The only voting guide you need for this election


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Wait…maybe it’s too complicated. I have a simpler guide: just vote Democrat. The time for thoughtful consideration of policy on a case by case basis is over, until we get an opposition party that hasn’t lost its collective mind.

Comments

  1. wzrd1 says

    With all due respect, the opposition party has not lost its mind.
    It’s bought and paid for.

    I’ve only been saying this for the past 30 years, “The United States of America has the absolute best government that money can buy”.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    The most important question on that flowchart is “Is shit broken?” I cant think of anyone who could answer “no” besides clueless idiots or wealthy, privileged assholes who ultimately benefit from the current system.

  3. petesh says

    @3: I agree, and I wouldn’t put Clinton definitively on the “no” side of that. I’d actually like to see a third option under “Who did it?” — not sure I have the right wording, but my temptation is to say “We did.”

    I first faced the collective responsibility issue when I casually said “we elected Reagan” and a friend said “I didn’t” to which I replied, “I didn’t vote for him either, but we collectively did.” (Actually the more shocking one was, we re-elected him.) Oh well, just goes to show you cannot analyze politics (or much of anything else) with flowcharts, I guess.

  4. blf says

    There are some missing leafs:

    ● Leave. Some parts of the planet are not that insane.
    ● Return to orbit and nuke the planet. Make sure none of it is that insane.

    The second option is clearly the safest course of action, unless the reality-defying physics, et al., of the thugs is not pure fantasy. In which case existing the galaxy might work… for awhile…

  5. heliobates says

    Return to orbit and nuke the planet. Make sure none of it is that insane.

    The entire planet. How very American of you.

  6. blf says

    The entire planet. How very American of you.

    USA’s elections affect essentially the entire planet, and USAliens infect essentially the entire planet.

  7. heliobates says

    I sincerely hope that you do not exercise any form of responsibility over anything, including yourself.

  8. wzrd1 says

    I do heartily recommend nuking my lunch.
    As for the other kind of nuke, the only potential purpose for one would be to ablate an incoming asteroid, while it’s quite far off. As there are better ways to accomplish diversion, such as gravitational tug approaches, not even that.
    As far as I am concerned, the weapons of insanity should be dismantled and their radioisotopes recycled into reactor fuel. Preferably, a thorium based reactor.

    Back onto topic, I’ve noticed that Trump has a hard time with knowing what is going on. He says it as incessantly as my father did when his dementia became pronounced.
    One wonders if Donald’s not knowing what is going on is also a pathology.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    Hey, if the best America can hope for is to be a capitalist, Christian, center-right nation, then I certainty endorsed mercy nuking us to keep us from fucking up the rest of the planet with our stupidity.

  10. wzrd1 says

    One problem, Akira. Nuclear winter and radioactive fallout would also fuck up the rest of the planet.

  11. treefrogdundee says

    “I have a simpler guide: just vote Democrat”

    Yup. Until that Democrat winds up being Hillary Clinton. And then you will have the opportunity to vote for her and in so doing contribute to starting the next war, to continuing to close your eyes and pretend the issue of race no longer exists in America, to continuing viewing the LGBT community as useful for photo-ops (and nothing more), and to set us even further on the road to banker-led serfdom.

  12. Jake Harban says

    I have a simpler guide: just vote Democrat.

    There aren’t any Democrats running for president.

    O’Malley dropped out of the race, Sanders is an independent, and Clinton is a Republican.

  13. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There aren’t any Democrats running for president.

    Wrong idjit. The given the Venn diagrams, Clinton is a democrat. Now, what viable (meaning electable in a general election, which excludes the greens and liberturds) do you offer? If none, you add nothing to the discussion.

  14. wzrd1 says

    I’ll say it this way, corporate Clinton or Bernie, the dynamite tossed under the porch to see what shakes loose.
    I’m voting the latter, even if I have to write it in. That is how disgusted I am with the mainstream choices and the obscene GOP contender.

    Annoying: The US in the post 9/11 paranoia, where everyone is guilty of being an illegal alien until proved legal by various documents that always are lost when redeploying home. Add on top of that, being unable to register to vote, as I’m considered guilty of being an illegal alien, as my birth certificate’s current location is unknown, but I do still hold a security clearance.
    Go figure.
    Efforting the issue, as time and finances allow. Relocations are dreadfully expensive.
    If things get too far delayed, maybe I’ll bring litigation against the government, for I’m being taxed, but not being able to vote, I’m utterly unrepresented.
    That’d warm the cockles of the heart of libertarians and hence, the tea party.
    Side effect: disenfranchised voters are tax free, removing a significant income from community, county, state and federal coffers. A real solution would then become mandatory.

    Yeah, I really do think that way.

  15. wzrd1 says

    Nerdmeister, I do question, whatever is a “libturd”? Greens, I’m familiar with, the former, not at all.
    I’ve heard “libtard”, typically referred to as an object person subject to summary execution, however, I’ve missed the term “libturd”.
    Granted, I’m thankful or something.
    I’m still curious.

    But then, my entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide is, “mostly curious, the rest, don’t think about it, it stinks”. ;)
    But, for the record, “pull my finger” doesn’t work. I have too much spinal damage for that to work.
    I am, however, infamous for tying shoelaces together. :D
    That’s the most harmful thing I’d ever consider today, I’m both retired and home.
    Something that I and my entire family is glad of.

  16. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see no viable alternative to voting democratic. In science, if you have a new idea, you want people to go toward it, and just complaining about the status quo isn’t enough to make that happen. SHOW us.

  17. chigau (違う) says

    wzrd1
    The suffix “-tard” has long been deprecated here in Pharyngulaland.
    It is seen as an ableist slur since it calls to mind “retard”.
    “turd” sounds quite similar and is easily substituted.

