest preserves replaced with armed guards and high fences. Parking near buildings replaced with concrete barriers. These assholes just made it that much worse.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 7:30 AM
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The occupiers should have no power, no heat, and no water.

"You asked for miracles, I give you the F.B.I."


Posted by: Opinionated Hans Gruber | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 7:32 AM
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Yeah, the "they can come and go as they please" bit is a little much. Maybe next time they go out on a Taco Bell run, don't let them back in?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:24 AM
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They probably missed a key bit when they looked up a what a "siege" is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:30 AM
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I say Bloomberg turns the presidency over to Sanders in this scenario:

If Republicans were to nominate Mr. Trump or Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a hard-line conservative, and Democrats were to pick Mr. Sanders, Mr. Bloomberg -- who changed his party affiliation to independent in 2007 -- has told allies he would be likely to run.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:06 AM
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Yeah, I'm not talking about an armed showdown. But if these felons want to drive on public roads, or walk over to have a chat with the sheriff at his office, they should expect to have at least some risk of arrest.

And really, isn't that what they want? An opportunity to demonstrate that their ridiculous interpretation of the Constitution is actually correct, and that the US government doesn't own the wildlife refuge.

Not arresting them gives deluded people the impression that there is something to these wacky constitutional theories, and puts federal employees at risk.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:14 AM
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234 It was pretty surprising that the scream thing worked as well as it did. Pretty clear demonstration that Dean's support was like an inch deep, if it could be derailed by a silly video going viral. I'd think we're all more used to silly videos going viral now for such a thing to ever work again, but who knows.

I suppose it went viral because there was a huge slug of people (most of whom weren't going to vote in a Democratic primary anyway) who were happy to have an excuse to laugh at Dean's supporters.

That scream sure looks tame compared to the stuff that has led various Republican candidates to rise and fall in this cycle and the last one.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:25 AM
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243 Most of the quick twitter takes I'm seeing assume it hands it over to Trump.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:27 AM
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This isn't very scientific, but it's an attempt to poll Republican support for Bloomberg.

234,245

In the summer of 2004 I met an Democratic organizer from Iowa, and he told me that he and other people he know didn't support Dean because his wife was Jewish, and he was worried he'd be "too pro-Israel." I don't know how widespread that attitude actually was on the Iowa side, but I was pretty shocked that that sort of anti-Semitism was still a factor. It also makes me surprised about Sanders's sustained popularity, but then a lot could have changed in the past 12 years, and who knows, maybe the Clinton camp's claim that Bernie will give Israel to ISIS is actually helping him in Iowa.


233

I'm grappling with how much influence the media still has. Clearly not as much as they want to or used to have, or the race would be between Clinton/Biden vs. Bush/Rubio/Walker, or at least not Sanders vs. Trump/Cruz. The media may regain more of their traditional influence, but at least so far it's not clear they have. One thing that surprised me reading NRO comments is how angry Republicans are over the lack of recovery for the bottom 99% after the recession (not that they'd frame it like that).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:45 AM
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I think politicalfootball is right in 138 (and others have made the same or similar points, I think):

But if Bernie beats her fair and square, it means that American politics are different from what we think, and I wouldn't presume to deny my fellow Americans the opportunity to vote in a general election for a socialist -- or even someone who semi-plausibly calls himself a socialist.

I initially had a lot of concerns about Bernie's electability, but I think it's probably right that if Bernie ultimately wins the primary, it means either (1) that Hillary is much weaker/ much more vulnerable/ much less electable than is the conventional wisdom; (2) that Bernie is stronger and has broader appeal; or (3) both.

A lot of the current Clinton strategy re Bernie is also giving me unpleasant flashbacks to the things that bothered me about her campaign in 2008.


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:50 AM
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Jeesuz, Buttercup, you've linked Althouse. Please be kind to yourself.

Good point someone made on the twitters, no one is going to walk precincts for Bloomberg.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:51 AM
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233:

I'd be inclined to agree with you, except the media has much less influence now than they did in 2004. A credible Sanders candidacy would have been completely unthinkable in 04, so I think it's safe to say the rules don't apply.

Also, the whole media "left" knifing Sanders might work to take him down for Clinton, but if it's him vs. Trump they're going to find themselves in a bit of a bind for two reasons. One is that, presumably, the knifing on behalf of Clinton already failed, so it will be dubious at that point whether voters can be turned against him by the media. Two is that they'll be faced with the choice between lending support to Sanders and lending support to whatever demonspawn the Republicans throw up there. Although I could see them perhaps consolidating behind a Bloomberg...


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 10:18 AM
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Bloomberg would put New York's electoral votes into play, making it the biggest swing state. If Democrats suddenly have to defend New York, that's a huge drain on resources.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 10:34 AM
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I would be really cheerful if the entire slate running on the platform of "I think I can win because I'm running against a huge asshole." I'd prefer naked ambition.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 10:47 AM
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Having someone up there with four times his net worth might dampen some of Trump's bluster. Trump's whole platform is "I'm rich, I'm successful, so I show off and say what I want" but next to Michael Bloomberg he'd look like the Ed Hardy of billionaires. Which he is.

I do worry about the New York thing, though.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:05 AM
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It would crack me up something hard if the electorate could pick whichever abrasive New Yorker they wanted for President. What, that's not enough variety for you?

I mean, also the apocalypse would follow, so I'm not actually happy about this prospect. But funny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:20 AM
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210ff: As I said at the other place, 10 U.S. Code ยง 12406 calls for federalization of a state national guard when "there is a rebellion or danger of a rebellion against the authority of the Government of the United States." That's exactly what I think should happen. Call their bluff, tell them the guard is coming in, explain carefully the consequences of firing at a federal officer, move in, and either clear them out or take them down.

Ammon Bundy and his henchmen are traveling to and from Burns with impunity. That's bullshit. I know that road pretty well—it's a 30-mile stretch where stopping and arresting someone would be pretty easy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:23 AM
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I don't get the logic "if Sanders can win the primary, then that's revealed evidence that he can win the general election." Think about it from the Republican side, where there's a very clear example. It's obvious that Rubio is a fairly weak establishment candidate and that Trump is a very strong insurgent candidate who plays to a large part of the Republican base that hasn't felt catered to. Trump could win the primary, and Rubio could lose. In that case, does anyone think that Trump would be a stronger candidate in a general election than Rubio? Of course not. Similarly, a not-great-in-the-primaries Hillary is still a much stronger general election candidate.

Just because the Democrats haven't been dumb enough to nominate for President someone well to the left of the center of their party since McGovern doesn't mean everyone needs to lose their damn minds.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:25 AM
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254: They could debate with bullhorns from opposite sides of the Brooklyn Bridge. That alone would be worth it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:26 AM
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Oh, wow. Warring billionaires. Could they attempt to screw with each other's finances during the campaign? Like, Bloomberg does something to mess with the value of Trump's holdings? That'd be beyond awesome. I envision someone handing Trump a note during a debate telling him he's bankrupt.

(Not that I don't mostly despise Bloomberg too, of course.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:33 AM
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A Trump-Bloomberg-Sanders three-way fight would especially great if it ended in the Great Interborough War of 2016.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:40 AM
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Vox is very, very popular with millennials and seems to be trying to position itself with us as a trusted source going forward. I've been following them for a while and have noticed how subtle a lot of what they do is.

I was thinking about this last night and have a couple thoughts. One, for what it's worth, I have some affection for Vox, don't read givethirtyeight much, and don't find it useful when I do, and never read slate. In that context I realize that my feelings about vox (and Hillary Clinton, for that matter) are perfectly summed up by an old Doonesbury cartoon (which I can't find right now) in which somebody is being asked by a pollster if they approve or disapprove of Carter's performance. They respond by saying, "I know what you're doing, you want to report that Carter's approval ratings have dropped to the same level as Nixon. But those don't measure the same thing. In Nixon's case it was outrage at a crook, in Carter's it's impatience with an incompetent. Well I won't play along, I say Approve."

I think vox has obvious problems, but I also they have value, and if I have to pick between "great" or "terrible" I'd pick "great" if only out of irritation at having the choice framed in that way. But really my feeling is, "clearly not terrible, but could be a lot better."

My second thought is that I recognize much of what you're saying about vox, but I don't know that I think of it as an indictment. Essentially you're saying, "vox is building an audience, trying to build credibility, and has opinion which is pushes subtly but consistently along with it's journalism." That all seems like the explicit mission, not a hidden agenda. I've always thought it was clear that they were doing opinion journalism, not pure reporting and if that's explicit then you can disagree with their opinions, and dislike the way in which they express their biases, but I don't think illegitimate or inherently sneaky for them to be doing that.

I do recognize what you're saying about how it appeals to people who want to feel grown-up, dispassionate, and correct in reasonable, centrist ways. I think that is very appealing to some young people (just like some middle-age people) and I think there are also young people who want fiery passionate political arguments as well.

Thinking about all of this made me feel old. I'll turn 40 this year* and I was a moderate but not serious consumer of news and politics as a teenager, and much of what I remember as sources of political opinion were terrible. There's was a while when my family subscribed to the weekly edition of the Washington Post (as an active attempt to get the centrist perspective, we also got In These Times) and I went through a period of listening to a fair amount of talk radio. I think it's worth saying that Vox is far, far better than the Washington Post editorial page from the early 90s.

I don't think they deserve a cookie for that. That's a low bar and the minimum standard for success. If they weren't they'd be so bad that there was no point in reading or talking about them. But I think it is true that, on balance, online political journalism is a big improvement from most of the editorial journalism that it replaces/competes with.

Writing that makes me think about a comment that I saw in the early 2000's (I think) that it was notable just how much better sports journalism was that political journalism -- while their was no shortage of bias and opinion in sports journalism there was also a basic constraint that everybody could see who was winning or losing and commenters couldn't pretend that something was working if it clearly wasn't.

I think that fivethirtyeight and vox are, in some ways, bringing the stylistic elements of analytically based sports journalism to political journalism, and that describes many of their strengths and weaknesses (I'd need to think about that if I wanted to flesh out the analogy, but I think it's a reasonably proposition).

* _gulp_


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:43 AM
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I think the Feds should be dealing with this much more aggressively than they are. The occupiers should have no power, no heat, and no water. They should be very uncomfortable. They should be isolated, no communications, no packages. We militarized all our law enforcement, and we can't treat these fuckers to bright lights all night, obnoxious sounds, and whatever else we do to people to make their existence unpleasant without risking anyone's safety? I think waiting them out rather than forcing the issue and risking violence is OK, but I don't see why they're being treated like unpleasant houseguests.

Exactly this.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:50 AM
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247: the Clinton camp's claim that Bernie will give Israel to ISIS

What's that, now?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 11:55 AM
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Further to 255: I can only hope that the DOJ is working overtime to make a lay-down case of every charge they can bring.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:01 PM
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262

I was being mostly snarky, and it's really more anti-Iran, but there's some blatant scaremongering about Israel in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpanzGLYArw&feature=youtu.be


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:04 PM
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If you actually mobilized the populations of the boroughs into a giant battle royale fight, Queens obviously wins, right? Unless you include the Bronx, in which case the Bronx wins.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:05 PM
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264 comes from this article, which is not making me like Hillary more.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:10 PM
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256: I think that the comparison to the Republican primary is pretty inapt. First, I don't think that some large plurality of the Democratic base is in full scale revolt against the establishment in the same way that a large plurality (or even majority) of the Republican base is. So if Sanders were to win the Democratic primary, he's not just picking off the anti-establishment voters or even the most liberal voters, he's appealing more broadly.

Moreover, there is no single establishment candidate on the Republican side; instead, there are multiple candidates vying to be the establishment candidate, and neither the establishment nor the establishment voters have been able to settle on a single candidate to support. Once a single clear establishment candidate emerges, the race will look different, although depending on how long that takes to happen, it may be too late at that point.

In contrast, the Democratic side is much simpler. Hillary is the only choice of the Democratic establishment and has all the advantages that come with that (and those are especially advantages when you do not have a base that is largely in revolt against the establishment in the same way that the Republican base is), including an enormous lead in superdelegates. If Sanders were to overcome those advantages, I think it would demonstrate that he had broader support than is supposed. Likewise, if Hillary could not win even with those advantages, it would mean that she was much more flawed as a candidate than is assumed.


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:10 PM
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256a:

I don't think that Sanders winning the primary is proof that he'd win the general, but I do think that if we can win the primary it shows that there's a limit to how much damage can be done to him by generally condescending coverage from the news media. And I don't think the Republicans are capable of yielding a strong candidate at this point, so I think any of Clinton, Sanders, or O'Malley would win the general.

256b:

What makes you think that Sanders is to the left of the party center? Going by polls on the issues that he's making the workhorses of his campaign*, I'd say he's only a bit to the left of the median voter in the general and actually pretty close to the party center. Getting that message out may be tricky, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

*A slight majority of Americans are in favor of single payer, breaking up the banks is very popular, campaign finance reform is very popular. Tuition free public colleges may not be, but the tax he proposes on Wall Street to pay for it probably is.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:12 PM
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I agree with a lot of what NickS has to say in 260. I know I have said here that much of Dara Lind's stuff on immigration at Vox is very well-informed and accurate.

That said, though, I disagree with this:

My second thought is that I recognize much of what you're saying about vox, but I don't know that I think of it as an indictment. Essentially you're saying, "vox is building an audience, trying to build credibility, and has opinion which is pushes subtly but consistently along with it's journalism." That all seems like the explicit mission, not a hidden agenda.

I think it's worse than that. I see Vox repeatedly framing it as that they are writing explainers. Implicit in that framing is that they are telling you The Truth.

But often when I read their explainers, there are dozens of fingerprints all over the article that are carefully positioning the issue being "explained." It's a textbook example of Hallin's Spheres. Vox is carefully determining what qualifies to be in the Sphere of Legitimate Debate, and we're not only not being invited to second-guess them, they're not admitting that they're doing so.

That's what routinely ticks me off about Vox. I don't think there's anything wrong with making editorial judgments about what's up for debate and what's not. I DO think it's disingenuous to suggest that you are simply taking a photograph of reality, when any person who's ever taken a photograph knows that you are making all kinds of choices about what's not in the frame.

If this sounds pretty much like every newspaper ever, it is. What irritates me about Vox is their pretension that they are somehow removed from this normal editorial process.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:13 PM
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I mean, obviously if Sanders wins the primary that means he's a better candidate then people give (gave?) him credit for. But that doesn't tell us much about whether he'd be a strong candidate in a general election, which will be decided by shifts in around 5-10% of the voters in a few key swing states.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:14 PM
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270: Also Republicans are still mentioning Bernie 0% of the time in their public utterances. Clearly not wanting to jeopardize whatever hope he has of being the nominee.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:16 PM
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I'll turn 40 this year*

Ha. Me too. 40 is the new 60, they say.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:16 PM
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268 last is delusion based on tricks in polling. People say they support a lot of policies in the abstract that have little or nothing to do with how they vote. The percentage of the population that identifies as across-the-spectrum liberal, and who Bernie appeals to, is around 25% at most.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:17 PM
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I mean, obviously if Sanders wins the primary that means he's a better candidate then people give (gave?) him credit for.

My concern is more that, if Hillary looses the primary, that would reveal her to be a far shittier candidate than previously imagined. And if she is that shitty, the "more electable" arguments no longer hold true.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:19 PM
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Well, no. She could be a shitty primary candidate and still much more electable in the general.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:20 PM
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I don't know, I think she'd have to really fuck it up to lose this primary. And if she fucks up (again!) in the primary, she would be at high risk for fucking up in the general.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:25 PM
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260 is all very well put. I think much of my frustration with Vox comes from the fact that while most other outlets might be a lost cause, I really do feel like they've got it in them to be better than this.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:25 PM
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RT, I don't think it matters all that much if Bernie is a strong general candidate or not because the Republicans are all so weak at this point. Also, I take issue with your remark about peoples' votes having little to do with the actual policies they support. I think that recognizing a blaring political problem is no excuse for not doing the hard work of politics. And I think Bernie is in a good position to do that kind of work.

I also don't think the Republicans aren't talking about him because they want to face him rather than Hillary. Hell, much of what passes for the left these days seems to see the rights' utter disdain for the Clintons as proof that they must really be super duper awesome. I think there are two possible reasons that they aren't talking about Bernie yet. Either they don't have a clear strategy yet or they do and they figure there's no reason to tip their hand if they don't have to. But I do think that he's a better general candidate than people are assuming and I think there is very good reason to suspect that they might be worried that he'll throw a wrench in their strategy.


First of all, have you watched the guy work a crowd? He co-opts traditionally conservative populist language, rhetoric, and sentiment like no politician I've ever seen. I mean, watch this or this and tell me you don't think this kind of thing is going to at least throw those faux-populists like Cruz and Rubio off of their usual game. Their usual hollow attacks about government coziness with the powerful aren't going to apply. Unlike Hillary, he won't have to fear opening up his own record for scrutiny when he suggests that people a good hard look at who is paying for their campaigns. To beat Bernie, the Republicans are going to have to rely very heavily on people trusting what they have to say about him rather than actually listening to him, and I don't think they want to do that at a time when confidence in the Republican establishment is so low.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 12:45 PM
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278 -- I hope that if Sanders is the candidate, you're right. In general, I hope that you're right that it's, e.g., just a lack of hard politicking that is keeping majority support for single-payer from being policy reality. But I just don't think that's a realistic assessment of American politics right now, and electoral politics needs to be grounded in reality.* I'm not sanguine at all about Democrats winning this year, and the consequences of losing are horrific. And as I've said, I doubt the marginal difference in policy between actual President Bernie and actual President Hillary would be that great.

*politics are more than just electoral politics, and outside of electoral politics you can change what's "realistic." But that takes a while. If there's a long-term increasing US political movement for more radical social democracy, great, and if Sanders supporters are part of that, also great. But the right place to do that is definitely not a Presidential campaign where you're substantially increasing the risk of a truly horrible Republican winning.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:01 PM
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265: Why wouldn't you include the Bronx?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:02 PM
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I don't get the logic that would lead someone to switch from Sanders to Bloomberg:

"I'm for reigning in the financial sector and reducing inequality and no one knows wealth and finance like Bloomberg, he's in a great position!"

