Being a Bernie Delegate

The convention was an overwhelming experience—and a deeply sleep deprived one, sleep deprivation on the new-parent scale. Only now am I able to process a bit, and I invite you to join me.

I headed into the convention with no expectations; I had never been to one before, and wasn’t sure that past conventions would be much guide, anyway. But the fact that I had no expectations is actually important, because it reflected to me the failure of Bernie’s campaign to organize, train and/or instruct us much as we headed into the convention. In the vacuum, we self-organized. We created a Facebook page closed to all but delegates. We created Google groups; we created Slacks; we created grassroots whips.

But we had no unity of vision about our purpose as delegates; we had no guidance on the possible, or on what Bernie wanted us to do. Sure, he held a couple of conference calls in the run up to the convention, telling us in the end that we might have a floor fight about rules, but nothing else, the platform and nomination was set. And the floor fight on the rules may not be necessary, Bernie told us. Why then, was it so important for us all to be there?

By and large we really were ordinary people, true grass roots, for whom the costs of the convention were very high; why did we have to go—as Bernie kept telling us to go—if we weren’t going to fight for his nomination, his platform, a rules change? Were we simply leverage in the committee negotiations?

Rumors flew: Was the lack of a ‘minority report’ on the platform—specifically on the TPP—a deliberate choice by the campaign, or an accident? No minority report foreclosed the opportunity for floor action. Should we lobby superdelegates, try to get them to flip for Bernie? Or would we just piss people off? Should we object to being human props in a four day Clinton commercial, and if so, how? Quietly opt out of applause, quietly protest, or be more disruptive? Not only was there discord on tactics across state delegations, there was discord within delegations as to the proper way to behave.

In the days before the convention I opted into helping organize an action I found on a Facebook post—the neon Bernie shirts for the night of Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech. The point of the shirts was to be visible—boy, were they visible in the end—and to be pro-Bernie without being overtly anti-Clinton. On front and back the shirts said: “Enough is Enough” –Bernie Sanders and had a Bernie birdie. The original concept had been rather confrontational; to put them on suddenly when Clinton began speaking Thursday night. Instead many arrived for the seven-hour stretch in the convention center already wearing them. To me they were a marker of the strength of the Bernie wing of the party, a sort of visual reflection of the ‘coalition’ he was pitching instead of our being subsumed into the mainline party.

We successfully distributed some 800 shirts, probably 750 of which went to delegates, and the rest to spouses/kids. Fewer than that were worn on Thursday, because some shirt-possessors left early; some because they hadn’t realized the shirts were for Thursday and wore them early, some because they chickened out. Others were very disappointed to only at the last minute clue into the opportunity, when all the arrangements had been finalized a week before the convention. Still, we were visible enough to make the news, and many of us appreciated seeing Dennis Kucinich don one.

I realize the shirts read like a digression from my riff on: Why were we there? But it was a tangible answer I could relate to: We were there to be visible; we were there to show our commitment to issues and values we didn’t believe the national party or our nominee embodied. We were there to insist enough really is enough.

Heading into the convention, this was my answer; but we were 1800 delegates, and many had other answers. California came organized for protest, leading many chants, holding many signs. California was stashed in a corner that made it less visible in general camera sweeps, but the news found them anyway. New York—very visibly on the floor, front and center, because New York is Clinton’s ‘home’ state—had some who booed, some who protested with signs, some who joined chants—but in all it was a much tamer delegation than California, more cowed by all the DNC and Clinton people coming to get them in line, get them on message—and to block them with bodies and official signs when the New Yorkers had the temerity to hold up anti-TPP or anti-fracking signs.

On Thursday night, California had been infiltrated such that Clinton delegates received counter chant instructions for Clinton’s speech; the idea was for them to drown out CA-inspired protestors. Protest chant first, then the counter chant:

No More War vs. USA
Walk the Walk vs. Hillary
Stop the TPP vs. Hillary
Ban Fracking Now vs. Hillary

Twice the instruction was to join in:

CAB: Love is Love vs. HD: Love is Love
CAB: Black Lives Matter vs. HD: Black Lives Matter.

(An aside about chants; I’ve participated in hundreds over the years, the first being One Two Three Four US Out of El Salvador back in the mid-70s, and Bernie delegates used three tautologies that just really irked me: Love is Love, Walk the Walk, and The People United Will Never Be Divided. That last bothered me the most, because the original: ‘The people, united, will never be defeated’ actually means something; it’s a call to ordinary folk to have the courage to face power. Similarly people don’t Walk the Walk unless we’re talking dance moves; Walk the Talk is all about integrity and also has a purpose. And what’s the point of Love is Love?)

Speaking of walking the talk, during Hillary’s speech New York had a chant and self-made signs that was neither drowned out nor hidden, either because it threaded the needle between protest and support or because it was so impotent (it didn’t catch on much past the delegation). Regardless, the chant was: Get It Done, and was used for Clinton applause lines like building an economy that works for everyone not just those on top. It was a riff on her mantra that she’s a ‘Progressive Who Gets Things Done’ but was also really a way of saying ‘Walk Your Talk’. Official “Together” signs became, with a bit of construction paper, marker and tape “Get It Done Together” signs.

The National Nurses came with Robin Hood hats for the Bernie delegates, a couple thousand in all, and I wore mine with pride daily. The point wasn’t just general redistribution, we were to use the hat as a way to talk about a financial transaction tax—Bernie’s tax on Wall Street Speculation.

The angrier Bernie delegates, and some of the resigned but issue-committed, looked to California’s militancy with longing and respect. Others questioned their judgment; I spoke to one Bernie delegate who was a state legislator in her day job, and said California was being counterproductive. She told me a tale of a prized progressive policy that died in her state house because of the disruptive protests and rude protestors on the hearing day (I’m being deliberately vague because I didn’t ask permission to use her story publicly). Now the topic is taboo, not because of the merits, but because of the protestors. Nor was she anti-agitation as a whole; she admitted that sometimes she’d call up grass roots allies and ask them to make noise, to demand policy progress, because it helped her move things forward. Her critique was more time and place, more tactical, and she pointed out the Clintons’ long memories.

This protest disunity was reflection of the Bernie campaign’s failure to organize us and, frankly, of the grass roots activist nature of much of the delegation. Bernie spoke to us at breakfasts, and sent us messages, telling us that we should not protest from the floor. But a significant number of delegates dismissed the ‘don’t protest from the floor’ message as coming from his staffers who were newly loyal to Clinton, and not from him; others simply didn’t care, feeling his endorsement of Clinton was a betrayal that freed them from following his direction; others were sure he understood that his delegates would protest; rumors had it that he sat near California and gave them thumbs up.

Regardless of the wisdom of the tactics, anti-TPP protesters couldn’t understand the backlash against them—protesters were threatened with and occasionally faced the loss of their credentials, their key to the door to the convention. After all, the platform and Clinton are officially anti-TPP, so why were they off message? I mean, we Bernie delegates understood that Clinton is not to be trusted on the TPP even before Terry McAuliffe opened his mouth, but still, officially anti-TPP signs should have been on message. The fact that they were treated as treasonous reflected the commitment to controlling the optics and THE message.

How dare delegates want to be anything on the floor beyond human props? Of course, they couldn’t enforce prop-dom; enough Bernie delegates avoided the ‘card trick’ at the end that the cameras didn’t show it, and they couldn’t make us hold up the forest of signs they kept giving us. Still, we were constantly disabused of any notion that we were present for a meeting of a political party having a substantive conversation, and the only way to opt out completely of being extras in the commercials was to simply leave, which many did.

The most dislocating experience was General Allen’s speech, with so many military brass on display, and the ‘fight’ between No More War and USA. That was chilling. Note, No More War is not: War Criminal! Or similarly ‘disrespectful’ stuff; it’s simply a demand not to make our present worse with more ‘hawkish’ ‘interventionist’ ‘regime change’ wars and war-actions.

In many ways the highlight of the convention for me happened on Thursday, but not at the convention proper. Bernie delegates were welcomed to a panel of speakers that included Ben Jealous, Nina Turner, Larry Cohen, Rosario Dawson, and two others whose names I’m blocking on; she was newly-made national co-chair of the Working Families Party, and he was a young activist entertainer. There in that room of a few hundred Berners, hearing these organizers and leaders, I renewed my commitment to continuing the revolution. I was with my tribe, I felt the love, the purpose, the commitment.

As the panel said: So, now it’s true we have to play defense: the threat of a Trump presidency must be defeated, which means electing Clinton.* But we’re not going to just play defense. We’re in this struggle to make America ever more just, and that requires offense: changing the terms of the debate; setting the agenda; electing people who will carry out the agenda. We can play both defense and offense simultaneously; and Team Bernie is in it to win it.

*I agree with Bernie and his surrogates that Trump must be defeated. Yes, I think Clinton’s election risks more war, reinforces our grotesque political economy status quo, and risks the TPP. I am enraged she is my choice. But Scalia’s seat is open, and the court’s majority hangs in the balance–is Kennedy the swing vote, or someone to his left?–even if the other aged justices stay on the bench through the next presidency. And some may not. Equally motivating for me, Trump inflames our racists and xenophobes, hurting our nation.  I believe we must soundly reject the hate on election day.  Finally, I think his fragile ego and impulse control issues make for dangerous recklessness.

And, I’ll admit–though it does not motivate my vote–I’ll be glad we’ve had a woman president, albeit the wrong one, because I believe it matters. And not just to my nine year old daughter. I’ll never forget, when I was gathering signatures to be a Bernie delegate, the 97-year old woman who refused to sign saying: I don’t care if she’s wrong, I want to see a woman President before I die.

I realize many of you disagree with my decision to help elect Clinton. I’m not interested in arguing with you. Vote your conscience.


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About #SlayTheSmaugs

#SlayTheSmaugs is an elected Bernie delegate in Philly. #STS believes that the billionaire class are Smaugs (the greed incarnate dragon of The Hobbit), immorally hoarding wealth for no reason beyond ego gratification. To "Slay" the Smaugs, we need a confiscatory wealth tax, stronger democratic institutions to impose it, and a shared moral agreement that #GreedIsEvil to justify it.


  1. pretzelattack

    i appreciate your taking the time to attend the convention, and write down your thoughts.

  2. allan

    “The most dislocating experience was General Allen’s speech …”

    This was one of the ugliest moments in a very ugly political season, when the curtain was pulled back to reveal the MIC heart beating within Clinton’s foreign policy. The Allen speech could just as well have been given at the 2004 GOP convention.

    If the imaginary actions of Sanders supporters (BernieBros, flying chairs, …) can be held against Sanders’ campaign,
    surely the real, planned and vetted actions of Clinton supporters can be held against hers.

    Thank you, StS, for taking the time to tell us about your experiences.

  3. Portia

    “Get it done” LOL. “Git ‘er done” here in the North Country, and nothing to do with quality…

    Pretty shameful, IMNSHO, to pressure all those Bernie campaign delegates, many of whom probably went into some kind of debt to make it there, for what? I noticed a similar lack of organization throughout. I myself am still paying long distance phone bills for my work as a caller. And all those people who said they went without meals to contribute. Does Bernie’s campaign seem Rovian to anyone else at this point? Not that I insist it was originally intended that way…

    And lady parts in the White House, no matter who is paying to get them there. Yeah, that’s just great. I’ll be sure to remember that when I lose my Social Security…

    1. pretzelattack

      i just think he came into it to provide something of a voice, but had no clue he could actually win, and didn’t have the organization or experience to deal with his success. he also had to deal with being in the crosshairs of the media and the dnc. he made mistakes, and if he had a little bit of trump or clinton in him he could have been a more effective leader by going back on his promise to support clinton, and paying back the loyalty of his supporters; but he accomplished a hell of a lot more than i thought he would initially.

      1. Portia

        He is a scrapper from way back, and he knows how to win. What is so astonishing to me is the solid organization on the DNC side of dirty tricks, fraud, whatever. Whatever the hell happened, I have never known him to be duplicitous to this degree. I can’t speculate. It just turned out to be one of the most vicious under-the-bus-throwing-seeming things I could imagine.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate, I’m still of the “horse’s head in the bed” school (“Somebody needs to take Bernie aside…”). He just didn’t look like a happy man when Vermont’s votes put Clinton over the top. The convention seems, in a way, a tragedy but without catharsis.

          And yes, the nature of the snake-pit at DNC has been wonderfully clarified, delegitimizing it. It’s quite telling that Clinton took DWS on board immediately. “Your work is done. Come here and sit by me.”

          Adding, I do think Sanders “knows how to win,” because his record shows it. I don’t think, however, he knew how to win on a national scale. The next Sanders will do better, based on this experience.

          1. Portia

            Well, knowing how to “win on a national scale” apparently takes a different kind of organization, i.e. your “snake-pit”. Hope there is something left for the next Sanders when the next election rolls around.

          2. Nov9iswhatmatters

            I do hope the horse’s head bit is snark. The obvious conclusions are in your third paragraph.

