Clinton Loyalist Authoritarianism: Brad DeLong Threatens a Journalist and Economists. Who is Next?

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Clinton loyalists are now showing their true colors. And they are not pretty.

Initially, it seemed better to leave Brad DeLong alone when he made a drive-by misfire at my Politico article on why many Sanders voters will never vote for Clinton. It’s a badge of honor of sorts when a Clinton hack, um, tribalist, gets so upset about a pro-Sanders story that he rushes in on the offensive.

However, DeLong’s piece was sorely deficient in intellectual integrity. He make it obvious he had not read the story by misattributing a reader comment to me and then compounding the error by riffing on the reader remark (Politico even provided the link so its audience could see the quote in context).

What is telling is that diatribes against Sanders supporters are increasingly of the “shoot the messenger” or “shoot the voter” variety, as the case may be. The Clinton camp is responding with ever-escalating levels of abuse to evidence that Sanders supporters have serious, reasoned objections to the Clintons’ track record, Obama’s policies, which Hillary Clinton embraces, and her neoliberal economic stance. If you want to confirm the view of the Sanders bloc, that the Democratic party is not interested in their issues, this is precisely the way to do it.

But the Clinton loyalists are stooping even lower and are purging dissenters on the left. Mind you, this isn’t a new practice. As Jane Hamsher pointed out in 2009, the Obama Administration successfully most put left-leaning groups in a “veal pen,” by attacking individuals and organizations that stepped out of line by doing things like criticizing Blue Dog (pro-corporate, pro-bank) Democrats, or criticizing the payment of bonuses to AIG staffers. Those organizations that didn’t fall in lime and had institutional funding (most) would be disciplined by calls to important backers pressing them to end their financial support.

A lot of good that did in the long run. Controlling the message in the Beltway hothouse did not seem to have much sway with voters at large. They’ve somehow managed, all on their own, to have a good enough grasp of basic things like their purchasing power and their job security to notice that things were not going well for them. Blue Dog Democrats in Congress were turfed out in 2010 and 2012, while the bona-fide progressives overwhelmingly held their seats.

But the purges are now becoming personal. As Corey Robin and others have pointed out, in a mere two weeks, Matt Bruenig was fired from Demos and Emmett Rensin was suspended from Vox. The Bruenig dismissal was seen by the Beltway insiders as retribution for his daring to target a widely-seen-as-sleazy Clinton backer, as opposed to the trumped-up charge of violating unwritten rules of discourse. But someone working for a neoliberal think tank, which Demos is, is at risk of being subject to loyalty tests. By contrast, as Robin stresses, the sanctioning of Rensin at the supposedly apolitical Vox is rank hypocrisy.

And now, in a sort of piling on, Brad DeLong threatens Zach Carter, a Huffington Post journalist who has done some fine work in the financial services beat. This is the headline and first sentence of his post (emphasis original):

The Huffington Post Has a Serious, Serious Quality Control Problem with Seth Abramson…

Live from the Huffington Post’s self-made Gehenna of Lies: It has a serious quality control problem with Zach Carter too. But the time to talk about that won’t come until November…

So we have a former Clinton Administration official calling a journalist a liar (with no supporting evidence) and threatening him with unnamed consequences in November. That is presumably on the assumption that Clinton wins, which is not at all a given.

So what can we expect will happen then? That the transition team will issue a hit list of disfavored journalists and Carter is sure to be on it? That seems to be the drift of DeLong’s thuggish promise.

And this was not an isolated threat. DeLong has been even more overbearing:

Mind you: The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for Guevarista fantasies about what their policies are likely to do. The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do. And it will be important to do so then–because overpromising leads to bad policy decisions, and overpromising is bad long-run politics as well.

Gerald Friedman is pretty sure he is on DeLong’s hit list:

Now mind you, this blood lust comes from an economist who is part the Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank founded by John Podesta, who is also the chairman of Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Its steering committee includes Melody Barnes, who as former Director of the White Housed Domestic Policy Committee, was an Obama advisor, former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, a Bill Clinton appointee, and former head of the Council of Economic Advisers Laura Tyson, another Bill Clinton pick who later advised the Obama Adminsitration. DeLong’s posts, and his confidence that he will be able to serve up his revenge, thus isn’t simply a communication by an isolated blogger. It should be seen as official messaging.

This is from an economist who was part of the Administration that gave us Nafta, which instead of creating jobs as promised, cost America an estimated 850,000 to 1,000,000 jobs. This is from an economist who stood with the mainstream, pro-bank deregulation which led to the near-collapse of the financial system and to bailouts that constituted the greatest transfer of wealth in world history. This is from an economist who has consistently stood with mainstream neoliberal economic theories that have led to a flat real wages for ordinary workers, which only now as the chickens are coming home to roost, is being acknowledged as one of the causes, and arguably the cause, of secular stagnation. And he has the temerity to declare himself and his allies as having been truthful about the impact of their policies and having superior acumen as to what works and doesn’t work. On top of that, he charges others with “overpromising” when that is what he and his fellow travelers have done again and again.

Good liberals are supposed to respect the freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and academic independence. But good liberals circa 2016 are looking a lot like good Germans circa 1936.

As the Israelis say, “Love your enemy, for you will become him.” DeLong’s threats show that the difference between him and Trump are ones only of degree, not of kind.

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  1. albrt

    DeLong was always primarily an apologist, but he became unreadable after Obama won in 2008.

    So I stopped reading him.

    Hint hint.

    1. hidflect

      Same. If he can read a graph then he must know how much readership he lost since he became an Obama (and now Clinton) groveler. But what is the loss of an anonymous readership compared to getting in with the right crowd?

      1. sid_finster

        In the publishing business, they say magazines do not exist to sell subscriptions. Magazines are there to sell advertising.

        Presumably the same holds true online, if not more so.

  2. robnume

    Really getting sick and tired of the “Clintonistas.” They are a virulent, anti free speech bunch and imperial warmongers, to boot. There has been a constant theme of bullying anyone who doesn’t toe the party line and as a registered Democrat for 40 years, I am planning to leave this ….hole of a party after the general election. I would not vote for Hillary if she paid me to. Neoliberalism is not good for life expectancy.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      I switched to repug a couple weeks ago and I am happy. Won’t be receiving any more official junk mail from the dems, I hope. If I listen to a dem shill talk show like Norman Goldman and he is whining about how the dems have to unite, I will be glad that I am not one of the people he is addressing.

      1. albrt

        It takes about 4 years to get off the lists based on my experience, at least if you donated money.

    2. Pokiebear

      Dito, I will not vote for Hillary, my current democrat gov, senators or rep. They have conspired along with DWS to keep the party establishment under the influence of the financial, MIC, healthcare, multinational corporation, etc. elite. There is no difference between the parties. They both want the same thing. The democrat party will never change it’s stripes until they see we will not take the bait and vote for their Presidential candidate as the lesser of two evils. The last three presidents have brought the nation to the present situation. The parties are sure the people will never catch on!

    3. washunate

      They say laughter is good medicine, though. It’s helpful to bring a chuckle or three to pieces by Clinton surrogates specifically and our intellectual class more generally.

      When you realize they are by and large small intellects rather than towering ones and petty bullies rather than great leaders, it allows for a little bit of empathy. Accepting the broad bankruptcy of the professional class is tough. Their biggest con by far was of themselves.

      People like DeLong in particular are just smart enough to know they’re the past, not the future, which makes one want to cling to their guns (sorry, econ drivel), all the more vociferously. My favorite of all time is probably when I run into people who say Clinton isn’t a warmonger. They’re paralyzed, unable to bring themselves to renouncing American violence, yet unable to walk away from the Clintons, either. So they take out their frustrations on others.

