Our Politico Story on Why Clinton Does Not Deserve the Sanders Vote

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The Naked Capitalism commentariat has arrived. It’s the frame for our latest story in Politico: Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary.

Mind you, the piece morphed a bit during the editing process. It had started out focusing on the large policy differences between what Sanders voters want and what Clinton is offering. It made the point that some, and potentially many, were sick and tired of the “lesser evilism” that the Democratic party had used to keep the left in line. The party has relied, successfully, on the idea, made explicit by Bill Clinton, that progressives have no where to go.

That argument is still there. But it seemed so incredible to orthodox-thinking Beltway types that voters might follow through on the implications, which is not voting for Hillary, which would risk a Trump victory. I got incredulity at the idea that some might actually vote for him out of a view that Trump despite his staggeringly visible personal character flaws (an ego totally out of control, and a corresponding lack of self-discipline) and his shifting and often bonkers policy ideas, that he might nevertheless represent the lesser evil, or cribbing from Glen Ford, the less effective evil.

So to drive the point home, the article uses NC readers to show that some well-informed progressives understand full well what the Clintons represent and they’ve had it with them. These voters regard Trump as an acceptable risk to inflict punishment on Team Dem for decades of abusing workers and ordinary citizens and to put an end to the Clintons’ dynastic ambitions.

This article was meant to penetrate the DC narrative all sensible people will fall in line and vote for Clinton when Sanders is knocked out of the picture (probable but not a given). If it succeeded, it will get people in the Clinton bubble riled up. Read it here.

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  1. sharonsj

    I read the piece on Politico, which as far as I can tell from constantly reading all the site’s comments for years, leans right and stupid as well. Yves, you are correct. I am a 50-year registered Democrat, educated, well read (but financially poor). For me it is Bernie or no one.

    I’ve pretty much decided that America and democracy is toast and the answer is to become a prepper; live on a cheap rural piece of land, buy local produce or grow your own, and hunker down. It just isn’t going to get any better for the 99%.

    1. Katharine

      I’m bothered by the failure to consider third-party voting as an option. It almost comes across as an admission that the establishment is right and progressives have nowhere else to go. In fact, whether you take the Green Party seriously or not, it would be the most progressive option if you can’t have Bernie in the general election. Particularly in a state like mine, where a write-in vote does not count unless the candidate has registered as a write-in candidate (a weird consequence of too many Mickey Mouse write-ins in the seventies), voting for a third party may be the strongest statement a frustrated voter can make that we have somewhere else to go and are going.

      1. B1whois

        Good point. Third party is a more effective counter to the “no where else to go” argument, even if voting for trump is more cathartic.

      2. redleg

        3rd party voting is more visible too, as it’s easy to count and see the increase from last time.
        Just because it isn’t mentioned in the article doesn’t mean it’s not a viable alternative.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Third party voting is not a meaningful option in a Presidential election. And the Greens are not even a national party. I agree many NC readers like the idea of voting for Stein, but to stress that in a Politico piece would register as “political naifs who don’t know the score” while saying “some progressives actually will vote for Trump if denied Sanders” would get their attention.

        And as indicated, I did not write the piece originally with that focus. It was about “many Sanders voters will never vote for Clinton” but the editor moved it in the direction of “so what do they do?”

        The Greens should be concentrating their efforts on getting a few Senate seats. They’d have real power that way.

        1. Merf56

          I respect what you are saying but our family( 5 voters) have discussed this at length and our rationale for voting for Stein is not, of course, to actually win the presidency but to put the proverbial ‘fear of God’ so to speak, into the Democratic Party of which we are all members. To clearly show them that if they persist in this ‘progressive lite’ line and with the fawning attention to financial interests we will no longer be ‘the reliable base’. If enough of us act on our similar convictions it has a chance of really working.
          Dismissing any third party voting out of hand is defeatist and a debbie downer self fulfilling prophecy and does a great disservice to the country’s future generations by killing in them any optimism that real profound change may be possible down the line….
          Voting for that buffoon Trump should NEVER be option for anyone….. with any semblance of a brain…. Even if he manages to get himself elected it should not be with actual Democratic Party member votes ….

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I hate to tell you, but a 1-3% vote for Stein will not do that. Stein has gotten on the ballot in fewer states than Nader did, Nader has much better name recognition, and he still got only 3% of the vote. The result was more hippie punching of the left, blaming the loss of the 2000 election on the Nader vote when it was vote suppression of blacks in Florida (well documented by Greg Palast) and Dems in Florida voting Republican.

            What would wake the legacy parties up would be if a third party candidate ever won a state and commanded electoral votes. But even Perot, who got 19% of the popular vote, failed to do that.

            Third parties are not a way to pressure the legacy parties in Presidential elections. I keep saying that the Greens need to focus on the Senate, but no one wants to hear that.

            1. Merf 56

              So I will assume you are voting Clinton or Trump. Part of the problem and not the solution. I have children and potential grandkids they tell me, someday. I cannot afford to sell out their future for the status quo….

              1. DaGraDix

                Relax, you’re not being attacked, you don’t need to accuse Yves of hypocrisy just because she disagrees with you over reasons she provided.

                Initially, back in 2014, when Bernie began publicly floating the idea of a presidential run, my thought was that it would be more beneficial for progressive issues if he remained in the Senate. His campaign has radically altered that opinion.

                However, compare what Sanders has accomplished with the prospect of a Green party alternative. What Yves is proposing is building precisely the kind of foundation that Sanders has, that has allowed him to build a threateningly effective campaign. Sanders has a long and strong record of legislative achievements, and it showcases his moral compass and political acumen. The Green party has no national legislative record, they have no major state-level achievements (the environmentalist movement does), and they don’t have a national party organization.

                It is politically very possible for the Green party to win 1 or 2 seats in the Senate, in places that favor them (northwest, northeast). If the Green party dedicated themselves to electoral victories that put party members on the national stage, and if they took a page from Bernie’s legislative playbook, getting workable legislation in as amendments to larger bills, then they would have a basis for persuading voters that they are an actual alternative. If they focussed on party building efforts that would result in actual political power — such as winning effective state legislative blocs outside their safety demographics (who don’t show up for them as it is), or running a strong gubernatorial campaign in a state like, say, Oregon that garnered lots of attention from potential supporters, they’d be in a much stronger position to begin building more than a mixed medley of long-time dedicatees, but to attract (as Sanders has) progressive Democrats, Independents, and others to the prospect of a national party with something to show for itself.

                This isn’t selling out to the status quo, nor is separate from building out of Bernie’s campaign a resilient and persisting political bloc. It can be a very important part of that. I don’t read Yves’ critique as perpetuating a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeatism, but as pointing out what the Green party should do to begin to change the status quo. Isn’t it defeatist to just vote for a party that can’t possibly win in the state it currently exists in? On the other hand, the threat of voting for Trump over Clinton, or simply not voting for Clinton, does send a very strong message that, if they fail to take it seriously, will instill the ‘fear of God’ in the party (as well as further seriously piss them off).

                I live in California. I am voting for Bernie next week. I will not vote for Hillary if she’s the nominee in the General. I’ll vote for Jill Stein, but I know that that will be little more than a symbolic protest vote. I disagree with the Rumsfeldian framed argument that it is a less risky bet to support the putatively unknown unknown and make the Democratic party pay for their luxuriant insularity and hubris. However — as that is the way Politico edited the message of Yves’ article — I understand and respect the argument.

                You don’t need to accept “lesser evilism” in order to put forward a sensible critique and proposal for a party that doesn’t have a real chance at this point.

                1. Kent

                  If Jill Stein gets more votes than people expect, the establishment will notice. America will notice. Think of it as a long term investment

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yves just a massive kudo for your summary, you covered all of the bases in a very readable narrative and left very few viable chinks in the armor of your arguments. Really skilled in concept and execution, congrats.

            3. Winston Smith

              I agree that the Greens should really be pushing for Senate and Congressional seats. However in this election, couldn’t a vote for Stein be a vote for Trump as it wouldn’t go to Hillary?

              But I know that in the upcoming Kalifornea primary (in which Greens can vote for Dems!) I will be voting for Uncle Bernie and if he doesn’t make it to the general election , it would be quite the quandary as to whether or not I vote for Stein or the Trump-master.

              Of course then there is the hope that if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination that he runs third party.

              Even if the Dems try and slip in Biden if Clinton falls out of favor, I look at Biden and Clinton as representing the same thing.

            4. direction

              i would be very curious to see if the bernie or bust people promoted sanders as a write in candidate just as a matter of formally logging a protest vote and whether and these tallies would get reported.

              1. marym


                In 35 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In seven states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted.

              2. Phil

                They’ve officially changed their position to vote green but are having trouble pushing that to pledge takers.

            5. Capitalist Dem

              Yves .. if a baseball team loses a game 16-15, which run(s) were responsible for the loss? Was it the 6-run 4th inning? or the solo homer in the 11th?

        2. Ruben

          Great Politico article Yves. A minor quibble is that giving consideration to the editor push, you might have pointed out that Trump does in fact seem to favour policies that Sanders supporters take as key pluses, such as opposition to trade deals and less foreign interventionism. So it would not just be that smart high income progressives are out to punish the Dem establishment.

          I point this out because it seems to me that across the developed countries in the western world at this point it is necessary to create an electoral alliance between progressives and the far right to cleanse the political centre from its corrupt and aggressive neo-liberal deviation.

        3. R. Stanton Scott

          Suggesting that with all her faults Hillary Clinton isn’t the best Presidential candidate progressives could vote for in the current political environment registers as “political naifs who don’t know the score.”

          To be sure, Bill Clinton took the Democratic Party in a neoliberal direction. But Barack Obama, a transformational figure, has moved the US back to the left – as much as possible given the political realities inherent in the opposition he faced.

          Clinton – pushed by progressive supporters – would continue that transformation. I don’t care for many of her policy positions, though frankly some of the complaints you list in the article oversimplify the policy questions in a way that sort of…register as “political naifs who don’t know the score.” But in the final analysis, politics is about coalition building, and no part of the coalition gets everything they want. And anyone who cares about making progress on social justice issues, living wages, reversal of supply-side economic policy, protecting Social Security and other government agencies from privatization, and ending the Citizens United campaign finance regime has no choice to to everything possible to ensure that a Democrat nominates the next Supreme Court justice and has the backing of a Democratic Senate to provide its advice and consent.

          Anyone who isn’t a “political naif who doesn’t know the score” shouldn’t need me to explain this.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Huh? Obama has not moved the US to the left. He had the opportunity to come down hard on Wall Street and didn’t. He even engineered a second huge bailout for Wall Street, in the form of the “get out of liability almost free” card of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement. He is keen to implement trade deals that would be huge wins for multinationals at the expense of national sovereignity, including the ability of the US to regulate product safety, financial services, and the environment. His Presidency has seen profit share of GDP rise to record levels, and a “recovery” where the 1% gained at the expense of everyone else.

            Google “Jane Hamsher” and “veal pen”. Obama from the very start of his presidency targeted well funded leftist groups and got them defunded, systematically.

            Obama implemented health care “reforms” that were written by a health care industry lobbyist and have further enriched Big Pharma and health insurers. He made promises to raise the minimum wage that he failed to act on. His Supreme Court picks were centrist at best. His Department of Justice has been soft on anti-trust, soft on elite white collar crime. He’s routinely used the Republicans as an excuse to do what he wanted, which was to govern center-right. He’d regularly concede 75% of what they asked for as his opening gambit. And then he’d move further right to get bills passed.

            1. R. Stanton Scott

              Obama pushed through the most liberal health care reform plan that political reality would permit at the time. This resulted in more than ten million Americans, most of them poor, finally getting health insurance and thereby health care. The ACA also reduced inflation in the health care market by 50% and ended the health insurance company practice of cutting off benefits on specious grounds when customers got sick.

              He implemented the most liberal recovery and investment act political reality would permit at the time. This limited the negative effects of the housing crisis and by the end of his first year, the economy created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%. He created the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan and forced banks and other entities to pay back virtually all of the bailout money. In 2010, more jobs were created in one year than had been created during Bush’s eight years put together. Then he ordered all federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

              Obama pushed through the strictest crackdown on wrongdoing in the financial sector that political reality at the time would allow. He signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act and created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown. He signed Dodd-Frank – though flawed, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression. And he implemented rules to reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.

              Barack Obama has presided over improvements in consumer rights, workers rights, homosexual rights, and minority rights despite aggressive and powerful opposition from conservative groups, religious organizations, and a Senate Majority Leader who had vowed to ensure he did not serve a second term.

              Yes, I would like to see the US move even further to the left than this, especially on financial sector reform, reproductive rights, and foreign policy. But Barack Obama, in the face of coordinated opposition from any group to the right of the Democratic Leadership Council, has certainly moved the US to the left.

              We have more to do, but voting for Donald Trump is the silliest strategy I’ve ever heard of for getting it done.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Oh, come on. Lots of people have covered this at length. The country was petrified when Obama took office. He had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and the House. He could has passed anything he wanted. It was his own Robert Rubin holdover, bank friendly neoliberal Larry Summers, who argued for a smaller stimulus and bullied Christine Romer, whose modeling called for more. He could have passed real health care reform and didn’t. He similarly could have passed real financial services industry reform and didn’t. Dodd Frank was weak tea and had many of its provisions kicked over for study and later rulemaking, which was designed to let the industry have another go at watering it down. Danny Tarullo at the Fed singlehandedly has been a more effective force for reform than the Obama Administration.

                The Obama administration enabled the taking by bank servicer of millions of homes when investors in those securitizations preferred modifications.

                And please tell me what Obama has done in terms of improvements in consumer rights. The only thing I can think of is the CFPB’s proposed rulemaking on mandatory arbitration. The only reason we got that is basically due to how Elizabeth Warren started up the CFPB, by creating a solid culture that held up over time. And he gave her that job with the hope she’d screw it up, not succeed. She had become a huge thorn in Timothy Geithner’s side and they wanted to take her down a peg. But that plan backfired.

                We wrote at GREAT length at the time how the FCIC was designed to do a crappy job and it did. By contrast, Ronald Reagan formed the Brady Commission to investigate the 1987 crash ten days after it happened, had it staffed with serious people, not lightweights like Phil Angildes (well meaning but out of his depth) and a subpoena process that guaranteed that no real investigation could or would be done. Obama reappointed Ben Bernanke, a Bush holderover who represented a continuation of the Greenspan policies that led to the crisis and bailed out the banks, imposed no executive or board changes, and did not pump for reform. By contrast, the Bank of England was much tougher with banks and fought tooth and nail for a Glass-Steagall type breakup of banks (it was stymied by the UK Treasury and got a partial win).

                Gay rights? You mean Obama’s weak and late endorsement of gay marriage? That’s not legal action.

                And the ACA was not “reform” but a program for more rent extraction by pharma and insurers. Did you manage to miss that the biggest groups funding the Obama campaign were the financial services industry, tech, and the medical/industrial complex?

                It strengthened the position of insurers, and allows for profit levels that were higher than the industry enjoyed before the bill was passed. Obama never tried to sell single payer (in fact, his operatives targeted groups that advocated it), and was never serious about a public option. He took that off the table and got no concession from the other side. You never give a free concession in bargaining, ever. He just didn’t want people talking about it any more.

                The ACA has harmed a lot of people. Everyone I know who has to get a policy under the ACA is worse off. It is a nightmare for self employed people and people with erratic incomes. The only real benefit has been Medicaid expansion. And the ACA is going into a death spiral anyhow.

                You really need to get out and deal with facts, not Democratic party/Administration PR.

                More generally, you are selling the line “Obama was constrained.” Bollocks. Obama has governed center right because he has a center right world view. Presidents have enormous bully pulpits. They can move the Overton window if they choose to. He didn’t make an effort because that is what he believes. I saw that with his disappointing first inauguration speech. He has even failed to do things that were entirely within his power, like his promised “first action” of his Administration of closing Gitmo.

                The success of the Sanders campaign, despite the MSM efforts to first ignore it and then ridicule it, shows how strong public support is for true progressive positions. If the Administration had gone in that direction, it would have had public opinion behind it and the media would have fallen in line.

                I suggest you read:



                1. Felix_47

                  Thank you for saying the obvious. And thank you for the Politico article which formulated my view as well and I am easily in the 1%, white, over educated and travelled, male and in the sixth decade. And I have mailed in my vote for Bernie. However in the cafeteria today one of the workers was talking about how he thought Bernie would kill in in CA and I reminded him he needed to vote since he was for him and his comment scared me…….He said he would vote for Bernie in the general but that he was registered as an independent because he does not believe in any of the parties and that he could not vote for Bernie……..but he said it did not matter…..unfortunately our precariate is not necessarily fully aware of the hoops required to vote…..and I am certain he is not alone…..there are many that want Bernie but just don’t have it together to be able to vote for him.

                  1. Waldenpond

                    Yes, I just posted this…. 40% of NPPs that claimed to want to vote for Sanders just sent in their NPP ballots. They simply did not bother to request a D ballot.

                2. Lambert Strether

                  Print this out and put it on the fridge, if you have a fridge.

                  (I’d also add that prosecuting banksters for accounting control fraud was under Obama’s control at Justice, and would have been wildly popular across the political spectrum. Instead we got “I stand between you and the pitchforks.”

                3. Waldenpond

                  Your back on memeorandum….which is pro-Clinton, ignore/excoriate Sanders today (well, most days)

                  I did not read any of them, just the highlight that pops up….

                  LGM… the people you know are ‘dumb’
                  DeLong is sorry he ever linked to you….
                  Echidne of the Snakes… rotting, stinking something or other and your commenters are not representative of the D party.

                4. R. Stanton Scott

                  Oh, my. With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, if you believe that “Presidents have enormous bully pulpits,” and “They can move the Overton window if they choose to,” then you might be a “political naif who doesn’t know the score.”

                  While Democrats technically held a 60-vote Senate majority after the 2008 elections, as a practical matter it lasted only about 6 months (Franken, Kennedy/Brown). Further, busting filibusters depended on the votes of conservative Democrats like Nelson, Lieberman, Dorgan, and Lincoln. So, no, Barack Obama could not “has [sic] passed anything he wanted,” and believing he could have more or less conclusively demonstrates your political naivete.

                  Your anecdata about how the ACA affected the people you know (which as you note is hardly a representative sample) says nothing whatsoever about the effectiveness or value of the policy. No doubt it’s imperfect, but I’m frankly not bothered that the ACA “harmed a lot of” “highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers” (emphasis mine) of Naked Capitalism if that meant providing health insurance to more than ten million “workers and ordinary citizens” (that is, Americans who are neither highly educated nor high income). This is, after all, the core of my version of the Progressive policy wish list: construction of a social safety net for the poor. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

                  I’m also not bothered if it depended on use of and concessions to a health insurance industry that it could not as a practical matter shut down if that also meant imposing new regulations on that industry. And the ACA does exactly that: if stops insurance companies from denying coverage based on health status, stops unjustified rate hikes, ends life tlme and annual coverage limits, creates a right to rapid appeal of insurance company decisions, and forces companies to actually pay the benefits promised to premium payers. This seems to me like a reasonable compromise in a political climate that made single payer universal health insurance impossible to achieve, however liberal the President seeking it might or might not be. And if you seriously believe it was possible to achieve, then you don’t know enough about the US political and constitutional system to analyze it meaningfully.

                  If “well-informed progressives who understand full well what the Clintons represent” want to move the Democratic Party to the left and create a more progressive US government, tearing down the system by electing a proto-fascist is not the answer. Nor is electing a true-liberal president in the silly hope that he or she could move the Overton Window from the Bully Pulpit. Putting the Presidential Seal on a Sanders or Warren bully pulpit won’t make Mitch McConnell any more sympathetic to their progressive argument. Public opinion does not fall in line behind Presidents – Presidents and other politicians fall in line behind public opinion.

                  So your “highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers” need to get involved in the Democratic Party, join local Committees, go to meetings and caucuses, and elect progressive Chairs. Make phone calls, knock on doors, raise money, and inject your beliefs into the system so the Barack Obamas of the world would not have to rely on “financial services industry, tech, and the medical/industrial complex” for the money they need to get elected so they can move the US to the left. This is how Tea Party conservatives moved the GOP to the right – they didn’t wait for a conservative President to move the Overton Window. And this is why they block even sensible Obama policies – worry that their constituents will primary them from the right.

                  Barack Obama has indeed moved the US political discussion to the left – incrementally, to be sure, and certainly not as quickly as you or I might like. But this is political reality in a country with a basically even split between liberals and conservatives, with a lot of gray-area leaners in between. And whatever progressive change we do get won’t come because a more liberal president moved an Overton Window. It will come because progressives mobilized from the bottom up and moved the Window for them – giving them no choice but to respond to the progressive coalition and give its members the policies they want.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    @ Scott.

                    NC readers are better informed than you think. The reason the Dems lost Mass was that Obama bailed out the banks and did nothing to address foreclosures. Tom Ferguson, a top political scientist at UMass Boston, showed that through a granular analysis of voting districts. There was a remarkably tight correlation between the level of foreclosures and the Scott Brown votes. So spare me your fact-free assertions. The Dem loss of the Senate was the direct result of its “bail out the banks. screw ordinary voters” policies.

                    As for the ACA, if you had bothered to read the media, the “people being made worse off” is not mere anecdote. The MSM (NY Times) has reported that alarmingly large numbers of people who do not qualify for subsides are opting out. The MSM has also reported that insurers are excluding many pre-existing conditions via narrow networks, which enables them to keep specialists who treat costly ailments out. In addition, if you are self-employed or for other reasons have erratic income, the program is an utter nightmare.

                    Put it another way: did you miss that the ACA is going int a death spiral? This would not be happening if the program worked for most people. See here, for instance:


                    It is preposterous to say that Obama moved the US to the left, save by radicalizing some of the fallen middle class by policies that produced a “recovery” where all the income gains went to the 1%. He governed center-right. He appointed centrist to conservative jurists. He gave the banks a second massive bailout, in the form of the “get out of liability almost free card” of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement. The banks faced such huge litigation risk from the failure to transfer mortgages to securitization trusts as stipulated in their own contracts that the Administration could easily have demanded a serious effort to modify mortgages. But Obama himself was opposed. He kept talking about “responsible borrowers” as if the delinquencies were their fault, when in fact many lost jobs or had hours cut back as a direct result of the crisis, and some even experienced serviceer-induced bogus foreclosures (we documented this on NC). Obama not only sided with the banks, he regularly engaged in pro-bank messaging!

                    His anti-trust enforcement was weak. He accepted deficit hawkery. He even at one point in his negotiations with John Boehner, proposed $1 trillion bigger budget cuts than the Republicans did. He passed health care “reform: written by industry lobbyists that led to Big Pharma and health insurers stocks trading up big the day it was passed. He is now pushing hard for trade deals that will increase the ability of Big Pharma to keep drug prices high, weaken labor regulations and labor standards.

                    And do not give us children’s stories about getting involved with the Democratic Party. Tom Ferguson demonstrated in the early 1990s in his classic study Golden Rule that US political parties are money-driven, not vote drive, and this pattern goes back to well before 1930. Elections are determined by which corporate interests align behind which Presidential candidate.

          2. Steve in Dallas

            Yikes… “Barack Obama, a transformational figure, has moved the US back to the left – as much as possible”???

            At 45yo in late 2007 I was a “political naif”… still trusting the mainstream media. However, the Murdoch/FOX takeover of the WSJ pushed me to the internet… to follow the ‘big crash’. Independent media sites like NakedCapitalism were so obviously and infinitely better to anything in the MSM I quickly was begging family/friends/everybody… “Please turn off the MSM. I learned more in one month reading the IM than I learned reading the WSJ daily for 20 years! The MSM is total garbage and totally corrupt”… BOYCOTT the MSM.

            Regarding Obama? All through 2008 I followed the IM election coverage, listened to his and Michael’s campaign speeches. The message was clear… Obama was going to stop the out-of-control criminal banksters and Wall Streeters… AND stop the crazed out-of-control war criminals… MUCH more than Hillary! However, come 2009 it was immediately obvious Obama was a complete and total fraud. He immediately surrounded himself with the exact same economic and war criminals from the Clinton and Bush administrations. With the help of the IM, by mid-2009 I fully understood that Obama was a continuation of Bush and Bush was a continuation of Clinton. Like Clinton and Bush, Obama has done nothing but aggressively push this country, and the world, to the FAR right… by embracing a Global Corporate/Mafia/Neoliberal/Neocon ‘New World Order’ that exclusively privileges the 5% capitalist class over the 95% working class.

            1) You admit “Bill Clinton took the Democratic Party in a neoliberal direction”… but don’t see that Obama did the exact same thing? How is that possible?

            2) Even more audaciously disingenuous… “Clinton – pushed by progressive supporters – would continue that transformation”. Bill’s a neolib and Hillary is not? How is that possible?

            3) Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama were all consistent at creating your list of problems… “social justice issues, living wages, reversal of supply-side economic policy, protecting Social Security and other government agencies from privatization, and ending the Citizens United campaign finance regime… Supreme Court justice… Senate to provide its advice and consent”… and Hillary is here to fix those problems?

            4) To me your post sounds like just another TINA (there is no alternative) threat from the 5% telling the working class 95% slobs to back down and just take what they’re given.

            I’m totally 100% with Yves’ description of NC readers… NO WAY, NEVER EVER KILLERY.

            Thank you so much Yves… we/I love you!!!

          3. marym

            “pushed by progressive supporters “

            Based on the last 7 years, most likely her supporters would chide actual progressives with wanting sparkle ponies.

      4. steelhead23

        In the event Hillary is chosen and Bernie hoists her hand in his at the convention, I encourage everyone to vote for Jill Stein. She is brilliant, cogent, and left of Sanders. Of course, she cannot win – but, if we are ever to break the red and blue duopoly we need strong 3rd parties – and by voting for Jill you will be helping the Green Party to garner some campaign financing funds. (They need to get 5% to get federal funding). On the other, if Sanders is the Dem champion, I hope that those leaning Green in close states, vote for him instead.

        1. Robin Crawford

          I agree, I think Dr Stein with the Green party is a better option if Bernie is not the Democratic nominee. I happen favor her call for a 50% reduction in military expenditures (At first blush it may seem like a steep reduction, but the US would still be over 2x the next highest, China.) Also it was third parties that helped push FDR’s policies in the 30s.
          That said I can understand those that are set on choosing Trump (and I know several, contrary to the MSM narrative that it is negligible). First, Trump isn’t a stone cold neocon like Hillary. Second, Hillary is likely to get more support in Congress for horrible policies/war (esp w/Dems), whereas Republicans might constrain Trump in order to not taint their brand. Third, Trumps presidency might hasten a reformation of both parties.

          1. Ernesto Lyon

            But voting for Stein, if it’s a protest vote against Clinton and the Dems is a de facto vote for Trump, it’s one less vote he has to get. So why not be honest and choose who you’re really more concerned ( terrified ) about.

            As far as I can see Trump’s biggest flaw is that he’s an obnoxious egomaniac who doesn’t self-edit. Psychologically he’s not a Hitler or some despot type whose going to start a murder spree (i.e. not Ted Cruz).

            How much damage can he do? Some, but his personality deficits make him less dangerous because he will have a harder time getting cooperation from Congress.

            Now HRC is a deeply enmeshed figure in the corporate shadow government. Given the level of organization and synchronization they could bring to reshaping the US for their own interests, she has the potential to do great harm.

            1. Ian Ollmann

              Even if Trump is just a faux-authoritarian, if he finds himself in office can easily be surrounded by a cabinet full of real authoritarians. In that lies real and terrible danger.

              There comes a time to draw a line. Authoritarianism is something I can not support in any form.

        2. tgs

          Couldn’t agree more. A few weeks back I was planning to vote for Trump if Bernie was not an option. I heard a couple of interviews with Jill Stein and thought ‘how can I not vote for this women?’ I agree with Stein and people like Bruce Dixon who argue that this could be an extremely important year in US politics. Both the Republican and Democrats are minority parties in terms of total registration. Voting for Bernie, or Jill Stein is a chance to weaken the hold of the duopoly that currently has a stranglehold on American politics. Time to throw off the politics of fear and vote our principles. Of course, I still totally understand why someone might take a chance on Trump.

