Gaius Publius: “You Broke It, You Bought It” – A Sanders Activist Challenges Clinton Supporters

Yves here. I’ve been put on a e-mail list of supposed long-standing progressive writers and academics, who have all been very openly hostile to Trump and accepting the obvious superiority of Clinton…until the appointment of her transition team made it undeniable how hard she was moving to the right. As one participant wrote:

Did I really say I would vote for her? I guess I did…this is awful:

They, that is, Bill and Hillary and John Podesta really must think “TINA” has us straightjacked for good and they’ve got this sown up early to be so brazen about betraying, if that’s not an oxymoron in a Presidential campaign year, what comes out of the candidate’s mouth, the revised ideological stance. I have a strong hunch that we are still in for more suprises that may make all this “already sown-up-ness” look vastly premature.

So the left (as in the bona fide left that seeks to improve the position of the working classes) is again caught by the dynamic that the Clintons have so successfully exploited: the “they have nowhere to go” myth. Until the left is willing to inflict a cost by withholding its support, no matter how awful the alternative looks, the mainstream parties will be able to ride roughshod over it and the policy positions it represents.

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive  here

This really matters. That Clinton is a better progressive choice than Trump is not much contested. But was Clinton the better progressive choice against Sanders? Almost no Sanders-supporting Democratic voter would say yes to that. Not on trade, not on climate, not on breaking up too-big Wall Street banks, not on criminally prosecuting (finally) “too big to jail” members of the elite — not on any number of issues that touch core progressives values.

Yes, Clinton was and will be good on some progressive issues, but the list is expected not to be Sanders-long. Progressive vs. “progressive” was, in fact, the hill on which Sanders battled Clinton. Sanders was made to lose. Clinton supporters won.

So what happens if (or when) a newly installed President Clinton “pulls an Obama” — if she starts supporting job-killing trade deals, say, and sells them as “well managed” and “a way to keep China and Russia in check”? Or institutes a large, climate-killing, fracked-methane buildout and calls it a “bridge fuel to a safe and energy-independent future”? What will Clinton supporters, those who happily helped bring down Sanders, do then? The question matters.

(About trade deals: Sanders supporters say — no, they know — that all pro-corporate trade deals are job killers, no matter the words these deals are painted them with. About methane expansion: If it’s a “bridge fuel,” will investors be told that the methane facilities they’re investing in will be torn down in ten years to make way for the fuel that methane is a bridge to? If so, why not just invest in that? Or is the “bridge fuel” talk just talk?)

Becky Bond on the Challenge to Clinton Supporters

Becky Bond has a unique place in the progressive ecosystem. As former president of the activist CREDO SuperPAC, she was at the center of a great many progressive actions, including the fights to stop TPP and the Keystone pipeline. As a senior advisor to the Sanders campaign, she saw the Democratic primary battle firsthand.

Now Bond looks at what the primary has wrought, and issues this challenge to activists who helped defeat Sanders: You broke it, you bought it. Will you now take charge in the fight to hold Clinton accountable? Or will you hang back (enjoying the fruits) and let others take the lead? (“Enjoying the fruits” is my addition. As one attendee noted, the Democratic Convention this year seemed very much like “a jobs fair.”)

Bond says this, writing in The Hill (my emphasis):

Progressive Clinton supporters: You broke it, you bought it

It’s time for progressives who helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

With Donald Trump tanking in the polls, there’s room for progressives to simultaneously crush his bid for the presidency while holding Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire on the TPP.

And yet:

She’s now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign  —  Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It’s time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it’s up to you to lead on this one.

It’s a serious matter, and it can’t wait until after the inauguration. From the perspective of progressives who supported Bernie in the primary, this election is a shotgun wedding. We’re going to vote for Clinton because we have to, but the honeymoon ends with the appointment of Salazar.

Bond has more on Salazar and why both he and Tim Kaine are a “tell,” a signal of things to come from Hillary Clinton: “The choice of Salazar is a pretty good sign that as expected we’ll be seeing the ‘revolving door’ in full force in a Clinton administration. As head of the transition he’ll have enormous influence on who fills thousands of jobs at the White House and federal agencies.”

Will Clinton-supporting activists take up the challenge?

To Clinton Supporters: “You have a special responsibility”

For Bond, the time to act is now and the primary responsibility for supporting progressive goals belongs to those who help kill the Sanders campaign:

So to progressives who supported Clinton in the primary  —  labor advocates, environmentalists, immigration reformers, anti-war activists  —  you have a special responsibility to lead efforts to hold your candidate accountable.

Yes, to “lead” efforts. But will they? That’s the challenge. The response to that challenge will also be a test and a “tell,” a sign of who Clinton activists actually are. Many will pass the test easily (I can name quite a few right now), but many will likely not.

The Split Among Democratic Activists

The “Becky Bond Rule” says progressives in the Clinton camp must be first in line to fix what Clinton does wrong, to aggressively and proactively lead the pushback. That seems only right. Yet there’s a problem with this rule.

The problem: Applying this rule aggressively will expose those on the Clinton side who are really just centrists after all — or worse, just job-seekers — with only a few progressive positions. The dynamic within the “progressive” community was always complex (and pretty patched over), and will only become more so, more complex for sure, and maybe more patched over.

During the primary, a great many “progressives” got unmasked as mainly centrists (after all, Clinton allies held one of their big pre-Benghazi Committee strategy session in Third Way HQ). The reaction to Clinton activists by Sanders activists then, and the reaction going forward, was and will be the stuff of drama, or at least of daytime TV.

And this doesn’t begin to touch the issues around war.

I predict a lot of “hanging back” from the Clinton-supporting camp — after all, no one butters their bread on both sides, the Clinton side and the anti-Clinton side, and the butter on the Clinton side is alluring. Thus it’s easy to predict a lot of angst from Sanders activists about how much calling out to do. The Becky Bond Rule — “You broke it, you bought it” — is a challenge to take responsibility. Note that it implies wrong-doing (“you broke it”). A real gauntlet throw-down on matters of urgent and critical importance.

The progressive-“progressive” split is as real as it always was, and it’s not going away. The next few years of activist interaction, especially among electoral and Party activists, will be revealing, especially when the real action, as I’ll explain later, moves out of the electoral arena. If I’m right about that, the loss of the orderly electoral arena as a place to make large changes could also be laid to Clinton’s ascendancy as well, and thus, to her supporters.

“You broke it, you bought it” is the right thing to say. But will Clinton’s activist base own what they did when they need to? We’re about to find out.

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  1. Carla

    It is really important to stop referring to “job-killing trade deals” and point out every single time they are mentioned that the TTP, TTIP and TISA are about GOVERNANCE, not about “trade” in any sense that a normal person understands it. This is the evil behind the lie of calling these “trade” agreements and putting the focus on “jobs.” TTP & its ilk, like NAFTA and CAFTA before them, are about world government by multinational corporations via their Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. That’s what’s at stake; not jobs. The jobs will be lost to automation anyway; they are never coming back. The TTP et al legal straight jackets do not sell out jobs, that’s already been done. No, what these phony trade agreements do is foreclose any hope of achieving functioning democracies. Please start saying so!

    1. sd

      Question – If automation killed jobs, then why did manufacturing move to low wage states and countries?

      1. Carla

        I miss-typed above. Of course I meant TPP and not ttp.

        Yes, WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc., certainly killed jobs. However, those jobs are not coming back to these shores. In the higher wage countries, “good” jobs — in manufacturing and in many “knowledge” and “service” sectors — as well as unskilled jobs, are being or have been replaced with automated means and methods.

        Just a few examples: automobile assemblers; retail cashiers; secretaries; steelworkers; highway toll collectors; gas station attendants. ETC. Here’s what’s happened so far just in terms of Great Lakes freighters:

        “The wheelman stood behind Captain Ross, clutching a surprisingly tiny, computerized steering wheel. He wore driving gloves and turned the Equinox every few seconds in whatever direction the captain told him to. The wheel, computer monitors and what looked like a server farm filling the wheelhouse are indicative of changes in the shipping industry. Twenty years ago, it took 35 crew members to run a laker. The Equinox operates with 16, only a handful of whom are on duty at once.”

        TPP, TTIP and TISA are about GOVERNANCE, not trade, and only very incidentally, jobs. The rulers of the universe vastly prefer paying no wages to paying low wages, and whatever can be automated, will be, eventually in low-wage countries as well as here and in Europe. A great deal of this has already happened and it will continue. Only 5 sections of the TPP even deal with trade–that’s out of 29. Don’t take this on my authority; Public Citizen is the gold standard of analysis regarding these so-called “trade” agreements.

        1. different clue

          It took the OverClass several decades to send all those jobs away from our shores. It would take several decades to bring those jobs back to our shores. But it could be done within a context of militant belligerent protectionism.

          Americans are smart enough to make spoons, knives and forks. We used to make them. We could make them again. The only obstacles are contrived and artificial political-economic and policy obstacles. Apply a different Market Forcefield to the American Market, and the actors within that market would act differently over the several decades to come.

      2. Andrew

        Automation hasn’t eliminated those jobs yet. But it will. See Foxconns investment in automation to eliminate iPhone assemblers.

      3. Skippy

        Regulatory arb, slice of corruption, and like shareholder value memes an equity burnishing tool…

      4. EndOfTheWorld

        One thing I liked about Thom Hartmann was he relentlessly drove home the point that the US succeeded, grew, and became the dominant economic power in the world through the use of TARIFFS. Tariffs are necessary. They protect your industries while at the same time bringing in a lot of revenue.

        The nafta-shafta deals relinquish the right to even think about tariffs. You don’t have a sovreign nation any more.

          1. different clue

            Really? Even multi-ethnic ones like Russia? Or America on a good day? Or Canada?
            You might want to be careful with Davos Man Free-Trade hasbara like that. You could end up giving racism a good name.

      5. Tom

        Off-shoring was just a stop-gap measure until human capital could be completely removed from the equation.

        1. Carla

          @Tom: My response to sd awaits moderation. However, you said it better — and in many fewer words — than I did — thanks!

            1. John

              Well then Apple can bring the all it’s manufacturing back to the U.S.
              Now need to be in China if they aren’t using slave wage workers.

      6. Vastydeep

        The first round of industrial revolution automation substituted machines for human/horse mechanical exertion. We reached “peak horse” around 1900, and the move to low-wage/low-regulation states was just a step on the global race to the bottom. You can visit the prosperous Samsung-suburb of Suwon, Korea and see all the abandoned manufacturing space (where Korea was just a step on the path to Vietnam and Bangladesh).

        Information revolution automation is substituting machines for human intelligence. Here the race to the bottom is a single step, and these “trade” deals are all about rules of governance that will apply when people have been stripped of all economic power.

        Will the rise of the machines lead to abundance for all, or merely infinite wealth and power for a thin oligarchy of robot/machine owners? TPP and it’s ilk may be the last chance for we the people to have any say in it.

      7. Squirrel

        Yes, automation does reduce jobs.

        However, the old tired canard that manufacturing is shifting to low wage locations is false.

        If labor costs are a driving force one ought to ask –

        Why is Nissan in Nashville, Why does Honda build business jets in Greensboro, Why does BMW build cars in Spartanburg ? Why did Siemens buy a turbine plant in the US. Why did Schneider Electric buy Square D (with union plants in the US)?

        And if labor costs are reduced by offshoring why hasn’t the cost of manufactured goods dropped precipitously ?

        1. John Zelnicker

          @Squirrel – Labor costs, as you say, are a driving force; they are not the only one. Notice that the products you mentioned are all large heavy items. In these cases the transportation costs are high enough that the companies want their production to be close to their final market. The lower cost of labor elsewhere is not enough to compensate for the higher shipping costs from those locations. In addition, the wage gap between the US and other places has narrowed over the past 20 years, mostly due to the ongoing suppression of wage gains in the US. Your examples are exceptions that do not falsify the original premise that a huge amount of manufacturing has moved to lower wage locations. And those moves are still ongoing, e.g., Carrier moving to Mexico.

          The cost of manufactured goods has not fallen because the labor savings is going to profit and executive compensation, not reduced prices.

          1. TimmyB

            The fact that auto manufactures moved plants to low wage, nonunion, right to work states actually highlights the fact that labor costs drive the decision where to locate manufacturing plants.

          2. Squirrel

            So the real reason that manufacturing is being driven offshore or to other low wage locales is the cost of transportation ?
            Especially steel imports ( large heavy items) ?

            1. John Zelnicker

              You misunderstand what I said. The high transportation costs for heavy items is a reason for some manufacturing to move back to the US so they are closer to the final market for their product.

        2. Vatch

          In addition to John Zelnicker’s excellent response, I would like to add one point. Some foreign car manufacturers build some of their cars in the U.S. for marketing reasons. They like to be able to say that a certain percentage of their cars are built in the U.S. They still build a huge number of cars in Japan, Germany, or Korea.

          When was the last time that any of us bought a garment or a computer component that was built in the U.S.?

          1. Jerry Denim

            Consumer electronics- you got me. I think Asia is your only choice. Garments, not so much. My closet is full of US made items, some even by unionized workers. I will admit that you must be willing to pay a premium for these items over their sweatshop counterparts, but I feel the quality alone justifies the price. Any remaining discrepancy is compensated in guilt free purchasing pleasure and piece of mind from knowing that you voted the right way with your wallet. I realize some may not feel they have the luxury of paying more for American made goods, but I would argue many Americans who feel poor could live just as well as they do now with fewer material possessions. I personally would rather have one really great US garment made by fairly compensated union workers with health bennies than three or four inferior garments made by child labor in Bangladesh.

            1. Vatch

              I’m glad you’re able to buy most of your clothing from domestic manufacturers. For most of us, it’s not easy to do that. For example, I like pocket t-shirts, but it’s hard to find very many companies that sell them, let alone sell pocket t-shirts that were made in the U.S.

              According the the American Apparel and Footwear Association, as of 2014:

              “97% of all clothes and 98% of all shoes sold in the United States today are still imported.”


              I own a pair of New Balance shoes that have a 25% chance of having been made in the U.S.

                1. Vatch

                  Thanks! I don’t need any new clothes at this time, but I will definitely save this information for later. I found both web sites based on your description.

              1. JerryDenim

                I never said it was easy, and truthfully a little less than half of my clothing items are US made. Jeans, jackets, boots and dress shoes mainly. Athletic shoes and outdoor techy stuff is almost impossible to find US made but I do have a great pair of Scholler fabric hiking pants that were at least sewn in Oregon. The Swiss (or maybe German) proprietary fabric was almost certainly manufactered in China. I also like to buy locally made speciality items directly from the artisans themselves when I travel. An alpaca sweater from a cooperative in Ecuador, a natural indigo bandhani scarf from India, etc. I also feel no guilt when I buy high quality items from more developed countries with wage laws, environmental protections and a national health care system. Japan, Germany, Great Brian etc. I don’t think buying foreign products is bad at all as long as you are not supporting race to the bottom sweatshop manufacturing- But, like everyone else I still sometimes buy sweatshop clothing for the same reasons everybody else does. It’s cheap, easy and hard to resist because it’s everywhere.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Well good-oh on you, Jerry, and your good fortune to be personally aware and personally making fine choices for your personal preference space.

                  Any feeling at all for the billions of others not well enough set so we can even have those refined choices of what fills that closet (closets?) full of consumer preference nice things? Or is the thought that the rest of us are just lazy because we don’t take the effort (or have the time and money) to find the niche USA-made (including all the materials and the sewing and riveting and cutting machine and hand tools, hmmm?) consumer products you possess? “Like everyone else?” Buying “artisan” alpaca sweaters and banhani indigo scarves “when you travel”? Shows a real maturity and self-awareness, mate… Comity and commensalism, in your tech-gear world, not so much. What a charicature!

                  This ain’t just about sweatshops and slave labor and automation. It’s the end game for our species, most of us. As the increments of power to self-please grow more and more concentrated and divorced from consequences.

          2. Margaret

            I’m horrified how often “Made in America” means “made in prison” — for profit prisons.

            1. different clue

              Are there websites listing every Made In Prison brand and product? Perhaps knowing the name of every such Made In Prison brand is the first step towards extermicotting them out of existence.

              ” Made in Prison”. The new “Made in China”?

              1. savedbyirony

                Sorry, i didn’t see your post earlier.

                There are literally hundreds of US Corps using prison labor. There are lists available online containing many but i couldn’t find one which claimed to be exhaustive. Many of the biggies do, like Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks.

                Some other info about US prison labor: there is NO obligation to pay prisoners for their labor. If and when they are paid (seems they usually are) it ranges from around 20 cents to 4 dollars/hr with the average being around $2/hr. Private Corps were prohibited from using prison labor up until around the late 60’s (sorry i don’t recall the exact year the law was changed). Also, businesses which participate in work release programs receive tax breaks.

                It’s been awhile since I’ve looked at the numbers, but it’s also telling to look at and consider the number of African American males “employed” in prisons as apposed to out.

          3. NotoriousJ

            To me, its more important that the car is “assembled” in America than in which country the manufacturers headquarters are located.

        3. Jerry Denim

          This is B.S. A handful of exceptions do not disprove undeniable meta-trends like race-to-the-bottom offshoring. Quoting a few non-unionized manufacturing facilities in low-wage, right-to-work states disproves nothing. This is no different than carrying a snowball onto the floor of the Senate to disprove global warming or pointing to the first black president to prove racism doesn’t exist in the United States. The cost of manufactured goods hasn’t dropped “precipitously” because PROFITS! Why altruistically give to the consumer what you can shove in your pockets as a Capitalist? The entire point of arbitraging labor by offshoring is to increase profits, not reduce the final retail price of manufactured goods. I don’t have a study ready to quote, but I suspect the cost of many consumer products have dropped precipitously. Ancedotely I could easily rattle off a long list of Asian-made items that are cheaper now in non-inflation adjusted dollars than they were 20 plus years ago during the Clinton administration when you still had a chance of buying mass-produced goods that were made in the USA.

        4. Paul Tioxon

          Japan and Germany were not in a strong position with the US as political peers, they are the defeated of WWII, whose national defense expenditures are to pay for the US Military occupation of their nations and be defended by the massive US military bases on their soil. They have not rearmed and spend to nearly the extent of France or Great Britain and even until recently were not spending or encouraged to do much military spending.

          Both nations focused on economic power, German on heavy industries, tool and die metal fabrication for industrial equipment and auto production. Japan likewise focused on an export strategy of increasingly value added manufactured goods leading up to the auto export invasion of the American car market starting in the 60s and showing a big acquisition of the US auto market. The 1970s due to a perfect storm of Arab Oil embargo high prices for gas at the pump saw a market share grab by the “cheap as rice” Datsun and Honda 2 door stick shifts with killer MPG.