            1. Bernie started off to create a voice for the left in the race.
            2 He build solid organization in the early states.
            3. He had unexpected success.because the peace vote is much bigger in the D party than the pundit class likes to admit, and particulalry large in Iowa; young people in this country understand that they are well and truly fucked, and; the curtain has been pulled back on the Wall Street Wizards of Oz,
            4. He attempted to build on the early state organizations and early fundraising success by rapidly expanding in other states under an absurdly tight timetable.
            5. And won a hell of a lot of votes in a hell of a lot of states.
            6. In a context in which the party machinery was lined up against him.
            7. But we live in the United States of America.It’s a winner-take-all system.
            8. Hillary won the nomination.
            9. Sanders led a campaign more than he did an organization. It came together on short notice, and lacked a disciplined, experienced, cohesive leadership base. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the reality of what happens when very large numbers of people come together on extremely short notice for a common goal. When the immediate object of the common goal is reached (or not), deciding what to do next is very difficult.
            10. As a political leader, Sanders had to decide: disrupt the convention, or take what can be gained at the convention (decent moves leftward on some platform issues), defeat Trump, and try to figure out how to win on the issues going forward.
            11. He chose the latter. That’s ok. He didn’t need to be coerced. he made a rational political calculation. He holds some interesting legislative cards, and decided not to play them for the purpose of disrupting what is, after all, a TV show. No matter how hard the goodhearted Bernie delegates were going to fight at the convention, Hillary Clinton was going to be the Democratic nominee for President. So Bernie made a call (and he sure did look miserable).

            At this point, November 8 doesn’t matter. Clinton will win.

            What matters is what all of us, and Bernie do November 9.

            As soon as the polls close, Clinton will immediately try to do things to attack the Republicans, and force the left and center-left to stay focused on the common enemy. She’ll pick one or two fights for the transition and first months of her term that highlight what vicious assholes the entire Republican Party are (is? Grammar fail).

            For example, she may challenge McConnell and Grassley to hold hearings and a rapid up-or-down vote on the Garland nomination. (you said let the voters decide! The voters decided!)

            Or she’ll launch an immediate fight on the student debt/tuition issue.

            Or both, or something similar. Any fight or fights to draw out the worst racism, sexism, class privilege and obstructionism from Republicans.

            It would be interesting if the left wing of the Party, including the ambivalent kinda-in kinda-out-of-the-party left decided to disrupt that agenda-setting process.

            How about setting a goal of sending 13.2 million emails/texts/messages to the DNC or Clinton campaign or her transition team within the first 48 hours after the polls close that say: “Congratulations President-Elect Clinton. Don’t even think about TPP. We’re watching. We’re ready to fight.”

            Or something like that, framing the opening of her Presidency as accountability to progressives. I happen to think TPP is the one issue that is hardest for her to keep promises on, that would have the most immediate consequences for capital, and on which a vote would be clearest. Tuition or other issues will get watered down and a final vote would likely end up as a half-a-loaf argument. TPP? There are some procedural maneuvers, but it’s more or less a with-us or agin-us deal.

            Would be fun.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Good comment. No, I’m at least semi-serious on the (metaphorical) horse’s head. It might even be the same head that Obama showed Dennis Kucinich on Air Force One. I’m coming from my own perceptions, supported by others, on Sanders’ body language.

              One thought that occurred to me reading your comment, and it’s pure speculation: If the Sanders presence at the convention was as surrounded by Hillary forces and infiltrated or bugged — chants known in advance — it might have made sense to hunker down and wait for the badness to pass. Makes no sense to mount any kind of assault of the enemy knows all your plans. Could make things worse.

            2. zapster

              I’m sorry, there was no ‘win’ at all. Hillary didn’t win, she stole. Egregiously, spectacularly, and on a scale we’ve never seen before. Everyone talking as if this was an honest election is both alarming and depressing. She just shut democracy *off*. This is the real issue we have to deal with, or progressivism is dead, no matter what we do or how well we organize.

          3. different clue

            That basic question seems so appropriate to situation after situation after situation that a doggerel form of it almost suggests itself as a fallback question stored in the brains of millions for use if needed:

            ” I wonder if
            somebody put
            a horse’s head
            in Bernie’s bed?”

          4. Fiver

            The ‘next Sanders’ cannot do it because he/she too will not do it, as fear of real change keeps real change completely off the very table around which sit the would-be change-agents themselves – by virtue of some political chemistry I’m completely unfamiliar with, existential challenges requiring a level of response on an order unlike anything previously conceived will be successfully met over the next decade without ever talking about the subject publicly in real terms, or coming to grips with the evident fact that power is profoundly involved with the system as a whole, a whole which is lethal to us all and the planet.

            What’s needed now is a leader of a qualitatively different temper, one not in principle afraid to set something in motion that involves taking the real risk inherent in challenging power, the softest of touches of which we just witnessed. That leader may not even be a political leader per se. The Messiah at the centre of Christianity came at the height of Roman power. A radical cultural revolution rising outside of the realm of electoral politics is certainly possible. But from wherever it is that leadership comes, it had better come soon and we had better have the courage to follow as nothing terrifies more than the thought that existing power will be allowed to act first to ‘solve the problem’ its way – with the same dead spirit and icy psychopathy that drove eugenics to the ‘final solution’ as much as it does today’s monsters’ global meritocratic vision, for which very soon, only the wealthy or clearly advantaged need apply.

          5. low integer

            The DWS thing is easy to explain. The exact same thing that made DWS useful to Clinton is what makes her a threat if cast aside. They are all snakes and one small consolation in all of this is that they all have to spend time, and “get along”, with each other on a daily basis. It must suck being surrounded by such shitty people, and their toxicity is always only a setback or two away from being turned inwards on each other. Hahaha.

    2. #SlayTheSmaugs


      absolutely fair re your expectation that if Clinton ‘gets things done’ they’ll be poor quality, she loves complicated and faux moralistic system designs. But the choice, if she’s elected, is: Opt out and let her either get nothing done/get stuff done badly without interference v try to force her to get good stuff done. Not saying we can, but I think worth a try–I want to get things done…

      As to the lady parts, sure, she’s the wrong woman. And her presidency might be very bad for our country. But we’ve also had lots of the wrong men run the country who have hurt it, so she won’t be special that way. I do think that the milestone matters for setting expectations and norms. Fwiw, I trust I’ll like her Scotus appointments more than I would Trump’s, though not as much as I’d like Bernie’s. I trust she will fight for equal pay for equal work and anti-discrimination stuff generally. I don’t trust her on anything economy, foreign policy, corporate power, campaign finance.

      1. Ike

        I am re-reading “Primary Colors” by Anonymous again. We should be reminded of this tale. The mention of ‘impulse control’ struck a chord. Or more so, the word ‘control’. The country is certainly being controlled and no longer by democratic forces. After participating as a candidate in 2010, after heeding the call to participate, I experienced how control OF the parties went down to non-partisan township elections. (They referred to small elections as the minor leagues. Handlers to the House and Senate double teamed and counseled hand picked, future, successors. For my reward in a tight election, I witnessed marginalization as policy and got audited by the IRS. btw, I was a registered democrat at that time.) The control and lack of concern for Democracy was palpable. It was all about control and feeding the parties. IOW, Tammany Hall writ large.

        NOW, this is 2016 and 2018 repeating history. We the people have almost nothing to say about it. For this reason, Trump MUST win. If not, $Hilary will possibly be the end of polite dissent, for good? Because, if anything, I fear acquiescence today means death tomorrow.

      2. Portia

        FWIW, Trump to me is an entirely unknown entity in a political position. Not saying I want him to be Pres. Clinton is entirely known and under FBI investigation. And they are friends, for gawd’s sake. Who could possibly vote for someone because of gender. She gives women everywhere a bad name, IMO. I am so boggled by the continued insistence that some kind of purse that does not stink for people like me and indeed the 99% can be made out of this pig’s ear, that I am opting out of any further discussion online and in person. I am not new to the rodeo–grew up in Daley’s Chicago in the 60s, been paying attention ever since. Coming soon, I see the corporate pillage and acquisition of Vermont, where I live, and the disappearance of its excellent social services (already gutted under our current Gov), and things being disappeared, like real estate tax rebates so elderly and people who experience income loss will not lose their homes. I see times not seen since the time of the robber barons. Here, to refresh everyone’s memory

        1. #SlayTheSmaugs

          well, I think as a matter of statute it will be worded class neutrally; what would her DOL/DOJ enforce? Surely at the top. Similarly, identity politics anti-discrimination statues are class neutral; I can imagine her putting real effort into fighting bathroom bills, e.g.

          But sure, she’s no champion of the 99%

          1. Portia

            in summary: empty shell behind carefully crafted facade, which she has nothing substantive to do with. she can always blame someone else if/when nothing changes.

    3. ks

      Agree on the lady parts. I don’t think it’s helpful to progressive politics or my own gender that both the first black president and, most probably, the first female president are 1) dreadful leaders, and 2) beholden to rich white men for their success.

  4. Eureka Springs

    Expecting an Obama or Clinton to nominate a decent Supreme is to ignore every other type on nominee (court or cabinet, etc.) they have supported before. Ignore who they are and what they have so consistently done. Including the current Supreme nominee. And don’t forget it was Kennedy who was the Democrats answer to Bork.

    Chanting ‘no war’ to that party and a Clinton is like chanting no cancer to a giant malignant tumor soaking in DDT.

    These dem/clinton/ people are not your friends, nor will that party ever be. And neither is Sanders, bless his heart. You went to a Titantic sinking convention only to make the hole bigger. Trump doesn’t need to beat you… Clinton or Trump, win or lose the Dem party already has, once again.

    So keep repeating these past mistakes…. Surely one day it will work.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      So engage in whatever other strategy you think is more effective. If you prove right, and more justice is achieved your way, I’ll happily join you (within my personal constraint which is nonviolence)

      1. Eureka Springs

        Why should I believe you will join me sincerely later when you get on bended knee and kiss the clinton ring with a vote now? When you haven’t learned form the error of your ways since the 70’s? You and the Sanders types never really stand for what you say believe in.

        Stockholm Syndrome? Or is it that Mark Twain quote I read here a couple days ago? Something like – “It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled.”

        I don’t have all answers but seriously… stop repeating the same mistakes. Listen to poeple like me rather than that criminal anti democratic party who keeps flogging people like you and me. It’s not worth taking over, it’s very design (purpose,funding sources, rules, platform, manner and intent) isn’t what will ever work for us. Just because they beat you again doesn’t mean you have to support them in Nov. I don’t tell a woman with black eyes to go back to the wife beater. I ask them, WTF? And offer any and all alternatives/help I can.

        1. joey

          Amen. Voting the lesser of two evils is what the subjects in the Milgram experiment did. ‘I’ll submit to the authority to stay out of trouble’ is abusee behavior and the american public are the abused spouses of the two party system. Vote third party fearlessly and the MIC and Wall Street won’t have a monopoly anymore.

        2. #SlayTheSmaugs

          Actually, you haven’t offered any answers, you haven’t even asserted you’re voting third party. I don’t see this year’s election as the end game. Personally, I think the fastest way to real change involves taking over the Democratic Party rather than trying to replace it. But that said, I support people in voting third party, hence my saying vote your conscience.

          1. Eureka Springs

            One answer repeated, very specifically.

            Stop repeating the same mistakes. From your vote D to every reason you stated why you will.

            Adding a response to your anti war and non violent stance which I hold as well. It doesn’t matter who else is running, your support of Clinton and the Dem party absolutely obliterate any sincere assertion by you that you are anti war or nonviolent.

            I’m not going to list all or part of the wars we wage now, the weapons we distribute, the money we spend, the bases all around the world, the propaganda, secrecy and deception… because Trump promises not to manufacture cold war three like Hillary (or worse) and Obama helping by supporting hundreds of billions for new nukes.

            Or the miitant police surveillance state here, with the most prisoners per cap in the world,debtors imprisonment, death penalty, drug wars, denial of health care and so on… because it seems you are able to ignore that which receives onging love by the Clintons and the D-sasters after all these years.

            All we’ve seen in recent years and yet no party has prosecuted anyone for war crimes…. only committed them with greater ease.

            Non violent, anti-war? I’m not buying for one more second.

            Oh yes, I’m voting Green again with good conscious. Not because they will win, because they / their platform more than any others (including sanders) I’ve read, should.

            1. Lambert Strether

              There are times when I find saying that “Greens are just like the Democrats, except without any power” quite attractive.

              Here I see the classic Clintonite behavior of trying to win over a voter by insulting them.

              “Stop repeating the same mistakes” is just a maxim or a catchphrase. One might also say “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again,” or, from A.A., “fake it ’til you make it” (I’ve helpfully bolded them.)

              1. #SlayTheSmaugs

                Look, vote Green with glee. If they get enough support they can participate in debates and I’m all for that.

                I understand Clinton & the Democratic Party is pro-war, though some individual Ds are not. I understand the Republican Party is pro-war, though some individual Rs are not.