          1. katiebird

            I know how I could not…. So far (from my research today) the Greens aren’t on the ballot in Kansas.

            They’ve got to get on the ballot on all 50 states for me to take them seriously.

      5. Vote Like an Adult

        If you think the democrats are so bad, please move to Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria. Those countries are the result of Republican rule — you should love it there just as natives do. Similarly, with regard to protest third-party voting, how did that work out in 2000? Lastly, the direction of the Supreme Court over the next 25 years will likely be decided by who is President.

        Stop being morons about Democrats are no different than Republicans.

        1. Lambert Strether

          1) Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria are joint efforts by both parties and the political class as whole.

          2) Please don’t deploy the “But Nader!” meme here. NC readers are not children.

          3) They don’t call it a two-party system for nothing.

          4) On the Supreme Court, (a) if Obama had nominated somebody other than a Republican to the Court this time around, I’d have more confidence in your argument, and (b) you’re assuming that the Democrats will lose the Senate so badly they can’t filibuster. And they’d fight tooth and nail against an unacceptable Republican nominee, right? [snicker].

          I love how Democrat establishment types love calling their opponents stupid; they just can’t quit that tactic. Because that’s how they lost the Senate, the House, a ton of governships, and gutted their bench.

    2. Knute Rife

      I’m with you one every point. Right now I’m trying to decide which bumper sticker to put on my car: “Cthulhu/Morgoth 2016: Why settle for the lesser evil?” or “Meteor 2016: Just end it already.”

      1. pretzelattack

        im still pushing for cthulhu whately, he would bring the half human fish spawn demographic so crucial in new england. and you might even get some human votes.

    3. Kate60453

      You said everything that I feel in your Politico article. I religiously read your blog daily! I am a 51 year old advanced degree progressive woman voter, and my whole life I have voted for the democratic presidential nominee. Yes I voted for Bill twice and Obama twice and boy was I fooled by these two guys.
      I will not vote for Hilary. The Green Party will get my vote or I will write in Bernie. I know other progressives who will be doing the same thing or who will not vote at all.
      I am so happy that there are others out there who have the same political thoughts.
      Thanks Yves!

  2. Watt4Bob

    From where I sit, it is very hard to see how the grid-lock that might/will result from electing Trump could possibly be worse than the gridlock that might/will result from electing Clinton.

    Electing Trump also looks like the most effective method to deliver what is a long-overdue message to the Dims that business as usual is not in any way an acceptable outcome, in fact most of us believe that business as usual is actually criminal behavior.

    I’m hoping that in the fullness of time, Hillary will look back on this election season and be happy just to have stayed out of jail.

    1. Anne

      The hesitation I have is whether I can have any level of confidence that Democrats can or will hold the sanity line in the Congress if Trump is elected, considering that I haven’t been able to be confident in them holding the line under a Democratic president. I fear the Dems’ tendency to want to get along and get things done, even if those things aren’t good.

      Would, for example, Senate Democrats give any Trump nominations to the SC the Merrick Garland treatment over and over again, until he gives them someone acceptable? Or will they take the position that Trump’s the president, elections have consequences and he has the right to have the justices he wants? I shudder to think. It’s how we ended up with Roberts and Alito.

      At the same time, what confidence could I have that the Congress under President HRC would or could hold the line on what I expect will be her effort to “get things done” that are also bad? What if she goes back to the Grand Bargain? What if she wants to stock her administration with Robert Rubin-types? What if she decides it’s time for regime change somewhere? What if we’re full steam ahead on fracking? Are Democrats in the Congress going to go along, or are they going to put up a fight?

      Of course, in a Clinton administration, I figure we’ll just be following the ball as it bounces from one investigation and one attempt at impeachment after another.

      As I see it, the only way we aren’t well and truly fked is with a Sanders presidency. I’m under no illusions that his policies will meet with universal acclaim by Congressional Dems, but at least there’s some kind of chance for policies and legislation that aren’t solidly on the right side of the spectrum.

      I can’t vote for either one of these candidates. I cannot pretend there is equivalence between Trump and Clinton, other than that they are both wrong for the country. If it’s Trump and Clinton, I will likely either not cast a vote for that office, or I will vote for Jill Stein.

      God help us.

      1. tony

        OTOH congresscritters are not immune to the political pressure. Right now the left has very hard time convincing them, because the left will support them against a republican, no matter what. So they can safely move to the right.

        If you are willing to replace a Dem that acts like a Rep with a real Rep, then they better care.

      2. Carla

        Please do vote Jill Stein to help the Greens maintain ballot access. That’s what I’m going to do.

        1. Gaylord

          I will, as well. Unfortunately, Yves didn’t mention that option in the article! Maybe it would spur Bernie into seriously considering Dr. Stein’s offer to unify their efforts.

          1. Mike

            The best thing that Bernie had going for him was a lifetime of eschewing the less-evil party. Do the Democrats suddenly turn evil if Hillary succeeds Barack? If Bernie ends up endorsing HRC, so much the worse for him!

            I have never registered as a Democrat. Hey, I am not condemning anyone who did; we all make mistakes. I never regretted voting for Nader. But why would I ever even consider Trump? Because he is a “serious” candidate and Stein is not? Can anyone even make that claim with a straight face?

            It sounds like my perspective is at odds with almost everyone Yves is in contact with. Their view seems to be that because Bernie joined the (Democratic) fold, he is now worthy of consideration. As I already stated, I think they have it backwards. He might already be too compromised by throwing his lot in with them. Where is the incisive critique of Guantánamo, Snowden, and the lack of prison sentences for criminal banksters.

            If you are going to vote based on a cost-benefit analysis, it never makes sense to vote. Why waste the time and effort when your vote isn’t going to make a difference? The people Yves hangs with seem to base their behavior on the premise that a vote for an “alternative” party, like the Greens, is a “wasted” vote. So, therefore they are going to support a racist in order to teach Hillary a lesson?

            I am to the left of HRC so I will vote to the left of her, not to the right.

            1. Anne

              It isn’t Sanders’ party affiliation that makes him worthy of consideration, it is his policy positions, his decades-long devotion to them, and his moral humanism that put him in that category.

              As I think about it, Sanders’ decision to run from within the Democratic Party was about making sure he could be relevant, about giving him a fighting chance to be a real voice of the people. It may not be fair that third party candidates can’t seem to breach the media wall, but it’s the reality, and for Sanders to go third party would have meant we wouldn’t even be talking about him now – it would all be about you-know-who.

              Voting isn’t something we necessarily do because it makes sense; some of us do it because – as I used to tell my children every election day – it’s the responsibility we have for the privilege of living in a free society. Yes, I often feel like my vote doesn’t matter, but it’s the only tangible way I have to speak – and just because my voice may be ignored or dismissed doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t feel it is still my responsibility to speak.

              Which is why, when I decided not to cast a vote for president in 2008 – I voted all the other national and local races – I did so because I didn’t believe either candidate deserved my support. There was no place on the ballot to explain my vote was a lesser-of-two-evils choice, so I chose to leave it blank.

              It was Stein for me in 2012, and unless Sanders is on the ballot in November, it will be Stein again.

      3. grayslady

        At the same time, what confidence could I have that the Congress under President HRC would or could hold the line on what I expect will be her effort to “get things done” that are also bad?

        The answer is: no confidence. A look at the superdelegates who signed up for Hillary before the first votes in the primary elections should give you an idea of how many members of Congress would be willing to challenge her agenda. On the other hand, one of the least known aspects of Bernie’s time in Congress is how many friendly colleagues he has among Repubs. The Repubs respect Bernie because they know where he’s coming from, not because they always agree with him. Even John McCain was courteous enough to give Bernie all the credit on the veterans welfare bill they both co-sponsored. There’s a reason Bernie is the “amendment king.” Bernie isn’t tribal.

        1. sid_finster

          “Bernie isn’t tribal.” To not be tribal is a damnable heresy in today’s Washington.

      4. reslez

        The media and Democrats in Congress did a decent job of opposing GWB’s various atrocities in his second term. Pelosi famously took impeachment “off the table” but the dialogue was much healthier than it is today under Obama. You would think the last 8 years had vanished into a black hole for all Progressives talk about Obama’s record of failure and his billion dollar presidential library.

        I’ll vote Green for president as I did in 2008 and 2012 and direct my campaign donations where Sanders tells me to.

        1. openvista

          Then I hope, for your sake, he doesn’t tell you to give money to Clinton. I think he’s going to fold like a cheap tent behind Hillary in exchange for some “bad deals” as Trump would say.

          1. aletheia33

            i believe that sanders will throw his support to hrc first because he said at the beginning of his campaign that he would do so and second because he genuinely believes that a trump presidency would be worse for the country than a hillary one. and i think that is the way he will express it when he does it.

            i do not think that is the same thing exactly as “folding like a cheap tent.” if he does not get nominated, after refusing to fold until the last possible point, what is his alternative? as yves points out above, a third party run would not work in the national election.

            what would you suggest?

            1. hunkerdown

              Sitting still for corporate malfeasance is exactly the “bad faith” by which people are rejecting the Establishment candidates. I’d suggest taking account of the bad faith of the Democratic National Committee and other Party organs in dealing with him, no more than a token of satisfice, and going his own way to defeat Trump without providing aid or comfort to Hillary.

              1. aletheia33

                “going his own way to defeat Trump without providing aid or comfort to Hillary”.

                fine; given that he wants to reform the dem party from within, how would you suggest he best stick to that objective after the convention, with his primary objective being, as he has said it will be, to prevent trump from getting elected?

                he says he is not planning past the convention yet, and i tend to believe him. he really does have his hands over-full with the enormous, complex battle he is fighting right now, and whatever he does later is completely dependent on its outcome. i don’t think he plays 11-dimensional chess or makes deals based on contingencies, on principle. see the rolling stone interview with him.

                we need to remember what a rare bird sanders is and question any easy assumptions about his behavior and decisions. if he were to conform to the ethic “no honor among thieves,” he would have no honor.

                i’m not saying i think it would be wrong for him to refuse to endorse hillary. i really hope he will, in some way or another. but that is different from noticing the reality of who and what he is (a politician who has, by choice, worked within the system of electoral politics since he first held office), what he has said he will do, and his long history of doing what he says he will do.

            2. openvista

              I would suggest, as hunkerdown did, that Sanders should realize there’s no honor among thieves. As per usual, the establishment often leverages a person’s “integrity” for their own aims.

              Hillary is a murderer (by proxy of course), a liar, a receiver of bribes — the so-called “Queen of Chaos”. That’s not the sort of person you ever, in good conscience, support.

              That’s not to say Trump is preferable. If the binary choice is lose-lose, isn’t it possible to have more than one enemy in a given Presidential election?

              1. aletheia33

                “going his own way to defeat Trump without providing aid or comfort to Hillary”.

                fine; given that he wants to reform the dem party from within, how would you suggest he best stick to that objective after the convention, with his primary objective being, as he has said it will be, to prevent trump from getting elected?

                he says he is not planning past the convention yet, and i tend to believe him. he really does have his hands over-full with the enormous, complex battle he is fighting right now, and whatever he does later is completely dependent on its outcome. i don’t think he plays 11-dimensional chess or makes deals based on contingencies, on principle. see the rolling stone interview with him.

                we need to remember what a rare bird sanders is and question any easy or self-gratifying assumptions about his likely behavior and decisions. if he were to conform to the ethic “no honor among thieves,” he would be a thief and he would have no honor.

                i’m not saying i think it would be wrong for him to refuse to endorse hillary. i really would like him to seek a way not to. but that is different from noticing the reality of who and what he is (a politician who has, by choice, worked within the system of electoral politics since he first held office), what he has said he will do, and his long history of doing what he says he will do.

                1. openvista

                  I agree that Sanders is the rarest of forms, a sincere politician. I don’t see ambition or graft behind any motivation of his to support Clinton, assuming that’s the outcome. At worst, it would be naivety.

                  If we take him at his word, he thinks of Clinton as a decent public servant with differing ideas. Perhaps, he’s less sincere than we think. But, assuming that is his take on her, he has greatly under-estimated his adversary and that can only end badly for him at least as far as the nomination is concerned.

                  Clinton is a predator and her operation exists to assimilate progressives like Sanders and his supporters by using their good intentions and faith in humanity against them. Installing his lieutenants on party platform committees or paying lip service to a $15 minimum wage is all in a day’s work considering Clintonistas have no intention of following through on any ideological construct outside the ever increasing accumulation of wealth and power.

            3. Lambert Strether

              If Sanders fights Trump and “supports” Hillary by raising his own money for downticket Dems like Canova, and in addition does stuff like stumping against fracking and for single payer in Colorado, that might not be so bad.

              I can see scenarios where Clinton, from her corrupt perspective, will rue the day that Sanders “supported” her. And if they try to muzzle him, that won’t work out real well.

      5. Steeeve

        I will continue to support and hopefully vote for Bernie Sanders. In the event he’s not the nominee I will happily vote for Jill Stein as I did in 2012 – she has the strongest platform – similar to Sanders but including what I consider to be a fundamental requirement to win my vote: “End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire.” I was initially reluctant to support Sanders for the lack of inclusion of a plank along these lines. Ending quagmires is at least a step in the right direction. But a conversation about economic injustice is severely lacking without a strong statement on the MIC such as Stein’s.

    2. Liz Buiocchi

      The only way that gridlock will end is with Sanders in the White House, at least one branch of Congress in Democratic hands, and members of the other house sufficiently scared of voters that they try to represent the interests of the 99%–in other words, a revolution. I don’t know how that happens with the media so complicit in the “Hillary is the nominee” narrative, but I can hope.

      I’m another 50-something white life-long liberal who has come to the conclusion that voting for Trump is the lesser of some great evils. I’m somewhat relieved to know that I’m not the only one–it feels like it goes against everything I stand for, but I just can’t vote for Clinton, nor will I refuse to vote in protest.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Gridlock is also preferable to Democrat control of the Senate and the Presidency: You know we’d get TPP (if Obama doesn’t manage to push it through), Grand Bargain, and maybe even a new war in the first 100 days…

        1. HotFlash

          A-yup. Trump at least says (or said on at least one occasion) that we should get out of the Middle East. Which makes him better than Hillary. And he has not *to date* committed any war crimes (I have standards, and one of them is that I will not vote for a war criminal).

          But I still don’t understand why it has to come down to Trump or Hillary. Can’t we just have Bernie?

    3. DWBartoo

      One wonders, Watt4Bob, should Trump emerge triumphant as President-elect, just how long it would take for the Clintons and other neoliberal Democrats to suck up to him? Hillary would have us believe that she considers Trump evil incarnate even as Clinton’s daughter and Trump’s daughter are friends … who, very likely, do not see the others parent(s) as any sort or kind of meaningful threat or existential danger.

      One is certain that the Clinton team, if Trump wins, will find the means and the “intestinal fortitude” to “work”with him for the bettterment of incrementalism everywhere.

      Frankly, a Trump presidency would offer the Democratic party a most wonderful opportunity to reveal “where” the party really, and actually “stands” … and what they really are willing to “stand” and fight for … somehow I doubt that genuine humanity and actual reason would stand much of a chance against continuing, perpetual war and continued “security dominance”, as foreign and domestic policy preference.

      The essential purpose of “public service”, in the United States of Depravity, today, is to enrich oneself and protect the Divine Right of Money.


  3. Noonan

    I just read the comments over there at Politico. Now I need a shower. The pathological party allegiance of both Democrats and Republicans is terrifying.

    1. sinbad66

      Did the same. Wow! Yves, they are killing you. And I bet many of them never, ever visited this website. Agree with Noonan about the party allegiances. Yikes! And may I add that they seem the type that, presented with evidence, they still won’t believe it.

      File under “my opinions are as good as your facts”…

      1. Lambert Strether

        There’s actually considerable pushback, although the weight of numbers is on the flying monkey’s side. (Incidentally, I wouldn’t put it past Brock to fund both “Republican” and “Democrat” trolls, depending on the talking points in view….

      2. willnadauld

        White working class, almost college educated here. Reading almost exclusively Yves for eight years. I feel I owe Yves,Lambert and the regular posters here a giant thank you for giving me a viable perspective from which to judge the actions of politicians, and the complicit media in destroying democracy completely. I inhabit the bubble of truth that you folks create, and I am greatly disturbed by the comments at politico. I understand generalized stupidity, and laziness, but the complete disconnect from reality I encounter whenever I venture from my truth bubble still amazes me. People have forgotten how to read, and how to think. I like Bernie. I will vote Trump over Biden in November. Elizabeth would never sell us all that far down the river. Shes kind of like team blues Paul Ryan that way. What the hell, maybe Michelle should run.

        1. willnadauld

          As a white working class progressive inhabiting a bubble of truth I discovered investigating M.E.R.S, I want you all to understand that I actually support Bernie on his character alone. I couldn’t care less about my chances at upward mobility. Single payer healthcare is great in my book, provided it means I don’t have to run through a rat maze of bullsh*t everytime one of my children gets sick or breaks a limb. What I really want isn’t a shot at what ever the middle class is supposed to represent. What I want is an end to generalized stupidity and propaganda. I want the masses to inhabit the truth bubble. I dont know what demographic this makes me. I want to investigate Stein to perhaps not be a white working class trump voter in the end, but 2 votes against Biden might be better than one for Stein. Also, I cant really vote green untill the wasteful stupidity I witness everytime I drive through a toll booth is adressed and rectified. Millions of barrels of oil per year .

          1. Jeff W

            What I want is an end to generalized stupidity and propaganda. I want the masses to inhabit the truth bubble.

            ^^^This I agree with completely. It’s actually also the reason why I support Sanders.

            1. Roger Smith

              Seconded, one of the reasons. I’ve always scoffed at the “we’re going downhill” or general end times mentality, favoring instead that it was just moving laterally and depressingly, but this season and the environment this site provides has helped me see the frailty of this society. It is fragile, we are approaching a point of no return, and people still won’t read the damn signs.

    2. Northeaster

      “The pathological party allegiance of both Democrats and Republicans is terrifying.” –

      I wouldn’t say terrifying, but it certainly shows how we got to where we are today. Party allegiance and zealotry has usurped not only the needs of The People, but their will as well. Then both sides wonder why things no longer works.

      That sucking sound isn’t just people’s imagination…

      1. Pat

        One of the reasons con games are successful beyond the greed of humans is that people do not like to admit they have been fooled/taken in/played. Denial is deeply ingrained in humans.

        My own personal observation is that the most zealous of supporters are either the newest converts or the ones desperately trying to avoid their growing realization that they have been a patsy. I really do believe we are seeing a whole lot of the latter among the reactions to ideas like this article or questions like ‘where is your evidence that Trump is more evil than Clinton? I can list the following things that are actual actions by Clinton along with HER ever shifting rhetoric, you can list what?’

        1. Vatch

          Obama fooled me in 2008, so I voted Green in 2012. I will not let either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump fool me in 2016, and although I still hope that somehow Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee, I expect to vote Green again in 2016.

          1. Pat

            Our stories sound similar. I had wanted Edwards, and frankly still think he was the best of the bad lot, but fell in line and voted for Obama. And then watched with horror. He was no lesser evil. 2012 was a vote for the Green Party.

            I might have gone with burn it down, since I cannot honestly say who is the lesser evil between Trump and Clinton, and Trump is in reality unknown. But I rolled the device with the unknown Obama and learned my lesson – evil is evil.

          2. Higgs Boson

            Same here – I voted for Obama in 2008 and was disillusioned by 2012 so I voted for Stein. Looks like I may vote Green again in 2016.

            I hope Bernie can prevail, but the Democratic party doesn’t want him – or his supporters. They will parachute in Joe Biden or perhaps Al Gore (if they can convince him) if Clinton implodes. They will just ride that train over the cliff; they can simply “blame Bernie” for Clinton’s failures.

            I read it here before on NC and it is especially true now: Democrats always prove the commies right

          3. dcblogger

            same here, anyone who votes for Trump is just outsmarting themselves. Trump will turn the US into a failed state w/in 6 months.

            1. redleg

              And Clinton picking a fight with the Russians is somehow better?
              When the choice is between evil and crazy, is that really a choice?

        2. Skip Intro

          The extremity of the responses is an indication of aggressive defense of cognitive dissonance

      2. readerOfTeaLeaves

        I didn’t read the comments, but you may want to consider that a good portion of them may very well be from paid commenters. I think that Yves and Lambert look dimly on such practices.

        I think that Yves also made a superb point in her essay — those of us who have been reading NC have developed a far more sophisticated (I would even say ‘principled’) opposition to the kind of neoliberal incrementalism that Clinton personifies.

        Hence, the Politico commenters don’t grasp the economic fraud and bogus theories that are driving a lot of public policy disasters. On the upside, even my electrician and manufacturing relatives have started asking some very probing questions about economics in the US.

        1. willnadauld

          Just direct your worker bee relatives to N.C, and let the truth educate them. Also, don’t shortchange your electrician friend. He has an education that is every bit as rigorous and oftentimes more so than 90% of the bachelor programs available today.

          1. readerOfTeaLeaves

            willnadauld — Oh, I did not mean to diminish the electrician’s education. He’s a *very* smart guy, which is why it’s kind of exciting that he is now really engaged by what is happening. Looking at retirement, and how much money has been sucked up by the 1%, and his health care costs, have definitely focused his attention.

            Lambert – thx for looking out for me ;-)

    3. fritter

      It is terrifying, but not all that surprising. No one wants to think they have spent most of their lives dedicated to a group that have misled them. Then they might be responsible for their own problems. Its a lot easier to blame someone else and children start picking “sides” in grade-school. What they rarely get taught is that you can’t change other people (absent Gitmo tactics, or working with them over their entire lives). You can change yourself to adapt to your situation, or change your situation, but trying to change someone else into who you want them to be hardly ever works. Democrats are the love ones addicted to painkillers that progressives have become codependent with. They will lie and use without remorse and deep down we know the only way to help them is to leave them to their own devices. Sanders is a last chance to go “cold turkey” for a party that departed their platform a long time ago.
      You’ll never convince Republicans to your way of thinking. Our only options left are to convince Democrats (the party hacks that call the shots and take none of the downsides) that it really can get worse. Both parties have abandoned responsibility in favor of tribalism and personal success for a fortunate few. Its high time they remember that actions have consequences for the 99%. They’ve been preaching tough love for a generation, its time they experience it.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Democrats are the love[d] ones addicted to painkillers that progressives have become codependent with.

        I could never leave the Democrats because where would I go? Besides deep down the Democrats really love me, even though they sometimes are abusive to me. But that’s just because it’s my fault for not being supportive enough and doing things like watching Nader speeches on YouTube. Plus if I leave them, they’ll never get any better, especially with Trump on the horizon when they need me the most.

      2. jrs

        Well to be fair as for “most of their lives”, the Democratic party wasn’t as bad when some of the older voting block first started voting (boomers and so on). But they do need to wake up and see the present reality, but many may have become too comfortable at this point to do so.

        I’m talking voters, talking heads and so on are mostly paid to say what they do.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      As I said to Clive (who did wade into the mire of the Politico comments section), if any of you can stand to fire up your FB accounts and lob in a comment or two debunking the garbage, it would be very much appreciated. Not that it will persuade any of them, but to show to third parties that one side is screeching and the other side has some actual arguments.

      1. In Love With U

        Even if it’s just attacking them right back? ;)
        You wrote a great article. If they can’t appreciate it, Trump is exactly what they deserve.

    5. ChrisPacific

      I did the same and it reminded me how lucky we are to have such a strong comment section here (not that we are immune to that kind of thing, but intellectual honesty is at least more strictly enforced). Tribalism and ad hominem attacks everywhere you look. Some well-reasoned arguments but they tended to drown in the noise.

  4. Siberian

    As I see it, there’s no real difference here. Sure on executive orders Trump could do some nonsense, but maybe Trump + Executive Orders would be enough to end that practice finally in court.

    Overall, either way they’re both garbage, but at least if Hillary goes down in flames the Democrats might be forced to wake up.

  5. MtnLife

    The CTR trolls in the comments are so hopping mad you’d think they just found a beehive in their outhouse the hard way. It scares them to death to see a logical framework for shunning their candidate. Great work, Yves.

  6. DJG

    Excellent article, although your comment on “their sophisticated understanding” is going to cause some swelled heads over here, n’est ce pas?

    Your special praise for female NC commenters also means keeping our collective eyes on egalitarianism, which is good.

    No time for self-adulation. Back to work, comrades!

    {Agreed. The comments section at Politico is another eruption of the national id. Yumlicious.]

    1. Vatch

      Your special praise for female NC commenters also means keeping our collective eyes on egalitarianism, which is good.

      It also reminds people that “Bernie Bros” aren’t the only ones who support Sanders. His support includes a wide variety of demographics.

      1. HotFlash

        Mr HotFlash pointed this post out to me and I have to admit that I am seriously, *seriously* swollen-headed at the moment. I will have to do some gardening to get myself back to earth.

        Oh, and I have been considering designating myself as a BernieBra? what do you think?

        1. direction

          In california and other mountainous places, “bro” has exchanged a phoneme and morphed into the word “brah” essentially sounding the same as bra. so to many it still sounds male. maybe berniebabe? or just “an intelligent woman who advocates for bernie?”

          i saw a good takedown piece that dissected how team clinton started that disparaging berniebro nonsense to start with. let me see if i can find the link. started by an attack on team clinton by a tea party person posing as a fake senator….oh greenwald, i might have gotten that link here on nc, if not, here it is again for anyone who might have missed it


          1. Lambert Strether

            I think that #BernieBro meme is perhaps the most scurrilous of the entire campaign, and that’s saying something. And the Clinton campaign keeps saying Sanders hasn’t been attacked. Yeah, except for smearing his entire base (with the help, I grant, of a complaisant press).

    2. JonboinAR

      Speaking of female commenters at NC (and ever-so-slightly off topic), has anyone heard from “Susan the other” lately? When I saw Yves’ list and she wasn’t on it, I realized I hadn’t seen her handle in quite some time. I hope she’s okay.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You are right. Sometimes commentors disappear for a while and come back. It is graduation/wedding time of year. Maybe she is busy with family on that.

        1. jonboinAR

          Oh, that’s a relief. I worry a little about posters who suddenly disappear. Even those who manage to run themselves off, like Beardo and that deep-state-harping fellow, and the Mexico one, I wonder how they’re doing. I don’t post much, because y’all are WAY outa my league in terms of both knowledge and analytical skills, but I’ve learned so much since about 2008. Thank you Ms “Yves”, Lambert, and everyone.

          Sometimes I wonder if we can ever be effective as a group behind all these handles, where a “handle” can be gone for weeks before anyone notices, and no one actually knows who that was behind it, or anything about their lives, their plans, or anything. I take solace that we’re all getting an education. Not just we who frequent this site, but even a good deal of the general public. Maybe the broader knowledge disemination that this venue encourages has had positive effect, as in Sanders’ amazing, so far, run.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      That “sophisticated understanding” actually came from the editor! In retrospect, a word other than “sophisticated” might have been preferable. Sounds a tad self congratulatory.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        And a little over-the-top. However, after what I’ve seen today, I’d guess the editors at Politico are weary of their commentariat. Yours looks like a Mensa convention by comparison. Every last one of us a genius! Genius!

  7. Patricia

    Excellent article, Yves! Packed full and efficient.

    Unfortunately, lead a horse to water, etc

    1. mle detroit

      Ditto. I would add, both for Lambert and “the professionals who serve them”: You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make them think.

  8. neuroclef

    Trump is the worst candidate in the field, period. I’m no fan of Clinton, proudly voted Bernie, and may vote Jill Stein in the general. An affirmative Trump is just a yes to all the crony, know-nothing, misogynistic, racist, billionaire twats that want to continue robbing the public. Trump sucks.

  9. AnnieB

    Thank you, Yves, for giving a very loud voice to many of us here at NC. I appreciate this site very much.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    Bingo, Yves.

    From the look of the comments, you’ve hit a nerve and david brock got the 3 a. m. phone call.

    With substance nowhere to be found, ad hominem appears to be the “strategy” for defending the indefensible. And I, for one, have no problem being called “stupid” by commenters who type “your” when they mean “you’re” on facebook.

    And hllary’s on her way back to California……

    1. reslez

      > I, for one, have no problem being called “stupid” by commenters

      LOL, “I welcome their hate” as FDR would say.