          With gas at over $1 this was a deathblow to the Detroit Land Boats. You can check out youtube auto worker rallies where Japanese imports are smashed to pieces with sledge hammers and other power tools as protest. This resulted in strict import quotas of Japanese cars which lead to their executives deciding to build auto plants in the US to avoid political conflict. By giving jobs to the American auto worker and producing small, cheap to operate and very low priced entry level small cars, the Japanese expanded the auto market by bringing in new drivers who were simply priced out of the US Big 3 auto market due to higher priced full sized autos. They expanded on this customer by building high quality cars that were dependable, lasted a long time without costly repairs to crapped out alternators, belts etc.

          America’s runaway factories have been a problem before trade treaties, neo-liberalism or other trendy lines of analysis. Capitalism has always been ruthlessly exploitative. The movie, “IN THE HEAT OF NIGHT”, finds a wealthy Chicago industrialist down in Mississippi during the worst violence of the US Civil Rights era, in order to build a factory in a rural area with a huge supply of Black workers available to hire. Wages are only a part of the problem. The man could have found a way to make his factory bigger up North by adding onto the existing plant. But corporate America was less and less willing to do so as keeping an organized workforce in place and expanding its numbers was to lose power over the enterprise. It is more than about wages all by themselves. It was about remaining in a dominant position of power, which is achieved more by the breaking up of longstanding social ties by moving factories away from the communities of people who staff them, causing them to move away and start all over meeting new people, making new friends, most of which you will never be able to live with like the people you grew up with in the old neighborhood, no matter how nice and polite they really are. The social capital has been drained away from the communities that lose their paychecks along with the factories that go away, even if only to the suburbs for a start, then down South and eventually offshore.

          You can also check out David Halberstam’s treatment of the fall of Detroit’s Big 3 Auto makers in his book: “The Reckoning”.


          “Clearly, there is more to the Japanese system than stories of harmonious relations between labor and management would have us believe.

          But the flaw in the American armor, Halberstam concludes, was not its strong union–he finds the UAW a guilty accomplice in the industry’s downfall. But the blame he fixes on the management of Ford, the original Henry Ford and his grandson, Henry Ford II. The one let his company be run by thugs and incompetents, the latter gave final and excessive authority to the finance department. The men of finance, employing sophisticated systems of accounting, put product development and manufacturing on the defensive, ultimately milking profits from plants starved for investment and cars deficient in quality.

          The financial bias unbalanced the business. As what Halberstam calls “the bright young men from the nation’s business schools, careful and cautious and able,” spread through Ford’s executive ranks and the power of finance grew, the cars and the people who made them and even the customers, the people who bought them, seemed to recede in importance. Manufacturing and product quality didn’t return to their proper priority at Ford until the 1980s, after imports had taken more than 25% of the U.S. market. Some of the customers, of course, didn’t return at all.

          Why did Henry Ford allow this to happen? Because, suggests Halberstam, his family fortune was concentrated in Ford Motor Co. stock, and in the 1960s, the stock market had changed to a fast game in which investment managers demanded that a company show high current income before they bought shares and kept the price up.”

          1. John Rose

            A friend worked for the Department of Labor in the 80’s focusing on trade policy. He met with GE officials with data proving their move off shore would not save money as they said and was told, “That doesn’t matter. This is to get away from the unions.”

        5. different clue

          The cost of manufactured goods HAS dropped precipitously. What has NOT dropped precipitously is the PRICE. The offshore manufacturers pay a MUCH lower cost to manufacture, and sell their goods back here for a SLIGHTLY lower price, and keep the difference. And the people they de-jobbed here got Walmart Jobs at Walmart Wages, if they got any jobs at all.

          And if your new jobs pays you Always The Low Wage, Always . . . . then Always The Low Price, Always . . . is not relatively low from your newly lowered Walmart Wages point of view.
          And that’s why offshoring won’t last forever, only until it runs out of people with disposable income to sell to.

    2. KurtisMayfield

      Don’t forget IP, which seems to be the priority of a lot of corporations.. because rent seeking for Steamboat Willy and The Sound of Music has to be extended another 20 years. If TPP gets passed forget about copyright expiration ever happening.

      1. John Wright

        What I find interesting is that the USA’s rent extraction from IP may have an expiration date.


        In 2002, 97125 US patents were granted to US origin entities and 87299 to foreign entities.

        So US entities received about 1.1126 patents to every foreign patent in 2002.

        In 2015, 155982 were granted to US origin entities and 169997 to foreign entities, so foreign entities are now getting more patents than the USA.

        So US entities received about 0.9176 patents to every foreign patent in 2015.

        The trend is clear, foreign companies are playing the IP game, and will have the USA’s TPP to help enforce IP laws/extensions on THEIR IP.

        It is as if the USA politicians realize the world is catching up and want to mine/extract as much USA IP rent as they can while it is still valuable.

        But if trends continue, foreign countries will be using USA trade agreements to extract ever increasing IP rent from the USA while USA corporations are trying to peddle Steamboat Willy and the Sound of Music to foreign markets with no cultural interest.

        1. Fiver

          Patent by Number tells only part of the story. In terms of quality, value, significance etc.,there are patents, and then there are Patents. I think the size, heft, depth and ambition of US multinationals still translates into ownership and production of the preponderance of both the historically important and monetarily valuable patents, so they would still have a huge stake and role in writing the IP rules they want. And there is only 1 US in terms of the size of military spending that becomes corporate R & D. As a result there are many areas of science and tech where the US is the only real participant. This is not to denigrate European or Chinese or Russian or Iranian or Indian science at all – after all the US absorbed the entire legacy of European scientific and technical expertise as a result of WWII – space and missile technology from Germany, and the Bomb from the universities of Germany and Europe, etc.

    3. Norb

      In America, we are faced with the fact that most citizens could care less about good government. The relentless conditioning of the public mind to equate governance principles with economic business practices is almost complete. The daily examples of corruption and looting have no traction effecting change in the public mind because the overall sentiment is not revulsion at the injustice of betrayed principles of equality, but the annoyance of “where’s mine” or resigned apathy- “they are all corrupt anyway”. In this environment, greed and corruption are unstoppable because they are not seen as vices or worth risking personal injury to combat.

      The main quandary is the relationship between government and the economic system that structures the resulting society. They are inseparable forces, one effecting the other. Also, we forget these human structures depend on the natural environment to exist in the first place. A three way balancing act.

      The neoliberals have convinced themselves that their power will reign indefinitely by the capture of government and economics- the natural environment be dammed. So far, they are winning, but are too shortsighted or inherently selfish to realize they will loose in the long run due to environmental destruction and/or the mob rolling out the guillotines.

      A more radical embrace of good government and protection of the environment-to the detriment of economic growth seems in order. It is a change in perspective and priority that takes time to develop, especially when running against the tide of neoliberal power.

      When considering these three powers, it seems you can pick two, and sacrifice the other for success. Utopia is striving for all three and in the real world leads to failure.

      Small scale radicalism, focused on local and small network self-reinforcing structures can be the Powell memo for the masses.

      1. Mike Protenic

        Agree totally on corruption and its depth and spread. However, while small-scale action may seem safe and reliable, you may wish to look into the small-scale Christian communist settlements from Germany, Switzerland, etc. during the 1800’s here in the U.S. Their failure is pat of the “start small” problem. I believe our responsibility is two-fold: first, to take care of our local area as best we can, creating cooperative networks where necessary; second, understanding that the damage that can be done on the national/global level can undo all we have achieved on ANY local level.

        There is no substitute for clear and painful methods, and that means bypassing, economically or politically, all governmental authority and building a parallel structure that eventually revolts against the rule of these cancerous parasites once they have weakened themselves thru capitalist chaos. Could the answer be “Don’t pay them thru taxes, don’t buy their products thru self-sufficiency, and FOLLOW UP with resistance that may lead to the death of numbers of people, which is the price we must pay for a hundred years of ignorance and easy answers”? This may have been the answer before the advent of the huge militarized spying and stealing apparatus in place now. The international system is now consolidating its mastery over technology that once promised to set us “free”. The bamboozle worked on most of us. We would pay a huge price before winning power on the basis of current political divisions, and then be in a struggle to see which “perspective” wins after that. I see the need for collapse of systems globally to get people active enough to overcome these issues.

        1. Norb

          I have been branded by my friends and acquaintances as a collapse advocate. I subscribe to the notion that the sooner the crash comes the better- less damage to overcome in order to rebuild. Same as the hope for Democracy in America today is best served by further gridlock. Most see the need for change in the system, but can’t bring themselves to envision a different world. Speak of free public education and healthcare as doable public goals if only political will was demonstrated and the endless disempowering mantras are trotted out. Sex, drugs, electronic diversions, and sporting events are truly the modern day Circuses keeping the elite world system chugging along.

          Human societies have been fighting the same battles over and over through time. Individuals can have positive effects on small scales. Large scale movements tend to be delusional in nature or easily subverted. A life based on love and compassion as opposed to one of violence is the fundamental choice we all must make. A life committed to compassion is a person to person experience and grows from that foundation. Without that mechanism, all life is reduced to exploitation.

          Time will tell which is stronger. Death is easier to achieve than life, which is why every effort should be made to not celebrate it. In America today, the exact opposite is the norm.

          The revolutionary force will be compassion.

          1. different clue

            Hmmm . . . . ” The sooner we fall, the softer we land.” . . . ? Is that the concept?

          2. Fiver

            ‘Death is easier to achieve than life, which is why every effort should be made to not celebrate it. In America today, the exact opposite is the norm.’

            Take any purposeful, 24-hour jaunt through a variety of US media and the depth of the claim that violence and death have on the modern American psyche is evident. Instead of finding ways to transcend our ancient Western terror of Death we late moderns have placed an infinite value on our primary selves that as often as not now seems barely to extend beyond family – while substituting artificial identification with an endless series of ‘heroes’ who are indestructibly selfless in execution of their graphic mayhem on behalf of whatever ‘good’ we’ve bought into, however temporarily or ethereal. We try on the one hand to live (or even stay young) forever while also deftly performing some unseen calculus that justifies things like inflicting losses on manufactured distant ‘enemies’ at rates like 100:1 and calling it a ‘war’ not an unjustifiable crime, a slaughter.

            Perhaps if we valued ourselves a little more modestly it would open up some room to value all those ‘others’ at some more equitable ratio. When we get to 1:1, we’re there.

        2. HBE

          “Christian communist settlements from Germany, Switzerland, etc. during the 1800’s here in the U.S. Their failure is pat of the “start small” problem.”

          I believe this is an important point, you can only improve and diverge from orthodoxy at the local level so far. Locales are still dependent on the outside for so much, especially today. Electricity, gas, raw materials, food, etc. If you stray too far outside the orthodoxy at the local level, especially if your changes were effective, the hammer would come down hard, at the state or federal level.

          The local level is microcosm, and to a certain extent it can be greatly improved, but you are still beholden to powers at the macro level, stray to far or challenge the existing system to much and your done.

    4. Michael C

      Carla, you are right about the main focus of these trade deals. Sure, it’s about degrading labor and avoiding sensible regulation. More importantly, it’s about making an end run around democracy and enscouncing the profiteers above governments. The Clinton’s, along with Obama, have consistently sided with these elites.

    5. Alejandro

      “The jobs will be lost to automation anyway; they are never coming back.”

      Only as a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you buy into the “supply-side”, “free market”, monetary “auto-pilot” mythology.

      Jobs, in the context of universal human rights, would be a political project, powered AND steered by fiscal sanity, i.e., if there’s never a shortage of “money” to allocate and distribute resources for endless wars, death and destruction, then that same lack of “shortage” can be used to allocate and distribute resources to sustain dignified quality of life.

      1. Carla

        I agree, Alejandro. That’s why I think it’s critical to stop TPP et al, and repeal NAFTA etc. — so that we can build some semblance of democratic (very much small “d”) structures, from the ground up, in the context of universal human rights.

    6. Synoia

      Automation is a two edged sword. One is replacing retainable workers with untrainable software.

      This is well covered on NC by Clive and others, who discuss the legacy problem in the Banking industry. I’d estimate TR he US had about twice it’s GDP invested in software programming.

      Many future well paying jobs will be in software maintenance, in COBOL, 360 a assembler and the impossible to maintain C language.

      In embracing automation and robots management is sacrificing future flexibility and increasing their cost of change.

      Of which Grexit is a prime example.

    7. MartyH

      @Carla, I agree. The globalists have never been interested in Democracy. They are rabid Libertarians, interested in Freedom only for their multinational corporations and control over policy such that those interests are not impeded.

    8. Spring Texan

      Yes, if Clinton or her ilk once talked about what the “trade” deal is REALLY about, including higher pharmaceutical prices worldwide, they might be showing some good faith. The very phraseology she uses shows obfuscation and lack of commitment. Which is why no one believes they actually oppose it.

      1. Carla

        It’s not only Clinton. Too many “progressives” — in fact, almost all — still focus on the job-killing trope when citing these toxic “trade” agreements — they are not about trade, but governance. Please point this out whenever the subject is raised. Frankly, I was very disappointed that Gaius Publius did not focus on this in the post.

    9. different clue

      “Job-killing” is language that mainstream people understand. If you want to reach mainstream people, you have to go where they already are. So you might well begin each talk on the issue with the phrase “job-killing” which is a phrase millions of people already understand. You can then add onto it your pick of phrases from a menu of phrases like ” nation-killing, democracy-killing, sovereignty-killing, country-killing, environment-killing, health-killing, etc.” trade agreements. Mainstream people will understand some of those phrases. Some mainstream people already understand some of those phrases. When Senator Sessions of Alabama talks about TTP being carefully engineered to destroy our sovereignty, his mainstreamers in his mainstream state of Alabama already understand him quite clearly.

    10. TG

      Correct, well said! TPP is about giving foreign corporate lawyers meeting in secret de-facto plenary legislative power. Needs to be emphasized more, yes.

      I do point out, however, that automation is not the problem (at least for now). While some jobs (like automated call centers) are easy to automate, most are either still not possible, or have capital costs that are non-economic. I mean, the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner after over a decade of development is still an expensive toy with zero impact on the market for janitors and maids. And in manufacturing, while there are a few large showy automated assembly lines, in general manufacturing is using less automation. There are many things that used to be built on automated assembly lines in the United States as early as the 1980’s, that are now assembled by hand in asia.

      Ask yourself: if automation is killing jobs, why is labor productivity falling? Surely the one person managing an automated factory should have on-paper productivity through the roof. But that is not, on average, happening. Rather as labor becomes cheaper, companies feel less pressure to invest in making more efficient use of it, and productivity is tapering off…

      If labor is becoming obsolete, why are companies pushing for ever cheaper labor through outsourcing to third world countries or excessively high rates of immigration? Answer: labor is not becoming obsolete, and instead of automating, most companies are still focused on driving down wages.

    11. NotoriousJ

      True as that may be, it’s a little abstract for our soundbite society. Sadly, as this primary season demonstrated, one has to appeal to emotions.

  2. FedupPLeb

    . That Clinton is a better progressive choice than Trump is not much contested.

    But shouldn’t it be?

    Trump is against globalistion, bad trade deals, interminable foreign wars and wants to fix America by bringing back jobs, etc. The standard line is that Trump is — oh horror – “racist” because he wants to stop immigation. Therefore, etc.

    But don’t workers have a genuine interest in protecting the bargaining power of labour? If a capitalist declares that he will import workers from Mexico or India or Russia, or just export his entire production chain to China, because US labour is too expensive. Is it more “progressive” to declare these worried workers racist, or backward, or too intellectual challenged to see the benefits of a global supply chain and its cheap ipads for all still in salaried (i.e. unoutsourced) employment.

    But no matter. Hillary says nice things about hispanic-americans and has long ties to the black community over the last few decades as their standard of living has stagnated with everyone else. She supports LGBT rights and Trump probably doesn’t even though I can’t think of any negative statements he may have made but OK Hillary is the more Progressive candidate OK. Obviously.

    1. Pat

      I can not point to any pro LGBT statements by Trump, but Clinton’s support of those issues is just as two faced as her support of so many other things. Not only do we have the abysmal record of her husband’s administration, we have her long repeated attacks on gay marriage which ended only after it became the law of the land that marriage was NOT just between a man and a woman.

      About the only thing that Isn’t faux for Clinton is the endless dick swinging.

      1. DWD

        About the only thing that Isn’t faux for Clinton is the endless dick swinging.

        Just wanted to see it again.

      2. NYPaul


        “Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT community.” This is a very dark moment in America’s history. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.”

        “It is a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation. It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity.”

        “I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence, it’s a “quality-of-life issue.”

        “If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans – women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians and all people – then we need to tell the truth about radical Islam,” he said.


    2. Another Gordon

      FedupPleb – My thought exactly. Trump has personality issues but many of his positions, sketchy as they are, are in the right ballpark. Clinton by contrast seems to be rated “progressive” mainly because of surprisingly enduring loyalty to the Democrat brand.

      The best definition of a brand I ever came across is “a compelling promise, reliably honoured”. How’s that been working out for Dems in recent years?

      1. different clue

        The Clintonites are selling First Woman President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement.

        Just as the Obamazoids sold First Black President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement.

    3. jrs

      Trump is of course against the minimum wage. Trump is interested in the power of labor, man they can not pass legalized marijuana fast enough, and maybe I can pretend it all makes sense.

    4. sharonsj

      What Trump says doesn’t matter (just like Clinton). Take a look at his VP and his advisors. Pence is a dominionist nutjob and the rest of Trump’s team are ultra-right-wing bible thumpers. He may say he’s against the TPP but his team is for it. As for the Constitution the Republicans are always waving about, they really don’t care what’s in it unless they can use it to their advantage.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        “take a look at his vp”—that selection was a bone he HAD to throw to the GOP bigwigs so he could make it through the GOP convention. The VP will have no power in the Trump presidency, as even the venerable Yves has pointed out. The only one who took control was Richard “the Bruce” Cheney, and that was a special case.

        The only way Pence will have power is if Trump gets whacked, which is indeed a possibility.

      2. local to oakland

        I’m not part of, but I have some direct personal experience with the bible thumping crowd. Those constituents are not internationalist or pro trade deals. They have been afraid of ‘world government’ as opposed to nationalism; they have wanted even more local control for decades.

        These ‘allies’ will move the ball. They will shake up the existing coalitions vs the stagnation and corruption we have now. Even as a switch between sets of oligarchs, if they keep Trump’s promises, they will give the populace some breathing room.

        As I said to a coworker in a political discussion yesterday, there are very few issues I would weigh above the Supreme Court, but Clinton’s pro corporate, pro war stance has taken me to that place.

      3. Mike G

        But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Trump Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?
        When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
        Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
        “Making America great again” was the casual reply.
        Ultimately, Trump chose Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, not Kasich, to be his running mate.

        Trump has no interest in the minutiae of governing. Look at Pence’s minsdet — doctinaire right-wing Repub with social conservatism — for what a Trump Maladministration would be like.

    5. TedWa

      I dispute that as a given also – When a republican candidate, Trump, can push Hillary to the left on such major issues as on war and trade deals, is she really the progressive here? A true progressive would not need to be dragged or pushed to the left. These are MAJOR issues.