                What I do not believe is that Donald Trump is reliably anti-war or less war. I think he is a war unknown. Here are variables I see:

                –He’s said incredibly brutal things, pro-collective punishment, pro-torture, and in general seems fixated on being the most manly, most dominant. He’s encouraged violence at his rallies. I do not see a persona that is likely to de-escallate situations or avoid conflict in general; I do see a persona that could be pro bombings, pro lesson-teachings, etc. I think he is less likely to go to war with Russia, which is big.

                –He’s a brazen and effective predator; that’s the lesson of Trump University. That is not a personality that cares for lives. I do not think he objects to war or violence in any principled way.

                –He changes positions quickly and nakedly for his self-interest. I think if he analyzed there to be more upside to him, personally, in being pro-war, we’d be hearing how it was the greatest war ever and we just needed to trust him to win it.

                Again, I’m not defending Clinton’s warmongering, and will do what I can to prevent her from realizing any such objectives. I just want to understand why people are so sure that Trump is a safer bet for the anti-war crowd

                1. Lambert Strether

                  It’s not an easy choice, because the choices are not commensurable. Clinton has a track record of not merely supporting, but of initiating, war (Libya). Trump has not had the power to do so, hence has no track record.

                  Whichever one wins, I want them crippled.

                    1. Eureka Springs

                      Well I believe the fellow who said this morning in links I think, if you want crippled/gridlock.. then you vote Trump into the executive position.

                      Those PNAC types are not going to flip/impeach Clinton after endorsing her unless she really leaves their blood lusty reservation.

                      I want less war, less war spending, universal health care…and on and on. And if a Jill Stien were in there under gridlock we know what she would be saying with a bull horn. So I’m going to vote for the people who say that’s what they want too.

                      I’m surprised and disapponted with your reply, lambert. You’re clubbing Greens like baby seals these days. You are and always will be better with the written word than I, however you use those positive traits to your disavantage at times like this. I’m sure it would get boring typing in plainer english much as you work the keyboard, but word policing is really alienating. I can take it, but I think you risk losing many others.

                      The man asked for specifics I gave him one.

                      I’ve always been the first to say former Dems are the greatest threat to Greens on these pages. Nobody should forget them coming out of the Green woodwork when Nader took the brunt of blame from Dems in re Florida.

                      Nobody should forget how D’s behaved during OWS. And this convention.

                      This is all the more reason to insist people stand up for what they believe in rather than play LOTE and word games to all our peril. Because that hasn’t worked anywhere except to distract and decieve….maintain the status criminal quo.

                2. pretzelattack

                  cause he hasn’t started any wars, or implemented them, and because the people that have been the most vociferous warmongers, the neocons, are flocking to clinton’s campaign. he had trump university, bill and the clinton foundation had a similar scam going. clinton didn’t just “encourage” violence she was responsible for organized mass violence. i’m glad there is a candidate remaining that didn’t have anything to do with enabling the iraq war, and may oppose the tpp.

                  in my opinion, the kinds of people clinton will successfully appoint to the supreme court will not be that different from those trump might appoint. she even waffles on abortion.

                  trump is an awful candidate; he seems better than the chimp or reagan, though. i optimistically hope he’s a conman, not an ideologue, but i’m sick of lote choices where the choices by the party i used to support become progressively more evil. the clintons are worse than obama and kerry and gore, imo.

                3. James Kroeger

                  I just want to understand why people are so sure that Trump is a safer bet for the anti-war crowd

                  I, on the other hand, am amazed that so many of Bernie’s supporters believe that Hillary is a safer bet than Trump on matters of war and peace. There is absolutely no evidence to support such a notion.

                  If you haven’t read it yet, check out “How Hillary Clinton Became A Hawk” by Mark Landler, White House correspondent of the NY Times.

                  What Hillary has demonstrated throughout her history is a deeply ingrained eagerness to advocate the most muscular and provocative of military responses to any and all ‘developments’ that involve nations that the war hawk community has identified as America’s ‘enemies.’

                  Not evident in her public record is any tendency to be wary of risks, to be concerned about possible unintended consequences of taking some bold action. Quite the contrary.

                  She appears, instead, to invest complete faith in the judgment of those military commanders/advisors who are most eager to deploy American muscle at any opportunity.

                  Indeed, her greatest fear appears to be that of being tagged by Republican war hawks as a President who is ‘weak’ on America’s enemies (whom they have so defined).

                  Unfortunately, it is this political fear that I believe rises to become THE prime motivator re: all of Hillary’s FP decisions/positions.

                  Her Centrist fear of criticism from the right is so great, we can be absolutely certain that she will always try to get in front of their criticism by leading the calls for military intervention in a manner that will satisfy the most blood-lusting of field commanders.

                  This is why we can know with something close to 100% certainty that she will, within the first six months of her administration, be ordering some very provocative deployments of US forces vis-a-vis Russia/China/Iran/NKorea that will create a ripple of fear throughout the world.

                  I’m not defending Clinton’s warmongering, and will do what I can to prevent her from realizing any such objectives.

                  This is the problem… With nearly all of Trump’s most loathsome ideas—building a wall, deportations, banning Muslims—it will be necessary for him to get Congress to approve new legislation, in spite of the vigorous opposition of the Dems, half the Republican Party, and the corporate media.

                  With Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief, there is no opposition you can hope to voice that will deprive her of the power to deploy the troops, and stop her from escalating a regional conflict into a nuclear stare-down with Russia.

                  With all due respect, I think you’ve allowed yourself to indulge in a bit of wishful thinking re: Hillary on military matters. It absolutely terrifies me to think of her in change of our military assets. I see a tremendous amount of potential within her for miscalculation on a scale that could end up costing us millions of lives.

                  Trump may be an egomaniacal twit, but with the stakes so high, he is definitely the safer bet.

                  1. Fiver

                    You put the case well. The problem appears to reside in the widespread acceptance of Obama’s Admin as something other than what it has in fact been, among other things – an 8-year, non-stop, horrific, useless and profane blood-letting in pursuit of the utterly rank set of policy aims crafted by a generation of neocons and fellow travelers to further their specific agenda as part of a ‘bigger picture’ lure laid out for a power-mesmerized Washington – to capitalize on the ‘opportunity’ presented by the fall of the Soviet Union as a global power by changing regimes or simply destroying a rather large number of States that just happen to constitute most of the Muslim world. It is difficult to imagine a more detestable project.

                    I would like to suggest Clinton has no fear from the right – she cannot be sold without it.

              2. inhibi


                Let’s just be completely honest then: voting (for the President) does not matter, never did, never will. Its a two party system, where both parties are run & ruled by the wealthy, who vote (as always) with their pocket book.

                The US used to be a different place. It was simply more free in the sense of the everyday civilian. You could open a liquor store if you were a postal service worker, send your children to college (debt free) if you were a teacher. It had its failings too: more racist, child labor, etc.

                But nowadays, the US is a declining empire. Civilians traded in their freedoms for a strange, politically-correct version of life very similar to Orwell’s future vision. Over the years, this lack of freedom has lead to severe inequality, debt-ridden public, never-ending-war, corrupt management, a bought government, a tax code so lengthy and convoluted it expressly helps the rich and condemns the poor, a prison and court system that hand in hand suppresses 10 million poor into a cycle of debt, crime, and addiction.

                My point is that, if voting really did mean something, then it would be somewhat apparent. We should see, if we look back to history, a clockwork effect of “when A was voted into Office, Y was overturned, X was implemented”. Over the years, we should have seen certain presidents really try to change the system from within. My God, there have been so many cries for the end of the drug war. All it would have taken was a single president to follow through and make at the very least, Marijuana legal.

                Instead, we see the slow decline of an Empire rotting from the inside out. Each president almost a copy of the last, at least in action. Very little change, very big speeches.

                Based on the evidence, it would suggest that the President doesn’t really DO anything; that the main play of politics happens on a stage we do not see, where our votes do not count.

                1. Portia

                  winning the presidency seems to me these days to be like winning a Gold Medal at the Olympics or being a star basketball or football player: you start getting paid a pile of moolah to make endorsements and speeches and do deals with your connections, and you get stuff named after you. The skill set needed is just different and seedier.

              3. different clue

                I remember the first couple of Green Party people I ever met around 1980. I remember what smug self-satisfied supercilious trash they were and what a superiority complex they had. The memory stays with me unto this very day.

                Oh, and . . . their deliberate running of McGaw in the Wellstone/Coleman election with the specific intention of getting Coleman elected.

          2. joey

            ‘ Personally, I think the fastest way to real change involves taking over the Democratic Party rather than trying to replace it.’

            This is like saying if you treat your man differently he might stop beating you.

          3. cwaltz

            You all have been attempting to reform the Democratic Party for over a decade and it’s elite have been stymieing you since at least Joe Lieberman……..How’s that going for you all?

            How was it again that Lieberman was elected despite activists supporting Lamont?

            Oh that’s right the Party used a third party to defeat you.

            You’re being played for a sucker. You’re never going to get a plurality because the party elite are willing to use tactics that you aren’t. They understand how to play the game, manipulate the rules and use the fear card to keep you just enough in line for you to fail over and over while they laugh at you behind your back(“f’in retards”).

            I feel sorry for you because you admit they don’t even have to earn your vote. Your just going to give it away because……..scary, scary Republicans.

    2. oh


      I agree with you all the way.

      “But….the Supreme Court”. I’m tired of that empty threat. It’s total rubbish. What if Trump wins and nominates a right wing judge? Are the Dems so helpless that they can’t reject or tie up the nomination in knots in the Senate? After all, it would take 66 senators to make it go through. Are the Dems going to roll over and play dead?

      I remember the gang of 14 in the Senate that was formed to work out a deal. Such a deal…they ended up okaying Roberts and Alito.

      1. Escher

        +1. The law is conservative at best, and often retrogressive at worst. This is so by design, culture and the personalities of most of its practitioners, especially at the elite level. If you believe in anything to the left of formal equality along identitarian lines under rigged capitalism, the courts are not on your side and never will be.

        Please don’t keep using the Court as an excuse to keep voting for corporate, warmongering Democrats.

      2. Vatch

        it would take 66 senators to make it go through.

        It takes 60 senators (3/5) to stop a filibuster, not 66. That does not change the point that you are making, of course.

  5. rhcaldwell

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. Enormous patience and steadfastness is required. Thanks for the inside view from smurf level, and for your efforts to make a difference.

  6. fritter

    You’re comments are eerily reminiscent of Scott Adams attempt to purchase a pickup truck.

    You didn’t get anything you wanted but still came away on message. That’s so sad. No one should have to go through that. You still seem to be suffering from cognitive dissonance. Enough to acknowledge the choices you are making will lead to more war, more real death and suffering albeit for people farther away.

    Try a little exercise I use. Pretend you are your favorite niece or nephew and tell the same story to yourself. Replace the key emotional actors with other people. Preferably someone in another country, and someone you wouldn’t necessarily trust. Then read it back to yourself. Hillary becomes Merkel, Bernie becomes Putin, Trump becomes Holland. You may find it enlightening.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      I reject your characterization: “I didn’t get anything I wanted”. Bernie’s candidacy has (at least temporarily) changed the terms of debate on some issues, has inspired thousands to run for office, and has built networks of activists. Whether the networks remain will depending in part on his 8/24 call and what follows, but the infrastructure continues to exist for now. I think more progress has been made toward the Bernie Agenda (I say that b/c it has far more concrete content than ‘Progressive Agenda’ in the past year than in many years.

      My musings about the convention don’t undermine that.

      I think Hillary is likely to advance Permawar, yes. But I have no confidence Trump won’t either. He’s better about not escalating with Russia, but I’ve no idea what he might think appropriate to do about ‘terrorists’; I don’t see an electable less war candidate. I’m not blindly captured by a messaging machine, I’m just confronting the reality I live in. I don’t intend to move myself or my family out of the country, and thus I feel a responsibility to participate in its fate.

      Do you intend to vote? If so, for whom? If not, what other actions will you take/do you take to change the status quo?

      1. fritter

        I don’t mean to belittle you, I built up a lot of hope for Obama and we know how that worked out. I’m sympathetic and I liked/appreciate your take. I’m just distraught at seeing young peoples energy, anxiety and hope channeled in nothingness by the same organizations year after year.

        You (as a group) did a good job of turning lemons into lemonade, but as far as changing the democratic platform… They let you organize some, and chant some, you got some protest in there, but for the most part you were herded into Hillary’s pen. That’s at the point of time when they needed you the most. When Sanders delegates had the most leverage they will probably ever have, they got to form some groups that might persist in the future. The DNC is already moving on to the republican / independent vote. For that we should all be sad and thoughtful. Every 4 to 8 years I really want to support the Democrats, but every time they disappoint.

