I voted for Hillary Clinton, once


I’m sorry.

My only excuse is that her opponent was even more awful, but she should never have gotten to that level in the first place, except that she does appeal to conservative Democrats. I also liked the idea of a woman for president (still do), so I was willing to accept a compromise in what I valued.

Somewhere, I wish I could remember where, I read that the Clintons managed to replace the Democratic party with Republican Lite, and that one of the consequences of that is that real Republicans were free to run far, far off into crazy town. That rings true to me.

What finally convinced me that the Clintons were a huge mistake was a recent chatty (so much pointless detail about what she had for lunch!) in the Financial Times. The whole thing made me feel ill.

My espresso has arrived. Clinton asks for more iced tea. I cannot allow the lunch to end without questioning the direction of her party. I say that Democrats seem to be going out of their way to lose elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority. What sense does it make to depict JK Rowling as a fascist? To my surprise, Clinton shares the premise of my question.

“We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window,” she says. “Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”

Whatever helps you win. That’s a phrase that belongs on the Clinton coat of arms. No principles, no goals, just whatever gets you power, that’s all that matters. Just once, I’d like to see a Democrat stand up and forthrightly say what they value, so I’d know if I agreed with them, and they’d get my vote.

Oh, hey, there is one: John Fetterman is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania. This is what I want to see from everyone who thinks they belong in the Democratic party.

Don’t hide from it. Don’t tell me you’ll tolerate transphobia in the name of winning.

I’ll never vote for a Clinton again. To put it in terms she might understand, she’s a loser. Isn’t that all that counts?

Comments

  1. says

    “notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority.” — except when some of us are oppressed, none of us are free. Someone in that dialogue could have chosen to stand on that principle, but I guess that’s too much to ask. (Full disclosure: am trans.)

  2. whywhywhy says

    On the depressing side, my Congressional district is sending back a corporate Dem (my term for the Clinton core of the Democratic party) to Congress over Nina Turner. The Democratic Party machine spent a boatload of money to make sure they have a pliable (ie. bought) representative. She will vote with the party almost all the time and will definitely not push for campaign finance reform, universal healthcare, fully funding the IRS, etc. (unless the Dem leadership finds it convenient at the time).

  3. Rich Woods says

    I voted for Hillary Clinton, once

    That’s nothing — I voted for Margaret Thatcher once. Just the once. I was young and ignorant and listened too much to the people around me. I soon learned my lesson, when she returned the favour by giving me a swift education-policy kick in the teeth, and the bitter experience has shaped my politics ever since.

  4. ospalh says

    I think there are two elements that make the US political system what it is:
    •First-past-the-post voting instead of proportional representation (If you want your representative, you can do German style multi-member proportional.)
    •Paid political advertisements. In Germany for example political parties aren’t allowed to buy tv spots. Instead, tv stations ar forced to show a limited number of spots for every party running shortly before an election. That system means that parties just don’t need that much money, and so don’t need billionaires to finance the campaigns.

    I know those things won’t happen, so, sorry, no real idea how to fix the system.

  5. says

    “Look, the most important thing is to win the next election…”

    The problem with that mindset, paradoxically, is that it doesn’t help you win elections! The more people hear you say that sort of thing, the less inclined they’ll be to vote for you, or trust you to actually fight for them when you have to.

  6. whywhywhy says

    #1 Woozle
    Any publication with ‘Finance’ as part of its name is not focused on what truly matters (Fetterman’s short list is a good place to start). They are only focused on “winning” which is measured in dollars. By that measure, PZ is quite wrong: Clinton is a ‘winner’. The most favorable interpretation of the Financial Times is that they have a bias towards the status quo, because upsetting that could reduce the relative accumulated wealth and importance of their gods (ie. the wealthy).

  7. Artor says

    If the Republican party was still remotely sane, Hillary would be an excellent Republican candidate, and always was.

  8. kome says

    Oh look, Hillary Clinton being exactly the type of person that people have been calling her out for being since the 2008 primaries, that we all warned about again in 2016 primaries. Only to be called sexist Obama-bros, while Hillary staffers started up the Birther conspiracy, or sexist Bernie-bros, while Hillary was simultaneously telling BLM protestors to shut up and listen to her, levying accusations of antisemitism at Sanders for having criticisms of Israel’s government, and picking an anti-abortion running mate.

    Cool stuff. So fun to see so many Democratic voters still with her. The midterms are going to be a bloodbath for the Democrats.

  9. James Fehlinger says

    I’ll never vote for a Clinton again.

    ++++++++
    [Bill] Clinton, of course, is a wholly sui generis character, someone who is to
    other great campaigners like Reagan, Kennedy and FDR what Cy Young
    was to Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson — the greatest of the
    greats, even among a crowd of Hall of Famers. During both of Clinton’s
    presidential campaigns, rallies and other events chronically ran late,
    not just because his volubility could keep him talking long past the
    planned length of his stump speech, but because he could not resist
    the lure of the rope line. As long as there were hands outstretched,
    he wanted to shake them. Obama, no slouch on the campaign trail, always
    did better in big areas than in the more intimate dynamic of the
    one-on-one. Reagan, who did excel at the face-to-face, also adhered
    to a clock — enforced by his handlers — and ducked out after a
    prescribed time. Clinton never had enough.

    “I like the job. That’s what I’ll miss the most,” he said somewhat
    poignantly near the end of his presidency. “I’m not sure anybody
    ever liked this as much as I’ve liked it.”

    Part of Clinton’s joy, of course, came from the fact that every hand
    he touched was touching his back and every vote he won was like a
    kiss — a validation, a sign that one more person had not only chosen
    him but liked him. More than a decade after Clinton’s presidency
    ended — when he remained a globally incandescent presence with his
    foundation and speaking tours and work on both his wife’s 2008
    presidential campaign and Obama’s two campaigns — Time magazine’s
    Joe Klein was asked what Clinton’s long game is, why he keeps
    working so hard. “Clinton’s long game is the same as it’s always
    been,” Klein answered. “To be loved by every one of the seven billion
    people on the planet.”

    That combination of hunger and charm did not always serve Clinton
    well, as his reckless 1998 sex scandal illustrated. Part of that
    was surely nothing more than adolescent appetite — he liked sex,
    he wanted sex, and he was surely in a position to get sex. Such
    impulses and opportunities hardly make him special among presidents,
    but most of them also have an internal policeman, a piece of the
    self that can hold up a hand and ask, You know this isn’t a good
    idea, right?
    Clinton’s cop was on the take. The part of him
    paying that behavioral bribe money was the part that needed not just
    the metaphorical kiss of a vote, but the real kiss — and more —
    of a person who could validate him in the most primal way possible,
    tell him he was good enough not just to send to the White House,
    but to take to bed.

    Whatever the price to the nation and to Clinton’s own presidency
    that his ravenous needs exacted, his craving to be loved is wholly
    of a piece with the mask model of narcissism, the endless
    attention-seeking that compensates for a bottomless emotional
    hole of some kind. Nobody can really psychoanalyze someone else
    from a distance, and even a psychologist would not pretend to
    try without meeting and treating the person. But Clinton’s
    upbringing is a matter of historical record — his biological
    father died in a car accident three months before he was born;
    his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic; he was something of a
    misfit at school, describing himself as “the fat kid in the band.”
    There are few psychologists who wouldn’t trace a pretty direct
    line from that kind of background to a deep need to seek and feel
    love.

    Clinton was very, very good at achieving that goal, something that
    I got to experience at close proximity one day when I improbably
    found myself in the Oval Office. It was July 1995, several months after
    my first book, Apollo 13, had been published and just one month after the
    release of the movie that was based on it. I was invited to the
    White House to be present when Clinton awarded Apollo 13 commander
    Jim Lovell — with whom I had collaborated on the book — the
    Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
    It was a tribute that many historians had long agreed Lovell had
    earned, but since NASA had always preferred to forget about its
    one lunar landing mission that didn’t actually land, Lovell had been
    denied. It would be up to a sitting president — who actually
    chooses the recipients, despite the congressional reference in
    the name of the award — to choose Lovell. And that month Clinton
    did.

    A small circle of other people involved in either the movie or the
    space program, including Tom Hanks, who played Lovell, and Pete
    Conrad, the third man on the moon, were in attendance as well, but
    our little group was dwarfed by the staffers and the press scrum,
    who were there to cover the award presentation and also to question
    Clinton afterward about that day’s most pressing news, which was
    how the United States planned to respond to that month’s mass killings
    of civilians in Bosnia.
    When both the presentation and the press availability were done,
    Clinton came over to our group to shake hands. I scanned the four
    people in line who preceded me, realized that I was the only one
    he had never met before, and reckoned I’d better introduce myself.
    I began to do so, but I had barely gotten out my name, much less
    what business I had being there, before he waved me off.

    “I know,” he said. “I know who y’are.” There was a nonchalance to
    it, a matter-of-factness that implied of course he knew who
    I was. How could anyone not know who I was? Every rational brain
    cell I had told me that this was the Clinton charm I’d heard about, the
    make-you-feel-like-the-most-important-person-in-the-room-for-five-seconds
    magic that so many other people had described. I recognized it for
    exactly what it was — and fell for it all the same.

    That experience might be common to anyone who’s ever shaken Clinton’s
    hand, but a few minutes later there was a tiny, silent moment
    that I like to think was more particular to the circumstance. The
    room had broken up into two small conversational clusters by that
    time, with Hanks, Conrad and a couple of others to my left, and
    Lovell and Clinton to my right. The dynamic between those two fascinated
    me. Lovell was the Eagle Scout, astronaut and Naval Academy officer,
    a man who had been married to the same woman for more than forty
    years and served his country for most of his adult life. Clinton was
    the philanderer, the bad boy, the too-cute-by-half pol who may never
    have technically dodged the draft but had done a nifty job of tap-dancing
    around it. And yet he was also Lovell’s commander-in-chief — which
    means a lot to a career naval officer — not to mention the man who’d
    accorded him the space honor others had wrongly denied him. I had
    come to know Lovell well and care about him and his family quite a bit —
    and still do, for that matter — and wanted to stand alone and watch
    that moment play out.

    There by myself in the middle of the Oval Office rug, however, I must
    have looked like the social misfit — the fat kid from the band at
    this particular party. Clinton, who never took his eyes off Lovell,
    spotted me peripherally, touched Lovell’s arm, steered both of them
    three or four steps my way and gathered me into their conversation.
    It was a very small gesture — something I’ve done a thousand times
    for other people at parties and other people have done for me.
    But this was the President of the United States doing me that little
    kindness, and to the extent that it would ever matter to him,
    he’d won my support for as long as he remained a public figure.
    The man is that good — and if he weren’t a love-hungry narcissist,
    he’d be less good.

    — Jeffrey Kluger,
    The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family,
    in Your Office, in Your Bed — in Your World

    Chapter Seven, “The Peacock in the Oval Office”,
    pp. 162-165
    ++++

  10. says

    Okay? Do you think Barack Obama was different? JFK? FDR? Abraham Lincoln? They all had seriously compromised principles but tried to get stuff done.

    None of these people were saviors, and no politician ever will be. I fail to see how Clinton is different except she’s worse at messaging.

  11. says

    Bill Clinton happened because the Democrats got tired of losing elections, losing five out of six between 1968 and 1988, and the only winner in that stretch was a guy from Georgia. Actually, other than JFK’s disputed, razor-thin win in 1960, the only Demo winners after FDR came from Missouri, Texas and Georgia–Nixon’s southern strategy made it look like winning some of the old south would be necessary, so a conservative corporate guy from Arkansas promising to reform the welfare system and focus on the economy looked like their best bet. And he probably was.
    But the situation has changed. Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, including two by a black guy from Hawaii by way of Illinois. The Clinton-Bush era of American politics is over, and preparing to win the last war rather than the next is never a good strategy. Republicans know that–while their stock-in-trade is still fear, they’ve pivoted from trading on fear of communism to fear of crime to fear of terrorists to now, apparently, fear of lesbian/gay/transgendered people. Unfortunately the Democratic response has always been to avoid looking “weak” on these issues, which resulted in the Vietnam war, mass incarceration of Americans, and supporting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Trying to co-opt Republican positions results in bad decision making, and that is not a winning strategy.

  12. says

    Bill Clinton happened because the Democrats got tired of losing elections, losing five out of six between 1968 and 1988, and the only winner in that stretch was a guy from Georgia. Actually, other than JFK’s disputed, razor-thin win in 1960, the only Demo winners after FDR came from Missouri, Texas and Georgia–Nixon’s southern strategy made it look like winning some of the old south would be necessary, so a conservative corporate guy from Arkansas promising to reform the welfare system and focus on the economy looked like their best bet. And he probably was.
    But the situation has changed. Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, including two by a black guy from Hawaii by way of Illinois. The Clinton-Bush era of American politics is over, and preparing to win the last war rather than the next is never a good strategy. Republicans know that–while their stock-in-trade is still fear, they’ve pivoted from trading on fear of communism to fear of crime to fear of terrorists to now, apparently, fear of lesbian/gay/transgendered people. Unfortunately the Democratic response has always been to avoid looking “weak” on these issues, which resulted in the Vietnam war, mass incarceration of Americans, and supporting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Trying to co-opt Republican positions results in bad decision making, and that is not a winning strategy.

  13. HidariMak says

    The article is locked behind a paywall, so only the title is readable. But to be fair, the first part of that “whatever helps you win” sentence is “the alternative is so frightening”. If they were referring to the 2016 election, then the Trump presidency would be (and was) terrifying. That being said, even though she was likely one of the most qualified USpresidential candidates in history, her personality likely did a lot to lose 2016 to the Trump voters.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    I say that Democrats seem to be going out of their way to lose elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority. What sense does it make to depict JK Rowling as a fascist? To my surprise, Clinton shares the premise of my question.

    I was afraid of this. Who are the Dems going to have to throw under the bus to appeal to the white working class they lost when St. Ronnie showed up in 1980 to protect them from the uppity darkies, abortion, and commies?