  3. inode_buddha

    Funny thing is, I don’t think Team D expected to be fact-checked in the same way the Repubs do. Having read the Politico piece, there is nothing in there that should be inflamatory — just facts. Every single one of which can be easily and independently verified. I was left wondering why some seem to be so uncomfortable with that.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      This what I have been seeing as well. Extreme discomfort. Emotional self-indulgence run rampant. Marcotte, Krugman, Parton, Booman, Niewert, Kos, among others, drip with condescension when they mention Sanders. They indulge in the weakest, most transparent falsehoods about his positions, history and campaign.

      The haut doyens of the ‘Liberal’ blogosphere appear enraged that Sanders voters favor a broadly inclusive, income equity based approach, rather than the self-congratulatory identity politics of the establishment Dems. Their constant sneering is counter-productive, & will drive voters away from Hillary. The weeks of searing contempt from “progressive” spokespeople has surely already driven many to Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, depending on their initial political tendencies. But, these opinionmakers either cannot or will not stop themselves, which suggests they are driven by something other that common sense.

      IMO, Clinton supporters are embarrassed by the obvious inadequacy of their candidate. Embarrassed by her smug venality and $20,000/plate style of campaigning. Their derision is perfectly expressive of that embarrassment.

      They now are sad flunkeys of a despotic, corrupt establishment. They know it and they hate it. So they lash out most aggressively at those who’ve pointed it out.

        1. WorldBLee

          That’s true, just as the left was Obama’s perceived enemy while he eagerly placated the neocons and their neoliberal allies.

        2. Nathanael

          Quoting Wikipedia (article on Benito Mussolini):

          “In the night between 27 and 28 October 1922, about 30,000 Fascist blackshirts gathered in Rome to demand the resignation of liberal Prime Minister Luigi Facta and the appointment of a new Fascist government. On the morning of 28 October, King Victor Emmanuel III who, according to the Albertine Statute held the supreme military power, refused the government request to declare martial law, which led to Facta’s resignation. The King then handed over power to Mussolini (who stayed in his headquarters in Milan during the talks) by asking him to form a new government. The King’s controversial decision has been explained by historians as a combination of delusions and fears; Mussolini enjoyed a wide support in the military and among the industrial and agrarian elites, while the King and the conservative establishment were afraid of a possible civil war and ultimately thought they could use Mussolini to restore law and order in the country, but failed to foresee the danger of a totalitarian evolution.”

          Victor Emmanuel’s action demonstrates the primary threat at the moment: that elite establishment forces will be willing to support fascists and hostile to even mild socialists. This is not actually a good move for the establishment but they seem to do it all too often anyway…

          1. Jim Young

            I recall a protest more than a year ago and talking to the son of an Italian Diplomat who’s life was turned upside down in that period. I wish I had known very much more background in order to better keep up with all he told us about.

      1. Ulysses

        “IMO, Clinton supporters are embarrassed by the obvious inadequacy of their candidate. Embarrassed by her smug venality and $20,000/plate style of campaigning. Their derision is perfectly expressive of that embarrassment.

        They now are sad flunkeys of a despotic, corrupt establishment. They know it and they hate it. So they lash out most aggressively at those who’ve pointed it out.”

        Very astute observation. The desperation of the sycophants is palpable, and nothing reveals it more clearly than their need to coronate Queen Hillary before any unwashed peasants in California get the chance to vote.

        This whole sorry spectacle is testament to the cowardice of so many people. They fear what a vindictive Clinton could do to smash their comfortable lifestyle. This intense fear, sadly, far outweighs the small voice of conscience that would lead them to at least modestly push back against the kleptocrats with Bernie.

      2. mparry

        I was going to argue, but now that I’ve written a paragraph or so I think you’re absolutely right. They are embarrassed, not just by their candidate but because they’ve been behaving in ways that make 12-year-old anime fans on tumblr look like models of restraint and dignity. When your arguments in favor of your chosen candidate resolve to ‘Fierce woman! Squee! All teh feeeelz!’, you’re doing it wrong and making yourself ridiculous; when people notice and point it out, it’s going to sting.

        And then if you’re a Very Serious Person who does not expect to have to put up with any wound to your self-regard, you’re likely to be very angry indeed. What right have these lesser mortals to make you feel this way? This is personal, and if you respond with a flood of irrational personal abuse, it’s their fault and probably their candidate’s too. How dare they!?! The fact that you’re abusing them at all proves that it’s their fault: they made you do it.

        1. Uahsenaa

          More like toddlers. This is basically the adult equivalent of a temper tantrum.

          And there are already groups forming for the post election landscape, to hold even a D president’s feet to the fire. Do they really want to make those groups’ recruiting job that much easier?

        2. NeqNeq

          And then if you’re a Very Serious Person who does not expect to have to put up with any wound to your self-regard, you’re likely to be very angry indeed. What right have these lesser mortals to make you feel this way? This is personal, and if you respond with a flood of irrational personal abuse, it’s their fault and probably their candidate’s too. How dare they!?

          The knife, however, cuts both ways. How different in character can a person be if they are threatened by the blogosphere “trashing” them, their ideas, or their political ideology? Especially enough to post about it.

          I wonder how much of this (on any camps part) is more than theater for the tribe. Name calling, and the feigned harmed of name calling, is a low input cost tribe building mechanism. Not to mention that it generates clicks and ‘buzz’ for a wide range of people who exist on such things!

      3. RUKidding

        Eh? I dunno. Some Clintonistas may be embarrassed by her smug venality and acceptance of high fees from Wall ST. But I know quite a few Clintonistas who are THRILLED by Clinton giving all those speeches for huge wads of cash. They simply LOVE it; they think it’s totally appropriate; and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

        A lot of these people, even though many are not at all wealthy & some are barely making it frankly, could fall into the category of Latte Liberal. They are quite satisfied to have Hillary be Wall Street’s poodle and have not one care in the world about it.

        These people usually are utterly clueless about Hillary’s real foreign policy record. They know she was SoS, and that’s about it, and that’s enough for them. Bc she’s Hillary, she did a “good job” as SoS. If I mention Susan Powers or Victoria Nuland, they are clueless about who they are. If I say anything about Ukraine and Nazi’s they start to think I’m nuts.

        So… embarrassed? Not so much. Just thrilled with Clinton for reasons that elude me. But I do have friends who compliment me for how much I know. They are not disciplined enough to do the real research that I do, and some know it. That said, they are fim in the tribal identities, and Hillary’s the gal for them. The end.

        A LOT of D-party voters still venerate Bill. Go figure. When I say I never ever ever liked him and refused to vote for him the 2d time, they literally shocked. MANY D-party voters still worship at Bill’s feet. Go figure. Clueless and ignorant.

    2. TK421

      “I just tell ’em the truth, and they think it’s hell,” as Harry Truman would say.

    3. fresno dan

      June 6, 2016 at 7:07 pm
      I think dems and repubs lie differently. The repub falsehoods are often transparently simple, but have no pretense that they are intellectually justified – indeed, the repubs often eschew intellectualism.

      On the other hand, the dem lies seem superficially well reasoned, with verbose and long winded rationales for their positions, which seems to me designed to obfuscate and make fact checking difficult, as well as GENERATE an infinite number of specious rebuttals. And the effort to deconstruct them – something the MSM seems incapable of doing – and probably with some justification, as the dem partisans will argue tendentiously about every point.
      The other day I posted a Lanny Davis justification of Hillary’s email use – tendentiously, everything he said was true enough – but irrelevant, with omissions, mis-directions, and non-sequiturs galore.

      The fact that such people imply that not only are they smarter and less naive than their opponents, but morally superior is I think one aspect of the disdain so many hold them in.

