Democratic Party Orthodoxy in Action: “Hit With Some Serious Clinton Blame Cannons”

Yves here. The Democrats have yet again told all of those to the left of the Vichy Left that they have no place in the party via their choice of Tom Perez as chairman of the DNC. There’s no longer any pretense (as if there ever was one) that big corporate interests matter more than those of mainstream voters.

As reader WheresOurTeddy put it:

“This is just another big fuck you to the progressive wing of the party.”

The message is undeniable: You’re not welcome here. Thank you for your votes, thank you for your money, shut up, no you do not get to pick the candidate, Debbie and Donna did nothing wrong, no we are not getting rid of superdelegates, no we are not refusing corporate money, no you cannot have even a Clinton-endorsing kinda-progressive as Chair, no to free college, ‘never ever’ to universal health care, ‘we’re capitalists here’, and Haim Saban’s opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money.

The ship be sinking.

What has changed is how Democratic party voters think it’s a winning strategy to exhibit overt hostility to Sanders voters and former Democrats who either stayed home on November 8, voted for a third party candidate, or left the top of the ticket blank. Or even, as we see below, even those who voted for Clinton but are still working to move the party to the left from the bottom up.

I know many readers have run into this sort of thing personally, either from family members, in their social circles, or on Facebook. And I have no doubt that some have examples that are even more extreme. But in reading this exchange, and seeing recaps of similar interactions, it’s remarkable to see how childish and self-destructive the posture of the orthodox Dem backers is. It isn’t just the vitriol, self-righteousness, and authoritarianism, as if they have the authority to dictate rules and those who fail to comply can and must be beaten into line. It’s that they are rejecting help in debunking Republican messaging by someone who actually voted for Hillary…because what they wrote post election fails some sort of purity test. This is a deranged manifestation of cultishness.

Why they fantasize that this approach will work, particularly after the party has hemorrhaged seats at all levels of government for years prior to 2016, is beyond me.

By Naked Capitalism reader aliteralmind, aka Jeff Epstein. Jeff, a progressive activist and journalist, was one of only around forty candidates in the county to be personally endorsed by Bernie Sanders, and was a pledged delegate for him at the DNC. Jeff is also currently starring in Feel The Bern-The Musical, which will very soon be performed in New York. Originally posted on Proud Sanders Democrat

It seems that my friends, my friends’ friends, and I are exclusively to blame for the Trump Presidency and the Republican takeover of government. I tried to stand up for you all, without tearing the person down.

Screenshots of the conversation are at the bottom. 

First the post proper, which I made on Facebook, regarding a Republican town hall Citizens’ Media TV was to cover:


I am a journalist interested in debunking the Republican talking point of not wanting to participate in in person town halls, for fear of facing “outside agitators being bussed in only to harass them.”

If anyone out there is interested in livestreaming this event, and willing to go early and film the likely-non-existent buses bringing in people, and asking around, especially to those who are upset with the congressman/Republicans/Congress overall, to confirm their identity/That they live in the district, such as by looking privately at their licenses, or asking a question only locals would know how to answer (or any other creative ideas), please get in contact with me.

John Doe’s comment on the post:

I’m going and I live here.

My response:

Please friend and PM me if you are interested in assisting.

John Doe:

I visited your page, saw your posts and your friends’ comments, and with thanks for your vote for the Democratic nominee in the election, I will decline. I worked hard for her election and have no more tolerance for the kind of bull I saw on your posts. I’m sure some of those people are crying and marching now. With their support, this didn’t have to happen. [redacted] on your post was so sure of herself, and probably still is. Makes me ill.


I don’t understand what posts you object to. On what page? My personal page? I am unsure what you mean by “with their support this didn’t have to happen”? What didn’t have to happen? The Trump presidency and the Republican takeover of Congress? Who is [redacted]?

John Doe:

on a post on your wall. Someone among your friends named [redacted], full of conspiracy theories that you permit to be aired on your wall, saying that Clinton was going to be be president and nothing would stop her, she “stole” the nomination, blah blah blah. And yes, the Trump presidency didn’t have to happen. Your post is full of people saying they either wouldn’t vote, or vote for Stein for gods sake. You posted that a vote for Stein isn’t wasted. It is people who said such things that made his electoral college win possible. You all bought the right-wing Russian-financed propaganda. Now you cry and march.


Would appreciate a link to the post you’re referring to. It’s hard to discuss this without knowing what you’re talking about.

I disagree with lots of my friends, and disagree with even more people that are friends of my friends. The [redacted] you are talking about is likely a friend of a friend. Unless they are blatantly hateful, I choose not to delete comments just because I might disagree with them. Because many people that I disagree with still have something valid to say.

Thank you for acknowledging my vote for Hillary Clinton in the general. I will be honest and say that I did it almost exclusively as an anti-Trump vote.