        It’s ok to vote for whatever reasons you think are appropriate. I don’t mind you voting for Hillary. I just think you shouldn’t do it to be part of this new “herd” that makes you feel good or you’ll start looking for excuses. Some times the solution to peer pressure is to find better peers. Don’t compromise on the stuff that matters to you. Either you’ll have regrets later or on you’ll have to delude yourself. But maybe you made the right choice for you, only you can decide. My moment was on Obama and FISA and it took years to know if I was right or not. I lucked out.. I can’t support Drones or War or the loss of civil liberties. That was my red line. Could have easily gone the other way though… Those primary speeches sure were nice.

        Since you asked, if Trump might lose my state (not likely) I’ll vote for him. My reasoning is that Hillary will get everything she wants from Congress but Trump will get nothing. Worse case scenario, the executive gets reigned in and its way way overdue. The media hates him and always will so we’ll be informed of everything he does, every back room conversation. Even if he’s not honest then we have a good chance of knowing about it. The Democrats will fight him tooth and nail, along with a fair number of Republicans. Like Lambert I’m long on gridlock. I may well be wrong, but I’ll be willing to hold him accountable.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          “Hillary will get everything she wants from Congress but Trump will get nothing.”

          Uuunnnnnlikely. The House will remain in Republican control; the Senate may as well. Hillary will be borked as aggressively and relentlessly as Obama was. They can’t afford to be seen working with her after their ~25 years of shrill, hysterical demonization.

          Trump will get little………. because Pence and other first tier underlings will actually run the country while Trump struts and frets his hour upon the stage. Pence is quite agreeable to the right wing Beltway elite. His policies and appointees will meet with swift acceptance. If he signals support for a Trump SOTUS nominee that person will sail through confirmation hearings. We will have a legal regime of unprecedented severity within ~4 years. There will be occasional bumps and hiccups, since Trump will act up sporadically and demand some pet policies be put in place (i.e. trade negotiations, immigration, and some military matters. He was consistent on and obviously differed from the right wing heartland elite on theses issues.)

          Pence is taking an helluva gamble in signing on to Trump’s campaign. Trump probably won’t win, he will need constant stroking if he does win, & he will insist on getting his way periodically regardless. But, he will only get less engaged with governance over time. He can barely keep his mind on issues while on the campaign trail, where it’s all promises and glitter.

          Trump was a shrewd man in his day, but he is 70 and visibly less sharp than in his “Apprentice” days. He served a great purpose in exposing the rift between the grasping Republican power elite and the voters they rely on. His idiosyncrasies and utter self-indulgence have taken their toll, however. I do not think he will be the man making most of his administration’s policy decisions by 2019 if he is elected.

          1. TedWa

            Oh, she’ll get her way, since the things she really wants are the same things republicans want, empire building, a new cold war escalating to a hot war with russia, grand bargains, continued bailing out of banks etc. All the things that Obama does. Let’s not forget, he gave the 2010 election to the republicans by his actions that drove a lot of people away from the democratic party, so he willingly brought on himself the borking. It’s what these 3rd way dems want. Plausible deniability – thanks to the “stubborn” republicans. And only a democrat can get more. A republican would not have gotten away with what Obama has.

            1. John k

              Obama had problems bonding to his rep brothers under the skin because of his skin problem… Remember they’re racists. Rep friends of mine claim Obama is the worst president of all time, but they couldnt clearly identify where he was different from bush.
              Anyway, Hillary will not have the same problem, look at how many rep neocon neolibs are already visibly supporting her, no doubt many more quietly on account their base is either for trump or against her.
              They will happily work together for wars and more support for their donors, no matter who they are. Imagine reaching across the aisle to compromise – vote for my donors and I’ll vote for yours.

              Trump is distasteful on account of overt racism, but I see this as clearly a lesser evil than the above… And how damaging is a wall, anyway? Not the most needed infrastructure, but still jobs… And less damaging than bombs.

              1. #SlayTheSmaugs

                I don’t see why people think Trump is less risky on the war front. I mean, I do vis a vis Russia, which is worth a lot to me. But he seems very eager to appear strong and dominating, very punitive against ‘terrorists’ and foreigners. I can easily see him wanting to escalate or even start new conflicts because his ego demanded it. I also don’t see him standing up to the military-industrial complex on principle, nor really caring about whether or not our soldiers die, much less caring about who they kill.

                What is the case for seeing Trump as low-risk on the war front?

                1. Patricia

                  You are correct, i think, that its all about Trump’s ego and how well/poorly it will be limited by the rest. It’s a gamble on the future, any which way, and some here are willing to gamble on him being less war-inclined than Clinton, not that he wouldn’t be war-inclined.

                  And also, when he becomes war-inclined, that it would likely be for such foolish notions that it would be kiboshed.

                  I can’t do it, but I understand the rationale.

                2. fritter

                  I think Trumps nature is to be risk averse which is not the same thing as his character (bombastic speech). He’s a bullshitter, but no sucker. From what I have heard of his financial setups Trump puts little to “luck”. During one of his bankruptcies he was asked what his problem was and responded along the lines, I don’t have a problem. The banks (that loaned him the money) have a problem. We may not know how Trump will respond to the MIC (its a good sign they aren’t all in for him instead of Hillary), but we do know exactly what Clinton will do. Escalate tensions with russia and who knows how many others. If a Dem invades Russia there won’t be a peep from D or R, but if a R does it well they’ll be opposed by D. In Trumps case it will be opposed by everybody. They don’t like him, they just need an excuse. Partisians have no problems being hypocritical. My core supposition is that ME adventures have continued this long precisely because POTUS is a D.

              2. Fiver

                John K,

                On Bush vs Obama as worst President:

                Bush Presided over the twin catastrophes of the genesis of the ‘war on terror’ and the 2008 portion of the mammoth extortion of the US public by Wall Street. Neither of these existed when Bush ran – but Bush did throw a lot of people in jail for fraud. Obama, on the other hand, was elected with an enormous mandate to act to repair the damage and hold to account those responsible. Neither happened. The damage from Bush has instead been enormously compounded in exchange for the developed world’s worst health care plan. He was the First Responder and missed the call that just might cost the game.

      2. low integer

        But I have no confidence Trump won’t either. He’s better about not escalating with Russia, but I’ve no idea what he might think appropriate to do about ‘terrorists’; I don’t see an electable less war candidate.

        In my opinion you have a lot of mental inertia going on here, and you have swallowed the media’s narrative on the terrorist issue. Why is the US, who claims to be fighting terrorism, close allies with Saudi Arabia, who pumps out Wahhabi jihadists like there is no tomorrow? And why do TPTB have such a dogged determination to unseat Assad, the elected leader of one of the very few (the only?) secular governments in the Middle East? This doggedness apparently extends to allying with groups that were, only a decade or so ago, considered the sworn enemies of the US. Pretty fucking extreme if you ask me. One might also pause to consider the proximity of the neocons sworn enemy, Russia, to all of the destabilization that has been going on in the Middle East, along with Ukraine, compared to the geographically removed position of the US relative to this region. Imo the biggest threat Trump poses is to the neocon status quo, who as proprietors and spivs of the MIC are the real powers in the US, and they are very concerned that he may put the brakes on their insane plans. Just to be clear, Trump’s “winner vs. loser” ideology that he is so fond of sucks, but it is nowhere near as dangerous or insane as the Clinton camp’s “exceptional nation” bs.

        I’m not blindly captured by a messaging machine, I’m just confronting the reality I live in.

        The power of this unprecedented “messaging machine” lies in the fact that it is so pervasive that it can literally construct a “reality” around you, if you let your guard down. I would suggest that you have some fundamentally irreconcilable views, which is not to say I do not think your heart is in the right place.

      3. jgordon

        It’s an undisputed fact that Hillary is a bloodthirsty warmonger. Find someone who would argue that point and we can laugh at them together. Meanwhile Trump maybe isn’t. How many more brown kids are going to be turned into pink mist under a Clinton regime vs Trump? Are you willing to tell their parents that you had to support Hillary because Trump?

        This isn’t theoretical. There will be a lot more dead people under Hillary–and nuclear war isn’t outside the realm of possibilities. What if she has one of her (well documented) seizures or psychotic episodes and accidentally hits the red button? War is one of the few things that really gets my blood boiling, and in my opinion is the only issue that matters in this election. Just because of that I’m having trouble trying to understand how anyone could think of supporting Hillary for even one second.

          1. aab

            I only saw the image on Twitter, and couldn’t tell for sure. Can anyone confirm that the image of her medical handler putatively holding a anti-seizure pen at the ready (I believe it’s supposed to be diazepam) is undoctored?

            I believe his always being by her side on the campaign trail and being a medical aide and not security has been proved though, based on his lapel insignia. If that is true, what other explanation can there be, other than some kind of serious condition that would need immediate treatment?

            I’m honestly curious. I would oppose her categorically regardless of her health issues. But if she really does have a traumatic brain injury that results in not merely seizures under stress but increased impulsivity, anger and emotional lability, as has been alleged, that’s unquestionably disqualifying, in my opinion. And I have zero confidence that she, her campaign, or the corporate media would be honest about it, even if she had a massive stroke or seizure in front of the press corps.

          2. jgordon

            I just watched a video of Hillary having a seizure that was linked on ZH. Either that or she was on crack and pcp at the same time or something. If that’s not well documented I don’t know is.

          3. Fiver

            Allow me to go on record as not at all in favour of attempting to discredit any candidate on ground as shaky as these claims – of course her selection for VP of a clone was bound to raise questions.

            1. aab

              Part of the problem is that there is a LOT of “smoke” around this issue, like so many Hillary issues — and given that we have evidence that other, more obvious issues/crimes/corruption have been blacked out by the media, we (at least, I) can’t trust the denials.

              She’s elderly. Falling on stairs occasionally or mistaking a word is not a big deal, although frankly, given how the presidency ages people, I don’t love her being obviously not in great health (on top of all my other reasons for opposing her.) But the traveling medic? Refusing to let the press corps look out the window when she boarded airplanes? That weird extra long bathroom break at the debate? Hiding out for weeks at a time? Going more than half a year without a single real press conference — when her claim to inevitability is supposed to be how “prepared” and “qualified” she is? And it is undisputed that she had a significant blood clot in her brain, took months to recover, and is on blood thinners. Add the Huma email that leaked where she described Hillary as “often confused” months after the acknowledged clot, so that’s more evidence of the seriousness of that injury.

              I don’t think suggesting that there may be something seriously wrong with her health is all that shaky.

      4. different clue

        Regarding Trump and his “ideas” about terrorists . . . I think it IS possible to have an idea what Trump would do about Radical Islamic terrorists specifically. I base my thoughts in that regard on Trump’s past statements that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria and that while he is a “nasty guy, a not-nice guy” . . . he is also the best that Syria has and maybe will ever have. Combining that with his respect for the concept that Russia is a real nation with real national interests as well as his respect for President Putin, I think Trump’s approach to the Radical Islamic terrorists operating in and around Syria would be to assist Russia in exterminating the rebellion within Syria and helping the legitimate government of Syria regain control of its territory by any means necessary and convenient.

        Whereas Clinton would resume aid to the cannibal jihadi livereaters, including secret aid to ISIS if she thinks she can get away with it. Because Clinton supports the Global Axis of Jihad. So a vote for Clinton is a vote for Radical Islamic terrorist Jihad. Something to think about.

    2. dk

      No one should have to go through that.

      Everyone that acts to defy the establishment is going to go through that, and even worse. Recognizing this, it would be alarming if it didn’t happen.

      Careful, friend, that condescension is a pattern of the establishment, used to dissuade and dismiss their challengers. One may look at oneself and find that one has acquired useless, even dangerous habits of thought, simply from following the (suspect) logic of the oligarchy’s arguments (and their gracious dispensations of heartfelt sympathy). People who struggle for what they want don’t need sympathy, they need allies. I say this with the humility of one who is still finding these things within himself.

    3. sid_finster

      NC readers need to stop being satisfied with moral victories. “Occupy really changed the tone of discourse” type stuff.

      I am not a Marxist-Leninist, but study up on V.I. Lenin and ask whether he would have declared victory and gotten in line.

      1. Patricia

        Even Lenin (who I don’t take as a model for anything) didn’t get what he wanted instantly. “Moral victories” are feels to help people keep going, unless it’s to rest on laurels with contented sighs. Yes, this time could fall into the same old same old, but there are signs that it might not.

        There are good/bad reasons for all choices this election. I can’t vote for either clinton or trump; that can be seen as cowardly and purist, or it can be understood as the best way to protest and keep going. Depends. That’s because the vote itself isn’t of greatest importance; it’s what one does before/after it.

  7. ambrit

    Thanks for the ‘inside’ view. That organization was spotty reinforces the meme that Sanders didn’t expect much when he entered the race. Trump has been described as having carried out a “hostile takeover” of the Republican Party machinery. The “old guard” Republicans are swaying towards Clinton, becoming in effect a Democratic Party Auxiliary. If Trump can work with the Republican Instrumentality, he deserves to win. With Clintons’ numerous problems, Power is laying in the street waiting for someone to pick it up. The ability to organize to seize that power will be the key. Most troubling is that ‘Celebration of the Military’ embodied by Gen. Allens’ speech. I fear that the election of H Clinton will be the ‘front’ for a soft coup. Then, sooner or later, the gloves will come off. We truly are in uncharted waters.