  18. Jake Harban says

    Clinton is a democrat

    You probably believe Randy Perkins is a Democrat.

    Now, what viable (meaning electable in a general election, which excludes the greens and liberturds) do you offer? If none, you add nothing to the discussion.

    Wow. That is wrong on so many levels.

    First, you make the all-too-common claim: “If you can’t solve a major social problem, then you can’t point out that it’s a problem.” Can you give me a perfect solution for racism? No? Then you add nothing to the discussion (unless you deny that racism exists or claim it’s justified).

    Second, you dismiss an actual solution with a handwave. Republicans and Democrats are both packed with neocons. What about the Greens? Well they don’t count. Why don’t they count? DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION MY FAITH!

    Third, you ignore an even better solution staring you in the face simply because of your a priori belief that it’s Not Allowed. If you’d followed the news, you would have noticed that independent Bernie Sanders actually won Washington with 70% and Alaska with 80% of the vote— which I think is pretty good for a candidate who is not “viable (meaning electable in a general election)” but which you apparently can’t believe happened.

    I see no viable alternative to voting democratic.

    Viable alternatives have been pointed out to you repeatedly, but you have simply dismissed them with a handwave or a completely circular argument. I think it’s clear at this point that you don’t want an alternative.

    In particular, I’ve also noticed that you’ve never actually expressed support for any particular candidates; you’ve only ever claimed that Democrats are “less evil” in the least specific way possible.

    So I ask you: Thinking back to the 2012 election, which candidate would you genuinely have preferred to see win? That is, if you were offered the choice between Romney, Obama, and Stein and allowed to pick any one of those three and simply name them the winner without regard for anyone else’s opinion, which would you have picked and why?

  19. says

    @#22, Jake Harban

    Don’t bother arguing with Nerd of Redhead. It has been made very, very clear from previous posts that Nerd of Redhead believes:

    1. If you are to the left of Rush Limbaugh, then you owe your vote to the Democratic Party. The party doesn’t owe you anything, they merely have to exist, and not be Republicans. This obligation is eternal, and needs no rationale.

    2. There is nothing which a Democratic candidate could do or propose which would possibly make them less desirable than the Republican candidate, and all Democrats are left of center at the very least. If the Democrats somehow ran Dick Cheney, it would immediately mean that Dick Cheney was not just a liberal, but had been a liberal all along. (Probably was just playing that famous 11-dimensional chess that Obama supporters claim he’s playing when he does things like offer to cut Social Security, sabotage the public option in the Affordable Care Act, or nominate Republicans for the Supreme Court. Anything to avoid admitting that Obama is, in all things but empty speeches, far to the right of center.)

    3. Any and all objections to Hillary Clinton as a candidate are based entirely on sexism. Her history is totally irrelevant to any discussion, because nothing she has ever done which might be considered questionable was her fault. Anything she did while a Senator which might be seen as less than perfect are not fit for discussion because “times were different then”, any questionable positions she may have taken — and given public support to — during Bill Clinton’s presidency are not fit for discussion because she had no official power. And anything which she did while Secretary of State which does not bear scrutiny doesn’t count, either, because Obama was her boss and clearly everything she did must be his fault — obviously, the Secretary of State has no autonomy and no responsibility, and is merely a kind of robotic drone carrying out the will of the President, which it receives via telepathy.

    4. Actually expecting a candidate to actively fight for their positions, and to hold reasonably consistent ethical views, is naive. A real politician caves without even trying, and effortlessly swaps positions over periods of time which may be as short as a year or two, because that’s what Obama has done and what Hillary Clinton promises to do, and they’re obviously Really Really Smart. Much smarter than mere plebeians like you. Giving up before negotiating is a very effective tactic, which is why under Obama the government has ratcheted so far to the left and the Republicans have been totally unable to stop this.

    5. You do not make a choice about your vote. The Party Proposes, The Party Disposes. If The Party picks a candidate you don’t like, tough toenails — you are not a rational person, you are purely A Vote, and per item #1, you are A Vote for The Party. Not voting is likewise not permitted. Anything other than a vote for the Democratic Party is literally and directly equivalent to a vote for the Republican Party. Do not question this.

    6. New-Deal-style programs and ethical reforms of government are pure Pie In The Sky which only a naive dreamer could possibly contemplate, even if they are well to the right of what every other first-world country already has implemented. Bernie Sanders is a wild-eyed radical.

    7. DLC-style “triangulation” has not consistently moved the Democrats to the right over the last 30 years. You’re imagining it. And it certainly hasn’t been responsible for the Democrats having lower and lower turnout every election. The Clintons assured us all, back in the 1980s, that Americans would never vote for any truly left-leaning politician again, and we must all believe this forever, despite poll after poll saying that most Americans, sometimes even overwhelming majorities of Americans, favor left-leaning policy, because, as mentioned, the Clintons are Really, Really Smart. They could never make a major strategic mistake which has slowly been driving the whole party into the ground. And we should obviously reward them for being Really, Really Smart, by letting them found a political dynasty.

    8. Hillary Clinton is not for war. Her support for the invasion or Iraq, the destruction of the state of Libya, and the coup in Honduras are all one-time aberrations — the equivalent of how every mass shooting is the work of a one-off madman, not part of a broader pattern.

    9. Hillary Clinton is not massively corrupt. She has not been the recipient of “soft bribery” to the tune of over a hundred million dollars. The Clinton Foundation is not at all a cynical way of turning a private taxable fortune into a tax-free trust fund for the Clintons, who manage it and receive six-figure salaries for doing so.

    10. The Green Party is why the Democrats lost the election in 2000 — it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Democrats running a boring, right-of-center triangulator who chose a conservative running mate and tried so hard to be “just a little left of Bush” that even registered Democrats couldn’t see any difference. The Green Party consists solely of traitors who get all their funding from Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers.