At least with Republicans, Trump and Bloomberg are both New York Values candidates. But I think most of the country's view on Bloomberg is still: "Who? The guy from that cabled channel?"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:08 PM
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I thought the hypo was Trump/Sanders/Bloomberg turns into a Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan rumble. If the Bronx stays neutral, Queens wins, right?


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:09 PM
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What if Bloomberg runs and it sets of a chain of "independents" running? Maybe the Koch brothers just throw Rubio up there as an independent?


Also what does everyone think of a Bloomberg Presidency?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:24 PM
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No one can remain neutral in an interborough war. Except maybe Staten Island.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:24 PM
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I almost think that if the field is this crowded and this torn that we may as well have someone threaten to play third party spoiler on both sides.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:24 PM
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Although now that I think about it Ted Cruz seems more like the man for the job than Rubio. The Republicans already hate him anyway.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:25 PM
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If Queens could fortify the border with Brooklyn while launched an offensive across the Queensboro Bridge, they could effectively cut Manhattan in half at the Park. If they could make it down as far as the Holland Tunnel, that would cut off the main resupply route from Jersey, and Lower Manhattan would fall.

After that, its a matter of working down the river to the Verazzano Bridge. If they can take out the Verazzano, Brooklyn is effectively surrounded and would have to resupply by sea. But Queens has the two airports so it can control the skies - shipping supplies into Brooklyn would be pretty risky. I think Brooklyn would eventually fall without having to mount an invasion.

That leaves Upper Manhattan, which I think would be a tougher nut to crack, and there is a risk of overextending the forces. At that point, I think you either negotiate a peace, or try to bring the Bronx in as allies, and have them take it over.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:39 PM
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I think Jeb! would be the man for a fourth(?) party run, if the party talked him into it. I could see Cruz doing it on his own, just to piss people off. If we get Sanders, Trump, Bloomberg, and Jeb....I'm betting Sanders wins out of this. Bloomberg and Jeb! split the Brooks democrats & republicans, and Sanders takes the Left and Trump the crazies. Cruz doesn't siphon off Republican establishment voters, but they do split the crazy vote, guaranteeing Trump doesn't win.

The more I think about a Bloomberg run, the less plausible it seems as doing much. He'd be the overwhelming establishment favorite, but centrist elites aren't really that large of a population, so if they're going to make an electoral dent it has to be through some other means beyond simply voting. Serious GOTV requires labor & enthusiasm, which can't totally be bought. They could certainly use the MSM to push him, but as Trivers noted, if they've done that for Hillary and it's failed, how well will it work for Bloomberg? Also, Bernie is popular with the Democratic base and he would be the DNC candidate, so no matter how much Wasserman-Schultz hates him they still have to put their institutional support behind him. Same with Trump.

Also with two NY billionaires, Bernie even more plausibly stands out even more as "the man of the people" in the race, and Bloomberg blunts Trumps rich-guy-with-a-big-dick persona, which seems to be why he's winning now.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:46 PM
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256: This is why analogies are banned. Nixon in '72 is a different critter than Rubio in '16 - though I'm compelled to admit, if Rubio wins his party's nomination, I'll have to revise my priors and concede that he is not the horrible candidate that he appears to be.

And Bernie isn't McGovern; not by a longshot.

Bernie doesn't win by stomping on his party's establishment, the way McGovern did and Trump would. I'm not sure Trump would be savaged by his party's elite the way that McGovern was by his, but certainly the Democratic Establishment is going to more comfortable with a nominated Bernie than the Republican elite is with Trump.

Sure, yeah, there's significant reason to believe that Hillary is a stronger general election candidate than even a nominated Bernie would be. But Bernie isn't trying to overthrow the Democratic Establishment, the way McGovern -- or even Howard Dean -- were. Bill and Hillary will campaign for Bernie.

Bernie is trying to join the Establishment, and he's got considerable credentials. The way he is running his campaign, if he is able to win the Democratic nomination, he is, by definition, a viable centrist with the nomination of a viable centrist party.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:49 PM
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I support Bernie but I think 288 is too optimistic. I think that if Bernie is the nominee the establishment including the DNC will try to kneecap him. They may have to pretend to support him but they have strong reasons not to try too hard.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:53 PM
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Good, thoughtful analysis. If Manhattan can't supply from the Bronx, it clearly loses. Brooklyn is almost certain to lose because of supply logistics. A narrow bridge to Staten Island, and I guess shipping from overseas, are all they've got. And if Staten Island doesn't support Brooklyn and allies with Queens (which S.I. would do for sure if the borough war is prompted by Brooklyn's support of Sanders and Queens' support of Trump) then Staten Island+Queens could easily cut off Brooklyn's sea route and starve the hipsters to death. So Manhattan needs the Bronx and Brooklyn very desperately needs Staten Island to have even a remote chance against the might of Queens.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:54 PM
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I wonder if my wife would let me quit my job to work full time on an interborough war simulation game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 1:59 PM
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Too many candidates and the House of Representatives picks the next President.

I think if Clinton can't win the nomination given the tailwind she's got, it is fair to draw an inference about her ability to win a general. Not a definitive conclusion, but enough reason the rethink views on electability. If Sanders runs the table on Super Tuesday, my views about where the party is are obviously out of synch.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:02 PM
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292: at least pitch it to LXD.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:09 PM
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290: You really think they'd kneecap him even if Trump is the alternative? Bloomberg seems sort of like the best neoliberal plan B, but I'm inclined to agree with 288 here that it's very hard to see him actually winning* as opposed to just giving Trump an advantage. Surely the Democratic establishment would prefer Bernie to Trump...

*But hey, no one ever said that hijacking a democracy would be easy.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:25 PM
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The fact that Sanders has managed to get himself close enough to Clinton to make it a serious race (at least until Super Tuesday) really wasn't something I expected, and the way Clinton is fumbling around off center trying to get him off the board isn't remotely reassuring when it comes to her skill as a campaigner. I was amazed at how bad she was in 2008 when it came to campaigning and it's even stranger to see her making similar mistakes now. If Sanders can do well in the first set of primaries that could be really dangerous for her, because electability* is a good argument against someone right up until it isn't and then it's basically nothing.

I agree with a lot of people here that if Sanders can win the primary then he's probably a better candidate for the general election as well. Sanders/Clinton looks to me a lot like Bush/Trump in a less dramatic sort of way: it's a test of media and establishment power. If a strong, unified "Sanders isn't a serious candidate" message can torpedo him effectively, like it absolutely could for people in the past, then he's gone. If it can't then something really significant in politics has changed, more than just the increasing failure to disguise what the Republican base is.


*I think, though this discussion faded out a while ago, that electability is exactly what his America add is going for. It isn't direct about it, but the most of the ad is a sequence of increasingly huge crowds surrounding Sanders cheering him on, and if that gets a lot of play it's going to shape peoples' feelings about Sanders in a way that will make the electability argument an uphill battle for Clinton in a way it wouldn't have been otherwise.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:32 PM
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One thing that jumped out at me in this profile of Bernie was his seeking of conscientious objector status during Vietnam:

He moved back to New York, got married, enrolled in a master's degree program at the New School for Social Research, and when, a year later, he dropped out, disgruntled, restless, confused about what to do next, he got drafted. A few months earlier, he'd applied for Conscientious Objector status. This was early in the Vietnam War, and religious opposition to all war was the only way to obtain C.O. status, and though Sanders in Jewish, he was hardly religious, and as he says, "There's nothing about being Jewish that says you can't shoot a gun." After a lengthy series of hearings, an FBI investigation and numerous postponements and delays, his deferral was denied, but by then he was 26, too old to be drafted.

Does that matter in 2016? I could see the GOP trying to attack him on it, calling him a cowardly draft dodger. They certainly attacked Bill Clinton along those lines, and managed to impugn war hero John Kerry's Vietnam service (against Dodgin' Dubya of all people). But I don't really know whose votes it could cost Bernie. Old white dudes? They're not important anymore anyway (sorry, bob).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:33 PM
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295.1: You'd think they would, sure. But tamping down the left has been kind of a thing for the Democratic establishment for a really long time. And they're becoming less successful at it too which is going to make them very nervous: I can absolutely see them lashing out to destroy Sanders in the theory that, well, they'll still be fine and probably pick up a bunch of 2018 seats. Then in 2020 they'll insist on a serious, reasonable candidate and not be frivolous about it like last time.* I think any prediction that relies on center/center-right Democrats in a position of power learning an important lesson from a mistake that they made (McGovern, say) is sitting on shaky ground.

*I think the Republican establishment is very much thinking this right now.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:37 PM
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297

B Clinton's campaign feels like a million years ago, politically. Back then cheating on your wife and having smoked pot were campaign killers. Now we have people with a guy with three wives who probably cheated on them all and a president who admitted to doing cocaine in his autobiography. People are also more anti-war after our whole Iraq debacle, and Bernie is (I think?) the only candidate who was correct on that issue (maybe Trump was also the Iraq war?). But more importantly, if people are going to vote against Bernie for being a hippie, they're probably already going to vote against him for being a Socialist.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:43 PM
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295- Yup. Actually the case of Trump against Sanders is interesting because then both sets of elites have reason to sabotage "their" candidates. Sanders is more of a threat to the neoliberal elites running the Democratic party than a President Trump. Arguably Trump is more of a threat to the power base of the usual grifters in the Republican party. Looks like the Republicans elites think they can make a separate peace with Trump. I don't know if they will prove to be right though. A bunch of German plutocrats thought they could reach an accommodation with Hitler.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:44 PM
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pretend that's written in actual English


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:44 PM
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299- I'm kind of picking nits here but IOKIYAR. Republicans are never held to any moral standard at all. Democrats are always held to the highest possible standard.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:48 PM
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300

Is it wrong that I'm enjoying a little bit that the NRO squandered their Hitler card by blowing it on Hillary (Hitlery!), Obama, and Sanders? Now they're full out gunning the "Trump is Hitler" line, with far more plausibility than for any of the other three, and it's getting no traction on the Right, because they're the boys who cried Hitler too many times.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:49 PM
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302

True, but Obama did coke too and that wasn't an issue (in fact, I was thinking of Obama when I wrote that, but now I remember GWB was a coke addict too). I still think any person who isn't gonna vote for Bernie because he was a draft dodger already isn't going to vote for him for a million other reasons. He also lived on a kibbutz and had a kid out of wedlock, it appears like from his wiki page.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:51 PM
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Not remotely.

I'm curious to find out if they've managed to do it for 'socialist' as well. I remember them desperately trying it against Obama in 2008 only to discover that they'd made socialism more popular among young people.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:51 PM
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297:

Hard to say. Bernie is really good at bringing things back around to today's issues. And Trump isn't going to look much better on draft-dodging grounds.

Also, I have a hunch that the swiftboating of Kerry didn't do as much to damage him as the fact that he was an utterly unexciting candidate. Let's be honest, anyone who bought that bull shit was never going to vote Democrat to begin with. So I'm not sure how much attacking Sanders over applying to be a CO for a war that he objected to (and was and is extremely unpopular) is actually going to hurt him, especially against a soft rich kid like Trump. Especially at a time when even some people who lean conservative are kinda-sorta waking up to the fact that there's nothing particularly glamorous about sending poor people to die at war. And Bernie has proven to be remarkably good at explaining himself so far, probably because he doesn't have decades of lies that he has to keep straight in his head.

298:

It seems more likely to me that they might just try to work with him like the Republicans did with Reagan[1] in the 80s and like the Clinton camp did with Obama[2]. I mean, even if we elect Bernie, it doesn't make the community of people who are credibly on short lists for cabinet positions any smaller. The DNC might just do their absolute best to make sure he's surrounded by people who will minimize the "damage" that he does.

[1] When he became President he was apparently so catastrophically misinformed that he was pretty easy to take advantage of, but they had to go to all sorts of lengths to minimize his power.

[2] The saying is that the Obama people got a President while the Clinton people got jobs, after all. Reading the David Axelrod book, it was very clear to me the extent to which Obama got crowded out from making decisions by technocrats; Rahm Emanuel seems to have facilitated a lot of this.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 2:55 PM
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305

Jonah Goldberg I believe wrote an article calling Sanders a national socialist, and claiming that Sanders's claims he wants to make America more like Denmark means he's advocating genocide against non-Nordic people.

This is especially pathetic, because according to Bernie's wiki page, his father's family were all killed in the Holocaust, and learning about the Holocaust and the political vulnerability of Jews is what spurred his original interest in politics.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:03 PM
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I'm not really surprised that Bernie is competitive in New Hampshire. Remember that Bradley almost beat Gore there (46/50), and probably would have won if it weren't for independents voting for McCain in the other primary instead. Bradley/Gore and Sanders/Clinton seem to me to be pretty similar matchups to each other. On top of that Sanders is from Vermont which gives him a certain amount of home field advantage (volunteers, etc.).

I am surprised at how well he's doing in Iowa.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:06 PM
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306.1: Also one of the things that people are responding to in Sanders is, I think, integrity. So bringing up that he was a CO in Vietnam as opposed to dodging the draft would be a dangerous tactical error on the part of the Republicans/whoever. (Maybe not! But that's what my instincts say.)

I really, really do want to know who Sanders is thinking about in terms of political appointees, advisers, etc. That's a hugely important thing and I suspect that the rough start Obama had was partially caused by bringing in the Clinton people. I also don't want him to say anything definite about it though because announcing anything other than the normal set of Clintonesque DNC people would absolutely result in an open establishment war against him, and announcing that he would be looking for those people would make me feel furious and sad.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:07 PM
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309 last -- Prepare to be hugely disappointed. Cabinet and subcabinet positions are going to be filled by the kinds of people who can pass the vetting process. And, as a prerequisite, can stand the vetting process.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:16 PM
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Huge numbers of people vote on what I would call completely trivial grounds. (E.g., Dean's wife's supposed influence wrt Israel policy). Because we're all using different measuring sticks. I don't think it's fair to say 'if they won't vote for her because X they Y is sufficient reason not to vote for her' because so many people are motivated by such fringy criteria.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:19 PM
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-y+n


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:20 PM
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So, not Bill Ayers then?

I don't see how the choice is between someone who couldn't pass any vetting process and Rahm Emmanuel when it comes to chief of staff or something. I mean, unless you're saying that literally only people who are part of the general DNC establishment could pass the vetting process then I don't know why that's relevant. And if they are then Obama is in trouble because a bunch of those people were switched out for other people at various points.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:23 PM
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I think the relevance of Vietnam has now dropped to zero. Jane Fonda wouldn't be hurt by her Vietnam stance at this point.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:23 PM
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76: I thought Clinton's ponytail as Secretary of State managed to evoke a useful lost Founding Sister look http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ashley-judd-equates-hillary-clinton-thomas-jefferson-george-washington (for photo)


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:33 PM
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311 is obviously right and important.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:35 PM
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310:

I very much agree with you here. And that's why I think that the Democratic establishment will ultimately choose to "work with him" by working very hard to make sure he doesn't appoint anyone too troublesome. It's still a win for them if after all of the big talk about getting tough on the banks they can, by playing their cards right with the cabinet and with congress, make his Presidency turn out to be pretty moderate so that future centrists can point to it as an example of how all those nice things they have in Scandinavia just really won't work here.

But a boy can dream about Dean Baker as Secretary of Treasury. A boy can dream...


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:37 PM
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307:

Fortunately, I don't think anyone takes Jonah Goldberg seriously anymore. Unfortunately it's because they've all moved on to reading Breitbart.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:39 PM
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Trump claims he could shoot somebody and not lose any votes. He's probably right, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:41 PM
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At the end of the day, a lot of these people just want a nice strong leader to hold them at night.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:43 PM
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320: I would have scoffed at this a couple of years ago, but it's really true. Hence the way conservatives sincerely love Vladimir Putin.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:44 PM
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Sometimes I still manage to be amazed that Dick Cheney shot a dude in the face, which resulted in that dude apologizing to Cheney. Like, that really happened.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:46 PM
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319: Depending on who it was he could probably pick up some votes.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:56 PM
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Aaaaand right on cue, here's some Vox sliminess.

Vox says in this article that Bloomberg is running "to save people from Trump". If I only read this article (written in trademark explainer tone), I'd get the sense that Bloomberg was a selfless billionaire running to save the country from Trump. They cite the results of polls running Bloomberg against Trump and Hillary to show that it probably wouldn't work. But nonetheless, he's a Good Guy for trying to stop Trump, right?

Except there's no way a sane person could believe that that is what's going on from the New York Times piece they link to:


Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year's presidential race. His advisers and associates said he was galled by Donald J. Trump's dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton's stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side.

...

"Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders," said Mr. Rendell, a close ally of Mrs. Clinton's who is also a friend of Mr. Bloomberg's.

...

At the same time, these associates said, he has grown more frustrated with what he sees a race gone haywire. A longtime critic of partisan primary elections, Mr. Bloomberg has lamented what he considers Mrs. Clinton's lurch to the left in her contest against Mr. Sanders, especially her criticism of charter schools and other education reforms that he pushed as mayor and has continued to support since leaving office.


The impression I get from reading the Times article is that Bloomberg is running just as much to save himself and his billionaire friends from Bernie Sanders as he is to save them from Donald Trump. But Vox doesn't mention that, because they want readers (a large portion of whom are millennial Bernie supporters) to come away with a favorable impression of Bloomberg early on. If he plays spoiler against Sanders, they want to be able to persuade millennials that all along, Bloomberg's plan was to save the country from Trumpmania rather than to undermine the most credible progressive movement in decades.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:57 PM
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Ugh. All three of these paragraphs are from the article and should be italicized. Sorry for the HTML failure:


Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year's presidential race. His advisers and associates said he was galled by Donald J. Trump's dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton's stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side.

...

"Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders," said Mr. Rendell, a close ally of Mrs. Clinton's who is also a friend of Mr. Bloomberg's.

...