    It just goes to show that this entire capitalist, Christian shithole country is a write-off. Too racist, greedy, and superstitious to every hope to be civilized.

  15. Snarki, child of Loki says

    I, for one, look forward to all 6’7″ of Fetterman glowering down at Ted Cruz in the Senate.

    And Hilary is Exhibit #2 in “why dynasties are wrong”.

    Exhibit #1 was Dubya.

  16. garnetstar says

    Not to lose the focus on Clinton, but the reporter is an idiot. “The transgender debate” isn’t a debate or an “activist cause”: trans rights aren’t up for debate nor are they only pursued by activists. Rights are immutable, and it is only republican opposition to them that is a problem.

    Also, no one’s calling Rowling a fascist: there are plenty of real fascists around to highlight the difference. Rowling is being called, accurately, a bigot. But not by any officials of the democratic party that I know of. By leftists, which the democratic party is not.

  17. consciousness razor says

    “We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window,” she says.

    This is while Dems have control of Congress and the entire executive branch. But they’ve refused to end the filibuster so they can pass laws or to do much of anything else with all those agencies. Evidently, the idea is just to remain standing on the precipice indefinitely, because from there they can keep collecting the donations, votes, and positions of power that they think they deserve.

    Clinton might actually believe her tepid views on some such “cultural” issues are what cost her the 2016 election (despite how inconsequential those may be for the people she was trying to win over), rather than the enthusiastic neoliberalism, militarism, and so forth. But whether that’s right or not, when she says “everything” must go, she’s not talking about any of the latter. Instead, the conservative asshole stuff will be all that remains.

    Amber Music, #11:

    I fail to see how Clinton is different except she’s worse at messaging.

    She has very little interest in trying to “get stuff done,” under any circumstances when that’s about helping ordinary people, because it was just about (crappy) “messaging” and nothing else.

    It is true that Obama is very similar. But JFK, FDR and Lincoln? I don’t see how you think they’re even comparable.

  18. PaulBC says

    I voted for Hillary Clinton. I am not sorry. In fact, I’m proud of it and I would do it again.

    If she were running in a primary against John Fetterman, then, sure I would vote for Fetterman, who I admire a great deal. But Hillary Clinton would have been a perfectly fine POTUS, a position that requires complicity in US war crimes as part of the job description (See, e.g. Barack Obama and drone strikes.) (For that matter, see some of what Chomsky has said about Jimmy Carter.) I’m not sure I really want a decent person I really like to be president. They’d fuck it up if they tried to hold onto their humanity.

    Could you do better than Hillary Clinton? Sure. Can you do much, much worse? Yes. We already did that. Clinton may be “Republican lite” according to an outdated definition of “Republican.” She’s also correct that the most important thing coming up is making sure that the current incarnation of the Republican party does not seize control of the presidency.

  19. kome says

    @20

    No, you cannot “do much, much worse” than Clinton because Clinton doesn’t win even when the entire institution is supporting her. You can’t do much worse than someone who constantly loses when having the deck stacked in her favor. She loses even when the entire DNC is in lock-step with her over her challengers, even when the majority of the corporate media elevate her over her progressive opponents. Even with everything in her favor, she lost the primary nomination in 2008 and barely won the primary nomination and then went out of her way to spit in the face of every progressive idea that she was asked to comment on. She’s a loser, with stupid loser ideas, and as long as the Democratic Party continues to align themselves with her, the Republicans will win, again and again and again.

    Your mentality of treating politics as a team sport instead of something that has real fucking consequences to those of us who aren’t white is what gets us deeper and deeper into this mess. You need to fucking stop it, because it is getting people who look like me killed.

  20. StevoR says

    @ 16. Akira MacKenzie : Ever? Really?

    The majority of Americans voted for Obama twice, for Jimmy Carter, for Clinton – three times with two different Clintons and for Biden in a landslide despite gerrymandering and voter suppression measures. They also voted for Al Gore and a fraction who voted for Nader robbed Gore of the Presidency along with a broken and undemocratic politicla system indire need of major reforms just as the Bernie bros along with Comey’s FBI email BS along with decades of Murdoch lies and nightly hate hours brought down HRC. Who herself as Sam Bee brillianty noted here on HRCs forced shape squeeze transformation from the feminist activist she was to 2016 straightjacketed version becoz, well, all that and more.

    I do not think that good Americans, who want at least a bit more progressive left wing nation are a minority here. If they were the Repubs and the rusted rotten deadwood of the Buybull belt region wouldn’t be so afraid of the basic one viote one alue let’s have every vote ciounted and counted equally as they are.

    I think most Americans are actually more priogressive and kinder, better people and as fro “civilised” I dont even know what theta really means anymore. But the nation that landed humans on the Moon, sent spaceprobes to every planet in our solar system including Pluto and did so much more ain’t “civilised” whaver that means? I don’t think so.

    Also thinking past USA elections and election candidates did folks see Cory Booker’s interview on Colbert tonight / last night? Reckon he said some bloody good things and made some great points bloody well there.

  21. silvrhalide says

    “Whatever helps you win. That’s a phrase that belongs on the Clinton coat of arms. No principles, no goals, just whatever gets you power, that’s all that matters. Just once, I’d like to see a Democrat stand up and forthrightly say what they value, so I’d know if I agreed with them, and they’d get my vote.”

    Hilary Clinton was a self-proclaimed Goldwater Girl. Exactly why are you shocked?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

    Hilary is a really smart policy wonk. Seriously. She’s smart and hardworking. Unfortunately, those traits come packaged with an overwhelming thirst for power and the political instincts of a lemming in freefall. She’s always half a beat behind the political pulse.

    If it makes you feel better, I voted for her too. Held my nose and voted for her. Because my options were 1) “What’s Aleppo” marijuana peddler, 2) ambulatory dumpster fire or 3) power-hungry boring policy wonk.

    Hearing Hillary yap about “welfare reform” is a lot like listening to Joe Biden talk about how his advance child care tax credit payments helped people out of poverty.
    NO THEY FUCKING WELL DID NOT JOE.
    First, the advance payment of the additional child tax credit ONLY HELPS PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN AGE 16 AND UNDER. LOTS OF PEOPLE NEED HELP. NOT JUST THE ONES WITH KIDS.
    Secondly, IT’S THE SAME FUCKING MONEY. YOU JUST GET HALF IN ADVANCE.
    Thirdly, if giving people an extra thousand or so “lifts them out of poverty”, then there is something wrong with the way you measure things. Just edging people over the poverty line does not change their lives in any meaningful way. You would need tens of thousands of dollars for that. PER PERSON.
    Normally PJ O’Rourke irritates me with his fawning libertarianism/borderline Ayn Rand worship but this really was perfect:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/pj-orourke-im-endorsing-hillary-clinton-the-devil-we-know

    I think Fetterman did a great job getting his message across on The Colbert Report and The Late Show (both with Stephen Colbert). Unfortunately, those are not the nominees that the Democratic Party nominates. Their real slogan should be “seizing defeat from the jaws of victory”.

  22. PaulBC says

    kome@21 I mean can you do much worse as acting president, given the choice of who to vote for in the general election. I agree that Hillary Clinton is not a great campaigner. I think she would have been a better than average POTUS by historical standards.

    I disagree that the deck was stacked in her favor. The DNC handled her its own small hand of winning cards, but the media never let up about “emails”. Even when Comey found a laptop that was very unlikely to contained any new information (which anyone with an understanding of email could have predicted), it turned into a media storm that completed eclipsed Trump’s video admission of committing sexual assault.

    Hillary Clinton has been the subject of a billion dollar 30-year-long character assassination campaign. She is also subject to the usual misogyny penalty. Given that, she won the popular vote and would have won the states that turned it over to Trump if things had been only slightly different (and, yes, if she had bothered to campaign in Michigan, etc. I agree it was a crappy campaign from end to end, including the Reaganesque convention)

  23. jack lecou says

    Raging Bee @6:

    The problem with that mindset, paradoxically, is that it doesn’t help you win elections! The more people hear you say that sort of thing, the less inclined they’ll be to vote for you, or trust you to actually fight for them when you have to.

    QFT.

    It’s amazing how many Democrats don’t seem to understand this. Clinton might be one of the most prominent examples, but the recent VA governor race was another great example. And the list is endless. It seems to be endemic in certain Democratic party activist circles I’ve been on the periphery of: “well, we can’t get anything done unless we win elections”. Fine. Right, so far as it goes. But how do you do that if voters don’t know what you stand for? “It doesn’t matter because we need to win elections before we worry about that.”

    [insert head smack meme gif here]

    The party also clearly struggles with an aging leadership stuck in the past. Things like Medicare-for-all or treating trans people like human beings might have been DOA in 1982 (or whenever it was when some of them were first elected), but the world has changed a wee bit in the last [checks calendar] forty years.

    (I’m being nice here, of course, because for certain leaders the problem is clearly not so much being stuck in the past, as being stuck in the pockets of big donors…)

  24. StevoR says

    @21. kome : “Your mentality ..”

    Whose mentality agin? The projection her eis greater than imax to quote acliche and , no, just no,.

    Igf you get a chocie between bad and worse. Choose bad,. Try to make that NOT the choice – absolutely. But IF that is teh choice, whjy the F would youchoose worse?

    Oh and thinking of the consequences of purity politics above pragmatic “settle for less evil rather than worse and more evil” politics. Did three years of Trump and the consequences of his SCOTUS among so very much more real pain and harm and loss including you know all those needless covid deaths and the Jan 6th attempted coup damage teach you fucking nothing?! Really?

  25. consciousness razor says

    feralboy12:

    The Clinton-Bush era of American politics is over, and preparing to win the last war rather than the next is never a good strategy. Republicans know that–while their stock-in-trade is still fear, they’ve pivoted from trading on fear of communism to fear of crime to fear of terrorists to now, apparently, fear of lesbian/gay/transgendered people.

    But it’s not like the old stuff was replaced with something different. It’s not even like they’re adding stuff to their list of things to fear/hate. Their stances on those things were never substantially different from what they are now. So where’s the pivot?

    To go with your war metaphor, they’ve been using the same army the whole time, which wins some and loses some, but it wins often enough. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I think it’s easy to understand why none of the Dems’ fawning and flailing for the last several decades has convinced them that it needs fixing.

  26. consciousness razor says

    I’m not sure I really want a decent person I really like to be president. They’d fuck it up if they tried to hold onto their humanity.

    Sounds like something that should be fucked up then.

  27. silvrhalide says

    @21 Yes, you can absolutely do worse than Hillary Clinton. Dolt 45 is the textbook example. Dubya is the follow up example.

    We could also be doing a hell of a lot better than we are.

    And we need to if we are going to remain a viable country instead of a failed state.

    From Theodore Roosevelt:
    “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

    A great democracy has got to be progressive, or it will soon cease to be either great or a democracy …
    The Nation and the States, speech before the Colorado Legislature, August 29, 1910

  28. consciousness razor says

    Yes, you can absolutely do worse than Hillary Clinton. Dolt 45 is the textbook example. Dubya is the follow up example.

    Interesting selections…. But why are the choices for Democrats always Republicans? I mean, suppose this is a list that some ghoul like Michael Bloomberg would not happily write down. Who would go on it then?

  29. says

    @ StevoR
    Why exactly BernieBros are to blame for HRC losing?
    Overwhelming majority of Bernie voters voted HRC and those who didn’t were mostly not even democrats. If there was no Bernie they wouldn’t be voting HRC anyway, they would go independent or stayed at home.

    US politics is terrifying when looked from this side of the pond, even if ours is terrifying too.
    In the end you have to choose between voting terrible to stop evil (knowing that it means terrible will get worse in next cycle and evil will get more evil) so you are damned if you do or not voting which means evil will start doing evil right now and even more people will be willing to vote for terrible, so you are damned if you don’t.

    Well, good luck.
    In the meantime I wait until my parafascist government will go far enough that instead of waving flags protesters will start using molotovs cocktails, which will be probably in few years.
    Aren’t we all lucky (imagine a picture of looming climate change in the background)

  30. StevoR says

    @ ^ consciousness razor :because that’s the alternative party in a two party oli kaki..geronto-Murodicracy?

    In a reality where you have to pick between bad and worse and bad at least isn’t worse?

    Yes. That sucks.

    Yes the system needs to change. Please do change it.

    Bit for now its X or Y instead of X, Y, Z or A. Its 1 or zero not 1 or 505 or 5005.

    So work to make the change but don’t ignore reality and given that reality chose as wisely as you can because the alterntive is worse.

  31. silvrhalide says

    @30 Michael Bloomberg ran as a Republican for two mayoral terms and then as an independent.

    And while there were plenty of things that he did that I disagreed with, they were things that were within the normal range of “we’ll just have to agree to disagree” not “get the pitchforks and torches NOW”.

    The other major difference? He has one daughter, who he has given all the advantages in the world that money can buy but he is NOT leaving her his fortune. That literally all goes to charitable institutions that he has supported for years, mostly liberal ones.

    His daughter will be wealthy and comfortable and he has unquestionably helped her with her business ventures. But unless she goes out and earns it herself, she will not be mega rich like her father. She is indisputably not inheriting his wealth.

    That’s why he is not a Republican like the other Republicans.
    He also hewed to a Democratic/centrist-left position while he was in office. Some of NYC’s most successful years were under his mayorship.
    Don’t get me wrong, he could have cracked down on policy brutality (especially against minorities) far more than he did, among other things. But he is far far away from being The Worst.

  32. says

    Yes, I voted for Hillary. I honestly wish I hadn’t.

    I didn’t want to vote for her: my problem with her was extremely small and very single issue, but I was living with the consequences at the time. She and Bill both were in Walmart’s pocket. I literally didn’t want to vote for her in 2008 or 2016 because of that. Walmart has treated their employees like garbage and Hillary said nothing to condemn them. (At least, not a peep that I have ever heard.) Nope. She wouldn’t actually care about anyone except herself if she got elected. That was literally all she wanted and the Democratic Party did everything it could to help her.

    She might have been better than the Tangeranus but not by much.

  33. consciousness razor says

    :because that’s the alternative party in a two party oli kaki..geronto-Murodicracy?