    If you disagree with any of this, then you and Nerd of Redhead will never agree, and you are a sexist traitor, probably a Republican false-flag operative who is being paid by Karl Rove.

  20. applehead says

    Pfft, Sanders. Some called him the left-wing populist answer to Trump, but that’s pure hyperbole. He’s the White-wing populist candidate. All he cares for is financial protection from “Wall Street fatcats” for the white middle class, everyone else is just a useful idiot to help him gain the Presidency. That’s why he wins the white majority states, that’s why his Bernie Bros are white male neckbearded fanboys of the patriarchy and white ethnocentrism, and that’s why he rejects the Democrat Party, and therefore the diverse Obama coalition that won twice before, by threatening to run as an Independent.

    Hillary is the actual heir of Obama.

  21. applehead says

    And here’s the link proving it.

    amormundi.blogspot dot com/2016/03/sanders-disqualifactoids.html

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why don’t they count? DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION MY FAITH!

    What faIth? Show me the greens are electable with polling data. Last election Stein had 0.36% of the popular vote. Eugene Debs, the many time socialist candidate for president was also non-electable, not able to get above 5-6% of the popular vote. Both are examples of non-viable candidates. It is called reality.
    You are the one with faith. The greens are small blip on the left of the democrat Venn diagram. A little overlap, but too far left for the general populace to vote for. Making them non-viable.
    Wrong as usual Vicar. You don’t know how to do practical politics, where what you do really matters. Ivory Tower pontificating doesn’t change minds.

  23. Marc Abian says

    All he cares for is financial protection from “Wall Street fatcats” for the white middle class

    But has he any way of making sure that the protection only extends to white middle class people? I’m not doubting for a moment he’s the a white supremacist stalinist, just wondering about the feasibility of it all.

  24. applehead says

    What’s lacking feasibility is his plans for reforming the finance sector, because he doesn’t have plans for reform. Whenever I hear him talk about “revolution,” what I hear is “I got nothing.”

    We all know banking is broken, but a revolutionary change that restructures it top to bottom is unviable and utopian. All such measures would accomplish is probably crashing the economy all on its own.

  25. MassMomentumEnergy says

    All he cares for is financial protection from “Wall Street fatcats” for the white middle class

    What’s lacking feasibility is his plans for reforming the finance sector, because he doesn’t have plans for reform. Whenever I hear him talk about “revolution,” what I hear is “I got nothing.”

    What a bunch of bullshit.

    http://feelthebern.org/

    Pick you topic of interest and set aside a bunch of time for reading.

  26. petesh says

    @22: Factual comment: Sanders won three caucuses, not primaries, yesterday. That’s not insignificant but tends to be much less predictive of general election performance.

  27. Anri says

    Could someone remind me of the three main pieces of progressive legislation the Greens got passed last time they were in power?

    Alternate question:
    If you can’t get people who (you are convinced) agree with you to follow and support you, how the hell are you going to be effective when the people you’re dealing with assuredly don’t?

  28. Vivec says

    @25
    Let’s take a look at those disqualifications.

    I’ve been amazed at how pundit comments about how Bernie Sanders’ strength is in “whiter states” are now treated as neutral commonplace observations when in fact they are disqualifying for a would-be leader of the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton is performing very strongly among African Americans (overwhelming majorities), Latinos (less overwhelming majorities), women (two to one). The Democratic Party serves and celebrates the diversity of the REAL Real America represented by the twice-winning and ever-growing Obama Coalition.

    I don’t think anyone’s doubting that Hillary is leading in the polls. The fact that the more center, populist candidate is more well-liked isn’t really surprising. That being said, I don’t see how doing better among blacks, latinos, and women is some kind of moral strike against Bernie.

    You cannot succeed in becoming the Democratic nominee, nor succeed in becoming the eventual President in the REAL Real America while failing to appeal to the Obama Coalition.

    If true, that’s a damn shame, because they elected a hugely disappointing president twice. Call me back when they elect a president that doesn’t drone strike civilians, constantly give ground to republicans, or flip-flop on gay marriage.

    As a white queer activist teacher I am a proud member of the Obama Coalition too. If you aren’t an asshole, so are you.

    Nah. I already got tricked into voting for a warmongering, appeasing flip-flopper twice. While my vote is unlikely to matter anyways since my state is soundly blue, my primary vote is 100% Bernie’s.

    I am sure that once Sanders is done with his utterly cynical and disingenuous run as a “Democrat” (a label he has eschewed and even denigrated all his life and which he openly admits he recently accepted only “reluctantly” to make recourse to the money, media coverage, legitimacy, informational and organizational resources the Party made available to his self-described “Revolution”) and returns to his Senatorial perch as an “Independent” we can expect him to resume his mostly ineffectual sniping at colleagues trying to solve shared problems with compromises and make modest reforms in the direction of progress from the security of his tiny, homogeneous, white, comfortably liberal postage stamp of a State.

    1. What the fuck ever. An independent running as a Democrat because they’d be unlikely to win as an independent ranks as a sound zero on how much I care.

    2. After 8 years of “compromises” leading to either less-than-stellar watered down legislation or fundamentally republican legislation, I’m sick of these colleagues of his. Any criticism in their direction – along with his multiple criticisms of Obama’s presidency – seem totally deserved.

    Also what is up with that REAL REAL REALLY REAL AMERICA crap? Can you find a source that doesn’t write like a greentext screed?

  29. MassMomentumEnergy says

    @22: Factual comment: Sanders won three caucuses, not primaries, yesterday. That’s not insignificant but tends to be much less predictive of general election performance.

    Totally. That is why Senator Obama lost to president McCain by only doing well in the caucuses during the primary.