      Try to scare us again about the Supreme Court! Obama nominated a Republican, gee it doesn’t work so well anymore…

      1. pretzelattack

        but see obama and clinton and (insert dino of your choice) will nominate moderate republicans! if the republicans get in they will nominate less moderate republicans! and npr will become upset.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Yeah Obama pretty much laid the once potent “but… the Supreme Court ZMOG!!!” argument to rest for good when he nominated a Republican. I mean what’s even the point of voting Democrat at this juncture? They hate their base, and swoon over billionaires and Republicans. I’d probably be cheering on the Republican to humiliate Clinton on if it weren’t Trump, and even as much as I despise Trump I hardly care whether he or Hillary wins. That’s how horrible the Democrats are now.

        1. Skip Intro

          You are not alone. A Clinton candidacy would be toxic for Dem. candidates down the whole ballot. Hillary is trying to win over scared/disgusted republicans to vote for a corporatist anti-Trump, despite their years of anti-Clinton conditioning. Meanwhile the democrats stay home and progressive independents stay home and a new generation of Americans learn powerlessness.

    2. Clive

      Oh my goodness me, those comments. I will now have to take a lie down in a darkened room in the hope that it might all fade from memory like a bad dream. I fired up my Facebook account, having to then throw Holy Water on my PC afterwards (okay, I wiped the dust of the screen, the gesture meant the same), to chip in some replies, but it was like I was drowning in a warm bath of gloopy stupidity by the time I got to the end.

      I’m going to read the Daily Mail now, or watch Fox News, just to get exposed to something marginally less corrosive.

      And yes, we all make spelling and grammatical mistakes now and again. But at least we demonstrate a basic grasp of how capital letters work and can construct complete sentences with a subject and a verb.

      1. Propertius

        Fortunately for me, the comments button doesn’t work on Firefox on MacOS so I was spared the ordeal of reading them.

      2. Rhondda

        I had to bail. Since I don’t do the Facebook BS at all I had to suffer “script error!” navel gazing out the wazoo. To the extent of a restart. Politico sucks as bad as ZH in that regard. Meh. Buncha dingleberries, imho. Nevertheless, congrats to Yves for the increased visibility. In fact, WTH: Yves and Lambert 2020. Smith and Strether* has a real ring…jus’ sayin’. Yves’d get this economy going and give the banksters the what for! And Lambert has a fine 12 pt plan…

        * First P/VP with internet aliases!

        Ok. Yeah. No. No sane person wants to be P or VP. Sigh.

  11. Pat

    The comments are, as to be expected, brutal. And full of the misinformation from the various campaigns.

    I did love the reference to Talleyrand. I hadn’t gone there yet, but on first glance it works – really well.

    1. Kokukanani

      I was struck by how thoroughly the commenters at Politico missed what I thought was one of the main points of the article: to disabuse Hillary-supporters of their rabid but delusional belief that Sanders voters will troop obediently to the voting booth and mark an X next to Clinton’s name.

      The commenters seem insanely focused on WHY [in their view] not voting for Hillary would be terrible. Yves’ point, I thought, was to try to give them advanced warning of what’s going to happen — to help them understand where some other folks are coming from. But as usual with “the smartest people in the room” [as the commenters clearly regard themselves], they don’t LISTEN; they only interrupt, lecture and condemn. They’ve got no interest in anyone’s POV but their own.

      And hey, Yves, Kokuanani is female as well.

        1. aab

          I was honored to be quoted, although I realize you probably did that because it’s such an extreme metaphor. But, that was the point of using it to begin with.

          I was sorely, sorely tempted to respond in the Politico comments section to say, I am that person being quoted and I am a middle-aged Harvard graduate, but thanks for calling me an idiot kid. And yes, like the overall demographic Yves was discussing, I’m a white female. Used to work in the financial services sector, even.

          But they weren’t hearing it from Yves, so why would it sink in from me?

  12. fresno dan

    “Then there are questions of competence. Hillary has a résumé of glittering titles with disasters or at best thin accomplishments under each. Her vaunted co-presidency with Bill? After her first major project, health care reform, turned into such a debacle that it was impossible to broach the topic for a generation, she retreated into a more traditional first lady role. As New York senator, she accomplished less with a bigger name and from a more powerful state than Sanders did. As secretary of state, she participated and encouraged strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria. She bureaucratically outmaneuvered Obama, leading to U.S. intervention in Libya, which he has called the worst decision of his administration. And her plan to fob her domestic economic duties off on Bill comes off as an admission that she can’t handle being president on her own.”

    I had pretty much cut and pasted the whole column in my comment, and than I realized I can’t do that :( Having to choose a snippet, when I think every word is insightful and brilliant, is heartbreaking.

    I pretty much agree with “Watt4Bob” except that the gridlock would only be in things that would help the 99% – when it comes to doing things for the 1% the parties seem able to work together just fine (TPP).
    Trump MIGHT bollix things up enough to annoy the 1% – I KNOW Clinton will be effective in serving wall street.
    Is merely farting in the general direction of wall street enough? When its the only weapon you got, you use what is available…

    1. Spring Texan

      Me too, sadly, as I’d like to vote for Sanders. But, I’m in a state where my vote doesn’t matter.

      Were I in a state where my vote mattered, I’d reluctantly vote for Clinton, only because her opponent is Trump. He has a great deal of executive authority to deport people and would be worse than Obama on this score, which is terribly destructive, as is the overt racism and authoritarianism.

      1. frosty zoom

        do you think ms. clinton would be any kinder?

        and doesn”t the incineration of libya show overt racism and authoritarianism?

      2. Vatch

        Your vote will matter, although maybe not by helping to elect someone in 2016. If Bernie’s not on the ballot, please vote Green or another third party. If a third party Presidential candidate gets 5% of the vote, that candidate (or the candidate’s party) is eligible for grant money from the U.S. government.


        Since no third-party candidate received 5% of the vote in the 2008 presidential election, only the Republican and Democratic parties were eligible for 2012 convention grants, and only their nominees were eligible to receive grants for the general election once they were nominated. Third-party candidates could qualify for public funds retroactively if they received 5% or more of the vote in the general election.

        1. fresno dan

          It is rather amazing that we allow ourselves to be put in such a position by maintaining SUCH a duopoly. Geez, don’t we have decades of evidence now how crappy the dempulicans/republicrats are???

          1. jpmist

            I agree. This is what “false equivalence” and “normalization looks like. The article was long on hurt feeling in defense of Sanders and very short on the sh*tstorm that Trump will bring down on the US if elected.

            Those who think think Trump is a “lesser evil”, have fallen for the media presentation of him being equivalent to Hillary in qualifications, relevant knowledge and political experience. He is CLEARLY not. How anyone considers a random billionaire reality TV show personality capable of leading the country is baffling.

            Rightly or wrongly, Clinton has been the de facto candidate for at least 4 years. It’s really too far late in the game to be pouting about a better candidate being nominated.

            There’s too much at stake to use your vote in protest of a Democratic party whose only positive attribute is that they’re not worse than the Republican party.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              *Sigh*. This is a problem with headlines. They really influence how a piece is interpreted.

              The point of the article was not to say “vote Trump”. That is your straw man. Nor is it “long on hurt feelings”. It was set forth the substantial policy differences between Clinton and Sanders, how the Sanders positions represent long-standing views of a majority or plurality of US voters, and how the Democrats have ignored them out of the view that voters, as Bill himself said, have “nowhere to go”.

              The only way to break this dynamic is to go somewhere else, to inflict costs. Refusing to vote for Clinton is one way. Voting for Trump is a more radical way.

            2. tegnost

              de facto candidate? huh? you have to get elected not just run. The media portrays trump as a crazy person, and show me an example of trumps qualifications being touted as equal to clintons. The main argument against clinton is indeed her”qualifications”…she’s for TPP and I’m not, trump is apparently against TPP as is sanders, who if you’re truly concerned about trump you should back sanders, hillary won’t stop medicaid clawbacks, hillary will cut social security in some form of privatization sop to the finance sector, she’ll continue her abhorrent foriegn policy missions that cause death and destruction all over the world to advance the interests of the worst people in the world. This is just a short form list. Without referencing any other candidate, tell me one reason I should vote FOR hillary?

              1. Vatch

                tell me one reason I should vote FOR hillary?

                In the Senate she voted for the invasion of Iraq; she voted for the destructive bankruptcy “reform” bill in 2001; she voted for the Patriot Act; she voted to bail out the giant banks at great public expense. Oh. . . you’re asking about a reason to vote FOR her. Well then, never mind.

            3. Steve in Dallas

              Yikes… Trump, more than Killary, will bring a “sh*tstorm… on the US”? “Hillary… qualifications, relevant knowledge and political experience”?

              Everyone who’s watching by now understands… Hillary is a central leader in Globalization Inc., a global organized-crime mafia who, after completely deregulating the dollar and the pentagon in the 90s, have very successfully followed their core objective of buying up (i.e. financializing) the world with tens of trillions of debt-dollars. By now, across the globe, any person/organization who refuses to store their wealth and make all their transactions in debt-dollars is an enemy of this global mafia (call them neolibs, neocons, Clintonistas, Bushites, etc.). The U.S. military and NATO (and bribed politicians/authorities/autocrats in many dozens of countries) are now used overtly as a weapon to support this highly organized global extortion racket.

              It’s so strange to watch… a large majority of the American people don’t seem to have any concept of the term “organized crime”? Yet many seem to recognize that Kill and Killary are mafia. Why is that?

              Yes… Killary has “qualifications, relevant knowledge and political experience”… but isn’t that a serious problem for all but the crazed/brutal/out-of-control global elite?

              And regarding ” It’s really too far late” and “There’s too much at stake”… are you shilling for the 5%… are you afraid the 95% will take (back) from you?

              I’m for Bernie because it looks like he is genuinely concerned about the bottom 95% working class getting their fair share.

      3. Beth

        What? If anything, we in Texas know that deporting immigrants will only hurt businesses who hire them. Just ask the 1% who live in the state. There are plenty of Texans who will teach Trump all he needs to know. Don’t think all the promises of a candidate will come true. They would rather hire immigrants that the locals. Trump has already said this himself. He is a bundle of contradictions.

        Yves, please accept my thanks, not only for this article, but for leading us to this point. I agree with you 100%. I don’t know how you got Politico to include your article but very happy the word is getting out. We are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

  13. JohnnyGL

    Well done Yves. You’ve ruffled the feathers of more than a few Hill-trolls. I enjoyed some of the fact-free comments like this:

    “If you don’t give a crap about women’s rights, minority rights, the environment, gun violence, immigration reform, religious freedom, labor rights, etc, what exactly is it that makes you a liberal?”

    Obama and the Clintons have done so little on all of these items that it’s shocking that someone could actually write this without irony. The only progress that has been made on things like the environment and immigration reform was under consistent pressure from organized groups like the Keystone XL example, and the immigration policy changes that Obama made. Obama’s recent change to overtime rules (though very much a welcome step in the right direction) looks cynically timed to shore up the wayward left flank of the Democratic Party.

    Personally, I’m not voting for Trump, because he’s an idiot. I will NEVER vote for a Clinton. They cause too much destruction! And they get really rich while causing it.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      My thoughts exactly when I saw that comment. I decided not to waste my time chiming in there – thanks for saying it here.

  14. Tom Stone

    You hit a nerve at Politico.
    W/M, early 60’s, Real Estate Broker in California and a regular reader here for a decade…I’ll be at the Sanders rally in Cloverdale tomorrow.
    Typical NC follower.
    I will not vote for HRC under any circumstances and if it’s Trump VS Clinton I may well vote for Trump ( Puking in my mouth as I vote) because he is the lesser evil.
    My bet is that HRC takes the Nomination and then steps aside for “Health Reasons” allowing the power brokers to ease Sanders aside and choose someone like Brown or Biden.
    Sander will have a voice in who is chosen (Especially for VP) and that may be enough for him.

    1. Mimi

      Trump is dangerous under any microscope, & THAT is a professional opinion. HRC is a nuclear device waiting to implode. Sanders has been a principled, consistent politician protecting the interest of the general citizenry somewhat behind the scenes. I think his current ‘revolutionary’ stance is much like mine & a lot of ‘our’ contemporaries: totally fed up with the lies & path the Democratic Party insiders chose to go, feeling totally betrayed. We fought for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, subsequent unnecessary military involvements only to see misspent human and monetary treasure costs of unconscionable enormity. We see Senator Sanders as the ONLY one who speaks and cares about America and its citizens in the only proper view, we deserve the human rights we have worked hard to achieve only to see them disappearing into the pockets of those who worship the Golden Bull (of Wall Street). The young people (our children & grandchildren) are wise to this, perhaps many were listening to us when we least expected!
      For myself I’ll just say I will vote for Mr. Sanders as a delegate and as an American. This country deserves better, its people deserve “a more perfect union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, common defense, promotion of the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, not just the 1% of us, all of us, no exceptions! It is what Senator Sanders has been trying to do most of his life. I believe he is the Real Deal. I believe this is the time we need to think in the larger perspective. What is best for America and all of the people living here? How do we return to the ideal of the ‘golden city on a hill’? Senator Sanders guiding us as President is a first step. Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves, we’ve got a lot of work to do!

      1. Beth

        Let me repeat that:

        We fought for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, subsequent unnecessary military involvements only to see misspent human and monetary treasure costs of unconscionable enormity. We see Senator Sanders as the ONLY one who speaks and cares about America and its citizens in the only proper view, we deserve the human rights we have worked hard to achieve only to see them disappearing into the pockets of those who worship the Golden Bull (of Wall Street).


    2. Gio Bruno

      TS, be prepared to arrive at the Sanders rally early. His rally in Santa Barbara required ALL attendees to pass through a slow moving security check (which took hours). The rally in SB was massive (much larger than an Obama rally in 2008), and while the “gates” opened at 7 am, Sanders didn’t speak until 11 am.

      I spoke with some of the Sanders folks a day before the event and was amazed at their dedication to detail. These people are not amateurs!

      Sanders could win California, Big.

      1. Roger Smith

        Ditto on the preparedness. I attended the first Michigan rally. I got drug along to Obama in Detroit in 2007 and even though I didn’t necessarily care, I was severely upset that not everyone could actually see the person they came there for (we were literally just on some adjacent packed street). In light of that I arrived at 7, first one in line and waited until we got in around 2. Front row though! Be prepared for a long haul!

  15. Fred Fubar

    Notice the tags Politico editors applied to the article.
    Even when tagging, Sanders is dissed.

  16. voteforno6

    There’s so much more that could be included in that column, but I’m guessing there were space considerations. Still, I think that it would be worthwhile to step back from Clinton, Sanders, and Trump, and discuss what they represent. It seems clear to me that the political system in this country is breaking down, something which a good chunk of the political and media elite refuse to acknowledge, or are constitutionally unable to comprehend. What do they really think will happen if Trump or Clinton wins? As tough as they claim it would be for a President Sanders, what could those other two possibly accomplish that Sanders couldn’t? Do they think that it will be any better in 2020, especially if another financial crisis hits?

  17. Brian

    I tuned out yesterday after I heard that 5 people are now serious (in someone’s mind) candidates for the president. They added a republican named French and old Uncle Joe Biden. These are to replace the current party favorites because they ermm will lose favor, be replaced, indicted, arrested, whatever.
    Baggage is being delivered right to the door of the convention that will put the charmed fruit in hot water and spoil their taste and appearance.
    I am glad to see the 1% get their freak on and guarantee a win for Bernie. It looks like it is going to be a write in vote for the winner.
    By the way, is it legal to get a rubber stamp made that says “Bernie Sanders” so no one can claim poor penmanship? Is that legal? I’d like to buy one.

  18. Adam Eran

    Interesting article. I’d suggest you’re missing the “F**k you!” to the political class that Trump represents. The Italians elected a prostitute (“La Ciccolina”) to their parliament for similar reasons. It may be impotent, but I’m sure it feels good.

    Meanwhile, if Hillary gets the nomination, I suggest those in reliably blue or red states vote Jill Stein, Greens. It empowers, and perhaps gets revenue sharing for Greens, and registers a protest without SCOTUS impact.

    1. Watt4Bob

      It may be impotent, but I’m sure it feels good.

      I can, out of experience, attest to the fact that F-U votes do indeed make one feel good.

      Waking up the day after election day to find that Minnesotans had elected Jessie Ventura governor, was a pure delight.

      Our legislature, the two legacy parties, joined hands, circled the wagons and put their collective fingers in their ears and sang NA-NA-Na-Na, ignored his every effort at change, but in the end, I’d say the experience gave a brief respite from the endless kayfabe.

      What I’m saying is that I fear electing Hillary much more than Trump.

      1. redleg

        Remember the choice in 1998- Norm F’ing Coleman vs. Skip Humphrey.
        Ventura was clearly the best option.

        There is only one politician that I hate more than the Clintons, and that’s Norm F’ing Coleman. But it’s only by the slimmest of margins.

        Bernie or bust.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Re Italian electoral choices, I’d have to offer that both houses of the US imperial legislature, much of the court system, and of course the Imperial Executive and military, are stuffed full of prostitutes. Bunch of corporate filles et types de joie… As I recall, La Cicciolina had some very good positions, on the issues too… the Wiki article is dry fun: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilona_Staller

    3. Kokukanani

      I’m disappointed not to see more focus on down-ticket races.

      Look at what the Republicans have done to blockade any of the few good things Obama has managed to try. Dems could play this role in a Trump presidency, blocking horrid and/or crazy stuff. [And they’ll be needed in this role in a Clinton presidency as well.]

      I really think Bernie ought to begin hammering at this. In an awful lot of states, your vote on the line for president doesn’t really matter: your state is already “red” or “blue.” The only thing your vote there does is show that you refuse to vote for Hillary, or add to the total votes for a Green or Libertarian candidate in the hopes of enabling them to be on future ballots.

      But your vote for Senate or House members DOES can make a difference. That’s why folks shouldn’t stay home. Don’t let the disaster that’s the presidential “choice” keep you away from your opportunity to make a difference elsewhere.

      1. HotFlash

        Kokukanani, ding ding ding ding ding! Yes, downticket is the key. Ask any Teapartier ; ). If Bernie loses the nom (most probable in the current sitch) and Hillary or her replacement loses the Prez (assuming, with reason, that the we-all won’t just come out to vote for her and/or the Dem’s second team Q-back won’t just *wipe the field!* wait — Joe Biden? John Kerry? umm, not likely…), we will have Prez Trump. And the establishment, both D & R, will work v hard to make sure he does nothing much. Ergo, that will be our time to consolidate.

        Find, vet and support more Bernie-style candidates in down-ticket matches. Take the House in 2019, take state and local offices whenever they present, build solidarity and a network of elected who are in league with us. If they betray us, we get them trounced and replaced by Good People. Lather, rinse, repeat. We have seen even pretty good guys/gals corrupted by the Washington “reality” — keep an eye on them, keep their feets to fire and exchange them as needed.

        Thirty, twenty years ago many, many good people couldn’t run for office b/c of perceived ‘skeletons’ in their closets. This one was divorced, that one was gay, this one had smoked dope, that one was an atheist — but people, who cares about that stuff anymore?

        Enthusiastically seconding rezlez, put my money where Bernie says. There are tons of good folks who can be elected, starting but not ending with his endorsements. That is how we will win The War, even if we lose the 2016 Nom and Prez battles.

        1. Kokuanani

          Also recall that 2020 will be particularly important: census year + redistricting.

          In 2010, narcissistic Obama and the lazyy DNC couldn’t be bothered to deal with an “off-year” election. As a result, Republicans took over governorships and state legislatures , which then gerrymandered districts, cementing and increasing the advantages they already had. This was in addition to gaining House and Senate seats.

          Let’s not make this mistake again. 2016 is the beginning of the race for 2020.

          1. Phil

            Most Governors on are 4 year cycles that are opposite the Presidential cycle. 2018 will have 36 governorships with reappointment vetoes. The rest are odd years and 2020.

      2. jrs

        You are of course right. But I have nearly 30 would be Senators on my ballot, most of whom can’t even write a paragraph in coherent English OR hire an editor to do so for them. It really is that bad. It’s an indictment of both the political and the education system at this point. So it’s not easy to keep the focus …

  19. Lara

    I too am a highly educated, middle aged, female NC regular who has every intention of voting for Trump over Clinton as the lesser evil. (I also relish the thought of her gnashed teeth if she loses!)

    I am still hoping that Bernie can pull off the nomination but I comfort myself with the awareness that he has inspired a generation of activists to run for local office and eventually percolate up to positions of real power. Change isn’t quick but it is coming.

  20. Nickname

    Great piece, but if you’re really a progressive and Clinton is the nominee, why not vote for Jill Stein instead? She’s even more progressive than Bernie and will show up on the ballot in November (at least as far as I know).

    1. aab

      The reason is because if 10 people vote for Clinton in a given state, 9 vote for Trump, and 8 vote for Stein, while 1 million stay home, Clinton wins the state. Once she gets to 270, she’s President. It’s the percentages of the cast votes that matter.

      If you are in a state that is absolutely guaranteed to sweep for Clinton or Trump, then by all means, vote third party. But bear in mind that polling is both being manipulated AND is inaccurate this year because the electorate is not the typical one.

      This isn’t just about “who would I prefer as president”. In that regard, no one vote matters at all. This is about stopping a vast network of militaristic and corporate corruption, purging the Clintons and corporatists from the party, and thereby making it undesirable for Goldman, Exxon, Boeing et al. to fund Democratic campaigns and Democratic lobbyists. Weakening that hold is crucial to either taking the Democratic party back, or building a competitive progressive party that can beat it nationally.

      1. Nickname

        Ok, but just a reminder, Trump wants to bring back torture and worse, he thinks climate change is a hoax, he wants to appoint anti-abortion SC judges, he wants to bomb terrorists AND their families, etc

        1. aab

          Clinton seeks the advice of war criminal Kissinger, and has voted for and backed not just Iraq but other military misadventures that included plenty of torture. She’s backed by major fossil fuel companies, including frackers. She pushed fracking all over the world as Secretary of State. Whether or not she “says” climate change is a hoax, she isn’t going to do anything meaningful to stop it. She said in April on Meet the Press she’d be fine with a constitutional amendment to restrict abortion. She’s a member of Ted Cruz’s prayer group. She has actually pushed to bomb not just terrorists and their families, but innocent people whose existence is an obstacle to corporate enrichment. She advocated the starvation of American women and children for her and Bill’s career advancement.

          We can do this all day. Yes, he says terrible things. She uses more polite words, but is demonstrably prepared to DO VERY TERRIBLE THINGS. What’s worse — words or deeds? Trump University, meet Laureate. And on and on. He may be a terrible president, but there is no actual evidence that he’d be worse than her, or that policy outcomes would be worse overall. Because they’re both terrible.

          1. Nickname

            These are all great reasons not to vote for Clinton, but I don’t see any reason to vote for Trump, given that we’ve agreed that they are both terrible.

            As far as I’m concerned, if Clinton and Trump are both terrible (as we’ve concluded), then there is no reason not to vote for Jill Stein. Unless you truly do prefer Trump in the White House, in which case I would ask why?

            A lot of it seems to stem from wanting to punish the democrats, as Big River Bandido points out below, but that’s just acknowledging that you’re voting out of spite, and doesn’t present any constructive argument for voting Trump into the White House. But if that isn’t the case, then I still don’t see any reason not to vote for Stein.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Wrong, for two reasons. First, if the only way to get a donkey’s attention is to whack them with a 2×4, then whack them with a 2×4. That’s not spite.

              Second, altruistic punishment and spite are not the same, since spite is a purely selfish emotion, whereas calling out an individual or entity to enhance a public good is not selfish.

              1. Nickname

                That still doesn’t answer the question of why voting for Trump is better than voting for Stein. If Trump is as bad as Clinton, you’re not doing anything altruistic or enhancing any public good.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  ” that’s just acknowledging that you’re voting out of spite”

                  It does, however, answer the above.

                  I remain unconvinced that Clinton is not the more effective evil. I mean, in a way, that’s the entire point of her candidacy, is it not? She claims to know how to work the system better than any another candidate. However, the system is also irredeemably corrupt. Ergo, she is irredeemably corrupt.

                  If Trump flames out after six months, is that so bad, really? And surely he’ll do that, in the face of massive and effective Democrat resistance?

                  1. Nickname

                    Then you are saying that Trump is the better candidate (although your phrasing is that you “remain unconvinced that Clinton is not the more effective evil”). And I agree that Clinton is irredeemably corrupt. So what? On good days, Trump is a psychopath. On bad days, he’s a war criminal. As is Clinton. The razor-thin margin by which either of these two candidates may or may not be better than the other is infinitely debatable. But there is in fact an alternative and her name is Jill Stein.

                    I don’t know what you mean by Trump flaming out after six months, but he is by no means benign, and will not be less so after six months. The make up of congress remains to be seen, but chances are that it will be the same trainwreck that it is now. Obama is facing “effective” Republican resistance and yet he still manages to proceed with his war crimes and to make things worse for essentially everyone except the elites. Neither Clinton or Trump would be any different. We know that. But once again, if you’re going to try to be constructive instead of destructive, you can vote for Jill Stein.

                    Whatever your reasons are for voting for Trump over Clinton, you’re still just voting for one mafia boss over another. And claiming that Trump is “unknown” as Yves does in her piece isn’t accurate. He may not have held elected office, but his views – as much as they vary – are certainly known, and are no less terrible than Clinton’s. They’re different, but equally terrible.

                    Knowing what we know – and all of us fully acknowledging that there is a good possibility of either Trump or Clinton ultimately occupying the White House – there is no reason not to vote for Stein.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      I rarely get to deploy the “reading comprehension” test, but had I meant “I am convinced,” I’m fully capable of having written exactly that.

                      Skipping the rest, since there’s no point wasting time with comments that begin with outright distortions.

      2. Roger Smith

        This is the best description of this move I have seen. The potential message it sends to donors for Dems is not even something I considered in this play, nice.

    2. Big River Bandido

      For many of us, the reason to vote for Trump is to deny Clinton the presidency and punish the Democrats for their incessant “hippie punching”. Voting for Stein would not directly accomplish either goal.

  21. ambrit

    One possible reason for the ‘pukey’ quality of the Politico Commentariat could well be the requirement that one needs a Facebook account to sign in to comment. One of NC’s strengths is that it does not require a potential commenter to join a ‘special club’ to participate. I sense that moderation is a major headache for the NC site admins, but I do not see where Facebook, Disqus, or others of their ilk provide any quality filtering at all.
    I liked one Politico comment that asked if Distort the Record paying by the comment accounted for the high turnout of HillTrolls. We here at NC get that the HillTroll population is not paid, but recompensed with “Purity Points,” the knowledge that True Believers sacrifice for the ‘Greater Good,’ however that is defined. The run of the mill reader might not get that dynamic, so the idea that the HillTrolls are paid would not only ‘fly,’ but somehow reduce the effectiveness of such comments through the subtle corrosive action of the ‘pay to play’ meme.
    Finally, I get the feeling that the Politico crowd likes to see themselves as “thought leaders” for the “masses.” By playing up the “quality” of the NC commentariat in your piece, and their disdain for H Clinton, you have stuck a very salutary finger in the Politico nomenklaturas collective eye. Well done!

    1. Jess

      I know from personal experience with many of FDL alums that when it required commenters to register via Disquis, many of us opted out of commenting…and reading…and contributing.

      I realize that FDL had been under consistent, sustained DDOS attacks on multiple occasions and Disquis may have been a response, but it still had a discouraging effect, and probably did much more harm that good.

      As for FB, I’m on it primarily for two reasons: to stay in touch with some far-flung old friends and classmates, and I have an author’s page for my book, Public Enemies. I often comment on others’ posts and send the occasional Personal Message, but post original material, at most, 3-4 times a year. Not really giving Zuck any meaningful personal data for his mining efforts.

    2. ChrisPacific

      It’s interesting given that the conventional wisdom is that by removing anonymity on comments (e.g. by requiring a Facebook account to post) you eliminate the worst behavior. Comparing the quality of NC comments (totally anonymous) and Politico (FB identified) suggests that that’s an overly simplistic view.

      It does make it a bit easier to spot sock puppets though.