      1. sid_finster

        I have noticed Team D surrogates really really love the word “nuanced”, especially when having to excuse some Clinton violation of law.

        1. TempestTeacup

          It is a very effective tactic used by those who do not want anything fundamental in the prevailing conditions to change at all: focus minutely on fragmented bits of data, concoct a partial, hopelessly myopic account to show how any change would wreak havoc, or induce a sort of paralysis of detail. Couple it with equally tendentious examples of how the system is going to, we promise, address this or that.

          Since the economic system is constructed to produce inequality, concentrate power and encourage exploitation, any outcome of policies that work within it and change nothing are only going to end one way. Losing people in details also enables analysts to pick and choose from a near infinite array of stats, metrics, etc to generate confusion and obfuscate their total lack of desire to redress the inequalities mentioned in any way. A sort of tyranny of factettes as a pretense of ‘just the facts’ objectivity that hides the ideology actually at work.

          Even by the standards described, though, the hubris and contempt displayed by Hillary puppets is breath-taking. So little tolerance for difference, so little ability to comprehend anything not, as it were, pre-chewed by doctrinal neoliberal bias.

          And this election is a reminder to anyone who may have forgotten – HRC does not forgive or forget those she perceives to stand in her way. Worth remembering if anybody believes she will reach out to Bernie’s campaign. She is the Democrats’ Nixon, just with a much larger and largely autocrat-backed slushfund.

  4. voteforno6

    Don’t worry. The Clintons will come crawling back the next time they get in trouble. Hopefully the left will have the good sense to tell them to pound sand.

    1. Archie

      They shouldn’t bother to crawl back. They need to make a walk of atonement and retire to oblivion.

  5. sleepy

    “Guevarista fantasies”, “Comintern-scale lying”.

    Wow, this is purge-time and red-baiting talk at its finest.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      As if anyone under 70 years old remembers or even cares about that sort of pathetic red baiting chum. Ooooh commies, oh noes! Calm down and get back in your rocking chairs Clintonistas before you break a hip.

      1. sleepy

        Delong writes the kind of crap that moves me ever so closer to voting for Trump rather than Stein. As far as red-baiting being passe, Putin is the new Khruschev for Hillary fans.

        1. casino implosion

          You’re not alone. I voted for Stein last election, and will be voting for Trump in this election.

  6. Phil

    Don’t get too upset, I spent the day convincing a few hundred thousand millennials on facebook Trump was better then Clinton.

    1. Jason

      You probably think being gassed by Hitler was infinitely preferable to being shot by Stalin, too.

      1. cm

        Ah, so you’re making a moral equivalence that says Hillary is the same as Stalin? Or is it Hitler.

  7. MichaelC

    Badge of honor indeed. Kudos to the Nc commentariat.
    As chilling as the threats sound it illustrates what the Clintonistas and the MSM can’t bring themselves to see.
    Bernie’s supporters simply don’t give a hoot about what they hear and read from the anointed ones. They plod on.
    When Hills is indicted it will be a lovely irony to watch the party fall in line behind Bernie.
    After all, they’ll have nowhere else to go :)
    Lest you think this is wishful thinking/dreaming I’m basing my thought experiment on a factoid from a week or two ago when a Bernie staffer was asked how much pressure he was getting from the super delegates to bow out. His response was ‘zero’.
    So Im thinking that the supper delegates who are paid lobbyists have already sold their souls. The remaining uncommitted supers ( which are the majority) have real livelihood risk hooking up w a doubtful HRC.
    They could neuter her widely and falsely reported super delegate advantage in a heartbeat once it becomes inescapable that they will be tarred by her email/FBI/foundation brush.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One can not look forward to any lovely irony counting on the FBI investigation.

      It may or may not benefit Sanders, though be received well.

    2. Donald

      I don’t expect Clintonistas to unite behind Bernie. They’ve trashed him for months, while at the same time claiming that it was the Sanders camp that was being negative. In reality, both sides are negative, as generally happens in elections, but the negative things about Clinton are largely true. The standard line there, though, is that Sanders voters are simply the dupes of the rightwing lie machine.

    3. billybam

      If Clinton is indicted (or even if the FBI refers charges) the Dem party will not unify behind Sanders. He would be too detrimental to the money train that feeds them all. They’ll try to parachute in a Biden-Warren ticket or something like that.

  8. alex morfesis

    elmer fudd needs a better rug if he is going to go out looking for waskaly wabbytz…besides I thought it was elmer season…

  9. Elliot

    Wow. That’s undisguisedly ugly and threatening. And, hello Brad, not going to work. People will run the other way from a candidate that threatens them.

    He must be scared.

    And.. he should be; even if Bernie doesn’t win, the movement is real, and the reasons people support him are, as Yves says, based in real world concerns. Behavior like DeLong’s is nailing his party’s coffin shut.

    Nice read from Shaun King today: Clinton Doesn’t Understand the Movement Behind Sanders

  10. Brad DeLong

    We badly need to talk about whether we try to sell our policies using Rosy Scenarios or as Eeyores…


    You have more important things to write about right now. Write about them. Please…

    1. Lambert Strether

      The IP for this comment is from Rhode Island, and not California, and the all-caps seem unprofessorial, but on the off-chance that this really is Professor DeLong, I’m letting this out of moderation.

      NOTE: “Write about them” is an assignment; NC does not do assignments.

    2. Archie

      There are no policies to “sell”. We are solutionaries and you are the status quo. Crawl back under your academic rock.

    3. albrt

      This may not be the real William Morgan Brad DeLong, but he’s a good enough Morgan until after the election.

      Lovely use of the royal “we.”

      And talking about what needed to be done in mid-November worked so well in 2008, when Obama was fleeing so fast from his campaign rhetoric that no one but a Wall Street banker in a Maserati could catch up to him.

      Perhaps Professor DeLong has the inside word about a new endowed chair in neoliberal anti-humanism at Yoo-C Berkeley and he feels a need to polish his credentials.

      1. Dave

        Yoo-C Berkeley! You nailed it.
        The home of the legal justifier of torture, for those who don’t get it.

        How about UCLA?

        “You See Lots of Asians”

    4. pretzelattack

      we need to talk about what we can do to derail the clinton campaign now. the election is in november. if we can’t derail it, how can we hamstring it? how can we keep her from being the more effective evil, as she pushes the trade treaties, pushes the neoliberal policies that are in the process of eviscerating the united states, and pushes for more and more and more war? this discussion needs to be taking place now, because she won’t give any more of a crap about our issues after she is elected than obama did.

    5. tiresoup

      Oh, you can bet there will be more important things to write about after mid-November, if Clinton gets in. The never-ending sh*t show that will be a Clinton presidency.

  11. tommy strange

    This is great. Your blog is so popular, even among my far left allies, that the liberals finally have to attack you. HAR! it’s a badge of courage.
    one thing though…this Che Guevara reference is so out there! Solnit did it too in her shut and vote vile leftists in 2012, even though she has spent years among anarchists in the bay area. Really a weird reference among the elite, including her. Like kids wearing t shirts, connotes political practice while what people did is opposite of any Leninism we had (seattle, occupy, SF housing direct democracy activism etc.) I’ve been around enough to understand the fetishism of the oppressed that ‘progressives’ apply to the third world, but won’t have none of that class politics threatening their democratic party…but the disconnect is still absolutely amazing when it continues to pop up.