At the same time, these associates said, he has grown more frustrated with what he sees a race gone haywire. A longtime critic of partisan primary elections, Mr. Bloomberg has lamented what he considers Mrs. Clinton's lurch to the left in her contest against Mr. Sanders, especially her criticism of charter schools and other education reforms that he pushed as mayor and has continued to support since leaving office.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:58 PM
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You have to put the tags around each paragraph.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 3:59 PM
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321:

I would have, too, but I'm pretty convinced by Corey Robin's arguments in The Reactionary Mind that these people are motivated by a love of authority and hierarchy more than anything else. Watching many libertarians line up behind Trump has been instructive.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:01 PM
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I've been basing my reading of what's happening in politics almost entirely on the idea that the Republican party is composed almost entirely* of strong authoritarians, with all the tribalism (racism;sexism; etc.) that comes along with that for more than a few years now. It's not bad when it comes to predicting what the right will get up to/how they will respond to things.

*And people who stopped paying attention a long time ago but still show up to vote for Republicans because, well, that's who their dad voted for and they've always voted for them so there you go. Who are probably a painfully large segment of America but maybe shrinking with someone like Trump running? Who knows.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:05 PM
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Too many candidates and the House of Representatives picks the next President.

Only if more than two of them actually carry states and even then only if they don't carry so many as to completely remove the number one candidate's lead. See: Nader, Ralph most recently.

What actual states would one project Bloomberg (or a disaffected Trump) to carry?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:05 PM
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Yet more weird Vox:

It's time for Democratic primary voters to focus on what they're hiring a president to do

Since when the fuck does anybody except the blowhards at Fox Business talk to their audience like they're part of a moneyed ownership class and that is hiring the President to work for them?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:16 PM
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330

Ugh.

As Ezra Klein points out, Obama won on policy but lost on politics.

What the fuck does this even mean? Getting your policy through is winning at politics. Also, the Overton window has shifted left enough that someone who calls himself a Socialist is a plausible primary candidate. This statement only makes sense if you think the point of politics is to avoid partisanship, or if "consensus" or "centrism" is more important than what actually happens.*

*Come to think of it, the hijacking of "progressive" by centrists is maybe what's making Socialist acceptable.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:34 PM
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Do you mean that because after a decade of Obama (who is really pretty popular) being derided as a socialist they've stripped the term of its meaning or am I misunderstanding?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:46 PM
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I was more thinking, maybe people are noticing that if economic centrists are called progressives, then maybe people who are called socialist are actually center-left, rather than hard core Maoists, as they're normally portrayed.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 4:51 PM
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308

Yes. I'm getting some serious deja vu because I'm fairly positive that my hopes about Sanders are exactly analogous to my hopes about Bradley, i.e. they will be dashed quite soon after the primaries start.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 5:05 PM
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For quite a while now, I've thought that claims about HRC's "electability" were more accurately claims about the fact that she has survived probably the most sustained and thorough mudslinging and vetting process of any Presidential candidate ever in American politics.

She has been in the public eye so long, and has had SO many different things said about her (fair and unfair) that I would have a tough time believing that the Republicans could come up with much original mud to sling at her in the general election. And in that respect I think she's far stronger than Sanders.

Sanders: a) hasn't had that kind of mud thrown at him under a national spotlight; b) hasn't had anyone really motivated digging around in his past for at least a few elections now; and c) is a man. Just by virtue of her gender alone, HRC has more experience staying calm under unfair and biased attacks.

The Benghazi hearings were particularly reflective of this, I thought. The woman has essentially been practicing for 25+ years in the public spotlight to stay cool when enraged men are trying to bait her. Sanders has had people not taking him seriously, but not in the same way they would have treated him if he'd been a woman.

What Sanders has going for him, though, is the integrity piece. There is "mud" that opposing candidates could dig up that might stick to another kind of candidate (a la the Rev Wright stuff -- I actually think conscientious objector stuff is a good example) that I think is less likely to stick to Bernie unless it seems to radically contradict his public image.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 5:05 PM
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I also don't think the Republicans aren't talking about him because they want to face him rather than Hillary.

They sure do. The RNC sent four e-mails supporting Sanders during last week's Democratic debate.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 5:07 PM
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From NRO comments, there's also an interesting effect, in that these people already think Obama is a socialist dictator and Hillary would be too, so Bernie calling himself a socialist doesn't particularly do much to scare them beyond the instinctive dislike of a Democrat. Weirdly enough, I've seen people from the right making RT's argument, though with the opposite connotations.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 5:27 PM
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That is, the people threatening boycott Cruz/Trump/Jeb! and throw the election to Hillary would if anything be less motivated to avoid throwing it to Sanders, since they see no ideological difference between the C & S and they hate Hillary more.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 5:29 PM
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OPM has indicated that Members and congressional
staff are still eligible for other health benefits related to federal employment, and these additional
health benefits are outlined in this report. These health benefits include FSAFEDS, the Federal
Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Long Term Care
Insurance Program (FLTCIP), the Office of the Attending Physician, and treatment in military
facilities.

So, could Cruz just go to a military facility for care? Also, can't his wife elect Cobra?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 6:01 PM
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339 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 6:02 PM
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Cruz has since admitted he lied about not having health insurance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 6:04 PM
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||
Paging R. Tigre
|>


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 6:57 PM
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can't his wife elect Cobra?

Cruz is so widely hated, even his wife will vote for G.I. Joe's enemy if given the chance.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:26 PM
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Is it really justified to assume that Cruz and Cobra Commander are different people yet? I'm still skeptical.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:34 PM
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Cobra Commander isn't a dweeb, and would probably be kinda fun to hang out with.

342 is great but I'm not 100% sure it's real.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:43 PM
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Not 100%?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:48 PM
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Does that mean Yankee Candle really doesn't make a "Denim Temptress" scented candle?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 8:52 PM
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It's almost as if a Tumblr called "LiarTownUSA" isn't a reliable source.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:19 PM
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Quickly:

What the fuck does this even mean? Getting your policy through is winning at politics.

I thought the article was clear, that if you believed Obama had a political goal to reduce partisan polarization and try to cultivate a functional relationship in the legislative branch between the two parties, that goal failed.

Since when the fuck does anybody except the blowhards at Fox Business talk to their audience like they're part of a moneyed ownership class and that is hiring the President to work for them?

Yeah, one of the things I most dislike about vox is their headlines. They could have a significant improvement, in my eyes, overnight by switching to simple, descriptive headlines.

I thought the article wasn't bad and seemed fair to both Sanders and Clinton.

Also: for RT.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:26 PM
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Yeah, one of the things I most dislike about vox is their headlines. They could have a significant improvement, in my eyes, overnight by switching to simple, descriptive headlines.

Clickbaiters gonna clickbait, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-16 9:29 PM
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Hillary should fire whomever approved this logo as well as any member of her staff who has not thrown their body in front of the t-shirt table at her rallies to keep her supporters from seeing it, never mind buying something with it.

(Quick googling reveals that I am up to speed as always; there was a contretemps back in April when it was released. Guess I wasn't paying attention.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:15 AM
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Regardless, please do enjoy this.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:17 AM
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I might get that. "H" for Hick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:33 AM
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When I think of someone who'd like to brand their meat, I think of you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:39 AM
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I'm pretty sure that getting that hot enough to brand a steak would ruin it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:41 AM
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I can't see the Hillary logo without thinking of the FedEx logo. So...maybe that means she'll deliver a victory?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:43 AM
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Hillary Clinton seems like she's desperately trying to recreate the 2008 Obama campaign while simultaneously (and not surprisingly) totally failing to understand what it was and what made it work.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 9:06 AM
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Looking at that campaign logo I can only feel like Hillary Clinton on some level does not want to win the election. How can someone with so much talent and experience hire people who thought that was a good idea.

I read something somewhere that pointed out neither Clinton nor Jeb have ever run for anything below statewide office, and in Clinton's case she has never really run in a competitive race where she was not already the favorite. Both of them used connections and name recognition to skip several levels of lower politics, which means they don't necessarily have the campaign skills of someone who worked their way up to senator/governor. Both Obama and Sanders started out very grassroots and worked up through local into national politics, and it's showing in their superior campaign skills. For a seasoned and powerful senator from a large state, both Obama and Sanders should have been minor annoyances, if that. That Hillary lost to Obama (a first-term senator black guy with an ominous foreign name) and is in any way struggling against Sanders (a grumpy self-described socialist from a relatively backwater state hated by the DNC) shows that she's actually quite fragile as a campaigner.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 10:39 AM
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Now that I've tuned back in, I've started to feel much less good will towards Clinton than I had before. Articles like this are starting to get on my nerves, and I'm trying to figure out why. One reason may be that I'm being overly sensitive, which is a possibility. But I've been trying to think more about it, and I think:

1) This is reopening the giant intersectionality fight in feminism, and pointing to the blindspot that rich white feminism has with addressing classism and racism, and the experiences of those women. I'm not seeing anything in
2) Both Sanders and Clinton have 100% records on reproductive rights, both of them would veto anti-abortion stuff, and both of them would be light years better than any Republican. So the "gotcha" attacks on Sanders's impolitic but factually accurate response to PP's endorsement of Clinton* that somehow he would fight against PP, or doesn't care about reproductive rights, reminds me of the worst of language policing by the left, where it's not actions or even intentions that matter, but it's always about making sure nothing leaving your mouth is poorly or awkwardly worded in a certain way.** Ultimately, it's a form of bad faith argument, and the people making it most certainly know that.***

*If you read the whole transcript, he noted that he was the non-mainstream Dem candidate, and Clinton was the mainstream one, so it makes sense an establishment Democratic organization would the mainstream candidate, and he personally had lots of friends and individual supporters in PP. (The whole thing was a blow to Sanders's campaign, and he was obviously disappointed in PP's decision and I'm sure there were better ways for him to respond, but it's an awkward question to have to answer.)
**It's reminiscent of when Sanders said that he supported parental leave so moms could stay home with their babies, which was picked up by the "feminist" chattering class as "Sanders thinks women should stay home in the kitchen." I watched that moment of the debate and there is no way that if you saw the whole moment the sexist interpretation would be plausible to a native English speaker.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:11 AM
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I meant, those women who are not UMC/UC and white. The articles talking about how Hillary is consulting with 1) Clinton era operatives, 2) high profile famous feminists/CEOs of feminist organizations, and 3) female celebrities is not helping in feeling like she's not gotten the intersectionality issue.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:15 AM
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I can see the headlines now:

Grillary and Distillary Clinton Share Beer and Burgers at Backyard Campaign Event [photos]


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:16 AM
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I also avoid sites like daily kos because I find them too irritating, so it's possible by reading the more establishment sites I'm getting the annoying Clinton articles and missing the annoying Sanders articles.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:24 AM
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For a while some of the more aggressive Sanders supporters were really making it hard for me to dislike Clinton as much as I had before the primary started, but luckily Clinton's actual campaign has stepped in with the kind of stuff in 359 to help me out with that.

Someone linked me to the anti-Sanders article by Krugman. (from Friday) and the level of bullshit in it is really kind of shocking to me given how I tend to think of his analysis. Clinton really does seem like she's trying to run the same basic campaign she ran in 2008 only talking a bit more leftist: attacking your opponent for having aspirations or lofty/inspiring goals is really bizarre. It's like she's the Democratic party version of Jeb!, which is really a stupid choice given how easy it would be for her to run as a transformative candidate. Her terrible judgment in advisers is really one of the things that makes me most uncomfortable with the idea of her as a president*, and it looks like that hasn't changed in the slightest.

*Also she still seems really hawkish in a dangerous way. And I don't trust her on economic policies for a minute no matter how populist-left she's talking right now. I'm pretty sure that as the nominee she'll turn sharply to the right on that stuff. But being surrounded by what look like really questionable advisers combined with not being very good at diagnosing where she went wrong with things in the past trumps all of those.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:31 AM
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Also trying to look up stuff about her campaign in 2008 to check that my instincts there weren't way off I ran across this longer article from The Atlantic in which they quote Penn* saying this:

It is a vast right and left wing conspiracy. Listening to Brit Hume say that Obama is surging while Hillary failed to do X is almost comical and certainly transparent. The right knows Obama is unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun, and a third party would come in then anyway.

Reading Penn's stuff in that article is kind of amazing given the current race.


*Still mindboggling


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 11:37 AM
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From an internal Clinton memo about Obama quoted in the link in 364:


All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared towards showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light.


Save it for 2050.


It also exposes a very strong weakness for him--his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values. He told the people of NH yesterday he has a Kansas accent because his mother was from there. His mother lived in many states as far as we can tell--but this is an example of the nonsense he uses to cover this up.


How we could give some life to this contrast without turning negative:


Every speech should contain the line you were born in the middle of America to the middle class in the middle of the last century. And talk about the basic bargain as about the deeply American values you grew up with, learned as a child and that drive you today. Values of fairness, compassion, responsibility, giving back.


Let's explicitly own 'American' in our programs, the speeches and the values. He doesn't. Make this a new American Century, the American Strategic Energy Fund. Let's use our logo to make some flags we can give out. Let's add flag symbols to the backgrounds.


That is every bit as racist as the worst of the right. This sounds like all the conservatives I unfriended on Facebook.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 12:43 PM
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This is arguably the best counter to arguments for Sanders that I've read in recent days.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 1:40 PM
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366:

I think that's all true given the belief that Hillary is more likely to win in the general than Bernie is. But I don't at all believe that. In fact, I think Clinton would lose by a large margin.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:00 PM
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I really do worry about Bernie's chances in the general, but I'm almost certain Hillary would lose in large part because of the reasons outlined in 363.

Despite the claims that she's a seasoned and experienced politician, she really doesn't look to be very good at winning elections. We'll never know if she would have made it into the Senate but for name recognition, and she only even won two elections there. Her 08 campaign against Obama was just totally feckless and incompetent.

Sanders, on the other hand, has been winning elections for 26 years, and with an ideology that we're told should serve as a handicap, to boot! The mantle of seasoned and experienced politician really ought to go to Bernie, if anyone.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:04 PM
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367, 368: The linked piece isn't about electability, it's about the viability of enacting a 'radical' agenda. It's pointing out that incrementalism is the only way to get things done in our governmental system as it's currently constructed.

We've been around the block on this before on this blog, though. Arguing for incrementalist policy positions is a tough sell.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:09 PM
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Agggh, 367 and 368 are the sort of comment that drive me crazy in this conversation (or, at least, the sorts of comments that I was thinking when I referenced Clinton in 260.1). My impulse to defend Hillary Clinton isn't that deep, but I still feel the need to argue with "totally feckless and incompetent" (while agreeing that the bit quoted in 365 is terrible).

My question is just -- what do you think a well run presidential campaign looks like? I suspect that event good, successful campaigns have a lot more problems, in-fighting, and stupid decisions than you might expect.

I think Obama's campaign in 2008 is one of the best I can remember and was great. I don't think Hillary Clinton will run a campaign that well this year (even with the advantage of having run against it before), but I don't think Benie Sanders will either, I think you have to give Obama credit for being unusually good.

What would be the second best campaign? I think the Bush campaign in 2000 was really good, actually, though I don't remember the details of that election that closely. But, I do know, that despite winning, the 2000 Bush campaign had all sorts of moments that looked like amateur hour.

So, hence my opening question, what level of competence should one expect from a well-run but not completely exceptional campaign?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:16 PM
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I agree with Nick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:18 PM
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Kilgore's argument is that you can't get change quickly, so you might as well give up. I swear, he cites the Left's reaction to Lieberman to demonstrate ... something.

Now some left-bent folks would say this shows why "centrist" Democrats need to be removed from the party. But that takes time, and as 2006 showed, even a primary loss cannot necessarily remove a Joe Lieberman from office.

Joe Lieberman served another term in the Senate, then gave up his seat to Chris Murphy, a guy who resides in the mainstream of the Democratic Party and who was, therefore, a big improvement.

Maybe that would have happened without Ned Lamont, but it doesn't seem like the best example of a case where voting against the establishment candidate wasn't a correct long-term strategy.

Another thing you hear from Bernie Sanders himself is that the political system is fundamentally corrupt, and that progressive change can only become possible if the moneylenders are thrown out of the temple via thoroughgoing campaign finance reform. But that will require either a constitutional amendment -- the most implausible route for change -- or replacement of Supreme Court justices, the slowest.

And Bernie makes the case that we can trust him to put better people in the Supreme Court than Hillary. It's absurd to say that a candidate can't elucidate a larger vision for the country, or that doing so is inherently divisive (or something).

Obama figured this out eventually.

You could go on all day with left-right parallelisms on the subject of radical change, but progressives should internalize this fact of life: The right is a lot closer to the left in possessing the practical means for a policy revolution (or counterrevolution, as the case might be).

And this is true enough, but of course, one of the reasons for this is that Republicans aren't afraid to ask for what they want. You don't get Ted Cruz or Donald Trump if you aren't willing to vote for them.

As MHPH says above:

attacking your opponent for having aspirations or lofty/inspiring goals is really bizarre.

Defeatism is a tough sell.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:20 PM
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370, 371. I also agree.

If we're going to say Hillary's got nothing but her notoriety, well, she's used that to win. Obama, likewise, was criticized for never having run against a candidate who was worth a damn at all. Until he beat Hillary -- and for some people, even after he beat Hillary -- that charge stuck. But Obama is an extraordinarily talented politician.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:23 PM
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I think the worries people have about Clinton's campaigning are (roughly):
1. She tends to (and has reliably in the past as well as doing it now) rely heavily on selling herself as inevitable. This is a great selling point for a candidate, but it's also very, very brittle. If someone can turn something into a real race then not only does the inevitability argument disappear overnight but it can often turn into a serious issue for the campaign because it's easy for the other person to use as a weapon against you once it isn't working.
2. She has a lot of trouble diagnosing and changing in response to problems. The article I linked to in 364 is like an endless sequence of "Then (x) happened/didn't-happen and Clinton's staff dithered around for two weeks bickering over what to do about that" (often followed by: "and then did something really dumb in retrospect").
3. She has questionable political instincts.
(a) This is very, very much not a great time to run to the right in the general election: she'll seem moderate and reasonable if she's out there saying we should nationalize the means of production if she's running against Trump, and she'll collapse a lot of the excitement among the leftier/younger parts of the base in the process.
(b) Right now she's attacking Sanders in ways that seem ineffective to downright dishonest, and doing it in ways that probably just piss off his supporters rather than convincing them of anything (and this same instinct was part of what caused her trouble in 2008). And she's underplaying attacks that she could use against him more effectively.
(c) She's actually trying to sell herself as a boring candidate. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking incremental steps towards something that would be good, but you don't sell those things by saying "look how incremental they are!" or "look how relatively achievable this policy is!". You sell the goal, and then argue for the steps. (Just selling the steps is what people do when they don't really want the thing those steps are leading towards, or at least don't want to get there any time soon.)