    6. aab

      Actually, there’s evidence in her private speech (leaked emails, etc.) that Hillary is pretty hostile to LGBT rights. Her public speech, of course, should be discounted as performative and dishonest. I think Trump has made some very positive statements about the LGBT community, but I can’t point to a reference offhand. That could certainly be equally dishonest and performative. But he doesn’t have the same documented history of pandering that way, and unlike Hillary, he’s not an evangelical Christian. There’s also evidence that in reality Hillary is quite racist, as well.

      I will step up and dispute that she’s more progressive. I don’t think she is. Her warmonging and TPP support count against her. Her history in Haiti, etc., count against her. That’s not to defend Trump as progressive in any meaningful sense. Just that Clinton is no improvement.

  3. Kokuanani

    How on earth does ANYONE [other than the FIRE industry, her neo-con pals and the climate killers] “hold her accountable” or have any influence on her?

    She’s got the nomination, there’s little doubt she’ll win the election, she’s got 100% of DNC Dems behind her. WTF are folks supposed to do to have any sort of weight in a Clinton administration?

    And if Ms. Bond is speaking to those close to Clinton, what makes her think they WANT to have any influence for good?

    1. YankeeFrank

      Agreed. This is a joke and Becky Bond, whoever she is, is living in a fantasy world if she thinks these faux progressive careerists will do anything to jeopardize their cush positions (or chance at cush positions, pathetic as that is). I visit their blogs and watch them: its either outright Stockholm Syndrome (for those who had or have an ethical bone in their bodies) or insincere and dishonest posturing as “progressives” all around. They will hold Clinton as accountable as they held Obama.

      1. DavidE

        The Clinton supporters that live in her bubble and are insiders will never betray her because they benefit from the jobs they hope/will have in her administration. It is the mass of voters who believed what she said are the ones that have to get out and hold her feet to the fire. Most rolled over and said nothing as Obama’s “change we can believe in” was only a slogan to fool us. The narrative that it was the big bad obstructionist Republicans that stopped Obama’s change is mostly false. Obama never ever fought for real change. He talked a good game but did nothing. The best way to make politicians listen to us is that we show up in mass (millions) in DC and demand that government act in our behalf.

        1. John

          Why do all the way to Washington?
          They all have homes right among the people
          they claim to represent.

        2. TedWa

          “The narrative that it was the big bad obstructionist Republicans that stopped Obama’s change is mostly false.”
          I think it’s totally false. If Obama had been who he portrayed on TV pre-election, the democrats would not have lost their seats in the next election. He gave the 2010 elections to the Republicans, so any obstructioning from then on was his own creation.

          1. Fiver

            Was it Obama, or was it really the Clinton people brought in around Obama? Whoever placed a built-to-fail Health Care program ahead of, or co-equal to, properly addressing the Financial Crisis, Iraq War, war on terror and their collective effects first, including criminal charges in high places in both NY and Washington, did indeed throw that critical Election. For effectively picking the Republicans up off the political mat, dusting them off and giving them back both Houses he got exactly nothing. I think then he began to realize neither his side nor the other side was much interested in his success if same involved return of the rule of law.

        3. John Wright

          Then there is the frequently referenced Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page paper at

          “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no
          independent influence.”

          Average voters are a group to be messaged/pandered to on a 2/4/6 year cycle and then ignored between election cycles.

          My high school civics teacher (Los Angeles County public school) made a statement 30+ years ago I still remember. “When a politician says he cares about the common man, see who he golfs with, see who he has dinner with, it’s not the common man”

          About the only thing that needs to be updated in the statement is the “he” needs to be revised to “he/she”

          Perhaps the best the average citizen can hope for is that there are interest groups on both sides on an issue, but a profitable business group with a rich source of funding vs a public interest group depending on contributions seems mismatched.

          Even when there are powerful business groups that differ on current policy, change is difficult, for example US government price support for domestic sugar producers is opposed by the large sugar industry consumers (candy makers, soft drink producers), but the TPP specifically leaves this USA government subsidy in place.

        4. different clue

          Y’all can hold her feet to the fire all you want. She has asbestos feet. She’ll never know the difference. She’ll never even feel it.

      2. jrs

        Yea hard to say who is even being addressed. Nobodies voting for Clinton with voting as their main act of political participation? Sometimes they might just be uninformed, or they may have voted for her thinking she would fare better against Trump, or if better off they might have voted their privilege, etc.. But they have no real power.

        Left activists? Let’s be realistic how many left activist support Clinton? I have no doubt many supported Bernie while some may only support Stein etc. but Clinton? I have my doubts there are almost ANY actual left activists who supported Clinton over Sanders (over Trump maybe, but not over Sanders). But he means some talking head somewhere who isn’t even an activist but has a public platform? Those people have been bought and paid for.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      This post greatly diminishes my esteem for the opinions of Gaius Publius. “Hold her accountable” as proposed? While we’re at it we can bell the cat. Both major parties and government in this country at all levels National, State, and Local are captured beyond any accountability to the public. Our government is no longer interested in the Public Interest and as for the Public Good the term “Good” is only a synonym for a Commodity — as in goods and services.

      I supported Sanders. The primary and convention made it clear that making change within the system is no longer a real option. In the best of all possible worlds I feel it’s time to tend my garden — far away from the action and with my head held low.

      1. Gaius Publius

        > This post greatly diminishes my esteem for the opinions of Gaius Publius.

        Sorry to hear it, Jeremy, truly.

        I’m passing on Becky Bond’s challenge, which I agree is appropriate, and adding mine about the likelihood of a positive response. Hope you didn’t conflate the two.



  4. ambrit

    The spectacle of Sanders kneeling and kissing the Clinton ring, even though reasonably ‘spun’ as a necessity for political ‘survival’ by Sanders, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the “true believers” who flocked to Sanders. There should be little hope of those who embraced the cognitive dissonance that is the Clinton campaign suddenly ‘seeing the light’ and pivoting to an internally activist position in the Democratic Party. Far from righting the ‘progressive’ course of the Ship of State, many will conclude that this is just another ‘Ship of Fools.’
    Any prospective transformative political movement needs a cadre of “true believers” to energize and channel that energy in the “proper” direction. The Democratic Party has shown the depths to which the Clinton cabal will sink in the pursuit of power. Wresting that power out of the hands of the Despicable Duo will perhaps be more trouble than splitting the Party would be. Thus, if “we broke it,” why not carry on as one part of the ‘new normal’ Democratic Party Spectrum. “True believers” respond to appeals to their better nature more readily than appeals to their fear of ‘others.’ Real ‘progressives’ would rather live in a New Jerusalem than the White House Outhouse.
    The ‘hostile takeover’ of any political party requires a full housecleaning. Half measures will not suffice.

      1. DavidE

        I have always asked who would win an election if we voted by policy instead of by name in an election? Of course I am assuming that a candidate would tell the truth about their positions from the beginning and not change after they won. Trump, Stein and Johnson have been honest about their positions but Clinton changes with the wind.

        I will be voting Stein because her policies match what is best for all Americans.

      2. Stephen Gardner

        The ridicule is a badge of honor. It is the “laughter of fools”. Both candidates of the major parties are unacceptable in their own way. To vote for either is to accept subjugation with a smile. Don’t be fooled. Whatever happens in the election will be blamed on minor parties by the losing side. Vote your conscience and know that if you were to vote for either major party candidate you would be complicit in the destruction that will follow.

        1. Michael C

          I would rather vote for what I want and not get it than to vote for what I don’t want and get it. –Eugene Debs. Sanders, you should have remembered the words of your hero whose picture hangs on your office wall.

          1. Rosario

            I usually like Reed, and to his credit much of the article is well thought out, but this statement is ridiculous and captures the essence of what is wrong with his reasoning:

            “But that frustration also reflects a tendency to overestimate what should be expected from electoral politics in the absence of an organically rooted and dynamic political movement.”

            Hokum logic like this doesn’t get a pass. If he is going to argue Hillary is a “strategic” vote so be it. We can all paint the walls puke green and pretend we are raising the home value, but the above statement contains far less strategy for growing future political movement than voting Green in November. It reads like a BS strategy statement from a CEO at a corporate gathering. If you want an, as the tortured phrase goes, “organically rooted and dynamic political movement”, then vote Green, it actually is that simple. There is absolutely no strategy in voting for Hillary. Hillary is the throw away vote.

            One essential question for Reed, how can the Greens develop a “real politics” strategy if they are not supported? I think he is putting the cart before the horse here. The politics come with the political support and the political support comes with power through votes. How do you make a platform that gets votes in Reed’s mind, one that is full of BS marketing and pandering? If people don’t vote for them they can’t engage in “real politics”. I guess the irony of this passed him by. In addition, will all those Green staffers with their “pie in the sky” platforms build coalitions for free? How can they build solidarity without the resources to do so. Resources that come through more votes. This is a fallacy of many academics, thinking activist, labor, and newborn political movements operate outside the boundaries manned by a capitalist system requiring a share of capital to play any game. Again, putting the cart before the horse.

            Anyway, whether Reed dislikes Green’s “strategy” or not doesn’t change that they are the only sane alternative on a Federal level (where progressive initiatives are desperately needed), and Hillary will absolutely be worse than Trump on a 20 year scale. Obama’s presidency should validate this. The danger of mixing the “right” message with the wrong actions. I do recall a major left backlash from Bush, a clear line in the sand was drawn and the left mobilized. Where is that left after Obama? Most of them are asking for the same medicine that is killing them. Why explicitly destroy people’s lives as Trump would when you can do it with the subtlety provided by good marketing and legal maneuvering and continue doing so indefinitely with the public cheering you on.

            And on to the doom of a Trump presidency. The supposed logic that Hillary will “stop” Trump. I guess people forget that all the right-wing populists that support Trump are not going anywhere. They are having kids and they are rearing them in their toxic worldview. Hillary has done and will do nothing to build an ideology that counters the Trump crowd. Cover our ears and our eyes and it will all go away is the strategy. She will be in office for eight years and all the Trumpers will fortify their positions and mobilize on an even greater scale when she is done reigning whatever hell she brings with her. I’m seeing Weimar Republic politics here, and I don’t like it.

          2. NotoriousJ

            Amusingly, this is precisely the position (and the correct one, IMO) that Russell Brand took so much flack for about two years ago.

      3. ambrit

        I have seen it argued that the biggest benefit of sticking with one of the mainstream parties is the ‘ground game,’ or organizational templates already in place. The Greens are chided for organizational weakness. Whether true or not, this “branding” of the Greens as feckless is a major impediment to popular acceptance of the party. The marginalization of the Green Party in the media magnifies whatever true weaknesses there are within the party.
        The corollary of the earlier assertion of mine about “true believers” is that, except for insular or separatist movements, true believers act as cadres around which larger aggregates coalesce to form an effective party. Trump is effecting this with his courting of the ‘second division’ level of Republican operatives. The outpouring of negative propaganda from the ‘top tier’ Republicans suggests a semi panic mind set. The virulence of the anti Trump screeching reinforces the perception that the senior Republicans fear that they can lose to Trump in the power struggle.
        Even though the Sanders supporters have been ‘schooled’ in hard ball politics by the Clinton camp, they still need a hope for success to motivate them to continue the struggle. The above comments anet the Greens show a perception that the Greens cannot supply that success. It may be all smoke and mirrors, but, absent some serious counter propaganda from the Green Party, the ginned up MSM portrayal of the Greens as irrelevant is pretty much all the information the Sanders supporters have to base a decision on. Get a Green governor, or some Green congresspeople, and the Greens gain inestimable status. It may look like a chicken or egg puzzle, but better propaganda is a good place to start.
        It’s time for the Greens to stop looking like victims and to start looking and acting like victors.

        1. Michael C.

          Carla, you are right about the main focus of these trade deals. Sure, it’s about degrading labor and avoiding sensible regulation. More importantly, it’s about rimning sn end rin around democracy and enscouncing the profiteers above governments.

        2. Otis B Driftwood

          All very true, ambrit. The Greens have been on the margins for longer than they should have been because the myth of Nader spoiling the 2000 election has had lasting effect. Hell, I believed it myself until I took the time to take a second look this year.

          I’d like to think that I’m not particularly in the vanguard here, and that many other people have recognized that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. The only option for progressives is to start filling in the ranks, to be vocal and to be active. To find talented candidates for down ticket races.

          Unfortunately, one of the ironies of the current Democratic party is that it still does have some room for progressives in state and local office. That’s why Zephyr Teachout is still a Democrat. She can win without the full backing of the party. And, I suspect equally unfortunately, she reckons that she would have a harder time running as a Green due to voter bias.

          That’s what needs to change. Voters need to see the Green party as a viable alternative. It is indeed a chicken and egg problem. And that’s why I see the Stein campaign as an important step in helping rehabilitate the Green party in the minds of voters.

          It is also critically important for progressives to not relent on our critique of neoliberalism and the Democratic party. The so-called progressives like Adolph Reed and others who have already capitulated need to be vigorously rejected.

          If Stein can get enough support this year it may convince candidates of Teachout’s caliber that they can run successfully as Green party members and that will start the necessary momentum to building the party from the local and state level upward.

          Anyway, I’ve donated money to the Stein campaign and I’ve got my yard sign in front of my house and my “none of the above” sticker on my truck. I’m doing what I can in my own way.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > beyond redemption

            I understand this is the GP party line, and good for them that they’re pushing it so consistently; that’s acting like a real party.

            That said, when Sanders gets 45% of the vote, and massive majorities among the youth, the future of the party (who, though debt, and the crappy job market, have very different material circumstances Clinton’s base) there’s just a ton of evidence that your assertion is wrong.

            > “So-called progressives like Adolf Reed”

            That’s simply dishonest, for two reasons. One, are you really putting Reed in the same box as a career “progressive” like Ezra Klein? Please. Reed doesn’t identify as a “progressive” (a faction in the Beltway political class). Second, here’s what Reed actually wrote:

            Elections are much more likely to be effective as vehicles for consolidating victories won on the plane of social movement organizing than as shortcuts or catalysts to jumpstart movements. In this respect one of the most interesting features of the Sanders campaign was that its objective was partly to encourage movement-building. The Labor for Bernie initiative, for example, has constructed a loose network of many thousands of union activists around the country and is undertaking discussions of next steps between now and November and beyond. The campaign demonstrated that a potential national constituency exists for a clear-headed working-class program. That constituency is one that must be cultivated, and the campaign’s most important accomplishment may turn out to be its bringing together activists in the trade unions and elsewhere who are committed to cultivating and expanding it. The Sanders campaign was tremendously successful at what it could do. Its real payoff will come as the movement-building initiatives bear fruit over the next several years.

            That’s very far from “capitulation.” Now, I do understand that the GP is desperate, for institutional reasons, to seize the opportunity before them, and therefore that “any stick to beat a dog”* argumentation must be part of their arsenal of persuasion, but if I had to choose between movement building — even fighting on Democrat Party terrain — and party-building, I’d choose movement building in a heartbeat.

            NOTE * Again, I congratulate GP for acting like a real party.

            1. Torsten

              What’s in a name?

              If more sometimes-Greens would stand up and ACT GREEN, and VOTE GREEN, then maybe the Democratic Party would ACT GREEN and change its name. This Changes Everything. Get on the right side of history or choose extinction.

                1. Otis B Driftwood

                  I would ask the same question of you, “How has your ten or so years of critiquing neoliberalism worked out in changing the Democratic party?”

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Granting your premise, which I’m sure Yves does not, if a lone blogger and a political party net out the same, that’s not a comment on the blogger. It’s a comment on the political party.

                    Now, this may be the GP’s moment. Who knows? But they also managed to miss every significant moment post-2008, starting with the capitol occupations. Insitutions can change, but it’s not likely. (Specifically, adding money and people doesn’t guarantee anything, as anyone who’s worked at a dysfunctional non-profit knows.)

                    1. Fiver

                      Did you watch her on CNN, Lambert? She held her own quite effectively under hostile fire, and her calm, professional conduct allowed her to make big, necessary statements on several critically important issues – especially vis a vis war, drones, unbridled Executive power. There sure are worse alternatives to having 4 political parties with two of them minor, but far more serious on policy. A virtually certain intransigence on the part of Clinton is going to send a lot of people packing for good. As I don’t believe there can be a Green economy and politics without an equally radical re-orientation in the existing set of social goals, a left/Green 3rd Party could play a ‘punches way above its weight’ role even as it builds and grows.

            2. Otis B Driftwood

              I’m having a hard time reconciling the great admiration and respect I have for the authors of this great blog against their antipathy (bordering on hostility) to the Green party. I get that it has been disorganized, feckless, less-than-serious. I believed the same myself for a long time. But I also believed at the same time that the Democratic party could be saved from itself; but this election cycle removed what little hope I had left.

              I don’t want to pick a fight as I would most certainly lose, but I also don’t see why continuing to fight for reform within the Democratic party and support for a third-party that more closely resembles the values of the former Democratic party are necessarily mutually exclusive.

              Please don’t take any of this personally. I find this one of the few places left to go for good discussion and greatly appreciate your efforts in making it happen.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > I also don’t see why continuing to fight for reform within the Democratic party and support for a third-party that more closely resembles the values of the former Democratic party are necessarily mutually exclusive.

                They aren’t. That’s why I keep saying I support left entities as part of the (three-sided: conservative, liberal left) Overton Prism. And both the nascent post-Sanders organizations, Brand New Congress and Our Revolution, have explicitly said they will support non-Democrats, and I don’t see why GP candidates would not be eligible.

                That said: My experience with the GP from Maine (awful, utterly dysfunctional, good candidates who left politics entirely) and my experience with GP supporters at NC lead me to believe that for the GP, “fight for reform within the Democratic party and “support for a third party” are mutually exclusive.

                That is what the sheepdog metaphor — which has the exact amount of intellectual integrity as #BernieBro, that is to say, nil* — very explicitly says. And believe it or not, were I a Sanders supporter, and were I to have been called a sheep, too stupid to know my own interests or do serious work absent a GP vanguard, over and over again by GP supporters — I might feel “hostile” too, a personal follow-on to the fundamental conflict over strategy between people who regard politics as witness and people who regard politics as instrumental, where I’m in the latter camp; q.v. Adolf Reed here.

                I mean, it’s amazing: 45% of the Democratic primary vote, an avowedly “socialist” candidate, a policy-driven candidate who drove an enormous wedge into the Obama Coalition, using a new funding model that doesn’t depend on 1% money, and new standalone left institutions starting up, independent of the Democrats, yet somehow this is painted as a failure? I understand why the GP has to do this, because they’re desperate to survive institutionally, and good for them that they’re acting like a real party, but it’s really at odds with the facts. (Now, an indicator that my picture is wrong will be Sanders voters joining the GP and helping organize efforts that the GP is inept at, like GOTV, but I haven’t seen evidence of that yet.)