  12. TiimyB

    Brad Delong on Hillary Clinton circa 2003:

    “My two cents’ worth–and I think it is the two cents’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn’t smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

    So when senior members of the economic team said that key senators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have this-and-that objection, she told them they were disloyal. When junior members of the economic team told her that the Congressional Budget Office would say such-and-such, she told them (wrongly) that her conversations with CBO head Robert Reischauer had already fixed that. When long-time senior hill staffers told her that she was making a dreadful mistake by fighting with rather than reaching out to John Breaux and Jim Cooper, she told them that they did not understand the wave of popular political support the bill would generate. And when substantive objections were raised to the plan by analysts calculating the moral hazard and adverse selection pressures it would put on the nation’s health-care system…

    Hillary Rodham Clinton has already flopped as a senior administrative official in the executive branch–the equivalent of an Undersecretary. Perhaps she will make a good senator. But there is no reason to think that she would be anything but an abysmal president.”

    1. John Merryman


      I’ve been wondering if Bill didn’t give her that job to shut her up in the first place. Even at the time it seemed a Sisyphean Task.

      1. optimader

        Well, Bill first tried giving her fermats last theorem to solve, knowing she’s a bit sketchy with the maths, but then some damn brit went and solved it so Bill needed to give her another project to absorb her prowess at not solving problems.

      1. TimmyB

        I’m sure the Clintons knew all about it. Delong has been trying get off the “Clinton Enemies List” for years in a futile attempt to gain a high position in the next Clinton Administration.

      1. Adamski

        Please paste it into a comment on DeLong’s site. Though he will eventually censor you as he has done to me merely for agreeing with another comment that Clinton was bad

    2. Goldcap

      MADE FOR EACH OTHER. They both seem to have the innate ability to forget their own opinions for expedience. So cute when two duplicitous creeps fall in love.

    3. different clue

      This sounds like a good reason to elect Clinton President. We already know that the Clintocratic Party will not permit Sanders to be nominated under any circumstances whatsoever. ( And the more Earned Delegates Sanders earns, the more the Clintoncratic Party will discredit itself in public by denying him the nomination anyway . . . so by all means let every possible Californian, New Jerseyan, etc. vote for Sanders). So it will be Clinton versus Trump.

      The one big survival reason to keep Clinton out of the White House is to keep her finger away from the Red Button. But if we think the chances of her creating a Nuclear Exchange with Russia are small enough to contain and live with . . . . then her abysmal presidency may be what finally burns herself and all her Clintonites and the entire Clintocratic Party edifice of Clintonism down to the ground. Would it be worth the pain of 4 years of President Clinton in order to see Clintonism finally burned down to the ground by Clinton’s own hand?

      1. Dr. Roberts

        That kind of thinking is naïve. The presidency will give her and her hangers-on firm control of the democratic party for the next decade, even if she loses reelection. She’ll have ample time to purge the leftists from the party. It’s not as if the house and senate are full of Sandersesque dems waiting to seize power if she shows any weakness. The best we can say for that plan is that it allows us to avoid president Trump.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Agree (ability to purge) in the short-term (though there are hardly any leftists with any influence in the DP apparatus). But, to the extent this makes any difference to the Clinton supporters, that is a disastrous strategy for anything but the short-term.

          They have virtually no support from anyone under 30 (except Joan Walsh’s daughter) and there is little likelihood that their governance (win or lose in November) will improve their image. If HRC does become the next president, there is every possibility that the economy will go south on her watch, the policy response will be inadequate, we see a rightwing takeover of govt in 2020 with consequent redistricting, and the hard right takes control of the federal govt as well as most states for the following decade.

          I know that some here will argue that they would not see that outcome as problematic.

          1. TempestTeacup

            Agree with everything bar the right wing takeover in 2020. In demographic terms alone, Republicans are deep in the brown stuff and that is only going to get worse between now and 2020. Their current craziness is a factor of their obsolescence – and in all honesty the fact that Clintoncrats have stolen all their policies except guns and reproductive rights.

            More than that, though, if HRC does get to the White House and as expected show that she is a graceless winner as well as loser by seeking to ignore, traduce and purge the left of the party, I could see her being primaried in 2020. Bernie may be too old, but there are others: Keith Ellison, Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren. In the meantime, left wing Democrats can be pushed towards Congress and the momentum continues so that by 2020 any opponent of HRC wouldn’t have to start from scratch as Bernie did.

            1. Nathanael

              We’re headed for a change in the party system (like in 1860) and I hesitate to predict exactly what will happen in 2020. We have such a defective system for electing the President, what with the electoral college, and we had an actual coup in 2000…. weird stuff could happen.

              1. TempestTeacup

                It certainly hope so – although it will take, as ever, an immense effort to shift the dead-weight of a status quo buttressed by every single person who benefits from it and all of the power/wealth accumulated in their hands. After this excellent piece, I went to read Vox and was nauseated not only by the low quality of the analysis, but the feeble pretense of even-handedness.

                To be clear: if you analyse a structure according to its rules and tendencies at that moment in time and exclude everything else – what came before, what could come afterwards – you are implicitly accepting every aspect of that status quo. I sometimes wonder if identity politics and the drowning in minutae is a conscious or unconscious means to head off and shut down any possibility of criticising the system in its totality. It means you can seem progressive on certain, cherry-picked issues while reinforcing a system the produces inequality as a precondition.

                However that may be, I do think that this process has revealed to a much wider audience the fatal deficiencies of the media and the two-party system. It may be that there was never a home for Bernie in the current Democratic Party and that too much power was amassed against him for anything to change – though I respect and love the fact that he tried.

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      This post, and this comment deep in the thread, are Exhibits A and B of why I’ve been a regular reader of Naked Capitalism since I came across it not long after Yves Smith founded it. Like some others who posted comments in the thread, I also had been a regular reader of DeLong’s blog back in the Dubya era but became disillusioned when, early in the Obama era, he failed to call bullshit on Bush 44’s failure to fight for what he explicitly and implicitly advocated during the campaign. At Naked Capitalism, neither the post writers and the commenters hesitate to call bullshit when calling bullshit is called for. It’s fun to see someone hoisted with the petard of his own words.

    5. Nathanael

      This is unfortunately pretty much how I feel about HRC. Brad was right in 2003.

  13. frosty zoom

    Q: donald trump and hillary clinton are both in a boat, and it’s sinking fast. who survives?

  14. flora

    I’ve noticed for some time that the reports of “violence” and “thuggish behavior” in the MSM are only directed toward the Trump campaign or the Sanders campaign (Bernie Bros, meanness, and thuggish Sanders supporters, “chair throwing” only not – yes, the MSM used that word to describe Sanders supporters.) The subtext seems to be “vote for Hillary or suffer the inevitable violence if Hillary’s oppositions wins.” That is the MSM’s subtext. Yet it is Hillary’s campaign that seems fixated on thuggery and violence.

    This post oddly confirms my fears that Hillary’s campaign is indeed fixated on violence, and not in a reassuring way.

    “So we have a former Clinton Administration official calling a journalist a liar (with no supporting evidence) and threatening him with unnamed consequences in November.

    I’ve seen too much of similar lately to dismiss the thought that the greatest threat of violence is from the Hillary campaign itself towards the careers of those who oppose her in the normal election rough and tumble, and what her campaign will do in retribution if she wins. Hillary’s enemies list?

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Adamski

      And the only person who’s been arrested in any of this is Wendell Pierce (sp) from The Wire allegedly for battery of a female Sanders supporter. That’s no reflection on the Clinton campaign of course just as chair brandishing and death threats had nothing to do with the Sanders campaign. Sanders did issue a condemnation if all violence and harassment ie everything past present and future. Then Krugman said this raised questions if character because Sanders didn’t apologise for the actions of his supporters. Merely condemned them. Still waiting for Team Clinton’s disposal of Pierce and apology for having him as a supporter and Krugman’s column all about it.