    I think you may have simply misunderstood. I take it that the question is about a worse Democrat who could’ve been fielded in 2016 by the Democratic party.

    I don’t think you’re seriously claiming that Dubya* or Trump would have been nominated by the Dems, so we dodged those bullets by nominating Clinton instead. I suspect it’s just the usual, mindless instinct to shift ire toward Republicans somehow, but it makes no sense to do that in this situation.

    *Of course it wouldn’t even have been legal for Dubya to be elected for another term, but that’s not really the point either.

  34. StevoR says

    Please Americans 3 main things I really hope you focus on and work to make happen to become better, fairer, freer :

    1) Abolish the undemocratic Electoral college system. One vote = one value for every citizen. Full Fn stop.

    What this man says here :

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/its-time-to-end-the-electoral-college_b_12891764

    Yes that means the empty, hate-filled, rusted, hollowed empty void, central regions lose out. But far better them than you know the majority of Americans on the coasts. California & NYC needs to tell Wyoming et al to fn stick it. 1 person 1 vote one value. Or else.

    2) Have either an Aussie (& other) style preferential voting system or a French style run off election system where the third party spoiler do NOT spoil the election and warp the wishes of most people so that the ideal becomes the enemy of the good and allows the worst to win.

    3) SCOTUS – let justices select Justices on basis of senority, experience and take the partisan politics out of the legal best of best. Take away the POTUS’s power to appoint SCOTUS justices. Let the legal community choose based on the best Judges as judged by judges & lawyers. Not the traitorous seditionist Federalist Societry or othe political polemical bodies.

    Then there is so very much more. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, Murdoch media malignancy ad nauseam but for fn starters for pities sake.. please?

  35. PaulBC says

    StevoR@22 I can’t say I share your faith in the goodness of the American people. How many Americans believe Kyle Rittenhouse was justified in showing up unwelcome where he had no business being, killing two people and injuring another? Maybe not a majority, but a shockingly large number. And it’s more complicated than that, because I’m sure you can find places in the US where a majority glamorizes this kind of vigilantism.

    We’re currently in a situation where large number of voters are “reasoning” that the solution to high gasoline prices is to put fascists in office. That might be a majority, not if you asked them in those terms, but their votes work out this way in practice. People are unhappy and want to “change stuff” never mind what.

    I feel more alienated from my country now than at any time in my life, and that includes for instance the first Gulf War when I was young and naive enough to be shocked to see a nation laughing and applauding over “smart bombs” in action. Americans are maybe no worse than baseline humans–Romans watching bloodsport at the Coliseum–but I am certainly not counting on my fellow citizens to make good decisions. I’m just scared at this point.

  36. says

    consciousness razor #19

    It is true that Obama is very similar. But JFK, FDR and Lincoln? I don’t see how you think they’re even comparable

    Lincoln was too moderate to push for ending slavery until former slaves could be useful in fighting the confederacy. And then he was too moderate to free slaves in union border states.

    Many of FDRs New Deal programs either had specific provisions that excluded many black people from benefitting or were ran by people who purposely excluded black people from the benefits. Under FDR many Jewish refugees from Europe were turned away. Under FDR we interned citizens of Japanese descent.

    JFK didn’t want to follow through with any significant civil rights legislation until after the midterms after great pressure from civil rights leaders like through the march on Washington.

    We picture all of these guys as very principled, but they weren’t.

  37. StevoR says

    @ 31. Gorzki : “Why exactly BernieBros are to blame for HRC losing?””

    Partly to blame as one of several factors. Comey, Assange & the emls BS, Murdoch’s brain-washed zombie cultists, Trump’s worshippers, the media generally, HRC herself, The Democratic party itself. Plenty of blame to go around. But yeah BernieBros NOT excluded from that.

    Yes including HRC being a poor campiagner herself and esp Murdoch medias demonisation for decades and more.

    But, since you asked, because they fought her and demonised her and lied about her and failed to unify behind her and support her rather than doing what their man Bernie Sanders himself (eventually and far too late) actually asked them to do.

    Also the misogyny. OMFSM the misogyny and Hillary (& you know the party Bernie wanted to win and supposedly wanted to be nominee for) hate among them. yes, Bernie was better than Hillary and, YES, Trump was worse and they helped the worse beat the not-as-worse and imagine if HRC instead of Trumplethinskin had won again so.. yeah,. That.

  38. rorschach says

    I find these kinds of debates a bit beside the point at the moment, as the GOP is organising to steal the 2024 election as we speak, and Democrats are completely ignoring this. They could at this point field Jesus as candidate, and fascist not too bright but very keen and full of criminal energy GOP election officials would find a way to make him lose to Trump, or whichever Nazi the Repubs decide to run with.
    The US in which Kennedy, Carter, Clinton or Biden won elections does not exist anymore. And I actually don’t think there is much difference between Biden and Hillary. Pro-Israel anti-climate more or less corrupt donor-reliant warmongers who in any normal country would be considered far right.

  39. consciousness razor says

    Amber Music, #39:
    As half-assed as they may be, you’re still talking about a bunch of substantive policy choices that made a difference, which Clinton would never have made.

    (And with JFK, you didn’t mention, for example, the space program, starting the Peace Corps, avoiding nuclear war because of the Cuban missile crisis, etc. And even if you don’t like his stalling, there is still the fact that his proposals formed what would become the Civil Rights Act … it’s not his fault that he was assassinated before it passed several months later.)

    With Clinton and Biden, it’s just talk. You hear a lot of noises, things only get worse, then it’s time to vote for them again.

  40. daulnay says

    I held my nose and voted for Clinton, because the alternative was a wannabe dictator. But Clinton lost my vote when Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair at the time, was caught supporting the predatory payday loan industry… and Clinton’s response was .

    That told me who she was. Never mind the 10 million in ‘speaking fees’ from the banking industry, which was a major self-inflicted wound. It was clear she didn’t give a damn about working people, or protecting their interests against the wealthy.

    One of our biggest problems is that our political divisions have shifted from being economic (working-class Democrats vs. wealthy Republicans) to culture wars social issues. The pro-wealthy, like Clinton, have substantial control in both parties, and a veto over legislation that would benefit workers at the expense of wealthy owners. Before the ’70s, there were liberal Republicans like Clinton, pro-environment, pro women’s rights, pro civil rights, on down the line of liberal culture wars issues. When Nixon brought the conservative Southern Democrats into the party, they became fairly powerless and switched parties, becoming the Clinton faction.

    This has left a political void which Donald Trump is exploiting; he runs against the Republican party elites, as well as the Democratic party ones. And it resonates, because ordinary people have shared NONE of the prosperity since 1980. That ‘rising tide’ only lifted the boats of the well-to-do. Both parties have turned their backs on ordinary people over the last 40 years. destroying the American dream for us.

    Since 1980, real per-capita GNP has nearly doubled, increasing 99%. If that near-doubling of per-capita GNP had been broadly shared, we wouldn’t have the poverty and housing crises that we do. But ordinary people – the ‘bottom’ 80 % of us – got a couple percent points of those gains in real income over 40 years. That feeds a justifiable feeling of betrayal, which Trump has exploited to try to seize power, like many tyrants have since classical Greece. This is a dynamic as old as civilization.

    So I am no longer a Democrat, not as long as the Bidens, Clintons, Pelosis and Schumers are in control. Instead, I am supporting candates individually, and especially in the primaries where the choices are really made, for maximum leverage.

  41. drew says

    It’s easy to sound principled now.

    But you’ll vote for the most despicable person who’s not named Trump. And you’ll like it so much you evangelize it.

  42. KG says

    drew@45,
    And you’ll help Trump to impose a dictatorship. And you’ll like it so much you evangelize it.

  43. says

    Remember when Hillary was going to fix healthcare, like some forbear of Jared, she was unelected and everywhere, then faded out as soon as Bill realized she was a PR problem who should be invisible while he fought off yet another scandal brought on by his inadequate penis-control? At the time, I thought, “huh. This pair is setting up a dynasty.” They sure do love power. When she bought a place in NY, it telegraphed her eventual run for president. I held my nose and voted for her. Her Clintonian love of pointless secrets left her open to attack. They’d have made stuff up, for sure, but darn it, it was her turn. Meanwhile, the democrats refuse to learn that “the devil you don’t know – gets elected” until the dirt comes out. The dems just aren’t disciplined enough to win. They hire political hacks like Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta. The dems thought they could shrug off the hacking, the selective “investigations” from a partisan FBI director – and blame it all on Russia. They are weak and stupid.

  44. says

    consciousness razor, #41:
    All of those men received enormous amounts of support from their congresses. Lincoln as leader during the civil war, FDR had over 70 senators and was leader through the great depression and then WWII, and JFK had over 60 democratic senators throughout his whole tenure. Biden has 48+2 senators.

    Now Obama and his first congress probably should have gotten a lot more done in the two years, but he didn’t have a super majority (exactly 60 votes) for more than a few months before the red wave midterms.

    Bill Clinton had 57 senators for his first two years and then republican majorities the rest of the time.

  45. says

    Well, Trump stacking the Supreme Court with christofascist stooges was sure worth it to show the dems that your vote can’t be taken for granted, right ConRaz and co.?
    Who cares about all the women that will now die thanks to unsafe backalley abortions, who cares that the Republican party has been embolded to embrace outright neo-feudalist authoritarianism which they will implement as soon as they are given the chance to do so as long as you could sit on your mighty moral molehill and sagely lecture the plebes about being principled.

    Please spit in your palms and smear the sputum all over your face because I’m too far away to spit in your face myself.

  46. says

    Well, Trump stacking the Supreme Court with christofascist stooges was sure worth it to show the dems that your vote can’t be taken for granted, right ConRaz and co.?
    Who cares about all the women that will now die thanks to unsafe backalley abortions, who cares that the Republican party has been embolded to embrace outright neo-feudalist authoritarianism which they will implement as soon as they are given the chance to do so as long as you could sit on your mighty moral molehill and sagely lecture the plebes about being principled.

    Please spit in your palms and smear the sputum all over your face because I’m too far away to spit in your face myself.

  47. consciousness razor says

    Marcus Ranum:

    They are weak and stupid.

    They’ve kept their cushy “jobs” and can still feel like their lives matter to someone. Failures only make a difference when you’re poor.

    Amber Music:

    All of those men received enormous amounts of support from their congresses.

    With Clinton, it’s hypothetical since she lost, but there was also nothing actually standing in the way of her endorsing better positions as a candidate.

    With Biden, you’re apparently implying that he would’ve gone against everything that he stood for, throughout his very long and conservative life and including his presidential run, if only he had a few more members of Congress on his side. (But that’s not supposed to be more like Manchin, Sinema, Gottheimer, etc., who are actually on his side. Different ones…. I’m going to guess that it’s probably the left’s fault somehow.)

    There is no reason to believe that.

  48. says

    Consciousness razor, you’re the one who said:

    With Clinton and Biden, it’s just talk. You hear a lot of noises, things only get worse, then it’s time to vote for them again.

    So I pointed out pointed out what would need to happen before they could get reforms in the vein of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy (LBJ) and how we haven’t had those conditions since Kennedy’s era.
    Now you’re going back to the fact that their moral character is flawed and they wouldn’t do anything anyway. But that was my very very first post. Lincoln would have done nothing to help the slaves without the civil war. Kennedy was dragged by activists to get stuff done on the civil rights act,.. probably FDR was a man of convictions to help the white poor and would’ve fought for that no matter the circumstances, but you still had to be white for him not to throw you under the bus.

    (And if those three aren’t the type liberals consider good presidents, there have been no good presidents, so there’s nothing to discuss anyway)

    And I’m not going to naval gaze about what a Biden with a hypothetical 65 Dems senate would do. I think policies that are further left would get through in that scenario.

  49. kome says

    @52

    Kennedy was dragged by activists to get stuff done on the civil rights act

    Seems, then, like we should all be activists dragging the president at every possible moment to get stuff done for the American people. That might be a hell of lot more useful than browbeating activists into being more polite and never criticizing a Democratic politician because at least they’re not a more overtly evil Republican politician.

    But then again, without browbeating progressive activists, what would a lot of white people more concerned about their moral high ground than the actual material conditions of their fellow citizens do with their afternoons?

  50. says

    I’ve been keeping quiet for a while — basically, I’m waiting for a very obvious prediction I have made to come true, so I can say “I told you so” to the people who disagreed with me — but I really can’t let these comments pass unchallenged:

    @#15, HidariMak

    she was likely one of the most qualified USpresidential candidates in history

    How, precisely? In 2016, she had won exactly two elections to Federal office as a candidate, both of them in a state which was heavily Democratic and fairly certainly would have elected anybody else as long as they had a D after their name. She then served as Secretary of State, where she was honestly pretty much a disaster, for reasons which I will explain further down.

    Compare that to, just for example, Al Gore, who I don’t like but nobody here has complained about so we can consider him a reasonable example: in addition to winning the popular vote for President in 2000 but losing the electoral college (as Hillary did in 2016), he won elections to national office 6 times running, served in Congress for 16 years and then as VP for 8 — which means that, unlike Hillary, he spent the Clinton years with actual authority within the government. He was vastly more qualified than Hillary was, and he’s not even all that unique in the trajectory of his career. I don’t know why people like you go so daffy over her, but her qualifications — while not quite as meager as a few people — were really pretty meager.

    @#23, silvrhalide

    <

    blockquote>Hilary is a really smart policy wonk. Seriously. She’s smart and hardworking.