                As a personal matter, it all comes down to the ask: Does a candidate want my vote? I’m a volatility voter; what I haven’t decided is which option will create more volatility! If the GP pitch that I experience here (I reiterate that the NC comment section is my API to GP views) is representative, the GP is not asking for my vote. I find “Get the GP on the ballot in more states!” persuasive, but that’s not the pitch. I do not find (to caricature) “The only moral choice is to vote GP because Hillary Clinton and the DNC are uniquely bad/corrupt/thieving” persuasive in the slightest, since (a) I’ve been around the block and (b) I don’t personally believe I have a monopoly on virtue, and so people who insist they do raise my hackles, and (c) I consider my vote as instrumental, and not as virtue signalling. Nor do I find the GP revolutionary platform persuasive, because never in a million years can they achieve it, given their past performance. To put this another way, some concrete material benefits (“peace, land, bread” are all concrete material benefits) are more revolutionary for working class people — I’m remembering a comment or tweet from a woman who would gladly have traded an extra $500 a month for overthrowing patriarchy, when she was very poor — than all the slogans in the world. So one looks to the best way to achieve them, and I think the “inside/outside” approach is the way to go. But the GP can’t accept that, because their number one priority is party-building, so they have to denigrate the “inside” half of the approach, which will also rob the outside approach of its force.

                Let me change the names here to and say “Inside/Outside” (IO) for the Sanders-branded post-campaign strategy, and “New Party” (NP) for the Greens strategy.

                Imagine the Democrat Party as a tree that we want to cut down (maybe to do something useful with it, like using it for firewood. Or building a house). Imagine that Strategist IO has taken an axe and driven it deep into the trunk of the tree, creating a giant wedge (and that is what both demographics and ideology show). Strategist IO then yanks the axe out of the wood and raises it high again, preparing to take a second stroke. At that exact moment Strategist NP grabs the axe and tries to wrestle it out of Strategist IO’s hands, shouting “You haven’t cut the tree all the way down!!!” and “Giving me that axe is the only ethical choice!!!!” and so on and so forth. Of course, we don’t know yet whether Strategist NP, having successfully wrestled the axe away, actually knows how to wield it (my guess is no) but I imagine in time we’ll find out.

                I hope this helps.

                * Congratulations to the GP for using real partisan methods. Gives one hope.

                1. habenicht

                  Lambert, as regards the ineffectiveness of the Green party that you experienced in Maine, I don’t know if you are aware of some of the Green’s modest successes. Here is a story on Green Party mayor Gayle McLaughlin:

                  Gayle McLaughlin

                  Yes its one town. Yes the successes are modest. But I think (some may say naively) that it dismisses the notion that Greens are TOTALLY ineffective. (If you have seen this link / story and found it unconvincing, apologies for a Green advert on this site.) I provide this example to put us all on the same knowledge base as the conversation evolves as regards Green effectiveness.

                  Like Otis above I have tremendous respect your you and Yves. I understand that Greens aren’t perfect, but like others have said, its a start. And for some of us, we are quite tired of rewarding failure, betrayal and corruption in the democratic party with our blind devotion and votes. We want other options! Because Markets! (sorry for the gratuitous Neo-Liberalism reference!)

                  Also for the record, as a Green-leaner, although I have questioned Bernie’s Hillary endorsement given the shady circumstances of his loss; I fully recognize the value he added in getting people engaged and changing the conversation on topics where the Greens and Bernie overlapped. I know you have had more contentious exchanges with some of the Greens and Bernie supporters for his “betrayal”, but please know that although I only pretend to speak “for some of us,” there is still at least one (me!) Green-leaners who see the value in Bernie’s campaign and respect him accordingly.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Believe it or not, I’m always happy to see GP success. I have mentioned Howie Hawkins and Ursula Rozum approvingly. Basically, however, I want receipts.

                    I understand about rewarding failure and corruption, and so forth. But I still see Reed’s distinction between movement and electoral politics as being key, and I see the GP as far too much on the “witness” side of this distinction for comfort (and the really dishonest and ignorant attacks on Reed give me no comfort that GP partisans even understand the point, although, again, kudus to them for adopting tactics that have worked so well for Democrats in the past. Learn from the best!)

                    Talleyrand, for example, was fabulously corrupt; a married Bishop who collected enormous bribes from foreign powers. He also served only “the realm” (as they would say in Game of Thrones) and preserved France from dismemberment at the Congress of Vienna. Politicians and parties are there to be used, and for no other purpose.

                2. Fiver

                  Reed’s piece is now destined to become famous across the entire activist community as Exemplar of the degree of sophistry deemed by Clinton Democrats required to obfuscate the bankruptcy of the Lesser Evil argument in 2016. The next 2 years is going to feature a long, ugly parting of the ways as those still claiming Clinton or that Party or their own work within the Admin is in any sense ‘progressive’ or even legitimate either drop out of her Admin or out of sight altogether, as their relationships with those daily struggling ‘outside’ for crucial change are severed, as expanding, illegal, illegitimate wars burn bright and hot; economic inequality gallops ahead on everyone’s measures but the State’s; US monetary policy, ‘trade’ law and foreign policy continue to attempt to pound the non-Anglo-Israeli globe not already under Western attack and/or occupation, and not yet designated official ‘enemies’ as are Russia, China, Iran etc, into a systemically fused appendage of neo-imperial/neoliberal global empire; going ‘green’ means stupendous subsidies for ‘clean’ oil, gas, coal and very likely a legislatively enabled bubble in private sector solar (and other) power generation with zero overall vision, plan or direction, real coordination, the entire ‘greening’ of America will be outsourced to an infinite regress of wildly over-priced consultants on hundreds, or thousands of different projects nobody will ensure will work at all, work together in the Grid, or last for 50 years reliably; black lives still don’t matter; the glass ceiling is replaced with space age plastic (Hillary’s own idea); and Big Brother sets about in earnest disrupting, discrediting, destroying or controlling organized or organizing opposition everywhere (also Hillary’s idea – ‘…and make damn sure it effing stays fixed or it’ll be your ass!’)

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Yes, and comments that characterize Adolph Reed as a Clinton Democrat show an amazing combination of stupidity and smearing that would seem to characterize a vanguard that couldn’t get itself elected dogcatcher, let alone run a dog pound.

                    1. Fiver

                      And when did you start reading Common Dreams? About the time I stopped, I’d imagine. I don’t care what he ‘is’ in your lexicon, but in mine, anyone who tries to pass off Clinton under that kind of crap is a ‘Clinton democrat’.

                      Down to cases – what are you?

                    2. Lambert Strether

                      @Fiver You seem to think that “what are you” determines whether an argument is true or not.

                      That’s simply tribal thinking, and proof, if proof were needed, of my view that the GP is just as tribal as Dems, just with no money, no power, and no organizational capability. Not a good look….

                      NOTE Oh, and “objectively pro-_____” has a long and unsavory history, which is what your claim is. Surely you’re aware of this?

        3. Lambert Strether

          I did notice the national GP improved their website and that it was evident how to give money, and that existing Green officeholders were listed (I didn’t have time to check the list). So they didn’t entirely waste their $500K.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        I supported Sanders. As a Green Party supporter please explain how I should understand the Green selection for Vice President. He inserted his foot into his mouth just as he left the starting blocks. I already had the impression of the Greens as doctrinaire. First impressions of the VP candidate did little to change that. As of this moment I remain torn between voting for Stein and just leaving my vote for President an undercount.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Do some research on Baraka, he’s right about the imperialism, but he didn’t call Bernie supporters white supremacists. Brock’s paid army of internet dis-information pulses vitriol at the Green Party more than it did to Sanders.

          Denying we live in a racially divided or class divided country is, well racist or classist. More of the left have to embrace the understanding of what the day to day misery it is to be a black man in this country. Same can be said for understanding what the poor deal with here every day.

          Do more research on him, and you’ll probably come to find that he’s a really articulate and intelligent man. Here’s tons of his blog postings:

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I just finished listening to the Baraka and Stein interviews on CounterPunch and now I’m a believer. I see Baraka as a way to rebuild the natural coalition between Black Progressives and White/Other Progressives. If Baraka can pull the Black Progressive vote from Hillary that would be great. If the Greens could get government funding as a party — even better.

            The Sanders candidacy and the Republican abandonment of Trump and endorsements for Hillary makes a strong argument for asserting the Republican/Democratic Parties are one party — not two. This could give Green a chance to become the second party.

            Both Stein and Baraka seemed very rough and untrained in the rhetorical skills of modern politicians. This is both part of their charm but also a concern for the future of the Green party. Maybe this election will hone their skills.

            1. Isotope_C14

              “Both Stein and Baraka seemed very rough and untrained in the rhetorical skills of modern politicians. This is both part of their charm but also a concern for the future of the Green party. Maybe this election will hone their skills.”

              It’s because they aren’t lawyers. They aren’t busy wording things to sound like they will support X or Y, and in fact have a way out. I hope they stay honest and true…

              I’m hoping that more and more people notice them, but they did hit 12% on the Wikileaks twitter poll. I’m glad I logged back into the twitterverse recently. The memes are just hysterical this cycle. I think I know why H-> is hiding, it seems like everyone wants her in Jail.

              I wonder if she realizes that she is already in a Jail of her own making? Naw, she has no clue.

          2. Vatch

            Do some research on Baraka, he’s right about the imperialism, but he didn’t call Bernie supporters white supremacists.

            He came extremely close to saying that. In the CNN town hall meeting, he could have taken 30 seconds to explicitly say that Sanders and his supporters are not white supremacists, but he did not do that. A couple of days ago, I posted the transcript to the Water Cooler:


            If I missed the spot where he makes the clarification that I and many other people want, please point it out to me, and I’ll be a believer.

            This brouhaha seems to be largely about what the Saudis are doing in Yemen. Sanders did not say that the Saudis should take a more active role in their own national defense because he wanted them to attack other nations and kill innocent people. He said that about the Saudis so that the U.S. wouldn’t act as mercenaries for the ultra-rich Saudi royal family. The U.S. shouldn’t be wasting lives and resources defending the Saudi royals from the Iranians, ISIL/Daesh, or the Saudi people. That was the point that Sanders was making, and Baraka twisted it in his article in September, 2015.

            1. Isotope_C14

              “He came extremely close to saying that. In the CNN town hall meeting, he could have taken 30 seconds to explicitly say that Sanders and his supporters are not white supremacists, ”

              “If I missed the spot where he makes the clarification that I and many other people want, please point it out to me, and I’ll be a believer.”

              Sanders wasn’t running on a Peace platform. Sanders has a long record of supporting military intervention. Yes, he voted against war on Iraq, but on many others he sided with the Duopoly. He ran as an economic populist with very few statements regarding imperialism, and when he did, it was fairly same-old, same-old, let the MIC dictate wars.

              We don’t wage endless war on primarily caucasian people. We wage endless war on non-vanilla skin tones.

              Maybe you can explain it better to me, how is Baraka offensive? Cause he’s not wrong in this. He says the Left has to also be peace candidates, Bernie wasn’t.

              I know you can’t always get 100% of what you want out of a candidate, but endless war is something Bernie failed to address.

              Voting for anyone aside from Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (possibly) is a vote to drone strike innocents and children. Trump is unlikely to end empire. Clinton will just injected it with liquid crack.

              We don’t need war. We need to fix the friggen climate.

              I wonder if Chris Hedges had penned this article, if you’d be so upset by being almost implied generally a racist?


              1. Vatch

                Baraka is offensive because he plays fast and loose with accusations of white supremacy. Chris Hedges is not running for Vice President, so I don’t care very much when he’s wrong.

                Sanders does not have a long record of supporting military intervention. On occasion he has supported it, but that’s not a “long record”. One example, for which he can be criticized, is the intervention against the very light skinned Yugoslav Serbs. However, because of the ethnic cleansing that Serbs were carrying out against Bosnian Muslims and others, this series of events is morally ambiguous.

                Baraka (and Stein) do their cause no favors by insulting millions of voters who could be expected to support them. From your linked article:

                This is not to suggest that everyone who might find a way to support Sanders is a closet racist and supporter of imperialism. I know plenty of folks of all backgrounds who “feel the Bern.” There is, however, an objective logic to their uncritical support that they cannot escape and which I believe represents the ongoing crisis of radicalism in the U.S. and Europe.

                The Sanders’ campaign, like the Obama phenomenon before it, does not offer a program or strategic direction for addressing the current crisis and contradictions of Western capitalist societies. Instead, it is an expression of the moral and political crisis of the Western radicalism. This crisis – which is reflective of the loss of direction needed to inform, vision, and fashion a creative program for radical change – is even more acute in the U.S. than Western Europe. Yet, what unites both radical experiences is a tacit commitment to Eurocentrism and normalized white supremacy.

                In their desperate attempt to defend Sanders and paint his critics as dogmatists and purists, the Sanders supporters have not only fallen into the ideological trap of a form of narrow “left” nativism, but also the white supremacist ethical contradiction that reinforces racist cynicism in which some lives are disposable for the greater good of the West.

                And as much as the ‘Sandernistas ’ attempt to disarticulate Sanders “progressive” domestic policies from his documented support for empire (even the Obamaite aphorism “The perfect is the enemy of the good” is unashamedly deployed), it should be obvious that his campaign is an ideological prop – albeit from a center/left position – of the logic and interests of the capitalist-imperialist settler state.

                All Baraka has to do is to say this:

                Bernie Sanders and his supporters are not white supremacists.

                That would clear things up. Baraka could then elaborate all he wants on strategic direction and the moral crisis of Western radicalism. So far, he has not done this.

                1. hunkerdown

                  Vatch, white is a fluid cultural descriptor that, in practice, relates as much or more to class as to ethnicity. My take is that Baraka isn’t competing for liberals and isn’t seeking to validate their self-supremacist narratives, so praising the modesty of whiteness as presently situated isn’t on his to-do list.

                  Is what comes out of Ajamu’s mouth any worse or more offensive to human concerns than what has come out of the mouths (or, ahem, the official actions) of any of the current or recent past veep candidates? No. He’s telling USians to get the f over themselves, and there is absolutely no more salutary message that they should be saturated with right now in order to prepare them for honest, collective action against the British order we inherited. And, if reductive comparison is required, shouldn’t that be the measure of him? As a matter of fairness, I believe so.

                  If voting against liberal supremacy is a real problem, that’s on you.

                2. Fiver

                  Rhetorical fine points aside, I don’t see what is so controversial about the proposition that the US and world for several centuries have been violently dominated by white men who have along the way developed an enduring propensity to identify Western with ‘white’, and who under the vast banner of the West as the uniquely right, powerful and naturally superior culture have slaughtered, subjugated, dominated, enslaved, debt-enslaved, impoverished, resource-stripped, and bombed back in time the non-white world for quite some time now. It was and remains a thoroughly unjust order on its face, and ought therefore to end. I gather he believes Sanders ought to have been more critical of the US as an Empire actively engaged in the hyper-violent suppression of billions of brown people – I confess I have no problem with that.

                  Domestically, the elites officially stopped paying any attention to blacks with an eye to making things better under Clinton – except for private prison construction and industries employing the new slave labour, of course, who made out like bandits.

        2. AnEducatedFool

          He is an awful pick. I could not believe that she would pick a man who links Sanders supporters with white supremacy. I understand the argument he was making but I think that my generation has moved toward understanding the role of corporate power over identity politics in foreign policy. I’ve read him for years over at CounterPunch but I’ve never been a fan. However it will be interesting if he was allowed into the debates.

          I am leaning towards voting for Trump and only Trump. My local political scene is a cesspool of corruption and corporate whores. (President of Democratic State Party is a partner at a Republican lawfirm and his underlings run my county) I have not taken the time to see if any independents are running locally but I doubt I’ll vote for anyone. I’m a former committee person and it has become worse since I was removed. I was elected w/ 10 votes. People who knew me from high school and local politics saw me and wrote me in. They changed the rules to exclude people like me. I forget the wording. Talk about supporting grass roots.

          Luckily I’ll be in the NorthWest (Portland Area) this time next year.

    1. Uahsenaa

      I’ve noticed that during the primary, Sanders and Corbyn in the UK were drawing a number of favorable and not so favorable comparisons to each as similar phenomena. Except, I think they’re very different, the most important being Corbyn and his allies have sought to take over the entire party apparatus piece by piece and have had a great deal of success as a result. This was accomplished in a little over a year’s time as well. It’s possible that Labour is more susceptible to this kind of hostile takeover, but there are a number of things the Sanders campaign did that make it seem like this sort of thing was never in the cards. Corbyn also had immediately electoral success once his name was on the leadership ballot, so that did give his supporters a foot in the door that the majority of the PLP keep trying to slam on his toes.

      In other words, I actually doubt that fundamentally changing things from the ground up was ever in the offing for Sanders. Sure, he wants to lead a mass movement, but it’s curious that this movement makes hardly any moves against the party he supposedly wanted to run in.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > It’s possible that Labour is more susceptible to this kind of hostile takeover,

        Allowing people to join Labour for £3 was, I think, an establishment Labour move. Nobody could have predicted.

        > I actually doubt that fundamentally changing things from the ground up was ever in the offing for Sanders.

        Not in one election cycle, for sure. I think the US is enormously more complicated than the UK: Continental in scale, a federal system, etc. We’ll have to see what the Sanders spin-offs do. (I also think that movements and parties are separate and should be separate. Hopefully 2016 will have ignited both.)

        1. Uahsenaa

          Yes, the £3 supporters were originally conceived as a means to dilute the influence of the trade unions, under the now recognizably fallacious assumption that Labour voters are in the main neoliberals in waiting. That miscalculation basically lost the Blairites control of the party.

          But there’s more to it than just that. Constituency Labour Parties exert a great deal of influence, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of people to change their makeup. They can exert pressure from below in a way that, say, state or local parties in the US really can’t, though taking over at the local and state level might help restrain the very anti-democratic tendencies we saw in the D party this go around.

          As you say, we’ll have to wait and see.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > taking over at the local and state level might help restrain the very anti-democratic tendencies

            To be hoped. And encouraged. I hope there’s a handbook distributed :-) I’m thinking of how nasty this stuff can get. Best to have the script to avoid (unplanned) loss of temper, etc.

            Adding, I’m not a fan of “incompetence” as an explanation, because it’s so often used as cover for Democrats not doing what they say they will do, not beause they don’t know how, but because they don’t really want to.

            That said, this Blairite miscalculation really does look like incompetence, so I am pleased to see the signs of decay and collapse.

            1. Fiver

              I assume all the funds raised go to the Labour Party. A great success with interest in memberships for 3 pounds sure looks like a First Membership to me.

          2. different clue

            It won’t be enough to “wait and see”. We’ll have to “work and do” as well. Perhaps the Long March of the Christian Evangelicals through the Institutions of the Republican Party could be a source of functional and operational inspiration.

          3. johnnygl

            I’d like to make a couple of points to add to this little side discussion of the Sanders vs. Corbyn compare and constrast.

            1) trades unions in the uk are both stronger and more radical in their leadership and membership than in the usa. Union leadership in the usa is still wedded to the dem elite, sometimes against the wishes of their members. There have been splits where some unions like nat nurses united and chicago te
            achers unions have supported sanders and opposed elite dems, but imagine if uaw and afscme had flipped on clinton. That would have really shaken things up. Insurgency plus institutional support is much tougher for the elites to control.