  8. Edward

    I think the reason why anti-TPP messages were banned is that Obama wants to pass this treaty before the end of his presidency. I think it is surreal that the democrats pretend to be anti-TPP when the White House is making an all-out effort to finalize this treaty. Who is promoting this piece of class warfare? Santa Claus??

    Personally, I may vote for Trump. I agree he is dangerous but I am concerned about H.C. starting new wars, especially with Russia. She is basically pledging to overthrow the Assad government. Who is supposed to replace Assad? ISIS or Al Qaeda? Syria will break up.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      Yes, during the President’s speech anti-TPP signs were actual protest items. But otherwise they were officially on message. I mean, I don’t believe the Democratic Party/Clinton is anti TPP, but they say what they say, which is why I thought it was noteworthy that the signs were treated as treason throughout the convention.

  9. Anon

    Great writing, #SlaytheSmaugs, but I do have some questions, since I don’t recall seeing it followed up anywhere:

    What happened with Nina Turner? She was there, and then either booted out or left on her own volition and there was supposed to be some more news forthcoming, but I haven’t caught anything.

    Can you confirm/deny the rumor of the DNC reaching out through Craigslist to fill the empty delegate seats?

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      I heard that Nina Turner would not allow her speech to be reviewed ahead of time, like everyone else’s speech was, so they wouldn’t let her speak. I don’t know if that’s true. It sounded plausible.

      I can’t confirm/deny the rumor re the seats, but I think it’s unlikely. I ran into a friend at the hotel who had shown up hoping to score tickets, and she did one night; but there were others like her, and I don’t think the DNC would have had any trouble getting friends/allies into seats if they wanted to.

  10. Jerry Denim

    Thanks for the very interesting first hand account. I am very surprised given all that you seem to know and after everything you witnessed at the convention you can view Clinton as anything other than ‘the more effective evil’. I definitely won’t be pulling the lever for Clinton, but I hope your political calculations are better than mine. Sadly, Gary Johnson looks to be the only third party candidate that has more than a snowball’s chance at the moment.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      I think ‘more effective evil’ is a legit reason to vote against her. My choice isn’t easy, and would be even harder if Garland had already been confirmed. No Gary Johnson doesn’t have a snowball’s chance, as it were, but that’s not the point of a third party vote in this country. As I said, vote your conscience.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        You mention the Supreme Court vacancy above as a reason for supporting Clinton.

        If the Supreme Court is so important, then why aren’t Obama, Clinton and the rest of the Dems in Congress fighting for this nomination right now?!?!?!? It is Obama’s constitutional right to appoint a justice and yet he sits on his hands and ‘hopes’ that Clinton gets elected to fill the seat later. This is completely bass-ackwards and noone seems to be calling the Dems out on it.

        Oh, and then there’s the question of if it is so important to have a Democrat as president to nominate Democrat justices, why in the hell did Obama nominate Garland who is a Republican?!?!?!? And have you noticed all the neocon warhawk Bush supporters lining up behind Clinton? Has it occurred to you that the Democrat party is now filled with a bunch of Reagan republicans?

        My conscience is still functioning quite well and it won’t allow me to vote for a warmongering republican which is why I didn’t vote for Obama and won’t be voting for Clinton either.

        1. #SlayTheSmaugs

          I’m no fan of Merrick Garland; I was glad Bernie said he’d ask for the nomination to be withdrawn, angry that Clinton said she wouldn’t. t’m sad that if Clinton wins the Senate will probably lame-duck confirm him. I’m glad the senate hasn’t gone to war to confirm him. If the Ds retake the senate and somehow the Rs don’t lame duck confirm Garland, I’d be thrilled to have Hillary nominate someone else.

          1. Pat

            So might I be if I thought there was a chance in hell she would nominate someone who was about civil liberties, human rights, worker rights, consumer rights, and didn’t secretly cleave to the notion that as long as you aren’t exchanging distinct ‘gifts’ of money for completed contracts or legislation in a back alley somewhere there is no corruption. As there is little to no likelihood of that I’d rather the gridlock remain. (And by some miracle Ginsburg remains relatively healthy).

          2. Anne

            “Thrilled” is not even in the same universe of how I would feel about Clinton getting a chance to nominate someone, so that means I can now state that I don’t trust either of the major party candidates to nominate someone good.

            I think what makes me the most angry is that we have finally arrived at the point where we are damned if we do, damned if we don’t. I don’t care for tight places with no clear escape point, so this is all making me feel entirely too claustrophobic.

            I am not optimistic that we will end up with a Supreme Court that won’t make things visibly worse, regardless of which candidate is elected.

            1. #SlayTheSmaugs

              Touche Anne & Pat

              Thrilled is the wrong word for Clinton getting to nominate better than Garland. But I do think she could do better than Garland.

              In a non-relativist scale, I’d not cheer Clinton’s picks any more than I cheered Obama’s. But again, the comparison is Trump’s list, and Garland.

              1. aab

                I’m too upset by your decision to vote for her (and advocate for this publicly, albeit weakly) given what you know about her and the party and experienced at their hands to say more than this: you must realize she will implement TPP, which will pass in the lame duck if she is elected. That vitiates the argument that the Supreme Court matters.

                Meanwhile, she has ALREADY launched a Red Scare that will be brutal once she takes power. You will probably be a target, as will every Bernie delegate to the convention. The entire ruling elite is already supporting her, including the neocons and Social Security cutters. She is now openly seeking Kissinger’s endorsement, which of course she will get, since they’re vacation buddies. She will be the more effective evil by far if installed as President. The left will be crushed. I don’t see any pathway back to paper ballots and something resembling democracy, if she can do what she has done and people like you openly submit to her anyway.

                I am a woman and a feminist (unlike Hillary, who is clearly NOT the latter). Allowing this corrupt, classist warmonger to ascent to power is not a triumph for women. She is moving towards drafting my daughter, for god’s sake. She’s anti-choice, as is her VP. Her exploitation of her gender in the service of policies that will hurt the vast majority of women on the planet is one of her most repugnant attributes.

                Please reconsider your position.

                1. Anne

                  Well, one thing she’s exploited the hell out of is the Children’s Defense Fund; if I never heard it mentioned in the same breath with Clinton again, it would be too soon.

                  It is upsetting to see someone just flip the switch; what might be worse is when someone flips the switch and just goes all in. One of my FB friends was all about Bernie for months, but as soon as Clinton was officially nominated – boom! – she started filling up my news feed with Clinton propaganda – you know the ones I mean: the ones talking about how she’s the most honest of anyone in the field, how she’s battle-tested, how her bad numbers are rooted in sexism – and on and on and on.

                  I truly have no idea how one does a 180 like that, with the snap of a finger. I gently raised this, and essentially, was told she was making the best of a bad situation. I wanted to tell her she was brainwashing herself in order not to face the truth, but decided it wasn’t worth the energy or a full-blown FB pie fight.

                  Like you, I just don’t know how voting against one’s interests does anything other than guarantee that the status quo remains locked in place.

              2. lyman alpha blob

                RE: Trump’s list. You haven’t explained why this list is so bad other than implying ‘because Trump’.

                There are one or two on the list I recognize as justices I would not want but other than that it’s just a list of names with a few vague credentials and I don’t know them from a whole in the ground. The Supremes are sort of notorious for not always behaving the way people thought the might ahead of time (Souter) so you’ll need to bring a little more detail before I’m convinced this is a list of evil incarnate.

          3. lyman alpha blob

            You avoided my main question which was only somewhat rhetorical.

            Why aren’t the Democrats fighting to fill the open seat right now if it’s so damn important. Right now the only guarantee they have of a Democrat filling this seat is by getting it done prior to the election. So why aren’t they?

            I want to hear a Clinton supporter answer that question, since they (and you) use the Supreme Court argument to bludgeon any fence-sitters with, and so far it’s just crickets all over the intertubes.

            Guess they’re still keeping that powder dry. What a bunch of mooks.

            1. cwaltz

              That powder is going to be dry forever.

              Why wouldn’t it be?

              The party isn’t afraid of the pencil sharpeners the activists utilize to express their discontent with the party(sternly worded letters and petitions seem to be the weapon of choice for the left.)

              I suspect if I could get a frontal lobotomy that I’d fit in much better with the GOP rabble, who at least seem to understand that the remedy for entrenched corrupt representation is to toss the bums out(even if they struggle with and can be manipulated on concepts like science or economics.)

      2. Jerry Denim

        As things are now, no Johnson doesn’t appear to a chance. But it’s a very strange and special year since the nominee from both parties are despised by a very large percentage of their base. It’s exactly three whole months until election day and a whole lot can go down between now and then. If Hillary’s poll numbers start to slip again, and Trump looks like he might be poised to pull an upset, then I predict the media will go into full-tilt Johnson overdrive and the Libertarian candidate will be in a televised debate faster than Ross Perot can slap a pie chart with a pointer. Jill Stein however will be redacted from the public conscience and the Mil-Po will have strict orders to shoot on sight if she gets within 1000 yards of a debate site.

        You said “Johnson doesn’t have a snowball’s chance, as it were, but that’s not the point of a third party vote in this country.” I would like to remind you that the last time a third party candidate was allowed network air time and a chance to debate in this country that candidate lead both the Republican and Democratic nominee in polls in both Texas and California and looked extremely likely to win the election. The third party candidate then sabotaged themselves and dropped out of the race, before rejoining the race again but with their credibility and poll numbers greatly damaged. If the elites of this country and the corporate media they control would allow the public a real look at a credible third party candidate that candidate would destroy both Clinton and Trump. Nobody likes either and everyone is sick of both parties.

  11. Marie

    “Regardless of the wisdom of the tactics, anti-TPP protesters couldn’t understand the backlash against them—protesters were threatened with and occasionally faced the loss of their credentials, their key to the door to the convention. After all, the platform and Clinton are officially anti-TPP, so why were they off message? I mean, we Bernie delegates understood that Clinton is not to be trusted on the TPP even before Terry McAuliffe opened his mouth, but still, officially anti-TPP signs should have been on message. The fact that they were treated as treasonous reflected the commitment to controlling the optics and THE message.” This tells us a lot about the Clinton Campaign and should give everyone reason for concern. It cuts directly to the issue of her integrity.

  12. Patricia

    Thanks, StS. I am grateful for what all of you did, messy as it was. A well-done beginning. And your steadfastness gives me hope.

    Watch out for those compromises–don’t let them ever feel comfortable or inevitable to you. Especially with Sanders who has been for a very very long time inside a corrupt system. Even the best of people will wear down from that.

    Btw, those neon shirts were brilliant.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      Thanks re shirts, but I can’t take credit for the concept, that was CO and I’m from one of the other 49, but I helped organize a fair amount.

  13. Otis B Driftwood

    Thanks for your activism and your hard work on behalf of Sanders and for taking the time to write your account of your experience at the convention.

    And yet, after all that, you support Clinton? You’ll get no argument from me, I’ve got my hands full enough arguing over this with my family.

    It’s very depressing. This LOTE nonsense won’t end … and this system is never going to change.

    1. dk

      Conventions are a microcosm of politics at its most naked and shameless. The infighting can be very aggressive; surprisingly so when one’s main exposure has been through MSM and/or direct grassroots activity. MSM conflates specific issues into extreme identities, and newer platforms like Facebook reinforce these associations. When nuance is so easily lost and eradicated, it becomes critically important to express clearly and distinctly, no simple task.

      #SlayTheSmaugs accepts that there is no victory to be had in this particular election. The work continues.

  14. diptherio

    “…we had no guidance on the possible, or on what Bernie wanted us to do”

    Always looking for that special someone to lead us [sigh].

    I’ll say that I don’t think the problem with Bernie’s campaign was its grassroots nature, but rather its hierarchy problem. An actual grassroots campaign (one that wasn’t waiting with bated breath to hear what the leader has to say) could have been much more united. There would have been a minority report because Bernie’s supporters wanted it…but it wasn’t up to them, was it?

    It’s the attempt to mix bottom-up democracy with top-down command-and-control that fracks everything up. Our problem is most people don’t know how to do grassroots organizing, and often don’t even really believe in it (i.e. they still believe in “experts” and the necessity of letting them make the important decisions). If Bernie were really about grassroots organizing, he would be asking his supporters to decide on a course of action and carrying it out, not telling them what to do. It’s entirely bassackwards.

    What really chaps my ass, though, is that it doesn’t sound like any effort was made to ensure that the delegates who needed financial assistance to get to the convention got it. Just another example of our “elites” (and yes, Bernie and his entourage are progressive elites, i.e. elites in terms of our “movement”) failing utterly to comprehend or to show any practical concern for actual poor people’s actual day-to-day lives. As per normal, the rhetoric is inspiring and hifalutin, but the practice is callous and uncaring. When the rubber hits the road, it’s all about them. We’ll be talking about what a great job Bernie did or didn’t do for some time, but will anyone try to assist those optimists who believed the hype and gave their last dimes to support Bernie’s “revolution”? Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath.