      1. Big River Bandido

        The editors actually moderate here. I greatly appreciate that, as I can read not only the posted pieces, but all y’all’s comments as well — and actually *learn* something from them.

  22. Deloss Brown

    I read the Politico piece. I mostly agree with everything Yves Smith says about Mrs. Clinton.

    But I cannot believe that anyone could contemplate the accession of Donald Trump to the Presidency with anything other than terror. There is also the probability that if Trump gains that ephemeral thing “momentum,” he could ruin our chances to put people like Tim Canova, Tammy Duckworth, etc., etc. into the Senate (and get people like Debbie Wasserman Schulz out).

    Trump’s total ignorance of and contempt for preventing global warming make it a possibility that Yves and I might not get to vote in the next election, 2020, because our polling places would be under water. Texas is under water at the moment, South Florida is going under, Virginia Beach is going under.

    Republicans have a very simple outlook, and a very simple solution: if you look at (ugh) television, you frequently hear Republicans say, “If Hillary Clinton gets in, there goes the Supreme Court for 100 years.” Contrariwise, if Donald Trump gets in, there goes the Supreme Court for 100 years, assuming we stay above water and below 150 degrees for that long.

    My son used to describe himself as a Bolshevik, and we agreed that I was a gradualist. I still am. I still believe that there is such a thing as the “lesser of two evils,” especially when the greater evil is a completely deranged, destructive, rudderless, persimmon-colored narcissist, whose main policy position appears to be an unfulfillable desire to build a wall along the Mexican border and write ‘TRUMP WALL” on it in flashing letters.

    I do not wish to be insulting, patronizing, or demeaning to the author or to readers of this blog, which I have gratefully read since 2007 and supported with a (tiny) subscription for a long time. But when I read that some other readers believe that voting for Trump will “send a big message,” I am absolutely appalled by the lack of foresight implied. Send a message to whom? To ourselves? Shall we all move to Canada, or Mars, to get out of the way before the “message” arrives?

    I believe that Conservatives are defined by a total ignorance of cause and effect, and a love of destruction for its own sake. I do not believe that Naked Capitalism should adopt a stance of, “Let’s smash up the republic and see what happens.”

    My respects to Yves Smith.

    1. ScottW

      Nicely measured comment, withholding the typical insults thrown at Sanders supporters who show hesitation at voting for Hillary no matter she does or says. It is easy succumbing to the temptation of supporting Hillary because the prospects of Trump are so horrific. But if I vote for Hillary, how do I then seriously maintain that I object to the following realities:

      1. Her enthusiastic support for the Iraq war before changing course when it became a political liability.
      2. The neocon and Kissinger crowd endorsement of her foreign policy which included bombing Libya into a stateless terrorist sanction, supporting pro-terrorist rebels invading Syria, advocating for a greater troop surge in Afghanistan than Obama or the military wanted (40K v. 30K), unbridled support for Israel, supporting the Honduran coup, approving over a hundred in billion in arms sales to the most unsavory of Middle East Despots, etc. She is a war monger and advocate of never ending war.
      3. Money controlling politics. Personally she and Bill have received hundreds of millions in special interest money through speaking fees and the foundation. Her campaign is awash in special interest money. Money is a corrupting influence in politics until it comes to Hillary?
      4. A complete lack of transparency in giving speeches to special interests and in her public actions as Secretary of State. What is she trying to hide?
      5. Neo-liberal economic policies leading to the conclusion we will “never, ever” have single payer and likely will experience cuts in Social Security. The ultimate privatization of everything.
      6. The failure to lead on important social, environmental and trade issues. She was against gay marriage, supported fracking and free trade until campaigning in the opposite direction. How to you conclude she is not just pandering for votes?

      If I vote for Hillary I am part of the mandate for all that I object to. That is how Bush framed it when he won. If voting for the lesser of two evils did not lead to more evil, it might be a viable alternative. But anyone arguing the extension and further establishment of the status quo is sustainable is living in a fantasy land.

      As a final thought, I note Hillary supporters rarely argue her policies are superior to Bernie’s. They fall back on resigned acceptance wrapped in pragmaticism. My guess is all of these people have (or had) decent paying jobs with benefits, access to healthcare, debt free higher education, good housing, etc. In other words, holding on to the status quo is the preferred option.

      1. Ian Ollmann

        Hillary has been on stage for a very long time. She has a lengthy list of items to her discredit, to be sure. However, the true disasters seem to come at a rate of no more than 1/presidential term.

        Can we honestly say that a President Trump would manage a disaster rate lower than that? Colbert and Stewart quit their shows at the worst possible time — not, of course, that their well deserved ridicule would do much to temper the Donald.

        Desperate choices for desperate times.

    2. fritter

      If your big concern for future generations is a wall between the US and Mexico then you should definitely vote for Hillary Clinton. Who better than the Clinton’s to prevent any barriers to middle class jobs leaving the country?
      The message is actually to you and anyone else who could stomach a vote for Clinton after everything they have done. If you don’t want Trump, you have a way out. His name is Bernie Sanders. If you are willing to risk a Trump Presidency then by all means be appalled and trepidatious. We’ll both suffer together just like we have for the last 30 years. The big difference is that I won’t have to compromise my principles and then be fooled yet again while the serious, reasonable among us berate me for not cheering loud enough at my own funeral. All politicians lie you’ll say, except I’m supposed to believe Trump will do everything he promises. The Democratic party, the only one “hope for the masses” is by far the biggest threat to our republic. Far more than a single man like Trump. Extrajudicial killings, targeted assignations, shredding the constitution, corruption, indifference to suffering. We don’t need Trump for any of those things. We’ve got Obama for that now. We’re supposed to care which of the elite gets to wear some silly robes while doing the same thing they have always done?
      The message is pretty simple:
      Rome’s burning (again), grab a bucket if you want to put it out, wasting time discussing why your flower vase is far prettier than my old bucket isn’t going to help. I’ll have one of two things in hand this time, my bucket or marshmallows, you decide.

      1. Pavel

        Bravo, fritter.

        Especially this part (tragically sad but true):

        Extrajudicial killings, targeted assignations, shredding the constitution, corruption, indifference to suffering. We don’t need Trump for any of those things. We’ve got Obama for that now.

        And Hillary has committed or supported all of those.

    3. pretzelattack

      i think a vote for clinton is a vote acquiescing to the train wreck of america. i don’t want to do that.

    4. James Levy

      I tend to agree, but can’t vote for Clinton. I have been critical of what I see as a nihilistic bent in the “who cares if après Trump le deluge” BECAUSE HILLARY attitude that gets thrown around from time to time. But I also have to admit that a lot of smart people around here have come to the conclusion that nothing can be salvaged from the system as a system (bits and pieces of the culture and ideology of America, perhaps, but the system is kaput). I haven’t reached that conclusion, yet. It may be coming. But what I’d like people to spend more time and energy on is not repeating ad nauseam how rotten Clinton is, but what we are going to do if either Clinton or Trump grab the brass ring. That’s what is most likely to happen, and that’s what we’ve got to prepare for.

      1. Ian Ollmann

        Buy stock. Prepare to meet the Armageddon in a luxurious condo well insulated with dividends.

    5. HotFlash

      Where to begin? How about with Tammy Duckworth? OMG!! “Wounded veteran” parachuted into Illinois 6 in 2005 by DCCC against local and *real* progressive Christine Cegelis. More on that at Shadowproof’s FDL wayback machine.

      BTW, I live in Canada, and you know, the healthCARE (as contradistinct from government-mandated private insurance) is pretty good here. Could be better, we are working on it. Ditto pensions, education, city services, parks, etc. If you want to live like Canadians, though, you certainly can — just fix up your own country.

      1. pretzelattack

        if we don’t vote for clinton we lose our chance to get moderate republicans on the supreme ct. this is crucial. we know a republican won’t nominate moderate republicans.

        1. redleg

          Obama is doing just that – nominating “moderate” republicans.
          And Clinton is to the right of Obama.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          David Brock is a Hillary henchman. We should be worried about her nominating justices in the Clarence Thomas mold.

    6. Edward aucoin

      Deloss: speaking as an ardent supporter/contributor of Samders and longtime opponent of both Clintons, I want to thank you and associate myself with your remarks.

      I hope people voicing their justified anger and disgust will reconsider their position before fall. We have been taken for granted for years and betrayed by Obama. Left to her preference and instincts, she’ll be no better (and in some or many ways worse) than we’ve had.

      That’s still light years better than a Trump administration but it doesn’t have to be either/or. We could more easily accept a Clinton presidency by working hard to elect progressive congressional candidates that will defy and restrain her hawkish policies on deficits and militarism and curtailing civil liberties. I’d include Russ Feingold and zephyr Teachout and many other candidates in adddition to those Deloss mentioned, together with the growing ranks of incumbents–none of whom will have any influence on a Trump administration.

      Substantially increasing the number of congressional progressives would give progressives a louder voice in the legislative and executive branches. Abandoning the party would reinforce the neoliberal narrative. And what if she wins anyway?

  23. Pookah Harvey

    Hopefully your article will start to get the super-delegates to rethink their position. Unfortunately the signs don’t seem to point in that direction. With all the polls showing Trump catching up tp to Clinton the establishment response is shown in a new story in The Hill “Doubts creep into Trump-Clinton polls“.
    From the story:

    Questions about whether the polls can be believed were raised by many on the left after recent surveys showed Trump running more strongly against Clinton than Beltway pundits expected.

    The DNC doesn’t want facts to get in the way of a Clinton anointment.

    1. Pat

      And an ability to totally ignore recent history. How many times did we hear that Trump was toast during the Republican primary? But then Bernie was only supposed to do well in Vermont and New Hampshire…

  24. Ranger Rick

    It’s perpetually amazing to me how these parties, each representing barely a fourth of the electorate currently registered to vote, maintain their voting base. Every election year we see the same “you’re wasting your vote” messaging. They’re terrified that the independents won’t vote for them.

    If I think back to the history lessons I got in school, there was one particular voting event that really captured my imagination: Bleeding Kansas. People back then were driven to physical violence over a question that would decide the future of the country…

    1. Liz Buiocchi

      The parties maintain their voting base (in my opinion) because: (a) mainstream media coverage of campaigns and issues is so poor, (b) most voters can’t or don’t want to make the effort to get and stay educated on candidates and the issues when mainstream media coverage is so poor (or aren’t even aware of the information gap), (c) the public seems much more likely not to vote at all when the choices from the two main parties are both unattractive, and (d) the parties’ funding stays intact because they both cater to the 1%.

      1. Medbh

        I think “b” is huge. My mom is in her 60’s and has a master’s degree. She reads a ton, has a daily newspaper subscription, and watches the news on pbs. I have an advanced degree and read a ton too, but it’s primarily online and sites like naked capitalism.

        We have similar political perspectives, but we both get frustrated when talking politics. She thinks the authors online aren’t reputable. I think she’s just parroting propaganda.

        It’s not just a matter of caring or spending the time to become informed. It took a long time of fairly random wandering before I found quality news sources. How many people have the time, resources, or skills to do that?

  25. John Merryman

    Even parasites need a healthy host and hopefully the dem establishment understands that by convention time.
    I predict they accept the inevitable, give it to Sanders. He makes Warren his VP. Only serves once and she serves twice. That gets us to 2028.
    Wishful thinking, but hope springs eternal.

  26. TVC15

    Long time middle aged male reader of NC and probably fits the demo Yves mentioned. Thank you for capturing my thoughts regarding this issue. I’ll add my 44 year old female life partner feels the same and is considering a Trump vote just to spite HRC. We caucused for Bernie in Maine after registering as democrats specifically to do this. As others have mentioned, I had to abandon reading the willfully misinformed comment section.

  27. gonzomarx

    Great article that spells it all out in such a way it has to be addressed by DNCers.

    I love the fire storm in the comments. Hours of fun.
    Correct the record must be paying out a lot in overtime!

  28. JustAnObserver

    Great article. +++.

    Waiting for Brock’s HillTrolls to arrive at NC in 3 … 2 … 1.

  29. Bob Stapp


    This precisely demonstrates why I consistently follow NC. For months now, I have made no secret of the three options you outlined in the Politico article, Robert Reich’s pleas for “party unity” notwithstanding.

    A. Not vote for president in November.
    B. Vote for Trump.
    C. Write in Bernie as a protest vote.

    It pains me greatly to have it come to this. But, fercryinoutloud, I will be 72 at the next presidential election in 2020, and I really don’t want to look back over the four years between now and then (as I am currently doing with the 8 years since Obama took office), and find myself bemoaning the disaster that my country has become.

    Bernie Sanders is the first candidate in my lifetime that has demonstrated unimpeachable integrity and has the courage to walk his talk at every step. Is he perfect? Far from it. Is he our mythical savior? Highly doubtful. If he is elected, will he be taken into the back room to meet with the PTB just like every other newly elected president and calmly informed that “we know where your family lives?” You bet. The Deep State isn’t going down without a fight.

    “Gnawing off my own leg” by voting for Trump would be casting my vote for someone that would very likely bring our fragile house of cards crashing down. Maybe, just possibly, that’s what’s needed, although there would certainly be a lot of suffering, weeping, and gnashing of teeth in the process.

    Once again, thanks for your wisdom. It can be really lonely out here.

  30. Donald

    I’m a lesser evil voter– Trump is too big a risk. And by emphasizing the demographics of your readership, you gave ammunition to the people who claim that only privileged people could risk the possible hardships created by a Trump presidency. As Chomsky has said in the past, small differences between parties can still translate into large amounts of suffering for the very poor.

    That said, I agreed with virtually every criticism you made of Clinton and I am sick of the hypocrisy we go through every election year, when some awful candidate is the front runner and we are all supposed to unite in singing his or her praises and lie about their records. At another website I frequent there are Clinton supporters arguing that she isn’t a hawk or barely more of a hawk than Sanders. At the NYT both the pundits and the Clinton supporters openly attack single payer as too expensive– when someone pointed out in Friedman’s comment thread that it is much cheaper than our system the reply was a complete non sequitur, something about how high the taxes are in those countries.

    I’ve been trying to think of a bumper sticker that captures my feelings– something like “Clinton– better the thug you know”. Basically I know how bad Clinton is, but Trump is a complete wild card and we can’t be sure he will be ineffective in whatever insanity he chooses to engage in.

    Based on what I have seen since Nader, very few of the Clinton supporters will do what I did in this post and acknowledge the validity of your points. They will probably focus on the points I made in my first paragraph and go for the ad hominem and they will look for some factual point somewhere in your critique that they can dispute, because the overall reality is too painful to face.

    1. pretzelattack

      i can’t see that the very poor would be any better off under a clinton administration. i can see where we are going with lesser evilism. it doesn’t work, the country keeps moving in the wrong direction.

    2. Pat

      I understand your position. I was there as late as 2008. I’ve just learned that when someone thinks you have no where else to go they do not hesitate to abuse you if it benefits them in some manner. They aren’t going to take your wishes into consideration until they think you can and WILL walk. And for the record my relatively comfortable and privileged middle class life has been a memory for just under a decade although I’m still luckier than a whole lot of Americans.

      1. Jason

        I’m with the reluctant “Hillary is a lesser evil” crowd at this point. For one reason: I’m deeply, deeply scared by just how bad I think a Trump presidency could get.

        Not “I don’t like his politics” scared. Not “he’ll make a broken and corrupt system worse” scared. Full on, “this guy is completely detached from reality and is a completely amoral bully, and is probably going to be massively incompetent, too” terrified. Trump is like the car crash you can see coming: the only question is how bad it will be.

        Clinton is a type of ongoing failure we know. Maybe things will finally fall apart on her watch, or pass some invisible point of no return that we’ll look back on later. But Trump is pointlessly (because there is no real upside) rolling the dice on multiple versions of the apocalypse: total financial collapse, totalitarianism, civil war, nuclear war. You name it, and Trump is stupid and arrogant enough to give it a real chance of happening. At his best, he’ll be as bad as Clinton. At his worst… we’re looking at nightmares.

        If I wasn’t in a likely swing state, I’d just vote Green with a clear conscience (unless Bernie or some other decent candidate somehow ends up with the nomination). But I am in a swing state, and I don’t think I could live with myself if I could have prevented President Trump and didn’t. (Although Clinton is certainly making it difficult to back her as a “lesser” evil.)

        1. ekstase

          I feel like the last several elections have been an education in different forms of mental illness. And while it is an endlessly fascinating exercise to ponder which crazy candidate will be worse, (or, cynically, funnier), often, we just don’t know. But Trump really scares me. I see someone who does not put self -preservation above the craziness, and that is a Caligula-level scary flaw. Of course, we are not down to that choice yet, and maybe we won’t be.

          1. pretzelattack

            i think trump puts self preservation above everything, and so does clinton. they give us a choice between 2 unprincipled panderers in pursuit of their own interests, they just play whatever role is required.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          You might have missed her speech this afternoon. One of her foreign policy planks Is a no lyrics zone in Syria which means war with Russia. It actually doesn’t get worse.

        3. Roger Smith

          I think people are buying into the Trump MSM hype-fear train too much and giving him way too much credit for what he could do. Lest we forget, we are the sovereign body in this arrangement. If you don’t like his “mandate” you fight back. At least his “scares” are relatively tangible. Clinton’s evil is buried in jargon ridden secret documents and private emails, masked up in beaurecratic red tape.

    3. washunate

      emphasizing the demographics of your readership

      I hear that concern, but I’d say it serves an important function: Sanders’ core support has come from younger voters, who as a group are often dismissed by TPTB as naive, impractical, lazy, etc. So being transparent about a demographic that is older and wiser, “high skilled”, well-informed, generally “successful” people in the status quo framing of the word, hits some of those pundits and naysayers where it hurts. You can’t blow Yves off as some punk kid who doesn’t understand the real world. The optics on that can be pretty powerful.

      1. cassandra

        Come, now. America has the greatest propaganda system in the world. How would we be perceived as a nation if our pundits couldn’t find ways to blow Yves off? Very sadly, watching people with probity and intelligence being dragged through the mud has become more popular than MMA.
        Yves, thanks for the oasis.

    4. Brooklin Bridge

      It’s good to read a reasonable LOE post. The one thing that this position can not answer, in my nsho, is the charge that voting for the lessor of two evils perpetuates the evil by giving the politician in question the power to always ignore them. This includes the sub charge that politicians have learned to play this strategy like a well tuned instrument. They purposefully stack the deck to make the most effective evil look like the lesser one.

      A curious flaw that has developed in this rigged system is they are starting to run out of believable monsters since they feel -for whatever reason, perhaps because it’s like capitalism, always more – that at each iteration they have to up the monster ante which is why we have arrived at Trump who is even more scary than the VP who can see Russia from her window.

      Ignoring the bogeymen aspect for a moment, the net policy result of this ratchet effect over time has been our moving so far to the right and more importantly so far in the direction of monopolistic capitalism and oligarchy that we are starting to actually collapse as a nation. We are also fast reaching the point where the process becomes irreversible. From the point of view of climate change, for instance, going a little bit more slowly by choosing LOE is like the difference between extinction in 80 years instead of 87. What many have come to believe is that voting for the lessor evil will neither stop nor significantly slow down this process.

      While I don’t agree with the LOE point of view, I do believe in respecting people who believe it is the best way forward and particularly appreciate when they return the civility though I also know that I have gotten caught up in the heat of an argument more than once where I later regretted my harshness.

    5. Beth

      I’ve been doing the lesser evil most of my life. And even when I didn’t know I was doing it, since I didn’t have the internet for alternative media and NC to know the real truth. This year, exactly who the lesser evil is, is not clear to me. I have always thought that I should vote for the least corrupt, irregardless of party affiliation. I will support Bernie as long as he is running. Still hoping.

  31. Phil in Charleston

    I’m voting in SC so who cares about my Presidential preference.

    But, assuming that by November Sanders has not become a plausible winner in the election, with Clinton in WH it would be the devil you know, a predictable fight.

    The alternative, attempting to transact government with an executive constantly in the chaotic throes of working for an unthrottled 2-year-old … someone needs to explain to me how that would be better.

  32. TedWa

    Excellent article. Trump won’t sign new trade agreements and won’t destroy our national sovereignty by outsourcing jobs. In fact his campaign banner is America first and buy American. What a relief to hear that! Congress is now trying to pass the Dark Act where country of origin labels will be removed and GMO’s will have only a bar code to tell you if they are or not genetically modified, because the COOL’s violates a past trade agreement with the WTO.

    Hillary represents more endless war, more gutting of citizens protections like SS, more gutting of the middle class with trade agreements with no relief for those left behind and all the things mentioned in that article. If the DNC forces HRC on us when we don’t want her and she obviously can’t beat Trump when Bernie can, then what’s left to do?


    1. James Levy

      I take issue with your first two claims: I have no idea what Trump will sign once he’s sealed the deal in his own favor and gotten the Oval Office, and he isn’t going to dismantle the capitalist system in order to prevent the outsourcing of jobs (most of the type you are referring to being gone already). Since Nixon’s Secret Plan to end the Vietnam War it’s hard to accept anything anyone running for office has to say. Trump has said that he’s going to balance the budget, maintain the world’s strongest military forces, surrender the national debt, build his Great Wall, and spend a whole lot of money on infrastructure (the wrong kind, of course, but infrastructure). How is that remotely possible? How can those claims be reconciled?

      Vote against Clinton as you see fit, but please, don’t make such powerful assertions by cherry-picking the statements of a real estate speculator and media whore who has shown time and again he will say anything to get what he wants.

      1. TedWa

        Hi James : Actually, I’m spot on, HRC got us into Libya all on her own. She’s a known war monger that gets a kick out of dead monarchs – ie.. her laugh when she said we came, we saw, he died.The known evil – Hillary is more a threat to democracy to me than 4 years of the unknown evil Trump at this point. And I won’t vote for anyone that supports the TPP and other trade agreements. So, let’s see how it plays out.

        1. Beth

          She’s a known war monger that gets a kick out of dead monarchs – ie.. her laugh when she said we came, we saw, he died.

          I’ve been told that that video was photoshopped. Could someone help me out with verification?

          1. Roger Smith

            Just saw it for the first time and it looked legitimate to me. I had seen it references in several places prior. I don’t think it would be brought up if it was a fake. It was some sort of warm up that didn’t look like part of the real interview. Probably tapes and leaked online by a studio staffer.

          2. aab

            Clinton supporters fall back to that when confronted with some of her horrors. I got that when I offered one a direct link to the Meet the Press interview where Hillary said she’d support an anti-abortion amendment — in April.

            I’m pretty sure you can pull that video clip directly from CBS/60 Minutes archives. Moreover, while we do now have very sophisticated abilities to CGI IRL people a bit, it’s very expensive, and still noticeable. Those candy commercials that use dead celebrities? You’ll notice there is very little in the image that’s not from the original footage, and you can tell when you look at it where it’s tweaked.

            And, as Yves mentions, she was proud of that moment. If that footage was faked, David Brock would be screaming it from the rafters. What’s truly horrifying is how unguarded and authentic she seems there. That’s the real Hillary.

            So, no, it’s not faked. Even if the best special effects house in the world was hired under the greatest secrecy, it wouldn’t be possible to make that many frames look that good, and match the rest of the interview. The real interview footage would ALSO be out there, so comparing would be easy. And she would have said there’s phony footage out there. She hasn’t.

            That interview is real. That is who she is. That is why I am prepared to gnaw off my leg to get out of this neoliberal, Clintonian trap.

      2. TedWa

        Besides, why would he bother appealing to liberals from the start of his campaign in saying those things? Why bother?

        1. jrs

          It’s not liberals he was going for of course, I doubt he likes liberals much, and the worldview is not liberal and frankly the worldview of the majority of his supporters is probably not liberal either, there’s probably a pretty deep cultural divide.

          It was those who feel they have lost jobs due to outsourcing which isn’t just liberals.

        2. James Levy

          Talking about how we have to build a wall between us and Mexico to keep out the Mexican Rapists isn’t appealing to liberals. People on the Left may agree that neoliberalism has been utterly destructive of the American working class (I certainly think so) but Trump wasn’t interested in me, he was interested in Republican voters who had had it with the neoliberalism and corporate molly coddling of the Republican establishment. And he hit it out of the ballpark with those people, whom I think, as Obama used those fed up with Bushco and his illegal, immoral administration, are being sold a bill of goods. You can say “we’ll see”, but what in the last 50 years would incline me to think such a thing, especially from a man like Mr. Trump Casino, Trump Steaks, and Trump University?

  33. anonymous123

    Bravo on this one, Yves. I’m glad the perspective of the NC commentariat is getting out there. It’s Bernie or Bust. No way Hillary will get my vote.

    1. TedWa

      Sorry for the duplicate posts, they disappeared when I posted them and then later have all re-appeared.

  34. Take the Fork

    Are we prepared to get happy feet for Joe Biden if Clinton drops out?

    I like Sanders, but do you think the (corporate) media will ever allow a fair and balanced presentation of socialist economic ideas into their programming?

    Culturally Marxist programming? Sure, we’ve been seeing that for decades. And how has that turned out?

    But a strong economic counter-narrative? I don’t see it. Haven’t seen it. I can’t imagine I will see it.

    But if Sanders gets a shot, I say: Trump will tie him to Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot and then throw him down the well.

    Imagine the effect on people if, only for a few weeks in September, Auschwitz is displaced in the minds of Americans by the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward, Tuol Sleng.

    Think that can’t happen?

    Progressive folks are already beginning to rationalize a Trump victory. I’ve seen it in these forums. This is madness. For some reason it reminds me of the “Nader Traders” in 2000.

    Fear. The Left is rank with it.

    1. pretzelattack

      i think we can’t vote according to what will placate the corporate media. the only thing they want is a continuation of the policies that are gutting the nation. so it doesn’t matter, at all, whether they will oppose sanders. what matters is that we start opposing them.

      what culturally marxist program have we been seeing again?

      1. Take the Fork

        Start with Roger Kimball’s “The Long March.” Kimball’s tone is often snotty, and I don’t like his politics, but start there and then fan out. A lot of that 60s idealism (thank you Baby Boomers) turns out not to have been so harmless after all.

        The don’t call it programming for nothing…

    2. fritter

      “We” are not getting happy feet for anyone but Bernie Sanders. This is quite different. Independents are telling you they will vote for Bernie far and above what Nader dreamt of. That’s your option, present the rest of us, those not tied to party uber all, with Bernie in the general election.. or not. Clinton can’t beat Trump anyway, that ship has sailed. It didn’t work against the Republicans fear mongering and its not working against Independents. Look at the polls. You’re only challenge needs to be making sure Bernie gets that primary spot. Unless you prefer Trump. That’s your option. If there are any traitors in the 2016 election it will be the selfish Clintionistas who gave Trump POTUS because they didn’t want to miss out on the bribes from Wall Street.

    3. Minnie Mouse

      If Trump declares all out war on the TPP, and pisses off Paul Ryan and the GOP establishment, which he must do to have any chance at all – Hillary gets caught with her hands all over the top secret TPP “gold standard” negotiation process, but Bernie’s hands are clean. Who then holds the winning hand?

      1. Rhondda

        Also, he/she missed “Obamaphones.”
        But I must say, one does prefer these more expensive, quality trolls.

  35. YankeeFrank

    Yves you really did it this time! Just amazing all around. Im having all my friends read the piece even if I have to print it out and nail it to their foreheads ;).

  36. grayslady

    Excellent summary in the article as to why true “progressives” (I put this in quotes because I think the term has too often been hijacked by assorted spokespeople) reject Clinton. My only quibble might be with the description of the general readership here.

    My impression is that the readership represents a broad spectrum of financial well-being or not-so-well-being. The defining common denominator seems to me to be the level of economic and political awareness relative to the general populace. This is a highly educated group–both formally educated and self-educated.

    If I were to guess, I imagine that your general description of the readership in the article was a deliberate slap in the face to Dem strategists, who, as Thomas Frank has pointed out, are only interested in the “professional class” anymore, as opposed to blue collar, pink collar, or temporary labor, not to mention retirees.

  37. Blurtman

    “If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning.”

    Spot on. I won’t vote for Hillary IF she is the nominee. I will write in Bernie.