            2) voting rule in the usa are state-by-state and filled with various opportunities for suppressing votes. Imagine if the rules were that anyone could join and vote if they paid $5 and no ‘purges’ of voters or ridiculous rules like ny where you have to join 6 months in advance. In fact the blairites/plp in england seem to be trying to recreate some of the same tricks and traps that the dems used here.

          4. dk

            Constituency Labour Parties exert a great deal of influence, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of people to change their makeup. They can exert pressure from below in a way that, say, state or local parties in the US really can’t, though taking over at the local and state level might help restrain the very anti-democratic tendencies we saw in the D party this go around.

            Yes, state parties are largely hamstrung, weakened by the DNC which generally avoids giving them much recognition or material support; the failure to defend against Republican successes during 2010 redistricting being an operative example, Dean’s 50-state strategy being the most recent exception.

            However a weak state party can’t do as much to control which state and local candidates can run in State, Legislative and Municipal races, as stronger state parties could. By weakening state parties, the DNC leaves its (50) flanks open to grassroots candidates.

            The national parties may send consultants and and fundraisers from their stables to support a handful of State Legislature candidates (or rarely, mayoral candidates in the largest cities), and may direct donors to their preferred candidates, but D.C. operators generally dismiss state level politics as inherently provincial (which of course it is), and don’t want to risk looking foolish by getting deeply committed there. Besides, it’s 50 states, it’s a lot to keep track of. Better/easier/safer for the “serious professionals” to stay aloof than to seem to be available to some large multiple of 50 different eager campaigns.

            What state level involvement there is, is largely through the DSCC and DCCC (for the Reps, it’s the NRSC and the NRCC), which channels funding and consulting support to (or away from) the national party’s preferred Congressional and Senatorial candidates (not always the incumbents!). But these election committees don’t effectively replace strong state parties.

            So there’s the weak point; pressure from below can be exerted by hoisting and electing candidates to state level; not so much through the DNC as despite it. Note that even in the UK, Corbyn is still being challenged by the residual and entrenched Blairites in Labour; even after this week’s balloting, that takeover will be far from complete. A DNC takeover is several cycles away, no matter how it’s approached.

            This is not to say that takeovers of state Dem parties is not possible, simply that one gets more bang for one’s buck by running state and municipal level candidates, which also become the farm teams for future progressive Congressional, Senate, and eventually presidential candidates. And they don’t have to be Dems, they could be GP or independents like B. Sanders was (and may be again).

            It’s the same method that the Tea Parties (plural because of the multiple personalities of the local (grassroots or astro-turfed) orgs the constitute TP) took advantage of. The RNC similarly keeps state parties (their chairpersons and officers) on short leashes, so state parties couldn’t do much to constrain TP candidates. recognize and of these names?

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    @ ambrit—Yes Mr. Ambrit the dem party is doomed. Good riddance to bad rubbish. BTW, after talking to realtors in Seattle I’ve decided to hold off and stay right where I am. One realtor said I would be wasting my (and her) time by bidding merely the asking price. One must bid ABOVE the asking price to have any hope of securing a condo in the hot market up there. They can HAVE it.

    1. ambrit

      Good for you EndOfTheWorld. If you have a sufficient circle of friends and neighbours, you will be capable of handling the troubles that loom on the horizon.
      One good rule I was given by a real estate investor was that one should never offer the asking price. If the vendor gets all huffy and acts offended by low offers, then he or she is emotionally involved in the process and will never act rationally, even when to do so is in his or her best interests.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        What she told me was that a place in a “good” location would always start a bidding war, so it’s a waste of time to “just” offer the asking price. Of course the realtor is primarily concerned with the waste of HER time. If she’s going to the trouble of making an offer, she would much prefer that the first bid would be accepted.

        The realtors in my rural area are the most courteous people you’d ever want to meet. In contrast, all of the big city realtors I’ve dealt with, and there have been a few, are lying thieving scoundrels.

        1. ambrit

          The divide between the “crooked urban realtors” and the “pure and righteous rural realtors,” although almost inviting derisive comment, did pass the “civilized conduct” test for us as well. It caused some questioning of perceptions for us. (Remember Mr Haney from Green Acres?)
          The first requirement for a ‘bidding war’ is excess cash burning a hole in someones pocket. Even the best location will go begging if everyone is broke. (Credit is, after all, someone having excess to invest; excess drawing rights, bytes in a computer, claims upon an economy, etc.)
          Finally, do feel free to question your own motives for wanting to move. We do regularly so as to try and keep our ‘feet on the ground.’

        2. 3.14e-9

          EoW, “waste of time” may have been unnecessarily blunt, but she was telling you the truth. If it’s any consolation, a realtor FRIEND of mine responded similarly when I approached her about finding a house for the friend I mentioned in the previous exchange on your search. I wrote in one of my replies that homes here are selling for more than the asking price due to the low inventory. It gives me little satisfaction to say, “I told you so.”

          Maybe this is divine intervention preventing you from making an investment that will collapse in a pile of rubble when the big one hits. Or simply from making a low-return deal that will waste your time and take a few years off your life.

  6. jgordon

    Maybe I’m missing something here–but why is it not contested that Hillary is a better choice for progressives again? That statements looked so utterly bizarre and nonsensical to me that I had to read it three times to be sure I wasn’t missing. It’s like seeing someone seriously assert that two plus two equals one million, and being so discombobulated by the absurdity that your brain freezes.

    A history professor once told me that during Shakespeare’s plays, back when they were new, the drooling peasants in the lowest tiers would sit on the dirt floors directly under the stage–and during the action when the blood-filled pig bladders burst those peasant would universally dip their fingers in the pig’s blood pooling at their feet and enjoy a nice snack while enjoying the theater. To my mind, this is the exact level of sophistication of a person who would sincerely claim that Hillary is a more progressive choice than Trump. For God’s sake, on all the issues that actually matter Hillary is to the right of even W. Bush–so much so that she’s going around bragging about collecting endorsements from Kissinger and Cheney, to name a few.

    Trump? These guys hate his guts. Seriously you progressives out there. Do you really, really think it’s “progressive” to support someone who brags about being liked by Kissinger over someone who says that Russia and China aren’t our enemies and that maybe we should have peace with them?!

    I guess I didn’t realize that bloodthirst was a heartfelt progressive value all these years. Now suddenly I understand why progressives were so satisfied with Bill Clinton, Obama, and Hillary. Nothing like blood and guts to get those progressive values liberally flowing. Maybe someday day I’ll become a progressive too, when I learn to love the smell of blood and death and my own farts. Until then I’ll stick with the Neanderthal peace candidate Trump though.

    1. EoinW

      Only one thing really matters to progressives: the Culture War. The Left won it in the 1990s and will not tolerate anyone challenging that victory. Trump being politically incorrect is the greatest sin to these people. Nothing else matters. No counter reformation will ever be tolerated. A public figure speaking his mind and questioning sacred cows is the first step towards a conservative counter attack. That cannot be tolerated. All must be sacrificed – including America – to prevent a new front opening in the Culture War.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Hillary is “progressive” because she gets her picture taken with black people. The ULTIMATE in hip. She’s “progressive” because” she dares to stand still on stage hugging an African-American man for about five minutes. Such intrepidity!

        It would have been even cooler if they had commenced smooching, but even the whorish Obama wouldn’t have stooped that low.

        Fact is, that’s all a lot of voters know—the images they see. Words don’t matter to them. The US has a very low literacy rate.

  7. mad as hell.

    After she kicks you in the ass, she’s gonna throw you under the bus but I dare not call you stupid because for one thing that is wrong. WTF!

  8. DWD

    Sorry, could not get very far into this article because the premise – that the Clintons give a rat’s ass about working people – is suspect.

    No. They will never become more progressive (and their claims to the contrary are just plain offensive) they will always be for the corporation and hide their contempt for working people in convenient beliefs (That tend to change over time) in civil rights and against racism.

    The problem this season is that THEY wanted to make it about personality and we wanted to make it about issues. (Guess who won.)

    I am savagely NOT voting for Clinton. She has not earned my support in the least.

  9. Butch In Waukegan

    I have a “what if” fantasies. I have long thought that if Nader was allowed a place in the 2000 presidential debates millions would have been heard ideas that changed their views of politics. Of course, that was beyond Nader’s control.

    Sanders, on the other hand, had control. His fealty to the Democratic party, though, was more important to him than his mis-named revolution. He had the ability to void his pledge, based on the exposed and acknowledged rigging of the primary process, and lead a rebellion (or walkout) at the convention. How much stronger would the movement that he claimed leadership of be if he had done this? Instead he ended his demoralizing Hillary endorsement speech with this: “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight.”

    Sanders’ silence and coverup should be held accountable for the breakage.

    1. Tom

      When someone breaks their side of the contract (DNC), why is the other party still expected to honor their side of the agreement (Bernie kissing the ring/paying for the bullet that murdered his candidacy)? This I don’t understand.

      1. PhilU

        A legal contract gets litigated in a court with a theoretically impartial judge. A political contract gets litigated in the court of public opinion, which is fickle and easily influenced by the press. If Sanders went Green, like I would have liked, the press would have had exactly one thing they would repeat NON STOP till november. TRUMP IS EVIL AND WILL WIN BECAUSE SANDERS!!!!! I’m not entirely sure he won’t get that anyways if Trump wins.

        1. Lambert Strether

          On the whole, it’s probably a good thing that Sanders didn’t go Green, otherwise we’d be hearing “Sanders Sanders neener neener” instead of “Nader Nader neener neener” for the next fifteen years. Note this was destructive for Greens, too: I witnessed endless discussions about Nader in 2015-2016

          > If Sanders went Green, like I would have liked

          I am so sick of this special pleading. What does it say about a party that it constantly seeks to parachute in celebrity candidates that it can’t generate itself? And it’s a continuing pattern: First, dangle the VP slot before Nina Turner (the celebrity), then go with Ajamu Baraka. How is it possible to do both?

          1. PhilU

            It’s not because I have any affinity for the Greens. I wanted him in the debates. He would have qualified on the green ticket. I wanted his Ideas exposed to the vast majority of the celebrity obsessed, hardly care about politics, public. If that happened I could see him pulling out the win. It’s a long shot, but better then our current prospects.

              1. aab

                Drat. In case anyone sees this (I know, unlikely), that should have been:

                Fridge? Piker. Nitrogen deep freeze for my revenge gelato, please.

    2. Arizona Slim

      And have you noticed how quiet Sanders has been since his Hillary endorsement? Why isn’t he stumping for her on the campaign trail? Or going on TV talk shows to urge support for her?

      1. Lambert Strether

        You say that like it’s a bad thing!

        My guess is that Clinton doesn’t want Sanders on the trail, since that would interfere with her goal of picking up Republican support.

        Adding… People are acting like this election is going to be over on Election Day and people are going to pack up and go home. I don’t believe that for a minute. I think the political class is undergoing a ginormous legitimacy crisis and the parties are re-aligning themselves. I also think that Clinton will delegitimize herself quite rapidly (all on her own, even if nobody else does it for her). The 2020 primaries start November 9. I like Nina Turner.

        1. PH

          Emphatically agree that Hillary will quickly discredit herself.

          Events may even hurry that along.

          That is why development of a farm team and an alternative voice is so important, in my view.

        2. inode_buddha

          I totally agree except for one point: I think Clinton is already illegitimate , and yet if she becomes president, she will cement her hold on power and nothing will shake it — regardless of any legitimacy issues. And that is my deep-down fear — that once one president does this, all the rest will too.

          1. aab

            I’m with you on this.

            I am still waiting for someone to explain the mechanism by which anyone will hold Clinton accountable once she ascends to power. The people supposedly doing the pressuring are not her constituents; oligarchs are. She will have all the money she needs, and Lambert has already demonstrated that the majority of her actual voters approve of the TPP, which probably means literally anything else she does, they’ll find a reason to approve of it. She doesn’t need a majority of the overall electorate; she can suppress and rig her way to a second term, if she lives long enough. It would be almost impossible to remove her from office, even if impeached. She doesn’t need Congressional approval to wage war, her apparent key priority. She doesn’t care about the party, as she has been quite willing to shrink it and starve it to suit her purposes.

            This “hold her accountable” line just seems to me to be more of the propaganda to herd the reluctant into voting for her, by pretending that she can be constrained or punished afterwards.

        3. different clue

          Trump could help by campaigning all over key parts of the country to force her into campaign overdrive to keep up. If she has health problems, the way to make them worser fasterer is to get her to step into the squirrel cage and get her running running running.

            1. aab

              I don’t know about that. She’s relying on her media (social and corporate) minions to manufacture sufficient consent. Trump has had a bunch of huge rallies since the conventions and given some substantial speeches, hasn’t he?

              Trump physically going places isn’t going to flush her out. I think it’s more likely that “Events dear boy” will change the polling and coverage enough to change the dynamic. If anything can.

      2. Waldenpond

        It was reported he’s barred from campaigning in Fl for Canova. I guess he’s gotta go along or lose his committee positions but it’s not revolutionary.

        I am not fond of the “be my voice” marketing campaign either … people are wearing t-shirts w/Sanders image and tape over his mouth w/the be my voice slogan. He’s a US Senator that makes the laws of a country with access to mass media whenever he wants not some political prisoner.

        1. Big River Bandido

          I might have believed you 9 months ago, when I found the Democrat Party leadership merely contemptible. But since then they have shown themselves to be nothing but thugs, capable of any action — no matter how despicable — in the name of protecting their own power. They make it quite easy for me to believe the threats against Sanders were far more dire than you suggest.

          I’ll leave it at that.

          1. different clue

            Perhaps they threatened to give his wife and children the “Kennedy treatment . . . if youse know what I mean.”

            1. HotFlash

              Oh please. This was said to excuse Obama’s pusillanimous presidency as well. If any private going into the army has to consider his/her possibility of coming home in a box, why would an experienced and astute politician such as Sanders, who was alive and sentient when JFK got shot, not consider the possibility of being assassinated when he chose to run?

              Revolution is not about what you are willing to kill for, but what you are willing to die for.

              1. different clue

                Oh really? It wasn’t said by me about Obama, thank you very much. And it wasn’t said by anybody here about Obama, thank you very much.

                But it was certainly suggested as a reason for why Kucinich 180’d after Obama “took him for a plane ride”. ” Nice wife and kids you got there, Dennis. Such a shame if something was to happen to them. Youse know what I mean?”

                So Oh thank you.

  10. pretzelattack

    i’m not sure how people “call her to account” after she wins the presidency? maybe i’m misunderstanding, they’re going to somehow pressure her between now and the general? i’m all for people declaring they aren’t going to take it anymore, but i don’t think the clinton machine listens to the likes of us. she wouldn’t even make significant changes to a meaningless party platform. the “down with oligarchs” sign had to go, because it might offend some oligarch.

    1. diptherio

      Hilarious, isn’t it? Even the people who understand that the whole system is rigged against us, still want to think that it’s somehow salvageable. If only the progressives did this or the liberals did that….

      I wish the Greens would have gone with Roseanne Barr…then, maybe, they would have had a chance. We need someone who’s campaign slogan is “15 years of waitressing has qualified me to serve the American people!” Even I’d put aside my cynicism to vote for that.

      1. crittermom

        “15 years of waitressing has qualified me to serve the American people!”

        I think that waitress could get my vote this election. A real person who deals with real people on a daily basis? What a concept. Couldn’t be worse than someone hiding in a ‘human suit’ while sitting on their mounds of money, far above the ‘unwashed masses’.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            The Libertarians just might have taken the presidency—this year—if they had nominated Jesse Ventura who was ready willing and able. He had just as much establishment cred as their current prez and veep candidates, as a former mayor and the gov of a large state. Plus he had star quality.
            The libs were the ones who took a dive in this election.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Hmm. In what sense are the Greens “outside the system”? Trivially, they finally seem to be doing things that real political parties do (except stuff like GOTV…) Less trivially, we are all inside the system. There is no Shangri-La, no innocent place, that’s “outside the system.” It is the system as a whole that is salvageable or not, not bits of it. I don’t see the a priori reason not to do an outside/inside assault on the Democrats, especially when the terrain is more favorable than it’s ever been. Incidentally, I think that if this were co-ops, your field of expertise and what you really care about, and rightly, you’ve said things like: “It’s gonna take years,” “Let’s adopt this successful experiment,” “look at our gains among youth,” and “we didn’t win this one, but we’re in better shape for the next one.” And for good reason! So why doesn’t that apply in partisan politics?

        As for Roseanne Barr, I think she’s a great artist (seriously) but that doesn’t “qualify” her for President, any more than Stein’s executive experience qualifies her. “If only we had good people in charge….” Well, no. Running large institutions, exactly like running for office, is an actual skill (that’s not to imply that either Clinton or Trump has this skill; Clinton, in particular, clearly does not).

        I’m arguing against the tendency to devalue institutional experience and imperatives. It’s the same form of reasoning that led Syriza supporters to say “Let’s just print drachmas!” Readers didn’t want to hear this, but it turned out that this proposal had all the analytical backing of Judy Garland saying “Let’s put on a show!” Institutional factors made the proposal vacuous. If Varoufakis had been — well, what’s an appropriate “good person” for the job — a combination of Attila the Hun and Mother Teresa, he still couldn’t have gotten it done.

        1. aab

          I agree with you that governing well requires skill, aptitude, temperament and experience. But while some people really are simply being naive, it’s also true that with the system so tainted and corrupted, it’s not completely unreasonable to seek someone outside it. The compelling thing about Bernie was that he was both inside AND outside. He genuinely did not seem to be corrupted, yet he both knew all the power players and the unofficial system AND had demonstrated real skill at both governing and legislating under challenging conditions.

          I wouldn’t mind Stein as President over Trump or Clinton because I trust that she would stick to her beliefs and not get rolled. There are no incentives I am aware of for her to do otherwise. She’s already a Green, even though she’s a Harvard grad living in Massachusetts. So unlike Obama, she doesn’t display any craving for elite approval or extreme wealth. Would she get a lot done? No, she would not. Would she do a good job of purging all the corrupt Democrats and Republicans embedded in career positions in government? Probably not. But then, Clinton and Trump would both probably make that worse. If she did nothing but refuse to launch the Russian War, refuse to further the trade deals, refuse to cut Social Security, refuse to deport children, that would probably be a better outcome than under either of the other two. I just described the best case scenario under Trump, realistically, and I’m more confident of Stein refusing to do all that than I am Trump. Maybe he’d do a better job of getting an infrastructure bill through and administered effectively. Maybe. But then there’d be his tax plan, too…

          The problem with this election is that due to the entrenched corruption, which is (as I think extreme corruption usually is) extremely incompetent at anything BUT corruption, we are left with no good options. Of course a medical doctor with no governing, legislating or political experience and no existing network of allies in government is sub-optimal. But that pretty much describes Trump too, unless you want to count establishment and Freedom Caucus Republicans as a plus, which — no. He gets bonus points for actually managing a complex business (even if you want to discount the real estate side, it’s still more complex management than being a doctor). But then she gets equal points for being on the left and, you know, not being a racist and Trump.