    Until we can take care of each other in real, direct ways (not just abstractly, through support for some political candidate), we will continue in our downward spiral…imho.

    1. Patricia

      Yes Dip, but they are learning. It’s frightening because we’re so late into several crises and they can’t learn faster than they are. There’s a lot of shit to beat back, some of which you delineate, and crisis-pressure besides.

      It doesn’t work very well to complain about top-down and then also complain that they weren’t cared for from the top, with monies to go to the convention.That it happened only shows the correctness of your proposal.

      Many of us helped finance their trips. That’s bottom-up.

    2. #SlayTheSmaugs

      I had a successful GoFundMe; many other delegates did too; Bernie helped pay for some delegates, but apparently it was complicated. I heard teachers and other union folk got union help too. Wasn’t perfect, but for many it worked.

    3. low integer

      Until we can take care of each other in real, direct ways (not just abstractly, through support for some political candidate), we will continue in our downward spiral…imho.

      Though I think at this point in the game there is no need, or reason for that matter, to extend grace (i.e. being humble in one’s opinions) towards the pricks who are fucking everything up. Save your kindness for those who deserve it, even in the knowledge that many of those who deserve it will not be in a position to reciprocate it.

  15. Ted

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s important to hear voices from the trenches.

    It’s a wonderful coincidence that there is a very effective short essay on Counterpunch this morning that speaks directly to the dillemmas reported here.

    It’s much better than the title promises. The key to this is not this election, but building a new left political movement. And a key to a new movement is a new political education, which requires some effort. From a standpoint of understanding the game, we then need an effective strategy to take over the state in favor of the people’s interests. But, to do that, you need people who understand what a state acting in service of the people actually does. Bernie was about that last century, promising goodies within a political logic that died in the 70s. He’s the past, people need to move on to the present.

  16. cm

    But Scalia’s seat is open, and the court’s majority hangs in the balance–is Kennedy the swing vote, or someone to his left?–even if the other aged justices stay on the bench through the next presidency

    Congratulations, you support the same Presidential candidate as Richard Armitage, Henry Paulson, and Brent Scowcroft.

    You expect their Supreme Court nomination expectations are the same as yours?

  17. Crank3y Frank3y

    I want to thank StS and all those who supported Bernie for creating the conversation.

    As much as I’m disappointed at the outcome of Bernie’s run, I’m encouraged at the new national discussion. I find that more people are willing to consider my progressive views. Heck, more importantly, I’m finding progressives.

    This reminds me of years ago, when Occupy Wall Street was slammed for having no agenda. But OWS has shaped ideas. We as progressives are building a venue if you will. Need proof? Consider this: When I ask you, “Have you considered the needs of the 99%?” you don’t respond, “99% of what?”

  18. vidimi

    *I agree with Bernie and his surrogates that Trump must be defeated. Yes, I think Clinton’s election risks more war, reinforces our grotesque political economy status quo, and risks the TPP. I am enraged she is my choice. But Scalia’s seat is open, and the court’s majority hangs in the balance–is Kennedy the swing vote, or someone to his left?–even if the other aged justices stay on the bench through the next presidency. And some may not. Equally motivating for me, Trump inflames our racists and xenophobes, hurting our nation. I believe we must soundly reject the hate on election day. Finally, I think his fragile ego and impulse control issues make for dangerous recklessness.

    perhaps, if i were living in the US, i might agree that a supreme court seat is more important than a greater likelihood for war or for passing the TPP, the two greatest threats to the world, although, probably not.

    1. dk

      Agreed. But Trump offers absolutely no guarantee of a better outcome on either war or TPP. Electing him puts the Republicans in a power position, and they are even more compromised by corporate and military interests than the Democrats (a matter of small degree, perhaps, but nonetheless). And Clinton is, for practical purposes, a Republican moderate.

      TPP is so complex that selective presentation can appear to counter specific objections. The question is, will Trump ever read the whole thing himself? Surround him with fawning sycophants for 6-12 months, I think he can be swayed in any direction. And corporate interests have no intention of giving up if TPP is defeated.

      And I see no basis for the proposition that Trump is constitutionally less inclined than Clinton towards rash military action which could trigger broader war, even if the exact nature of his choices are almost chaotically unpredictable.

      Best Trump outcome on the Supreme Court: he decides that 8 justices are enough (because it saves money!). Maybe he’ll try to reduce it even further!

      Our alternative to Trump is to elect Clinton and work to keep her in check. We do have a new awareness of the issues at stake, and mobilization has improved since Occupy Wall Street. I think we know that we have not earned the confidence of the rest of the world. I can assure you that war and TPP are both very much on the minds of those of us who continue to consider our choice in November.

      I myself have not yet come to a decision.

      1. pretzelattack

        i dont think we can keep her in check any more than we did obama. i’m not looking for a guarantee that trump won’t be worse. i’m looking for the least effective evil in the short run. i think we would have more chance of keeping trump in check, since his own party opposes him for taking anti iraq war and anti tpp positions. the republicans agree with clinton on the issues of aggressive wars, the police surveillance state, backing wall street and the 2 tiered justice system, and will not fight her. this is why so many are endorsing her.

        1. dk

          I don’t recall anybody but the Reps trying to keep Obama in check.

          I don’t agree with all of your reasoning, you’re saying the Reps can keep Trump checked, and get TPP passed? TPP is one of the things what vidimi is worried about.

          But Trump may be the better choice. I just think that your points suggest that it really doesn’t matter, either way we’re scr*wed.

          1. pretzelattack

            i’m saying that trump won’t be as effective as clinton would be in getting whatever he wants. the republicans can keep trump in check, and trump can keep them in check too; so if he does in fact oppose the tpp, it will be less likely to be passed than under clinton, when the gop will tacitly work with her.

            i think it does matter, because we don’t know what we’re getting with trump; his record is being a kind of con man, but he doesn’t seem particularly ideological. moreover, we don’t get the neocons we get with clinton. trump represents an opportunity to further break the grip the duopoly (and it seems to be drifting toward a monopoly); he has already weakened the republican party, and election losses will help weaken the democrats to the point that they might be vulnerable to a takeover.

  19. ohmyheck

    I am really sorry I read this. It makes me realize what an absolute fail you so-called “progressives” are. Sickening and depressing…

      1. low integer

        I don’t think “so-called progressives” was intended to refer to the NC cohort. Rather, I think it was squarely aimed at SlayTheSmaugs (ugh) and to be honest I tend to agree. To be put through all of that and then crawl back to Clinton is pathetic imo.

  20. Arizona Slim

    Failure to organize and train. Oh, does that sound familiar.

    And it pretty well sums up my experience with the Sanders campaign. The paid staff, via e-mails and in-person conversations, kept exhorting us to phone bank, phone bank, phone bank.

    Now, if you’ve ever worked in a call center, you know that there’s training before you’re sent to the phones. The Sanders campaign? Not so much. “Here’s the script, here’s the laptop, and here’s how to sync your phone with our Bernie dialer.” Then off to the calls.

    I found that I was reaching a lot of older folks with landlines. If they weren’t totally annoyed with my call, they were Clinton supporters, through and through. What was I supposed to say to them? The campaign staff was clueless on that point.

    Needless to say, I didn’t last long as a phone banker. And, overall, I found my experience with the campaign to be very disappointing.

    1. Eclair

      ‘Failure to organize and train’ the volunteers who were phone-banking.

      Hmmmm. For Obama’s 2008 campaign, my first real commitment to volunteer an all-out effort in a political campaign, I stuffed envelopes, phone-banked and went door-to-door for 3 months. Training? A script and a couple of bottles of water.

      My take on the whole experience, like yours, Arizona, was … disappointing. But, the whole ‘political volunteer’ tactic, as a means of keeping busy those people who would like to see a change in the system and who have the time and energy to work for that change, is working just fine, thank you very much.

    2. dk

      I thought the Sanders campaign did well considering they were completely cut off from the pool of top-line consultants and field operatives available to Dem/DNC campaigns.

      If you want the deluxe model, you want Clinton, whether you know it or not.

      And if you phone for Clinton, you’d be reaching those same landline voters. That is the state of phonebanking today.

    3. Waldenpond

      He was campaigning through the democrat apparatus and that was very clear locally. His volunteers were mostly people who vote only D on a local level. Meetings had D establishment figures watching everything. His group here has morphed into a D group. I watch in case there is anything I can act in solidarity on but it’s pretty much neoliberal standard D fare.

      The phonebanking was odd. It was clear it was not effective and callers were complaining about what to do and annoyed at getting no feedback from the campaign. It was good to see people ignoring the campaign and focusing on outreach and door to door but it was too little too late.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Here in Tucson, the establishment Ds were lined up behind Clinton except for, oh, a couple of them. And one of them flip-flopped on his Bernie endorsement. (Rep. Grijalva, I’m looking right at you.)

        Waldenpond, thank you for confirming what I suspected. And that was the oddity of the phone banking. To this day, I fail to understand why Bernie 2016 was so insistent on taking that marvelous enthusiasm from the rallies and turning it into a telemarketing operation.

        I also agree with the people who ignored the campaign. Around here, community outreach (via large local events) and canvassing seemed much more effective. However, one of my fellow Berners said that the campaign was very tight-fisted with the literature that the canvassers were allowed to have.

        1. different clue

          I remember reading a couple of months ago in these threads that quite a few local campaign staff were really Clintonite moles tasked with sabotaging local-focus Sanders efforts on the ground through such methods as being very tight-fisted with the literature that the canvassers were allowed to have.

  21. Robert Dannin

    From a delegate.

    “I’m still in a state of shock.
    I need to collect my thoughts and make decisions.
    I’m very disappointed to say the least.
    Last night at the Convention floor I felt like I was in the film Alien, when I watched throughout the night, most of my former fellow Berners gradually changing gear and cheering for Hillary.
    My heart is broken and my mind is confused. I can only say that I have great respect for those few who continue to be loyal to their ideals and don’t want to play the fear-mongering Democratic Party game.
    I will continue to fight to clean the political system from within. It’s going to be a dark and long journey but we have to stay the course.
    To me, Bernie Sanders is history.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      And Bernie is history to me as well.

      On July 12, when he endorsed Hillary, I did a Bernie purge of my house. Campaign signs? Into the trash. Same for the stickers, the volunteer credential from the October ’15 rally here in Tucson, and the campaign button.

      The tee shirt got bagged and taken to Goodwill with a bunch of rags. I hope that the Goodwill people recycled everything in that bag.

      A month later, I still can’t shake the feeling that I was used for a politician’s ego trip.

      1. Vatch

        My car still has its Bernie decorations, which will remain at least until the election, and maybe long after that. I want people to know that I supported someone besides Clinton or Trump.

        1. MojaveWolf

          Likewise, except only me wearing clothes. I was nervous about putting my super cute adorable bird sticker on the car coz I don’t want some jerk vandalizing it while I’m in a store or something (unlikely, but still…)

          The t-shirts and hat are nice, tho, and they do lead to a lot of conversations. Most of them are not pick-me-ups at this point, but it does make connections for the future and maybe some of what I say has some impact that will do some good at some point.

  22. Bernard

    it is really informative to find out what and how the Sanders machine didn’t work. I can see I didn’t know enough when I got my “hopes” up with Sanders. the more I learn, I gather Sanders really wasn’t “into” running. the lack of details cited show how “thoughtless” and half hearted the Sanders run was.

    at least we know people care. Sanders didn’t care enough, apparently. just show how hungry we the people are for someone to hear our needs/wants/dreams.

    sounds like Hillary had the whole presidential run fixed from the beginning on through to the convention under complete control. and Bernie turned out to be the sheepdog I saw commenters allege.

    sad, but Hillary is far worse than Trump. and the DNC is the other side of the RNC. Two peas in a pod. Fraternal Twins, indeed.

    Vote Trump to destroy the Democratic Party.

    1. #SlayTheSmaugs

      I completely disagree with your take that Bernie was half-hearted. He gave it his all. I think his success surprised him, and that organizationally it was challenging. I think overwhelmed is better than thoughtless. I’m not angry about the disorganization. I was frustrated at the convention, because if we had been organized we could have sent a coordinated ‘message’ much more effectively. You also have to understand that Bernie delegates are not sheep; a not insignificant slice were activists that felt empowered by their election to disregard Bernie’s wishes, which is to say organizing us would not have been easy any way. One of my frustrations, though, was how everyone seemed to view the convention apocalyptically, as if it were the place THE MESSAGE had to be sent, THE ACTION had to be taken, as if the fight for justice would not have another day, or as if by some miracle Sanders could be made the candidate–which miracle obviously could not happen–some how the fight for justice would be won.

      Re Trump v Clinton, vote your conscience. But if you think a Trump presidency will destroy the Democratic Party, I fail to see the logic. Instead I think it would be a more profound rallying cry than getting rid of GWB. A Trump Presidency could facilitate a progressive takeover of the Democratic Party, I can see that logic, but I don’t see how a Trump Presidency facilitates the rise of a third party to replace the Ds. Care to elaborate?