I'd say the main worries about the general would be that she would arrive there with some genuine ill will towards her due to how quickly she's going negative and how sketchily she's doing it. (Especially if Sanders keeps hitting purely above the belt.) And then that she would try to move to the right in the hopes of capturing the center and/or getting love from the press. She isn't going to get the latter ever, and any independent/moderate/centrist/unicorn/whatever voters who aren't swayed by "how do you feel about President Trump?" aren't going to be impressed by "Timothy Geithner loves my fiscal policy proposals."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:37 PM
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I found the Krugman article largely unobjectionable.

2008 was a crowded field. If Hillary Clinton was such a terrible candidate, how did she manage to beat Edwards, Biden, and everyone else? An example of a terrible candidate is Guiliani, who went from front-runner to out of the race by the end of January.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:42 PM
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Jedidiah Purday, just now on facebook:

On the Sanders campaign as a movement:

1. Presidential campaigns are flawed vehicles for movements: they're inherently entangled with personalities (though driven by them to greater or lesser degrees), focus energy on getting one person over the top, and are often ephemeral. And they build up false expectations because of the limits of the President's power. But if you think it's hard to get right of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, try repealing Article II (the part where there, you know, a president).

2. Nonetheless, they can bring people into politics, strengthen or link existing movements, and put ideas and programs into play that were absent before (like "socialism") and the various specific things that Sanders and others mean by that.

3. The question is always whether the interplay of long-term organizing, effort, argument, etc., and the shorter, more idiosyncratic event of the campaign together push things incrementally in the right direction. Candidates and their supporters can't pick the playing field on which they'll govern, but they do help shape it.

4. The current field is bad for progressives at many levels - the states, Congress - in ways that are easy to forget in the excitement and bewilderment of this strange campaign. This will limit what any president can do by way of governing, regardless of how he or she ran.

5. To my mind, supporting Sanders means not settling for retrenchment but trying to build a distinctive position (really pretty close to the heart of twentieth-century progressivism or social democracy or whatever you want to call it) that will give us all a sense of what we're working for, across campaigns and projects and forums, besides trying to slow the pace of inequality and oligarchy.

6. It's always easy to accuse presidential candidates' supporters of naievete, or cults of personality, or whatever else, because that's how we sound when we're motivated to work for some individual person's candidacy in the name of ideals. We forget to make caveats in every argument before we say "Vote for X!" But I think this is less dangerous than getting caught up in sophisticated ambivalence about the whole thing and standing back. Enthusiasm is a perfectly legitimate political mood.
7. I have nothing but love and respect for friends and family who are drawn to Hillary (less so the pundits!), but I think nothing in sober political realism or sobriety settles the question.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 2:47 PM
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Also the article in 366 seems a bit blinkered to me.

The main argument is that the Republicans are better placed to achieve transformative results, whereas it would be really hard for the Democrats to do that. And so as a result progressives should internalize this fact of life: The right is a lot closer to the left in possessing the practical means for a policy revolution*.

Carefully left out of this entire analysis is: HOW DID THE REPUBLICANS GET INTO THAT POSITION?
And the reason it's left out is that the answer is "by constantly demanding big changes at every opportunity" (and not always - or even ever - getting them, yes, but always demanding them moving the ball down the field).

*The "internalize" bit actually made me want to smack the author: that's what you say when what you mean is "progressives shouldn't be progressives they should be centrist technocrats". He's not making an argument about pragmatism or politics: he's making an argument about policies and pretending that he is. (This is an objection I think I have to moderate-technocrat-incrementalist-liberal-articles every four years or so, though.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 3:04 PM
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377: But isn't that a literally true fact of life? After being completely repudiated at the polls, how long did it take the Republicans to gin up an astroturf "grass-roots" organization? Like a month?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 3:14 PM
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You mean as opposed to a genuine one, like Occupy Wallstreet or something?

I mean, they're better at manipulating the media in certain ways - and the constant "oh no those crazies are leaving here are the new sensible Republicans" with those two groups switching every two or three years thing is a thing. But I don't know how that makes them somehow closer to the reins of power in the way that he's talking about (guaranteed, structural, not worth pushing hard against, to be internalized, etc.).

And it's not exactly hard to think of cases where something transformative (or close) has happened in American politics: just within the last hundred years we've had FDR; LBJ; Reagan; and probably though it's still very close and harder to tell Obama, and each of those shifted things very significantly in the country. (Obama's influence having happened in the cases where he absolutely and completely ignored the Republican party and just used the power of the presidency to get what he wanted, too.) And when it does it's the sort of thing that catches a lot of people off guard and then, in retrospect, was pretty obviously coming. It's not hard for me to believe that some kind of serious income inequality measures could meet that pattern (although I'd be shocked if it happened all the same).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 3:27 PM
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379:

Also, if we're assuming the President is going to have to exercise power almost exclusively through executive action, Bernie's probably a better bet. One thing that definitely is a common theme in regulation is that new regulations are often less effective than actually enforcing the ones already on the books -- and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the executive branch. I think Bernie is the obvious person for that job.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 3:52 PM
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I agree with some parts of 374. In particular, I think like any politician who has survived for several decades HRC is very good at responding to the zeitgeist -- but in her case, there's a significant lag. She's often more than a few beats behind. Compare that to a politician who is watching the wave so closely that they know exactly when to jump on the bandwagon. (Obama is a good example here, although gay marriage is probably an example of when he was slightly later than he needed to be.)

Some of that I'm willing to forgive her for just because of the sexism that is baked into American political analysis/journalism and American culture as a whole. Women get punished for being out in front on an issue, even when they turn out to be right. So to the degree that HRC has internalized this lesson, she's not wrong.

"Then (x) happened/didn't-happen and Clinton's staff dithered around for two weeks bickering over what to do about that" (often followed by: "and then did something really dumb in retrospect").

Here I think the small N (Clinton's few campaigns) and her perpetual status as frontrunner complicate things. It's easier to get paralyzed by bad, overly cautious advice when you're surrounded by the kind of people who go to work for a campaign that is already part of the establishment. Other candidates may avoid her problems in part because they don't have those mainstream, credentialed advisers.

She has questionable political instincts.
(b) Right now she's attacking Sanders in ways that seem ineffective to downright dishonest, and doing it in ways that probably just piss off his supporters rather than convincing them of anything

This isn't about Sanders per se, but I was very disappointed at her answer at the Iowa Black & Brown Forum on whether young women are complacent about reproductive rights. She dodged (I haven't seen the data) and she pandered (YOU two [women moderators] aren't complacent!) and she hedged her way through an answer that frankly made me think that yeah, she does think young women are complacent.

Which just makes me -- as someone who is not "young" -- that among other things, she hasn't paid attention to the remarkable surge of activism in the last 20 years done by women of color on reproductive justice (as distinct from "rights").

There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking incremental steps towards something that would be good, but you don't sell those things by saying "look how incremental they are!" or "look how relatively achievable this policy is!". You sell the goal, and then argue for the steps. (Just selling the steps is what people do when they don't really want the thing those steps are leading towards, or at least don't want to get there any time soon.)

Bingo. This is what makes me think HRC doesn't actually WANT to go toward certain steps (regulating Wall Street, divesting from private prisons).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 3:56 PM
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379.1: Yes. Even though Occupy Wallstreet was real, and the Tea Party was fake, the Tea Party has had a much bigger impact on politics.

I think the right-wing level of success can be overstated, but the key to their success is that they're better at Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" than the left ever was: the courts, school boards, taking over local Republican parties, etc. I don't know why, but the left doesn't have the same appetite for it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:01 PM
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One issue is that the right is generally advocating policies friendly to the interests of rich people, which gives them more access to money and other resources than the left.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:04 PM
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I'm not sure how convinced I am that Occupy Wallstreet didn't have a similarly powerful impact on politics, for two reasons. First the Tea Party wasn't actually a new thing so it's hard to tell what it means to say it had or didn't have an impact: it was, obviously, right from the very beginning a neat label slapped onto the same Republican base with some money added to fund protests/publicize how not the same old thing it was. It had more impact (and the wrong impact) than the people who created it really wanted, by handing over some genuine political organization to people they shouldn't have given it to, but that's about it. Secondly Occupy Wallstreet isn't in the public eye anymore, and so people tend to think it just sort of petered out. But we've literally had income inequality as a huge glaring topic of discussion for pretty much every year since then: right now the big fight in the Democrats is sitting right in the middle of what Occupy Wallstreet was trying to make people talk about. So as far as "make this an issue that people talk about all the time and that will. not. go. away. no matter what" goes they had an amazing success.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:08 PM
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the answer is "by constantly demanding big changes at every opportunity"

Also showing up to vote in off year elections, and state legislative races, even when the candidates may not have been exactly charismatic.

Also having the forces of capital, including the ownership of most media, in their corner. It's not all about the money, but it's an awfully lot about the money. Our legislative and court races this year are going to be swamped with out-of-state money. Because those interests expect to profit from the government they'll get.

The right is well posed to make big changes because of their control of both houses of Congress. Even if the Senate flips in connection with a Sanders win -- and it should -- you still have to reckon with the House and with a Republican blocking position in the Senate.

It'll be interesting to see what the Supremes do with US v. Texas, and how that impacts the prospects of presidential government.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:13 PM
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But I don't see how that doesn't happen anyway -- Occupy Wall Street is symptom. Income inequality has gotten steadily bigger, and people have steadily noticed. The financial crisis saw banks bailed out, and homeowners not. I'm surprised the reaction wasn't bigger than it was.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:22 PM
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Also, if we're assuming the President is going to have to exercise power almost exclusively through executive action, Bernie's probably a better bet.

This hadn't actually occurred to me but it's a really good point and I wish it had. Outside of the narrow window where Obama had a filibuster-proof legislature and could (with great painful effort) push things through basically everything he's done has been through just using executive authority (which is scary because, yeah, a Republican president could turn back a lot of that stuff though not, I think, all of it). And he really did do a lot too, especially when it comes to foreign policy* but also with domestic policy in less directly obvious on-the-evening-news ways.

*This is a place where I have trouble picking out exactly where Clinton and Sanders are disagreeing but there's certainly something there. My best read on it is that Clinton is promising to uphold and move forward on the goals and tactics of Obama's foreign policy when she was secretary of state (and, unstated but I still suspect, with a way more hawkish attitude), whereas Sanders is promising to uphold and move forward on the goals and tactics of Obama's foreign policy when Kerry was secretary of state. Both were pretty transformational, and in a good way, but I have a preference as well.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:24 PM
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386: Tea Party is symptom too - everything is symptom because something came before it. People steadily noticed income inequality for a really long time, and then someone put it in the right frame and forced everyone to look at it long enough that they couldn't stop seeing it anymore: that's how groups like Occupy Wallstreet work in the first place. Would people still have been bothered about it without the 99%/1% thing? Sure! Would politicians have been able to run away from it, I think so because, well, they had been doing that pretty successfully for a long time. (I suspect Romney's 47% video would have been a problem for him either way, but without following Occupy Wallstreet almost immediately I don't think it would have stuck on him so hard or done nearly as much damage.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:29 PM
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Oh, I think the fact of OWS having taken place made the 47% into something, and it probably wouldn't have mattered at all without that. To the extent that OWS wanted people to talk about inequality, this was a great victory.

The TP isn't about hats or even buying gold: it's about getting people elected to office. And then making them pass particular bills. Not OWS goals at all, so the fact that OWS had little or no impact in 2014 (and subsequently) is no mark against it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:53 PM
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the Tea Party has had a much bigger impact on politics

Electoral politics? Or politics more broadly?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 4:54 PM
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374 & 381 are precisely what's making me nervous about Hillary, and more nervous than I thought I'd be. She should be running a campaign where she claims to share Sanders core.general values & goals, but that she has a better and more realistic method of achieving him. This would mollify his supporters and not do much to harm her in the general. That she's not makes me feel like she's worried about pissing off her corporate friends and sponsors in healthcare and banking, and that she may very well turn hard to the right in the general.

Setting aside my own democratic socialism, I should be an ideal Hillary voter: 30s well-educated white woman who's had an abortion at PP and currently has Obamacare. She's managed to totally turn me off on both issues, and honestly makes me feel like Sanders really is better on reproductive rights. First, I know from personal experience, Obamacare (through the medicaid expansion) is miles better than what existed before, but it still is noticeably second class care. It is also means tested and requires yearly jumping through hoops in a stressful way, especially for people with contingent income. It could be better, and it could be better, ideally, in ways Sanders is pointing out. It's fine for Clinton to say they're "pie in the sky" in terms of achievability, but instead she seems to be attacking him on the actual desirability of universal healthcare, and refuses to even acknowledge the obvious issues with Obamacare. Honestly, to me it feels like a giant fuck you from a rich woman who will never have to go two weeks with a broken tooth because it chipped out of state and one's health insurance stops at state lines.

On reproductive rights, lots of women who want kids don't have them because of economic concerns. I'm in that boat right now. If I had a stable income, I would probably have a kid right now. Sanders seems to recognize that economic concerns really do factor in to the ability for a woman to choose her family size, and this issue doesn't only run to abortion and birth control. Obviously abortion and birth control access are important, but right now reducing reproductive rights solely to abortion rings hollow, because it's not the only direction (nor for me the most pressing direction) that women face obstacles in choice. Nowhere in the wall to wall coverage of how she cares about my reproductive rights more than Sanders do I get the sense she's even aware that this is an issue, which feels insensitive and is making me cranky.

Hillary should be able to win me over on these issues. Instead, for me Sanders is beating her soundly.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 5:33 PM
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||Ha Ha suck it losers. I just wish that could have been a one-point game so that missing that extra point would have meant everything.|>


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 5:47 PM
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I mean, it kind of did mean everything anyway. But a one point difference final score would have been the ultimate F.U.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 5:50 PM
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Jacobin walks through Bernie Sanders' 1996 memoir

Nor is it clear that Burlington itself was a hotbed of radical energy until Sanders and his Progressive Coalition helped make it that way. After Sanders's election as mayor, the eleven Republicans and Democrats on the thirteen-member Burlington Board of Aldermen joined forces to block his administration at every turn, refusing even to accept his appointments for city attorney, clerk, treasurer, etc. "There was a civil war taking place in Burlington city government," Sanders writes.

Sanders was only able to govern effectively by building a coalition through political struggle. Between 1978 and 1983 voter turnout in Burlington city elections doubled, as Progressives sought to overthrow the two-party establishment by attracting support from poor and working-class residents who had not previously participated in the political system.

Ok. Now I'm interested.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:00 PM
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Something I just thought of, if it's Clinton vs. Trump, is that Clinton figures she'll pick up enough Bloomberg/Brooks centrists she doesn't really need to cater to the left. She turns hard right to the center, and and the campaign line for leftists is, "whaddya gonna do, throw it to Trump?"


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:04 PM
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395- I'm sure she would, and I'd feel like a chump voting for her. It would make me wish I weren't a Muslim so I could vote for Trump.

I have a lot of friends who say they aren't going to vote for her if she is the nominee. I dunno if Trump will make them reconsider.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:10 PM
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I think one of the many ways Obama was a catastrophe was that I do think it was possible in February 2009 to immediately aim at winning the 2010 midterms, was at least possible, and as we are seeing was absolutely the most important thing he could have done. Obama (and Dean's 50-state strategy) Redistricting elections are must wins (statehouses can respond to increased turnout)

It looks like the House is lost, like fucking forever, and I happen to think the Democratic elites and technocrats prefer diveded government (if you look back to 2009-10, Pelosi and House radicals pained Obama). But we might have another chance with Pres Sanders in time for 2020. Aboslutely not with Clinton.

The other thing I would note, maybe re SC "firewall" and Clinton's outreach to feminist elites, that links with above that there is I think a huge gap between certain institutionalized identity elites and the grassroots, especially the probably intentionally under-mobilized non-voting people.

Of course Coates will attack Sanders to help Clinton.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:13 PM
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That's why I'm going to vote for him even though it'll already be over. And anyway, his revenge can be sending her bill after bill enacting his program. Grilling her appointees and extracting all sorts of commitments. A Senator who is a leader of a popular movement can do a whole lot.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:14 PM
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396: Still watching.

I will be watching the Senate races. If there is a good chance for Dems to gain a working majority and Clinton was the nominee against Trump, I might sit this one out.
I will not vote for a fucking Republican in my fucking life.

If the Senate looks risky, I will vote for Clinton, or if Cruz or Rubio is the nominee.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:17 PM
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398 to 395


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:17 PM
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Wait what am I saying? I live in Texas, for fuck's sake. My vote is irrelevant.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:20 PM
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398:

Yeah. Over the last few weeks, I think it's become clear how utterly opposed HRC (and the Democrats more broadly) are to any kind of reforms that would make life better for anyone that isn't a one percenter. At this point, I don't support Bernie (through phone banks and dontations) so much because I want him to get the nomination (though I do) as much as it is that as long as he's around making noise, the Democrats will continue to be exposed as frauds and hacks to people who generally do care about substantive reform.

401:

I didn't know you lived in Texas, Bob. What's your general sense of how Texans feel about Bernie? My sense is that people here like him more than many might expect -- though I don't expect us to turn blue even if he does run. I do think he's sowing some useful seeds, though.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 6:49 PM
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Haven't you guys heard? Texas will be a swing state because of demographic inevitability and sorcery!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 7:00 PM
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I thought it was because they're going to exercise their treaty right to split into five states and they'll have to stuff the liberals into one of the mini Texi.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 7:11 PM
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403:

We're very, very good at voter suppression, though.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 7:34 PM
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The deal is: I'm a Democrat because I want to help create the most left-leaning majority coalition of Americans available. I have no regrets about my general election votes for Bill Clinton in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000.