  30. MassMomentumEnergy says

    I’ve been amazed at how pundit comments about how Bernie Sanders’ strength is in “whiter states” are now treated as neutral commonplace observations when in fact they are disqualifying for a would-be leader of the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton is performing very strongly among African Americans (overwhelming majorities), Latinos (less overwhelming majorities), women (two to one). The Democratic Party serves and celebrates the diversity of the REAL Real America represented by the twice-winning and ever-growing Obama Coalition.

    If you want to win the general, you need the white independent vote in the West, Midwest, and North East.

    The African American vote in Dixie has zero influence on the outcome of the general election.

    In other words, this example of why Bernie can’t win is really an example of why Bernie has a better chance of winning than Hillary in the general election.

  31. Jake Harban says

    The greens are small blip on the left of the democrat Venn diagram. A little overlap, but too far left for the general populace to vote for.

    Prove it with polling data.

    Also, you neglected to answer my important question, so I ask you again: Thinking back to the 2012 election, which candidate would you genuinely have preferred to see win? That is, if you were offered the choice between Romney, Obama, and Stein and allowed to pick any one of those three and simply name them the winner without regard for anyone else’s opinion, which would you have picked and why?

  32. Jake Harban says

    Oops, scrod up the blockquote. Let’s try this again.

    The greens are small blip on the left of the democrat Venn diagram. A little overlap, but too far left for the general populace to vote for.

    Prove it with polling data.

    Also, you neglected to answer my important question, so I ask you again: Thinking back to the 2012 election, which candidate would you genuinely have preferred to see win? That is, if you were offered the choice between Romney, Obama, and Stein and allowed to pick any one of those three and simply name them the winner without regard for anyone else’s opinion, which would you have picked and why?

  33. petesh says

    @34: Drop the sarcasm. I made a valid point and did so factually. Don’t sneer. It’s true that Obama was also well organized in caucuses, but then …
    A35: … Obama won the general (both times) with a minority of the white vote. Do not exclude members from the coalition. There are plenty of minority voters outside Dixie, plenty of women outside Dixie, and plenty of people who are offended by the suggestion that targeting white independents in certain regions is the way to go.

  34. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Minorities outside Dixie and women in general are quite pro Bernie. Hawaii is the least white state in the union after all.

  35. Vivec says

    Given our stupidly broken election process, surely the best way to win a general election would be to go out of your way to appeal to the majority of voters in swing states?

    Nothing any democrat could do would win them Texas, so appealing to any kind of Texan would be kind of pointless. Those electorals just aren’t going to a democrat. Same with Rethugs and California.

  36. wzrd1 says

    Vivec, that is precisely how to lose elections, writing off entire states.
    I happen to know of entire democratic communities in Texas and California, writing off the state then loses their votes.
    States are not monolithic entities, with exclusive party lines and unified opinions, any more than progressives are a monolithic, entirely like thinking block.

  37. Vivec says

    @41
    Well, first off, California is a soundly blue state, so I’m not surprised that there are democratic communities there.

    Why would losing votes in Texas matter at all to a Democrat? Texas is soundly red, and there’s simply no historical precedent of it’s electoral votes going to anyone but a Rethug.

    When it comes to electoral votes, non-swing states very much are monolithic entities.

  38. wzrd1 says

    Only one problem, Obama’s last election had known red states vote for him, winning the election.
    Tiny population places, such as Florida and Nevada are two examples.

  39. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Nobody won the 2008 Florida democratic primary. Their delegates weren’t counted.

    If you are talking about the general, Florida and Nevada are purple states that could go for either democratic candidate.

  40. says

    I love how Hillary Clinton supporters pretty uniformly say that everyone should support the Democratic Nominee, and yet somehow immediately turn 180° and say that because Sanders loses to Clinton in more-or-less guaranteed red states, they think he would not get those votes in the actual election. This is reality calling, Clinton supporters: your camp is the one which will definitely support anyone with a “D” after their name in the general election. Sanders supporters are apparently willing in large-ish numbers to sit this out if the choice is Clinton. (Apparently, from the links Clinton supporters themselves are posting online, the polls show: about a third of Sanders supporters won’t vote for Clinton; one quarter of them will either not vote or vote for a third party/write-in, while the remaining one-sixth will actively sabotage the Democratic Party and vote Republican. That is, however, out of people who voted in the primaries — whether this reflects the general public or not is a matter of contention.)

    I have also been amused by the way Trump is reviled by… well, pretty much everyone, for saying out loud that he loves “the poorly-educated”. Low-information voters! The bane of democracy! Ought to be abolished somehow! But when exit polls show that 80% of Hillary Clinton’s famous “firewall” in the south only voted for her because they had never even heard of Bernie Sanders and knew nothing about him, well… they’re not low-information voters. They must be something else, because they’re Democrats, largely black, and voting for the establishment candidate.

  41. anteprepro says

    ….which is why Florida and Nevada are also often considered swing states…..

    Happen to remember a certain election being almost too close to call because of votes in Florida?
    Florida also went to Clinton in 1996, and barely went to Obama in 2012. Nevada went to Clinton both elections, and has never had their 3 or 4 representatives all be of the same party. Also, had 2 Democrats for Senators for a decade, then one Democrat and 1 Republican for the last decade. With many different Republican governors. Swing state. Not hard to figure out.

    Please also note the swing states for this election: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/2016-predictions-117554

    That said: which states count as swing states can change. Over time, or on an election by election or candidate by candidate basis. The magic of polling.

  42. anteprepro says

    The Vicar:

    This is reality calling, Clinton supporters: your camp is the one which will definitely support anyone with a “D” after their name in the general election.