    <

    blockquote>

    This is a lie. It has always been a lie. Before 2000, Hillary Clinton was most strongly associated with the Clinton healthcare plan — which failed. So even by her “all that matter is that you win” stance, she was a failure before she even actually ran for office. And what was her record after that? She supported the Iraq invasion when a very solid majority of the state she notionally represented as Senator — and an overwhelming majority of members of her own party within her state — was against it, and then repeatedly lied afterwards about why she voted for it. She supported the PATRIOT Act, a blatant power-grab for fascism by the Republican Party, and also the creation of DHS and ICE. As Secretary of State, she oversaw — as the Obama administration later admitted — the distribution of arms and cash to anybody who said they would attack Assad, which turned out to include ISIS and Al Queda*. She deliberately lied us into destroying the government of Libya, a completely voluntary and immoral echo of Iraq, which was a huge bonus for ISIS as well. It was her State Department’s choice to back the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, as the cable leak showed, and whether you think Russia would have invaded anyway or not, it definitely gave them the pretext they needed. Her only meeting with representatives from Black Lives Matter was a 5-minute stop on the way to somewhere else, and she told them they were making too much fuss about a few deaths.

    She has consistently been a disaster, because she has no foresight, no ability whatsoever to think of the consequences of her actions, and absolutely no real morals or ethics at all. There is no point in her history at which her retirement from politics forever would not have made the world a better place at this time. The same goes for her philandering ass of a husband, who — according to exit polls — would never have been President if Ross Perot had not been a spoiler.

    *Incidentally, according to Seymour Hersh, the journalist who broke the story of the Mai Tai massacre and coverup, the real reason the Republicans kept going on about Benghazi was that some of their own people had been part of the scheme, so they knew Hillary Clinton had been approving of a Reaganesque, Iran-Contra-style plot to arm terrorists, but they couldn’t accuse her using that testimony without revealing their own complicity, and they were hoping that if they kept making her go over it often enough she would slip and admit it, so they could then prosecute her like Oliver North. According to him, basically everyone in the mideast knew that the Benghazi embassy was where the US was doing the handouts of guns and money, and it was amazing that the American press never caught on before the attacks.

  51. consciousness razor says

    Consciousness razor, you’re the one who said

    With Clinton and Biden, it’s just talk. You hear a lot of noises, things only get worse, then it’s time to vote for them again.

    I guess I should’ve made it clearer that their talking is mostly destructive and bullshitty. It’s not generally empty promises that I wished they would keep (if that’s what you have in mind here), because they don’t generally want things that I consider constructive, meaningful changes. They’re pretty transparent about that fact when they do their talking, although I’m sure it still fools and confuses many people.

    Now you’re going back to the fact that their moral character is flawed and they wouldn’t do anything anyway. But that was my very very first post. Lincoln would have done nothing […]

    We’re definitely going in circles. I think you already conceded that they did actually do big important things, whatever may have motivated it to happen or however flawed they may have been in design or execution. The point is that people like Clinton (and Biden, etc.) just don’t do that.

    Look, I’m not demanding that politicians must be unresponsive to the population, because they should only do what they’re going to do no matter what. That’s not how it should work in a democratic society, and that’s not what being “principled” is about to me (or if I ever talked about “moral character,” what that would mean). Indeed, the problem is that it hardly seems to matter how popular a policy is or what kind of environmental/social pressures we’re facing, since it’s still likely to be the case even then that Clinton and Biden and their ilk won’t actually do it. If it matters to the wealthy or involves more exploitation or violence, then maybe they will….

    Anyway, they don’t need all of the ideas, and I don’t expect that of anyone. I basically just want them not to have their heads all clogged up with so much shit. And if you really think that you feel the same way about Lincoln, FDR, and JFK as I do about Clinton, then I honestly don’t know what to make of that. It makes me question whether we’re living on the same planet, and it’s hard to believe you could be serious about this. But if that’s what you think … okay.

  52. Rob Grigjanis says

    The Vicar @54:

    It was her State Department’s choice to back the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014,

    If the neo-Nazis were in charge after the “coup”, no doubt you can name some of them. How many seats in Parliament did they have after the “coup”?

    Of course there are far-right groups in Ukraine (as there are in most countries, including Russia and the USA), but they never had the power to pull off a coup.

    More Putin-inspired bullshit…

  53. dianne says

    I’m not sorry I voted for Clinton. She was running against a transexclusionary radical fascist and that’s worse than her or JK Rowling any day. That being said, I currently have little to no interest in Clinton one way or another. She’s almost certainly never going to run for any office that I would have a vote in deciding and PZ’s more likely to influence my political thinking so why is it even any of my business? Harris’ position on trans rights, that I’m interested in. Biden’s position I’m also interested in*. Clinton’s? Meh, who cares?

    *Rachel Levine’s nomination suggests that he’s at least not a deSantos or Perry level bigot on this issue.

  54. mcfrank0 says

    I have a big problem with the first tweet. The Centrist states what he thinks of transgender issues, but there is no quote of what he said to Hillary. Hillary’s quote is correct, but says nothing about throwing anyone under the bus.

    I have seen no end of Hillary quotes supporting LGBTQ+ rights. I wonder if we have a problem here with an unreliable narrator. He has already proudly stated HIS agenda.

  55. says

    Sorry I read that into your quote consciousness razor, that’s partly what I was responding to.

    A warning, I’m autistic so we may actually think of the role of individual people in our government. But I don’t think of Lincoln the same way you think of Clinton, it seems you (and PZ) kinda hate Clinton for being “lukewarm” (to quote our favorite 1st century philosopher) and I think of Lincoln and Clinton as more bog standard party representatives of their times.

    Lincoln would have been a milquetoast president without the civil war. He wouldn’t have emancipated any slaves. I think presidential heroism and mythology is very much created when the times are ripe. If you put someone like Biden as president in the 1860s (whatever that means) during the civil war, he’d probably come out as a hero president. If you put FDR into the presidency now, we’d have the same do-nothing congress and presidency and he’d be forgotten in 20 years.

    I think Americans likes heroes and mythologies too much. It’s why some people thought Trump was the second coming when really he was just an incompetent narcissistic racist.

  56. says

    I meant to say:
    I’m autistic so we may actually think differently of the role of individual people in our government.

    As in I might systemize things more while you pay more attention to the effect of individual people through interpersonal relationships. Or not. I don’t know you.

  57. consciousness razor says

    Of course there are far-right groups in Ukraine (as there are in most countries, including Russia and the USA), but they never had the power to pull off a coup.

    But not every country is such a clusterfuck of nationalism, oligarchs, human rights violations, corruption, political violence,, civil war, and more nationalism. We really know how to pick ’em, don’t we?

    And you don’t seem to get that, when they have help, they don’t need to pull off anything all by themselves.

    from Putin’s own Salon.com:

    Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and its founders, Oleh Tyahnybok and Andriy Parubiy, played leading roles in the U.S-backed coup in February 2014. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt mentioned Tyahnybok as one of the leaders they were working with in their infamous leaked phone call before the coup, even as they tried to exclude him from an official position in the post-coup government.

    There’s also Putin’s vile and decrepit Business Insider.com: McCain also meeting with Tyahnybok and another right-wing nationalist (Yatsenyuk) who was Prime Minister in 2014-2016.

  58. consciousness razor says

    As in I might systemize things more while you pay more attention to the effect of individual people through interpersonal relationships. Or not. I don’t know you.

    Maybe so, I don’t know. I think we got a little closer to agreement or at least understanding each other, but it’s okay either way.

    I’m definitely with you, regarding our mythologizing and hero worship of past presidents (particularly the ones you mentioned, along with Washington, Jefferson and several others). The way I would put it is that there are still a lot of good things to say about them despite all the flaws, but there’s very little of that with Clinton.

  59. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @62: Congratulations on finding Western media which parrots the “coup” bullshit! Yes, there’s a lot! Maybe you can dig up some more articles which frame the Tiananmen massacre as “an attempted coup”. Or maybe just think about what the word “coup” actually means.

  60. consciousness razor says

    Or maybe just think about what the word “coup” actually means.

    I know there are many different meanings, since they can come in so many different forms.

    If you want to use some more polite terms which make you feel more at ease, then sure, why not? “The US-backed kerfuffle,” for instance, or if you want to be more long-winded about it, “the US-backed goings-on when there was a bit of a brouhaha about something or other.”

    ~~~

    Now for something completely different….

    Our totally-legit Assistant Secretary of State Nuland: “Fuck the EU.”
    The equally impeccable Ambassador Pyatt: “No, exactly.”

  61. silvrhalide says

    @54
    “Compare that to, just for example, Al Gore, who I don’t like but nobody here has complained about so we can consider him a reasonable example”
    Can we?
    He ran for president and there was basically zero difference between him and Dubya in terms of policy positions.
    He was representative & senator for Tennessee for 16 years and voted according to Big Tobacco & Big Agribusiness’s wishes consistently in a safe state that would have elected anything with a Republican party nomination.
    He picked Joe Lieberman, a DINO (Lieberman voted with the Republicans and against the Democrats on any number of issues–he was the Joe Manchin of his day) as his running mate for his presidential campaign.
    He didn’t grow a pair of balls and discover his inner climate change activism until AFTER he lost the election. He sure didn’t campaign on those issues. (New rule: Democrats must grow a pair BEFORE they run for office, not after they’ve lost the election.)

    “then as VP for 8 — which means that, unlike Hillary, he spent the Clinton years with actual authority within the government.”
    And what did he do with that actual authority? NOTHING.
    And while I truly hated Hillary’s original health care reform (among other things, she wanted to have regional healthcare, in which you would be at the mercy of whatever healthcare your region offered. You would not be able to travel to another region to get healthcare and still have it covered. Three guesses as to what type of healthcare region she’d be in.), at least she took an actual shot at the problem, which is more than Al or Slick Willie did. As per usual, sending a woman in to deal with a mess that they don’t feel like dealing with.

    “She supported the PATRIOT Act, a blatant power-grab for fascism by the Republican Party,”
    News flash: the only senator who DIDN”T vote for that was Russ Feingold. The Patriot Act passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 357-66, with 62 Democrats voting against it along with three Republicans and Independent Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
    So 98 other senators DID vote for the Patriot Act. Including Hillary. Kind of curious why you are only going after her for it. Your misogyny is showing.

    “and also the creation of DHS and ICE.”
    NO. The Republicans own those two shitshows.
    DHS was created by Dubya & he made Tom Ridge its first secretary. Ridge’s contribution to preventing another attack was a stupid color coded chart that cost $40 billion and let us know if we were in condition Slightly Puce or Faintly Ecru on any given day.
    ICE was created in 2002 as a division of the Dept. of Homeland Security. So, garbage in, garbage out. In any event, both were Dubya’s creations/brain farts.

    “As Secretary of State, she oversaw — as the Obama administration later admitted — the distribution of arms and cash to anybody who said they would attack Assad, which turned out to include ISIS and Al Queda*.”
    Well yeah. Again, she’s hardly the only one. Or maybe you missed Ronnie the Raygun’s Iran-Contra scandal? Again, why are you only singling her out?

    “She deliberately lied us into destroying the government of Libya,”
    The Qaddafi government has been a shitshow from Day 1. Obama may have cleared some time in his busy schedule for whacking Qaddafi but there was some Ceausescu-level hate going on there by the Libyan populace. You don’t do that to a corpse without some real hate by the populace. Makes the Terror of the French Revolution look like a sunny Sunday picnic.

    What color is the sky in your world where you think Russia would have ever needed a pretext to invade Ukraine?

    As Secretary of State, Hillary was a rock star to most of the rest of the world. Our allies love her. She and Madeleine Albright cemented a lot of international support for the US. It’s not nothing.

    I don’t like her. I never did. But there is no denying that she is smart, focused and capable. She is also venal and power hungry. But if you want to see what power hungry and venal looks like without intelligence and capability, allow me to introduce you to Exhibit A: Sarah Palin, aka Caribou Barbie.

    If you want to see unqualified spouses of political leaders given Cabinet positions, see Exhibit B: Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell’s unqualified and utterly useless wife. There have been bad Cabinet picks before but there is a special level of crappitude needed for the Washington Post to describe your job performance as Secretary of Labor as “running away from the job”.

    “She has consistently been a disaster, because she has no foresight, no ability whatsoever to think of the consequences of her actions, and absolutely no real morals or ethics at all. There is no point in her history at which her retirement from politics forever would not have made the world a better place at this time. ”
    Given a time machine and two bullets, I’d take out Henry Kissinger as The Worst Secretary of State. The second bullet is for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Hillary isn’t even close.
    Maybe you missed the part where I pointed out that Hillary has all the political instincts of a lemming in freefall?

    “The same goes for her philandering ass of a husband, who — according to exit polls — would never have been President if Ross Perot had not been a spoiler.”
    Bush 41 lost the election because he was too busy trying to be Policeman of the World (and also throwing military veterans–and their post-service children with birth defects–under the bus.) Bush 41 hadn’t quite worked out that the American people elected him to run the US, not pick fights for profit around the world. As Slick Willie so memorably put it, “it’s the economy, stupid”.
    The idea of Bob Dole as president and Elizabeth Dole as FLOTUS pretty much makes me want to vomit.
    Sure, Bob Dole served his country and paid a high price for it. But so did a lot of people. And the first chance he got, Bob Dole ditched his first wife and their kid for a trophy wife (Elizabeth, beauty pageant contestant).
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/campaign/dole/exwife.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Dole
    https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/red-cross-question-competence/
    https://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/30/us/blood-bank-politics-special-report-elizabeth-dole-red-cross-2-powers-work.html
    From the NYT
    “A Federal judge described one dispute as “horribly unseemly,” with accusations of price gouging and stolen donor lists.”
    “Last month, despite a long effort started by Mrs. Dole, the Pentagon rejected a Red Cross request for exclusive rights to conduct blood drives at military installations, access now shared with the nation’s nonprofit community blood banks. A flurry of Pentagon memos shows that senior commanders were concerned that her political power might overcome their opposition.”

    So, just to be clear, Elizabeth Dole wanted exclusive rights to collect blood donations from military and veteran installations–for free, the blood donors would not be compensated–and wanted to sell that same blood at a profit, which would have also been sold to veterans and the military.

    Still think Hillary is The Worst in terms of healthcare policy?

  62. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr: It’s hilarious how you totally ignore the role played by the Ukrainian parliament. They’re irrelevant, because “US-backed”! And never mind Putin’s, or Yanukovych’s behaviour throughout. Nuland had a phone call with Pyatt! QED!