  15. sd

    Currently at Daily Kos….no links. Why give Kos the traffic? Apparently California votes don’t count. We should all just stay home and ignore that there’s an election tomorrow.

    Front page:

    Hillary Clinton clinches nomination, according to Associated Press delegate count
    By David Nir


    AP: Hillary Clinton has Clinched the Democratic Nomination (seriously) UPDATE: Clinton Camp Responds
    By TobyRocksSoHard

    Breaking: AP/NBC: Clinton Has Delegates Needed To Become Presumptive Nominee (and Sanders’ response)
    By ExpatGirl

    Breaking News from the AP: Clinton Clinches Nomination
    By Omahan

    Hillary Returns to NYC For One Hell of an Election Night Party
    By Scan

    1. Emma

      It’s interesting to note the cosy relationship between APs’ Chairman Mary Junck, who is also Chairman of another media company, Lee Enterprises, which is backed by none other than Warren Buffet/Berkshire Hathaway……

    2. sleepy

      If I were younger and more mischievous or, really even gave a flying f about stirring that ant heap, I would go over there and post a detailed diary on Hillary’s various email investigations and the questions surrounding the nexus between the state department and Clinton’s pay to play foundation.

      1. craazyboy

        deLong deletes anything he doesn’t like. Used to be Krugman quotes would be approved. I guess fawning over Hillary would be ok too.

      2. Adamski

        Please do it anyway, just to leave Delong in no doubt about what he’s doing before he deletes what you typed. In November if Trump wins there will be plenty if time for us Guevaristas to escape from our Berniesis Asylum and kick Clintonite as for making the party unelectable etc

        1. Harry

          If Trump wins it will be your fault.

          If Hillary wins it will be despite your efforts.

          Hillary cannot fail, she can only be failed

          1. Dugless

            If Hillary cannot beat Trump, the fault will lie entirely with her campaign. It is fairly clear that she wants to repudiate Sanders and his supporters and move to the right. Her supporters don’t help much by kicking Sander’s supporters every chance they get.

    3. tgs

      Bernie has responded to this:

      It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then.

      One hopes this makes him rethink his loyalty to the party – because what the pundits don’t get is that a lot of Bernie supporters don’t give a damn about the ‘party’. The corruption of the system is now fully in view.

      1. tgs

        Let me add that Obama is apparently going to endorse Hillary soon. So much for the email and foundation scandals. He will make sure that those go away.

      2. uncle tungsten

        It surely is fully in view and I am certain that was one of Bernie’s campaign objectives. Only in relief can it be brought into stark view and what better than a long campaign with repeated rigging and ballot frauds plus the juxtaposition of policy to inform people where the path to electoral power might lie.

        Sure it is a tough call to motivate and organize at this scale yet Bernie and team have done that brilliantly. They have a methodical hand on the tiller and the next decade will be grand.

  16. petal

    Thank you for this. I fear how ugly things will get as the weeks pass. They’re out for blood. The dissenters must be crushed and made examples of for daring to question and criticise. They are now setting the tone for her reign.

      1. petal

        You can bet a homemade ABC sign will be going up in my car today. I’ve never put any political stickers of any kind on my car before, but I’ve had it. And I’ll work even harder to convince others. I’m in for the long haul. Enough is enough.

    1. Matt

      Exposes their fear and desperation. Cornered rats. Especially now that saving the bourgeoisie’s bacon from the likes of a third-ranking provincial capitalist swindler like Trump now rests heavy upon the shoulders of the Clinton-Obama Democrats.

    1. sleepy

      In some political fantasyland, I could see a Trump-Oprah ticket. It would certainly bend the narrative into pretzels.

      1. Skippy

        Whilst I can see the misleadership ethnic bennies under a Oprah VP nom… the aftermath would be watching two critters sizing each other up…. as they both consume too much oxygen in a room as individuals alone….

        Disheveled Marsupial… don’t think the WH insurance premiums could handle it…

  17. Anne

    I do not think I can be associated any longer with a party that is now openly conducting itself on the order of a mob-style organization.

    Worse, this kind of culture is not just being normalized, it’s being encouraged, and it’s escalating.

    On the bright side, I have more free time, now that there are fewer writers whose musings are worth reading. I suppose there’s some value in keeping an eye on what has become generally incoherent blather, but on the whole, I’ve come to realize there are very few “name” people contributing ideas and opinions that do anything to improve the quality of anyone’s life.

    There are a lot of hackneyed expressions that come to mind, ones that involve lying down with dogs, or sleeping in the bed one makes, or selling one’s soul – but maybe “hackneyed” is the appropriate theme given the low quality of writing and thinking that seems to pervade.

    Am truly glad to be reading here regularly – it’s a little corner of sanity and intelligence, one of the few bright spots where I never fail to learn something, or find food for thought.

            1. Adamski

              Because of Clinton v Sanders, or something else? I’ve been addicted to Talking Points Memo for a couple of years but now feel totally different about it. Daily Kos, Vox, Krugman’s blog, etc etc. The lights are going out all over liberalism. They seemed like friends when it was all about opposing Bush or even just protecting Obama from obstruction.

              1. read liberally

                Couldn’t agree more. dKos used to be a daily stop for me but now I come here.

                1. Adamski

                  I hope you’ll leave the occasional pro-Sanders diary at least; I’m British and not registered

      1. Foppe

        Maybe this is the bare minimum yeah had to post in order to qualify for payment? ;)

        1. Goldcap

          It’s like a cross between exquisite corpse and a Rorschach. Adjective Pronoun Adverb Preposiion.

          “I think it’s just wrong, there.”
          “Too much is too soon for them.”
          “How can the author be so sure, when that is like.”

          Fun with opacity. Oh crap now I’m doing it.

  18. Donald

    For me the really nauseating thing about the Democrats is how all that moralizing about Iraq has gone out the window when Clinton started her long march to the coronation. For over ten years Naderites have been told that the Iraq War was their fault. Somehow ordinary people voting in 2000 are more responsible and bear more guilt for Iraq than a self- styled foreign policy wonk and Senator who supported the war in 2002 and didn’t admit her mistake until 2007.

    That’s the authoritarian mentality at work.

  19. tgs

    Just noticed this at Zero Hedge:

    What was supposed to be an all-important California primary tomorrow just became moot moments ago, when in a surprising announcement, AP just called the race for Hillary who according to the newswire’s calculations has earned enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, making her the first woman ever to win a major party nomination.

    It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Wins The Democratic Presidential Nomination

    I don’t think further comment necessary.

    1. cm

      Well, Chris Matthews said a week ago this was going to happen… However, he said it was going to happen immediately after NJ polls closed, so I guess kudos to AP for being a day early?

      1. pretzelattack

        i guess they are worried that not enough votes are suppressed in california, yet. gotta go for that extra edge.

    2. Matt

      Problem is, this could suppress Clinton turnout in California. Clinton’s won, why vote for her?

      1. Jim Young

        Seems opposite, the Democrat regulars came out in enough numbers to get a higher percentage differential than we expected from all the Bernie supporters (voices activated to become delegates and/or speak for their communities for the first time) that we registered as either Democrats or No Party Preference (NPP). Our polling place seemed to have a lot of provisional ballots when I voted early, and my wife, who voted an hour before the polls closed, said the provisional box was substantially filled.

        She said the NPP voters seemed to have a hard time getting Democratic Ballots, since she heard a few say they wanted to vote for Presidential candidates after being handed the NPP Ballot and noticing there were no Presidential candidates on it, they were then seemingly 1st offered an American Independent Party Ballot (created for the George Wallace/Curtis LeMay ticket, but with 7 Presidential Candidates in 2016).