    That’s funny. I thought the Sanders supporters were supposed to be the true blue liberals, ecstatic for the first chance to vote for a socialist that has a chance of winning, while Hillary Clinton is a “Republican” whose supporters are moderates and blue dog Democrats? If Clinton supporters are the type who just mindlessly vote for any Democrat…..why do they even support Hillary over Bernie at this point? Puzzlement.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    why do they even support Hillary over Bernie at this point? Puzzlement.

    Easy examples from Illinois. In the 10th congressional district, the centrist Schnieder won over the more liberal Rotering by 54% to 46%. Tammy Duckworth for the US Senate won over the more liberal Andrea Zopp by 64% to 24%. Hillary Clinton won over the more liberal Bernie Sanders 50.5% to 48.7%. Maybe the democrats aren’t as radical as some folks here think they are. Not all democrats are flaming liberals/socialists. Those who are, are in the minority within the party. Those on the far left need to stop thinking they are with the middle democrats, instead of out on the left fringes.

  44. wzrd1 says

    I’ve been saying that for ages, Nerd. The far left think that they’re the primary members of the party, however as I said earlier, the majority of the membership itself all over the map, but largely centrist.

    Personally, I prefer Sanders to Clinton, however I doubt he’ll make it through the primaries. While I’m no socialist by any stretch of the imagination, I do realize that social programs benefit entire societies, such as the unlikely to ever pass universal health care.
    Or, as I more usually bluntly put it, every civilized industrialized nation in the world has universal health care.

  45. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Why would losing votes in Texas matter at all to a Democrat? Texas is soundly red, and there’s simply no historical precedent of it’s electoral votes going to anyone but a Rethug.

    Roughly half the population of Texas is either Latino or non-Latino African American. The right candidate could turn Texas blue.

    I’m not saying that either of the Dems in the race could do that, but it’s not out of the question in the very near future. Why do you think the goppers are so intent on voter suppression?

  46. says

    @#47, anteprepro

    That’s funny. I thought the Sanders supporters were supposed to be the true blue liberals, ecstatic for the first chance to vote for a socialist that has a chance of winning, while Hillary Clinton is a “Republican” whose supporters are moderates and blue dog Democrats? If Clinton supporters are the type who just mindlessly vote for any Democrat…..why do they even support Hillary over Bernie at this point? Puzzlement.

    To me, a Sanders supporter who will vote Green if Clinton gets the nomination, that’s obvious. The Democratic Party has been hijacked by right-of-center corporatists, of whom the Clintons are and always have been two. The center of this hijacking was the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), which specifically sought out corporate-friendly candidates (“New Democrats”, or sometimes “Blue Dogs” or “DINOs”) and arranged for them to get official party backing. (Bill Clinton was the chairman of the DLC before he ran for president.) These candidates give lip service to left-leaning policy, but don’t follow through if said policy involves significant amounts of money, which is why the Democratic Party has ceased by and large to talk about economics, embraces job-destroying “trade agreements” like NAFTA and the TPP, has a pro-war outlook, and only takes populist action on pure “social issues” like gay marriage — and only in a very cautious, cynical way. The DLC disbanded about a decade ago, but in the two decades of the group’s existence they managed to take over the actual Democratic Party’s internal decision-making bodies, so the ethos lives on. (Obama, for example, was never a member of the DLC — but on his election he immediately surrounded himself with DLC members like Rahm Emmanuel and Hillary Clinton, and carried out DLC policy quite effectively.)

    From this point of view, the Democratic Party is not particularly “left”. The famous claim that “Hillary Clinton’s voting record in the Senate made her the 11th-most-liberal Senator” is also not terribly impressive — given that during most of her term the Republicans were a majority and most Democrats these days are DLC-style right-of-center-on-budget-and-war figures. It’s like saying “this was the second-tallest of the seven dwarves” and expecting people to be impressed at their height — with the added factor that the Clintons were responsible in no small degree for the rightward movement of the party, so imagine if the second-tallest of the seven dwarves had arranged for the others to grow up malnourished and then bragged about how tall he was.

    If you accept this — and it’s hard to argue with it, because the DLC was not particularly shy or secretive about what they were doing at the time, although now they try to pretend it didn’t happen — liberals who consider that economic and military issues are of at least equal importance to “social” issues find it very hard to support Hillary Clinton. Although she has “evolved” leftward since beginning her campaign, her history during the periods in which she actually held power very, very strongly suggests that she is lying outright:

    1. At the start of every war (or “not-technically-war”, like Libya, where we didn’t actually declare war but still bombed the country into oblivion and utterly destroyed the government to the point where major cities are now ruins filled with bandits) for the last 30 years, Hillary Clinton has been a major proponent of the actions, even if she has half-heartedly walked back some of her positions and tried to disclaim them after they have turned into disasters, and her statements during the debates and on her official campaign website make it clear that she has learned nothing at all from any of this; she has said she does not rule out using nuclear bombs on Iran, she wants a no-fly zone in Syria when Russia is — at the official government’s request — flying planes there (say hello, World War III!), and she wants to “confront” China.

    2. Hillary Clinton actually helped write the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and talked it up on 45 separate occasions as being absolutely wonderful, during the period that the government was able to keep the contents secret. This bill would not only destroy unions, but it permits corporations to sue national governments over any law which they feel restricts their profits (i.e. environmental, labor, product safety, and labelling laws) and the adjudicating body is not governmental or even made up of a committee of national representatives, but is instead the World Bank, which is notoriously anti-regulatory. Furthermore, the TPP requires that privatized governmental functions cannot be de-privatized without permission from the other signatories, no matter how badly privatized functions may fail under corporate management. (So if your water supply was privatized, and the company who got the contract gives you intermittently-available water full of lead and charges you a bundle for it? Sorry, your government will no longer have the option to take back control.) An intelligent and ethical politician would have learned from NAFTA that globalization-friendly trade agreements are terrible for the economy — Hillary Clinton didn’t learn, though, or perhaps she did but just doesn’t care. Either way, when she blatantly reversed her position to copy Bernie Sanders, it only made her look worse to people who were paying attention.