          And then there’s Clinton. Criminal, corrupt, incompetent, dishonest, warmongering Clinton, with her vast network of cronies, courtiers and owners. Stein looks pretty good compared to that.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > she would stick to her beliefs and not get rolled

            In practice, Stein would be completely dependent on her staff. She’d be rolled within days, regardless of her beliefs, because she has no concept of how to exercise power since she has no experience doing it, and she’d be surrounded by people who are very clear on just that point. Think Tommen in Game of Thrones.

            1. aab

              I don’t know, Lambert. Maybe I’m letting my now-decayed respect for Harvard taint my perspective. But while she’s a lot older than me, we’re both from that period when Harvard admitted at least some students who actually were intelligent, and the less you swallowed the neoliberal Kool-Aid, the brighter and more interesting you were likely to be. I don’t think she’s stupid. I don’t think she’ll turn out to be politically precocious. But my definition of “not being rolled” is very limited. I recognize that the lifers will probably slide all sorts of crap past her in the bureaucracy. But that’s all crap that under Clinton would be turbo-charged, and again, Trump might have similar problems. His greater management experience would have to be weighed against the fact that lots of Republican swill would be poured down his throat, both willingly and unwillingly.

              I consider “not being rolled” to mean that Stein would veto stuff and shut down the most egregious military adventurism, like the Russian war. I recognize that she wouldn’t be able to stop all of it. But as per my previous post, I’ll take her fundamental values (and I’m betting incredible determination, although again, I could be projecting) keeping her from actively doing terrible things, so that the rats have to do their dirty work in the shadows. It would not be a successful Presidency by any normal standards. But compared to Clinton or Trump, I think she’d be an improvement.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I think the better case is getting the GP over the 10% mark.

                In terms of what Stein would have to do in the Oval Office, as opposed to what she is experienced in doing, it’s as if she were a Mac user being asked to do unix system administration with no training and no manual. Na ga happen. You’re repeating the same idea in different words, that personal values are enough. They aren’t. It’s Syriza all over again.

                1. aab

                  You’re misunderstanding me. I’m not advocating for Stein. I’m only voting for her if either she’s within striking distance of Clinton in California, or nobody ELSE is in striking distance and Stein’s on the bubble of getting 5% nationally and federal funding. Otherwise, I’m voting Peace and Freedom, the “socialist and feminist” party, and REALLY looking forward to it. I will vote for ANYBODY who could keep Clinton from getting California’s electoral votes (Johnson would actually be my most reluctant option, because I think LIbertarianism is just nonsense male privilege and he’s pro-TPP). However, between California’s extent Democratic majority and the Secretary of State’s proven willingness and capacity to do whatever is necessary to steal for Clinton, I don’t expect that to be possible.

                  I’m not sold on The Greens as a party (in the US) and I have all the same concerns you do re: Stein’s complete lack of experience in politics. My argument was that with all that, if through some miracle Stein got the Presidency, you could make the case that she would still be an improvement over either major party candidate — not because Stein would be effective, but because the other two options are so terrible. Just having her veto terrible bills and refuse to launch the worst of the wars would be better than Clinton, and basically about the same best case scenario as Trump — Trump might be better than Stein, but he might also be much, much worse.

                  I’m not saying personal values are enough. I don’t have any illusions that Stein would be able to pass any legislation, and I recognize the bureaucracy would undermine her at every possible turn. But this isn’t Greece negotiating for its life. Putting an ineffective but honorable person in the Presidency would be better than Clinton.

                  Stein would be the ultimate gridlock, and aren’t you constantly saying the best option now for the next term is gridlock?

      3. SpringTexan

        I so agree that I would prefer Roseanne Barr to Jill Stein (though let’s get real, no Green Party candidate even if it were Sanders stands a chance). Like Sanders, she really is in touch with ordinary people. Which Jill Stein might be, but sure doesn’t communicate it.

        I’ll be voting for Stein anyhow, in Texas.

    2. crittermom

      Sorry. This was meant in response to pretzelattack:
      I’m asking the same thing.
      I remember Bernie talking of us ‘holding her feet to the fire’.
      We all saw how well that didn’t work during the convention.Those delegates with ‘silenced’ tape over their mouths said it all perfectly, without uttering a word.
      And that was before any coronation of the queen.

  11. Eureka Springs

    Mr Publius should work for NPR. He’s like the written thorazine shuffle for progressive veal penning. All that knowledge and yet even more energy denying the clear writing on the wall.

    “Hold feet to fire.” Hell I can’t even recall that last time two progressives or more gathered and held a feckless candlelight vigil, much less put a flame under a Democrats foot. Even then, it’s still making excuses for Democrats rather than abandoning the party entirely. This entire article is about soaking HRC’s feet in warm mineral water and considering it a burn. Turkish or cashmere towel, madame war criminal? May I drink your foot water?

    Progressivism and the private d party was broken before they bought it again, thus maintaining their shattered state of bloody profitable affairs.

    Progressives are Neoliberalcons friends… not yours.

    How many seamless decades on end do Progressives cowtow on behalf of this ongoing criminal anti-democratic, private party before they abandon it entirely? We are up to at least five seamless decades now… if not the entire history of progressivism within said party.

    Warren Buffet made Progressive mean cupulsory purchased auto insurance. You should leave it at that… pick some issues for which you stand no matter what and begin anew… with very clear understanding all you did before was failure.

      1. jgordon

        I agree, but saying that Hillary is the uncontested choice for progressives is an awfully bad statement. What it means is that progressives are now, if not supportive, then at least tolerant of criminality and war crime in their leadership. I’m not even a progressive, but I was offended for progressives there.

    1. MojaveWolf

      (sorry, meant to post this yesterday, hope it still vaguely relevant to discussion)

      I agree expecting anyone in the HRC/current ruling DNC camp to CARE about what progressives think is silly, and thus the whole point of this article is sort of strang to me, because the DNC/HRC camp clearly either hate us, don’t take us seriously, or have so completely sold out that they don’t care, but Gaius has written consistently great stuff over the years and I don’t see the point of hating on him because of disagreement w/one article. I paid it extra attention simply because it came from him

      As w/the recent Adolf Reed misfire, I’m pretty much willing to give both these guys a free pass even if I think they’re totally wrong on this one. I would say I’d pay more attention to the arguments coming from them, but having read the articles, errr, no, these aren’t worthy of attention.

      Everyone screws up sometimes.

      Which doesn’t mean I don’t get where the anger comes from. I have to routinely push down or dissipate my anger toward Hillary supporters, which can be extreme, given how incredibly ticked off about this election I am, and it’s she and those who voted for her and those who helped her cheat to win that are a big part of WHY I’m so angry.

      And yes, people on the left continuing to fall in line like sheep is INFURIATING. I suspect half the people saying “hold your noses and vote for her” will be saying “she’s doing a really good job” while she does one awful thing after another if/when she gets in office. Leftists mock groupthink and authoritarianism on the right but I swear it looks to me like we are worse. Quite a bit worse. It’s infuriating and if it stopped being infuriating it would be deeply depressing. Meaningful climate change action is delayed indefinitely, the surveillance state and corporate takeover of everything proceeds apace, whole peoples and ecosystems are wiped out in the name of big ag landgrabs, etc.

      If commited “progressives” weren’t still crazily defending Obama we might not be in this mess right now– the continued Obama love made it incredibly hard on Bernie’s campaign, because he couldn’t (or at least thought he couldn’t, and he might’ve been right) adequately criticize a lot of policy positions because the anointed one was responsible for or supported them. People saying the dems are doing just fine or as well as can be expected, or more importantly, the MAJORITY of dem voters who seem to believe this, are what have stopped a successful insurgency already. We’re more sheepy than the Republicans. It’s horrifying.


      The Green Party has real issues. A LOT of people hate the way identity politics has gone, and I promise you I’m not the only person who thinks it has gone horribly toxic and is currently being played out in a way that seems geared to make things worse and harder to fix than better. And the GP seems to have bought into the toxic brand. They have a darn near open borders view on immigration (I get it’s not quite like that but close enough and I don’t have time for all the nuances) while a lot closer to most of the posters here than mine, I think, would be horrible for the working class and even aside from that I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who thinks we are crowded enough already and is not particularly keen on making it moreso. Some of y’all may remember me touting the Greens education debt forgiveness program as being better than Bernie’s. It has been pointed out to me that this is going to lead to a lot of resentment among people who never went to college and are getting no debt relief or any added beneift, while the richer/better positioned someone is the more this is going to benefit them (the biggest debt foregiveness will be for Ivy-ish private schools and for things like JDs and MDs, who are going to benefit a lot more from this than community college grads). Ok, I whiffed on thinking of this aspect too and probably there’s a way to overcome it, but I’m not the one developing GP policy and they (hopefully) have spent a lot more time thinking about it than me or the people I’ve casually mentioned it to who brought up these objections, but apparently no one in their social circle thought of this. Etc.

      And I’m still going to vote for Stein/Baraka, anyway, because I still think they will be by far the best choice, toxic identity politics notwithstanding. Their overall policies are better, their worst ones are among the least likely to go through, and they strike me as good people AND people who are willing to learn as they go along instead of just adopting a position and sticking to it dogmatically, so the things I don’t like can always change. But I can see why people would not (as mentioned in a previous comment, my SO is planning on not marking a presidential preference at this point, though her view is kind of in a state of flux, I think). (If anyone cares what I think they should do, pick a maximum of 3 or 4 points to stress where their views are in a majority or close enough that they can bring those views to a majority or plurality, and de-emphasize everything else while trying to figure out the best way to talk about when someone else brings it up that will offend other people the least–to their credit I think they are trying here re some of their views)

      Err, I was going to try to defend why someone would still vote for Hillary out of these choices, and in the process of making the case, talked myself out of it. I don’t think you can make a defensible case unless you think Trump is significantly more likely to bring about catastrophe or Hillary significantly more likely to actually do an adequate job, and I really don’t. I think they’ll both be horrid. I don’t think he’ll be much more horrid. But, okay, pretend you think the Greens are too problematic to vote for for whatever reason and you are stuck w/Trump or Hillary (one of which we are most likely to get). Or you just think since we’re getting one of these two you have to pick a poison.

      Who wants to vote for someone who’s said the horrible things Trump has? I don’t think he meant them but horribly irresponsible at best. I don’t wanna vote for someone who’s a climate denialist, even tho it’s probably only in public and he doesn’t mean this either, but just wants to protect his personal profits or thinks humans will survive and who cares about the environment or doesn’t think he can sell it to the GOP base or whatever. This is, imo, contributing to death of biosphere, something which I deeply wish to avoid. Or who defends his kids being trophy hunters. From my pov, he might as well defend their little side trips to murder lotsa humans.

      Now, all that said, I think based on his stances and his past, vs. her stances and her past, and most likely outcomes given either one winning, I view a Trump win as preferable. I don’t have to make the case for most people here since we see it every day, but surely, you can look at what I just wrote, plus his past view on worker pay or somesuch, and see why someone else might feel differently?

      Again, I can’t make the pro Hillary case very well, and I’m having to restrain myself from going off on rants as to exactly why I would rather Trump won, but at the same time, I am not looking forward to EITHER of those people as president. At all. Probably Reed and Publius aren’t either. It’s hard to just look around and say “We are all doomed. Let’s double check that. We are all doomed. Triple check. Yes. We are all doomed, and only magic can save us.” (h/t the late Julia Phillips for that last sentence, uttered way back in the early 90’s. )

      Now, I personally think there’s still a chance to turn things around and save the world from utter desolation, and I’m a LOT more optimistic than before Bernie’s candidacy. I’d put the odds as high as 10% if things break right (more likely under Trump), and no worse than 1% if they go horribly wrong (more likely under Hillary)(this compares to better than 50/50 if Bernie had won, thus all the anger, and yes, these #’s could all be wrong; I viewed things more pessimistically than this prior to his candidacy and in the early days of said candidacy I viewed his chances of winning as close to flat zero, but he almost-arguably did-pull it off) . Either way,this is something we can work with.

      Other people might view those odds as either hopelessly idealistic or not very reassuring (and no, they are not reassuring, but a lot of long shots have paid off over the years). If so, then you start trying to convince yourself that one candidate or the others offers more hope than you thought. I view the upside as better from a Trump win. So much so that I even get somewhat happy when I see events from the last couple of days where it looks like he’s really trying to win and his new team may have the smarts to pull this off, if it’s still possible at this point. It’s not that hard to start entertaining thoughts that he might actually do a good job, and I’d say there’s some reasonable material to work with here. Then I start looking at all the counter material, and quell my sudden waft of excessive hope.

      Reed, Pubius and some other Hillary reluctant Hillary better than-Trump people probably view the odds for something good happening as better from a Hillary win. Most people do (also, even for those who share my better-Trump-than-HRC view, keep in mind, we might be wrong).

      Anyway, two horror shows, how mad can we be that someone picked the wrong one? (OK, very, if you’re like me, but again, I’d argue that some people have earned the benefit of the doubt, and Reed/Publius are both among them) Also, reading that article several times up there, unlike w/Reed, I’m not sure Gaius IS endorsing a Clinton vote, even as he’s agreeing that he thinks Trump will be worse over the short term. If the post is just meant to offer a window into typical beltway thinking, then, yeah, no surprise there.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’ll just single out that one word: “Sheep.”

        Adolph Reed, a sheep? Really? Drives me nuts.

        * * *

        That said:

        Some of y’all may remember me touting the Greens education debt forgiveness program as being better than Bernie’s. It has been pointed out to me that this is going to lead to a lot of resentment among people who never went to college and are getting no debt relief or any added beneift, while the richer/better positioned someone is the more this is going to benefit them (the biggest debt foregiveness will be for Ivy-ish private schools and for things like JDs and MDs, who are going to benefit a lot more from this than community college grads). Ok, I whiffed on thinking of this aspect too and probably there’s a way to overcome it, but I’m not the one developing GP policy and they (hopefully) have spent a lot more time thinking about it than me or the people I’ve casually mentioned it to who brought up these objections, but apparently no one in their social circle thought of this. Etc.

        Good point. Class perspective is always a help. (To be fair, the Sanders/Warren college debt plan is worse. It would be nice to see somebody pick up the Debt Jubilee concept and run with it, but I doubt GP can do it because they don’t have the policy horsepower ***cough*** Stephanie Kelton ***cough***).

        1. MojaveWolf

          Thanks for the kind words despite my sloppy writing.

          And it was sloppy writing, because I originally meant that comment to be a defense for Gaius and Reed, but … meandered (mostly because despite best efforts I couldn’t come up w/a better defense for Reed in particular than “free pass on this one because I usually like him” and because I’m still not sure what Publius’ position actually is on this election, but if it’s similar to Bond’s then “free pass because I usually think he’s great” is still the best I can do) .

          I did expect you to be unhappy with the sheep comment because I know you hate the “sheeple” term and this isn’t that much different, but I stand by it as meant. Most people have an unfortunate tendency to be herd animals and want to be part of the group, myself included. While his article was awful, I did not mean to include Reed because he, generally, is not like this, or does not appear to be like this–if anything, the tone of most of his writing shows an unconcern for the opinions of others that I wish I had–so I suspect his reasons for supporting Hillary come from somewhere else. But most people just tend to accept what they receive from other people without sufficiently analyzing it, and the more persistent and universal the drumbeat, the more apt most are to follow in line (again, I’m not excluding myself here, except to the extent I’m aware of the trait and try to guard against it; and I still do it sometimes, and was much worse when I was younger; this isn’t even entirely a bad thing; life runs easier when you have a natural tendency to be agreeable), and, yeah, they fall in line with the media narrative or with the views of their friends because they want to be agreeable or don’t want to be looked at funny or whatever like a bunch of sheep, or lemmings, or infected computer programs, or whatever reference you wanna use. And I think it’s a worthwhile term to throw at the people on the left because good grief a lot of these same people use it ALL THE TIME to mock the right, including during this election cycle, while not noticing those mindless groupthinky folk told their establishment and their media to go to blazes and voted in their insurgent, anti-establishment candidate by a huge margin while even those of us who didn’t vote for our pro-status quo, oligarchy candidate are now dutifully repeating media mantras on her behalf as if they are writ from on high, and I kinda want to emphasize that.

          OTOH, while I didn’t mean to call Reed a sheep, I can’t think of a kind word to say about his pro-Hillary article. I don’t mean to drive you crazy, but it’s a sign of my ENORMOUS respect for his past work that I didn’t immediately slam him for it, and actually managed to banish its existence from my brain until this thread reminded me. It deserves slamming. “Sheep” is actually far less insulting that what I think of said article (and less insulting than what he said about Bernie supporters who don’t get in line behind Hillary, for that matter). If that article had Peter Daou’s name on it, no one would have blinked, or thought it strange. It was that caliber of writing. (and yes, this is atypical of Reed, and again, I immensely admire everything else I’ve read by him).

          I don’t mean to offend anyone, heck, I sort of want to apologize to Reed for saying this, just because I do like most of his work so much, except I can’t because, well, that’s what I think and if it offends so be it. You may think I’m being unfair and am totally wrong. Will just have to agree to disagree.

          The Gaius article was nowhere near as bad and I don’t mean to conflate the two. I even agree w/Becky Bond on one thing–don’t wait until after the election to hold HRC accountable. Got to hold her accountable now. Of course, we differ on how to do this. IMO, the best (only?) way to hold HRC (and her supporters/alllies) accountable is by voting someone else into office.

          1. Gaius Publius

            To MojaveWolf:

            > and because I’m still not sure what Publius’ position actually is on this election

            That’s acute and good close reading. You’ve picked up on the fact that I haven’t expressed my opinion on this election, except to say that both current major candidates will kill us with carbon.

            This piece, as I mentioned elsewhere in these comments, just looks at Bond’s point and considers whether it will or will not happen, and why. Thanks for reading so carefully.


  12. Rufus T. Firefly

    As noted elsewhere, if Sanders’ innocents wished for a free education, they got it? The big smack-down of those promoting Keynesian economics, Eleanor Roosevelt’s ethics or the Democrat’s cruel fantasy of representing we the peons was just pulled up like a knotted rope to the last chopper out of the firestorm. Hillary’s electorate is, to put it simply, FOR her. They can only see working folks as irresponsible churls who set off the great recession by living beyond our meager means. We were meant to rent from them, our jobs went overseas due to our uppity, slovenly avarice. If Blacks don’t want to be shot by bigoted white trash police, they should stop buying cars with 1,900% EZ Credit. If the last eight years seems a cheap ploy to feed us to the FIRE Sector, liquidate our pathetic remaining equity, part-out our infrastructure, privatize “services” and monetize our nation’s decline; to fork us to the sharks feeding far below… well, we’re getting the most experienced candidate, who “know how to get things done!” It’s been over a year since I posted: “The Republicans already have their perfect candidate, with Trump running too, to ensure she gets elected?” ExxonMobil, Monsanto, WalMart, Dupont, AIPAC & Wall Street are in a position currently where until the ISDS, corporate media & Hillary’s SCOTUS can ensure domestic tranquility, our liberal yuppie friends will be lecturing us assiduously to get with the party, or we’re obviously with the terrorists!