    The Democratic Party is in the party loyalty candidate mode that, in the past, the Republicans frequently and reflexively practiced. He/she is the next in line…. And the result is a stodgy party hack with obvious and perhaps insurmountable flaws. All things evolve and time is catching up to the current Democratic Party.

    If many Americans continue to believe that things are not fine, and the system is corrupt, can we imagine pitchforks and guillotines?

    1. Vatch

      Spot on. I won’t vote for Hillary IF she is the nominee. I will write in Bernie.

      Write in votes for President are meaningless, since we don’t vote for Presidential candidates, but for electors in the Electoral College. Please see my reply to Spring Texan at 11:51 AM for something meaningful that a voter can do instead.

  38. Jim Haygood

    Behold an amazing feat of logical jujitsu:

    Sanders dismissed Gov. Jerry Brown’s endorsement [of Clinton] as yet another establishment politician lining up behind Clinton. The comment provoked a scolding from California Sen. Barbara Boxer.

    “For Bernie to say that Jerry Brown is establishment is kind of the biggest joke of the day,” she said on MSNBC. “You can’t just dis everybody who supports Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t work.”


    Nobody in here but us anti-establishment incumbents, keeping the permanent revolution alive!

    1. pretzelattack

      but remember barbara boxer is bernie’s friend! you criticise bernie when you criticise barbara boxer!

    2. readerOfTeaLeaves

      IIRC, and I mean this is the anthropological sense, not tabloid gossip sense, Boxer’s daughter married Hillary’s brother. If they had children, that would make Boxer’s grandkid Hillary’s niece/nephew. (Marriage confirmed on Tony Rodham’s Wikipedia page; unsure about offspring of that marriage.)

      I recall that odd tidbit about the Boxer-Rodham marriage b/c it is so similar to the dynastic marriages in ancient Rome that my old Roman History Prof used to point out among the Julian, Flavian, and other wealthy clans ;-)

      Good thing Barbara Boxer is Bernie’s ‘friend’; one would hate to see how she treats ‘frenemies’.

    3. Strangely Enough

      Pat Brown was governor of California. Kathleen Brown was State Treasurer. Jerry has been governor twice, Secretary of State (California), mayor of Oakland, and AG. How can anyone claim he is not part of the political establishment? He was born into it.

  39. Clio Tarazi

    This article is exactly why the American left is irrelevant. You try to give yourself credibility by praising your class, your highly read high income who will weather the Trump storm in your bubble of wealth and privilege and you declare everyone else stupid. This is why I support the Clintons, they fucking care about people whereas you all care about your little intellectual bubble of purity and intellectual pontificating.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Wow, this is classic Team Clinton projection. It is Team Clinton that regularly calls Sanders supporters “stupid” and lives in an income stratum where they aren’t just insulated from the impact of the Clinton/Obama economic policies (all brought to you by the Robert Rubin Hamilton Project) but in fact have benefitted from them handsomely.

      Please tell me exactly in the piece where it depicts anyone as intellectually challenged. It’s not there. That’s your straw man.

      Moreover, the point of stating that NC readers skew high income and highly educated (with a lot of variation around that norm) is that they are refusing to vote what most would perceive to be their economic interest by supporting Sanders. The usual bashing of Sanders supporters is based on class and age assumptions, that they are kids that need to grow up and get some assets and then they’ll understand the wisdom of supporting Team Dem.

    2. rusti

      This is why I support the Clintons, they fucking care about people

      Of all the absurd claims I’ve read in comment sections during this election cycle, this one is probably the most outlandish.

      1. diptherio

        Well, they certainly care about themselves, and they are people…so technically that’s true…unless you believe the people who think they’re all shape-shifting lizard creatures…

        1. Jason

          Shape-shifting lizards, no.

          P-zombies? Maybe…

          Then again, some days I think most of our ruling class (Clinton and Trump included) are probably P-zombies. (I think I see more flashes of real humanity, however potentially corrupt or selfish, from Clinton than I do from Trump. I really do think the latter is, at minimum, a psychopath.)

      2. flora

        ” Clintons, they fucking care about people ”

        hmm, the word order seems to be wrong.

      3. DWBartoo

        Ah then, rusti, you’ve not heard, “The Clintons are modern-day Robin Hoods, taking from the rich and giving to the poor”?

        Or, regarding the Clinton Foundation, “It takes an awful lot of money to do good”? (which is then tied to political contributions, like those from Goldman, and why Hillary can’t “disarm” … first, but must wait til the evil Republicans stop taking brib … er, um … dark money first).

        Or, “Hillary will be an inspiration for many young women in the Middle East who, following Hillary’s example, will rise to important positions of power and do great good in the world”?

        It’s all pretty slick. And, apparently, effective.


  40. Anonymous Coward

    Something you might want to keep in mind as you do follow-up pieces.

    The LGBT movement didn’t make a whole lot of headway with their political agenda for quite some time. And this is even coming off the HIV issue and groups like Act Up.

    Crap like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should have let the movement know where they stood with the Clintons.

    Not being inside the social circle, I’m not sure on the timing of this, but they key political fundraisers in Hollywood with an interest in LGBT issues finally realized that the reason they were getting no traction with their efforts was that they were being taken for granted. So they stood back, and held up the fundraising efforts until they saw actual policy changes rather than empty promises. Once they got traction, the cashflow started back up.

    Too many groups inside the Big Tent of the Democratic Party are similarly taken for granted. It’s like watching the speech in The Candidate: “Can’t any longer play off black against old – young against poor. This country cannot house its houseless – feed its foodless.”

    The whips are running around trying to keep the groups in line, regardless of how they’re being sold out. Blacks showed up for Clinton in the primaries, regardless of BLM, or the history of legislation decimating them by the Clinton Administration. Hispanics are being deported, when they’re not being warehoused for private profit, and they’re being counted on as a deciding demographic. Senior citizens are viewed as so many “sitting ducks” for their retirement funds and benefits, that “locked-up capital,” that they should be worried about the Clinton agenda for Social Security privatization.

    Only by sitting out, only by holding back resources, only by requiring tit-for-tat achievements rather than empty promises… only then will these groups return to political relevance.

    Supporting Sanders, while not perfect as a candidate, moves the political focus back to a domestic agenda that, if nothing else, will do less harm. It’s the last chance to settle these matters peacefully before it turns into an American Spring.

    Trump has a marginally less probability of marching us all off to war within a short span, compared to the near-certainty Clinton will torch off a slew of wars.

    But remember, if we’re marching peacefully in the streets, both Clinton AND Trump are likely to call out the police, the National Guard, or whatever else they might find necessary, to impose “law and order” back on us. Also known as, be a happy little serf, do as you’re told, consume, and don’t think too much about the future, or even next week, because that won’t put a roof over your head or a meal on the table. In fact, it will get you an arrest record, an internal injury from a police pacification technique, a lovely opportunity to network inside jail or prison, and a future of being marked so the conventional, straight economy knows to keep an eye on you, and never, ever provide material support.

  41. Pavel

    I am just heading off to read what I’m sure is an excellent piece. Two brief thoughts:

    1. The NY Times had a main headline this morning:

    Clinton to Paint Trump as a Risk to World Order
    In a speech today, Hillary Clinton plans to suggest that a Trump presidency would weaken U.S. alliances and embolden enemies.

    I thought, well, that’s a bit rich coming from a woman who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and had a direct role in starting wars in Libya and Syria, not to mention stirring up trouble in the Ukraine and enabling hard-line Israelis to commit war crimes in Palestine. But who’s counting?

    2) I listening online to Diane Rehm because she had Jonathan Turley (very precise and legalistic in the best sense as always) discuss the email tarbaby. The guests including Turley were:

    Brian Fallon spokesman for the Clinton campaign
    Eric Lichtblau reporter, The New York Times
    Jonathan Turley professor of public interest law, The George Washington University Law School
    Hilary Rosen Democratic strategist; managing director, SKDKnickerbocker, a political consulting and PR firm; and a CNN contributor

    Fallon and Rosen were completely deflective and disingenuous and claimed (incredibly) that HRC has been consistent all along, did nothing wrong, and MOST IMPORTANTLY Colin Powell yada yada yada. Turley did a great job of rebutting and Lichtblau also was quite clear and accurate as to the real impact of the IG report.

    What shocked me was the quality of the comments — I have seen many Daily Kos threads disintegrate rapidly into name calling and insults, but the comments here were of 2nd grade level.

    I do recommend a listen — I’m not a Diane Rehm fan but Turley’s analysis is worth hearing:

    Hillary Clinton’s Emails (~50 minutes)

    1. JohnnyGL

      Re 1) Weaken alliances? You mean the ones with the governments of Mexico and Colombia who are thoroughly infested with armed narco gangs that murder truckloads of people on a regular basis? I’d love to see those alliances weakened!

      How about with the EU and Japan and the rest of the Pacific Rim nations trying to sign TPP/TTIP/TISA? PLEASE WEAKEN THOSE ALLIANCES!!!

      2) The guest list says it all. NPR has been godawful on the election coverage. They barely acknowledge Sanders exists, and when they do, they pepper with Clintonite talking points like “he can’t win” and “too idealistic”.

  42. thump

    Thanks for and congratulations on getting this published! As a regular reader, the terrain is quite familiar to me, and I’m impressed at how much filtering you had to do to condense it down even in what would generally be considered a longish piece. I’m definitely sending it to at least a few folks I know…

    FWIW, I’m a non-partisan CA voter, voting Bernie in the primary next week, and probably Jill Stein (again) in the fall.

  43. washunate

    That is a formidable piece. Major props for putting it out there like that. Bonne chance.

    I don’t know if I’m alone on this, or if there’s any way to share this in aggregate without revealing anyone in particular, but I personally would be rather curious what sort of feedback you receive privately from people in the know.

    One other thought I had is that voting third party may be something people consider in larger numbers this year than the past handful of elections. If you’re not in a swing state, you have little influence on the electoral college, but trying to get, say, the Greens or Libertarians beyond 5% may be a consideration some people make in states where they are on the ballot.

  44. oho

    after reading some of the politico comments, i kinda wish that Yves’ article was never written……

    only to make Election Day a complete near-death inducing shock for the Pravda DNC Beltway-types.

  45. Synoia

    The highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism

    Oh really? I’m missing the High Income part. Therefore I do not qualify. I shall have to hang my head in shame, and hang out at the Fox Blog, when I can find it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The average for the site is high. That is partly a function of a lot of readers living in NYC, where incomes are inflated so as to cover the costs of living here.

      The reason for stressing that is that one way the Clinton supporters diss Sanders voters is to depict them as kids who don’t have a stake in the system. That is one step away from, “They can afford to make reckless decisions and burn everything down”. So rhetorically, it was important to stress, “NC readers are demographically a lot like what is supposed to be the core Clinton base, and they want nothing to do with her.”

      1. sierra7

        I’m a California mid-octogenarian who goes to his grave by voting my conscience the past 3-4 elections and go with a clearer conscience than one that has voted, “….for the lesser of two evils”.
        I too as one stated above will request Dem ballot, vote Bernie and if HC is the crowned one, vote for Jill Stein in the general.
        Clear conscience.

    2. diptherio

      By and large it’s probably true, even though plenty of us don’t qualify. I think you’re taking it too personally. Yves is pointing out a fact that serves to undercut the usual criticisms of Bernie supporters. And anyway, if you consider all of humanity, and not just those of us in the “West,” then we are definitely (very nearly) all “high-income.”

    3. Arizona Slim

      High income? Hah!

      But I can remember a time when I had HOPED that my low income situation would CHANGE.

      After eight years of Obama, I am much worse off. Hate to say this, but I did much better when Bush 43 was POTUS.

    4. nippersdad

      Two out of three ain’t bad! If you are going to have to go over to the FOX Blog, I can only begin to dread where I am going to end up…. I wish Yves had said something about a full head of hair….

    5. aletheia33

      synoia, i know from comments i’ve seen over the years that there are plenty of us here at nc who are just managing to “stay afloat”, which does mean different actual income numbers to different people.

      i am some years on medicaid, and i expect to spend my aging years, when i can no longer work, in low-cost housing for the elderly and disabled–if any spaces are still available, say, 20 years from now. what i’ve read on nc has actually helped me cope better with my declining economic situation, sometimes in very practical ways.

      i for one am glad you are here. we’re in good company. don’t hang your head, and please keep hanging out here, with the rest of us in the peanut gallery.

  46. dimmsdale

    Thanks, Yves, for giving me at long last ONE good reason to click on Politico. But the arguments for sitting out the election if Bernie isn’t nominated (or actively voting for Trump if Hillary is) are so far from thinkable (in my universe anyway) that I thought as a longtime NC lurker I’d just throw my concerns out here.

    Many, if not most, of the arguments I’m seeing along these lines are fairly big-picture, focusing on larger questions of peace/war, or the truly offensive and depressing prospect of the DNC neoliberal establishment holding sway, yet again, when a real Bernie sweep (of people and policy) is so sorely needed by the entire country.

    My concerns are a little more granular, in terms of the simple ability of government to get things done for the American people. My folks worked for the government for years. With each party change in the White House, we got used to seeing the binge/purge that goes on throughout the government, not just with Cabinet-level appointive positions but (because those appointees bring in their own people) throughout the ranks of the federal bureaucracy in Washington. This pertains to appointed judges and Justice Department prosecutors as well as cabinet and sub-cabinet positions. At every level, these people influence the tone and function of the entire government–just by their presence they can insure that government “help” is inadequate, wrong-headed, miserly, ineffective, or (by deciding how scant resources are used/not used) nonexistent. (During the Bush administration, the Smithsonian Institution–the national museum of ALL the American people–very nearly had a permanent, and very right-wing, “Hall of American Patriots” foisted on it as a condition of providing sorely needed funding to fix water damage from leaks in the roof. Go ahead–picture life-size statues of Phyllis Schlafly and Dick Cheney in their own special hall in our national museum.) Obama was rightly criticized for being slow to fill numerous crucial, but less visible, government positions with new appointees when he came into office, thereby leaving recalcitrant and malicious Bushies in ideal positions to obstruct or delay good policy initiatives, at their whim; the next Republican president and his cohorts will make no such mistake with Obama’s appointees.

    There are millions of acres of federal land that can be either preserved, or mined, drilled, and clear-cut (and thus destroyed). There is a notion of working for the common good that is (still, somehow after the Reagan and Bush years) baked into the functioning and mission of the government. Our National Parks, our wilderness areas–in fact, EVERYTHING that is currently held in trust for the American people by the federal government–becomes fair game with a Trump presidency. He’ll sweep into office with him legions of termites dedicated to destroying the government and making themselves piles of dough at the same time. Few of them will be as limited and incompetent as Trump is; rather, they’ll be bankrolled and supported strategically by the brightest and most brilliantly sociopathic minds in the country.

    I don’t think this is alarmist talk, I think it’s simple fact. I simply can’t take four years of watching the country being turned into Kansas. My position isn’t exactly ‘lesser of two evils,’ it’s more like ‘who’ll keep our slide into hell’s handbasket from accelerating out of control,’ and while Bernie is my vast preference, Hillary will do for that. I do not relish seeing highway signs that say “Donald Trump Presents the TD Bank Grand Canyon, sponsored in part by Budweiser, Next Right”.

    What’s more (and I’ll shut up now), once these resources are gone, under a Trump presidency, they’re gone for good. Once privatized, entities are never returned to ‘we the people.’ Political parties don’t “learn a lesson.” Millions of innocent people suffer. So yeah, I’ll take Hillary. Degrees of pillage and misery matter to me. Her = less, Trump = unthinkable.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      This is the best argument for holding my nose and voting Hillary that I’ve yet read in any blog or media comments page. Everything you’ve said is likely to come to pass in a Trump administration. President Trump would usher in wholesale land giveaways and Kansas-style gutting of fee revenue and the commons – not because he affirmatively intended to – but because he’ll put a slew of ultra-rightists in offices throughout the Executive branch. His many ‘Undersecretaries of This n’ That’ would make it happen while he struts around in public, making yuge promises.

      1. jrs

        Trump is on record for wanting to open up federal land to the fossil fuel industry etc., he’s campaigning on it now. But yea in many other ways he’s also a babe in the woods, and smarter people with more experience with the political system than him will have the upper hand, but smarter people in the Republican establishment (including the donors) are up to no good.

      2. Waldenpond

        The current President, a Democrat, is the one beginning the privatization of national lands by leasing out advertising. Clinton, who pushed fracking and worships at the public/private partnership alter, will do the same. I clearly remember her right-wing ‘leave it to the states’ comment.

        There is an apparent trend of projecting what Rs might do when Ds are actually doing it.

        1. pretzelattack

          +a lot especially for the last sentence. which we also see in the context of the supreme ct. i think either way we get moderate republicans on the ct that are acceptable to TPTB.

    2. pretzelattack

      i suppose the main difference i have with voting for the lesser evil (assuming clinton is one) is that i think the slide has already accelerated out of control, and we need to take drastic action. she’s going to work on privatizing social security, starting more wars in the middle east, and pushing trade treaties that will hamstring our attempts to deal with global warming. i don’t think obama leaving bush appointees in place was a mistake, i think it was a plan, and clinton shares his neoliberal values and will listen to the same people. robert kagan indeed.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        This. Aside from the identity politics, hotbuttons and dog whistles the two sides are working for the same bosses: the 0.01% and thus for substantially the same set of perverse ends. That isn’t democracy and I won’t be gamed like that and assuming Bernie doesn’t find a way, we got to remember that we came sofa king close to getting it done with an unlikely and little known candidate with almost no established national base who wore his socialist third rail on his sleeve. We’re so close, and getting closer with every funeral (age strongly correlating with political outlook presently), the trendlines and dynamics are pretty analogous to the gay marriage thing. We just need to hold our ground, not support candidates that owe favors to billionaires as a pass/fail standard and you know what? We’ll outnumber them in a few years if we stay authentic and true to our principles we’ll get Bernie’s political revolution done. And with the numbers, the only way we lose momentum and fail is by not adhering to our principles. I’d personally–and everyone has their own unique ethos–not be adhering to my own principles by voting for Clinton. Once you’ve bought into the narrative that your only hope is to support people sneeringly taking bribes from Wall St. fraudsters, “defense” pork contractors, fossil energy ecocriminals, drug companies holding people’s lives hostage for an incrementally higher profit, etc. etc… once you’ve decided you’re–reluctantly–OK with supporting that, at that point there you have probably done about the only thing that could prevent your principles from being realized. That’s the real tragedy–and great hope!–that we are so close to getting there and yet are in huge danger that we won’t out of partisan fear selling. Steady on and hold your ground and have courage, we can win this one by a simple act of collective will.

    3. flora

      This is a good argument. My problem with it is that for over 20 years I’ve heard some variation on “vote for the establisment Dem because they will save some remnant of what we’re trying to preserve.” It’s never an argument that they’ll increase what we want to see or improve anything, only that they’ll preserve some remnant of what we once had. And the problem with that argument is that the neolib Dems instead of preserving any remnants simply trade them away in a slightly slower fashion, while claiming the GOP made them do it. Having some remnant to trade is the whole of the neolib Dem’s power.
      I am tired of voting to preserve scraps when experience shows that the neolib Dem establishment will throw those scraps under the bus as soon as the optics are right.
      I will not vote for another neoliberal Dem whose function seems to be to demoralize the Dems who will actively work for better conditions.

        1. DWBartoo

          Which is why Obama (and Sunstein) made clear that “policy differences'” would not be “criminalized” (although those “polices”, in point of fact, were continued and expanded) that the Repubilcan party might be saved, for Tweedle Dee NEEDS Tweedle Dum, else both are exposed as tied to the “interests” of concentrated wealth and power.

          Yet, this erection has made clear, to many, Lambert, that the legacy political parties are private clubs and not public entities.

          Enlightened understanding is a slow process and we are not all at the same place of understanding. More time and pain is yet required.


    4. hunkerdown

      “Once privatized, entities are never returned to ‘we the people.’”

      Trade liberalization agreements are the reason for that. Another excellent reason to vow not to vote for evil.

    5. washunate

      You express what I think most Democrats generally and Sanders supporters in particular feel. There does not appear to be any mass movement of Sanders voters to actively work against Clinton. For at least three years now, this has been Clinton’s election to lose. With Trump the GOP nominee, it is even more likely she wins.

      However, what I think is interesting is the trend. The lesser of two evils thinking (and that is what you are describing, it’s all about how uniquely horrible Trump would be) is a little bit less effective each time the Democratic party goes back to that well. Some Democrats become former Democrats, while other Democrats keep their party ID but waver due to the particular candidate. The effect may be imperceptible at first, but with the cumulative weight of decades of this kind of approach, eventually you build up enough mass to be noticeable. And then enough to really cause unpredictable things to happen. I don’t read Yves as predicting an epic collapse of the Clinton campaign, but rather, pointing out why the pundit class is so out of touch with the underlying sea change in our society. If Clinton does lose, it wouldn’t be an inexplicable shock. All the warning signs of turbulence are there, warning signs that the establishment is mocking (or ignoring) rather than addressing. It is absolutely incredible that Bernie Sanders was able to amass over 40% of the pledged delegates in the Democratic party’s nominating process. That’s nuts; few had even heard of the guy a couple years ago, and he did this in the face of the biggest political machine in the Democratic party. Clinton basically hasn’t convinced anyone in the entire campaign. Her support in the party is about where it was three years ago.

      You say sitting out is unthinkable in your universe. Well, the majority of Americans already do not vote, some because they are prevented from participating, and others because they choose not to participate. President Obama won convincing electoral college victories in 2008 and 2012, yet scarcely more than 20% of the American population voted for him. If, at the margins, a few percent of the electorate in a few places like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania don’t bother voting this fall, that starts to make things look pretty dicey, even if the bulk of the party faithful show up determined to stop Trump.

      Or to say it differently:

      …bankrolled and supported strategically by the brightest and most brilliantly sociopathic minds in the country…

      At this juncture, to which of our three recent baby boomer presidential administrations does that description not apply?

      The very fact that the Executive Branch bureaucracy has so much discretion and control over life in the US is itself part of the systemic failure of our system. The scope of federal power is simply too vast for comprehension, nevermind managing credibly.

  47. nippersmom

    “You have nowhere else to go” is the same line abusers use when their victims try to leave.

    1. Roger Smith

      I have been relating the DNC power dynamic with its voter base to an abusive relationship the past few months as well. It is nuts to view in this perspective. Beat the snot out of them… they love you even more!

  48. FluffytheObeseCat

    I agree with Donald, among others here. The intense malice exhibited by Clinton supporters in comments and op-eds throughout the media reveals their fear and shame. They know what she is, what Bill was before her, and what most of the Dem nomenklatura is. They know “their” leaders are no better than Republicans on the critical money and power issues; they vote for them in the despairing hope that they’ll at least be kinder on a few social matters. They hope for buttery crumbs from the elite table.

    The Clinton camp believes she can win with these coopted dead-enders + nonwhite voters, who have a great deal to lose if Trump wins, and who see her Highness as a burden they can bear. Clinton’s people are likely right on this; she will be Obama’s third term. Things may be different in 2020.

  49. Synoia

    To me the comments on Politico include a large amount of Denial, coupled with a reasonably poor analysis of Clinton the Neo Con.

  50. TheWoat

    Thanks for the article. I will be forwarding it to people I know, moreso to dissuade them from voting HRC. I also read the comments, and I am surprised by the people who say they will write in Bernie in the GE. Write ins aren’t tallied in my jurisdiction unless it’s an official write in candidate. It’s a serious waste of time. No one is going to count the votes for ‘Mickey Mouse’ or ‘Ken Griffey Jr.’ or ‘Bernie Sanders’.

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s their choice not to count them. We owe them and their rigging nothing.

      1. TheWoat

        I think most jurisdictions don’t tally write ins unless they are official write in candidates. Writing in Bernie in the General election is meaningless. At least vote third party or not vote at all.

  51. Tom

    I too think that Trump is much more preferable as President than Clinton. That’s because I don’t know how much more status quo I — or this country — can take.
    So if four years of a carnival-like travesty of a Trump Presidency in necessary as an overdue shock treatment to the system, then so be it. But I have a hunch the Republic can survive four years of Trump just fine. Clinton, I’m not so sure.

  52. david lamy

    Thank you Ms Yves Smith for presenting reality — Clinton is a supremely flawed candidate — to the powers that be so clearly. To give a shout out to some of our eloquent female commentors (I think at least one of them is an Orange County, NY resident) is nice recognition.
    Unfortunately in my neighborhood, Hillary Clinton’s supporters if shown that article will propably pile on the polemics in “Politico’s” comment section.
    Here are samples of my conversations with neighbors:
    Me: “You have to admire how Senator Sanders is funding his campaign.”
    Retort1: “He’s taking money from a Nurses PAC!”
    Retort2: “I’d be pissed if he spent my donation to travel to the Vatican!”
    Me: “Should not health care be a right?”
    Retorts ad Infinitum: “How do we pay for it?”
    Me: “A good part of my family is Canadian, who by their guile and whit seem to have coped with the onerous taxes for single payer health care. And the difference in living standards between Canada and the US, despite Canada getting gutted by NAFTQ too are diverging rapidly. So great is that divergence, my wife and I cannot afford to move back.”
    Reaction in general: Disbelief.
    Still your article is helpful! If only to state the case that HRC is incompetent, corrupt and probably unelectable. I think in time some will find it persuasive rather than offensive.

  53. Willbur

    Personally, I’m not sure why anyone would vote for Trump or Clinton. Count me as another regular reader who will vote their values and vote for Stein, over either of the right-authoritarian candidates in the race.

  54. pretzelattack

    this reminds me of the reaction greenwald received, when he advocated considering voting for ron paul.

  55. grizziz

    Thanks for getting this article out to the MSM. It is unfortunate that our neoliberal thought collective has brought us to the practical choice between the lesser of two merchants.
    Personally, I am helping to get Jill Stein on the ballot in Illinois fully aware of the financial weakness of the Green Party and the structural impediments of first-past-the-post/winner-take-all voting system in the US. That being said, I am hoping for the collective wisdom of the voters to perpetuate gridlock by not giving one party control over the Executive and Legislative branches until the egalitarians can unite under a single party.

  56. Minnie Mouse

    f Trump declares all out war on the TPP, and pisses off Paul Ryan and the GOP establishment, which he must do to have any chance at all – Hillary gets caught with her hands all over the top secret TPP “gold standard” negotiation process, Bernie is left with the winning hand.

    1. ilporcupine

      Ryan just announced that he will vote Trump. The deal has been made. Look at the Donald’s official site, look at the people he says he respects, look at the people he surrounds himself with. He has obviously assured the “Conservatives” that he will indeed do as they do. I am willing to bet there will be no great shakeup or tearing down of anything, just more of the same. Voting for a Clinton is not a choice I can make in good conscience. Some think voting for a third party is “throwing away your vote”. I think voting for someone, or something you despise, is the true wasting of your vote. Perhaps each of us should just write in our own name! Strike a blow for government “of and by the people”!

  57. flora

    Excellent summation. Brava!
    The screeching in the Politico article’s comments section sounds like people protecting their rice bowls and/or living in a bubble. The screeching proves your point.
    Thanks for this post and article.

  58. aletheia33

    the comments are amusing. they seem to be mostly plants, as they are mostly quite similar in tone and slightly “off” to my ear–they do read like stuff written by paid hacks. i doubt they will persuade anyone to switch his/her vote to clinton. deliberately offensive but not genuinely offensive. canned outrage! no substantive criticism of sanders or support of hrc. rage on, flunkies… enjoy the gravy train while it lasts.

    1. oho

      the NY Times is fully of seemingly astroturfed pro-neoliberalism comment.

      sometimes the mass of upvotes drown out those comments w/comments that have the voice of regular people. Sometimes not.

  59. Ed Walker

    Thomas Franks argues that the Dems became the party of the professionals and meritocrats, basically people who have succeeded at playing the game set up by the neoliberals of both parties. In doing so, they learned to ignore the pain their policies inflicted on the working people, and whatever’s left of the middle class. HRC and the dems assumed that this class would support her, that it would be her base.