    3. Even on many “social” issues, Hillary Clinton has been… lacking. Her reversal on gay marriage was suspiciously timed to coincide almost exactly with the point when 51% of the population was in favor of it in polls, for instance. She openly laughed at people who asked about marijuana legalization in the 2008 primaries. When that faked video about Planned Parenthood came out, her first instinct was not to ask for an investigation of the video, but to blame Planned Parenthood. This is all consistent with the idea, which the Clintons openly championed in their DLC days, of “triangulation”, which more or less explicitly means that a candidate should not have any non-compromisable ethical stances.

    To sum up: from the perspective of people like me, the Democratic Party is no longer one to which party loyalty makes any sense, and Hillary Clinton is pretty obviously going to be right-of-center when once she has gotten into office and no longer has to court voters. It’s what she does — she’s like the scorpion in the fable; it’s in her nature. This is not helped at all by the way Obama abandoned most of his proclaimed goals as soon as he got into office (and then basically said “well, since I didn’t actually say ‘I promise’ those weren’t campaign promises and you were naive to expect me to act”) and spent the two years when the Democrats had control of the government pushing everything rightward to appease Republicans who were refusing to cooperate anyway — Hillary Clinton is promising to be “Obama’s third term”, and that’s what people like me expect in practice. Why should we help elect a right-of-center government? That’s what we’re against! And the lies being told to pretend that the right-of-center candidate is actually to the left are just insulting, making it even worse.

    I don’t know whether I would vote for her if she were honest and just flat out said “I’m going to start a bunch more wars, keep beefing up the borderline-police-state security Obama developed, and keep handing control of the economy to the rich, but I promise to be a little less right-wing than the Republicans on social issues”, but I would honestly feel a lot less hostile towards her. I like honesty.

  47. wzrd1 says

    Honesty and politician, used in the same sentence? They contradictory in the extreme.
    I’ve been saying one thing consistently for over 30 years, “The United States of America has the absolute best government that money can buy”. Those 8 billion dollar elections aren’t paid for by you or I and Citizens United made the buying process an open bidding war that the citizenry cannot hope to equalize the playing field.

    As for police state like, well, we have the highest per capita inmate base on the planet, a cop within seconds of each and every one of us in any metropolitan area and don’t even get me started in the national capitol region! So, we’ve added a homeland security department answerable to few, if anyone, the NSA does whatever in hell it wants to and we maintain a sizable secret court system. That has long been growing and it started before Bush the lesser and has been only building slightly faster since 9/11.
    The FISA court system was established in 1978, as I was too young to vote, that’s on the elders dime, not mine.
    Welcome to the United Fascist States of America, where everything you say, do and write is monitored, recorded and assessed. Flagged for review when the proper number of flags are hit.
    I didn’t have heartburn over my morale calls home being monitored by computer (I ran into a transcript in a rarely reviewed directory when preparing for our staff meeting), as deployed military, the expectation of privacy is absent. I do have heartburn over civilians in the US losing that precious privacy, as we enter into the realm of political speech and potential abuse.

  48. says

    @#49, wzrd1

    I’ve been saying that for ages, Nerd. The far left think that they’re the primary members of the party, however as I said earlier, the majority of the membership itself all over the map, but largely centrist.

    Oddly enough, I agree with you and Nerd of Redhead here — except that I don’t think you’ve really realized the obvious ramifications of this.

    If the left is not the Democratic base, then the Democrats should not expect any party loyalty from the left. When trying to get votes from people who are not your base, you give them concessions — you enact policies they like, and support candidates they like. The Democrats haven’t been doing that for a couple of decades now. If they want the left to keep voting for them, they need to move left. If they don’t, and instead continue to move right as they have been consistently doing since the Reagan administration, then they should expect the left to abandon them.

    Is that important? Well, you know those midterm elections that the Democratic Party does so poorly at? The ones at which they keep losing Congressional seats? Well, the people who turn out to vote at the midterms are the base. The fall of the Democratic Party’s grip on Congress dates pretty much from the point when they decided that the left was not the base they wanted and started moving right — Reagan faced a Democratic Congress. (Not an effective one, mind you — those were the people who didn’t raise a peep over confirming Scalia. But the Democrats had pretty much held Congress for ages.)

    It was the Clintons who came along and said “Americans aren’t going to vote for left-leaning Democrats any more”. This has become the equivalent of trickle-down economics in the Republican Party; to those on the inside, this is Received Wisdom — even the idea of questioning it is literally unthinkable.

    Poll after poll, meanwhile, shows that when party affiliations are dropped and people are just questioned on the issues, America skews very far to the left of either major party. A huge, overwhelming majority — over 70%, even now — wants the “Too Big To Fail” banks broken up. A majority wants universal healthcare, a majority wants a Public Option to the Affordable Care Act, a large plurality wants Single-Payer. What people don’t want are the Democrats — they like left-leaning policy just fine.

  49. wzrd1 says

    Vicar, thank you for filling in the meat of my initial tirade.
    That said, I’m a bit more complex than pure right or pure left.

    So, what is your solution to the problem that will never get campaign contributions to replace our current problem?
    Other than revolution or magic, both are non-starters.

  50. says

    @#54, wzrd1:

    Right now, Bernie Sanders’ campaign has outspent Hillary Clinton’s, without being pro-corporate or accepting big corporate money, or going into debt. So small donations actually work — but only if the candidate has the faith and trust of their supporters. Hillary Clinton does not — and cannot — do this, because the whole “triangulation” thing means that nobody can really ever trust her to hold any given position in the future. If public support for gay marriage went back below 51%, it’s hard to imagine her continuing to support it, for example — particularly after the Reagan and AIDS thing. Nearly the entire Clinton campaign consists of 3 ideas:

    You should vote for her because she is a woman.You should vote for her because she is not one of the scary Republicans.Voting for her will somehow magically bring back the 1990s, just like voting for Reagan would somehow magically bring back the 1950s.