    1. Andy

      “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.” J. Rostand.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        “steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king.” from Bob Dylan on the song “Sweetheart Like You”. Another good line from the song: “What’s a sweetheart like you–BABE–doing in a dump like this?” A very good version of this was done by bluegrasser Tony Rice, who had a good voice before his throat went kablooey. Although after many years I guess he can talk now.

        Similar phrases were written by Eugene O’Neill and Italo Calvino.

      2. Rufus T. Firefly

        We live on Manhattan’s UWS (watch “The Night Of”) surrounded by yuppie liberals with Maybachs & Bentleys. My girlfriend used to be the Coop chair & reviewed applications of 28yr old visiting workers all earning $280K. When I do get work now, I’m take the train 200 miles down to my Slovak Hyundai, to go see all my gun-totting Klansman, Mexican national or ex-steelworker co-workers, and the folks we audit to steal Pennsylvania’s fracked gas. Most of them are half our age, work multiple 1099 gigs, since returning from Iraq or Afghanistan and fight like crazy to keep F150s or 2003 Hondas on what used to be streets. Their folks were virtually all Democrats, USWA folks who (if they were of the ofay- male persuasion) voted Reagan in, and learned from their error as their former buddies died in their mid-fifties, unemployable & hooked on, well… pretty much everything. Most of these people give LOUD, scary lip-service to Trump and despise Hillary, but we’ll just have to wait & see, huh? My bone to pick is with the liberal blogs, who one-after-one have caved to any number of K Street social networking advocacy solutions agencies who apparently cannot even properly scare folks over the prospect of a Trump presidency. The idea that I’m avoiding people in the elevator, since they’ll pontificate didactically about how idiotic & anti science my grave concerns with high volume slick-water fracking & 80% SMYS MAOP pipelines is, when I’m going to work on these damn things and ten years ago, none of these dead-eye’d fools had a clue, when they turned on their $6,500 convection ovens, the gas was coming from my friend’s farms in Dimrock now, because Shell’s Mars platform got fucked-up from Katrina (but none of the 60 risers leaked due to my friend’s diligence… which would get our behinds fired now!

  13. Stephen Gardner

    Could I please have the names of “progressives” that supported Clinton in the primary. I can’t think of any and that is the main premise of the article. A very, very flawed premise as far as I can see. Identity politics is not the same as progressive politics. Paying lip service to women’s rights, LGBT rights, minority rights etc. while supporting with military force regimes that are clearly against all those nice, bien pensant ideals is NOT at all progressive. How can anyone be fooled by the kayfabe?

    1. Eureka Springs

      You could start with the names of nearly every U.S. House member of the Progressive Caucus. Super Delegates.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Start with my congresswomen, Barbara Lee of CA. The same Barbara Lee who stood alone in opposing the post 911 rush to war in Afghanistan.

      Sure, she didn’t come right out and endorse Clinton over Sanders. She remained neutral. Maybe that was more and endorsement of herself than HRC over Sanders.

      This is also the same Barbara Lee who pushed her way to the front of the line to endorse Obama when he announced in 2008. Identity politics trump progressive values every time, I suppose.

      I certainly won’t hold my breath waiting for her to hold Clinton “accountable” if she wins in November. Same as I didn’t hold my breath in waiting for her to hold Obama accountable for his numerous failures.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Until she demonstrated her vile nature as Secretary of State, the problem with Hillary has been the cast of miscreants she surrounds herself with such as John Podesta. Obama might have actually at least not surrounded herself with such vile people, but Hillary’s 2007 henchmen were a sign she was unfit for any office. Trying to grab an empty suit, Obama, before he made connections just made sense.

        Other than that, she was First Lady and an unremarkable Senator. The line about Mos Eisley from Star Wars accurately describes the Senate.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I think “progressive” is a such a mushy term it’s hard to fit anybody into it on any criteria other than that they identify themselves as such. I was there for the creation of the term, and there was a lot of discussion about it in the blogosphere at the time. Basically, the conservatives had managed, by dint of repetition, in making “liberal” a dirty word, so they needed rebranding. That’s all “progressive” is; a rebranding. That’s why there’s never a real answer to “Progress in what direction?” And the progressives of today have no historical “bloodline” connection to the Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th century (except maybe some vague technocratic leanings, the 10% of that day).

      So I disagree. Today:

      liberal = progressive = identity politics ≠ left

      1. aab

        I never liked the word liberal and never self-identified as such. Even as a kid, I think I intuited its connection back to Locke and classical liberalism. I had been calling myself progressive for a while, as it seemed like a nice connection to the earlier progressive movement pushing back against the first Gilded Age and a way of talking about the left that wasn’t too scary for people trapped in the liberal paradigm.

        But if Hillary Clinton and Ezra Klein at al. get to call themselves progressive, it’s a useless term. I’ve reverted back to “leftist”. I strongly doubt Hill and Ezra will want that. We’ll see.

  14. crittermom

    Sorry, but I saw this article as little more than wishful thinking.

    “It’s time for progressives who helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.”

    Not gonna happen.
    Even if those supporting her were to ‘make a little noise’ over things they’re opposed to, what makes Bond think she’d listen? Wasn’t the Dem convention revealing enough?

    All I ever hear from Clinton supporters (even those newly aligned former Bernie supporters), is ‘because Trump’.
    They appear starry-eyed and brainwashed because she’s ‘not Trump’. I don’t predict any of ’em pushing Clinton on any issues.

    Even if they tried, Clinton has already shown, IMO, that unless you have millions of dollars to throw at her feet you’ll never get her attention, let alone force any change in her policies.

      1. crittermom

        IMO she already did that at the end of the campaign trail by choosing Kaine as her running mate, Salazar for her transition team (& suggesting Bill as economic advisor?).

        She also confirmed it at the convention by silencing those there to push for platform reform.
        (I really had no idea just how much weight the head of a transition team carries until I watched this video).

        1. Lambert Strether

          Kaine, along with IIRC Rahm, purged the Democrats of activists from Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy post-2006.

          So I’m thinking the Sanders people will have some fighting to do sooner than they think.

  15. sharonsj

    I’d like to add that although I will be in the voting booth come November, none of the presidential candidates will get my vote. Trump is an ignorant egomaniac. Hillary is a lying war hawk. Johnson is another right-wing looney. And Stein, while she has some really good stances, lied during the CNN town hall (and I know because I actually read the Green Platform). I’m not even sure I will vote for the Dem challenger to my lousy Repub senator because the challenger is just another party hack who, like Hillary, only says what we want to hear.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Speaking from my own personal perceptions and experience: GP can’t admit that Sanders coming out of nowhere to get 45% of the Dem vote (and changing the discourse) was an enormous success, and they present themselves as having a monopoly on conscience voting. I don’t think either bodes well for truth-telling, and in general, parties have a hard time with that. If they’re able to integrate Sanders activists, instead of saying (like Democrats) “we want your vote, now go home” I’ll change my mind, but I haven’t seen that (which is different from endorsements).

        1. John

          Sanders did not “come out of nowhere”.
          I and others followed and heard him for years on the Tom Hartman show.
          But I had gotten sick of hearing the talk but seeing no action and had stopped listening for at least the past two years.

          Also, the reason the “kids” took to him like wild was him calling for student loan cancellation.

          And that’s the god’s truth.

          Though his other messages about the rich looting us clean and needing to be stopped were what any sane person in the country longed to hear and have changed.

          Too bad Sanders turned out to be a sheepdog for the D party.

          He really should get the best actor in a political campaign award.

          After he endorsed Clinton it was clear as day it was ALL one big performance.

          1. grizziz

            I’ve been going after Stein and the Illinois Green Party to start getting voter drives at colleges and telling the students that the GP wants to cancel their student debt.
            It is out and out political ask for a vote for a future favor. Still, even if it fails, once they have voted Green it will be an easier ask in the next election.

          2. B1whois

            He called for free college, not student loan cancellation. Very different. The first appeals mainly to future college students who are too young to vote, and perhaps their parents. The candidate that calls for student loan cancellation will get a LOT more votes and support, IF they are believed.

            1. John

              That’s not what the kids heard.
              Believe me when I tell you that.

              Kind of like the rest of us in 2008 and Obama.
              We heard what we wanted to hear.

              1. FluffytheObeseCat

                In my experience (6 years of pursuing a PhD late in life) young educated people today are so much more savvy, less self-indulgent and broadly “grown up” than the peeved, aging boomers who haunt this board…….. that this assertion is laugh-inducing.

                Young Sanders voters had a damned clear idea of the limits of what he was offering. They voted for him anyway, because he just sucked so much less than the jowly pair of creeps who stand before us now.

                1. ambrit

                  Voting for someone who “sucked so much less” than the other candidates is not how a movement gets started. If your assertion is correct, than things are not only looking dim for any reform in the near future, but look equally bad for long range reform. Hate is too self consuming to maintain constantly without renouncing ones humanity. Hope, as the histories of religions show, can keep chugging along for millennia. “True believers” did start in the religious sphere and transfer to other spheres of human endeavour.

                  1. Patricia

                    The Bernie young adults I know *are* that savvy, especially understanding that humans generally aren’t either great or awful. Part of the reason they loved Bernie is that he wasn’t perfect–this is true for those I know. They got a kick out of his endless repetition. They loved him for dragging his old bones along day after day, trying very hard, and for being honest in his platform. This is what they have taken with them—not his failures.

                    And it is because of this in them that I have some hope again.

                    This is also why they will be able to set aside his final acquiescence. They don’t cling to dichotomies as much as many of our generation have done. It’s a gigantic difference clearly seen in the actions/words of Hillary supporters.

                    1. John

                      What does being savvy have to do with hearing what you want to hear?

                      It’s unconscious. We want so much to believe we have a good and true leader.

                    2. Patricia

                      Uhh, John, I repeat: the young Berners with whom I am acquainted do not find it impossible to love someone and also see his/her flaws/failures.

                      They’re willing to respectfully set Bernie aside and get on with it. See, for eg, their delight in Nina Turner.

                      People quit fantasizing about lost parental figures when they see leaders as no different from themselves. Contrary to the unicorning accusations, these young people tend to be realistic. They don’t have the illusions on which older generations were raised. They can’t afford them.

                2. Skippy


                  “In my experience (6 years of pursuing a PhD late in life) young educated people today are so much more savvy, less self-indulgent and broadly “grown up” than the peeved, aging boomers who haunt this board…….. that this assertion is laugh-inducing.”

                  Someone pursing a PhD for six years w/ previous life experiences should be aware of the anecdotal nature their statements [microcosm baseline], as well, as the less that cerebral nature of the vernacular boomers.

                  Disheveled Marsupial…. that’s unless one is unduly influenced by novelists like Strauss–Howe.

              2. aab

                You have any data to support that assertion? Because in the Sanders online communities I engaged with, including both the Sanders for President subreddit and Sandernista Twitter (among others), there were robust discussions among supporters — many of whom self-identified as either in college or recently graduated — about the limitations for them, personally, in Sanders promising free college once he got elected, as well as detailed conversations about how to extend that policy to really helping those already burdened with student loan debt.

                I’m sure there were voters who did not understand or think through the difference. Some of those were probably young. But your assertions seem based on bias and hostility, both to young voters and to Sanders, rather than having any kind of factual basis.

                My experience of young people, both my college aged daughter’s friends and the young activists I have interacted with online and in real life is very different from yours. Given how horrendous the circumstances their elders have saddled them with are, they are impressive in their determination, energy, organization and honor.

                1. different clue

                  Perhaps repealing the Bankruptcy Reform Act might be a specific policy-action worth seeking.

                  Failing that, a definite law making student loan debt fully dischargeable in bankruptcy.

                  1. aab

                    There are lots of things we COULD do — if banks didn’t own the Democratic Party. John was arguing that young Sanders voters were idiots who didn’t understand his actual policy positions.

          3. Lambert Strether

            So, you got sick of listening to him, and then he ran for President. But only as a sheepdog. Here’s what Jill Stein said in the Green Town Hall:

            Bernie did everything right and his supporters did everything right

            Do you agree? (Personally, I don’t. But it’s nice to be pandered to.)

            1. John

              How can you call Sanders anything other then a sheepdog
              after what we just witnessed?

              He should have refused to endorse Hillary since her whole career has been about advancing WalMart’s and Wall Street’s destruction of America.

              Since he didn’t, he’s shown himself for his true colors.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Sanders did what he said he would do.

                And Stein doesn’t think he was sheepdogging. That was the Green smear last year, but now the party line was changed. Do try to keep up.

                1. jgordon

                  Did what he said he would do despite hard evidence coming out that Hillary, Democrats, and the MSM had conspired against him. If he’s not a sheepdog, then at the very least he’s completely spineless–as I was thinking all along.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    [clutches pearls, heads for fainting couch]

                    Oh my goodness! The Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular were only revealed to be corrupt, lawless sleazoids by WikiLeaks and not by thirty years of history! Sanders knew what he was getting into. So did anybody who paid the slightest attention. He said what he would do, and he did it. Get serious.

                    1. John

                      Exactly. He said it at the start.
                      And of course, many didn’t hear it or didn’t want to believe it.

                      Sanders was there from the start to herd the Left
                      back to the criminal Democratic party.

              2. different clue

                Dear John,

                Could it be
                that someone put
                a horse’s head
                in Sanders’ bed?

                When you realize how low the Korporate Klintonites go, you will realize how hard it is to stoop the the challenge of challenging them.

                1. John

                  But since he said he would endorse Clinton if he lost, and in the very first debate with her he said he wasn’t interested in her emails, and he never really went after her ties to WalMart and sitting on the board when they were destroying manufacturing in America, my conclusion is he was always there to keep the Left from leaving the D party. No horse’s head needed.

        2. MsExPat

          GP can’t admit that Sanders coming out of nowhere to get 45% of the Dem vote (and changing the discourse) was an enormous success,

          Actually, Jill Stein says this very thing in her response to a Bernie supporter at the CNN Green Town Hall, during the Q and A.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Fair enough. It would be nice if that propagated out to her supporters here, where I spend a good deal of time.

            1. MsExPat

              Lambert, I know you don’t like the Green Party based on their past performance on the ground–and fair enough. But I think you’re being way too hard on Stein. She’s deserving of not only attention but respect: an extremely effective spokesperson, capable of nuanced argument in a way that Sanders isn’t, and out there doing what he did not do: making the connection, over and over, between our crap domestic policy and our Endless Warz. Not to mention the very smart move of aligning herself with the Black left, (getting Baraka, BAR, BLM, AND Cornel West is quite a represent!) something that well-meaning Bernie rather fumbled. ( I also thought Ajamu Baraka was a huh? but damn he’s got the guts to call out Obama’s neoliberalism in front of a black audience!)

              Yeah, the Greens are nowhere as a party organization, and yes, Stein/Baraka are a media show, not a grassroots organizing machine. But this is 2016, and how does one go about building a party when the game is ridiculously stacked in favor of power (look what happened to Sanders, who beat all the odds and still got creamed and then humiliated). Stein/Baraka are playing a long game–get the message out there, get it in social media, and on CNN (an enormous deal!). In order to organize, you need seeds, you need people to at least know who you are and what you stand for.

              It’s a slender thread, you may be right that the current Green Party is hopeless, but with new blood that could change. Where was Sanders a year ago? To build a movement, it helps to have some kind of structure and a center to hold things together until momentum builds. It pains me to see your dismissals of Stein and the Greens–they may not be the answer, but could well be the player that moves the ball down the court. Sanders isn’t that person any more. And perhaps (given Stein/Baraka’s arguably sharper critique of the system) that’s a good thing.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                She is not even remotely qualified to run for President. The fact that she has put herself forward as a candidate means I can’t take her or the Greens seriously. Fetishizing the Presidency and failing to do the hard work of developing your own bench via running for local and state offices is ass-backwards and shows a dilettantish attitude towards governing.

                1. MsExPat

                  Is Stein any less qualified to be president than Obama was in 2008? I don’t see any deep management or executive experience in his resume either. But that’s not the point–she doesn’t have a chance of getting elected in 2016 or probably ever, and knows it. I agree it would be terrific to have a party out there working the grassroots and building from the ground up, but that’s not going to happen between now and November so why not at least grab some media traction for a leftist critique, given that more people tune into politics during a Presidential cycle? I’m open to arguments that a top-down media campaign like the one that Stein/Baraka is running is damaging to the movement but so far I haven’t seen a convincing one. At best, their message will pull young people into the GP to take it over and over time make it into the party you describe, at worst, well, it’s great in this crap pile of an election year to have some articulate left voices in the arena, even if just to tend the fire until the next burst occurs.

                2. johnnygl

                  She also ran for governor of MA awhile back and didn’t do very well, either. She has so far failed to improve upon nader’s showing in 2000. If she doez a bit better this time, it’s becuase voters are more jaded and the big two candidates are that much worse. Socialist alter ative has been around for a much shorter period and has already had a greater impact. The greens are probably doing more harm than good to the cause of third parties in the usa. Their organizational incompetence makes it easier for the two legacy parties to say, “see, look at the greens, it’s hopeless to go for a third party!!!” Why can’t the greens even match the libertarians? Their positions are idiotic on plenty of issues.

                  Why can’t the greens even beat the party of rich, a-hole, looney-toons?

                3. habenicht

                  I have heard that in some cases, candidates can not run under a third party unless that party is represented in the presidential election.

                  If this is indeed the case, then “ass-backwards and show(ing) a dilettantish attitude towards governing” is the way the game has to be played if you want to be on the ballot at all for third parties for any (presidential or down ballot) election.

  16. philnc

    Indeed, Edwards had a rhetor’s grasp of what most people wanted to hear. Unfortunately in the end his lack of self-discipline in his personal life revealed the depths of his insincerity and untrustworthiness. Sanders should have done better, could have done better, but in the end caved to the duopoly and abandoned the people: demonstrating once for all that real change can’t be made within that system. As Richard Wolff and others have pointed out, FDR introduced the New Deal in an environment where strong left parties and labor made it the only option for preserving capitalism in those days. But the slide onto economic oblivion that started 30 years ago, along with the demise of the left and marginalization of labor (mostly through the co-opting of their leadership), has so tilted things to the right that I think the only way forward is to rebuild from the ground up. In practical terms that begins with joining together in support of the Greens right now, and then working to revitalize the left and labor as movements over the balance of this century.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Personally, I’d be all for an in-out strategy in the Dems, the GP’s finally proving themselves, and all the rest of it. As FDR says: “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” I don’t think that’s on offer from the GP, though.

      1. Eureka Springs

        It’s on offer at least as much (imo, moreso, but the cut in defense dollars is a biggie with me) as Sanders ever was. We all just watched Sanders himself jump into a woodchipper while the Prog/D’s still said let me push! This Gaius post is still doing it.