    What Yves says is that it just ain’t so. And here’s a reason. Once you succeed, if you are honest with yourself, you realize that it was largely a matter of luck. You partnered well, you and your family didn’t get sick, you didn’t get laid off in a downsizing, you didn’t fall for the stupid investments offered by your broker, and, of course, you won the gene lottery. You know you worked hard, you played by the rules, but if life is a game, you didn’t pull the Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go card. Once you see that, the rest of the game becomes obvious and you see the total unfairness that some have to lose if some are going to win huge.

    HRC and the Clintons and the DC pundits, none of them see that. They believe that everyone gets their just reward, because that’s how this country works. So do the Trumps and the rest of the Republicans. Voting for them just cements their view of themselves as better than everyone.

    Maybe this reason won’t penetrate the bubble surrounding the Dem Power Elites, but maybe the fear of alienating this crucial constituency will.

  60. Bethany

    To not vote for Hillary or to vote for a third-party candidate or to not vote at all is fine. But to vote for Trump is imbecilic. The idea that a Trump administration would be no worse than a Clinton administration is delusional. There is at least one and possibly three Supreme Court justices up for grabs. Does anybody seriously think Trumps picks for SC will be “as bad” as Clinton’s??

    Sara has it spot on..

    1. Lambert Strether

      Which would explain why Obama nominated a Democrat for the Supreme Court who was firmly against Citizens United. Oh, wait…

      P.S. I love the “real world” trope. People who deploy almost never live there.

    2. grayslady

      So-called scary Supreme Court nominations doesn’t cut it for me anymore–not since Obama nominated Merrick Garland, and probably even before then. While I don’t intend to vote for Trump, I also don’t think that if he is elected he will have an easy time pushing through any SC nominees. I can only think of one time when Hillary took a political action I approved of so, no, I don’t think her nominees will be sufficiently liberal for me. Congress can override the SC anytime it wants to, even if it hasn’t wanted to in recent years. I’m more concerned about a totally corrupt political system than I am about the SC in particular.

    3. Waldenpond

      hahaha! Imbeciles! Delusionals! Human Tire Fires! So if I had to guess between Corrupt the Record and Trump troll, I’d have to go with …

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Oh, please go mess with them a bit, particularly ones that have only ad hominem attacks. They need to be told that’s a tell they can’t argue a case on its merits.

        I’d wade in myself but I don’t have a FB account.

    4. inhibi

      Please give your reasoning as to why you think Trump presidency would somehow taint an already tainted Supreme Court? Im seriously asking. Because Hillary will undoubtedly pick the most pro-bank, pro-elite, neoliberal candidate there is.

      There’s this idea that somehow, a smarter and more subtle sociopath is worse than a narcissistic possibly racist idiot. Hillary knows how to subvert American politics to her own gain and runs a large charity fraud the like of which, had it been part of the Nixon reign, would have possibly landed her in prison. Trump doesn’t know shit. Therefore, do you want the assured neoliberal, pro-elitist, TTIP outcome or the wildcard? We have had the first for 8 years now and just look at the state of America:

      1). Longest running war of all time
      2). Healthcare costs at all time high
      3). Lowest rate of employment
      4). Lowest rate of business creation
      5). Consolidation across all industries (Media, Pharma, Military, Manufacturing, Healthcare)
      6). Constant harassment of whistleblowers and journalists
      7). Diminishing freedoms
      8). Highest incarceration rate with no sign of stopping
      9). Police militarization
      10). A return to pre-Housing Bubble subprime debt
      11). ZERO prosecutions on Wall Street (Obama’s biggest crime, imho)
      etc etc

      I mean ffs, how is Trump going to do anything worse than what’s already being done? He will never build the wall, obviously, that was said to get anti-immigration votes. He will obviously do as little for the minorities as Obama did (which was, once again, nothing). At least, like Ive written before, Trump symbolizes a large middle finger to the DC crowd, a crowd which has a smaller moral compass than anybody on the planet.

      You keep buying into the People’s magazine view of the world: that Trump is some crazy idiot racist and therefore should never be allowed into the oval office. The irony is that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist sociopathic liar, and Hillary is a corrupt sociopathic liar, but because they’ve been in politics for years, you think that just being a politician somehow sheds legitimacy. It DOESNT AT ALL. In fact, you could make the case that the fact the Clinton’s are career politicians is actually why they should absolutely not be allowed to become President. Has the last 3 career politician presidents taught you nothing?

  61. Buck Eschaton

    Bernie has to go all the way. He needs to be the next President of the USA. He can’t stop at the convention. There is no alternative. It truly is Bernie or Bust at this point. Neither Trump or Hillary provide any hope for a better future whatsoever.

  62. blucollarAl

    Yves: I posted this in “Comments” on your previous June 2 entry but it seems to have gotten lost between moderation and appearance. I am not looking for double entry; it seems relevant to both, however, with a last sentence tacked on for the present entry.


    I am almost 70 years old, born and raised in New York City, still living in a near suburb.

    Somehow, somewhere along the road to my 70th year I feel as if I have been gradually transported to an almost entirely different country than the land of my younger years. I live painfully now in an alien land, a place whose habits and sensibilities I sometimes hardly recognize, while unable to escape from memories of a place that no longer exists. There are days I feel as I imagine a Russian pensioner must feel, lost in an unrecognizable alien land of unimagined wealth, power, privilege, and hyper-glitz in the middle of a country slipping further and further into hopelessness, alienation, and despair.

    I am not particularly nostalgic. Nor am I confusing recollection with sentimental yearnings for a youth that is no more. But if I were a contemporary Rip Van Winkle, having just awakened after, say, 30-40 years, I would not recognize my beloved New York City. It would be not just the disappearance of the old buildings, Penn Station, of course, Madison Square Garden and its incandescent bulb marquee on 50th and 8th announcing NYU vs. St. John’s, and the WTC, although I always thought of the latter as “new” until it went down. Nor would it be the disappearance of all the factories, foundries, and manufacturing plants, the iconic Domino Sugar on the East River, the Wonder Bread factory with its huge neon sign, the Swingline Staples building in Long Island City that marked passage to and from the East River tunnel on the railroad, and my beloved Schaeffer Beer plant in Williamsburg, that along with Rheingold, Knickerbocker, and a score of others, made beer from New York taste a little bit different.

    It wouldn’t be the ubiquitous new buildings either, the Third Avenue ghostly glass erected in the 70’s and 80’s replacing what once was the most concentrated collection of Irish gin mills anywhere. Or the fortress-like castles built more recently, with elaborate high-ceilinged lobbies decorated like a kind of gross, filthy-wealthy Versailles, an aesthetically repulsive style that shrieks “power” in a way the neo-classical edifices of our Roman-loving founders never did. Nor would it even be the 100-story residential sticks, those narrow ground-to-clouds skyscraper condominiums proclaiming the triumph of globalized capitalism with prices as high as their penthouses, driven ever upward by the foreign billionaires and their obsession with burying their wealth in Manhattan real estate.

    It is not just the presence of new buildings and the absence of the old ones that have this contemporary Van Winkle feeling dyslexic and light-headed. The old neighborhoods have disintegrated along with the factories, replaced by income segregated swatches of homogenous “real estate” that have consumed space, air, and sunlight while sucking the distinctiveness out of the City. What once was the multi-generational home turf for Jewish, Afro-American, Puerto Rican, Italian, Polish and Czech families is now treated as simply another kind of investment, stocks and bonds in steel and concrete. Mom’s Sunday dinners, clothes lines hanging with newly bleached sheets after Monday morning wash, stickball games played among parked cars, and evenings of sitting on the stoop with friends and a transistor radio listening to Mel Allen call Mantle’s home runs or Alan Freed and Murray the K on WINS 1010 playing Elvis, Buddy Holly, and The Drifters, all gone like last night’s dreams.

    Do you desire to see the new New York? Look no further than gentrifying Harlem for an almost perfect microcosm of the city’s metamorphosis, full of multi-million condos, luxury apartment renovations, and Maclaren strollers pushed by white yuppie wife stay-at-homes in Marcus Garvey Park. Or consider the “new” Lower East Side, once the refuge of those with little material means, artists, musicians, bums, drug addicts, losers and the physically and spiritually broken — my kind of people. Now its tenements are “retrofitted” and remodeled into $4000 a month apartments and the new residents are Sunday brunching where we used to score some Mary Jane.

    There is the “Brooklyn brand”, synonymous with “hip”, and old Brooklyn neighborhoods like Red Hook and South Brooklyn (now absorbed into so desirable Park Slope), and Bushwick, another former outpost of the poor and the last place I ever imagined would be gentrified, full of artists and hipsters driving up the price of everything. Even large sections of my own Queens and the Bronx are affected (infected?). Check out Astoria, for example, neighborhood of my father’s family, with more of the old ways than most but with rents beginning to skyrocket and starting to drive out the remaining working class to who knows where.

    Gone is almost every mom and pop store, candy stores with their egg creams and bubble gum cards and the Woolworth’s and McCrory’s with their wooden floors and aisles containing ordinary blue collar urgencies like thread and yarn, ironing boards and liquid bleach, stainless steel utensils of every size and shape. Where are the locally owned toy and hobby stores like Jason’s in Woodhaven under the el, with Santa’s surprises available for lay-away beginning in October? No more luncheonettes, cheap eats like Nedicks with hot dogs and paper cones of orange drink, real Kosher delis with vats of warm pastrami and corned beef cut by hand, and the sacred neighborhood “bar and grill”, that alas has been replaced by what the kids who don’t know better call “dive bars”, the detestable simulacra of the real thing, slick rooms of long slick polished mahogany, a half-dozen wide screen TV’s blaring mindless sports contests from all over the world, over-priced micro-brews, and not a single old rummy in sight?

    Old Rip searches for these and many more remembered haunts, what Ray Oldenburg called the “great good places” of his sleepy past, only to find store windows full of branded, high-priced, got-to-have luxury-necessities (necessary if he/she is to be certified cool, hip, and successful), ridiculously overpriced “food emporia”, high and higher-end restaurants, and apparel boutiques featuring hardened smiles and obsequious service reserved for those recognized by celebrity or status.

    Rip notices too that the visible demographic has shifted, and walking the streets of Manhattan and large parts of Brooklyn, he feels like what walking in Boston Back Bay always felt like, a journey among an undifferentiated mass of privilege, preppy or ‘metro-sexed’ 20 and 30-somethings jogging or riding bicycles like lean, buff gods and goddesses on expense accounts supplemented by investments enriched by yearly holiday bonuses worth more than Rip earned in a lifetime.

    Sitting alone on a park bench by the river, Rip reflects that more than all of these individual things, however, he despairs of a city that seems to have been reimagined as a disneyfied playground of the privileged, offering endless ways to self-gratify and philistinize in a clean, safe (safest big city in U.S., he heard someone say), slick, smiley, center-of-the-world urban paradise, protected by the new centurions (is it just his paranoia or do battle-ready police seem to be everywhere?). Old ethnic neighborhoods are filled with apartment buildings that seem more like post-college “dorms”, tiny studios and junior twos packed with three or four “singles” roommates pooling their entry level resources in order to pay for the right to live in “The City”. Meanwhile the newer immigrants find what place they can in Kingsbridge, Corona, Jamaica, and Cambria Heights, far from the city center, even there paying far too much to the landlord for what they receive.

    New York has become an unrecognizable place to Rip, who can’t understand why the accent-less youngsters keep asking him to repeat something in order to hear his quaint “Brooklyn” accent, something like the King’s English still spoken on remote Smith Island in the Chesapeake, he guesses
    Rip suspects that this “great transformation” (apologies to Polanyi) has coincided, and is somehow causally related, to the transformation of New York from a real living city into, as the former Mayor proclaimed, the “World Capital” of financialized commerce and all that goes with it.

    “Financialization”, he thinks, is not the expression of an old man’s disapproval but a way of naming a transformed economic and social world. Rip is not an economist. He reads voraciously but, as an erstwhile philosopher trained to think about the meaning of things, he often can’t get his head around the mathematical model-making explanations of the economists that seem to dominate the more erudite political and social analyses these days. He has learned, however, that the phenomenon of “capitalism” has changed along with his city and his life.

    Money, it seems to him, has somehow changed its role. It has “increased” (is that possible, he asks?) while at the same time it has become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. It appears to seek to become an autonomous and dominating sector of economic life, functionally separated from production of real things, almost all of which seem to come from faraway places. “Real” actually begins to change its meaning, another topic more interesting still. This devotion to the world of money-making-money seems to have obsessed the lives of many of the most “important” Americans. Entire TV networks are devoted to it. They talk about esoteric financial instruments that to the ordinary citizen look more like exotically placed bets-on-credit in the casino than genuine ways to grow real-world business, jobs, wages, and family income. The few who are in position to master the game live material lives that were beyond what almost any formerly “wealthy” man or woman in Rip’s prior life could even imagine
    Above all else is the astronomical rise in wealth and income inequality. Rip recalls that growing up in the 1950’s, the kids on his block included, along with firemen, cops, and insurance men dads (these were virtually all one-parent income households), someone had a dad who worked as a stock broker. Yea, living on the same block was a “Wall Streeter”. Amazingly democratic, no? Imagine, people of today, a finance guy drinking at the same corner bar with the sanitation guy. Rip recalls that Aristotle had some wise and cautionary words in his Politics concerning the stability of oligarchic regimes.

    Last year I drove across America on blue highways mostly. I stayed in small towns and cities, Zanesville, St. Charles, Wichita, Pratt, Dalhart, Clayton, El Paso, Abilene, Clarksdale, and many more. I dined for the most part in local taverns, sitting at the bar so as to talk with the local bartender and patrons who are almost always friendly and talkative in these spaces. Always and everywhere I heard similar stories as my story of my home town. Not so much the specifics (there are no “disneyfied” Lubbocks or Galaxes out there, although Oxford, MS comes close) but in the sadness of men and women roughly my age as they recounted a place and time – a way of life – taken out from under them, so that now their years are filled with decayed and dead downtowns, children gone away and lost to either the relentless rootlessness of the trans-national economy or the virtual hell-world of meth and opioids and heroin and unending underemployed hopelessness.

    I am not a trained economist. My graduate degrees were in philosophy. My old friends call me an “Eric Hoffer”, who back in the day was known as the “longshoreman philosopher”. I have been trying for a long time now to understand the silent revolution that has been pulled off right under my nose, without any “consent of the governed”, no debate, no explanations, no excuses for the replacement of a world that certainly had its flaws (how could I forget the civil rights struggle and the crime of Viet Nam; I was a part of these things) but was, let us say, different. Among you or your informed readers, is there anyone who can suggest a book or books or author(s) who can help me understand how all of this came about, with no public debate, no argument, no protest, no nothing? I would be very much appreciative.

    P.S. If Bernie doesn’t run, I’ll sit this one out. The hell with the rest of them. I am sick and tired of frauds.

    1. tegnost

      posted at 10:06 am on the is neoliberalism tearing society apart thread
      p.s. don’t make yves do extra work or you’ll be sorry :)

      1. blucollarAl

        Heaven forbid (no sarcasm intended) and apologies to Yves hereby submitted. But just so that you understand the system here (I have posted numerous times before although not within the last year), the comment was submitted at 10:06. It was actually posted around 3 pm, about 10 minutes after I resubmitted it here at this entry. Honestly, I kind of forgot how long a “mediation” can take for a new or (in my case) old out-of-date commenter. If there was a way of pulling it I would have done so. I have had some recent computer issues and thought it might have been somehow “eaten” before getting to the right place.

        1. tegnost

          you got a fair number of responses you should go read them..I replied at 2. As to moderation I think closing your browser and then opening it again keeps your computer from throwing up a cached version so if you see “comment in moderation”, after your edit time expires close the window and open it again and your post will show up within a couple of hours at most

          1. pretzelattack

            yesterday it took about 5 hours but that was the first time it took more than a few minutes. since the post was pretty inoffensive i figured it was some kind of glitch.

        2. Paul Tioxon

          Hi Al
          I have the same feelings about the changes to my city, Philadelphia. There are and have been a lot of social scientists, not economists who have been tracking the changes.

          Here is one of them with his bi-monthly comments, which I think is a great synchronicity with Yves hoisted comments. Most people feel we have crossed a Bright White Line, it’s different now, too much so. Some are very clear about the changes others feel its consequences and respond accordingly. In art, especially popular music, there are chronicles of the changes and for me and my slice of the generations, Bruce Springsteen has written more clearly about it than anyone else. His double album, THE RIVER is a snapshot of the decay of industrial America and its workers and their families. In song after song, the economy comes up, jobs leaving that are never coming back, and people who have given up once America gave up on them. As he says in the song ATLANTIC CITY: ” I’ve got debts no honest man can pay”.

          Here is Immanuel Wallerstein’s June 1 comment: The Increasingly Unstable United States.


          He is known for his World System Analysis. In this view, the world has core areas, semi-periphery areas and peripheral areas. The US, The European Union, China, Japan would be inside of the core areas of the global system. The semi-periphery would be nations such as S Korea and the periphery would be The Philippines, N Africa, and others that are exporting their wealth to the core of the system with little of value in return to help them develop.

          What is important to realize is that even within core areas, such as the USA, are peripheral areas, such rural Appalachia or urban poverty districts. The problem for the USA and why we are seeing a Bright White Line that has been crossed, is that the terrible conditions once permanently relegated, contained to the peripheral areas of impoverishment in the USA are expanding outward into the formerly carefree communities. The kind of places where after there is a brutal murder or rape or mass shooting is called a quiet place where this kind of thing never happens.

          The big winners in cities are places where educated, socially homogeneous groups are massing to replicate the former stability that was spreading outward up until the 1970s. The War on Poverty has been replaced by a War On Drugs and now that is starting to be unwound. The New Deal is being erased by the Art of The Deal and The Great Society is being decommissioned so America Can Be Great Again. That and too much to comment about without writing a book.

          Be patient with the site, it has been through the wringer with technical woes due to the 3rd party providers and Word Press and a lot of other dot com details that I really don’t know enough about other than to say our daily use of the site tends to overwhelm it.

    2. dk

      I’m pushing 60, grew up in Queens, I remember a lot of the New York you cite; how it was, how it’s changed.

      I see the effects of a more than doubled population, along with the technological and institutional changes required to support it (and considering it’s current size, not to shabbily either). That includes the rise of wage disparity.

      Several of the other impacts you describe (disappearance of mom&pop stores and technologies of the period) started to escalate by the 80’s; I remember observing it then. How long did it take you to notice? What did you think it was going to lead to?

      I have done some traveling abroad, and lived in various parts of the USA; I don’t like tourism, I stay in a place for months to get the feel of it’s life. I have been to the Berlin Zoo before, during, and after the Wall.

      The changes you speak of are all over the world. The old ways are not just gone, they’ve been replaced twice or more. I seen localities evolve from post-neolithic traditions and technologies, untouched by electricity, to industrialized wastelands or bustling tourist attractions, to desolate and violent slums, lands stripped not just of their beauty but of their bounty, the livelihood of their people for generation gone in a single lifetime.

      It’s population that drives the rate of resource abuse and waste, that drives the social changes (subjectively diverging, objectively in parallel), that facilitates the range of divergence between wealth and poverty. Specialists look to their specialties and can’t see the forest for the significance of their tree. And although every action is indeed political, the arenas of action are not controlled by politics alone.

  63. Edward Qubain

    I will either vote for Bernie if he wins the nomination or a third party candidate. I think Clinton is doomed by the email scandal.

    I more or less meet the description of NC commenters in the Politico article but to attribute that description to all NC readers would probably require a survey.

    Concerning Trump’s election bid, it reminds me of the ascension of Newt Gingrich to House speakership in the 1990’s. At the time there were complaints about his uncivil style. I think corruption became worse while Gingrich was speaker. Of course, Gingrich was a Washington insider and Trump is not, but perhaps they are similar men. The big question with Trump, I believe, is the extent to which he would be controlled by the deep state, as Obama seems to be.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Agreed. He really resists any attempts to leash and collar him, even by his paid advisors, but what happens if he wins when they show him the horse’s head?

  64. Edward Qubain

    I will either vote for Bernie if he wins the nomination or a third party candidate. I think Clinton is doomed by the email scandal.

    I more or less meet the description of NC commenters in the Politico article but to attribute that description to all NC readers would probably require a survey.

    Concerning Trump’s election bid, it reminds me of the ascension of Newt Gingrich to the House speakership in the 1990’s. At the time there were complaints about his uncivil style. I think corruption became worse while Gingrich was speaker. Of course, Gingrich was a Washington insider and Trump is not, but perhaps they are similar men. The big question with Trump, I believe, is the extent to which he would be controlled by the deep state, as Obama seems to be.

  65. ilporcupine

    I read the Politico piece, but the “Show comments” link no longer works on the story. I wonder if they pulled the whole comments section? Every time I clicked it, it just took me too the menu at the bottom of the page.
    Too bad, I wanted to get a sense of the craziness I knew would ensue.

    1. grayslady

      Depends on the browser you are using. I can’t pull up Comments with Opera, but I can with Firefox. Also, you have to wait a few seconds for Comments to appear.

  66. really?

    just saw hrc’s headline at huffpo and can’t help but see it as a reaction to blur NC’s politico post.

    i’ll probably go libertarian unless the greens get on the ballot in enough states. think what a Sanders MENTION of the Johhson/Weld ticket would do at the Dem convention-

    1. Peter Bernhardt

      I guess it’s possible a number of Sanders supporters get syphoned off by the Libertarian, but I suspect the Venn diagram of Sanders => Green => Libertarian lines up better for Jill Stein. That’ll be my vote.

  67. ARTH

    The truth is that we have no where to go. We are trapped, rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly.

    1. hunkerdown

      Who are “you”? You have everywhere to go once you have dismissed the status quo order of society as a stipulation. Indeed, the best days of bourgeois liberalism (for the greater good) are behind it.

  68. wakingup

    Thanks for writing such a great piece. You said it all. Personally, “the lesser of two evils” argument expired for me when Obama started campaigning for TTP and TTIP, not to mention not going after the Wall Street criminals. Most Americans, with their backs pressed against the wall, are realizing that the two political parties in power now do not give a damn about us. Hence, Bernie and Trump and these crazy primaries. If the leadership in the two parties think they can continue on creating and promoting an agenda that only benefits the 1% and the people that support them, they will find that the public will consign both parties to the dustbins of history. That day cannot come quickly enough for me.

  69. Jess

    I’m both appalled and astounded by the many suggestions here to vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party. The Green Party does not want your votes. Neither does Jill Stein. If they did, they would act like a real, functioning party. (Which they are not, being instead a plaything for dilettantes, who would rather see it in a permanent vegetative state than lose their titles and insider status. See: Institutions, Iron Law of.)

    I am what the political pros call a “high propensity voter”. I vote in every election, from presidential down to local municipal offices and school board. Never — NEVER, not once ever — have I:

    – Had a Green Party candidate for any office, or a canvasser working on their behalf, knock on my door;

    – Received any election materials from the GP or one of its candidates in my mailbox or on my doorknob.

    – Seen a lawn sign for any of their candidates.

    By contrast, I have participated in nine local ballot measure campaigns and at least three campaigns for local office. I know from experience how we raised money (almost all in small contributions), mobilized to collect petition signatures, canvassed door-to-door during the election, and managed to do at least a few mailings in every campaign. It can be done.

    You want to be treated like a party, act like one.

    1. Merf56

      I live in outer suburban Philadelphia ( western Montgomery county) . Previously I lived in the Ahwatukee foothills area in Phoenix AZ. I have had Green Party candidates and surrogates at my door and on the phone( live not recorded) many many many times for many many years! They work their tails off trying to meet people on the grass roots level. Perhaps it is just where you live… They seem serious as a heart attack to me-

      1. dk

        Green Party behavior varies widely from state to state, even more so that Dem State Parties. There is a critical mass of seats in State legislatures that is necessary for a smaller/”3rd” party to achieve critical mass in that legislative context, and the push into the Federal Congressional level. Before that, absent a reliable voice on the Congressional side, a Green presidential candidate has little real potential to deliver political positives for the nation; and voters collectively don’t have to be particularly sophisticated to recognise this.

        One of the strengths of the Tea Party has been an early willingness to engage at the local political levels (municipal, state admin). They also had the benefit of being able to operate within the context of the established Republican network. For decades the Greens (and various Libertarian incarnations) have tried to leap higher than their growth at local levels would allow, and attempted to stand on ideological distinction/purity relative to established Dem(/Rep) institutions.

        I hope the Sanders movement can recognize the strategic benefits of remaining, at least nominally, within the Dem identity.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Actually, I was canvassed by a Green. Happened as I was heading home from work yesterday.

      Guy was trying to get on our local election ballot, and I couldn’t understand why he was canvassing at the spot where he was standing. Not what you’d call a high-traffic area. And, get this, there’s a high-traffic area just two blocks away. Easy-peasy to walk there.

      Well, wouldn’t you know it. Today’s FB post from him was short and sad. Saying that he didn’t collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.

      So, Jess, I’m going to echo what you just said. If you want to be treated like a party, act like one.

    3. Peter Bernhardt

      Whether you regarded him as a spoiler or not, Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign and its aftermath put a big downer on the Green Party. I live in an especially liberal neck of the woods and I remember just how annoying I found all the Nader supporters in the run up to 2000. The brand, such as it was, suffered after that election. And I expect they’ve had a really difficult time attracting talented and resourceful politicians to their cause.

      The Green party should be looking at this as an opportunity to recruit progressives and move the Greens into the mainstream. It would mean convincing young progressives to run as Green candidate rather than as Democrats. Standing on the right street corners now that they have a rare window of opportunity.

      I would see my vote for Jill Stein as a way to send a message that there are people who support what the Greens stand for and that there is an alternative to supporting a corrupt Democratic party that only pays lip service to the issues that matter most to progressives.

  70. Goyo Marquez

    Loved it. Posted it to Facebook.

    Here’s another way I’ve been thinking about it, just as only Nixon can go to China, what is that only Hillary can do? Cut social security, sign another free trade agreement, start another war, roll back financial regulations?

    Conversely, what is I that only Trump can do? Raise the deficit, increase government spending on infrastructure, end some wars, go after free riding plutocrats and corporations?

  71. Jess

    Somebody mentioned Kucinich. Funny how caving in on Ocare ended his career. Imagine if he’d held out, maintained his previous position. He would either be where Bernie is today, or maybe Bernie’s for-sure VP pick. Instead he sold out, chickened out, and is, deservedly, no longer visible, much less relevant.

    1. Edward Qubain

      Ocare had nothing to do with his political demise. Rep. Nancy Pelosi changed his district to one that guaranteed his defeat as punishment for not kowtowing to Israel. Rep. Cynthia McKinney and other Democratic members of congress, mostly black, have met a similar fate for similar reasons.

      1. dingusansich

        Correctamundo. Seems to me another white knight fell off his horse in that joust. Advocate of single payer? Septuagenarian from Vermont? The name’ll come to me …

        Long out front, outspoken, and practically alone, then a single vote, and off with his head. Harsh.

        1. Edward Qubain

          The virtuous are punished and the wicked rewarded. Who knows, if the media had done their job and covered all presidential candidates equally the Kucinich and Nader campaigns might have actually got somewhere.

  72. openvista

    Yet another college educated, middle-upper income professional here who refuses to support Hillary. Been voting Green or Dem my adult life (40s). I see Jill Stein is on the ballot in Michigan. Perhaps, I’ll vote for her again (as I did in ’12). I voted for Obama in ’08 and came to regret it the very next month when he picked his transition team. It became clear he was a world-class confidence man at that point. I have no doubt Clinton will pick a similar or worse team for her inner circle.

    My town, Marquette, went solidly for Bernie March 1st. The few R’s are mostly Trump supporters. Living in a working class neighborhood makes it easy to keep in touch with reality. Lots of people are struggling here just like everywhere.

    I really don’t think it will ever get “back to normal”. I think in 20 years we wake up and find we’re Mexico (and it could be worse). The good news is, we are headed backwards in time whether we like it or not to a simpler life!

  73. meeps

    Yves’ piece could have us all–not just the Beltway Dems–questioning assumptions this election.

    There’s plenty of ‘freaking out’ [warranted] happening, but that’s not a frame of mind conducive to sound judgment–something to remember when voting. HRC’s record is proof that a smart person can make extremely poor choices. Her consistency in that regard is one reason she doesn’t deserve the Sanders vote.