  63. silvrhalide says

    *typo
    Should have read “He was representative & senator for Tennessee for 16 years and voted according to Big Tobacco & Big Agribusiness’s wishes consistently in a safe state that would have elected anything with a Democratic party nomination.”
    In the year Al Gore was elected representative, Tennessee voted Democrat in the presidential election as well. His incumbency as representative was a major factor in his election to senator. As was the name and family recognition–his father also served as representative and senator for Tennessee.

    Cut and paste error. My bad.

  64. John Morales says

    Why regret voting for Hillary, given that Trump won?

    The sentiment makes no sense at all to me.

  65. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    “Why regret doing a potentially harmful thing, if, in retrospect, no harm accrued?”

    You okay? You were always a troll, but I swear you weren’t always this stupid.

  66. jack lecou says

    Rob @67:

    cr: It’s hilarious how you totally ignore the role played by the Ukrainian parliament. They’re irrelevant, because “US-backed”! And never mind Putin’s, or Yanukovych’s behaviour throughout. Nuland had a phone call with Pyatt! QED!

    Or Russian-trained police-snipers.

    But of course, you forget that there’s a long history of such things. Who can forget, for example, the illegal French-backed coup that installed George Washington to power.

    Or the Spanish-backed coup of Louverture. The British backed coups of Bolivar. The French-backed coup of Leopold. Or back further: The Sasanid-backed coup of Heraclius. The Obotrite-backed coup of the Lutici… The list is endless.

    Why, it’s a good thing there are foreign governments. How else would any people anywhere have ever been able to decide anything?!

  67. John Morales says

    Silentbob:

    “Why regret doing a potentially harmful thing, if, in retrospect, no harm accrued?”

    Did you seriously imagine you were paraphrasing me?
    Because I wrote nothing about harmfulness, only about the action of voting in light of the results.

    Anyway. From your attributed quotation, it follows that you believe the actual event of Trump becoming President and the ensuing consequences amount to “no harm accrued”.
    Which leads to the consideration of what was potentially harmful about the vote, given the only options were Clinton or Trump.
    It follows you that, by “potentially harmful”, you refer to the outcome where Trump did not become President.

    So, by the logic of your purported paraphrase, it follows that there’s nothing to regret, since it’s evident after the fact that there was in fact no potential harmful outcome from one’s vote, either way.

    You okay? You were always a troll, but I swear you weren’t always this stupid.

    This is not the IQ thread.

    (I’m sure yours is shiny, but, since you’re in a position to judge me thus)

  68. microraptor says

    Amber Music @60:

    Lincoln would have been a milquetoast president without the civil war. He wouldn’t have emancipated any slaves.

    Yes, because emancipating the slaves in the US would have required changing federal law. Which fell under the Legislative branch’s authority, not the Executive branch.

  69. jack lecou says

    @54:

    …the story of the Mai Tai massacre…

    I’d forgotten about that one. Wiped out a whole village worth of curaçao, didn’t it?

    (Interesting connections though. You could actually tack the whitewashing of the earlier-but-similar No Gun Ri massacre on to your list of Clintonian crimes.)

  70. velociraptor says

    I am going to quote myself to this forum, again, to wit:

    “Listen up and let me clue some of you in on why the Fascists win – for the last few decades, while you pouted, they VOTED. And they voted because they understood that getting part of what they wanted was better than getting NONE of it. They organized and took over the GOP at the grass-roots level, and now we are seeing the results. They gained control, purged the moderates, and now the lunatics are running the asylum. So guess what, you need to do the same damn thing. And if you can’t sell your ideas, you might have to face another thing more unpalatable – maybe your ideas aren’t that good to begin with – or perhaps you just suck at selling them. I don’t agree that the Left has bad ideas, but I am a pragmatic adult, and it is obvious many of you are not.”

    The tired idiocy of the “I WANT MUH UNICORN” crowd has allowed the installment of a 6-3 Christofascist majority on the SCOTUS.

    Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of every one of their decisions. Don’t moan about Roe v. Wade – they are coming for it ALL – Obergefell, Griswold, etc. And it will be your inaction that brought it about.

  71. kome says

    @75

    Bernie Sanders primary supporters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 at a far higher rate than Hillary Clinton primary supporters voted for Obama in 2008. More Clinton supporters voted for McCain in ’08 than Sanders supporters voted for Trump in ’16.
    The “I want my unicorn” crowd also seems to be the pragmatic centrists who support Clinton. And they also seem to be the too lazy to vote crowd and the “take my ball and go home” crowd when they don’t get what they want and the “I’ll show you by voting for the other party” crowd when they also don’t get what they want. And yet Obama won while Clinton lost. It’s really hard to look at the numbers and be able to reasonably draw any other conclusion than Hillary Clinton was just a shit candidate.

    The 6-3 Christofascist supreme court makeup is due mainly to Mitch McConnell making up the rules as he goes along. But, if you want to force through a connection to it being a distal consequence of the 2016 election, that can only be placed at the feet of Hillary losing because she’s always been a fucking loser, with fucking lazy loser supporters. She was a shit campaigner, a lazy and entitled politician who felt zero need to do anything with her power for anyone other than her career ambitions, who openly browbeat minorities and courted anti-abortion conservatives more than she’s ever courted any women’s rights activists who wanted action instead of tokenism. The SCOTUS clusterfuck lay at her feet before it ever lay at the feet of any progressive voter.

  72. jack lecou says

    veliciraptor @75

    They organized and took over the GOP at the grass-roots level, and now we are seeing the results. They gained control, purged the moderates, and now the lunatics are running the asylum. So guess what, you need to do the same damn thing.

    Counterpoint: there’s no real difference between the activist grassroots on either side. Both are roughly equally passionate about their ideals and have the same innate level of organization. If anything, the left is probably more numerous. The real difference is at the top: Post-1994, GOP leadership has (at least fitfully) embraced the electoral energy inherent to insurgencies, particularly in safer districts, and has for the most part mounted only a token resistance to them (after, e.g., an embarrassing cycle). In contrast, Democratic leadership has been far more uniformly hostile to its grassroots, pushing down aggressively, proactively, and (alas) mostly effectively on primary insurgents and other challenges to the establishment.

  73. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 22

    Yes. Really.

    This country was “founded” (i.e. stolen) by white capitalists looking for cities literally made of gold and Calvinist zealots wanting to set up a Puritan theocracy. Our government was created by rich, slave-owing, wannabe aristocrats who started a rebellion just so they could get out of paying a few measly taxes. Our economic might was built by African slaves and other exploited workers over the mass graves of this continent’s indigenous peoples. We have fought wars and killed people, here and abroad, to keep this country’s rich fat and happy and to suppress any sort of socio-economic progress. Capitalism. Theism. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia/Transphobia. These are indelibly etched into American culture’s very DNA. Even our so-called “liberal” politicians talk about “fixing” capitalism rather than ending it and would rather celebrate superstition as a quaint cultural difference rather than something to be stamped out. You can not expect progress out of THIS cess pool.

    No, to create a better society, we need to start out fresh and new with a culture that prizes progress; racial, sexual, and economic equality; and reason from the get go.

  74. StevoR says

    @70. Silentbob : I don’t think John Morales is a troll. He is a long time commenter here who makes a lot of comments on a lot of threads and is opinionated & stubborn on some things ( like me) but that’s not trolling is it? It doesn’t meet my definition of it anyhow. I know you don’t like my (similar I guess) multiple commenting conversational style (& poor spelling / grammar, verbosity mea culpa) but is that trolling.. really? / Meta.

  75. StevoR says

    @54. The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) – 21 June 2022 at 6:22 pm :

    I’ve been keeping quiet for a while — basically, I’m waiting for a very obvious prediction I have made to come true, so I can say “I told you so” to the people who disagreed with me — but I really can’t let these comments pass unchallenged:

    Like to give us that prediction clearly now before it happens rather than pick something in hindsight?

    Are you hoping that presumably bad news prediction comes true and effectively barracking for it – like you barracked for Trump over Biden* – or would you like to find a way to stop it?

    You know who gets (got) to say “I told you so” here? Jim Wright in the Stonekettle Station blog post I’ve linked upthread in #79.

    Also, question for you do you give the Ukrainians any agency of their own here and if so how much? Yes, the West (broadly and loosely speaking) is backing & arming Ukraine – Europe and Oz and Canada (?) as well as pretty much most of the world incl, yes significantly, the USA but isn’t Ukraine actually in charge of their own fight against the invading Russians here? Or do you think Zelensky is a puppet like Trump?

    .* Which thinking predictions didn’t you predict Biden would lose to Trump in the last election – which obvs didn’t happen. In a landslide didn’t happen despite the “red mirage” from voting in person vs postal voting that had people worried on the night.

    PS. is it better to combine multiple resposnes /replies to multiple commenters in one longer comment or split into many multiple comments? Any preferences and reasons suggested please? Personally, I’ve tried both at various times, still not sure which approach is better and switch between those commenting methods.

  76. consciousness razor says

    kome:

    The 6-3 Christofascist supreme court makeup is due mainly to Mitch McConnell making up the rules as he goes along. But, if you want to force through a connection to it being a distal consequence of the 2016 election, that can only be placed at the feet of Hillary

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares a lot of the blame. Of course, Obama and co. wouldn’t have picked an all-around great nominee either (Merrick Garland, anyone?), but perhaps not so entirely awful.

    By the way, it is at least 6-3 in favor of Christofascism, as we got with the recent Maine case. But it was 7-2 in a precursor case, Trinity Lutheran v. Comer (from 2017). And often enough, it’s 7-2 for anybody who worships the gods of capitalism.

  77. says

    Bernie Sanders primary supporters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 at a far higher rate than Hillary Clinton primary supporters voted for Obama in 2008. More Clinton supporters voted for McCain in ’08 than Sanders supporters voted for Trump in ’16.

    Anyone else remember the PUMAs? (Although, in fairness, I suspect Hillary herself didn’t really want her supporters to behave that way — not that it matters now.)

    The “I want my unicorn” crowd also seems to be the pragmatic centrists who support Clinton.

    Yeah, given the results that lot have given us, I don’t think they should be able to call themselves “pragmatic” anymore. Try “spineless” or “cowardly.”

  78. jack lecou says

    StevoR @79:

    https://www.stonekettle.com/2018/05/hunting-unicorn-to-extinction.html

    Not sure if you’re linking that approvingly or not, but ugh. What a perfect example of the idiotic “all the stupid voters are just doing it wrong” theory of Democratic electoral defeat.

    It’s the mirror image of the dumb conservative “I keep telling people to stop doing X, so why won’t people stop doing X. If everyone just stopped doing X, there wouldn’t be an X problem” theory of social change.

    Sure, I guess if people stopped responding to stimuli like, you know, people, everything would be fine.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, you have to campaign with the voters you have, not the ones you wish you had. GOP voters don’t just magically know which school board candidate to vote for (or that an important school board election is happening) either — they get that info from a mailer or their megachurch pastor or whatever. And that’s getting paid for by a PAC somewhere, one which probably also ran a program to get the local party to put forward good candidates. In short, someone is organizing this. And GOP voters don’t just go to the polls every year because they’re magic unicorn voting robots. They go because their candidates and media apparatus inspire them to. (Inspire them with stupid fearmongering shit about illegal inner-city immigrant abortion doctors or whatever to be sure, but the point is Republicans don’t just sit back and expect to get those votes no matter what.)

  79. consciousness razor says

    jack lecou:

    And GOP voters don’t just go to the polls every year because they’re magic unicorn voting robots. They go because their candidates and media apparatus inspire them to.

    Don’t forget the fact that it helps to be older and richer (or less poor).

    In different cases, they may be retired or semi-retired. Or they’re in more secure positions at their jobs. Or they may not even need a real job, if all they do is collect rent or whatever. And so forth.

    That’s also not about magic, unicorns or robots, but it does explain some of the disparity in voter turnout.

  80. jack lecou says

    CR @85: …does explain some of the disparity in voter turnout.

    Yeah, some of it. There are definitely blocks that turn out more reliably than others. But as an actual explanation for anything, I think it only goes so far. 1) Even large parts of those groups would stay home if they were left to feel like they had nothing real to vote for, 2) there are (or were) blocks of highly reliable voters on the D side too, 3) why are, e.g., retirees going down to vote for the party that wants to repeal their social security instead of one offering a better alternative?

    You just can’t get the full picture until you bring decades of Democratic establishment fecklessness into the frame.

  81. consciousness razor says

    Anyone else remember the PUMAs?

    For those who don’t, a little refresher.

    According to PUMA, “We [were] protesting the 2008 Presidential election because we refuse to support a nominee who was selected by the leadership rather than elected by the voters.”

    Still good for a laugh. It just gets better with age.

    And how did that end up at support for McCain/Palin? The world may never know.

  82. consciousness razor says

    You just can’t get the full picture until you bring decades of Democratic establishment fecklessness into the frame.

    I’m not against that at all, as I think should be clear by now. Just helping to paint another part of the picture which many tend to neglect.

  83. consciousness razor says

    To provide a little more pushback, since I don’t think it’s a minor point….

    It’s not a coincidence that our elected officials are also older and richer and more conservative. You don’t usually run for office either, when you need to hold onto a job just to pay the bills.

    So, who is supposed to be “inspired” about voting for another out-of-touch rich old person, or to think that their views are well represented by anyone? The young and the poor?

    Some tend to act like everyone’s on an equal footing to begin with, so “the cause” of these things has to be found elsewhere. But our system gives a lot of real advantages to conservatives (and not only Republican ones). Those have nothing to do with how well the parties or related organizations are run.

  84. jack lecou says

    @89:

    All very true, and a big problem in and of itself. We need to push for stuff like public funding and other measures that will make legislatures more representative. But I still think it’s a somewhat orthogonal issue.

    The fact is, it is entirely within the ability of even the most well-off politicians to sympathize with and inspire ordinary people with messages and polices that appeal to them. Or at least to pretend to. Granted, that takes moderately more effort than just assuming that the concerns of your friends at the country club are representative of your constituents, but not that much. Many politicians have managed it over the centuries. Populism is an actual thing, and one that is almost never practiced by actual paupers.