      1. pretzelattack

        that’s another benefit, a trump presidency could indeed weaken the political machine to the point that a progressive takeover is possible.

      2. cwaltz

        It’s kind of funny to me that someone would say he was surprised by his success.( I think going in that he knew he was NOT going to be successful but that he figured he could move the conversation leftward and perhaps get some concessions. He’s not the “Amendment King” for nothing.)

        If he indeed was “surprised” than he’s been residing in the beltway too long where many don’t regard him as a serious person because of his viewpoints(heaven forbid a politician not grovel and curry favor with the 1%.) Personally, I think he was brave for running and I think he ran as a Democratic because he is far more “pragmatic” than many give him credit for. I also think he knew going in that he only had a snowball’s chance in Hades to begin with it is exactly what the Democratic Party gave him because that’s what they always do to the activists. They play pretend at democracy while undermining the activists. It was refreshing to hear DWS finally admit it out loud and to see the emails that actually prove the DNC has no intention of doing anything other than play pretend when it comes to democracy(enjoy getting in bed with people like them Slay, because that is what you are doing when you continue to support status quo candidates that the DNC elite hand pick for you because………scary Republicans.)

    2. Arizona Slim

      Here’s another “lack of details” data point: Last October, the Sanders campaign came to Tucson’s Reid Park for a rally. I was one of the rally volunteers.

      I was part of the media team, and my job was to be an escort. What was involved? Standing at a gate and opening it for credentialed members of the news media. And then I directed them to the next volunteer, who was, oh, about 50 feet away.

      I was told to remain at my post until told to leave. And I did.

      Right before the rally started, a campaign staffer told me to go inside.

      And, how cool is this? SRO places right next to the stage! I wasn’t right next to Bernie, but I was close enough to see that, in person, he’s a pretty tall and slender guy. Oh, Jane Sanders caught me on video when I was yelling “For the people!”

      Okay, that was my rally volunteering experience. One of my friends was on the merchandise table team, and he told me that it was a hot mess. No one seemed to know what to do, there was a crush of people wanting to buy things, and that’s how it was all evening.

      Same friend volunteered for Bernie’s March ’16 rally. Or let’s say that he tried to. He and his partner ran all over hell’s half acre trying to find someone who could tell them what to do. They finally gave up and found a place to sit.

      Let’s just say that I’m not the only one who’s feeling the Bern-out.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think political campaigns are like that. The circus comes to town, and then it leaves.

        Another way of saying that is that there are mismatches between (a) the $27 funding model (b) advance work as currently practiced and (c) activists coming from Occupy, etc.

        It looks to me like the advance work for the second Sanders, which I think implies the same funding model, will have to be an order of magnitude better than it was for this campaign. The Erica Garner tweets in today’s Water Cooler convey much the same message.

  23. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for your personal sacrifice of your time and resources, and for your citizenship, STS. I did a search for experiences of some other Sanders delegates yesterday, which was both enlightening and disheartening. This links to one such account:

    Although it’s obviously too late in this election cycle, seems to me as an ordinary citizen that focused organizational efforts to either form a new political party or to create space within the existing framework would be constructive going forward. And maybe this is what Bernie is trying to do.

    Democracy is a fragile goddess. Given the cash flows, Citizens United decision, corporate involvement, and the parties’ tax exempt nature, political parties and elections are big business now. It’s actually surprising to me that the space hasn’t attracted more entrepreneurial attention.

  24. Synoia

    Occupy protesters mic-check politicians

    If one does not learn for successes, and Mic Check was a huge success, how can you possibly succeed?

  25. Spring Texan

    Thank you so much for your account, SlayTheSmaugs, and for being a delegate. I agree with your general take on things and what to do now. (Being that I’m not in a swing state, I don’t myself even need to think about a vote for Clinton, and I can understand even in a swing state those who do and those who don’t.) But in general, yes, Clinton will be president, and we have to do the best we can to influence her, which will be very difficult.

    But it’s foolish to give up on influencing her just because it won’t be easy. The AIDS activists who did NOT give up when George W. Bush was elected are proof of that. They got Bush to support substantial help to Africa on AIDS drugs (one reason he’s more popular in Africa than about anywhere else in the whole world), and in fact he was better on that issue and drug “intellectual property” than Obama. Whoever is president, we have to try to influence what gets done, and even presidents who are lousy in general might be persuadable on points that MATTER TO PEOPLE’S LIVES.

    For instance, one thing Sanders got a promise on was doubling the money for federally qualified health clinics (FQHCs), and that would make a real difference.

  26. PQS

    Thank you, StS, for your post and your work. I admire those like yourself who worked hard and went to the convention. It is disheartening to hear about the disorganization and lack of focus, especially from such a largely focused campaign, although this somehow doesn’t surprise me. Thanks also for your nuanced interaction with the commentariat here.

  27. MojaveWolf

    At the moment, the only hat I have that hasn’t been accidentally shrunk in the wash or chewed by canines is my Bernie hat, so I still wear it. Which still gets me greetings from other former Sandernistas, for better and (these days mostly) worse. I’m putting this here because the most recent greeting, yesterday, was from another (very nice) Sanders Philly delegate who is also planning to vote for Hillary.

    (note to #slaythesmaugs: I understand you not wanting to argue so maybe I shouldn’t put this here, I just can’t figure out where better to put it, and even tho it’s going to sound like I’m arguing with you at the beginning it’s not so much that as I’m using this comment to try & figure figure out how those of us with similar goals we can work constructively together, or at least keep from becoming so hostile towards each other now that it will make it harder to work together in the future; also let me add my thank you to the others for contributing your thoughts and observations, it is appreciated).

    Why do I view the greetings from other Sandernistas as mostly for worse? Because based on the conversations I’ve had, I worry we will splinter in too many different directions to be an effective block, too many people will give up completely, and I fear the biggest chunk of Bernie supporters (outside of my twitter feed, which I’m pretty sure is an outlier, tho one can hope) will go towards Hillary. I view a vote for Hillary as a vote for capitulation and boot-licking, a willing cheer for craven servitude and rule by rich sociopaths, and either the always effective “ostrich, head, sand” approach to election rigging or a complete and utter of acceptance of it. And since I’m sure there was massive flat out fraud, that makes it even worse, tho I’m assuming no one would vote for election fraud and the people voting for Hillary at least believe the official counts were fairly close to accurate.

    So, wearing the Bernie hat, lots and lots of greetings from former Bernie supporters since the convention. (none from former Hillary supporters–I have yet to meet anyone living here in this area she supposedly won who says they supported her in the primary, and have met many, many people who also have not met a single such person). More than half still haven’t made up their mind what they are going to do, but based on those who have, I think Hillary will wind up getting the most votes. Too many people simply don’t know who Stein or the Greens are, and even when I mention Stein or Green the third party supporters begin talking about the Libertarians, who I view as probably worse than Hillary except on the “Cheat to win” part, which admittedly is no small thing. I do not understand how a Bernie supporter can get excited about voting for Johnson, who is pro-TPP and de facto pro corporate rule of everything (which is what libertarianism amounts to these days), but some are. Others simply have managed to never hear about the Greens or Stein. I don’t see how this is possible, but … I hope they remember names and positions I gave them to look up, and don’t go back to thinking “stick to the duopoly, vote Libertarian” the second they are out of sight. I always hide my inner sobbing, act friendly, have cheerful conversations and try to bring up actual policy positions. These people always greet me cheerfully and remember speaking to me if we run into each other again, so maybe something good will come of it. But the sheer lack of awareness of the most well known remaining left wing option at what should be the time of highest green party awareness EVER among people who should be their natural constituency troubles me deeply (we don’t have a working families party here, and the peace and freedom party, i.e. the socialists, is even less well known)

    On top of all that, all but one of the people leaning Hillary seem to view any other vote as absolutely unthinkable. Usually I just get looks of shock and horror from them when I say I’m voting for Stein and I’d be totally fine with Trump winning instead of Hillary and I don’t even necessarily think he would be worse. I might as well have said I wish to promote bigotry and xenophobia everywhere. Which, in their minds, I probably did say. I really don’t know how to get past a mindset that has already absorbed the messaging to that extent. It depresses me that so many people who were freethinking enough to buck the media messaging and support Bernie go back to parroting the media messaging the second he’s out of the picture.

    But the worst was a couple of days ago when a couple of old hippies who are very creative and very much pride themselves on being free thinkers actually took the time to try and convert me in a more or less rational way, as opposed to simply hurling insults. I’ve semi-known one of these people going back about a decade and thought well of him, and spoken to the other enough to know he’s a bright guy. Here is more or less how it started:
    “I can’t help noticing your hat and (“Revolution”) shirt. I hope you’re voting for Hillary now.”
    “No way. Jill Stein and Green Party.”
    “I hope you’re not going to tell me I’m brainwashed because I’m voting for Hillary. A friend tried to tell me last night I was brainwashed because I like Hillary. I am not brainwashed.”
    “I would never say that to anyone. (aside to readers–especially not if someone else already said it and it didn’t work! Plus I’m overly polite and extremely conflict averse) I get ticked off when people insult me for voting for Stein. You can vote for who you want to vote for.”
    “Exactly. But you do know a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump.”
    “No. It’s a vote for Stein. And vote against Trump and Hillary both.”
    “You want to vote against Hillary?”
    “I can’t believe how many people have been brainwaswhed by 25 years of Republican messaging. It’s horrifying how you’ve all let that get to you.”

    Several minutes of back and forth followed, in which it became clear that they had no idea about any coup in Honduras and had never heard the name Berta Caceras, and had no response to Hillary pushing for the invasion of Libya, did not believe she had pushed for fracking around the world and besides Trump was worse, and mostly seemed to be concerned that there was lots of made Republican mud-slinging in the 90’s therefore every bad thing ever said about either Clinton was made up Republican mud slinging. Hell, I even sorta know where they are coming from, since to my eternal shame–I voted for Clinton over Perot in 96 despite bitter disappointment at Bill’s 1st term purely because I felt a vote against him would be letting the even worse Republicans win with their lies, you can all call me whatever names you want for this, I deserve them. As Lambert likes to say, the Clintons have always been very fortunate in their enemies.

    Also, Trump. Trump crazy. Trump evil. Trump bad. They could not believe I thought Trump lesser evil, or less of a warmonger. They didn’t seem entirely sure what the TPP was or why I thought it would be the worst mistake since the Iraq invasion. They hate GMO’s but did not know Obama had just signed the DARK act and seemed skeptical about my assertion, but even so were sure Trump would be worse. Most jarringly dissonant moments of the conversation:

    “Can you imagine Trump’s finger on the button?”
    “Actually he seems a lot less likely to go to war with Russia than Hillary…”
    “Speaking of Russia, what about Trump being run by Putin? Do you really want Putin running the US government?”
    These sentences were literally back to back with each other. I probably should have pointed out the unlikelhood of Putin wanting to nuke Russia, but truly I was just flabbergasted that they didn’t even get the “these two things do not play well together” aspect of what they were saying.


    “But why would you believe Trump when he says he’s against this? He lies about everything and changes his mind all the time” (talking about the TPP, which, again, I’m not sure they were familiar with)
    “You’re right, he does. He will take two different sides of the same argument on the same day and I don’t trust him at all. I agree with most of the bad things you are saying about him. But this is one of the few things he’s been consistent on throughout.”
    “But why do you believe him?”
    “Again, this is one of the few positions he hasn’t changed, so it seems more likely to be his actual stance…”
    “You trust Trump? You really trust him to do what he says?”
    “No, I don’t trust Trump at all. And I don’t want him to win. I want Stein to win. But on this issue, I think there’s a slightly better than 50% chance he will do the right thing and either block it or find a way to void it” (aside to readers–this is where Trump’s not caring about protocol could come in handy; if he wants to ditch a treaty I’m pretty sure he’ll find a way to ditch the treaty) “whereas I’m over 99% sure Hillary will be 100% proTPP the second she gets elected.”
    “Where are you getting all these numbers? You’re just making up these numbers based on what you think. Why would you think Hillary would do that?”
    “Because she helped negotiate the TPP, called it the gold standard of trade agreements, and talked about how great it was for years until Bernie made it an issue and most people agreed with him and she suddenly changed her mind.”
    “I can’t believe you trust Trump and are buying Republican propaganda about Hillary. If you could believe anything they say about her don’t you think she would be in jail by now?”

    Rinse and repeat.

    We actually parted on reasonably good terms, at least on the surface, tho I remain horrified and expect they are too. I am not sure this gap is bridgeable, and have no idea how to. This was the absolute limit of my patience and probably of theirs. Maybe I could have said something a little better somewhere but I’m not a computer with an “exactly what to say in all possible situations to persuade people” app ready to run at any given moment. And I think I did fairly well. I made good points. They couldn’t answer most of them. And it didn’t matter.