    Obama was able to pull off the small donations trick up until he got the nomination in 2008, basically.* Once he had the nomination he immediately started moving to the right as fast as he could go without announcing at a press conference “now that I have the nomination I’m open for business — let’s get the soft corruption auction rolling!” When it became apparent that his campaign had been all talk (remember the FISA immunity vote — the one he explicitly promised he would vote “no” on, before he was chosen, and which he voted “yes” on the day after he was chosen? Ha ha ha, how amusing!), the small donations stopped flowing, and he switched out of necessity to corporate money. In general, the big-name Democrats would be unable to do that, but the reason isn’t because it’s impossible, it’s because they’ve compromised their ethics so much that the voting public isn’t willing to spend money on them. Only a handful of Democrats haven’t been corporate shills since getting into office — even Al Franken supported the “USA Freedom Act” of 2015. (That was the renamed PATRIOT Act which basically wrote the whole thing into law permanently after the original hit its sunset date; practically all the Democrats in Congress supported it, and it passed with almost exactly two thirds of the Senate. The opposition was Sanders, a tiny handful of Democrats, and a lot of Republicans.)

    *People have forgotten this, but a lot of Obama’s appeal in 2008 was because he was relatively unknown and therefore stood a good chance of being unlike Hillary Clinton, whose faults were already very much apparent. Sadly, he basically turned out to be Hillary Clinton melted down, poured into a male mold, and painted a darker skin color. The Democratic Party was very successful at pretending the betrayal had nothing whatsoever to do with poor turnout by the base in 2010, 2012, and 2014 — in 2012, which was much closer than it ought to have been, Obama won not by appealing to the base but to Independents, with the aid of Sarah Palin on the opposing ticket. Hillary Clinton is trying to duplicate that strategy now, except that Independents hate her. Obama was never as unpopular with Independents as Hillary Clinton has been all along, and Clinton is managing to cheese off a very large portion of the base at the same time. Whether the scariness of the Republican candidates will be enough to compensate is something we shall see — my own feeling is that Clinton’s only realistic chance to pull off a solid victory in the general election, rather than a near-tie or a loss, is for the Republicans to carry out their threat to have a brokered convention and kick out Trump. Whether he ran as an independent or just sat out — with most of his supporters refusing to vote out of spite — that would severely cut into the Republican count. I’m not sure Hillary Clinton can actually get the Democrats to turn out in force, even with the threat of Trump. In 2004, the Democrats couldn’t oust Bush, and that was with the entire base voting Democratic out of hatred of the Bush administration. There isn’t a great deal of difference in size or identity between the Trump base and the Bush base, when all is said and done — right-wing authoritarians seeking simple answers to complex problems.

  51. MassMomentumEnergy says

    @Vicar

    Slow clap.

    Thanks for the effort you put in writing that. Despite the length, that is one of the most succinct summaries of the reality of the situation I’ve seen.

  52. applehead says

    #30, Marc Abian:

    Of course I have, your ideological blinders just made you not see it. What I said is that Sanders doesn’t care about the POC population, not middle class and much less the poor precariat, as his white mob of Bernie Bros and his decision to move from NYC to white postage stamp Virginia show. Whether his imaginary protections extend to POCs or not is academic, they will stay imaginary because he a) needs the non-default vote to become President in order to move anything (and guess on who’s side Afro-Americans, Hispanics and women are? Hillary!) and b) pump money into the down-ballot campaigns to get Democrats into the other branches of the legislature to be able to get anything at all done.

    Now, who did do the latter point? Spoiler: Hillary!

    jezebel dot com/bernie-sanders-calls-george-clooneys-clinton-fundraiser-1767437924

    And how much money did Bernie spend on down-ticket operations? That’s right, 0.zilch US dollars!

    Bernie is a goddamn parasite! He parasitizes the support network of the Democratic Party he, his inner circle and most of his followers hate. At first he called superdelegates the worst abomination to ever befall politics, and now that it dawned on him he needs them to, y’know, become POTUS they’re just a normal part of the process and he fantasizes about swaying them.

  53. Vivec says

    Bernie is a goddamn parasite! He parasitizes the support network of the Democratic Party he, his inner circle and most of his followers hate.

    You keep repeating that as if any of us give a shit. I don’t support Bernie because he’s a Democrat – I am hugely disappointed with both Hillary and the Democratic party as a whole after eight years of watered down, basically-republican actions from Obama. Tactically choosing to run as a Democrat to even have a chance of winning in our broken election system is 100% fine by me.

    Also, yes, superdelegates are a dumb system that shouldn’t exist, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like people winning primaries without winning the popular vote. I feel the same way about the electoral college.

  54. Vivec says

    Also, one of the reasons I’m really, really fucking loathe to support Hillary is exactly because of the homophobic, racist bullshit she’s supported throughout her career. That she suddenly changed her point of view the second homophobia and racism became politically unfavorable doesn’t really make me like her.

  55. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Bernie’s network has been helping down ballot candidates. But they have to be true progressives, not corporate shill “blue dogs” who are to the right of Nixon.

  56. applehead says

    #33, Vivec:

    That being said, I don’t see how doing better among blacks, latinos, and women is some kind of moral strike against Bernie.

    I really wished I knew how to set that into Comic Sans… You have the fucking nerve to call yourself a liberal?! Only goes to show how divorced you Bernie Bros are from the social realities of America.

    How could Obama win twice over the Killerclown Party? By mobilizing the non-defaults! Afro-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, women, LBGT, etc. etc.