    So I think it’s just so very telling that so many current (D) leaders not only can’t be bothered with even that bare minimum, but actually act affronted when people call them out on it.

    (PS: On at least this issue, I know we’re basically choir members preaching to one another on the finer points — I apologize if any of my little quibbles come across as overly combative or contrary.)

  85. daulnay says

    A lot of political commentary frustrates me, because it pretends that the opposing side is monolithic. Political parties are composed of factions, with sometimes opposing goals. While we’re talking about the Democratic side here, the same is true of Republicans. Calling the Republican majority on the court Christofascists isn’t helpful – there are significant fracture lines; some are Catholic, others Protestant; Barrett is the closest to a Christofascist, but Roberts is far from one. If the Right is pushing for national religion, then the fracture line is ‘which one’ – and at that point the alliance will break, for the same reasons that caused the founders to put the establishment clause in the Constitution.

    But do you hear the Democratic politicians pointing out that problem? There’s a lot of hand-wringing about abandoning the establishment clause, but no effort to widen the obvious fault-line on the Republican side. And it’s large – I grew up in a conservative Midwestern small town, and there was a bitter divide between Catholic and Protestant. We should avoid inflaming sectarian prejudice, but pointing out the sectarian problems that are going to inevitably come from national religion will get many Republicans to back off.

    Part of Trump’s win came from pulling two factions of voters/non-voters that had no political home; people who were despairing about politics, and people who were disinterested in politics but were interested in celebrity media. The former group had been switching parties pretty regularly, after being let down by the man from Hope, Arkansas; the kinder, gentler America of Dubya, and Obama’s Hope and Change. The latter? They probably voted for Reagan, too.

    If we want real change, we have to apply leverage where we can. Recognizing the fractures in the opposing side and exploiting them would help tremendously, and this is where the conventional Democratic leadership fails badly (or perhaps succeeds, if your goal isn’t to win with a big tent).

    The Democratic leadership has been hostile to competing nationwide, in all states. When Howard Dean tried a Fifty-State strategy, it was fairly successful… but opposed by the ‘moderate’ Democrats and eventually abandoned. Obama successfully revived it, and it was again abandoned. The big tent must make too many Democratic politicians uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for a healthy party and (IMO) a healthy democracy. And it’s a winning strategy, so it seems a no-brainer.

    But the ‘moderate’ wing of the Democrats are hostile to the idea of running social conservative/economically liberal candidates in red states, even though many of those voters were traditionally Democrats. So their only home is Trumpism, endangering our democracy. However, they’re happy to support the Joe Manchins. Go figure.

  86. velociraptor says

    @76 “The 6-3 Christofascist supreme court makeup is due mainly to Mitch McConnell making up the rules as he goes along. ”

    Did it ever occur to you that getting your ass(es) out there and giving the Dems control of the Senate would have prevented that in the first place?

    @77 Don’t waste anyone’s time with the ‘BUTT BOTH SIDEZ!!!’ bullshit.

    @79 While I am a great admirer of Jim Wright, and have followed him for about a decade now, that wasn’t me quoting him directly. I came to the same conclusions a bit earlier, and I DO like the Unicorn analogy, so THAT part, I suppose you can accuse me of using.

    Yes, folks. You own every one of those Christofascist decisions. Roe v. Wade is merely the beginning.

  87. StevoR says

    @ ^ velociraptor : Ah, that’s why that sounded so familar. Did read as very Jim Wright~ish which is a compliment.

    @85. consciousness razor : Good points and certainly part of the explanation but I don’t think its the whole story.

    @87. consciousness razor (cr) : Whataboutery. Two wrongs make a right now? In case you forgot Obama won the 2008 election despite them.

    @ 82. cr : “Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares a lot of the blame.” There’s plentyof blame to go around but I think that’s a bit unfair and think Moscow Mitch Mconenelll and the Repubs have far more blame here as does the EC and other things that rig the US political system in the reichwuings favour. RBG did NOT choose when she died (yes, she could have chosen to retire earlier) Mitch and the Repugs certainly chose to ignore her wishes and convention and their previous Garland nomination arguments and do what they did in such a hypocratical, conspiratorial and utterly unjust manner. I give them at least 75% of the blame for what were their own chosen words and actions. Then we can get into other people to blame including the SCOTUS candidates who lied to Congress and treated it with contempt, which is meant to be a crime, yeah? (They tried to impeach Bill Clinton for such a lesser offence lies ~wise recall.) So give them say 25% (?) of the blame here. Then there’s the broken US political system (5%?) and, yeah, RBG not quitting during a Democratic Congressional window to replace her at maybe 5% or so.. ? People’s mileage obvs differing.

    @83. Raging Bee : “Yeah, given the results that lot (pragmatic centrists who support Clinton -ed) have given us, I don’t think they should be able to call themselves “pragmatic” anymore. Try “spineless” or “cowardly.”

    You do remember who the current POTUS is right? Hint :Not Trump despite hiscult’s claims. remeber too which party also if sadly barely controls both Houses of congress yeah?

  88. StevoR says

    PS. I guess you think Bernie would have won the last election too? Perhaps by more than Biden did? Maybe he would have. Then again, maybe he wouldn’t have. Maybe Sanders would have lost in landslide given the absolute irrational white-hot hatred too many Americans have for “socialist” left-wing ideas Barring access to some possible parallel universes we”ll never know.

    But the fact is that, in reality, Joe Biden & Kamala Harris won the 2020 Presdiential election and the Democratic Party took both Houses of Congress with those pragmatic centrists in charge. Also in our reality HRC was chosen by the majority of Americans in 2016 and was only denied the Presidency by the undemocratic abomination that is the USA’s Electoral College despite decades of Murdoch and Repub slander and lies demonising her.

    So was Hillary Rodham Clinton really that bad a candidate when she actually got the most votes?

    (And also got the 2016 nomination getting most Democratic party votes too.)

    Emphasis for and metaphorically looking at @76 kome among others there.

  89. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR @93:

    RBG not quitting during a Democratic Congressional window to replace her at maybe 5% or so.. ? People’s mileage obvs differing.

    Yes, obvs. All the other factors (which amount to far-right arseholes being lying fucking douchebags) were well known while RBG still lived. That SCOTUS is 6-3 rather than 5-4, and her own fucking legacy is pretty much doomed, is 100% down to RBG herself. She threw the dice, and millions of Americans lost.

  90. logicalcat says

    @9 Krome

    Ahh history revisionism. Bernie told black people to shut up and black people voted for Clinton. 9 posts in and already seeing delusional leftist propaganda. This thread will be fun read while I work.

    Also you guys didnt vote for Bernie so thats on you. You get the politicians you pay you vote for and she outvoted him.

  91. StevoR says

    @ 95. Rob Grigjanis :

    So you aren’t going to blame the Repub congress traitors for their actions, their hypocrisy, their betrayals and ideologically motivated lies. Nor Moscow Mitch and Trump and the Federalist society for what they did here – or the “Justices” that lied to Congress and are doing what they said they would NOT do. They get a complete and total pass and its all 100% RBG’s fault for dying when we didn’t want her to?

    ‘Kaaaay. Dude, .FFS!

  92. logicalcat says

    @23

    The child tax credits lovered childhood poverty by 30%. As someone who grew up poor an extra fuck you for trivilizing that fact. Thats the problem woth purity politics. Its neber good enough. Its very clear you grew up provleged.

  93. logicalcat says

    Sorry for post spamming but i consume this blog i short spurts during random downtimes at work. Im 23 posts in and i wonder how long until someone points out that Obama threw gay people under the bus by pretendong to not care about gayarriage to win the election only to legalize it when he did win because thats how you get shit done, by winning first.

    Also fyi progressoves if Clinton is a loser what that make you? Yall cant win shit and when you lose you invent conspiracy theories that right wingers later adopt like how the primaries were rigged. Also as a bernie fan do i really have tk remind you all about the conspuracy theories bernie bros created and hurt her election?

  94. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR @97:

    So you aren’t going to blame the Repub congress traitors for their actions,

    For their actions throughout the years, they should be hanged for treason. But if Ginsburg thought they wouldn’t replace her ASAP with a thugbot, she was the only person in the fucking world who thought so. She gambled, knowing that it was a gamble, and America lost. 100% avoidable.

  95. StevoR says

    Of course, if Hillary had been elected in 2016 she’d be appointing SCOTUS justices incl the replacement for RBG and the SCOTUS composition would look totally different and vastly better and be running for her second term against a Repug side that would likely have torn itself apart and who knows even moved to the centre now but, hey, all RBG’s fault for not expecting Trump to win because of Comey’s FBI, Assange, Murdoch, Bernie Bros & Leftwing purity testers all deciding to gang up on her and make their ideal the enemy of the actually tolerable and not the totally destructive and taking down US Democracy worst case scenario.

    How different history and the world would be now..

    Ditto, had Gore won by more..

    If its okay for you to blame RBG, can I (& others) not blame Sanders and Nader? If not, why not?

    Not that this is likely to produce anything postive or useful here or change things now (except maybe we can – & given Biden’s election did – learn from it?) but still . just fuck’s sake.

    Oh & BTW I also wish Biden and HRC and Gore were more leftwing & progressive and bolder in attacking and hammering the reich wing and less ineffectual and weak adn corporatist, etc .. just as I wish the USA had done the right thing and had preferential or run off voting and abolished the EC ages ao. If wishes were flying horses .. & Democrats not as disunited as political death.

  96. logicalcat says

    @stevor

    Im sorry i know you are technically on my side of things here but this push to abolosh the electoral college is undemocratic af. You will basically forever disenfranshise and entore segment of the country just because they choose not to live in the richest areas and vote the way you want. Its authoritarian. The electoral colege doesnt impede our winning. Bad election strategy and a voter base more concerned than appearing progressive on social media than actually getting politically involved or voting is the issue.

  97. consciousness razor says

    StevoR, #93:

    Whataboutery. Two wrongs make a right now? In case you forgot Obama won the 2008 election despite them

    There are always voters who are unsatisfied by the primary winner and vote for the other major party, vote for a third party, or decide not to vote. The proportion of those who supported Sanders in the primary and did that in the general election was comparatively small.

    I wasn’t asking “what about…?” nor was I saying anything about wrongs making stuff right. It’s just a fact, and it ought to be understood and not ignored.

    Clinton didn’t lose because Sanders had the audacity to actually run in the primary until it was over, then vehemently support her afterward. (It was much more than she ever did for Obama, by the way, even though she actually agreed with him about most of his platform. Then she got a spot in his cabinet right after that, as surprising as that may be.)

    She was a bad candidate in a bad campaign, with a platform that did not impress enough voters. And to the extent it might have been good enough to do the job, she chose not to put up much of a fight in places where it would have made a difference in terms of getting enough electors in the electoral college. None of those are decisions that Sanders or any of his supporters made. That’s all on her and her campaign.

    There’s plentyof blame to go around but I think that’s a bit unfair and think Moscow Mitch Mconenelll and the Repubs have far more blame here as does the EC and other things that rig the US political system in the reichwuings favour. RBG did NOT choose when she died (yes, she could have chosen to retire earlier)

    I said she shares a lot of the blame, not all of it. (Your whataboutery is duly noted, though.) She had repeated bouts of cancer for years, and this is while she’s late 70s and into her 80s. People retire much earlier than that, even when they don’t have major health problems and don’t have to be concerned about major responsibilities like the Supreme Court.

    She certainly didn’t need to do it for the money, so no excuses like that to speak of either. That is what you should do in this situation: retire and enjoy the rest of your life. And if she had chosen to end her life at some point, which I think should be her right, the responsible thing to do would still be to retire first.

  98. consciousness razor says

    this push to abolosh the electoral college is undemocratic af

    One person one vote is undemocratic. Hilarious. Orwellian. Five stars. You should go on a comedy tour with this and sell t-shirts. I am very interested.

  99. logicalcat says

    Again with the domonization of the electoral college. If coastal areas were right wing and rural areas were left wing the coastal areas would have abolished the EC easily because number one right wingers actually care about their politics and like to win while the left are mostly pretend especially progressives, and number two its authoritarian anti democratic move to abolish a system meant to give lower pop and less wealthy states a chance to fight.

    Its working as intended and a good thing actually. The only reason why they win is because their crazies care about voting while our crazies dont vote and like to spread propaganda that the right wing crazies adopt to further their own agenda. This while “lets abolish the EC” ay
    Plays into their “they trying to steal our country” narrative. Stop helping them.

  100. jack lecou says

    StevoR @94:

    So was Hillary Rodham Clinton really that bad a candidate when she actually got the most votes?

    Umm. Yes?

    I mean, I’m right there with you on abolishing the EC, but in 2016, that’s the contest she entered. And her decision not to campaign in, e.g., Wisconsin or wherever it was that she missed is on her. After all, if we’d had NPV in 2016, I don’t think we’d be countenancing Trump fans saying that he might have lost the popular vote, but he won majorities in Wisconsin and Ohio so wasn’t he the better better candidate…

    Clinton had a history of those kind of strategic flubs too. Back when she was losing the 2008 primaries, I distinctly remember one of her advisors (Mike Penn, maybe? Anyway, it was one or the other of those incredibly overpaid, overrated consultants who specialized in losing elections for Democrats for 30 years, and somehow kept getting hired) speaking in an interview and revealing that he — and presumably her entire campaign — was literally clueless about how the electors were chosen. Forking over perfectly good campaign funds for strategists like that is also on her.

    logicalcat @102:

    Im sorry i know you are technically on my side of things here but this push to abolosh the electoral college is undemocratic af. You will basically forever disenfranshise and entore segment of the country just because they choose not to live in the richest areas and vote the way you want. Its authoritarian.

    Cough. I’m sorry, lol, whut?

    I’m pretty sure a popular vote doesn’t disenfranchise anyone. That’s kind of the point. No matter where you live, you get a vote.

    That’s in marked contrast to the EC, where, e.g., literally every Republican in CA and every Democrat in ND is disenfranchised. (Or, arguably everybody in those states is, since they sure as shit won’t ever get a national candidate attentively stopping by to ask what kinds of issues they’re concerned about.)