    Yesterday I did have the pleasure of being told “I love your hat” by one of the Philly Bernie delegates who actually gave a speech for him at his closest rally to our part of SoCal. And even tho she is supporting Hillary (in great part because Bernie pushed for this, which makes me want to weep, and also because she thinks we must stop Trump, which only makes sense to me if you think Hillary will be better) she was totally chill about everything and we had a very nice, friendly, 5 or ten minute chat. And she is totally supportive of voting for Stein. Said most of her friends are voting for Stein too. Yay! So, weirdly enough, there are lots of other Green Party migrators out there, I’m just not running into them.

    Personally, I don’t wholeheartedly support any of the remaining candidates and don’t expect the one I most like to win, even though she is only one who is credible on global warming and the most credible on the TPP. I fear the candidate I most dislike will win. I understand why, if you don’t think she outrighted cheated to win the primary, you might support Hillary. Based on the NICE Hillary supporter I talked to and my reaction to her, I think most of the reflex hostility most of us here seem to have for the pro-Hillary types is just because most of them are so obnoxious. Otherwise, I think we’d get how a decent, sane human could come to the conclusion that she was the best of a bad lot, and be okay with it even if we thought they were wrong. Note–I’m not saying #Slaythesmaugs is one of the obnoxious ones. They are not. But those so predominate that hostility becomes a reflex, if I’m not careful, and I’m probably not the only one.

    I wish there were still a prominent champion of the working class. I wish identity politics hadn’t turned into a toxic balkanization that seems designed to keep different groups at each other’s throats. I wish the only remaining credible champion of environmental issues had a larger platform.

    I am praying to whoever or whatever might be listening that we get a Tulsi/Nina ticket in 2020 no matter who wins (no offense to Flores or Teachout or Feingold or Grayson, who I would be totally fine with also, and likewise many more). I think a Hillary loss gets us to this outcome quicker. I am praying that not everyone has given up. And mostly, after this primary, I want a movement and a candidate who makes it a really big issue that we have only handcounted paper ballots for all future elections, with monitoring from first cast to final tally. Cause without that I’m not sure it will matter who runs or how people vote.

    1. pretzelattack

      “Can you imagine Trump’s finger on the button?”
      “Actually he seems a lot less likely to go to war with Russia than Hillary…”
      “Speaking of Russia, what about Trump being run by Putin? Do you really want Putin running the US government?”

      yeah, i’ve heard arguments like that too. i’d laugh but i’m too busy crying.

      1. 3.14e-9

        All of the above, plus, “He’s a fascist! Do you know how we got Hitler and Mussolini? It was because of people like you!”

        I gave a couple of FB friends links to Lambert’s article and an essay on Jacobin. One of them responded in under two minutes with, “HE’S A FASCIST!” No response from the other.

        When the media declared Hillary the nominee before all the votes were even counted in California, a Bernie-or-Bust FB friend began posting short daily rants against Hillary. I know her in person, and to her friends, her flamboyant “I don’t give a F–” what anyone thinks” outspokenness was totally in character.

        At first she got drew a few rebukes, all from older white women. After a few days, the responses started getting harsher. I supported her by posting facts and links to news articles. That silenced them temporarily, but they all came back in force with each successive post, until she was being totally ganged up on. The last straw for her came when one of her dear friends left a comment to the effect that she was being too negative, that FB was for cat videos. My friend politely reminded her that no one was forcing an opinion down her throat.

        The next day, instead of a rant, she posted a notice that she was henceforth abstaining from further political commentary due to the vicious response. Most of her FB friends were understanding. One or two agreed with her and then repeated all the reasons she HAD to vote for Hillary.

        I ran into her in town a few days later and jokingly said I was mad at her for shutting up. She said she had to, because it was too painful to see people she loved, people she had been friends with for decades, in such a brainwashed state that they were spewing media headlines and campaign slogans, and so aggressively. She also said that after she’d made the decision to stop posting on FB, her stress level went way down and she was sleeping better.

        I thought about that, and realized that in all the insanity, I’d totally forgotten my own self-imposed restraints against posting personal details or political opinions on FB. For the most part I’ve stopped (still can’t resist posting links to articles about Hillary’s warmongering) and have turned my thoughts toward how to achieve gridlock. Obviously this is another topic entirely, but for now I’ll just say that I don’t believe Trump has a chance in hell of winning the election, because the vote will be hacked, if necessary, to ensure the coronation.

        1. MojaveWolf

          Yeah, that’s what I meant about the horrified reactions and insults. Fascism is the word of choice there, along with racism. One guy from Mexico who agreed with every single thing I said about Hillary and who I spoke at great length with about the horrible events in Oaxaca and how pathetic it was I had only seen this covered on twitter (the other people there had no idea what we were even talking about) and went on at great length about how horrible it was that we were reduced to these two choices and the awfulness of the oligarchy round the world and was a huge Che Gueverra fan still thought I and other Americans HAD to vote for Hillary to keep out Trump because he was even worse and if we voted in Trump it would confirm everything the rest of the world already thought about us. I suggested their thoughts might be accurate, without knowing what those thoughts were, exactly and he was like “No you have to keep him out. It’s horrible to have to vote for a monster like HIllary but there’s no choice.” Maybe he is that bad and I’m underestimating him (which says a LOT, because I am not a fan), but mostly I think the demonization has been effective.

          I also am inclined to agree with you on the votes. In the future, I want not just paper trails that could be audited, but an end to machines, nothing but hand marked, hand counted paper ballots with observers every step of the way. That is a voting issue for me going forward.

      2. MojaveWolf

        Aye. And (abbreviated version of this part of convo) “Stein’s support is all whitebread. She doesn’t represent ALL the community.”
        Response: “Do you know who her VP pick is?” Blank looks. “A Black Lives Matter Activist.” Blank looks. Change of subject to Trump. (I don’t actually like her VP pick at all, but his presence on the ticket SHOULD have been an effective retort here; it wasn’t but it should’ve been)

    2. Anne

      My appetite for having these kinds of conversations is about as low as it’s ever been; it never matters how many facts you can point to, no progress is ever made, people are locked into their positions, so I’ve reached the point where I am more often now slow to engage, choosing to just smile and be noncommittal. Sometimes you can plant small, non-confrontational seeds, and I find it’s sometimes good to leave space for people to change their minds on their own, free of feeling they will be taunted for having been wrong.

      I’ve found that with my grown daughters; sometimes you just couldn’t come at them from the front – I had to move from the side, and allow them the time and space to come to the right decision in ways that allowed them to feel it was coming from them, not from me.

      People are going to vote how they’re going to vote – I suspect some of them, in spite of their talk now, may make an entirely different choice when the ballot is staring them in the face. Less than three months to go, but I have a feeling there may be some surprises ahead; nothing is for certain.

      1. MojaveWolf

        Oh, I basically never bring up politics to people in person out of the blue and usually forget I have the Bernie hat on. But other people see and comment and so I respond. Or every now and then a discussion about a particular event will ensue and someone will ask who I’m voting for now that Bernie’s out of the race and I am quite happy to tell them Stein and why. Most times, it’s “but Trump!” in response and I just can’t let it go like I think he’s clearly worse than Hillary. I don’t bring up the cheat2win part because I figure it will be too easy to dismiss me as focused on the past and I try to keep it on issues. And I try to say “yes you’re right” when I can agree with something in hopes they will look for things to agree with too, etc etc. And most of them are far less enthusiastic about Hillary than the two I just mentioned, they just think it’s her or what 314 above said, “descent into xenophobic fascism”.
        I do hope you’re right, and that if he pulls it off he is better than I fear, (or, heck, that Hillary is better than I fear, tho I think all her scruples are completely sold out and there’s not much hope there) and I really, really hope something good happens very soon.

    3. cwaltz

      Johnson is fairly liberal on social issues. I disagree with him on deregulation and TPP but I don’t necessarily think I think he’s more abhorrent to me than Clinton.

      At the very least I consider Johnson an authentic libertarian, which is a far sight better than when the libertarians ran Ron Paul who was and probably still is decidedly authoritarian on social issues and issues concerning individual’s life choices(anti gay marriage, anti choice, and pro ramming his personal belief sets down the throats of people……Lord, save us all from the Christian Taliban.)

      Johnson is certainly not my dream candidate but I’d pull the lever for him before I pulled for Clinton.

      1. MojaveWolf

        As far as him personally, he may be a good guy and you’re probably right that he is sincere about his non-interventionist tendencies on social issues.

        My problem with Johnson is threefold, really. One is that he tends to leave a lot of those social issues up to states, iirc, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

        Another is that while I think Clinton sold out her principles to get elected, and therefore is willing to give the oligarchy free reign to destroy the lives of the working class and destroy the planet, I think Johnson really is sincere about dereg creating magic miracle solutions to all our problems, or at least producing a “best of all possible worlds” even if that best is awful. And the TPP is just impossible to get past for him and Clinton both.

        And lastly I think a 3rd party candidate who was no better on policy than the mainstream candidates could easily be used to disenchant people of the whole idea of a way out, just like many people who got excited for Obama failed to turn out for Bernie this time. Bernie was real and Obama wasn’t, and the next 3rd party candidate after Johnson might be real too, but most people wouldn’t look past the one who just sped up what the legacy parties were already doing.

        Tho you can find fault with all the candidates, and maybe he’d be better than I think.

      2. cm

        At the very least I consider Johnson an authentic libertarian

        Nope, he drove his campaign into negative funding. Do you disagree?

        For bonus points, please list how he argued for legalizing drugs.

    4. different clue

      How do you bridge this gap? You wait for them to grow old and die. If they and their Clinton win the election, you perhaps detach yourself from political involvement with others until you see whom the Clintonites begin favoring with one hand and purging with the other hand. If enough people are purged or antagonized or politically/legislatively “kettled” by the Clintonites, you can decide if you want to spend energy joining them and fighting their fight. They and you would certainly have all the right enemies.

  28. edmondo

    She cheated. She lied. And we all know she is dying to betray us on TPP. And you are willing to vote for her? The Clintons must laugh at how stupid people are.

    No wonder the campaign (and Obama) “hippie punches” so much. There are no consequences to doing so.

    I am appalled.

  29. low integer

    I wasn’t going to say anything, but the handle “SlayTheSmaugs” really bothers me as it suggests the author has a propensity towards childish fantasy. I do know the meaning behind the handle, but after having just witnessed a rigged primary and a convention so twisted that many seasoned political observers here are still in shock and processing the gravity of what just happened, it should be clear by now that this is not a fucking fairytale.

    If it is any consolation I thought long and hard about whether to post this comment or not, and I apologize in advance for any offence it may cause.

        1. Edward

          Point taken. You will have a lot of comments to make if you scrutinize the language this thoroughly.

  30. John Rose

    I am surprised no one is mentioning the Sanders Campaign event on August 24, seemingly to further the “revolution” both before and after the election.

    1. MojaveWolf

      I got the email. I was happy the first time I got one, then it mentioned “we have to start by defeating Trump.” I am not part of the DNC/HRC machine and will not be, so not getting excited about this until I see where it’s going. Others may feel the same.

    2. cwaltz

      If the “revolution” is going to be to support “more and better Democrats” than I think I’ll pass.

      I’m perfectly happy being a free range voter. Heck, I’m even going to pull the lever for *gasp* a Republican this cycle. I disagree with the guy on choice but he’s anti TPP, he’s responsive to explaining why he votes as he does and incredibly coherent(even going so far as telling us he voted no because he wasn’t given sufficient time to read a bill. Imagine that, a representative who actually thinks it’s important to read what he is voting on!)

      1. MojaveWolf

        My GOP rep is also anti-TPP and vastly more responsive (or at least his staff is) than my Dem Senators. They should take lessons from him.

        Aaaand despite entirely agreeing w/your possible objections to this movement (see my comment right above yours) I just rsvp’d to the first local meeting.

        I fully expect it to be chock full of people now full on board to save the world by electing the great and wonderful Hillary, and to be roundly castigated by a house full of angry partisan democrats when I break ranks, but maybe just maybe something good will come of it.

        Will let the site know what happens.

  31. Roland

    If you’re an American leftist, I say you should throw your vote to Trump.

    1. Wall Street and the Pentagon are unquestionably the two worst things about America. Both Wall Street and the Pentagon are overwhelmingly in favour of Clinton.

    2. If you find the Trump phenomenon scary, then you should bear in mind that neoliberals like Clinton are the whole reason why the Trump phenomenon is happening in the first place. If Clinton wins, right-wing populism will become more virulent, moving outside the boundaries of normal party and electoral politics. In other words, if you fear the sort of thing that Trump represents, you should actually vote for Trump.

    3. You’ve seen how Clinton deals with opposition–it was made plain at the convention. Leftists have been complaining about the dangers of media concentration for decades. In this campaign that danger is no longer latent, but manifest. That concentrated media power is all being used for Clinton.

    1. cm

      Who does not support TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)?

      Who does not support H1-B visas?

      Sad that so many Sanders supporters are willing to roll over and continue to be abused by the Clinton machine.

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