    The field isn’t limited to Clinton or Trump now, nor will it be in November. I don’t see good reasons to support either of them, including sending a message to the Democrats. Raising a finger via a Trump vote is akin to cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    Remaining tethered to these failed parties, with their failed ideologies, while the world burns, is the trap.

  74. Howard Beale IV

    God Bless Bernie, but c’mon, let’s be real-he knew what he was up against, and he didn’t hire top-tier talent to run his campaign (a comic book store manager-seriously?!?)

    Our great experiment has failed miserbaly-it’s time for a Constitutional Convention that has but one goal-blow up the current election system and institute a Parlimenterian System like the rest of civilized society has. When our neighbors to the north were bitterly complaining about how long their last election was (a whole six months!), we need to burn our political process to the ground with fire and salt it.

    1. pretzelattack

      what miserable failure are you referring to? there is more energy and more recognition of the actual political realities than i’ve seen since the 60’s.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Failed miserably? What color is the sky in your alien world? Bernie’s the best thing to happen to American politics in decades, and he’s still alive for the office! Bernie’s run has been the feel good story of the modern American political era and the trends all look good.

    3. EndOfTheWorld

      What you call “top-tier” is what ruins a good candidate. Political advisors are useless.

  75. Richard Sullivan

    I honestly don’t know what “deserve” has to do with it. People make voting out to be a far more personal and moral act than it actually is. It’s not a means of expression either. It’s a pragmatic act that in some small way brings about a particular outcome from a small set of possible outcomes.

    I voted for Bernie in the MA primary, and he is my preferred choice by far of any candidate in this election, but I think “Bernie or Bust” is silly and even a bit immature.

    1. pretzelattack

      why is it “immature” to reject the political strategy of voting for the lesser evil? seems realistic to me.

    2. Leo Wong

      Voting is any number of things, depending the voter and the historical circumstances. Voting is an act whose influence on the voter and on history is not limited to a particular outcome.

  76. Mattie

    Just read your Politico piece… Thanks! And – You go girl!

    From another 60-something, highly educated, well-paid, white collar schmoo feminist who will vote for Trump if the alternative option is any Clinton “Democrat”.

  77. Starveling

    This was a good piece- I think the comfortable need a few truth bricks thrown through the windows of their glassy towers on occasion. Voting for the most ideologically correct third party might be the moral option, but the volatility option of threatening their jugular with a Trump vote is the tempting one here.

    I might not have the depth of experience or breadth of knowledge of many here- I’m just a broke kid in Ohio- but I’ve been reading this for years and I’ve learned more from the news and commentary here than I did in an entire political ‘science’ degree.

    From speaking to my coworkers, I can tell you that Yves hits it on the head. “Feel the Bern or burn the field” isn’t just the whine of some college bros- I hear it from the middle aged dads I work with, older women with kids my age.

    The rest started with Sanders- and seem to be leaning Trump in the absence of the option. Volatility, it is. They like and trust Sanders.

    Come to think of it, the only people I know who actually strongly like Hillary are my fiancee’s parents… nearly retired professional degree holders on a nice state pension. I love them to death, but they’re definitely fans of some Democratic party that I cannot relate to. I’d say it’s a generation gap, but I know they aren’t the ones pulling the ladder up behind them. The people they support, however….

  78. Norb

    Limiting ones exposure to MSM is a necessity if trying to retain some sort of sanity in this insane culture. After reading the Politico piece and following comments, I was tempted to offer a reply- but decided against it. Why enter into an ignorant shouting match.

    What troubles me deeply is the loss of common decency in the citizenry. Decades of hollowing out the country by the political and economic elite have enfeebled the population both morally and intellectually. How anyone can continue to participate in the orgy of looting and self destructive behavior is beyond belief.

    The problem of political engagement still persists though and I thank Yves for her efforts in the broader media landscape. The best possible outcome I can see happening from this election cycle is the birth of a new political party. Whether the time is right for a split in the democratic party only time will tell, but for anyone seeking political representation for the working class, neither party offers much.

    It was also proper to point out the rising suicide and death rates. These important statistics are all but ignored in the wider population and media. It points toward a growing callousness that does not bode well for the future is left unattended.

    I think we all must prepare for the uncertain future by clearly formulating in our own minds the society we would like to live in. Pragmatic political compromises, lesser of two evil thinking, and believing only in power and money will offer little consolation upon the next great pressure our society faces. It seems choosing sides is upon us and we must find a third way that is both practical and leads to building a power base over time.

  79. vegasmike

    I mostly agree with you, Yves. But maybe, Gov. Wald is right. With Trump in power, it might be like Anne Frank in the attic. I think there’s a certain internal momentum to the Trump campaign; he will probably start to build his wall and also start a campaign to deport illegal aliens. Obama deported at the border. Trump would probably start a massive initiative to deport people who have settled into the country. Also, the cops could become even more repressive, believing it’s Trump time.
    Trump to use the old Marxist phrase ” might heighten the contradictions.” He could at the same time crush any resistance movement.
    On the other hand, Hillary is basically a crackpot realist and might start WWIII.

  80. Brooklin Bridge

    A beautifully written article. I can’t tell if it was so clear to me because of the way it was written or because I read NC articles so frequently but I’m pretty sure either way it was beautifully written.

  81. E.H. Munro

    Add me to the list of people that is on the Death to Neoliberalism platform. As an anarchist I have done nothing but write in gag votes for years, but for the first time since the age of 18 I’m contemplating casting an actual vote, because the unknown evil looks more appealing than Cold Warrior Killary.

    And that’s my biggest problem with a new Clinton regime. She’s promising, incredibly, more war in the Middle East and across the arc of crisis and steamrolling to a new Cold War with the Russians. This will make lost of northeastern and west coast billionaires even richer, but do nothing for the working classes (aside from employing their kids when they turn 18 and shipping them off to die in some hellhole). Preventing the permanent militarist state is the most important issue facing the US at the moment. It’s driving the destruction.

  82. petal

    Cannot thank you enough for writing it. It was beautifully done. I’m a 37 year old white female, BS plus some graduate courses in the sciences. Grew up poor in a rural area. Currently underpaid, no savings, have given up on a dream of a family and house of my own. I posted what you wrote on fb, and caught crap tonight from an old teacher of mine(comfortable due to him and his wife having pensions). He said yes it’s sad people will not vote for HC and that I sounded just like Donald Trump. I’m sure there will be more coming. After reading what you wrote, I felt like clapping and cheering. Again, thank you for it, and for giving us this wonderful refuge. Cheers.

  83. craazyman

    wow. I never even heard of Politico. I guess it must be a web site about politics or something.

    Why would anybody post comments at a nowhere website about politics? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. It seems like an absurd waste of time. Unless they get paid for it. Wow. That’s even more incredible. To get paid for ranting your nonsense on a nowhere website about politics. How bored can you be to do that to waste time? haven’t they ever heard of YouTube?

    What’s the point of arguing about this stuff anyway? That’s a rhetorical question because there isn’t one.

    It’s all so obvious! what’s there to argue about? The only hope is divine intervention that raises the consciousness of the hacks out there who think being professional and snotty is an achievement and a virtue. Arguing won’t do it. You need to send thoughts into the nooushphere. put your hands on the sides of your head like two radio telescopes and look at the sky and shoot some mind missles up there, into the nousphere. That’s better than wasting time debating. Just be sure to go outside or you’ll hit the ceiling and it won’t go anywhere

    The only real question worth debating is who will be Bernie’s VP when he’s president. He’d need somebody. Maybe that Hawaiian senator, Tulsi Gabbard or something like that, I can’t remember exactly. There’s a woman for you. There must be a few hundred people who could be Bernie’s VP and be better than almost any party hack on television ranting their yada into the camera with that fake smile they have. That smile makes me think “liar”. I don’t know why but always do, and so I stopped watching TV talk shows entirely, even on Sunday. I felt like I was having my mind abused by a spectacle whose sordidness was so unbecoming to human dignity that watching was itself a form of participation. All right, that’s being ‘too sensitive” but I don’t frankly care. Also there’s YouTube, where you can watch music videos instead — if you want to waste time like you would if you watched the talk shows

    Maybe they should just cancel the election and everybody go home and think hard about their own soul. then come back in two years and start over. Lots of hacks would have nervous breakdowns and wouldn’t be able to vote due to emotional issues & Bernie would be elected in a landslide. Even without a VP. There’s a point where it doesn’t even matter when everybody has a soul. You don’t even need politicians then because everything is above that, at that point and people act naturally in ways that don’t require illusions and conceits.

  84. dots

    Nicely done, Yves!

    There was a piece on Brain Pickings this week on How to compose a successful critical commentary, which I think you’ve embodied quite well in your article . It’s part of what differentiates a fast, automatic, emotional and reflexive attack of an argument from a slower, more skillful refutation using logic, analysis and evidence grounded in a solid understanding of the issues. Daniel Kahneman also comes to mind for his writing on what he labeled ‘System 1’ and ‘System 2’ thinking in his bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

    “the best antidote [for the] tendency to caricature one’s opponent”

    How to compose a successful critical commentary:

    1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

    2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

    3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

    4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

    — a distillation of Daniel Dennett, “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking”

  85. optimader

    Nicely done Yves, a succinct round over the bow.

    Perusing the comments, it looks like a very shallow commentariat gene pool over at Brand X.

    You and Lambert are wise to cultivate civilized diversity of opinion. When it comes to a blog w/open comments, not sure what could be more boring than a superficial and ignorant opinion monoculture

  86. Buck Eschaton

    I’ve been reading Naked Capitalism for 7 years now, it’s an absolute great site and community, I’ve learned so much. In 2008 I was very naive, I voted for Obama thinking he was the next FDR, I was wrong. I know some folks have objections to MMT, but with Bernie having Stephanie Kelton and Bill Black on his team, I have the hope he understands, and even though he hasn’t communicated in the MMT vocabulary, he gives me great hope that he realizes that there are so many things that can be done, so many problems that we can work to make better.

    I guess that’s why I have no reason to vote for Hillary Clinton, there’s no dreams, no hopes, no understanding of what can be done, it’s all blame the Republicans, we can’t do anything, there’s nothing we can do. I get no sense that she understands MMT, she has no vision or understanding. She can’t see.

  87. casino implosion

    Loyal NC reader/commentator since 2008, fit your reader profile pretty well, except I take down tower cranes for a living instead of pushing a pencil. I’ve always been vocal here in the combox about my preferences: Sanders>Trump>Clinton-except I’m not holding my nose as I pull the lever for the Donald. I’m looking forward to it, and confusion to all Politico hacks, DC insiders and Clinton operatives. May their beards fall out.

  88. Wayne Harris

    I voted for Stein in 2012 after Obama’s epic bait-and-switch but remained a registered Democrat. I don’t know how smart that may have been strategically, but I can tell you, it was the most satisfying vote, either winning or losing, I’ve cast in a presidential election ever, dating back to 1968. And if you believe that the two-party system in the US is a big part of the reason we’ve become a banana republic, voting for Trump when you have a credible Green Party candidate in Jill Stein may be the real wasted opportunity. If Bernie wins the Democratic nomination, or if he runs as a third-party candidate, I’ll vote for Bernie. Otherwise, it’s Stein. And no matter what the outcome, I’ll be re-registering as an independent the day after the election. The duplicity, corruption, arrogance and tone-deafness of Hillary, Wasserman Shultz and the Democratic Establishment in general is beyond compare.

  89. Cry Shop

    line space is limited or many modern readers give up, but I wish there could have been at least a line on her threat to our youth, even our existence. Bill bombed a pharma factory in Sudan to distract the masses, and Team Barry O’ Hill-Billy destabilized Libya , Syria, and the Ukraine — yet the She-devil wants to sell Trump as being less safe with the atomic football. What would she do to avoid being impeached? Even the unthinkable becomes possible with her.

  90. Bobert

    It’s kind of insane to think that it would be better to elect Trump because Sanders isn’t the nominee. This upcoming election is analogous to 2000, when people voted for Nader because they wanted change and they thought there wasn’t enough of a difference between Gore and Bush, or that Gore didn’t adequately represent the kind of change they wanted. Well there was a huge difference. Do you think there would have even have been an Iraq war if Al Gore was President, and how about the country’s energy policy? And what about Samuel Alito and Chief Justice Roberts, and Citizens United. We would be living in a very different country right now if there had been a President Gore…You might not agree with everything Hillary Clinton does, but at least she will keep pushing the country in a progressive direction. It might not be in all the areas or as far as you want, but not voting for Hillary or voting for Trump because you think it’s going to change things is insane…

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      Hillary is most decidedly NOT going to “push the country in a more progressive direction”. There is nothing in her record that is consistent with that on an economic front. Even on identity politics issues, she moves only when a position has become mainstream. Per Politifact: “Clinton came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2013 after more than a decade of opposing it.” She has said abortion should be “cheap, safe, and rare.” Those three words do not go together. She has not repudiated the laws passed in her husband’s administration that led to mass incarceration of blacks.

      On the economic front, she is firmly neoliberal and it is neoliberalism that has led to the massive increase in wealth and incomes in the top 1% and especially the top 0.1%. She has not endorsed single payer. She repeatedly backed the TPP and only retreated when it became a campaign issue. She voted for the law that made student debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy (the time before it finally passed, mind you, she missed the vote that cinched it). She has banks and Big Pharma as major campaign donors. She is pro-fracking, when fracking emits tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

      Trust me, I could go on for pages about where Clinton stands on policy. It is absolutely NOT progressive or anything leaning in that direction.

      And she is an aggressive hawk. Since she is also a deficit hawk, more guns means less butter.

      Honestly, do you believe what you write? Or do you only read Democratic Party propaganda?

      1. Bobert

        Absolutely I believe what I write that a Clinton presidency would mean moving in a more progressive direction in health care, supreme court, and energy policy, on a relative basis, than a Trump presidency which is the whole point of my comment. Yes, I’d absolutely rather have somebody with more absolute progressive positions, but lacking that, a Clinton presidency most assuredly will have an impact on many issues I care about and move them in a more progressive direction than a Trump presidency. A Trump presidency would be a disaster, he’s already forwarded his likely supreme court choices which should be enough to send any progressive person to the voting booth to vote for Clinton if they cared about the direction that the country was going in. Do I think Clinton will “sell out” in certain areas, absolutely she will, there is no doubt in my mind (to my mind it most likely has to do with the banking industry). But do I think on key issues like the Supreme Court, energy policy, health care she’ll keep the country moving in the right direction? Absolutely I do. Will it be as far as I’d like? Probably not. But my point was if you think elections don’t make any difference, that’s a very shortsighted black and white viewpoint. I’m sure a lot of people in 2000 thought when they were casting a vote for Nader (who I voted for in the primaries, but not the general) thought it wasn’t going to make a difference if Gore lost. My point is it made a huge difference, it’s how we get in a lot of the mess we are today, and to say that a Trump presidency would give progressives a more likely satisfying outcome than a Clinton presidency is kind of absurd.

        1. sd

          Trump is an unknown entity because he has not held public office. You can license his name, but you can’t actually buy him, which seems to mean he can’t be bought.

          What he says often does not connect with what he actually does. For instance, with women:
          His sister is a federal judge which says a bit about what his family dynamic was like growing up.

          Underestimate Trump at your peril.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Look at the Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court: a Republican. Do you mean to tell me we can seriously expect better from Hillary? She gives lip service to believing in climate change, but supports fracking, which causes earthquakes and releases lots of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and uses LOTS of potable water, our most scarce environmental resource.

          The ACA was written by a health care lobbyist. Health insurer and pharma stocks traded up big the day it was passed. The only real beneficiaries are via Medicare expansion. I’ve met people with pre-existing conditions who are economically savvy. They report that when they worked through the high costs of the plans (high deductibles and co-pays), it was a coin toss as to whether to sign up or not. Moreover, it’s been widely reported that insurers are effectively not covering many existing conditions by not having specialists in the networks who can treat them! So you buy into the Democratic party Rube Goldberg con?

          Hillary wants a no-fly zone in Syria. That is tantamount to saying she is going to war with Russia. Think there will be any budget for domestic goodies when she’s poured gas on the Middle East fire?

          Honestly, you need to look at her policies and her actions, not your fantasy version of what she stands for.

          1. Bobert

            Okay, you are actually incorrect on the ACA. I actually have a pre-existing chronic condition that requires an expensive medication and have an intimate knowledge of how the ACA works, and what it’s flaws are because of it (I’ve actually testified on Capital Hill about my experience). In fact, if you have a pre-existing condition like mine the ACA has been a blessing. My health care bills have been cut in half and I save thousands of dollars a year because it caps annual out of pocket expenditures. The main problem with the ACA is for people who fall in the middle, who need health care but who can’t afford the high deductibles so they forego medical care. That needs to be changed. Clinton has identified that as well as high prescription drug costs as things that need to be fixed. How hard will she go after that? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s better than Trump who wants to get rid of the ACA. I actually want a single payer system, and know intimately that the prescription drug companies are a massive ripoff, but again, you miss my point. My point is not that Clinton is a great progressive fighter, just that relative to Trump she’s going to keep things moving in the right direction. And on the Supreme Court, Obama’s pick was a political calculation, yes I do absolutely think Clinton’s pick would be more liberal as the political conditions will allow her to pick somebody with a more liberal ideology.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              The New York Times and other media outlets disagree with your on that. The insurers have been effectively denying coverage for many pre-existing conditions via narrow networks. No specialist in your ailment, you’ve effectively got no coverage. This is a point Lambert has made repeatedly: that the ACA is both misleading in terms of overstatement of benefits, and massively unfair (if you fall into certain buckets, you may benefit, but even then it’s not a given, and if not, forget it).

              Moreover, I have quite a few high functioning readers (as in ex McKinsey or current Wall Street types, so they can model it out) with common existing conditions (like cancer currently successfully treated but risk of comeback, for instance) in who live where there are the relevant specialists in their networks, and their analysis was that the ACA was a coin toss economically. Their analysis was that it made no difference in terms of expected costs as to whether they are in or out. The ACA was not beneficial to them.

        3. johnnygl

          Can we PLEASE stop blaming Nader voters for Gore’s loss in 2000? This is patently absurd. Tens of thousands of voters thrown off the registry. Dems sat on their hands.

          Also, if gore couldn’t win on clinton’s record, that’s Gore’s fault!!!

        4. Norb

          This exchange clearly illustrates the need for a new political party. The neoliberal propaganda has been so thoroughly internalized, no amount of reasoned argument penetrates. You are battling a belief system. Underlying it all is the unshaken belief that Capitalism is the one and only true economic system. The notion that massive inequality promotes corruption in the human soul does not penetrate.

          The days of reasoned arguments are numbered. A Trump presidency, at the very least, will bring out into the open our compromised democracy in America. It is a no confidence vote by the people and reflects their growing distrust in the elite class which owns and runs the country. Even if Hillary wins the presidency, the working class looses and the desperation felt by millions will continue to grow. Hillary promises, at the very least, a slow death. If Trump wins the election, he must deliver in some way to relieve the growing suffering of the working class. If Trump fails in this task, the working class just might come together as a political force once again, as the fake duopoly finally exposes itself as a spent force.

          What is needed is to end the passivity. It is not what you believe, it is what you do that matters. If your belief system leads you to destructive behavior, you are following a false God. Maybe that is the breakdown of the choice we face. Support death and destruction, or building a more positive, productive future.

  91. I Have Strange Dreams

    The only way to break the duopoly is to vote for a third party. Sad to see this excellent blog fall into line and obey the Corptocracy diktat. Has Yves become a “Very Serious Person”?

  92. Phil

    I get all the anger and angst, but how much harm would a President Trump do to America? I’m a Bernie guy, and I vote in a state that is solid blue – protest votes mean little here. However, if I’m a FL, OH, PA, VA, or CO voter I would NEVER pull a voting lever that gave Trump a chance to win POTUS.

    I am worried about what is developing re: this election season, where the Dem nomination is being kept from Sanders by Dem insider collusion. Voters are rightfully upset about this, but does giving Trump the Presidency going to make you feel better? There is a phrase: “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face” – that’s what voting in a way that gives Trump a chance to win, represents.

    Frankly, I think it’s a mistake to act out of anger by helping Trump! We need to rationally direct our anger toward positive change,instead of completely upsetting the apple cart. If Clinton gets the nod there is no reason that the movement that Sanders started cannot be made more robust and point toward a 2020 challenge.

    The subtext to this election season is the incredible transparency – even though unwelcome by the establishment – of just how crooked the establishment is. Voters are not going to forget this. Whether Clinton or Trump, the next 4 years are not going to be pretty; I can pretty much guarantee that. This makes 2020 a watershed year for serious change.

    Last, can you even begin to imagine what 2-4 Trump SCOTUS appointees would look like, or how Trump could literally bring this nation into chaos; or, maybe even worse, how the people behind Trump, feeding his narcissistic need to get their way, end up running the country. If you think Cheney’s pulling Bush’ strings was bad, a puppet Trump would be way worse?

    Think before you vote. Be strategic with your vote. If you live in California or another solid blue state, protest away – otherwise think long term!

    ““If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.” Sun Tzu

    1. Skip Intro

      The overinformed commentariat here is not statistically significant, but the agonizing is extremely meaningful. Protest votes for a green will be insignificant, numerically and politically. What will be significant will be the number of voters who stay home. With dems and repubs at 29% and 27% of the electorate, turnout of independents will be decisive. Who will motivate independents to the polls? Whose base is more reliable, and less subject to voter suppression? If people like me are entering the bargaining phase of dealing with Pres. Trump, things do not look good.

      This is why a Clinton candidacy would be toxic for Dem. candidates down the whole ballot. Now Hillary is trying to win over scared/disgusted republicans to vote for a corporatist anti-Trump, despite their years of anti-Clinton conditioning. Meanwhile the democrats stay home and progressive independents stay home and a new generation of Americans learn powerlessness.

    2. washunate

      I agree that most people engaged in the Democratic party primary process probably see things your way. Having said that, I think it’s worth exploring the lesser of two evilism you are describing, both in its substance itself and for the important electoral situation that the core of the party base that participates in the primary process is notably smaller than the overall electorate.

      how much harm would a President Trump do to America

      Well, how much? That question is mostly used rhetorically as a club to shut down debate rather than as an impetus for actual analysis. What can a president do, and what would a Trump presidency in particular do? We have five months to explore this question thoughtfully and exhaustively. It’s particularly interesting to consider because national Democrats have spent the past 7 years explaining how powerless President Obama is in the face of [insert obstacle here]. And at any rate, you make it sound like the last couple decades haven’t been that bad, which is at minimum a debatable proposition, if not outright hilarious.

      To date, the criticisms launched by the Democratic pundit and intellectual class against Trump describe the Democratic establishment itself remarkably, almost uncannily, well. What principle, from racism to xenophobia to Muslim bashing to dangerous foreign policy, have our Democratic leaders not also embraced, advanced, enabled, and excused? The most dangerous people with the nuclear codes are precisely those neocons in both parties who have been antagonizing sovereign nations all over the globe. What positive vision of the country does the DNC represent? That’s not a rhetorical question; what will they do that is different from what they’ve been doing in any meaningful way? At some point in the ramp up of inequality and authoritarianism, differences in the speed of events are overwhelmed by the uncomfortable realization that everyone is headed in the same direction.

      Furthermore, thinking strategically, quite apart from the final voting decision, keeping an open mind during the process, especially in swing states, forces the Democrats to actually campaign for your vote rather than taking it for granted. That in itself is valuable, both as a protest against the absurdly long campaign season in the US (which is one of the ways the two party system prevents outside agitation) and as a substantive force to ensure the Democrats have to make a liberal, reality-based case rather than drifting even further into authoritarian fantasyland.

      Finally, at a moral level, I think we need to acknowledge the obligation to do more than protest in harmless ways, ways that don’t actually threaten the existing power structure and don’t cause any personal risk or discomfort. At some point, the Democratic candidate gets so bad that voting for that person is wrong, no matter what other consequences such action may incur. Now I don’t think most people are at that point, but for those who are, they are not being wrong or unstrategic in any objective sense to vote their conscience. They are simply following a different philosophy than the pragmatic consequentialism that has come to dominate our more affluent and educated discourse which basically boils down to the ends justify the means. If shoving a broomstick up some kid’s rectum will save us from being attacked by the terists, by golly, who are we rubes to complain? We have to prevent the Other Guy from getting into power, because he’s going to kill the kid’s family after waterboarding them and raping them. You don’t want to be responsible for innocent Muslims being raped, waterboarded, and killed, do you?

      I’m being a little faceitious there, but we are at a point in American policy where Democrats openly embrace direct use of violence as a means of asserting our influence, both domestically and throughout the world. When does it become morally right, as well as pragmatically strategic, to say no? If the answer to that question is never, then we are prepared in practice to accept unchecked tyranny.

  93. vlade

    What fascinates me is how many “anything but Trump” people assume that the POTUS is next to a god or at least a CEO (mind you, a plenty of Sander’s followers have the same assumption). Congress can very quickly and easily make most presidents impotent. Reps are going to support Trump only because otherwise they would fall apart, and it’s a large question whether/how much they would support his plans in the Congress. Dems hold enough in Senate to fillibuster, so it’s doubtful he could do much except for Executive Orders. And I’m 100% sure that even Reps in Congress would want to stomp on that Trump switched to pushing everything via EOs and so in effect tried to usurp much more power to the Presidency.

    Trump’s presidency (and his likely effectivness) is much much overrated (TBH, so is likely the remote possibility of Sanders’s one under the current conditions). Now, HRC would be likely much more efficient in implementing her plans.

    So Trump may be the larger evil, but likely a very inefficient one, with numbers of checks on him. Hillary, on the other hand, will have fewer checks and be much more efficient.

    Sanders may be the best choice, but I’m afraid that unless people would also change the Congress (and by that I don’t mean just more Dems, it depends on what Dems would be in), again a likely inefficient and frustrated one.

    1. d1rtwizard

      You are right about the limits of the Presidents’ power, but what you need to keep in mind is that very few voters ever cross ballots; this means that a Trump presidency likely means that Congress will continue to be solidly republican (maybe ever achieving a supermajority in the Senate).

      Personally, I would rather have an HRC presidency that’s kept in check by a Senate ran by Senator Warren than a Trump presidency ‘kept in check’ by Tea Party retards.

      You also have to keep in mind that, while powers are relatively balanced, Congress isn’t able to constrain the President in foreign policy matter much, if at all. This, rather than his domestic policy, is where Trump would likely harm America the most, regardless if Congress is on his side or not (and there will be a substantial amount of Republicans who are on his side on most matters).

      1. John G

        Sorry but how would Trump’s foreign policy be worse than Clinton’s? Hers is about as bad as it could possibly be.

      2. pretzelattack

        warren doesn’t run the senate, and she can’t singlehandedly stop a president determined to go to war. besides, it’s usually the opposition party that does most to keep a president of the opposite party in check.

  94. dbk

    Another long-time nc follower/very occasional commenter here.

    I remember when I first had the thought that I just couldn’t be swayed – again – by the lesser-evil argument. The lesser evil is still, well, evil.

    I’m not sure I believe Trump believes what he’s touting as his platform anyway – he was a Democrat until he wasn’t. I consider him a pretty much unknown political quantity at this point.

    HRC OTOH is a very well-known political quantity, and I don’t go along with her foreign policy, her trade policy, or her economic policy.

    A victory for the Democrats in November will shake up neither party. A victory for Trump will shake both parties to their very foundations. Isn’t that what’s needed?

    As far as the FB comments (I’ll try to post some replies to egregious remarks about Yves and her readers, there are some whoppers interspersed among fairly standard talking points), frankly, they’re not so different (ok, more spelling mistakes, but it’s FB and it is what it is) from what you get on LGM, my go-to politics site which is pretty pro-HRC and pushing the lesser-evil argument (though more discreetly than in 2012).

    Agree 100% with commenters above – it has to be about down-ticket races henceforth, total rebuilding from the ground up. Local and state too, not just Congressional races. This from a voter whose district (IL-18) hasn’t returned a Dem to Congress in 70 years.

  95. Tom Denman

    Donald Trump may be the despicable lout that he plays on television, but he is no fascist. For one thing, the fascists knew how to organize while the Trump campaign, during the primaries, had far fewer feet on the ground than most traditional political operations. For another it is Clinton, not Trump, who has consistently advocated military action to force regime change in foreign countries.