    America becomes more diverse and secular by the minute. POCs will constitute the majority within our lifetimes. We can only make sure to keep winning future elections by going down the way of further and further inclusivity, by representing the majority of America.

    And does Bernie represent the majority? As his rejection by Afro-Americans, Latinos, etc. proves, the answer is a vocal NO.

    If true, that’s a damn shame, because they elected a hugely disappointing president twice.

    I will let you know, Barack Obama is the most progressive president since FDR. Who else could have realized ACA and save countless millions of American lives? Not Bernie and his fantasy “revolution,” that’S for sure.

    Did you know how Obama de-escalated the Middle East just by being Obama? Please try to recall, nasty true-warmonger McCain advocated major arms shippings to the Syrian rebels, something which Obama wisely shitcanned. Do you know what those rebels later formed? ISIS! And people had the gall to say Obama received his Nobel Prize for nothing…

    You Bernie Bros are nothing but traitors! Traitors to all Democratic values, to diversity, to pacifism, to feminism, to inclusion.

  57. Vivec says

    I really wished I knew how to set that into Comic Sans… You have the fucking nerve to call yourself a liberal?! Only goes to show how divorced you Bernie Bros are from the social realities of America.

    Hey, so, don’t use gendered language to refer to me, please. I’m not a dude.

    I will let you know, Barack Obama is the most progressive president since FDR. Who else could have realized ACA and save countless millions of American lives? Not Bernie and his fantasy “revolution,” that’S for sure.

    Who else could have killed hundreds of innocents with drone strikes and refuse to make good on his promise to close gitmo?

    You Bernie Bros are nothing but traitors! Traitors to all Democratic values

    Said democratic values being?

    Also, like I said above, stop the gendered language please.

    to diversity, to pacifism, to feminism, to inclusion.

    Except part of why I don’t want to vote for Hillary is because of her shitty history on race and LGBT issues, and her hawkish record.

    Oh, also, you pointing out the “Arming syrian rebels” thing is funny, because Hillary supported that too. So, y’know.

  58. Vivec says

    But yeah, saying this right now.

    Not implicitly misgendering me after being made aware of my preference is part of the bare minimum amount of respect I require to engage with someone.

    If you keep up the “Bernie Bro” thing, I have no further desire to talk to you.

  59. MassMomentumEnergy says

    You keep saying that Bernie is against POC and not supported by them. Why did he win the most diverse state in the nation by overwhelming margins then? Why did he, a Jew, rock the Deerborn area Muslim vote so hard? Why did Cornel West come out strongly in support of him? Why is he rated better by campaign zero?

    http://m.imgur.com/pw1o3I9?r

    Methinks you are just pulling talking points out of your ass with zero supporting evidence.

  60. says

    I think — and a lot of commentators agree with me — that there is a huge desire for an anti-corruption campaign. The thing which drives the majority of non-voters away from the polls is the perception that voting does nothing to solve problems because career politicians are on the take from the people who are causing the problems. There is a great deal to be said in support of this perception; the Republicans are pretty much explicitly in favor of “soft” corruption, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have both acted like willing puppets of Wall Street and the 1%, with Democrats in Congress backing them up, to justify the view. (Repealing Glass-Steagall? Clinton. NAFTA? Clinton. “Reforming” welfare to make poor people’s lives harder? Clinton. Mandatory commercial insurance with a profit margin 5 times higher than Medicare? Obama. Making Bush’s tax cuts for the rich permanent? Obama. TPP? Obama. Sure, you can find minor acts which go the other way, but every big economic action by Democrats since Reagan has been to screw the middle class or the poor in favor of the rich.)

    This being said, one would ordinarily say that the Democrats were better-positioned to jump on the anti-corruption sentiment, but this is not currently happening. The message of DLC-style Democrats has always pretty much been “well, we can’t eliminate all the corruption, so we’ll just wink at some of it”, the first part of which is true but the second part of which is morally reprehensible — and also an invitation to ever-increasing levels of corruption as the “winks” are used as precedents to let more and more corruption be legitimized.

    Furthermore, the Democratic Party establishment, with the support of the party faithful, is pushing hard to nominate Hillary Clinton, who not only approved of and lent as much public support as possible to all of Bill Clinton and Obama’s pro-wealthy actions but also has been the poster child for “soft” corruption — i.e. accepting money from interests in ways which can’t be proved to be bribes; all those speeches since 2000 which took the Clintons from near-insolvency on leaving the White House to having over $100 million in funds. (Yes, yes, Clinton supporters, much of that went to their Foundation. Frankly, the Clinton Foundation is a part of the problem — since it pays the Clintons large salaries, and presumably will continue to do so until they die, and is tax-exempt, it’s very hard not to view it as a tax dodge to let them have the use of their money without having to pay taxes on it.) The Party is doing its best to stifle Bernie Sanders, who is so transparently honest that even the Republicans in his home state respect him, and that’s difficult to view as anything but a “wink” at corruption.

    Meanwhile, the Republicans, who anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows are blatantly in favor of government by the rich, and who are reaching the point where it’s almost impossible to ignore that fact, are nominating Donald Trump. Trump is, on the face of it, more corrupt than Hillary Clinton — he has not only been involved in “soft” corruption like Clinton but has been caught up in “hard” (explicitly illegal) corruption scandals. But in politics perceptions are often more important than reality, and he has (real) outsider status, and has successfully convinced his followers that since he is independently wealthy he won’t be swayed by bribery, either hard or soft.

    In short, the Democrats are deliberately letting the obvious, popular tactic go, while the Republicans are on the verge of co-opting it. Not exactly an argument in favor of the intelligence of the Democratic Party.

  61. Nick Gotts says

    Hillary is the actual heir of Obama. – applehead@24

    You say that like it’s a recommendation.