But the other end of the deal is that if someone I'm broadly sympathetic to gets the Democratic nomination, then the liberal half of America has to vote for him.

I don't see a lot of evidence that my fellow Democrats are going to welsh on their end of the deal. If they are up for President Trump - and they might be; I don't think that's impossible - then they get to vote (or not vote). That's what democracy is for.

In the meantime, I get to hope that Bernie gets the nomination without getting an undue amount of shit* from "pragmatists." As a Democrat, that's the deal I signed on for.

*I do not mean to imply that anyone on this thread has given me an undue amount of shit.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 7:54 PM
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I think what I signed just said that I lived at a certain address and was a citizen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 7:57 PM
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385: My area is not competitive, and I do always vote in electiosn even when they are non competitive. The really local things are hard for me to figure out. When I lived in Maine for a year, I got involved in local politics, and it was easy to find stuff out. I don't really know my neighbors all that well, so figuring out who to vote for for town meeting is not easy - there's no coverage.

We don't elect judges, but we do have an elected governor's council which reviews appointees. A lawyer I hired was challenging the incumbent, and there were 2 challengers. The other challenger didn't do that great. The incumbent (who treats a very part-time job as a full-time job) and is a total hack was endorsed by all kinds of people. This past cycle she ran unopposed. Dispiriting.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:08 PM
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Here in Alaska, a new poll shows both Trump and Sanders leading among registered voters. Not that anyone cares how Alaska votes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:10 PM
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We care when Tina Fey can make it funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:14 PM
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404: No, silly, they'll gerrymander all the little Texi to prolong Repub control.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 8:21 PM
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406 seems very reasonable.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-16 9:21 PM
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409: Hope the earthquake didn't go badly for you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:17 AM
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I hadn't read the Vox material on Sanders, but Ackerman has written what looks to be a pretty thorough takedown.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:58 AM
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The link in 414 is very good. I hang realized how blatantly bad-faith the Vox criticisms had become (since I too have not read them).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:20 AM
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414 is excellent. Klein's a hack.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:42 AM
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414:

Funny things happen when people move up to a higher tax bracket, I guess.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:52 AM
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402: Over the last few weeks, I think it's become clear how utterly opposed HRC (and the Democrats more broadly) are to any kind of reforms that would make life better for anyone that isn't a one percenter.

Oh for god's sake. Supporting a minimum wage hike, supporting paid family leave, supporting equal pay for equal work, supporting an increase in the EITC, supporting universal pre-k education, criminal justice reform, cutting interest rates on student loans, immigration reform ... I don't understand what you're hearing or not hearing.

Look at HRC's website for her policy proposals if the media coverage you're sampling is keeping you from noticing the things she supports. Here

I'm not in the bag for Clinton, but misrepresenting her positions or declaring that she's lying through her teeth doesn't go very far in my neck of the woods.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 12:17 PM
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396: I have a lot of friends who say they aren't going to vote for her if she is the nominee.

Heh, reminds of me a 20-something I knew back in 2008 who declared that she'd sit out the election if Obama was the nominee. She and her friends really, really wanted to see the first woman president, so PUMA it was.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 12:21 PM
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I started a long comment last night, and the decided it wasn't worth the bother. But if this thread is still alive, maybe it's worth it.

The conversation, over the last week, at unfogged, really has helped clarify my thinking about the primaries, and ultimately, I've ended up at the same spot that I started out -- I have basically positive feelings about Sanders and Clinton, I think Sanders views are closer to my own, and that I will probably caucus for him, but, if you gave me the power to chose, today, who would be the Democratic party nominee I'd pick Clinton.

That's nothing against Sanders, I just feel like at this point, we just know much less about him. To some extent this replicates the dynamics of the 2008 race; at that point we had Clinton who felt like a familiar and fairly well-known personality and Obama who was extremely charismatic, and didn't have that much of a record. As the Ackerman piece makes clear, there was criticism of Obama, at the time along the lines of, "he just doesn't have enough of a track record for us to know exactly how his proposals will turn out." In that case that concern turned out to be accurate in some ways (who would have predicted that there would still be prisoners in Guantanamo in 2016) but also not a significant problem -- I think that Overall Obama has been a very good president, and better than Clinton would have been.

But, that doesn't mean that the concern is unwarranted. In the case of Sanders, he has a much longer political track record, so there is more information about his beliefs and political opinions. But, the questions I do have are about what he would actually be able to implement and what has been called a "theory of change" how does a president make change happen.

We know Clinton's position -- as she said to the Black Lives Matter protesters:

Look I don't believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You're not going to change every heart. You're not.

That's not an inspiring response, but it is practical, and it does give you a clear sense of the basis on which she is willing to deal. I have no idea how Sanders will negotiate -- not only with Republicans, but with other Democrats. That's not to say he can't do it, just that I don't know.

Having thought all that, it was interesting to see Obama quoted this morning as expressing a similar belief.

"Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose," he said. "I think Hillary came in with the both privilege -- and burden -- of being perceived as the front-runner. ... You're always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven't seen before -- that's a disadvantage to her."

. . .

But the Obama-Clinton race in Iowa wasn't simply a matter of hard work and spreading his optimistic vision of the future; it was a bitter political fight. Obama hammered away at the notion that the New York senator was on the wrong side of generational change, and his team successfully convinced reporters that every Clinton campaign swipe was an underhanded personal attack -- something he's less than proud of in retrospect.

"The truth is, in 2007 and 2008, sometimes my supporters and my staff, I think, got too huffy about what were legitimate questions she was raising," he admitted. "And there were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in calling her out."

In fact, he said, Clinton "had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did."

"She had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels," he said. "She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done. She had to, you know, handle all the expectations that were placed on her."

"Had things gone a little bit different in some states or if the sequence of primaries and caucuses been a little different," Obama added, "she could have easily won."

But he also offered a surprisingly blunt assessment of Clinton's weaknesses.

She is better in "small groups" than big ones, he remarked, and he agreed that her first campaign appearances showed her to be "rusty" -- comparing them to his God-awful first debate of the 2012 campaign. "[S]he's extraordinarily experienced -- and, you know, wicked smart and knows every policy inside and out -- [and] sometimes [that] could make her more cautious, and her campaign more prose than poetry," he told me.

This, from a president who has been governing in prose, especially during his second term. In fact, Obama's experiences in office have brought him around to Clinton's hardheaded view of the presidency, first forged during her eight years as first lady. "I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives," he said, echoing the very critique Clinton makes of Sanders.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 12:41 PM
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I generally assume anything described as a "takedown" is totally worthless, but the link in 414 is just devastating for Klein's credibility.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 12:51 PM
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I suppose it comes down to how much you fear a Republican presidency -- or an ineffectual Dem presidency. There are a quite a few keyboard commandos on the Dem side who would probably be just fine in the event of a President Cruz; I don't trust their judgment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 12:58 PM
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422 Who are these people? I have a hard time believing that.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:04 PM
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418/422:

I see her supporting all of this stuff, but I've got precisely zero confidence she'll enact any of it or that she wants to. I don't think this is an unrealistic position to take given plans she's been proposing.

Watching Clinton, Klein, Krugman, and other liberal pundits quickly backtrack on things like cash transfers to the poor and single payer now that there appears to be a real grassroots progressive movement has turned me very cynical very quickly.

That said, I certainly wouldn't be just fine with a President Cruz and I do intend to vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination. The primaries are precisely the time for combating lesser-evilism, though, so I don't think you should expect "keyboard commandos" to pull punches if they strongly distrust HRC.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:17 PM
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Also the link in 414 is excellent.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:18 PM
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This seems like an appropriate thread to mention that yesterday I learned about financial domination fetishes:

http://www.vice.com/read/financial-domination-is-a-very-expensive-fetish


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:29 PM
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Ackerman is a traitor to his class. He didn't get the memo that truth-telling contrarianism is a career path, not some kind of higher calling.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:29 PM
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Oh. I hadn't actually intended to post 422. Sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 1:38 PM
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418: Yeah, I got a lot of "What have the Romans ever done for us?" vibe from that statement, too.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:00 PM
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424: Dude, there is no real grassroots progressive movement. It's a Presidential campaign. As soon as it's over, all progressive energy will dissipate, like it does every 4 years. Maybe, just maybe, it would continue if Sanders actually gets elected to the Presidency, but since that's a long shot the most likely outcome is everybody goes back to ignoring politics except for bitching about organized the Republicans are.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:14 PM
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This seems like the appropriate place to mention that 426 was meant for the f.o thread, but I'll consider the mistake serendipitous.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:16 PM
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Exactly. And 430 is also the right answer to 376. The best possible argument for the Sanders campaign is that it's an important long-term part of building a movement for social democracy. The problem with that argument is that it's almost certain not to be true. There's vanishingly little evidence that his campaign is anything more than a campaign. Presidential camapaigns are, almost by definition, traditionally terrible places to park your long-term movement building energy. Again, I hope I'm proven wrong but Presidential campaigns are usually very different than successful long-term grassroots movements.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:21 PM
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"Exactly" was to 430, though 431 is definitely serendipity.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:22 PM
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426 was worse than a crime. It was a mistake.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:23 PM
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Jeez, Walt, even I am not that cynical. Elizabeth Warren isn't going away anytime soon.

That said, yes, a Democratic party circular firing squad is not in the best interest of Democratic policy pursuits. Those feeling the Bern can trash Clinton all they like, believing that she's a DINO, I guess, but it's not the greatest approach to actually, you know, organizing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:27 PM
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The link in 414 makes a pretty strong case that Klein's "You have to say no" thing is dishonest bullshit, but the rest of it struck me as weak. "In 2007, Klein thought radical change to the health care system was doable, and now he doesn't." Really, how inexplicable. What has happened over the last 8 years that could have changed his mind other than shear hackishness? I can't think of any other new facts that we've learned about changing the US health care system, can you?

You can find a lot of things that people wrote about health care in the US in 2007 that they would no longer stand by. "When the facts change," &c.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:30 PM
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432, 430:

Perhaps "progressive grassroots movement" wasn't the best choice of words In that case, replace "progressive grassroots movement" with "halfway-viable Presidential candidate doing only slightly more than just paying lip service to social democratic policies", then. Either way, the reaction that I have been describing to the Sanders campaign among the pundits is very real and makes me much, much more mistrustful of mainstream Democrats than I was previously.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:31 PM
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sheer?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:38 PM
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437 - I'm probably even more mistrustful of mainstream Democrats than you are, but I also respect their ability to do what they do. They're necessary and getting the limited amount of stuff they're able to get done done is an important and hard job. It's not (for the most part) really about trust or mistrust of individuals, it's about figuring out the best deal that you can get in the circumstances that you're in.

And, to be clear, in the long term changing those circumstances. Which people have done, with a lot of hard work! A "mainstream Democrat" including Hillary is, today, substantially to the left of where a "mainstream Democrat" was in 1996. That is a good thing. But, as for Sanders specifically, in the context of US History it seems like (a) Presidential candidates are mostly, though not always, the wrong place to put that energy, because they're so personality-dependent and (b) his candidate seems to me like a good thing so long as it can put some mild left-wing pressure on the party mainstream, but like a very bad thing when it becomes a vehicle for splitting the party or for actually nominating a general election candidate in an election that the Democrats absolutely must win.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:44 PM
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I also wasn't super-convinced on the Yggles part, simply because "details aren't important" isn't a universally true or false statement. Being vague about how you'd change some in-the-weeds detail of governance is different from being vague about how you'd get Mexico to pay for the world's most beautiful wall. I mean, the latter isn't a serious claim anyway, but the fact that it's backed up with, "I know how to negotiate" really takes it to another level.

It's entirely possible--probable, even--that Bernie's single payer plan is roughly as detailed as what MY was discussing in 2008, but you have to actually prove that case. Unless I missed it, Ackerman implies that there's plenty of detail in Bernie's plan (4 pages! Which may or may not be a lot! Trust me!), but never makes any direct comparison with the kinds of plans being discussed 8 years ago. Maybe Matt was arguing that details on the 34th page of a 50 page plan were unimportant, in which case there's no hypocrisy at all. I have no idea, but it's the author's job to settle those doubts.

Not, to be clear, that I was wishing for more words in a Jacobin article.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:45 PM
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I was had the same reactions as 430, and 436 and agree with both.

Also, FWIW, I didn't think the MY piece that Ackerman discusses, about policy detail, was all that critical of Sanders -- it didn't try to argue that the absence of detail was disqualifying, just that some of those details would have to get filled in over the course of the campaign.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:50 PM
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It seems to me that the main thrust of MY's* argument in 2008 was that the details of policy proposals used in campaign platforms don't matter that much, because they'll be shaped by circumstance regardless. But as applied to the 2016 election that seems to me to cut against Bernie, not Hillary. I mean, who cares about the details of a single-payer health plan that has absolutely zero chance of ever being enacted during a Sanders' presidency? The problem with the Sanders' plans, it seems to me, is not that he failed to provide sufficiently wonky detail about how to implement his castle in the air plans, it's that they are castle in the air plans which even he knows can't and won't come into existence between 2016 and 2020.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:51 PM
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439:

I agree with all those points about national elections being poor vehicles for organization, but that seems to be what people are going for these days, unfortunately.

Sometimes I think one of the worse things that could actually happen is Bernie winning the nomination and the general and having a rather unremarkable Presidency. It might make people cynical enough to give up on the process altogether. He might have a more positive long-term influence if he loses.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:53 PM
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but that seems to be what people are going for these days, unfortunately.

Let's give credit to the Black Lives Matter groups, who appear to be a grassroots movement which has the potential to make a significant political impact.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 2:59 PM
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I agree, and I have to say I'm rather happy they seem to have decided not to throw their hat in with a specific candidate; it would absolutely limit their effectiveness.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:03 PM
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443: I'm guessing electing Sanders at all, no matter what he did in office, would stoke the fires on the Republican side enough to prevent any chance of it being an unremarkable presidency.

Electing Clinton would drive them even further around the bend, especially with True Conservative Donald Trump as their candidate. But Sanders would cause an unbelievable meltdown. (I'm not sure if that counts in favor of Sanders or not. On the one hand there really are a lot of dangerous lunatics out there. On the other hand there are a lot of dangerous lunatics out there right now, and we might be better off in the long run lancing the boil now rather than just letting it spend another Democratic administration getting worse.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:34 PM
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all progressive energy will dissipate, like it does every 4 years

I don't know what this is worth, but the (few) Youngs I know, all under thirty, are acutely aware that they're getting screwed. Student loans, climate change, the 1%. They feel very personally burdened. Their "I'm getting the shaft" energy may match up with progressive energy for a while to come.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:38 PM
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I honestly have no idea what, if anything, could cause the boil to burst. Neither 2008 nor 2012 moved the dial anywhere but further right. And I don't think either Dem winning would change that dynamic.

It's conceivable that Cruz losing in a rout, with the Senate flipping and maybe even the House getting close to 50/50, would damage the "if only we'd run a true conservative" meme enough to finally discredit those who sell it, but I don't think that has anything to do with who beats him. Losing to a Socialist would, you'd hope, heighten that particular contradiction, but since they proclaim every Dem who beats them to be a socialist, I'm not sure it matters.

The best thing about Cruz getting crushed might be alienating the evangelical vote from the GOP. They own him, and if he gets his ass kicked by a Socialist Jew or Hitlery, that might be enough to turn a lot of the rank and file against the whole process, roughly where they were 40 years ago. I'm not saying it would happen, just that it could.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:42 PM
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447: And yet they didn't turn out in 2014, just like they always don't. ISTM that the Millennials are very committed to a policy of staying pure of the system as a way to punish it, or something. Could be wrong, but I wonder if/when they'll get the message that, as a Boomer once said, "They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers."

I don't know who leads that charge. It would be nice if someone did. Maybe Taylor Swift?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:45 PM
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I don't know what this is worth, but the (few) Youngs I know, all under thirty, are acutely aware that they're getting screwed. Student loans, climate change, the 1%. They feel very personally burdened. Their "I'm getting the shaft" energy may match up with progressive energy for a while to come.

And yet the only things they ever demonstrate outrage about on social media are racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia. Any economic issues are just seen as forces of nature, impossible to change, certainly impossible to change through politics.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:48 PM
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Neither 2008 nor 2012 moved the dial anywhere but further right.

I don't know what you mean. We have the Affordable Care Act (debased and mutilated though it may be). Gay marriage is legal. And if you prefer your politics prosaic rather than poetic, various federal agencies have returned to doing their jobs (relatively speaking), which means that laws are being enforced, disasters are being mitigated, and markets are being inflated. No kidding, I'm as cynical as the next middle-aged crank, but it seems to me that various social movements have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams for this country. Others are failing or have failed. Such is life.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:49 PM
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450: you have the wrong facebook friends, the wrong students (I don't know if you even have students), or maybe both. Class analysis is coming back into vogue. Maybe Occupy gets the credit. Maybe the pendulum just swung too far in one direction and began to swing back. I have no idea.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 3:51 PM
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449:

Ugh, yeah, I know a large number of people that are committed to that policy. It's one that the right works very hard to cultivate (c.f. Murdoch's buyout of Vice New). I try very hard to remind people my age that being anti-politics is very much a political stance, and it's one that favors the status quo.

I don't know what else to say except that this is one of the things I'm ashamed of my generation for. As much as I think mainstream Dems are lame and ineffective, if we don't show up to vote for them we've got little to hold them accountable for. Republican politicians are constantly having to get worried about being sniped from their right. Democrats are having to worry about that, too, but as it stands there's just little incentive them to move left even if they do think it's the right thing to do.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:02 PM
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all progressive energy will dissipate, like it does every 4 years

In large part because Clinton and Obama have been happy to use that energy to get elected and then fall back into trying to get things done through technocratic management and political horse trading.