        We think some gave up after that, but those that didn’t were then offered a Libertarian Ballot (with 12 Presidential Candidates, most notably Gary Johnson).

        One seemed to keep asking until they were offered the only remaining Ballot, Democratic, with 7 Presidential Candidates, and the one we suspect most NPP registered voters really wanted to vote for.

        I now regret registering so many as NPP, assuring them they could easily request a Democratic Ballot to vote for Bernie, and wish I had convinced all of them to register as Democrats, at least for the Primary.

        I will likely follow Bernie’s lead, even if I have to Flog myself to vote for Hillary (as William F. Buckley said he had to do when asked if had read “Atlas Shrugged”), but I have changed my party affiliation to disassociate myself from the party that does not seem to want to take advantage of all the support we have built for a more liberal, real people, oriented administration.

        I hope millions more who tenuously seek representation by the Democratic Party, and are willing to provide the broader based public support they will need to accomplish what they should see as the will of so many real people, think about also changing their party affiliation back to NPP for the General Election.

        We will still be able to vote for anyone in the General Election, but may be able to provide a clue to the DNC about how unhappy we are if they get too giddy about thinking they can push the corporatism/TPP loving agenda. (What would they do if the Republicans pull a switcheroo, and dump Trump to run anyone else with a better chance against Hillary?)

  20. heresy101

    Hopefully, after Sanders is humiliated by the DNC and his supporters are beaten up outside the Convention, a la 1968, Stephen Colbert or other notable can become the US’s Beppe Grillo of Italy and help us form our own 5 Stars Movement. The M5S candidate just became the lead candidate for the Mayor of Rome.

    The US Five Stars Movement could be based around: 1) Medicare for All, 2) Four Day Workweek and Jobs for All to be paid by the 1%, 3) Increased and Improved Social Security and Retirement Programs, 4) Increase Renewables and Enviromental Protection, and 5) No More Wars and No Profit on Military Spending.

    Maybe Bernie could be drafted to head a movement that would be designed to win in all 50 states over the next four years.

  21. EmilianoZ

    Out of curiosity I clicked on the link to the deLong piece. That was disappointing. No ideas, no arguments to refute, just a few insults hurled rapidly. Thats the kind of intellectual caliber you would rather associate with Schtrumpf. With all her money she wont even buy some proper intellectuals?

    1. fajensen

      No, they can’t. The House of Hillary doesn’t tolerate dissent.

      “Management” obviously cannot stand proper intellectuals, there is only room for flunkies and sycophants. This is the common theme in Hillarys failed health reform, the mess in Libya, and email gate.

  22. Ed Walker

    As an alumnus of FDL of blessed memory, thanks for the shout-out to the brilliant Jane Hamsher. And as a professional leftist, I assume we will be seeing the Return of the Rahm, who called us Fucking Retards. I think we know who the Fucking Retards are.

  23. Kim Kaufman

    It seems to me that HuffPo has for some time been ignoring Bernie. I assume Arianaa is pro Hillary. Maybe DeLong is being a troll for someone higher up at HuffPo to shut Carter up? HuffPo also is saying Hillary has “clinched the nomination” now. I haven’t seen an actual pledge count in some time, I have no idea what the real numbers are without the “maybe” supers but it appears to me that Hillary ain’t clinched nothing except media headlines.

    Crazy times.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      I don’t know what HuffPo you’ve been reading. The one I’ve seen over the past 4-5 months has published some of the most pro-Sanders articles in the popular press.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Arianna is a lifelong Republican who saw a chance to make a buck, and she sold to AOL which is owned by Verizon. Don’t worry the HuffPost will still have hard hitting posts of videos with the nude scenes in Game of Thrones.

  24. Lambert Strether

    It certainly is odd to hear Clinton loyalists evolving, at least verbally, toward left-wing policy positions, and claiming that there is “more that unites us than divides us,” while simultaneously organizing purges of “people to be named later.”

    Why, one might almost think the policy evolutions were merely professed, and the quest for unity some sort of ploy. But that would be cynical.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      End of the day, I’m checking my regular small list of websites, and lo and behold msnbc has huge banners about Hillary being declared ‘the prospective candidate’ for the Dems.
      Apart from claiming Jeb! as her VP nominee, I don’t know how Hillary can be more cynical.
      Or desperate.

      This, on the very night before the California primary.
      I cannot express how disgustingly sleazy this is.
      I’m appalled at the press.

      I hope the California and New Jersey and Dakotas voters turn out on Tuesday and clean Clinton’s clock.

      1. jrs

        Hills sings: one more day till revolution* we will nip it in the bud, we’ll be ready for these Bernie Bros …

        * political revolution

        One more day …. GO OUT AND VOTE. Wear your “I voted” sticker and write “F Hillary” on it. They don’t want you to vote. If voting changed anything, well they don’t make it illegal, but they disenfranchise, propagandize, eliminate exit polls, may not even have enough ballots – as close to illegal as they can get away with at this point. Maybe it’s cause the vote might change something.

      2. JerseyJeffersonian

        A New Jersey voter here. I am most definitely voting for Senator Sanders. Sticking my thumb in the eye of that narcissistic sociopathic crook, Hillary, is on today’s to-do list.

  25. aab

    Couple things.

    A web site where I use a different pseudonym and both mentioned that I was quoted in Yves’ piece and gave additional biographical information about myself was hacked yesterday. Probably a total coincidence, but honestly, I’m a little spooked. I actually thought about deleting that comment, but it’s a fairly small private site, I virtually know one of the founders, and she had vouched for the guys running the server.

    The email address I use to sign in here links back to my real identity. Brad DeLong and his ilk can’t get to it from Naked Capitalism, right?

    I mean, I’m a total nobody these days. I’m not a media figure. But watching what’s going on is pretty unnerving. That’s where we are. I’m a private citizen who used a rhetorical flourish in an anonymous comment on a privately run web site, and now I’m just a little bit afraid.

    And also, even more determined to vote for Trump, if it comes down to Trump vs. Clinton, no matter what he says or does. Because the more dangerous candidate for democracy is clearly and unquestionably Hillary Clinton.

    1. pretzelattack

      that is scary. i always felt protected by my unimportance and anonymity, sounds like the anonymity isn’t much good if you piss somebody off. i can still brandish my unimportance threateningly.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I post using my real name, it obviously takes *all* the fear out of getting d0xxed. And there’s never once been any blowback. The real bad guys have all that info anyway. Sometimes I think the worst downside of our prevalent anonymity online isn’t the incivility it seems to elicit, but in how it (rightly or wrongly) dilutes and trivializes the import of whatever it is we are saying. Posting under one’s real name also stresses the fact that your putative anonymity online using an alias is too often illusory or at the least tenuous and potentially compromising. When people see my name attached to my post, they know I’m not a sockpuppet or plant. Anonymity also makes networking and organizing difficult. Fifteen or twenty years ago i found anonymity online empowering, now it feels just the opposite. I say be proud of whatever you have to say and stand behind it.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      We don’t ever give up e-mail addresses and we have not been hacked. And we have a private webhost (as in a small company and we know the proprietor).

    3. Goldcap

      That is scary. I had my Twitter and Instagram accounts made public as a “person who should be attacked” at one point, but nothing came of it. I work for an organization that is hated by the right wing, and so they thought they could intimidate me. Nothing like your situation, but I can identify.

      But honestly, voting for Trump is scary, but not bad strategically. If we elect Hillary, we probably get eight more years of lukewarm corporatist neoliberalism, followed by a Christian conservative. So no progressive in the WH for really probably 12 years. Probably a war or two. Definately no change for finance.