        The Greens need to be much more democratic in internal process. But thier words, thier platform, thier candidates are much better human beings than any handful of D’s you can name. Only time can tell if there is sincerity behind it all.

        For all 27 self-respecting, unapologetic, admittedly failed progs in this country Green is an excellent FOR and Protest vote, be that local or Presidential.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > The Greens need to be much more democratic in internal process

          Forgive me for not finding that re-assuring.

          As for the woodchipper, elections come and go. What terrifies me is that based on my own experience the GP is itself, as a dysfunctional non-profit, is an even worse woodchipper.

    2. John

      Edward’s message was 8 years too soon.

      The Two Americas has only hit home now
      after Wall Street’s burn down of our economy
      and extortion of 20 trillion dollars from us.

      Now, it resonates.
      8 years ago most people didn’t think of themselves as poor.

      1. Mike Mc

        Edward’s Two Americas speeches were prescient and made me – briefly – an Edwards voter in 2008. However, having been a Gary Hart delegate to my state convention in 1984, I should have anticipated ‘good hair’ candidate Edwards would have the same problem as Sen. Hart and President Clinton did.

        Nov. 9th will give us millions of pissed off Trump and Sanders voters, and likely a fair amount of Clinton voters with buyer’s remorse. Pressing Sanders to found a Progressive Party – regardless of the name – would be worth pursuing. Brand New Congress and Our Revolution worthy efforts, but it’s time for a new party to rise out of the ashes of this election.

  17. Norb

    I think what people have forgotten, or have no current experience with, is the actual radical, and destructive nature of Capitalism as a social organizing structure. It is the ocean in which we all swim or the air we all breathe, so take for granted – unreflectively. Commoners cannot connect the misery they experience daily with the system they live under. Capitalists can only double down on their life strategy. The second they hesitate, the game is up. It is an all or nothing strategy. In America, you are given no breathing space. No tolerance for dissent.

    A reformed capitalism ceases to be capitalism. Just as the divine right of Kings falls away when individual liberty takes hold in the mind. The two thoughts are incompatible.

    What is the capitalist goal? To control all- to exploit all? Don’t capitalists already possess that power in disguised form already? What is it that they want anyway? Power over individual lives? Materially, the ruling elite have everything already, they have won the struggle of Owners over Labor. We have come full circle to where the elite now require our public displays of affection for their greatness once again. Freedom and liberty of the individual be dammed if not the right individual.

    If forced to express their vision for the human future, the ruling elite would be exposed as the shallow frauds that they are. They have no vision other than the ceaseless striving for material personal wealth. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are a logical result of an unrelenting capitalist system. They are its products.

    What is the logical end for capitalism? It is an ideology that needs competition to survive. But what happens when there are no more foes to conquer? No more resources to exploit for profit?.

    America is a nation of chaos because it is the leader of the capitalist world. It is not a nation of diverse strength and stability. It is a teetering behemoth, struggling not to fall over from neglect and self inflicted wounds perpetrated by sociopathic ideologues.

    Hopefully, the con game has lost it’s effectiveness as harsh reality sinks in. As always, its having a plan ready to go and implement when the crash finally occurs. If the left does’t have that plan ready, we all deserve what comes.

  18. PH

    Progressives near to Clinton, if they exist, will have no power.

    We must organize outside.

    Best place to start is an organization to recruit and support Dem primary challengers.

    This is desperately needed, and could quickly gain influence. Even more if we win some races in 2018.

  19. grizziz

    Interesting that Yves chose a category for the left (as in the bona fide left that seeks to improve the position of the working classes) while Gaius Publius chose a separate category of progressive which seems to include self-interested middle class voters. The commentators above mostly use the progressive labeling. It would be helpful to me if someone could draw some distinctions between these two categories. Maybe a Venn diagram to see where they intersect.
    Thanks in advance.

  20. seabos84

    It is beyond laughable to think anyone but Wall Street sycophants have any sway with the Clinton – Obama crowd. IF you want to pretend like you matter with their crowd, maybe you should also keep singing “My Favorite Things” to keep your phantasy land bubble alive?


    Second – help any “local” candidates / issues you can. Sadly, for some, that means sending your $27 or doing your phonebank for someone or something 2 or 4 states away.

    For me, in The Great State Of Wishy-Warshy, Pacified Northwest, I’ll NOT waste any ink on Clinton, Inslee, Patty Patty Murray. We have a statewide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage AND have paid sick days! We have some bernie-crats around the state running for stuff.

    Third – network network network, locally, with people who like the same political activity / hate the least the same political activity. the more people from any cluster of precincts who show up waving signs or write letters to the editor or phonebank or doorbell or leaflet … the faster the bastards pay attention to us, or, they’re unemployed.


    p.s. note how I did NOT hint at or suggest at or recommend finding The New Savior with The New Message and The New Strategy. F’k that shit. organize local, with neighbors, according to what you like the most / hate the least, then find people / issues to work for.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This isn’t about Hillary but her “supporters” who will whine about being betrayed by Hillary in the coming months. They can fight Hillary or they can get bent is the message going forward. Hillary has too many loyalists to reward to lavish resources on faux “progressives” with dwindling audiences.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Actually, your intel is dated. Wall Street is her fading clientele. Google and Silicon Valley are much more important to Hillary now.

  21. GWJones

    I agree with so much of the commentary here. Seriously, no real progressives voted for HRC over Sanders. Self-styled, paid-off and job hungry folks, for sure, maybe some naifs.

    Progressives might have refused to support Sanders because he said he would continue drone strikes and was kinda weak on opposing Israeli agression, but HRC is, as one contributor above wrote, to the right of Bush on more than half the spectrum. Also agree now is the time to support the Green Party

  22. Lambert Strether

    > The “Becky Bond Rule” says progressives in the Clinton camp must be first in line to fix what Clinton does wrong, to aggressively and proactively lead the pushback.

    I agree with the Becky Bond rule, except that it needs to be shifted 180°.

    Leaders lead, as Atrios was fond of saying. If Sanders supporters want to lead the party, then they need to lead the effort to hold Clinton to account. If Clinton supporters want to join in, then indeed Sanders supporters will have their backs.

    1. PH

      I agree that the needed leadership must oppose Hillary and the swarm of other Bluedogs. But those leaders have yet to emerge. Indeed, they will not emerge unless there is organized support.

      The organization needed does not yet exist.

      Planning and building such an organization is more important than whether or not to make a protest vote this fall.

      Heck, maybe the Green Party should just call itself the dem party and start running primary challengers.

      I feel desperate for an organized effort. But the tactics must include winning primaries

          1. MojaveWolf


            You seem to agree w/Gaius and Bond that we should hold Clinton, her lackeys (and presumably her corporate allies) accountable. As you just said, “If Sanders supporters want to lead the party, then they need to lead the effort to hold Clinton to account.”

            Since they really don’t care what we think, the ONLY way to do this short of interfering in their day to day activities or somehow costing them a lot of money is to make them lose.

            A protest vote will help them lose.

            If they lose, maybe someone better will take their place. Knocking off incumbents in primaries is hard. With more hope, and more chance of winning, and more chaos in the wake of a loss, possibly the planning and build up of better left wing organizations will be sped up.

            Focusing further on the value or lack thereof in protest votes, especially with regard to the 2016 presidential election:

            Counter to “make them lose”: the republicans will be worse and things will go to hell, just like with Bush.

            Counter/counter: Trump just trashed the next-in-line Bush and the past Bush’s rep. Hillary is courting his policy advisors. And Nixon’s. And Reagan’s. Trump seems the less Bushy, here.

            Trump and the Clintons seem to be friendly. Possibly not much actual difference in personal ideology. At least he called out all the 9/11 BS and pointed out that ignoring all intelligence warnings and letting people fly planes into buildings was bad. Clinton draped herself in 9/11 as much as Jeb did. So, no difference, or Trump still less bushy.

            And finishing up, as you yourself have hinted at on occasion (or perhaps I’m misunderstanding? If so my bad) throwing everything into chaos can make it easier for something new and worthwhile to arise than currently seems to exist within the organized power structures ( Next level response–Bernie, Teachout and others have proven that one can win within the organized power structures and without throwing; And responding to that–whatever Bernie accomplished, he had some pretty unique assets and on top of that, they still cheated him out of it and gave us Hillary, who promptly demonstrated how seriously she took the threat of ANYONE but rich scumbags holding her accountable by naming Kaine & Salazar to top posts, not to mention DWS).

            Protest vote all the way. Make them pay. (and yes, if it somehow got close tween Clinton and Trump in Cali, I might change the direction of my protest vote, and if it doesn’t get close, then maybe the Green party getting funding or a more visible platform will scare the pro-oligarchy Dems into moving left, and if it won’t, why would anything else we do?)

            It’s the best, easiest way to hold the Dems accountable. Make them lose.

  23. Andy

    This is all great commentary, for this site. How many here take this message to other supposed progressive sites. I frequent quite a few. The shout down, pile on mentality, and calls for the “Ban-Hammer” gets most alternative views extinguished.
    The level of the commenters here would seem to be able to fend off such dismissals without at least a discussion. Or the inevitable “Bernie-Bro” accusation, if that still is the slam of the day.
    I’ve been away from this for a couple weeks, listen mostly to satellite.

  24. DarkMatters

    I’m really baffled at the surprise felt at Hillary’s choice of associates, and at the policy decisions likely to follow. It reminds me of Condoleeza Rice statement that no one could have seen 911 coming, when drills had been ongoing to handle exactly this eventuality.

    Can anyone doubt that Hillary will pull a super-Obama once elected, rejecting all her promises and implementing their opposites once elected? It amazes me that many people do, that they think they will have some ability to control policy. If things get too hot in the kitchen politically speaking, isn’t it OBVIOUS that a 2-pronged propaganda effort will be unleashed, to hide blatantly unpopular moves on the one hand, and/or talk them up as if they were falsely maligned and in the TINA category on the other.

    I state these opinions feeling on the one hand, as if I have 2 heads because this view seems so marginal among the populace, but on the other feeling eerily vindicated, as if I’ve been seeing a train coming down the track and striking a crowd of people, none of whom apparently saw or did anything during its approach. Is not the political outcome obvious? Hasn’t anyone else seen through the level of propaganda diminishing her crimes as either nonexistent or unprosecutable?

    Well, I can entertain myself watching the propaganda, and watching how far political and ethical opinions can be twisted. Like the train metaphor, there’s a certain macabre fascination to be savored. This is undoubtedly corrosive to my ethical and moral sensibilities, but trivially compared to all else.

    1. tegnost

      thanks,this comment largely mirrors my own feelings on this subject. My one thing is that I’m commonly asked by hillary supporters if I’m depressed, but no, I’m happy because there will be no dodging responsibility for the neos this time around, I no longer need to get into long winded convolutions about the pros and cons any more than kenny mayne dissecting a dancing with the stars episode which is likely why they’re so worried about this protest vote. Voting against something you don’t want is a rational act.Surprise surprise, the emperor has no clothes.

  25. Jess

    God I hate the phony framing of “hold her feet to the fire”. After she’s elected there is simply no way to do that. The only way her desired policies could be thwarted is by forcing enough members of Congress not to vote for certain bills like the TPP. But even then, nothing we can do can force her to change executive orders and executive branch policies or priorities.

    1. PH

      I largely agree.

      But things like Keystone show you can have influence (on a few things) if you keep a spotlight on. But that is arduous.

      Important to pick your spots.

      TTP might be stopped.

      1. SpringTexan

        Yes, TPP and TTIP are excellent places to “pick your spots,” not easy but possibly winnable.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      You’re right. The phoniest. And such crap.

      Bond is not even going to do the feet-to-fire holding herself. She’s assigning it to someone else based on a standard she’s devised. You broke it, you bought it. Give me a break.

      If you want to send the democrat party a message, you deny them the win. Period. It’s how elections work. You don’t get the job if your performance is piss poor.

      All this wishy-washiness over giving an unsuitable candidate a job and then assigning someone to stand guard over them to make sure they do it to your satisfaction when you’ve known from the beginning that s/he won’t is just a weak excuse for taking the easy way out.

      You want to send a message to the democrat party that they better shape up now, you vote for Trump. And hold HIS feet to the fire. Two birds, one stone

      1. Jess

        “vote for Trump. And hold HIS feet to the fire. Two birds, one stone”

        Yes. Excellent. And we might actually get some help holding those feet to that fire.

  26. KYrocky

    Gaius asks:

    What will Clinton supporters, those who happily helped bring down Sanders, do then?

    Answer: Nothing. Sorry you wasted so many pixels avoiding the obvious.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. ”

    This is crapified politics that we’ve heard before, over and over. HOW are they going to “hold her feet to the fire?” Has there ever been serious detail about that? I’ve seen this line over and over, but it’s NEVER operational, and more important, it can’t be. The next opportunity is 4 long years off; she could be dead by then, so could they, and the Republicans will nominate Cruz.

    All that leaves is insurrectionary street action; anything else is easy to ignore, and they know they have progressives hog-tied – hell, the progs did it to themselves.

    This hogswill is nothing but the same lesser-evilism that got us here. I suspect GP agrees; I’m responding to the quote.

  28. Fiver

    This is not a very good piece for several reasons, one being only in the nonsense universe of US mainstream discourse can Clinton be termed a ‘centrist’ or can someone be depicted as a bona fide ‘progressive’ and also be a supporter of Clinton. I wouldn’t waste a moment trying to pressure ‘Clinton progressives’ on anything – there is no historical evidence she or Bill have ever had the slightest interest in the public interest. At best a ‘Clinton progressive’ might claim to be ‘defending’ some existing public good, but good luck there as well – as Trump is not the source of any real ‘threat’, that distinction belonging to the existing power elites (military, financial, corporate, legal, media etc.) Clinton serves.

    There are 3 critical issues ‘progressives’, Greens, lefties, libertarians and others must come together en masse to resist: TPP immediately, US foreign policy of permanent wars of aggression now involving the entire Muslim world and fossil fuels. Don’t waste any time hoping to influence Clinton (you won’t) or fretting about Trump. First TPP, then anti-War/anti-fossil fuels.

    I am convinced TPP can be beaten – not with ‘Clinton activists’, but with a broad coalition of interests. And once it has been beaten, the supremely idiotic ‘war on terror’ is next up. Americans’ votes and electoral desires have been ignored and suppressed. Other legitimate means therefore must be taken up and utilized to change critical policy failures directly.

    The idea that Clinton ever was ‘open’ to progressives reminds me of why the putrid Rahm Emmanuel could dismiss the left as a ‘bunch of retards’. Time to make them eat those words by taking ourselves and our values and our thinking seriously enough we stop fearing not being taken ‘seriously’ by so loathsome a crew as the Clintons.

      1. Fiver

        To the extent that a self-described ‘libertarian’ is anti-war, anti-corporate empire and pro-environment (and a good number are) I see no difficulty making common cause on those or other areas of agreement. I cannot imagine anything more positive than, for instance, dissolving the US military.

  29. River

    I think “hold her feet to the fire” means progressives will get on all fours and act as an Ottoman for Her Grace during a cold D.C winter’s night. They seem to be doing it now.

  30. Mooooo

    Here in Temple Grandin’s touchy-feely slaughterhouse, Sanders gets 45% of the vote and leads them down Hillary’s cattle chute for slaughter – not cooption, not marginalization, but the bolt gun to the head, with lots of sadistic poleaxing straight out of an illegal PETA video. The surviving livestock are auctioned off for flensing through gleeful trading in influence. This we learn, is not beyond redemption. In some demented psycho-Quaker sense, perhaps. What the fuck WON’T you put up with?

    In this psychotic mindset, Kim Jong Un’s 99.97% victory proves he’s like twice as worthwhile as any Dem. Write him in. Nursultan Nazarbayev, too, his 98% success speaks for itself. Write him in. All these elections are equally fake. At some point you’re going to have to stop pecking B.F. Skinner’s levers, because the pellets have stopped coming out. But there’s no point reasoning with you till your extinction burst finally subsides.

    Then we can talk about how you knock over moribund regimes.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Vividly put. I guess I’m confused, though. Stein says:

      Bernie did everything right and his supporters did everything right

      So apparently she’s not an expert in knocking over moribund regimes either. Eh?

  31. different clue

    Dear Gaius Publius,

    ” This really matters. That Clinton is a better progressive choice than Trump is not much contested.”
    Really? Reeeeaaaaa lly? Perhaps, as others have said way upthread, that is part of the problem right there.

    Perhaps people should consider the possibility that Clinton is the More Effective evil. Perhaps a Trump Administration would be a bunch of sound and fury and clown car fire drills signifying nothing. Whereas a Clinton Administration would be staffed and powered by Decromatic and Third Way Cheneys who know where all the knobs, levers and buttons of power are. And they are determined that what they want . . . they will get.

    One of Ian Welsh’s favorite commenters brought this link to his blog.
    markfromireland PERMALINK
    August 19, 2016
    There are lots of reasons not to vote for Clinton and the suppurating corruption she represents. Not letting her owners play with matches rates high among them

    ( and if that sentence does not link to the brought-link here the way it does on Ian Welsh, here is the URL link its own self, so people can link to it and read it.)

    Some of the insulting language is harsh on the tender eyeballs of sensitive leftists. I would suggest gritting one’s teeth and powering through the relatively few insulting words and phrases. Most of it is fact-based and evidence-supported reasoned reasons to prevent Clinton from getting elected. Reading the article at this link should help progressives get over their fear of a President Trump. That fear is the only thing preventing them from voting for someone other than Clinton. Maybe the progressives should consider the possibility that they have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I dunno how tender my eyeballs are, but this at your link caught my eye: “When Washington pushed the South into the Civil War…”

      Wowsers. No, I don’t think so.

      1. different clue

        Yes, one’s eyeballs could be pretty tough and still find that one difficult. Still, it pays to grind one’s teeth and power through. Because when he focuses on the last few-couple decades and especially the last few years, including CLINTON’S last few years, he makes serious sense. As well as his discussion of who has what military capabilities nowadays, and what a mistaken estimation of who has what military capabilities nowadays can lead the mistakers to lead their country into, box-canyon-of-no-return speaking-wise.

    2. Gaius Publius

      Dear Gaius Publius,

      ” This really matters. That Clinton is a better progressive choice than Trump is not much contested.”
      Really? Reeeeaaaaa lly? Perhaps, as others have said way upthread, that is part of the problem right there.

      Just a note. “not much contested” is a true statement. Few in the publishing media are making that case. “not much contested” is also not a statement in either direction about my own thinking.

      Bond’s essay is a recommendation. Mine is an observation, a look at what might happen if Bond’s rule were strongly applied, and an implied peek at whether it might be.


      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Depends on you definition on progressive. The word can mean anything.

        If by “publishing media” you mean the MSM, they are corrupt and what they say is irrelevant.

  32. Russell

    Sanders was crushed as a member of the Democratic Party. He got less than he would have if he had run Green . At 63 we can be certain that he Democratic Party has essentially been unchanged as it this time put up a risky candidate. No doubt Sanders could beat Trump, was, and still is the case.

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