Bernie is the first progressive candidate I can remember in my lifetime who has explicitly said that his political strategy in office would be to act as social-movement builder in chief. Maybe proposing popular progressive initiatives, watching Congress block them, and then using a bully pulpit to try to elect a Congress that will actually pass them is a strategy doomed to failure. But I'd like to see someone try.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:05 PM
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I assumed Kliens hackery had more to do with wanting to curry favor with future president Clinton than centrism or tax-bracket creep


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:07 PM
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454:

That's a strategy that's going to provoke some real anger since it's AFAIK unprecedented for a President to use his position to encourage people to get out and vote in a different kind of congress if they want him to get stuff done. He'll get charged with breaking with tradition and probably with "politicizing his platform" or some bullshit like that. And then it will be really funny when he points out that his critics are literally coming out in opposition to him encouraging people to exercise their rights to vote. And it will make those people look really bad.

At least I hope that's how it goes down.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:13 PM
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Maybe proposing popular progressive initiatives, watching Congress block them, and then using a bully pulpit to try to elect a Congress that will actually pass them is a strategy

that has been tried many times in American history, most recently with both George W. Bush (well, not progressive) and the Obama, and has never succeeded, once.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:16 PM
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has never succeeded, once.

While I agree with the general sentiment isn't Harry Truman's run against the "do-nothing" congress considered to have been a success?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:22 PM
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I honestly have no idea what, if anything, could cause the boil to burst. Neither 2008 nor 2012 moved the dial anywhere but further right.

The best I can think of would be something big enough going far enough that the ''both sides etc. etc." narrative dies a horrible death, and not the small wobble that happens every couple years when the media declares that, wow, those are some crazies but hey look over here it's the grownup Republicans restoring sanity to the party [who were the crazies that the current crazies tossed out when they were restoring sanity to the party a few years before that]. I have no idea how that could ever happen, though: having the entire political structure (including the media) of the US straight up repudiate the crazies, who are easily over twenty percent of the population and have their own dedicated media stream and obsessive voting habits is really unlikely.

The only likely way I can see that happening* is violence, and enough of it that it creates a huge black mark over the conservative movement structures [Fox News, for example] as a whole and they have to wait fifteen to twenty years to regroup and start attracting voters to them again after their current old white insane people base has died off enough that they can pretend they never existed. (I'm not saying we're in a good situation here.)

*And the not-best option, the best being in some middle ground between "everything rebalances itself" and "lots of violence".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:24 PM
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According to wikipedia:

Although the 80th Congress passed a total of 906 public bills, President Truman nicknamed it the "Do Nothing Congress" and, during the 1948 election, campaigned as much against it as against his formal opponent, Thomas Dewey. The 80th Congress passed several significant pro-business bills, most famously the Taft-Hartley Act, but it opposed most of Truman's Fair Deal bills. Truman's campaign strategy worked, and the Republicans lost nine Senate seats and seventy-three seats in the House.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:24 PM
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458 - Not really on that metric. Truman ran against Congress in 1948 and that in part helped him win and beat Dewey, but in the next two Congresses he didn't get much of anything spectacular or, IIRC, even significant, done in terms of policy or Congressional enactment, and was a weak second term President. He didn't come up with revolutionary progressive plans and then lead the people and his progressive popular movement into dissolving Congress to enact them, as people seem to think Bernie will somehow be able to do.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:31 PM
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I've only read the headline, but I'm going to claim that it's on-topic because it fits in the category of things that the cynics would find implausible.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:33 PM
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the Obama, and has never succeeded, once.

Obama did not do what I am talking about.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:39 PM
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You either win enough state governments to undo the damage redistricting did in 2010 or you won't even have a chance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:44 PM
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461 is convincing -- even if Truman's '48 campaign was an electoral success, it didn't represent a grassroots movement.

It is interesting to read his speech from that campaign.

The Republicans are trying to hide the truth from you in a great many ways. They don't want you to know the truth about the issues in this campaign. The big fundamental issue in this campaign is the people against the special interests.

The Democratic party stands for the people.

The Republican party stands, and always has stood, for special interests. They have proved that conclusively in the record that they made in this "do-nothing" Congress.

. . .

When a bunch of Republican reactionaries are in control of the Congress, then the people get reactionary laws. The only way you can get the kind of government you need is by going to the polls and voting the straight Democratic ticket on November 2. Then you will get a Democratic Congress, and I will get a Congress that will work with me. Then we will get good housing at prices we can afford to pay; and repeal of that vicious Taft-Hartley Act; and more Social Security coverage; and prices that will be fair to everybody; and we can go on and keep sixty-one million people at work; we can have an income of more than $217 billion, and that income will be distributed so that the farmer, the workingman, the white collar worker, and the businessman get their fair share of that income.

That is what I stand for.

That is what the Democratic party stands for.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:47 PM
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463:

Agreed. He complained about getting obstructed, but never made a sustained and concerted effort to say "I know you guys don't like these obstructionists. The election is this day. Take exactly these steps to register. Let's take the party that isn't mine down." I can't exactly blame him for it, because this is pretty drastic and risky step, and he did promise to end the era of partisan rancor*. That kind of effort is really a nuclear option. I think Bernie's making pretty clear that he's ready to do it and that a vote for him is a vote for that kind of stuff, so it would be less risky for him to do it because it won't be so unexpected.

*In retrospect this really does look foolish.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:49 PM
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454.4: Didn't Obama promise as much? Obama for America was supposed to continue as Organizing for America, but it seemed completely moribund until 2012.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:52 PM
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451: No, no, I meant that the right had only moved right. I wasn't on some crazy rant, I just meant that Republicans responded to the original Obama wave by a lockstep commitment to obstruction and trying to crash the whole country, and responded to 2012 by considering moderation, especially on immigration, then going all-in on xenophobia.

This is why I have trouble seeing them responding to any election they lose by doing anything else.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:56 PM
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Obama campaigned heavily in the midterm elections in 2010 in Congressional districts where he was popular. In districts and states where he was not popular or the DCCC did not think he would help the local candidate, he did not campaign. What else could he do? No offense to anyone, but it really is IMO insane to think that all he had to do to win those midterm elections was to (a) keep "Obama for America" running and (b) tell people to register to vote and vote because it is really really important to vote to block obstructionists.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:56 PM
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There aren't enough House seats where increasing the number of voters could have possibly changed the outcome.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:58 PM
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468: gotcha. It's tough out there for a GOP pimp. The incentives to moderate, except when running a national campaign (and maybe not even then), don't really exist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 4:59 PM
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467: Yep.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:00 PM
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Before Obama's first Congressional election as president, it was already decided that the House was going to be Republican until after he was no longer president. Unless he got three terms or some disaster hit that depopulated large areas of the U.S.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:00 PM
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There must be some rule that says "Any sentence that begins with 'no offense' is sure to be offensive."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:01 PM
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The incentives to moderate, except when running a national campaign (and maybe not even then), don't really exist.

Indeed, in the Citizens United era, less than ever. All it takes is one lunatic--and we've seen there are plenty--to fund a batshit loon, and he's more or less immune to any other factor.

Sigh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:02 PM
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473 is the rightest thing ever. I sometimes long for Howard Dean as head of the DNC, but then I remember that he was governor of a very white state and didn't have any real standing with Black Lives Matter.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:04 PM
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If you want to think about something horrifying I just realized that there's decent odds that a Trump loss could cause (among the base) the exact same reaction that the Romney one did, though maybe less severe. "We would have won if we'd nominated a real conservative!!" It's bizarre, but there's plenty of stuff setting the stage for it right now: the best his opponents have got when attacking him right now is he's-just-a-Democrat! stuff. And the increasing 'Republican Establishment is reaching the bargaining phase' articles* that we're seeing aren't reinforcing that in a way that helps the attacks, but are doing it in a way that could be dredged up quickly enough after the fact. Think about how much fun that would be, and how exciting the next couple elections would be if that happened.

*I think what they're coming to terms with, unless they're doing something very clever which seems unlikely, is that they simply don't have any better candidates in the race.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:07 PM
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I honestly have no idea what, if anything, could cause the boil to burst.

On the groggy Wednesday morning of November 9th, millions of Republicans across the country look at their sad-sack faces in the mirror, and ask themselves "why in the fuck did we nominate, of all people, Donald Trump?"


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:08 PM
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to fund a batshit loon

I'm not sure the lunatic funders are getting good value from their batshit loons. The Koch brothers were just complaining about that recently. All the billionaire candidates (Whitman, Fiorini) here have done is waste a bunch of their money. Adelson wasted a ton of money on Gingrich. I'm starting to think of campaigns as wealth transfer schemes from billionaires to sign printers.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:12 PM
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Post-Citizens United you can use negative ads buy any elected position except president. I think Koch et al are happy enough.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:13 PM
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Consultants. Sign printers are less opaque.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:14 PM
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The obvious follow on to 473 is that I got involved with the party at the local level. Except I didn't because it's incredibly dull and there are huge numbers of just awful people. Less awful than local Republican parties, but bad enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:15 PM
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I'm just assuming. I've not met many of these people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:17 PM
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I'm not sure the lunatic funders are getting good value from their batshit loons.

At the presidential level, no, but I thought the right-wing billionaires were part of the structure which has helped the Republicans win at the state level (hence the conversation about redistricting).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:19 PM
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Also, I'd have to move to the suburbs if I wanted to make a difference. It's really hard to live in the suburbs that are politically competitive and be on a nice quiet street that is in walking distance of a bar. That's because they have no values out there. They either don't drink or drive drunk everywhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:20 PM
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I'm guessing it's mostly just drunk driving, at least in PA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:21 PM
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Redistricting makes it worse, but the structure of the House (geographically-drawn areas, concentrated Democrats, Wyoming gets 1 house member no matter what, etc.) means there's an overall pro-Republican bias even if you had non-Gerrymandered seats. We had a long thing about this here some time ago. But, yes, even with (mild) overall Democratic majorities in House elections the House stays Republican, and that would still be true, although the amount of above-a-majority needed for a D House would decrease, if you didn't have gerrymandering.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:23 PM
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By those same factors, the Senate would be even more biased toward the Republicans than the House in the absence of gerrymandering. I think that's a reasonable (actually, conservative) baseline for how much easier it would be to take the House if there wasn't gerrymandering or if the gerrymandering were more bipartisan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:25 PM
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I don't miss drunk driving, but I miss the youthful ability to ignore consequences that enabled it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:27 PM
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477. Since Trump is a recently converted "conservative" whose main adherence to their doctrine is being really extreme on immigration (not just "illegal" immigration), there's pretty decent grounds for calling him "not a real conservative."

Just as Hillary is "not a real Democrat."

Just as Bernie is "not a real Democrat."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:28 PM
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In many ways the Senate is even more biased than the House (though in other ways not, because e.g. the particular tendency of Democrats to be concentrated in big cities doesn't matter as much). But, the bottom line is that we've mostly gotten lucky that a bunch of very red states still continue to like to elect Democratic senators. I don't think that trend is likely to continue for the long term as everyone gets more partisan and the parties become more ideological.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:29 PM
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486. Since Pennsylvania is the national hotbed of lawyer billboards saying "I get you acquitted of driving drunk," I'd agree with that.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:30 PM
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493

Good discussion of redistricting here. It matters, but not as much as one intuitively thinks.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:31 PM
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Incumbency is bound up in yesterday's gerrymander.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:34 PM
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Know who else isn't a real conservative? Cruz, if he loses. Goldman Sachs, Harvard, various government jobs, Canada, for God's sake.

There's no lancing this boil. Only cured by embalming fluid.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:36 PM
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490: Yup! So the correct thing to do in 2018 is to push as many Tea Party loyal republicans into power as possible to hold off the usurper, and then in 2020 you can get a real [read: makes Ted Cruz look like Nicholas Kristof] conservative candidate!

The problem the Republican party is having with their base is that their base is still convinced that they are the silent majority, and that any national elections they lose is the result of (among other nefarious things) secretly liberal candidates, and if they just nominate a real (super extreme) candidate then they'll finally come out on top. Right now Trump is playing the role of that candidate* - the scary bit is that instead of at least getting a weapon to use against the spokespeople for those loonies the Republican party establishment could find itself facing a base insistent on doubling down again.

So, basically, a Trump nomination and loss might not break the fever like I think some people are hoping, but actually make it worse.

*Because 'silent majority' was always 'of bigots' and Trump is giving them as much of that as they can stomach.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:37 PM
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Remember when California was being held hostage by the Republicans who were rightfully afraid of being voted out by their base (and by stupid supermajority rules for budgeting decisions)? Now that it is the whole country, I like to point out that California never did find a solution or a way to work with the Republicans or anything that would be dealmaking. The "fever" never "broke". We finally just voted a Democratic supermajority and got on with it. It has been lovely.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:42 PM
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Who was the dude who always had a footnote?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:45 PM
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497 Wasn't non-partisan redistricting a big part of that? Or am I confusing cause and effect?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:45 PM
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Max?*

* I'm pretty sure it was Max.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:45 PM
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It was Max, although for a while he was going by another pseud.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:46 PM
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Roger Maris?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:49 PM
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...the Republican party establishment could find itself facing a base insistent on doubling down again.

Let history be your guide, and this reminds me of 1840s and 1850s, or maybe Weimar, or China 1920-1949 or etc. Politics doesn't have to be about compromise, it can be about intimidation and apocalyptic threats, eventually ending in apocalypse. I see one coming soon, but then I always do.

The only answer I can think of involves millions of blue people moving to red states.

BobMc, who had a perfect kicking day

(Max is still around, at LGM for instance.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 5:57 PM
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If you want to think about something horrifying I just realized that there's decent odds that a Trump loss could cause (among the base) the exact same reaction that the Romney one did, though maybe less severe. "We would have won if we'd nominated a real conservative!!"

What 477 said. The NRO has been pushing for months that Trump is Hillary (Hitlery!) Clinton with a spray tan and a bad toupee, + even more white supremacy. A significant portion of self-identified conservatives would prefer a Trump loss to Hillary so the Democrats die in a fire in 2020 (yes, this is an alternate world view). If Trump does win the nomination and lose the presidency, it simply heightens the contradictions within the Republican party.

I have thought Yglesias to be a bullshit neoliberal hack since I read his piece in Slate on how Bangladeshis don't need the same worker protections white people do, so we shouldn't judge the Rana collapse harshly. Knowing him from his blog during the Bush years, I found the article shocking in it's outright racism and neo-colonialist capitalist apologetics. I haven't trusted a single thing he's written since.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:05 PM
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496

The problem with the Republican base is they want the full social contract completely repealed, and don't understand how government works on even the most basic level. When Mitch McConnell or John Boehner didn't somehow magically destroy Obamacare or bring in the gold standard, they decided they were pussy "liberal RINO squishes."* Paul Ryan is getting the same treatment. This is why no one wanted the speaker of the house job. The base wants stuff that is totally and utterly impossible.**


*The most common epithet for McConnell is "Mitch Rodham McConnell"
**Boehner and Cantor were the closest thing possible to being driven out on a rail. If McConnell weren't more insulated in the senate, he would be too.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:10 PM
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499 -- we got the supermajority first and then the redistricting-by-committee-instead-of-gerrymandering, not the other way around. Actually, the partisan Dems (like me!) worried that the redistricting by committee would kill their supermajority, and voted against the re-districting initiative. And, the re-districting initiative kinda did kill the supermajority (it is gone now, though I think only by two State Senate seats), but a combo of decent fixes by the Governor and less need for truly emergency measures has meant that the crisis caused by Republican obstruction isn't nearly as severe now.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:19 PM
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*The most common epithet for McConnell is "Mitch Rodham McConnell"
Oh good lord.

I don't know if the base wants things that are impossible though: they want the social contract to be turned back into "everyone is ripped off for the benefit of us like we deserve" and making the hierarchy of the world (in their minds) explicit in the law rather than implicit and (gasp) ignored by uppity liberals. And that's impossible now, which they don't understand. But give them a Republican president in 2016, maybe a little more power in the Senate, and if one of the liberal supreme ct. justices dies they can replace them with another Alito and that's about all they'd need to get the confederacy back. (Whether they would or not is a second thing, and how fast they'd be willing to do it a third. But the ability would be there.) The base is furious and full of nihilism right now because they don't understand why the Republicans are winning so many elections but they're still not getting what they want. (Answer: judicial activists; the media; Traitors!; OBAMAAAA!!)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:31 PM
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467: Dean's organization Democracy for America still exists, and it's independent of Howard himself. DFA endorsed Bernie, even though Dean endorsed Clinton.

But other than conduct endorsement polls, I don't know what they do.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:33 PM
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The thing about a Trump loss, though, is it can't be blamed on the establishment. I would hope that it would be occasion for Republicans to consider "how did we become the kind of party that could be so easily bamboozled by that guy?

I would also like a pony.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:39 PM
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But other than conduct endorsement polls, I don't know what they do.

What ever happened to building Democratic capacity in 50 states? That doesn't seem to have worked out.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:41 PM
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509: I think you're underestimating how malleable reality can be.

As soon as he's a loser I'm guessing a fair number of people will never really have supported him but voted out of no-Hillarys, in sadness or something. What I'm seeing now is the establishment slowly coming to terms with the fact that Trump really might be their best option in the race. If that's how it turns out we'll see a bunch of "actually he's not that extreme - really quite moderate if - haha - a bit of a showman" interviews, and the press will start to come around to Trump's basic reasonableness deep down and, at least, he'll have good Republican advisers anyway and so on. Once he's in that position it'll be easy for everyone to remember him as a RINO that they only sort of supported and really if they did during the primary (who can remember!) it was because the Republicans prevented any real conservatives from running against him anyway, and so on.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:50 PM
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The "fever" never "broke". We finally just voted a Democratic supermajority and got on with it.

Well, the supermajority was lost in the Senate in early 2014 with two resignations and not regained in the 2014 elections. As much of the atmosphere change was that in 2010, we simultaneously (a) regained a Democratic Governor and therefore unified government and (b) passed Prop 25 taking away the power of the minority to obstruct annual budgets, which was a great deal of their leverage. Technically a supermajority could vote to increase taxes without going to the ballot, but they didn't want to do that even when they could.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 6:51 PM
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What ever happened to building Democratic capacity in 50 states? That doesn't seem to have worked out.