    If Madam Clinton is elected the national Democratic Party will become even more conservative than it already is, which in turn will enable the Republicans to move even further to the right (that has certainly been the dynamic of American politics since 1992).

    And with the Democratic Party further tethered to the ideology that created our rotten economic system, it is unlikely that there will be a viable social democratic alternative to compete with a fascist movement that inevitably will emerge in response to Americans’ growing sense of helplessness.

    Therefore another Clinton presidency would not only be a disaster in terms of policy, it would also be much more likely to foster the conditions that would lead to a fascist regime in the U.S.A. than would Trump’s election.

  96. dk

    Has it occurred to anyone that a Trump election could lead to a military coup of the USA?

    Because I don’t see the Joint Chiefs or a horde of key personnel in the DoD turning over nuke codes to a gibbering delusional narcissistic psychopath. There’s more than one reason for the Secret Service to provide the President’s security.

    1. Roger Smith

      gibbering delusional narcissistic psychopath

      This is part of the problem with Trump and liberals. For whatever dumb things he has said, they go above and beyond, deciding it is okay, just this once, to slander him with rhetoric…. because he is bad and dumb. It is almost all ad hominem but we are supposed to hate him they tell us, so it is okay! ….

      1. dk

        No, seriously.


        Don’t just look at the titles, read a few of them.

        And anyway, it’s not your or my opinion that counts, it’s the Joint Chiefs’. They rely in part on psychological profiles. Gibbering may not count (although he does), and all politicians are some degree of delusional (you have to be a little nuts to even run for the office of the President, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing), but the other criteria matter.

        1. dots

          I diverge in thinking somewhat from others here and I’m completely with you on this opinion. Every spidey-sense I’ve tapped into over the years tells me that Trump is definitely the Cthulhu-in-the-room.

          That being said, I’m still in the Bernie-or-bust camp. I don’t feel like the greater burden of responsibility lies with the public for who/what the candidate choices are or how the system is churning out widgets. For those in power to give us few options and then try to tell us that we get the candidates/system we deserve is absolutely abusive (as pointed out by Pat and others) and also a huge steaming pile of horse manure.

          Be a good candidate and represent issues I support and I will vote for you. Don’t do those things and I will withhold my support. Be a bigoted, pathological, xenophobic creep and I will not only not vote for you, but I will say, “Oh hell no!”

          But that’s my opinion and how I see things. I don’t tell others how they’re supposed to vote.

            1. pretzelattack

              whatever he says about it, a lot of us aren’t going to vote for clinton. we aren’t blind followers.

        2. jrs

          Well I’ve known psychological professionals who diagnosis him as narcissistic, so I’m going with yea, that’s probably right. I know remote diagnosis is controversial, as is diagnosis for some, but maybe the professionals actually know what they are talking about here.

          1. pretzelattack

            not if they’re doing a remote diagnosis. most doctors wouldn’t do that, not knowing the patient.

    2. aab

      The warmonger is Clinton. Do you really think the Joint Chiefs will rebel against Trump after obeying Baby Bush?

      The person already launching internal purges of people who speak out against them is Clinton.

      Seriously, Trump is not the anti-Christ. He’s not a unique evil. It’s not an accident that more military people back him over Clinton — of course, many more back Bernie. But Trump is less likely to send us to multiple wars. The neocons prefer Clinton for a reason.

  97. Allen

    What must be understood and highlighted is who the political class works for- the savage capitalists.

    The US government is merely the front for the ruling class. It merely carries out the policies of the over-civilized, well-manicured capitalist thugs.

    Anyone who thinks that simply “voting the bums out” (no matter how much Bern they been feeling lately) is a viable action in such a profoundly corrupt system is in deep denial as to the scope of our problems.

    The system is not broken- it is working exactly as designed- by and for those who designed it.

    In a bourgeoisie democracy the power of the electorate is a legal fiction.

    Wasting energy on electoral kabuki Sanders-Style falls into that category belonging to all strategies based on “trying to push the Dems to the left.” It can never happen. The Dems are officially sanctioned precisely because the business plutocracy is 100% confident that the Party can’t be “pushed to the Left,” even if the proverbial Apocalypse threatens. The Dem Party’s essential political function is pretending to sound sympathetic to ordinary citizens, while actually doing the bidding of the financial elite.

    At this point it is grossly irresponsible for anyone to support either of the big business parties. The Democrats HAVE NEVER been for the working class- that’s not why they were designed. The few crumbs that the Dems threw to the working class during FDR’s New Deal were done to PRESERVE CAPITAL not to assist the people and it was done ONLY due to pressures from The Wobblies, Socialists, Communists, Populists, Anarchists etc as well as pressures from international rumblings.

    Beyond this the Democrats and the Republicans should not be examined as distinct entities- they are part of a larger system and on EVERY issue of magnitude they come down together on the same side of the big business interests who they represent. To think otherwise is beyond naive and avoids the facts of who funds these parties and who writes the legislation that BOTH parties rubber stamp.

    Lastly, anyone who insists on supporting any version of the Democrats, even with your incredibly weak arguments and twisted rationales, remember that you support mass murder all around the globe. No getting around that and that is not just a recent phenomenon. We could list all day long the numerous crimes that Democrats have committed against poor people all around the globe. When you support Democrats that blood is on your hands. I suggest all of you Dem Party loyalists wash off all that blood and join with the rest of the world in rejecting the American Empire of which the Dems and Repubs are part and parcel.

      1. Mike Mc

        Lambert, you and Yves need to open the bumper sticker and T shirt NOW while any of us have any money left, and while the economy’s still functional.

        “The system’s not broken, IT’S FIXED! Bernie 2016” in the appropriate sizes and colors would do quite well…

  98. d1rtwizard

    Look, I get it. HRC is a neoliberal mess who will basically govern like a more hawkish Obama. That is no reason to vote for Trump, or even to abstain because you’re tired of choosing between two evils. Life isn’t fair.

    Trump is not an “unknown” entity. We know exactly what Trump is; a selfish, unstable bigot. At the very least, HRC is not going to incite violence against minorities, which is basically all the reason you need to vote against Trump.

    What would a Trump administration and it’s implications, which include continued control of Congress by Republicans and a Conservative Supreme Court, mean for LGBT civil equality? What will it mean for women’s health and abortion access? What will it mean for refugees that flee from the violent dystopias we’ve made in the Middle East and Central and South America? What will it mean for those in poverty, as our tax systems and economy become significantly more regressive and unequal (which is something that a Trump administration would most certainly fulfill, rather than protecting the status quo as HRC will)? What will it mean for our military’s service members who are sent to fight and die in more pointless wars?

    I wish Bernie was going to be the nominee, but it’s not going to happen. Honestly, that doesn’t mean that all is lost, and it’s shame to watch people waste the work he’s done. If there is anything that the Tea Party movement has taught us, it should be that failed campaigns can shape the political parties just as substantially as winning ones. Bernie has both pushed the Democratic party significantly leftwards during the course of his campaign and demonstrated to the American public that progressive policies are what our nation needs. Instead of throwing this away by handing out government back over to the Republican party for the next four years, it would be better to grit your teeth and vote HRC and hold her feet to the fire in the same way that, again, the Tea Party has forced action upon their politicians.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Whenever I hear “I get it,” I settle back in my armchair for a long session of tendentious argumentation directed at me. #JustSaying.

      And I haven’t heard “hold [their] feet to the fire” in years!

      IMNSHO, the best way to do that is for Sanders to set up an independent, permanent, non-party entity — call it “The Sanders Foundation” — based on his platform and using his mailing list and clout with small donors, and continue to sharpen the voter identification with those who are not billionaires. If that splits the Democrat Party, so be it.

    2. aab


      You realize most of what you say will happen under Trump will happen under Clinton, right? You realize one reason that Latinos in California are voting for Bernie is because they know perfectly well she has advocated for a wall, for sending children back to die in countries she helped destabilize, etc. You realize she has pushed to starve and kill black Americans, while demonizing them as freeloaders and superpredators? You realize she’s already agitating and maneuvering for multiple land wars against Russia and Iran, right? That major members of her campaign team and donor base want Social Security cut?

      You realize Bernie hasn’t the pushed the party leadership to the left AT ALL, right? That the Convention is being sponsored by Republican donors? That the Convention Chairs are the very definition of banking corruption? That they refused to allow someone on the platform committee to push for single payer health care? How on EARTH would we hold Hillary’s feet to the fire if we elect her? What’s the mechanism?

      The way we do what the Tea Party did is to vote out of office EVERY SINGLE CORRUPT CORPORATIST DEMOCRAT. That would start with Hillary Clinton.

    3. Phil

      You realise that both of them are so horribly unpopular neither would have a shot in hell of winning against anyone but the other, right? Neither one of them has a plan that will do anything positive for the economy, right?

      If you agree then lets remove our present bias and think of the long term. If Clinton is in office, midterms will go against the party in the white house, as always. After 4 more years of similar conditions who do you think will get the GOP nomination? My guess is someone who has just as bad policies and rhetoric as Trump, but has the conviction to really try and implement them. Cruz maybe. 2018 and 2020 will elect almost all of the Governors that have veto power over reappointment maps. If you think the prospect of 4 years under Trump with a partially intact GOP establishment and a lot of Democrats resisting him is bad; think about the landslide victory of Ted Cruz in 2020 with the possibility of a GOP super majority and a lock on the house till 2032. The situation is reversed with Trump in office. Plus the added bonus of the Democratic establishment knowing they can’t shove neoliberals down our throat.

      The court’s will most likely end up with a Scalia 2.0 so it will stay center -right. RGB will be 87 in 2020, and if the average life expectancy of rich women increases like it has for the last 20 years it will be 90. Plus I’ve herd she loves to exercise. Similarly, Breyer and Kennedy will be 7 and 5 years younger then their projected life expectancy.

  99. David Carl Grimes

    We’ve always been discussing why some Bernie supporters won’t vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination. But I haven’t seen any discussion on whether Hillary supporters will vote for Bernie if her campaign collapses and he (by a longshot) gets the nomination. Any thoughts, fellow readers?

    1. Roger Smith

      In the one dimensional world of coronation, this line of thought does not exist.

      I have seen a few people say they would support Sanders, simply because they are rank and file dems.

      1. Capitalist Dem

        Of course we will support Bernie if he wins the nomination of the Democratic (yes, it’s actually a thing, Lambert) Party. That’s what the primary is about. And we expect Bernie will do the right thing when it’s clear he has not won. A smallish majority for Bernie in CA would probably not cause Super Delegates to bolt to his side; they realize that either he or Hillary could easily beat Trump there. Instead, they are probably looking closer at the PA, FL, MI, VA, NC and FL results, and guessing whether she has tails that can swing the Senate for the D’s.

        I didn’t realize that O’s nomination of Merrick Garland had raised hackles among so many. It seems a good way to put pressure on R senators looking to get re-elected in blue states, and (so far) it seems to be working. Some of these senators among others seem likely to skip Cleveland.

        Despite the anyone but Hillary sentiment voiced here, I think she can beat Trump in November. Then, let’s see who steps up to carry on Bernie’s movement in 2018 … Or in states/municipalities even before that. Much of what he has been advocating needs to be done, but will require a lot more work than most of his supporters envision.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The odds greatly favor her losing. That is why it is so appalling for the Democratic party establishment to refuse to back the candidate who has consistently polled better in 1:1 matchups with Trump. But this is all about insiders preserving their rice bowls rather than doing what is best for the party and the country.

          Her negatives ratings by voters just keep rising the more voters see of her. Trump keeps gaining in national and swing state polls even with him saying absolutely horrific things and the press pounding him for it.

          Do the math. NY is contested and Trump would probably win except the Dem machine may succeed in stealing it for her. Trump will win PA, OH, WI, IA, MI.

          1. Lambert Strether

            If you’re voting for a gigantic upraised middle finger to the Establishment, which includes the press, then “horrific things” are a plus, not a minus*. Trump isn’t a face; he’s a heel. And a heel does stuff like hitting the ref over the head with a chair at a wrestling match. And who knows? Trump might save a small child from an alligator at a Florida golf course later in the race, and turn into a face. Or something like that.

            * A Republican pollster, I think Frank Luntz, once did a focus group on Reagan, where the panel, polled would say “Reagan never said that,” despite having just been shown footage proving Reagan said exactly that (whatever it was). So I wonder whether a similar dynamic applies with Trump.

        2. Lambert Strether

          If, following the money, you look at a Clinton-Trump contest as a contest between coastal elite factions, with one faction making an explicit appeal to non-coastal non-elites, and the other “sharpening the contradictions” by demonizing them, then Clinton might well win, since her faction controls the coastal “high ground” not only in the FIRE sector but the media.

          Still following the money, the Sanders campaign isn’t making a coastal, or elite, appeal at all.

          NOTE When the Democrat Party stops engaging in voter suppression and stops “losing” ballots, I’ll give them what they consider to be their just title of honor once again.

    2. 3.14e-9

      I was reading Politico comments in the wee hours this morning and saw a couple by a Hillary supporter who said it cuts both ways, that all of her smart, well-educated friends are for Clinton and would never vote for Bernie. She said she would vote Libertarian, because “they are pro-choice,” or something to that effect. I’d try to find the exact quote, but Politico’s comment system slows down my computer to a near crash. It was all I could do to reply to a few of the more egregious flames.

  100. Mike Hachey

    Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns & Money weighed in on Yves’s Politico piece:


    Aside from paid operatives whose literal jobs are to tout the party line, you won’t find a more determined guardian of the mainstream Democratic liberal orthodoxy than Lemieux. His opinions seem very influential in the internet circles that I frequent. I have often seen dogged Clinton supporters adopt his turns of phrase within hours of one of his posts going live; only Paul Krugman finds faster traction with that set. I would love to see Yves Smith and Scott Lemieux debate on some forum. Maybe bloggingsheads.tv?

    1. nippersdad

      Strikingly similar commentary to that of Politico regulars; and that really isn’t a compliment. Now I remember why I just kept on walking when I first came across that site years ago.

      1. dbk

        Hmm, yes, I’d noted this in an earlier comment today.

        Both Lemieux’s post and the comments (I read them all) are extremely negative, and I am not sure how to interpret them, though I did note there are many handles I don’t recognize.

        LGM is asfaik a very liberal site, cf. Erik Loomis. How the bloggers on a site like this could be so supportive of HRC, whose policy positions the site itself decries daily (except for the ACA, which the site seems to support), is a mystery to me.

        Civilized political discourse entails respect for the opinions of those with whom one disagrees, however strongly. One almost feels that one doesn’t have the right to post a comment on LGM noting that one disagrees with every policy position by the Dem front runner.

        And as for the “well, I’d vote for BS, but we have to be realistic, and HRC’s positions aren’t that far from his,” etc., um, my own humble opinion as a reader/ occasional commenter is that HRC’s positions are very far indeed from those of BS on all the issues I personally consider significant.

        To be more specific, I consider her interventionist stance in the ME as responsible for a human catastrophe in the Mediterranean basin and the EU; I consider the replacement program for AFDC, TANF, a blow against the poor and disenfranchised, and I consider her own and her husband’s amassing of a fortune estimated at 130MD highly suspect. How much clearer can one be? And why does Scott Lemeiux consider me stupid for this? I don’t understand.

        The thing is, posts like Scott Lemieux’s anger and alienate precisely those voters they are trying to persuade-coerce, who, whatever the blogger wants to believe, are neither stupid nor ill-informed.

        1. Donald

          I’m a lesser evil voter as I said upthread, but I don’t agree with the LGM approach, which pretty much dominates the center left blogosphere. For one thing it is hypocritical–I’ve been reading for over ten years how the Nader voters were responsible for the Iraqi catastrophe, yet they never display anywhere near the same anger towards Clinton or other Democrats who supported that war. Basically though, they aren’t really interested in changing people’s minds, because if they were they’d acknowledge the validity of at least some of Yves’s critique. They don’t do this, because it’s basically just self-indulgent tribal flag waving. They claim to be practical and want people to set aside their emotions and cast their vote for Clinton, yet rather than calmly and patiently explain why lesser evil voting might be the best choice they prefer to insult and rant and express contempt for the people whose votes they think should be cast for Clinton. It’s self contradictory.

    2. VTY

      From the LGM comments:

      The Republicans, oddly enough, are actually smarter than we are in this arena. They bitch out RINO’s as much as we bitch about neoliberal sellouts, but they never actually make the argument to vote for the Democrats instead.

      Is there even any point in arguing with this sort of militant ignorance? It’s practically on a par with “the sea is above the sky”.

    3. aab

      I used to read Lawyers, Guns & Money daily, but it has revealed itself to be intellectually debased nonsense. I figured out Lemieux’s “ACA is AWESOME” and “2000 was all Nader’s fault!” arguments were factually false ages ago. But I used to respect Loomis. His weak tea “yeah I voted for Bernie but Hillary’s going to be fine” lines while putting up posts about the brutality of neoliberalism disgusted me. And his reaction to what was done to Matt Bruenig was straight up dishonorable, given his own history.

      I went back a few weeks ago out of curiosity, and found myself in a comments thread in which everybody was reassuring one another that it was all good, because Hillary is such a terrific campaigner that she’ll raise her poll numbers in no time, while slamming Bernie supporters as delusional.

      Whatever they’re all on, it’s a hell of a drug.

        1. aab

          Loomis tweeted about an NRA guy, and almost lost his job.


          That is the history to which I am referring. He declined to speak up in support of Matt Bruenig, even though it was a organized protest by bloggers, specifically, that helped him. I’m assuming he also declined to speak in support of Emmett Rensin, suspended by Vox for tweeting. Perhaps he feels only academics should have the right to public political speech.

          By the way, a prolific, high-profile (on Twitter) Bernie supporter who previously said that while she would never vote for Hillary she would also never vote Trump, came out tonight after the Puerto Rico election theft that she will now vote for Trump to stop Hillary. Our ranks are growing.

  101. oh

    Yves san,
    Arigatou! I just read your excellent article in Politico and it’s eloquently written and cogently expressed. While I myself would rather vote Green, I can see why some of your readers would want to like to wreck Shillary’s chances as well as get even with the Dim party.

  102. freedomny

    Oh! I so LOVED this article. Thanks for putting into words what I have been thinking about. Shared it with all of the other evil (smiley face) “bankers” on my floor. We all came from the big ones – Shitibank, JPM Ass, Wells F’up….to this nice, smaller private bank where we often have spirited political discussions. But now – even my boss, who is a rabid Repub – is shaking in his boots. He “used” to like Trump, until he started reading Don’s twitter account and realized…Wow – this guy could truly be crazy (ya think?). Some others, who are Bernie supporters, feel they should vote for Hil in order to keep the Don out. They go on to say how “smart” she is…what a “policy wonk”. I have to remind them of the ugly Clinton past – G/S repealed, incarceration rates, privatization of prisons, trade agreements, fracking…etc. They look confused…because they actually haven’t done the “research” or believe what is fed to them. This is Hil’s strategy now…make them “fear” the Donald so much… i.e. HE IS HITLER! But, one of the biggest mistakes Hil did was having stupid Madeline A say there was a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women and then suggesting that “young” people haven’t done their “research”. Thank God for millennials! My nieces and nephews all are graduating/have graduated from Ivy Leagues with undergraduate and graduate degrees. They do their research and they are well aware that the game is rigged against them and that the Clinton’s were a big part of the rigging. If Sanders does not get the nomination, They Will Not Vote For Hilary Clinton. THEY WILL NOT! And, quite frankly, I don’t blame them. And I won’t either. Personally – I think she might be just as crazy, in a different way as Don, but not as controllable. In any event…I am counting on Bernie’s movement continuing in the future. After all, isn’t this really an extension of the Occupy movement? But now, with legitimacy? Keep hopeful! For all you Bernie supporters out there…there is a livestream shortly that might interest you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXlWDFq9o7o Starts at 9 pm – sorry so late posting.

  103. E Williams

    I seem to recall a message on the side of the barn a few weeks ago. It said something like “With the Nomination of Trump, the End of the Republican Party is Near.” It’s not there anymore. Now it looks like “Republican” has been crossed out and replaced with “Democratic”. How did that happen?

  104. MyWag

    Wonderful article and comments.

    I prefer Bernie but will vote for Hillary. I remember the disaster, who can forget, that happened in 2000; when Ralph Nader and his voters helped to elect G W Bush.

    Our Nation has never suffered so much from such foolish decisions by the voters who went for Nader. The great memory of Nader is forever tarnished by 9/11 and the Iraq invasion.

    1. ToivoS

      Excuse me. You think Bush was responsible for 911?? The antiterrorist bureaucracy then in place was set up by Clinton. If Gore had been president it seems unlikely he would have had time to reform that system. If Gore had been president when that event occurred he would have been under tremendous pressure to do something. Do you really think he would have resisted the temptation to go into a ruinous war? I don’t. Gore did, btw, have a reputation for being a hawk in the senate and he certainly did not object to Clinton’s horrible sanctions against Iraq during the 1990s. Remember Adeline Albright? “It was worth it”

      1. pretzelattack

        clinton was paying attention to obl, bush decided to focus elsewhere. i’m not a clinton fan, but let’s not rewrite recent history.

        while were at it, i think gore would have stopped at afghanistan. iraq had nothing to do with 911, so why would gore have felt “pressure” to invade it? the pressure came from the propaganda campaign the neocons launched, to link the two.

        1. openvista

          The war in Iraq was first devised by the Clinton administration (for starters Google: The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998). Ditto the war in Afghanistan as there was a desperate need for gas pipeline in Central Asia. Clinton lacked a pretext in both cases.

          Don’t fool yourself into thinking Hillary made a mistake by voting for either. Both were supported by her husband and centrist Dems for years beforehand. Only when the reality of it became so ugly any halfwit politician had to run for cover did she start “soul searching”.

          This narrative that only Bush was crazy enough to go into Iraq is the propaganda of the MSM and Blue Team public relations.

          The voters who play the lesser of the evils game think they are crystal ball experts, but history eventually, if predictably, proves them wrong.

          1. pretzelattack

            i’m talking about gore. i don’t think he would have. obviously clinton would have, though, and i’m sure she supported the iraq invasion and knew the wmds were bullshit.

    2. John G

      It’s a myth that Nader lost Gore the presidency. And you’ll never know whether Gore would have been any better than Bush anyway.

    3. pretzelattack

      diebold, (choicepoint then), jeb bush and katherine harris, the us supreme ct all had more effect, and the democratic party didn’t support gore in fighting for his win. what’s more he didn’t fight hard enough.

    4. aab

      Nader and his supporters had nothing to do with Bush’s election. The Democratic Party running a weak, centrist candidate and campaign and then refusing to fight for their voters is responsible.

      More Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than voted for Nader. If you want a Republican, you’ll vote for a real one. Gore couldn’t carry his own state.

      Bill Clinton did not get 50% of the vote in either of his Presidential runs. Voters don’t like New Democrats. You know who likes New Democrats? Corporations.

      You know who voted for the Iraq War? Hillary Clinton. If you vote for her, you’re getting wars with Russia and Iran. She has told you this. Believe her.

      1. Capitalist Dem

        As one of the anointed 50-something well-educated high income female Democrats supporting Bernie over HRC, your views are valuable (because that’s what the story is about).

        But “Nader and his supporters had nothing to do with Bush’s election,” followed by “more Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than voted for Nader” undermines the notion of “well-educated.”

        While I am sympathetic to Bernie’s progressive ideals, I expect he will do the right thing (at the right time) to ensure that the Democratic nominee is elected over Trump.

        Trump is wrong to claim that he is the only one adept at negotiating. The primary and general phase of the nationwide election — and the political parties themselves — are massive negotiations.

        Trump likes to say, “in a negotiation, one has to be willing to walk.” But when his potential business partners have called his bluff, he has usually come out the loser. One helpful rule to keep in mind when negotiating. “100% of nothing is nothing.”

        So the Clintons, Gore and Obama aren’t progressive enough for you. So you voted for Nader (and continue to deny your responsibility for 41’s victory), and/or you voted for Bernie. Now you Bernie-or-Bust ‘ers are threatening to vote for Jill Stein, or to write in Bernie, or stay home and sulk. Or you let an editor provide a title that suggests that highly-educated Bernie supporters would prefer Trump to Clinton, if only because you know that every ‘buster is essentially casting her vote for Trump.

        So, go ahead … make my day .. my four years, in fact. If the socialist/progressive wing of registered Democrats decide to undermine the Democratic nominee because they don’t realize (or won’t accept) that 100% of nothing is nothing, it will be their livelihoods — and their morals, their values, their principles and life’s goals — that will be under the most direct attack in a potential Trump administration. The Republican Congress will soon educate Trump; he won’t get anything he wants without their cooperation (and they are champing at the bit to unwind all that Obama accomplished in the past 7 1/2 years).

  105. seanseamour

    What I fear progressives (to which I adhere) ready to vote Trump don’t realize is that such action will not favor a progressive “comeback” (from never-really-been land) in the next election cycle, instead the “GOP Approved” replacements to SCOTUS will clear the path toward further unbridled capitalism and a moneyed class oligarchy for the next generation(s) – the cost of a “comeback” may be a political order that failing a à la 1789 uprising will have reached a point of no return.
    I don’t like Hillary, never have since I anticipated (professionally), watched and followed their ascension from inside the beltway, though some of her FLOTUS policy drives had merit – I support BS’s “till the bitter end” strategy as it will have two positive outcomes : secure what may of HC’s liberal / progressive instincts, but most of all, encourage a new generration of progressive leaders to emerge from society’s margins and join the polis. It is for those two reasons plus the SCOTUS perpsective that I will vote HC.

  106. pretzelattack

    What I fear progressives (to which I adhere) ready to vote Trump don’t realize is that such action will not favor a progressive “comeback” (from never-really-been land) in the next election cycle, instead the “GOP Approved” replacements to SCOTUS will clear the path toward further unbridled capitalism and a moneyed class oligarchy for the next generation(s)

    that is exactly what many of us fear will happen if clinton wins. note that obama nominated a republican to the supreme ct. this would be the progressive unleashed obama, the lame duck no longer having to compromise with republicans obama. we think times are indeed desperate, and call for risky measures. playing the lesser of 2 evils game is kind of like being short stacked in a poker tournament and just anteing off the rest of your chips. It’s a sure loser–if you wait for wired aces or kings you won’t win any money with your premium hand. we would hope that trump only gets one term, and the movement that supports bernie will grow in the meantime.

  107. noyfbsob

    Florida here…I voted for Bernie and my wife voted for Hil. Go and vote; hope for the best. The Dem convention may provide more drama and interest.
    Regardless of those results and your particular and unique opinion and position, hold your nose and vote Democrat. With a win we can continue to fight for our future and the future of our country.

    1. aab


      If the Clinton-led Democratic Party is rotten to the core, how do we fight for the future of our country with her in power? They already prevent any progressive candidates from running. Now they are getting people fired for protesting, and are passing laws to criminalize it. Comcast has turned MSNBC into an arm of the Clinton campaign. Do you think that’s out of patriotism? What accurate information channels do you envision will be available to us under President Hillary Clinton?

      So why should I hold my nose and vote for her?

    2. EndOfTheWorld

      I’m not a dem any more. I changed to repug and will vote the straight repug ticket, unless Hill drops out or, even better, gets thrown in prison where she belongs.

  108. DLane

    “These voters regard Trump as an acceptable risk to inflict punishment on Team Dem…” But who else will get hurt in the process.?

    From the Politico piece: “We are all fifty-somethings with money and college educations. Oh, and we are all registered Democrats.” Yes, and your money will allow you to navigate the potential negative effects of a Trump presidency while those less fortunate will not.

    I’ll just note that the foremost leader of the movement so many are willing to roll the dice for will be voting for Clinton. That’s probably worth think about it.

    1. Lambert Strether

      We have a secret ballot in the United States. If by “the foremost leader,” you mean Sanders, he promised to “support” Clinton, not vote for her. And if by “support” he turns out to mean campaigning for candidates like Tim Canova and Zephyr Teachout, and for single payer/against fracking in Colorado, that might not be such a bad thing.

    2. aab

      Plenty of people saying they’ll vote Trump to stop Clinton are lower income. Yves was focusing on higher income, elite women in her piece to make a point.

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