    Now, would a popular vote mean that people in currently over-represented places like rural ND have a little less say about what’s going on in the rest of the country, and not be able to dictate what happens in bigger, under-represented places? Sure. They’d have to settle for having exactly as much say as everyone else. Which is the very definition of democratic.

  101. logicalcat says

    Let me spell it out because i know some of you just spout talking points and never actually think anything through.

    Abolishing EC would not turn the country into one person one vote. It would turm the country into YOUR person YOUR vote. Because the only vote that count would be coastal elite cities where one party rules and have the most population. The rest of the country might as well throw their ballots into a fire. It would efectively turn our country into one party states. Too a lot of you thats appealing because you asses are just as authoritarian as the Jan 6 protestors. No surprise since you started the “rigged election” conspiracies that right wingers later adopted.

  102. jack lecou says

    @105:

    a system meant to give lower pop and less wealthy states a chance to fight.

    A system meant to give slave states a chance, you mean.

    What if we didn’t change the EC at all, but instead made every city with a population larger than Wyoming its own “state”? Would that be ok? Or maybe moved borders around until the difference in voters per EV was at least less than a factor of two or so.

    Or is it your contention that there’s something extra magical and fair about the more or less random historical accidents that gave us the current state borders? The ones where it takes 3 presidential voters in Texas to equal 1 voter in Wymoming?

    Why do we need to divide things up into states anyway? If the EC is supposed to help rural populations balance urban populations, shouldn’t we take it the whole way and divide things up on the state level too? Like, say, put all the above-mean-density postal codes in one pile and all the below-mean-density postal codes in another, and give each pile half the votes? Wouldn’t that be better?

    But, shoot. Why should it just be differing urban and rural interests that get a special handicap treatment? I bet there’s all kinds of voting blocks that have different opinions. Maybe we should also give equal weight to rich people and poor people. Dog lovers and cat lovers. Men and women. Gays and straights. Blue dress vs. black dress. Must investigate all of these ASAP! After all, just giving people with different sensibilities and material interests equal votes would be tyranny!

    Certainly there couldn’t be any element of status quo bias in this principled defense of the EC. Nossir. I’m sure that’s not it…

  103. logicalcat says

    Question to anyone who still thinks abolishing the EC doesnt turn you into the thing right wingers say you are.

    If coastal high pop cities were right wing and rural voters were left wing would you still support abolishing the EC? Becaise thats how you make anone party state. And as much as it would be cool to make my party the one party i actually care about democracy.

    Stevor…it doesnt work that way. There will always be disenfranshised voters. At least with EC those voters have a shot at the highest office. Otherwise they wont. And when you look into other systems with a clearer mind and not with the upset emotion of having your side lose you see our system is actually pretty good compared to others. EC is a red herring about real issues.

  104. says

    @logicalcat

    If it was one-person one vote for Senate and presidential elections, then you’d no longer have an Arizona voting block or a Pennsylvania voting block but instead direct interest groups, so farmers, industrial workers, service providers etc, across statelines would have to be considered one voting block.

    Please tell me how that would be undemocratic? i mean you can’t even call America’s voting system all that democratic as long as First Past The Post is in place anyway since that puts disproportionate voting power in the hands of a handful of random swing states anyway and routinely disenfrenchises millions of voters by accident and deliberate design.

    I mean, you only have to look how it works in other countries. In Germany Saarländers have the least voting power by virtue of being the least populated state other than the city states, but has one-person-one-vote turned that state into a backwards ghetto everyone in Berlin ignores? No. Because if a party that appeals to industrial workers wins, the industrial workers in the Saarland will benefit too. It’s that simple.

  105. logicalcat says

    More than Clinton did for Obama? What are you 12 years old because i rember Clinton ceding the nominee after meeting with Obama. That means she endorsed him fully before the primary officialy ended before a bloody fight could split the voters even more.

  106. consciousness razor says

    Because the only vote that count would be coastal elite cities where one party rules and have the most population.

    I’m not a coastal elite. And if memory serves, aren’t you in fucking Miami or some other big city in Florida? Either way, it’s clear enough that you’re a troll.

    In a deep “red” state like mine, my vote for president (since I’m not conservative) does not matter like other votes do.

    Then, you have the nerve to act as if people like me aren’t even voting. You’re the one who doesn’t want those votes to count, dipshit. So do you have anything to offer where I won’t be fucking cheated or treated as invisible?

    There’s just no good reason why the views of other people in my state should play any role in what happens to my vote as an individual. I’m a citizen who should be treated equally, with the same rights as everyone else in this country, no matter where I happen to live. So I think it’s as simple as counting my fucking vote and ignoring bullshit “arguments” like yours.

  107. says

    Also, your gotcha’ question is quite stupid because if there were more people voting conservative then conservatives should win the vote, regardless of where you’d find those conservatives. You are essentially saying that conservatives sitting on a farm in Idaho should have more voting power than conservatives sitting in an urban highrise building in Maine which sounds really damn dumb if you say it out loud like that. Geographical location should not influence your voting power.

  108. jack lecou says

    @110

    There will always be disenfranshised voters. At least with EC those voters have a shot at the highest office. Otherwise they wont.

    This is just word salad. There are not “always disenfranchised voters”. That is simply false. In a popular vote, everyone (well, every eligible voter) literally always gets one vote. Which of them, exactly, is disenfranchised?

    It almost sounds like you’re confusing “disenfranchised” with “my guy didn’t win”. But that is not even close to the same thing. There’s no principle, democratic, moral or otherwise, that the guy you vote for has to win sometimes, just because you’d be sad. Not if everyone else votes against him, anyway. (And if there were such a principle, the EC is not the way to go about it either. There’s nothing there making it less likely that a state or individual could indefinitely fail to get their preferred candidates.)

    I have no idea what “voters have a shot at the highest office” means. Most voters don’t ever run for President, and if they did, their chances would probably be more even in a NPV situation (since there’d be less home-state advantage for people from TX, CA, NY). If we mean getting a chance to vote, well, again, in a NPV, unlike the EC, every single voter gets a “shot” at voting for the highest office every single time. It’s not just the “battleground” states that matter.

  109. jack lecou says

    @110:

    If coastal high pop cities were right wing and rural voters were left wing would you still support abolishing the EC?

    Yes.

    Note also that the left/right urban/rural divide is not intrinsic. There have always been (and still are, on a popular vote basis) plenty of both rural leftists and big city right wingers. (Historically, supporting things like the working class and social justice was a thing American farmers were into.)

    The current divide is partly an illusion fueled by viewing states and counties as “red” or “blue” monoliths, and partly an artificial creation of right-wing culture war tactics — they’ve very successfully turned virtually everywhere people drive pickup trucks into a kind of cargo-cult version of the American South, complete with Confederate battle flags.

    It hasn’t been that way particularly long, and it won’t necessarily last for long.

    becaise thats how you make anone party state. And as much as it would be cool to make my party the one party i actually care about democracy.

    That is NOT how you get a one party state. One party states require features like interfering with voter rolls, suppressing votes, getting election supervisors or legislators to overturn the results, even outright banning opposition parties, etc. There’s nothing about any of that that requires a NPV to work. If anything, it’s actually easier to capture an EC system like the US, since you don’t need to lock down every state: just 270 EC votes worth of them. For an example of how this works, simply take a look at what Republicans are trying to do out there in red and purple states right now. The danger is already there, and at this point a NPV would actually help make some of it go away.

    Now, absent shenanigans like voter suppression, an opposition party could certainly lose a couple of times in a PV, but that’s not the end of democracy. What it would mean is that a bunch of voters didn’t like their candidate or platform. All they’d need to do in that case is make some adjustments and win a few extra voters here and there over to their side to do better next time.

    You know, actually try to appeal to what people want.

    The only reason a minority party would need to lose perpetually is if they just insisted on being assholes, stubbornly refusing to actually do anything that was actually broadly decent or popular.

    (On second though, I guess can see why you’d be worried about the Republicans…)

  110. StevoR says

    @105 . logicalcat : Its not “demonisation” of the Electoral College. It is a simple fact that it is utterly undemocratic and disenfranchises the majority whose vote means much less and has much less value than a minority in parts of the USA where most Amercians do NOT live and which are out of step with modern American values.

    Please read William Petrocelli’s article here :

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/its-time-to-end-the-electoral-college_b_12891764

    Each vote cast in Wyoming is worth 3.6 as much as the same vote cast in California. How can that be, you might ask? It’s easy to see, when you do the math. Although Wyoming had a population in the last census of only 563,767, it gets 3 votes in the Electoral College based on its two Senators and one Congressman. California has 55 electoral votes. That sounds like a lot more, but it isn’t when you consider the size of the state. The population of California in the last census was 37,254,503, and that means that the electoral votes per capita in California are a lot less. To put it another way, the three electors in Wyoming represent an average of 187,923 residents each. The 55 electors in California represent an average of 677,355 each, and that’s a disparity of 3.6 to 1.

    This has to change. Each resident of the United States should have the same voting power. The simplest way to achieve this is to abolish the Electoral College and insist that everyone’s vote stand on its own. That would constitute true electoral reform. You can call our current anachronistic system many things, but you can’t call it a democracy.

    In defending the EC you ar e saying the vote of someone in Wyoming should count for over triple the value of someone in California. Thatis simply unfiar and undemocratic and gives unrepresentative power to a nasty minority.

    It amazes me that the people in the more populous USA states put up with this and it is long overdue that it stopped and everyone’s vote had the same value.

    The United States of America has a badly flawed and broken system of governance and worship of its slave-owning, 18th Century Founding Fathers is really holding its culture and society back and preventing necessary reforms.

  111. StevoR says

    @103. consciousness razor : “I said she shares a lot of the blame, not all of it.” Okay but iwas repsonding to #95. Rob Grigjanis who literally said it was 100% RBG’s fault. Maybe I’m getting you two mixed up. Either way to put it all on her and NOT on the Repubs & Federalist who actually rigged and stacked and ruined SCOTUS seems utterly unjust to me. Blame people who chose with malice aforethought to do the wrong thing deliberately not people who, you know died because they were mortal and yes, okay made an error of judgement in choosing when to retire or not.

    @106. jack lecou :

    StevoR @94: “So was Hillary Rodham Clinton really that bad a candidate when she actually got the most votes?”

    Umm. Yes?

    I mean, I’m right there with you on abolishing the EC, but in 2016, that’s the contest she entered. And her decision not to campaign in, e.g., Wisconsin or wherever it was that she missed is on her. After all, if we’d had NPV in 2016, I don’t think we’d be countenancing Trump fans saying that he might have lost the popular vote, but he won majorities in Wisconsin and Ohio so wasn’t he the better better candidate…

    Thing is HRC got the most votes from the American population so saying she was a bad candidate seems a bit absurd. Doe sthat eman she wa s aflawles scandidate who didn’t make mistakes? Of course not. Did she lose some states that maybe another candidate might have won? Sure. But that applies to all politicians , there’s not one that’s perfect. That’s the wholeunicorn thing. Would Sanders have been better? Maybe but he didn’t get enough votes on his own side so how would he then get more votes nation-wide?

    The candidate that got the most vote sinteh whole country almost by definition can’t be a rubbish candidate or y’know, they wouldn’t do that. That’s my point esp when people talk about results because, well, winning the popular vote and the nomination are results. Not sure why this seems to be so overlooked in the HRC bashing here.

    Its a moot point anyhow. HRC is out of politics and almost certainly won’t be running again. Nor will Sanders. Trump OTOH unless he dies or gets jailed in the meantime..

    @110. logicalcat :

    Question to anyone who still thinks abolishing the EC doesnt turn you into the thing right wingers say you are.

    If coastal high pop cities were right wing and rural voters were left wing would you still support abolishing the EC? Becaise thats how you make anone party state. And as much as it would be cool to make my party the one party i actually care about democracy.

    Yes because voting should be equal and give everyone’s vote the same value. What part of one person one vote is democratic, one person three votes, another person one third of a vote or variants on that is unclear to you?

    Also whhoooo-eeeeee would that take a major change in the culture of the heartlnad / rustbelt / fly-over states for the better and the cities for the worse!

    Stevor…it doesnt work that way. There will always be disenfranshised voters.

    Will there be? Is that an excuse to make and maintain an undemocratci system because its too hard tomake refoems that make things better? FWIW I’m an Aussie we have preferential voting and a Senate system where things are different and much fairer. I live in a smaller state and I don’t feel that disenfranchised. Look gloeb wisde at the systems of elections other countries have and, well, the USA is along, long way from being number 1 or the best.

    At least with EC those voters have a shot at the highest office.

    Huh? The highest office in the USA is supposed to be the POTUS. In theory anyone can run for that job. In reality, not so much since you need to be uber-wealthy or have the ricest and most influential of friends. You also need to be a certain age and a US citizen etc .. but anyhow. Nothing todo with 1 vote 1 value which the EC fails.

    Otherwise they wont. And when you look into other systems with a clearer mind and not with the upset emotion of having your side lose you see our system is actually pretty good compared to others.

    Won’t what and LOl. No. Just no. The USA’s political system is appalling and if you think otherwise you clearly don’t know much about other international systems of governance. How many other nations have regular or near regular govtyshutdowns or Justices appointe dona partisan basis?

    EC is a red herring about real issues.

    Which are?

    Also how does that make the EC fair or democratic which it isn’t?

    Why are you so keen to defend the indefensible here? Don’t you think every citizne should have their vote counted equally rather than some be counted as less because of where they live?

  112. John Morales says

    Bah. The USA’s voting system is pretty shit.

    For a start, it’s optional whether or not to vote. That has implications.

    (Not a thing here in Oz)

  113. John Morales says

    [to clarify, we don’t actually have to vote, or even fill in the ballot. But we do have to get our names checked-off. Thing is, since one is there anyway, why not put in an actual vote?]

  114. says

    How exactly does the EC allow voters a shot at the highest office? To get there you have to spend an inordinate amount of money and that only works if you’re independently wealthy or have rich backers and that’s down to how political ads are handled in the US. The EC does sweet eff-all in this regard.