That conflicted with the plan to accomplish [???????] by taking every Democratic governor or senator from a Republican state and appointing them to a cabinet position.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 7:14 PM
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I just tried to click like on ned's comment. Time for bed, I guess.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 7:17 PM
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Yeah, thanks Obama.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 7:18 PM
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*The most common epithet for McConnell is "Mitch Rodham McConnell"

among whom? it doesn't have much traction on google.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 7:50 PM
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NRO commenters, presumably.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:11 PM
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Hooray. You broke free from the rubble.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:13 PM
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498, 500, 501: Max was also Ash. But I was the one with the asterisk

[Max used brackets]


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:14 PM
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Ash the Pokemon trainer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:15 PM
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And yeah, 513 is great, and reminds me of the kind of rookie mistakes Obama made. Were they dispositive? No. Did they make a difference for the worse? Yes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:15 PM
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518: See, if you were on FB you would have known for like a day and a half that I was fine. Nothing was even broken or out of place in my apartment; I think my building must be built pretty well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:15 PM
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I am on FB. Today I "liked" a comment by an old lady who told another old lady to fuck off and read Snopes before posting stupid shit. Except she said it in nice old lady-ese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:17 PM
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Well, you're not friends with me, anyway. Which means you also missed my link to the greatest federal job posting ever.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:19 PM
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For the second time this week, I need an higher GS to move.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:24 PM
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At least this one doesn't require a PhD.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:26 PM
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516, 517

Yep. I checked, but it appears their comments are not searchable.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:34 PM
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If I were them, I wouldn't want those comments showing up on google searches either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 8:45 PM
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This is terrific https://theintercept.com/2016/01/21/the-seven-stages-of-establishment-backlash-corbynsanders-edition/


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 9:25 PM
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For the second time this week, I need an higher GS to move.

That's so not enough money to get me to move to Winnemucca.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 9:42 PM
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530: but you could almost buy this house with one year's salary. And I'm sure there are some fringe benefits...


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:00 PM
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It's walking distance to the office!


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:04 PM
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I'd like to expand on my point about Bernie being able to be a much more effective President than Hillary if we're assuming that they to work with an obstructionist Republican legislature. But it occurs to me I'm not at all sure what I'm talking about; in fact, I only have kind of a vague idea of what executive powers would entail.

I'll start with a question that someone who knows way more about this stuff than I do could answer.

I am a big, big believer that we need to get on with busting some banks. If there were anything I'd go single-issue on, it would be this. Capital is even more consolidated than it was when Obama took office. They were too big to fail then and now they're bigger. This has so many undesirable consequences for our political and economic lives that I hardly know where to begin. It's just disastrous for so few institutions to have so much power.

Isn't bank-busting pretty much an entirely executive activity? Wouldn't Bernie be able to go about his business on this, legislature be damned? I'm guessing the legislature might be able to combat this through indirect means, but how far are they really willing to go?

One constant theme in things I've read about finance is that we do a really piss-poor job of enforcing regulations that are already on the books. Again, that's up to the executive branch. Ditto for white collar crime. It seems to me that there are things President Sanders could do that a President H. Clinton has made clear she would not do that would do the nation an extraordinary amount of good.

The utter batshit insanity over here in Texas with respect to Planned Parenthood actually provides a pretty good blueprint. When something happens like Flint, Michigan, where state officials were pretty transparently and knowingly poisoning a town full of poor people, they always seem to avoid jail time. Why? If Greg Abbott can walk into his attorney general's office and more or less say "do everything within your legal power to make Planned Parenthood's operations as hellish as possible"*, couldn't President Obama tell Loretta Lynch to at least make the lives or Rick Snyder and his austerity-preaching goons miserable for as long as legally possible?

If I'm right (and I know Unfogged is chock full of lawyers so please do set me straight on this if I'm horribly wrong which I fear that I am since nothing even remotely similar to this has happened under Obama), it would seem there's a lot of room for the next President to wreak havoc on a lot of the worst elements of the American government and economy without even an ounce of cooperation from congress. And I think it's abundantly clear that we can expect a lot more from a President Sanders than a President Clinton along this front. Thoughts?

*It is pretty clear that this is what happened.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:46 PM
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Also the link in 529 is just lovely.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:47 PM
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530–532: Oh you guys. I probably will apply for that job, though I wouldn't necessarily take it if somehow it were offered to me. But maybe I would. That's a lot of money, Winnemucca or no.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:50 PM
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If Greg Abbott can walk into his attorney general's office and more or less say "do everything within your legal power to make Planned Parenthood's operations as hellish as possible"*, couldn't President Obama tell Loretta Lynch to at least make the lives or Rick Snyder and his austerity-preaching goons miserable for as long as legally possible?

Well, the state investigation is admittedly still ongoing, but the local DA just accepted a grand jury decision that it was the anti-abortion provocateurs rather than PP who deserved to be indicted over that whole deal, so yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:54 PM
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536:

Oh, yes. And that was wonderful. I laughed out loud in the car when I heard the charges on NPR as I was leaving work.

But couldn't the executive branch afford be much more aggressive in dealing with large scale white collar crimes? If so, it seems obvious to me that anticipation of a hostile congress is a point in Bernie's favor.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 10:58 PM
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I'd imagine it's pretty interesting as far as land-use jobs go. Burners have their flaws, even compared to crazy ranchers, but at least they don't threaten to start shooting when they feel slighted. That's gotta be worth something?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:05 PM
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537: Maybe, but I'll leave that question to the lawyers. I'm not sure the composition of Congress matters much one way or the other with this sort of thing. It seems like the composition of the courts matters a lot more.

538: Yeah, I feel like it would be pretty interesting for this kind of job, which is actually the kind of job I've been looking into as I try to transition away from my current job.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:11 PM
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That's so not enough money to get me to move to Winnemucca.

Beats Elko, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:11 PM
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Beats Elko wasn't supposed to be italicized.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:13 PM
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Beats Elko: One of the more obscure countercultural movements of the 1950s. Popular among Basque-Americans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:29 PM
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I wouldn't say that there's no ground for being more aggressive with white collar crime, but there's not much and you'd not be that happy with the results (a few more scam artists might go to jail, which is a good thing, but don't expect large scale social change or anything). Criminal fraud standards are a real thing and difficult prosecutions are not just prosecutors being wusses.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-25-16 11:55 PM
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difficult prosecutions are not just prosecutors being wusses

Well, not just prosecutors being wusses but generally federal prosecutors are even worse than local district attorneys in only wanting cases that are totally ironclad.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 12:24 AM
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I think breaking up the banks might be more of a Fed thing than a Treasury thing. Sen. Sanders has mentioned Dodd Frank section 121, I think, which is a Fed thing.

We just saw The Big Short. Sure looked like some crime in there, but also a lot of stupidity and greed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 12:50 AM
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Isn't bank-busting pretty much an entirely executive activity? Wouldn't Bernie be able to go about his business on this, legislature be damned?

Not really. Thanks to lobbying and general Republican opposition, Dodd Frank has quite a few limitations on the ability of the agencies to forcibly break up banks. In practice they can only really do it via the living will process, and in practice that's not going to happen simply because a bank is very large. They have some levers in terms of supplementary capital charges etc, but they're indirect and constrained.

One constant theme in things I've read about finance is that we do a really piss-poor job of enforcing regulations that are already on the books. Again, that's up to the executive branch

Again, not entirely. Certainly there's a cultural aspect which is largely within the remit of the executive, but budgets are a big issue (especially in Europe, where the ESAs are chronically underfunded).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:42 AM
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So, how might one try to get involved in converting the Bernie groundswell into more perennial advocates making demands of whoever's in office?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:48 AM
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543/544: right, you don't necessarily have to send executives to prison in order to drive real changes in behavior. Just prosecuting people, with jail time on the line, will rein in a lot of the "excesses" that have been enabled by the current de facto immunity from prosecution.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:18 AM
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548 was me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:19 AM
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I suspect congressional intransigence and court cases blocking attempts Sanders makes to use executive powers to go after banks is actually something that could be used to, for once, get Democrats to show up for a midterm election. Sanders' main appeal is that he really means it and people would probably be willing to believe that, and that the reason he keeps getting shut down isn't a matter of compromise or establishment structure or whatever the way they absolutely would with Clinton.

He'd have to do it really aggressively and come in with a strengthened progressive caucus though (which is not impossible but...), because if he did push hard he'd almost certainly be trying to do that again full, vicious opposition from a really large number of powerful Democrats. I'm absolutely willing to believe that they would do that because the DNC/DCCC has a tendency to do that exact thing on a smaller scale already and a Sanders election would scare the crap out of them on pretty much every possible level in a way that a Republican controlled legislature wouldn't.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:32 AM
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Already seeing Clinton supporters on twitter talking about how they'll vote for Bloomberg.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:42 AM
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Among the things that I can't help but be amused by this election season: The vivid illustration that Cruz/Trump provides of the absolutely crudest version of Overton Window strategizing.

Crude Overtonism works like this: You stake out the most extreme position possible and suddenly less extreme positions look okay.

And now, faced with the possibility of a Cruz nomination, we have notable Republican moderates such as Dole and Grassley saying, you know, that Trump guy, he's not so bad.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:20 AM
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551:

Those same Clinton supporters of accusing Sanders supporters of being willing to throw the election if they didn't get their guy? No, they would never do that!


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:50 AM
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This can't have been a nice moment for Clinton's campaign staff.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:56 AM
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533: Breaking up the big banks is a Fed thing, as Charley says in 545. Forgive me for linking to Vox, but this seems like a fair overview of how difficult it would be for Sanders to do that any time soon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 12:59 PM
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551; 553

This exposes the fallacy that the relationship between the centrist and left wings are in any ways symmetrical, and also why "the lesser of two evils" is simply a way to placate the left into supporting people who fundamentally do not share their same interests.

TBH, I imagine the plutocrat class that owns the NYTimes would prefer a Trump presidency to a Sanders one. Trump is nuts, but basically on their side; Sanders wants to significantly reduce their wealth and influence. Of course they'd prefer Bloomberg to Trump, but voting for Bloomberg and throwing the election to Trump is the second best option.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:21 PM
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So, Elizabeth Warren just came out swinging against Clinton. This is interesting, and I hope cuts against the claim that people only support Bernie because they're sexist.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:24 PM
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Why is the conventional wisdom that Bloomberg's entry would throw the election to Trump? Is that based on polling data? My uninformed intuition is that Bloomberg would pull at least as many, and likely more, votes from Trump as he would from Sanders. (Although thinking about it, I guess that depends on how he ran his campaign. If he campaigned *trying* to steal votes from Sanders and not Trump, he could probably succeed.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:26 PM
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557, see 554.

And yet Senator Warren hasn't endorsed Senator Sanders.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:29 PM
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558

I think the idea is that Bloomberg has a few opinions that are litmus tests for most voters on the right, like abortion and gun control. There is a significant number of Republicans that simply won't vote for a pro-choice, pro-gun regulation candidate, even if they agree with him economically. I don't know if this is true, but it's conventional wisdom.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:29 PM
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Ooops! pwned!

(Actually, it's stupider than that. I right clicked on the link in 554, then by the time I got around to reading it I'd forgotten where it came from.)


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:30 PM
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Also, in the event that a Trump/Bloomberg/Clinton matchup results in no candidate getting to 270 in the Electoral College, the Republican-dominated House would choose Trump as the winner.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:35 PM
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. . . the claim that people only support Bernie because they're sexist.

Obligatory question: who has made that claim, it isn't one I've seen?

Also, this is a fascinating and genuinely odd profile of Hillary Clinton.

She has been asked every day, for decades, what she thinks, but rarely why. And here, next to a dishwasher, Clinton slides right back into the subject. Her words are slow and deliberate and she takes the conversation to this discussion she's been trying to talk about, to bring up on the trail, as she is again ensnared in a campaign that's more difficult than expected, in an election dominated by the language of anger and fear.

"I am talking about love and kindness," she says.

As Clinton sees it, she's really talking about a "shorthand" for her personal and political beliefs, for all the impulses that shape what she does and how she does it. She is talking about the core of "what I believe and who I am." Even if no one views her that way. Even if she's never been quite able to explain it. Even if she still isn't known for the vision she's been trying to share for decades, going back to the beginning. Even if her earnest efforts to connect with people are hampered not just by her image, but by the actual barriers of public life. After so many years, how do you convince a nation full of people who think they know everything about you that they don't?

"I can only just be the person I am and continue to stand for what I feel like I have always stood for, in terms of values and in terms of my core beliefs," Clinton says. "And of course, policies come and go, policies change. I mean, good grief, of course that's the case. But who I am is pretty much who I've always been."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:36 PM
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Obligatory question: who has made that claim, it isn't one I've seen?

It's straw season. .


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:42 PM
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Be very, very quiet. I'm hunting straws.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:42 PM
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I thin kit depends a lot on your priors about the election: if Trump runs as the GOP nominee, does he really get the same voters Romney had? I think it's more likely that Trump loses the group of, shall we say, David Brooks voters, who either stay home or affirmatively vote for Hillary*. It's absolutely true that the base would never vote for Bloomberg, but I do think there's a chunk of Republicans for whom Trump is a bridge too far, who would be happy enough to vote for Bloomberg.

I mean, who knows, but I think Trump is enough of an outlier that we shouldn't just presume that he gets all of the Romney voters, leaving Bloomberg to draw only from Obama voters.

Anyway, I don't take his threat to run seriously at all.

*I forget; did Bloomberg say he'd run if Trump were nominee, or if Trump and Sanders were nominees?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:46 PM
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565 is fabulous.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:46 PM
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I mean, who knows, but I think Trump is enough of an outlier that we shouldn't just presume that he gets all of the Romney voters, leaving Bloomberg to draw only from Obama voters.

Bloomberg drawing 5%* more Obama voters than Romney would flip the result.

* I made up that number, but it's low.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:48 PM
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563.1: The quoted phrase bugged me as well, but I also recently encountered Bernie bros IRL for the first time, and it was hard to imagine these fratboy d-bags were feeling the Bern because they hate Wall Street so much.

Anyway, there are tens of millions of Bernie supporters; I think it's safe to say that we can't say anything accurate about them generally.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:49 PM
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Bloomberg's conditions for entering the fray are simple: If Republicans nominate Sen. Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, or if Democrats are on the verge of choosing Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, he enters the race. If not--if Hillary Clinton or an "establishment" Republican win their respective primaries--he stays out. "If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike's not going to go on a suicide mission," explained former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

But maybe not so simple -- On the other hand, there are hints in the Times story that Bloomberg would enter the race against Clinton too, if she moved left in response to Sanders.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/01/michael_bloomberg_could_make_donald_trump_president.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:50 PM
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560: but those are mostly the republican primary voters, not republican general election voters. I would think most non-extreme republicans would hugely prefer Bloomberg to Trump. Or, at the very least, the number of republicans that would prefer Bloomberg to Trump does not seem obviously smaller to me than the number of Democrats who would prefer Bloomberg to Sanders.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:50 PM
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571 was me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 2:50 PM
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568: Oh, for sure, but that would be a big total for Bloomberg. My point is mostly that I think, in contrast to the premise of 560*, that Bloomberg draws from both parties. Maybe not 50/50, but closer to 50/50 than to Nader's 95/5 (or whatever).

Say there's a 3 point spread in a 2-way race; I say that even a 4% pull for Bloomberg wouldn't swing the race, because maybe 1/3 of his support comes from Republicans for whom Trumpism is way more of a deal breaker than guns or abortion.

*which I think Buttercup is citing, not promoting


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:11 PM
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most non-extreme republicans

All 75 of them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:11 PM
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It seems to me that in a 3 way with Trump, regardless of who the Dem is, Bloomberg is only really relevant in states that went for Obama in 12. Can he tip a few of them into the red column? I think he might just be able to.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:12 PM
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573 basically pwned by 571.

Anyway, I can picture who might prefer Bloomberg to Trump and Sanders, but I don't know if I can get in the mindset of someone actually voting that way. Bloomberg can't possibly win the Presidency outright. The same was true of Nader, but there was a story there about creating an actually functioning Green Party, and also about scaring Dems into not dismissing the left. But Bloombergism is obviously not a party, and it's not as if the Republican Party needs a lesson from Bloomberg voters that they shouldn't have nominated Trump. So if your goal is to stop Trump, then vote Sanders, or vice versa. Voting Bloomberg just tilts the election in unpredictable ways, none of which involve Bloomberg taking the oath on January 20.

That said, I'd imagine most Bloomberg voters would be people firmly convinced that Sanders is just as ridiculous a candidate as Trump, and equally convinced that the vast political middle agrees with them. These are the sort of people who are always trying to create these asinine centrist parties like Unity 2008 and No Labels and whatever else. They are very, very few, but convinced that they're some sort of silent majority.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:18 PM
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570: Thanks.

574: If I had to, I'd guess 5-10% of Republicans are non-extreme, or perhaps non-insane. I think they're basically DLC types who hate hippies too much ever to be in the Democratic Party, even though they don't really agree with any of the GOP's core beliefs. Or, perhaps, they vaguely approve, but in a way that would see them tarred and feathered at the Republican Convention.

I know a guy who does, I think, consider himself a Democrat (mostly over social issues), but he went to a prep school and runs a business and really does think Brooks is something other than a ridiculous hack, and I think he wishes he could be a Republican without all the baggage. And his friends, some of whom I've met, are who I'm thinking of: the ones who don't really give a shit about the social issues (because privilege), and who identify with the old Republican Establishment, but genuinely don't buy the insanity. But they're young; give them another 15-20 years, and they'll be frothing lunatics.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:25 PM
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I also don't know Bloomberg's personal politics all that well, so this may be misguided, but based on what little I know about them, it's not obvious that a Bloomberg presidency would look very different than a Clinton presidency.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:26 PM
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It would have less soda.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:27 PM
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I honestly doubt Bloomberg would shift that many real world votes; I think he'd mostly draw some votes that would otherwise have stayed home. But what do I know.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:29 PM
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I did think along the lines of 575.

Playing with 538's state-flipping tool, I moved the slider for college-educated whites, which I think is 95% of Bloomberg's ostensible constituency. 56% voted Republican last time. I can moved that all the way to 62%, flipping NH, FL, and OH, but Dems still win 281-257. At 63%, it flips to President Trump, but that's taking Dem votes and giving them to Republicans, not taking them from both parties.