      If we can snake by with Drumph for four, he’ll get booted out, and maybe then we get Lizzie Warren. Or perhaps he’s so bad we can flip the congress. I mean, it really is cutting off your left arm or both legs. But if you have that choice, you should at least game it out to a positive, right?

      1. aab

        Clintonland has already started purged leftists. This isn’t a joke. It’s not just a strategic issue any more.

      2. Adamski

        There’s also the little matter of whether the FBI will say anything after she wins the White House if it takes that long. That would turn a sitting Democratic president into a lame duck and be a gift to Congressional Republicans. Sanders has no such issue. And no Foundation to investigate.

        Oddly I saw Paul Krugman (you’ll find it on Youtube, him and Martin Wolf, “economic possibilities for the new government”) saying after the 2015 British general election that the Labour Party hadn’t been too demanding, and they should have been anti-austerity instead of just having their left-wing wish list because it was far less relevant. That the Bush administration had toughened the US centre left… but since the rise of Sanders he is saying no! Stop! Politically impossible! Unelectable! As if Clinton would drive an equally hard bargain with Congress or that her email scandal doesn’t hurt her electability. Stuck in the 1990s with DeLong and sore that people are demanding different in 2016.

        1. Nathanael

          Krugman has embarassed himself massively. Total intellectual dishonesty.

          DeLong is still quite readable because he’s got more humility.

  26. MG

    Just now went to read the DeLong piece, but all I get is “503 service error”. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

  27. craazyman

    Santa Claus is next. Handing out gifts for free is a Guevarista fantasy that destroys the population’s work ethic and the budget.

    Santa needs to be stopped in his sleigh tracks, put the reindeer in zoos.

    Santa should be privatized and run by Wall Street. Lend people money to buy gifts, Securitize the debt and sell it. Take the profits and pay for lobbyists. Cut Santa’s North pole operations to the bone. He has too many elves and he needs to lose weight.

    Economists can study this and make policy recommendations for even more effciency. Watch out Easter Bunny!

    How dumb is politics?

    Politics is so dumb it actually wants to win a Darwin Award
    Politics is so dumb it makes economics look smart
    Politics is so dumb a dodo bird could give it lessons
    Politics is so dumb it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so dumb
    Politics is so dumb it actually wonders why voters hate it.
    It’s so dumb it thinks a dumbell will vote for it. And when it riggs the poles, maybe it will.
    Politics is so dumb you wonder why anyone pays attention to it at all.
    Maybe cause every once in a while somebody comes along who doesn’t play dumb.

    Bernie Bernie
    Bernie’s gonna win.

  28. Morbidsymptoms

    Par for the course. DeLong has spent his entire blogging career policing the boundary that separates the “decent left” from the lesser breeds without the law, stopping occasionally to suck up to Larry Summers or attempt to resurrect the tattered reputation of his college roommate, Andrei Schleiffer. The only thing to do with his sort is stick around long enough to learn the modus operandi, then move on without looking back.

  29. dcb

    Now I know why when I read his work at project syndicate I laugh. Thanks for letting me know his history, plus this is one of the big problems in the united states. discredited economists like delong are brought back to be advisers over and over.

  30. Adamski

    As much as I support Sanders an as much as DeLong’s recent behaviour (deleting pro-Sanders comments on his site, pushing the BernieBro narrative, and acting like a spokesman’s endorsement of Friedman’s 5% growth claim means the campaign is actually promising 5% growth to voters), this “threat” interpretation is going too far. Yes, I saw the “gleefully trash” post originally. I don’t see anything wrong with Clintonites wanting to consolidate their hold on the party after the election, except of course that I personally I don’t want them to. Sandernistas would do the same. The links-and-ties stuff you list with Demos and Vox and CEPR isn’t evidence that DeLong is part of anything orchestrated. And I am a Matt Bruenig fan.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sanders supporters would NOT do the same. Don’t attribute the proven bad behavior of the Clinton, who are famously and fabulously vindictive, to Sanders, who has never shown those behaviors.

      There is all the difference between consolidating your position in the party and purging people outside the party, which is what happened at Demos, Vox, and what DeLong is talking about.

      Plus the Clintons already have control of the Democratic party. What consolidating do they need to do? Tell me who is an independent operator, save Pelosi and Warren? And Warren has not been acting like one of late.

  31. hemeantwell

    Guevarista fantasies about what their policies are likely to do. The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do. And it will be important to do so then–because overpromising leads to bad policy decisions, and overpromising is bad long-run politics as well.

    A psychoanalyst I have great respect for, Leonard Shengold, has written persuasively of the presence of limited psychotic processes in personalities that otherwise seem normal. This is close to fitting the criteria. DeLong “gleefully” allows his reality testing to slip to enable him to constitute and then go after the Commie beast. What makes this different from Shengold’s more individualized cases is that DeLong likely anticipates a collaborative response from other liberals who are old enough to have been thoroughly socialized to regard terrorism against the left as not only fair play, but also enticing in some respects. This will really spice up the post-election parties, after which it will be on to Moscow.

    1. Adamski

      Not only do I think Yves jumped the gun here, your comment is worse.

      DeLong is badly wrong, since the only people involved in the 5% fuss are Gerald Friedman, Jamie Galbraith (who merely defended the claim 5% can come out of a standard model but not that it would last for years) and 1 Sanders campaign spokesperson. You could call Friedman a liar, but you could just as easily conclude he’s being foolish instead. Nobody shares the Guevarista fantasy, since there has been almost no discussion among Sanders supporters anywhere about what his policies would do for growth, even though that (and how inadequate Clinton’s will be for growth) should be the issue of the day. Sanders has never overpromised, since he says in every speech that to get his policies through will need political revolution. It should be obvious this means a Democratic Congressional majority, and lots of constituent pressure upon them. Clinton’s web site on the other hand has plenty of Clinton “will” do X.

      No, DeLong’s political myopia doesn’t make him a psychotic anti-left terrorist!

      1. Alejandro

        Before “Guevarista fantasies” there was this: (emphasis mine)

        “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance…More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment….
        Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.”-FDR

        I’m assuming by “rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods” he meant the precursors to today’s CEO’s AND by “unscrupulous money changers” he meant WS CEO’s in particular.

        While I may agree that “psychotic” may be a stretch, BDL seems to react with pathetic wonky wonk sophistry.

      2. hemeantwell

        Adamski, you’re completely missing Shengold’s point, which is that people who otherwise live within what we can think of as “reality” can nevertheless have areas of mental life where fantasy reigns. Shengold is more inclined to talk about the satisfaction of desperate needs, e.g. extreme closeness to the point of fusion. That’s not what’s going on here. So DeLong is not “psychotic” both in the usual sense and also into the way that Shengold finds most clinically important.

        And, in a certain sense, that is precisely the problem. He thinks he’s fine, he lives his tenured life responsibly. But in limited areas he feels quite free to imagine demons and set out to get them. What’s worse, he finds others who will go along with him. In this he is little different from the much-maligned Trump Supporters Who Hate. What’s still worse, he’s representative of a swath of relatively powerful people who, under some political pressure, will shift into housecleaning mode, particularly if the pressure continues beyond an “appropriate” time frame, which is to say that those applying the pressure don’t obey the laws of a rigged electoral system and accept their suppression.

        1. Adamski

          No, I’m not missing the point, which is why I stated DeLong is politically myopic and is holding Sanders to an absurd standard. That’s despite my finding his site very useful. As you now say, DeLong is not psychotic in either sense of the word.

  32. David E

    Purges of journalist and party members is similar to the “Night of the Long Knives” in 1934 Germany.
    When it becomes dangerous to disagree and dissent we are in troubled times.