    All the EC does is weigh voting power based on geographical location and that’s justified by nothing and does nothing but skew results. Usually more in favor of conservatives too because that was the entire point of implementing it in that way in the first place.

  115. Silentbob says

    @ 119 StevoR

    Doe sthat eman she wa s aflawles scandidate who didn’t make mistakes?

    Dude, you have a tell for when you’re drunk.

    Sleep it off and post when you’re sober if you still feel the need.

  116. consciousness razor says

    StevoR, #119:

    Rob Grigjanis who literally said it was 100% RBG’s fault. Maybe I’m getting you two mixed up.

    No, what he literally said in his comment #100 is that it was “100% avoidable.” Those are not equivalent. (I agree, so it makes no difference whether you mixed us up.)

    What that means, to put it somewhat differently, is that it certainly could have been avoided. That is true.

    Either way to put it all on her and NOT on the Repubs & Federalist who actually rigged and stacked and ruined SCOTUS seems utterly unjust to me.

    That is not putting it “all” on her. See above.

    Blame people who chose with malice aforethought to do the wrong thing deliberately not people who, you know died because they were mortal and yes, okay made an error of judgement in choosing when to retire or not.

    This “error of judgement” (actually many, over a number of years) was also quite deliberate.

    Nobody thinks that she’s responsible because she died or was mortal. This is obvious, and you know this. And it’s not worth it to pick away at the rest … very generally, please just stop the bullshitting.

    The candidate that got the most vote sinteh whole country almost by definition can’t be a rubbish candidate or y’know, they wouldn’t do that.

    Get a different definition then. We have a system controlled by two authoritarian parties, in which it’s very easy for both candidates to be rubbish. Nobody needs to believe either of them are any good, because we just don’t have other viable choices.

    Suppose everybody had to choose between drinking piss or eating shit. It’s not the case “almost by definition” that drinking piss isn’t a bad option, if that happens to be the more “popular” choice.

  117. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @124: To be fair to StevoR, I did assign RBG 100% of the blame in #95. The Republicans are certainly “blameable” in that they are consistently horrible. But RBG knew that, or should have. IIRC, she had the first six years of Obama’s presidency, during which the Democrats had a majority in the Senate, to resign. And at the start of Obama’s tenure, she was 75.

  118. velociraptor says

    @93

    Thanks, StevoR. Wright has the ability to articulate my views far better than I do

  119. consciousness razor says

    Rob: Ah, sorry, I missed that. I read #95 yesterday of course, but forgot and just assumed he was talking about #100.

    The Republicans are certainly “blameable” in that they are consistently horrible.

    Right… I think maybe that points to the way we’re just differing in how we’re talking about blame/responsibility. It doesn’t sound like a substantial disagreement though.

    I’m not sure which way is closer to how StevoR uses it. To me, that seems to be pretty sloppy anyway (and here, it’s in the service of bullshit/apologetics, as it was in various Elon Musk threads, e.g.), so that might not even have a definite answer.

  120. jack lecou says

    StevoR @119

    Thing is HRC got the most votes from the American population so saying she was a bad candidate seems a bit absurd. Doe sthat eman she wa s aflawles scandidate who didn’t make mistakes? Of course not. Did she lose some states that maybe another candidate might have won? Sure. But that applies to all politicians , there’s not one that’s perfect. That’s the wholeunicorn thing. Would Sanders have been better? Maybe but he didn’t get enough votes on his own side so how would he then get more votes nation-wide?

    The candidate that got the most vote sinteh whole country almost by definition can’t be a rubbish candidate or y’know, they wouldn’t do that. That’s my point esp when people talk about results because, well, winning the popular vote and the nomination are results. Not sure why this seems to be so overlooked in the HRC bashing here.

    Well, obviously “rubbish candidate” is relative, and includes a bit of hyperbole. HRC certainly wasn’t the worst possible candidate — there are a plenty of other high-ranking D politicians who’d have been worse, never mind someone really terrible, like, say, me. I’m also sympathetic to the Samantha Bee argument, which is roughly that HRC is probably a better person than the mold she’s been stuffed into by her message consultants or whatever.

    But still…she really was a pretty bad candidate. Certainly not the right candidate for the moment. Let’s take your points one by one:

    — Lost some states: It’s not just that she lost some states, it’s that they were some states she really should have won, so much so that she took them for granted and then made the completely unforced error of simply not bothering to campaign in them. Not enough, anyway. And the point is that that wasn’t an accident or a one-off: she has a history of similarly ham-handed strategic errors.

    — Sanders/primaries: primaries are by definition a pretty flawed measure of who is going to do well in the general. It’s a different electorate, who are typically going to either vote their own preferences (which might not match the general electorate) or strategically vote based against their own preferences, based on their guesses about the preferences of the general electorate (which is probably even worse).
    Sanders consistently did as well or better on actual national polls when paired against Trump — and there’re very plausible reasons to think that he might have been much better positioned to, for example, credibly deliver economic populist messages that could cut across party lines (and bleed away some key Trump support).
    And even Sanders wasn’t necessarily the best candidate: it’s just that he was the only one prepared to go up against the party establishment’s pronouncement that it was HRC’s “time”. If the primary was actually an open swim, who knows what sort of talent might have popped up, or from where?

    — Got a lot of votes: Again, not the contest, and also I think CR’s point @124 is very well taken: the fact is, she was effectively one of only two choices on the ballot, one of whom was an actual dumpster fire. Getting more votes than a dumpster fire should be the bare minimum we’d expect. A cheese sandwich could have pulled it off. Or a non-burning dumpster.

  121. jack lecou says

    Each vote cast in Wyoming is worth 3.6 as much as the same vote cast in California.

    I just want to point out here that this difference in voting power isn’t necessarily even the worst thing about the EC. I mean, it’s pretty bad, obviously. So obviously bad that I fall into the trap of using it as a shorthand for the evils of the EC myself.

    But it’s not the worst thing. The worst thing is that effectively nobody in either California or Wyoming really gets a vote at all. At least for the past few cycles. The fact is, everybody knows how they’re going to settle out, so there’s no reason for a candidate from either party to go to either state: they might win some more votes in those states if they did, but certainly not enough to flip the EVs, so all they’d be doing is wasting time to change the PV margin slightly.

    The only states that ever really matter are the handful which are evenly divided enough at the time to be in contest. The “battleground states”: New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida, etc. Which states are in that bucket varies a little from election to election (as the demographic and political winds shift) but not by much. So we tend to hear about (almost) the same 10 or 20 states over and over and over, cycle after cycle, because it’s effectively only voters in those states who actually decide elections. In any given election, at least 30 or 40 states, and the majority of the population, may as well not even be there.

    In addition to being astonishingly undemocratic, this has a lot of other implications. For example, down ballot races are affected by the fact that voter registration and activation efforts are usually concentrated in the ‘battlegrounds’. (We don’t necessarily even know who would have won the last few popular votes: the campaigns just weren’t run that way.)

    In a popular vote, it’d be a very profoundly different dynamic.

  122. StevoR says

    @ ^ jack lecou : yes. Good points and something else the USA really needs to change. I know its hard to achieve but the USA really extremely badly needs to start working on some major political reforms to fix flaws like that that prevent it from actually being the actual Democracy it claims to be.

    @123. Silentbob : Sadly, I type that badly when i’m sober too, esp if I’m rushing or tired. Which mea culpa happens too often.

    @ 125. Rob Grigjanis :That’s true however I still don’t think its fair to blame her for what others chose to do. There’s something really off for me about telling a strong feminist women who made a real positive differecne in so many ways how to live her life and what she should do or what she should have done -even (perhaps esp) posthumuously. RBG earnt the right to make her own choices and stay as long as she pleased even if – in hindsight – politically they were the wrong choices as us male commenters understand them now.

  123. StevoR says

    @127.& #124. consciousness razor : “I’m not sure which way is closer to how StevoR uses it.”

    In the sense of blaming RBG for everything. Putting the responsiibility on her for things that were beyond her control.

    To me, that seems to be pretty sloppy anyway (and here, it’s in the service of bullshit/apologetics, as it was in various Elon Musk threads, e.g.), so that might not even have a definite answer.

    As you’d expect I certainly don’t see things that way. Thought I was pretty clear and disagree that I’m doing “apologetics” or “bullshitting” when I provide my viewpoint on Musk & Space X, etc.. which is off topic here anyhow.

    ..No, what he literally said in his comment #100 is that it was “100% avoidable.”

    Looks upthread, sees exact wording of Rob Grigjanis’es #100 :

    For their actions throughout the years, they (Repub congress -ed) should be hanged for treason. But if Ginsburg thought they wouldn’t replace her ASAP with a thugbot, she was the only person in the fucking world who thought so. She gambled, knowing that it was a gamble, and America lost. 100% avoidable.

    Okay, fair enough. OTOH, saying this could have been avoided – which, ok, agreed – doesn’t make it RBG’s fault in my view. Also you could describe it as an educated gamble too with RBG expecting HRC to become POTUS like the majority of people at the time. Trump’s Presidency should NOT have happened and those people and factors that helped and enabled it to it happen are most culpable for it.RBG far as I’m aware did NOT help or want Trump to become President. Pretty sure RBG expected HRC to appoint her successor & don’t think she can be blamed that much for that.

    @128. jack lecou : Those are certainly reasonable points. I think HRC has been maligned too much and I think you overlook her positive political factors in your assessment of her there but fair enough.

  124. logicalcat says

    @123

    Jesus christ we already have a popular vote. The EC only kicks in when the margins for victory is less than 5% difference. Clinton won the popular vote by Trump by less than 1%. If she exceeded the vote above 5 the EC wouldnt factor in.

    The fact is that anyone crying about the EC doesnt actually know anything about it or gow its used and its actually a safety measure in the event that the country is incredibly divided and does not turn into a tyranny of the majority. Its working as intended.

    Thats the thing about democracy. People only like it when it goes in your favor. The only people who want to abolish the EC are either misinformed, losers upset that their side lost, or actual authoritarians who would appreciate the outcome.

    It is a distraction at best and harmful to the movement at worse. People on the right can point to us wanting to literally rig the system in their favor and on the fence voters can be swayed because we are afirming that the strawman is true. At best its a waste of time and focus when we sbould be focused on learning how to build coalitions better (a problem progressives have) and learning how to communicate better (a problem the traditional democrats have).

  125. logicalcat says

    @122

    The EC is not by geographic location but by population and size meaning it actually does help us by giving more voting power to vermont and Rhode island. It helps right wingers with Alaska and Wyoming but it also limited voting power to states Trump did actually perform well in like Florida or Ohio.

    Just another example of a leftists who knows fuck all about the political process. Thats what I see constantly. Bad arguements defended with ignorance.

    The EC is fine and this is a waste of time.

    https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2016/11/17/the-electoral-college-is-a-distraction/#more-3001

    Theres anlot to blame for Clinton losing and i will neber tire about how my own peope the Bernie voters acted as another branch of right wing propaganda (huh, considering the other large thread about Ukraine that seems to be happening a lot.) That esentially hurt Clinton in key battleground states. Amd Clinton like the rest of the world thought she didn’t have to do the work and visit these areas because “there’s no way Trump would win.” With the EC in effect Clinton lost by 30k votes. That meams there was a lot of factors that went aboit to her losing. And the EC aint one of them becaise the EC votes she dodnt get are from the places she ignored.

    @jack Lecou

    People need to stop pretendong that Sanders would have fared better. Its impossible to know that. Whatever polls your looking at doesnt matter. If you cannot win a primary where the voter pool is comprosed of people who have a vested interest to see you succeed then you have no shot in winning the general. You are right that the voting motivation is different but you are discounting the fact that people were only motivated to support Sanders because they were anti Clinton. How do I know this? Because those people didnt vote, thats how. They never intended to vote in the primary. They only motivation is to social gather in rallys and on social media. They didnt vote for him in the primaries the first time and they voted even less the second time around. The Sanders coalition has fizzled out into irrevelance meanwhile we are still talking about Clinton. I wish it was the other way around but its not.

    Pretending that a poll of a possible future fight can be predictive is like a martial artists who got his ass beat in the preliminaries and then a poll showing he probaly could have won the title is possible. Like yea maybe, but you still lost so why should I believe that?

  126. jack lecou says

    logicalcat @133

    Just another example of a leftists who knows fuck all about the political process. Thats what I see constantly. Bad arguements defended with ignorance.

    The EC is fine and this is a waste of time.

    I think you might need to re-read for comprehension. You seem to be coming at this from the angle that people care about the EC only because of which party wins.

    That’s not it at all. I mean, the fact that the EC results might not match the PV is a problem (and there’s reason to think this might be becoming more common). But the bigger problem with the EC is, again, that it’s fundamentally anti-democratic. It distorts the voting and campaign process immensely, in multiple ways, even if the winner does coincidentally match up at the end. See, e.g. #129.

    Another perfectly sound reason to get rid of the EC is that a majority of people would like to.

    (The linked analysis is pretty crap, incidentally.)

    Pretending that a poll of a possible future fight can be predictive is like a martial artists who got his ass beat in the preliminaries and then a poll showing he probaly could have won the title is possible.

    Umm, sorry, but if martial art contests were won by popular opinion, polls would indeed be a rather good way to predict such a thing.

    Of course, I am well aware that polls aren’t perfect. And those kind of speculative match up polls are probably sketchier than most. So I don’t really know how Sanders would have done in a general, nor am I’m staking a position one way or the other. The point remains, however, that winning a primary process — in 2016, an essentially two-way primary process, no less — isn’t especially predictive either, not given the prominence of factors like strategic voting and back room dealing in the process. (As indeed you yourself are observing here, although I’m not sure those specific observations are supportable: Sanders won 23 states, 46% of the delegates, and 13 million odd votes. It seems like at least a few of his supporters must have showed up to vote, and I can’t possibly guess what evidence you have gathered to demonstrated that there were, e.g., more than 13 million people at rallies or hyping Sanders on social media…)

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