That doesn't get into state-by-state strength, but I'm not sure there are enough plausible Bloomberg voters, who'd otherwise vote Dem, to flip the election. NY, CT, and NJ are all too blue for even a substantial Bloomberg vote to flip them (or so it seems to me).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:32 PM
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Bouie, who is a non-stupid political writer, offers numbers that suggest Bloomberg draws mainly from Sanders.

But clearly Bloomberg becomes the de facto choice of the Republican Establishment, no? Is the National Review going to endorse Trump or Sanders in that three-way matchup? (Not that anybody cares what the National Review thinks, but still.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:32 PM
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I think Bloomberg's danger isn't really that he's appealing to anyone so much as that he's the press-and-political-establishment pick if Trump/Sanders are running (and very possibly the press one if it's Trump/Clinton too). If any sizable chunk of Republicans were going to abandon tribalism and vote for someone sane seeming but not a Democrat we'd already see a very, very different political landscape so I don't see any chance of a strong effect there. What we would see though is a massive number of the people who are (right now) scolding Sanders and his supporters for being unserious/hippies/whatever suddenly act as if Sanders is the Nader of the campaign: "how dare those unwashed leftists shove through some loony and lose the race for us" [while furiously doing everything they can to make sure we lose the race].

So he really is a spoiler and a direct threat, (I assume) on the part of the political establishment. If people don't stop wanting things in politics and get serious about not really changing too much they'll tank the election and then spend the next four years of President Trump (who won't really inconvenience them that much) yelling at everyone to the left of the DLC about how they ruined everything.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:47 PM
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The more ridiculous comments come from places like Jezebel, which I mostly don't read but have been checking in to see how a pop third-wave feminist site is addressing the primaries. Again, I avoid annoying lefty websites, so it's highly possible that "Bernie Bros" are more annoying, and I'm simply avoiding them. Then again, I've seen anyone who defends Sanders on Jezebel be called a Bernie Bro, which fits into Greenwald's 7 steps analysis, one of which is demonize the supporters of a candidate considered inappropriate to the elites.

The only slightly more subtle digs at women supporting Bernie come through Slate's xx, or articles like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2016/jan/24/hillary-clinton-young-women-voters-jill-abramson


I've seen a lot of overtly sexist and misogynist attacks on Hillary, but they all seem to be overwhelmingly from Right wingers, either identifying as such or unconvincingly pretending to be Sanders supporters. (e.g. I'm a Bernie supporter, we need to lock up Killary Clinton because BENGHAZIII!!! VINCE FOSTER!!!#@#%&*)#@)*).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:51 PM
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God that article (in 584) is infuriating. Why aren't more young women supporting Clinton? It must be because they're frivolous little things swept up in the excitement of a dreamy politician and who take feminism for granted.

Also, what?

"I am so frustrated with the dialogue around Hillary among my peers," Dunham told me in an email. "It feels so gendered, even from women, so harshly sexist. We never throw claims of too establishment or too stiff or even too selfish at male politicians. It's unfair in the deepest sense."

There's really nothing like a Clinton campaign and Clinton supporters to make me hope she loses the primary really badly. The excerpt in 563 isn't any better, either, given the volume and dishonesty of attacks her campaign has been launching at Sanders.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 3:58 PM
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585

Yep. I was feeling pretty positive about both of them, though obviously as a social democrat a Sanders supporters, and then I started reading articles like that. It makes me want to flip a table.

It's also reminding me of all the worst bits of mainstream feminism, which is that it's fundamentally a movement for upper class white women. That these women pushing Hillary as better than Sanders on reproductive rights (god knows how since they both have 100% records from Naral) don't get that economic concerns *are* reproductive concerns, because low income women worry about supporting children they do want and not just preventing children they don't want. But instead we get bad faith classist bullshit like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/22/bernie-sanders-abortion-policy-women-voters-reproductive-rights



Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:04 PM
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Some of my best friends are upper class white women, depending on how you define class.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:08 PM
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The excerpt in 563 isn't any better, either, given the volume and dishonesty of attacks her campaign has been launching at Sanders.

It's worth reading the whole article -- not because it will change your mind, but because it's willing to be a little bit weird, (and indulge in a fair amount of psychodrama, but a different sort of psychodrama than the typical campaign piece).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:09 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if there are enough centrist Dems in WI, NH, and IA who would like an excuse not to vote for Clinton or Sanders, and don't want to go Trump, to tip the thing. Especially with an anti-Clinton or anti-Sanders media blitz. It wouldn't take much.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:13 PM
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Wouldn't take many, I mean.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:13 PM
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Really, I think feminism (traditionally) is pitched to upper middle class concerns more than upper class.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:17 PM
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591

True, I was using an expansive definition of upper class.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:21 PM
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If you expand the upper class to much, I'll get in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:22 PM
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Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:23 PM
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588: Jesus, she sounds like David Brooks.

The bits where it takes about how she opened up and talked about stuff and was then derided are, I guess, a good explanation for why she seems closed off. But every time they describe - even a little - what she said in those I can't help but think "Boy did she ever deserve that derision."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 4:33 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if there are enough centrist Dems in WI, NH,

NH is safe for Sanders. He's local.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:08 PM
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I console myself about Sanders v. Bloomberg + Trump in the general by telling myself that social security and medicare will turn the thing in Bernie's favor.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:13 PM
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Even if you are scared by Donald Trump (and I'm not, mainly because my entire opinion of the Republican party is basically summed by pointing at him and going "yup - it's those people", so the other candidates don't seem any worse), you have to admit he has a beautiful way with attacks.

"Ted Cruz lies. He is a liar," Trump said in an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "That's why nobody likes him. That's why his Senate people won't endorse him. That's why he stands on the middle of the Senate floor and can't make a deal with anybody."
"He looks like a jerk," Trump added. "He's standing all by himself."

There's just a purity to the simplicity of the attack, and the precision and economy of how he put it that is really great. Nothing complicated about it, no attempt to pretend he's being diplomatic or anything. It just distills Cruz right down to who he is in his core, and nails him on it in the simplest, bluntest fashion. It's like that Randall Munroe book, except with more influence on the world and (I assume) meaner.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:18 PM
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I don't think endorse is one of the 1000 most common words. Probably not Senate either.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:23 PM
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*I forget; did Bloomberg say he'd run if Trump were nominee, or if Trump and Sanders were nominees?

By the time both parties do their nominations it's too late to mount even a straw-credible national campaign. If Bloomberg is serious he has to announce and create a campaign within the next couple of months.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:31 PM
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Donald Trump is gonna make our vocabularies so great that endorse makes it into the 1000 most common words.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:33 PM
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600:

Well, he's talking about spending $1 billion on the campaign, so there's that.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:34 PM
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There will be no more TV and no more internet. Just Bloomberg all the time.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:34 PM
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JEB!: hilariously bad candidate, or hilariously worst candidate? Holy cow.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:40 PM
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A bloomberg terminal in every study!


Posted by: Peep | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:44 PM
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If any sizable chunk of Republicans were going to abandon tribalism and vote for someone sane seeming but not a Democrat we'd already see a very, very different political landscape

I don't follow this at all. Do you mean in the primaries? Because in 2012, this is pretty much what they did; that probably describes 2008 as well (certainly McCain was closer to sane than his competition). This year, A. there are 4 people who are, by conservative standards, sane-seeming, and together they're polling around 25%. Is that not "a sizable chunk"?

Anyway, nobody thinks that 25% of Republicans will vote for Bloomberg, nor 25% of Democrats. If he peels off 6% of Republicans and 12% of Democrats, that would be a huge outcome for him (9% of the total vote), and would still represent a lot of Republicans jumping ship for a guy who's clearly more Dem.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:54 PM
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"Bloomberg Terminal" is just another name for euthanasia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:55 PM
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Anyway, nobody thinks that 25% of Republicans will vote for Bloomberg, nor 25% of Democrats.

Bloomberg does, I assume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:55 PM
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You'd think he wouldn't want to remind people about Terri Schiavo.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 5:58 PM
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606: I'm not sure what the puzzle is: we were talking about Bloomberg pulling people away in the general. In the primaries tribalism is barely a thing if it is at all, because people are voting for who represents the tribe.

Saying he'd be able to pull 6% of people who would otherwise have voted Republican seems insane to me. The people sensible enough to have done this have either committed themselves to their identity as Republicans, have already jumped ship, or are low enough information that they'll just vote for whoever has the (R) after their name because they assume they'll be responsible stewards of the national wellbeing or something.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:00 PM
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What we would see though is a massive number of the people who are (right now) scolding Sanders and his supporters for being unserious/hippies/whatever suddenly act as if Sanders is the Nader of the campaign: "how dare those unwashed leftists shove through some loony and lose the race for us" [while furiously doing everything they can to make sure we lose the race].

Honestly, I think this is pure projection. Sanders has been caucusing with the Dems in the Senate for years, and has basically never ruffled a feather. The idea that he'd be cast, by the Party itself, as a Nader, is simply ridiculous.

I'm not saying there aren't people whose preferences are Clint-Bloomberg-Sanders; of course there are. But the idea that the Democratic Party apparatus would throw an election to Trump in order to spite Sanders? A persecution fantasy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:06 PM
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Well, 610 and 611 confirm that we think each other insane on the subject. OK. I'm sure you're right that there are maybe 20 people on earth whose preferences would run, say, Jeb-Bloomberg-Trump. Why not? It's not as if we have the past 8 years' worth of Wall Street contributions to see just how committed certain of Bloomberg's constituents are to one party or the other.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:09 PM
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6%? That seems easy. I think a lot more than 6% of people who vote Republican in general elections are just voting their class interests as they perceive them and are pretty rational about it. They support the economic elite, because they are either members of it or they aspire to it or they recognize that their own relatively privileged positions depend on its continued existence. These are people who would definitely prefer Bloomberg to Trump.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:11 PM
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If Bloomberg promised to treat all American smokers the way he treated New York City smokers (contempt, disregard, punitive taxation), I'd go knock on doors in Iowa and New Hampshire for him.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:12 PM
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But they might prefer Clinton to Trump anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:12 PM
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I've knocked on doors in Iowa, but I've never stuck around to see if anybody answered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:17 PM
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Anyway, 614 reminds me that I've not been the bar in a while.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:18 PM
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I would be astounded if anyone told me Bloomberg had better than 10% name recognition, never mind support, outside the Northeast United States.

Granted, the man does have the embryonic infrastructure of a campaign in his P@rtnersh!p for a New Amer Ec0n0my organization (which is an immigration reform group that largely has a footprint in Republican congressional districts perceived to be winnable on immigration). But if the conversations I've had with the semi-attentive public are any indication, the only New York mayor they could name in 10 minutes of thinking would be Giuliani.

I don't care how much TV advertising he does, that's a hell of a disadvantage to overcome. And there just aren't that many (gettable) electoral votes in the NE.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:28 PM
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I googled. Allegedly his name recognition is higher than that. I don't believe it for a second.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:30 PM
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Sanders has said that if Bloomberg runs it will "completely prove his point" about the nation's descent into oligarchy. Hopefully that resonates with voters.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:35 PM
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I fear we don't want to know how few voters know what "oligarchy" means.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 6:52 PM
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I'm hoping it will come across when he points out that only one of the three guys on the stage isn't a walking conflict of interest when they talk about the estate and capital gains taxes.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:09 PM
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Most people in this country would rather fiddle around with their magic telephones than have a coherent political thought.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:21 PM
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Hey, speaking of slow motion disasters, it looks like the Bundy militia thing is getting more exciting.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:22 PM
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624:

whoa whoa are you trying to get this threat to 1000 comments?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:48 PM
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624 Not much there I see other than that they took 8 of them and shots were fired.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 7:55 PM
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Shots fired? For no reason at all, one is reminded of Joel McCrea calling Warren Oates et al., in Ride the High Country, "stupid white trash peckerwoods."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:02 PM
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FBI reports five arrested, one dead.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:05 PM
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I hope they have that "your daddy swore an oath" nutjob in custody. He seemed genuinely dangerous and truly unhinged.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:14 PM
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I'm torn between finding the article in 563 somewhat interesting, and being really irritated with the reporter. First of all, what kind of political reporter grants anonymity to a candidate's former staffers to say nice things? If you can't go on record, why should I trust your opinion?

Second, this just makes me think the reporter is gullible or manipulative:

That Clinton actually follows through on these in-passing commitments is considered imperative: A few months into the race, aides began tracking encounters in a spreadsheet to ensure the campaign make good on promises to follow up, be in touch, or look into this or that.

A few months into the race? In two-thousand-SIXTEEN? I refuse to believe that it hasn't been standard for competent presidential campaigns to have "a spreadsheet" for two decades at this point.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:16 PM
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629: He's not one of the ones named in the article in 628.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:17 PM
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Santilli's livestream is wonderful. A lot of the fun has now worn off, but there are some great things there if you go back a bit


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:20 PM
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629: Don't see his name on the list. But they're saying the FBI has told the rest to clear out.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:20 PM
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Apparently it's unreasonable and unfair how they're arresting people and not letting them do stuff!

As I was typing that one person complained about how the police were treating this like it was some game or they were playing Rainbow Six or something and I started laughing so hard I had to stop for a second.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:24 PM
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aides began tracking encounters in a spreadsheet

If they really cared, they'd make a database. Or follow Romney's binders innovation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:25 PM
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634: Quote apparently from the same livestream: "It's like they had this planned!"


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:29 PM
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I heard that one! It's magnificent.

They're not playing fair! Moooooommmm!!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:30 PM
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But they're saying the FBI has told the rest to clear out.

They're lucky they're getting off so lightly. I wonder if they'll listen.

I really hope they're keeping tabs on that Ritzheimer nutjob.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:34 PM
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Apparently the guy killed was the blue tarp guy, not Ryan Payne like some people had reported earlier.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:34 PM
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Michael O/man-Rea/gan has a good Twitter list of presumably reliable sources. My favorite dumb quote (well, at third hand) is this: 'Santilli crew accuses law enfmt of "watching way too many war movies and playing way too many video games."'


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:35 PM
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639: Lavoy Finicum, the one with the foster kids who got taken away.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:38 PM
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639 I think it was Lavoy Finicum. That dude who has like 20 foster kids he's been taking such good care of.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:40 PM
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Who's this Santilli?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:40 PM
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There seem to be reports that Ritzheimer has surrendered to police, and that Santilli has also been arrested.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:41 PM
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I keep mistakenly thinking it is Rick Santelli.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:42 PM
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645: Thanks for making that explicit. Was wondering why I had deja vu.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:45 PM
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Ritzheimer apparently not even in Oregon at the time, even. But yeah it looks like the Feds are picking him up.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:47 PM
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CNN is reporting that Ryan Bundy sustained minor injuries during the arrest. Might be the other person who got shot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:48 PM
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Santilli lace had a pretty face, and a pony tail, hangin' down


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:50 PM
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Man, what a bunch of grabtastic goof-offs. They couldn't organize a piss up in a beer hall, let alone a putsch.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:53 PM
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Federal law enforcement officers converged on the wildlife refuge after the arrests and were expected to remain at the site throughout the night. It was unclear how many members of the armed group, if any, were at the refuge when the law enforcement officers arrived.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 8:55 PM
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That livestream is something else.

As are the comments - I wonder how many of the supporters actually support the cause or are just trying to encourage the remaining militia type to do something crazy on cam.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:10 PM
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The 4chanization of American conservatism.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:16 PM
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Was the guy who died the one who was the self appointed citizens' judge?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:16 PM
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The one who died is the one who said he'd rather be shot than go to jail and who supported his ranch via foster children. Naturally the family is saying he was unarmed and had is hands up.

Now the guy who ran his youtube channel (?) uploaded a video (well, audio) asking for supporters to send arms and saying that the feds are surrounding the compound and flying overhead with airplanes.

This is a crazy world.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:19 PM
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Naturally the family is saying he was unarmed and had is hands up.

Oh sure, NOW you all get skeptical.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:23 PM
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655: "supported his ranch via foster children"? So, on the dole?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:23 PM
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653:

We laugh, but that's going to be the name of a doctoral dissertation one day, if it isn't the name of a chapter in history textbook.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:33 PM
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657: Yep. His ranch didn't make any money and his foster parent payments from the state were his main source of income.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:35 PM
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These guys really just make me very sad.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:44 PM
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661

659: And that isn't some kind of Andy Kaufmann performance art? This is beyond me.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:46 PM
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660: Yeah. They're grown-ass men who theoretically make their own choices, but it's still pretty sad. Their poor families.

Now more of them are discussing whether or not they should mobilize a convoy from Arizona and drive up there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUl_TEtV-3w


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 9:51 PM
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663

656 made me laugh. Then it made me think.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:02 PM
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664

While I have no inclination to believe he was anything other than a shitty foster parent exploiting the state (for labor as well as the money, I'd assume) supposedly he was in a program for foster parents with extra therapeutic training who take kids with more significant emotional needs and often programs like that are set up to financially encourage one parent to consider that a full-time job, though here at least not having any other job wouldn't fly. As with many things in fostering, there are ways to do it well under the system as it stands but also ways to exploit and manipulate.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:03 PM
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661: That's the thing about these guys. They all benefit enormously in various ways from government programs, many of which were set up deliberately to benefit people like them, and yet they're still extremely angry and resentful because that's just how they are. This is why their ideology is totally incoherent and their demands are so nonsensical. It's also why they come across as totally crazy and highly unsympathetic to anyone who hasn't already bought into their crazy worldview.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:03 PM
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666

Why wait till 65 to be resentful?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:07 PM
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667

I figure if I can hold off until I'm 50, I'm ahead of the game.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:09 PM
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664: I don't mean to demean the valiant vocation of fostering. It just blew me away given the anti-government stance. (Not that there aren't other ways that they're massively benefiting from government programs, but at least those are a bit more subtle.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:13 PM
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669

American Association of Resentful People


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:53 PM
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670

Anyway, these guys' ideology seems like a logical progression from the people who say things like "back when I was on food stamps, no government program ever helped me get back on my feet."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:54 PM
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671

I was just thinking that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:55 PM
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672

We have a new thread for this, by the way. With bonus chickens.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 10:55 PM
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673

Fine. I'll banish my comment to the new thread.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-26-16 11:22 PM
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