  33. Left in Wisconsin

    If/when HRC becomes our next president, in theory the Delongs of the world will have every opportunity to prove that they were/are right and we (of many, many different orientations and worldviews but collapsible as The Other To One Side) are wrong. But what I know/predict (in the Delong-ian sense) will happen is that:

    – their governance will not in any meaningful way challenge the status quo;
    – that ‘achievement” will be trumpeted both/either as “awesome” and/or “the best we could do under the circumstances of intractable opposition from the unhinged right;” and
    – the failure to achieve better will nevertheless not be a call for a more aggressive politics.

    As a side note, I went to Delong’s blog (which I do once in a great while) when he posted re: Yves’ Politico piece. I responded to a comment which claimed Yves was “encouraging” her readers to vote for Trump by noting (briefly, politely) she had done no such thing, and that many of her readers (at least some of us) detest Trump. My comment showed up when I posted it that night but was gone in the morning. Whatever.

    1. washunate

      Spot on. I love the dichotomy of the “I’m awesome so you should vote for me” sales pitches combined with the “I can’t actually do anything in power” excuses.

      It’s such a long history of that tactic now that the entire intellectual edifice is crumbling. Recently, I ran into a specific example I thought you might like. I don’t know if there’s a field of anthropological political economy linguistics, but I find it absolutely fascinating when I run across one of the older memes that hasn’t been upgraded to the current version. Somebody told me that the reason Democrats didn’t push for universal healthcare in 2009 was because they didn’t control Congress. Somebody else chimed in attempting to support that person’s position that the 60 votes in the Senate was dependent upon Joe Lieberman so it wasn’t reliable.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Perfect. There is mis-remembering (David Byrne just got outed for mis-remembering his age in connection with Berrigan and Viet Nam, and there was that great moment a few years back when two books on the March on Washington came out at roughly the same time with completely different first hand accounts of the same planning meetings) and then there is rewriting history.

        On your example: I heard first hand from someone reliable that, when the AFLCIO Exec Council was debating its position on Obamacare, the message from the Oministration was public option = non-starter due to blue dog Democrat opposition, and that the union people who had a problem with it should just get over it. Not sure any of them actually had a problem with it. The scape goats change but not the outcome.

  34. Vatch

    Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention, but before today, I had never heard of Brad DeLong. Or maybe I just didn’t retain that memory. Whatever.

    1. Adamski

      His site is very useful, like Economist’s View by Mark Thoma. Sadly I feel a lot different now about DeLong since the “Live from the BernieBro Asylum” crap and censorship started. As with Krugman, who I had also been addicted to for a number of years.

  35. Dave

    The satirist who mocks Hillary has been hit:

    “My website,, has been under “Denial of Service” (DoS) attack for two weeks with especially aggressive tactics the last two days.

    The Clusterfuck Nation Monday Blog is being run on the Patreon site for the time being.”

  36. J.P. Steele

    Brad and Krugs appear to be having a competition as to who can trash the most progressive economists. Really sad. This will come back to haunt them.

  37. Plenue

    Big surprise, DeLong censors his comments section so it’s all one giant self-reinforcing circle jerk. I also see from the bizarre Ralph Nader attack piece he featured today that he’s in favor of suppressing free speech on campuses, so long as it’s done for the ‘right reasons’ (mainly not hurting anybwadies feewings waaaaah).

  38. phichibe

    Academic thuggishness is no surprise but for some reason I hoped for better from Democratic thugs than Republican. That said, I recall hearing Lester Thurow (whose book “The Zero Sum Economy” is looking better in hindsight than it did at the time) being asked about the imminent return of Paul Krugman to MIT from his sojourn at Stanford in the early 90s. Thurow was on the air, on the public affairs program of KQED the local NPR affiliate in San Francisco, and it was obvious he was measuring his words carefully but he said that he hoped PK would be more collegial than he had been during his previous stint at MIT.

    I like Delong and PK but this hubris is completely unwarranted, despite any shiny medals from the Bank of Stockholm or Bates Clark committees. Every serious economist should be completely open to outsider insights, be they from MMTers, Minksy-ites, or whatever short of gold bugs or supply siders. We just lived through a repeat of the 1930s, which is something I never thought I’d experience (I was born in 1961). Given that Delong was an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Rubin, I would hope for some circumspection above what he’s already exhibited in the wake of 2008-9. Threatening Friedman is beyond a crime – it’s a blunder (hat tip: Talleyrand -I threw that in for Yves ;-)

    The fact of the matter is that Hilary is pretty much an un-reconstructed neo-liberal, at least as far as I can tell. I haven’t heard her repudiate any of her husband’s economic policies, only the crime bill of 94. Imagine if Bill had kept his fly zipped in 98 and the Social Security Privatization Plan he cooked up with Gingerich had passed and then we had the financial crisis. Millions of seniors would have been caught out in the storm, and we’d have looked like Greece. Will Hilary finish his work?

    This is hands-down the most depressing presidential choice I can recall since 1980, when I ended up voting for John Anderson in my first presidential election (the first time I ever flirted with Libertarianism, and the last). Trump thinks he’s a river boat gambler and Hilary thinks she’s running a brothel. It’s like playing Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol.


  39. Fiver

    When all is said and done Americans have just been presented with as grotesque an effort to shut down democratic processes as most have seen in their lifetimes, and what Sanders and his supporters and all other Americans who understand and care must now decide is whether or not they will let this stand.

    For how many years (or decades) have progressives, liberals, the ‘left’ et al told themselves any actions aimed at compelling change except via the ballot must wait until ‘things get so bad that…’? At what point do the incredible, daily abuses of power by and for the powerful constitute abuses great enough for good and decent people to link arms and declare ‘That’s it. That’s enough. We will accept no more?’ and jettison this obscene farce of an electoral process in favour of massive efforts to reverse this outcome, including civil disobedience?

    If even half of Sanders supporters, in all of their various occupations, etc., were to go on strike until Clinton withdraws, we’d readily win. Why, when for the first time ever progressive policies are clearly favored by a majority, should that majority just allow itself to be pan-caked? What future conditions (worse than this) are people waiting for to rouse themselves to act?

    It’s this year – now or never. Fight the fight of your lives, Sanders folk, because that’s exactly what this is all about – your future lives and your children’s lives, if they are to have one at all.

    1. Nathanael

      It’ll be about ten more years before the bloody revolution, in my estimate, and I’ve studied a lot of revolutions. People will put up with a lot to avoid bloody revolution, but for some reason our idiot overlords seem intent on pushing people further and further.

  40. Matt

    “The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do”.

    Indeed. “Comintern-scale lying” is a precise and apt description for the political style of this gang of self-serving social climbers. Foreign policy, economics, you name it, Obama-Clintononics has been a dismal failure.

    Hence the troglodyte regression to McCarthyism. These career rats act cornered. One smells a whiff of panic in Larry Summers. Delong’s much too cocksure of what waits his politics over the next 4 years. Presuming they don’t somehow blow it and elect Trump. Then we may “gleefully and comprehensively trash” the bastards.

    1. Adamski

      I would like Summers to be Clinton’s Treasury Sec because he is clear on the need for stimulus and that political disaster awaits if one isn’t passed. (Republican Congress? Well, combine it with Krugman’s support for minting trillion dollar platinum coins, then. Not that I’ve seen Summers endorse that part)

  41. tony

    The standard insult for the liberal authoritarians is stupid, and things related to it. Naive, uneducated, unexperienced, ignorant, also racist and sexist which are seen as lack of education. For the right it’s accusation of weakness, most recently, a ‘cuck’. Donald is represented as strong, Obama as intelligent. Or for their enemies, stupid or weak.

    Somewhat different values and debating styles, but authoritarian suppression of the opposition in any case.

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