You are correct. If every single Bernie Sanders supporter came out and voted for Hillary Clinton during the general, she likely would’ve won by a landslide. The Democrats would not have lost state houses across the country and control of all branches of our government. Instead of winning by a landslide, she lost by a razor thin margin, even winning the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

I hope that we can agree that the American people are by and large reasonable people. So if that’s true, then what about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party caused all of these people to not vote for her? That many people choose not to vote at all, some chose to vote third-party, and probably some chose to vote for Trump just to “blowed shit up real good.”

It seems that all of these people chose to risk a Trump presidency and a Republican domination of the entire country, than to come out and vote for Hillary Clinton.

I hope you’re not seriously suggesting that the only reason that Hillary Clinton lost is 100% caused by “right wing Russian-financed propaganda,” and 0% because of what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party has done and not done for the past 40 years.

John Doe:

one word: misogyny. And I am not at all persuaded that the American people are by and large “reasonable.” Quite apparently not.


Thank you for the link.

There were seventeen friends tagged in that post. Comments came from more than a hundred people, about half indirect friends of those people.

So a large percentage (most? all?) of Bernie Sanders tens of millions of supporters, that didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, either hate women (including the women…) or are so gullible to be duped by Russian financed right wing propaganda. They have no valid issues at all.

The Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton have NO responsibility in their loss. Those votes were rightly hers.

That’s what you’re trying to tell me.

Me, four hours later:

Let me be more direct: *IS* that what you’re trying to tell me?

It is so easy to blame tens of millions of middle and lower income Americans for the spectacular losses suffered by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party in November. From what you’ve told me so far, they are the ONLY ones to blame. Tens of millions of people. All virulent misogynists, dim-witted enough to be completely duped by “Russian financed right wing propaganda”, and “by and large”, “quite apparently” not reasonable human beings. They have no valid concerns at all. How easily you write them off with such hateful and simplistic accusations.

The powerful few though, with their billionaire donors and much of the media and rules tilted in their favor, they share absolutely none of the responsibility in their OWN losses.

It’s not Hillary Clinton’s job to earn the votes of those tens of millions of people. It is the job of those tens of millions of people to just vote for her. Because as bad as they may feel she and the Democratic Party are for their own good, Trump is so much worse…and they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyway.

You do realize how unreasonable that sounds, right?

Full screenshots below.

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  1. watermelonpunch

    I came across a lot of this type of thing BEFORE the election from friends and friends of friends and that sort of thing.

    What’s funny in this circumstance is that I’m exceedingly careful to only express opinions on issues, and sedately relate what I’ve heard of other people’s opinions. (So like absolutely I was just a messenger, I wasn’t arguing any point.)
    They didn’t want to hear what I had to say, they pooh-poohed any concerns, and when I tried to tell them what people I came across thought (I live in PA, btw)… they would dismiss it, or somehow blame the messenger for what I would tell them about what I knew other people thought of HRC etc. At best they would just say those people needed to change their minds! (At best.) And I was left thinking WTF, that’s not going to happen, the opinions I’ve heard over the years being so extreme. (I heard people in public telling Monica jokes around here well into W’s 2nd term! That crap never died here.)
    And besides I couldn’t even try to convince anyone if I’d wanted to. (I mean I literally couldn’t for fairly straight forward reasons I’m not going to spell out here.)

    To their credit, my personal connections since the election have changed their tune and now want to hear what I have to say, to understand, and have defended other opinions to friends-of-friends – the people who are still on that neoliberal runaway train… though not entirely to support other issues/opinions/focus, but at least to acknowledge that they need other people now if they want clean water or whatnot. Some of the diehards just won’t even consider that though. Or if they do, they believe that it’s bernie bros or people who voted for Johnson, to shut up about that and fall into line with centrists taking big money and shut up about that too.

    It’d be funny if it wasn’t so bizarrely against any sense of reason or decorum.

    Another person on twitter (which I posted a picture of it), retweeted a bernie bashing tweet, and immediately after retweeted a call for unity tweet… with no sense of irony or comment. The call for unity was from someone with a feed that’s full of pro-perez and pro-hrc stuff. So we know what the call for unity means there. I think I saw a post that was, well, the kind of thing that makes me think HRC is going to run again in 2020, if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, thank you for this post.

    1. RepubAnon

      I’m getting very tired of people who are still fighting the Bernie/Hillary wars – it seems like an homage to Monty Python’s Life of Bryan “Judean People’s Front” joke, where the revolutionary movements are so immersed in fighting among themselves that they lose sight of the real enemy: for them, the Romans.

      Don’t like who got elected as the chair of the fundraising arm of the Democratic Party? Angered by some idiot who tells you that you’re not part of the Democratic Party because of your social media history? The answer isn’t to run away – the answer is to organize at the local level. Show up at local Precinct meetings, and work on taking over the Democratic Party’s apparatus.

      The Democratic Party’s big problem is the over-emphasis on national elections. Win the local and state elections, and national election victories will follow.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Berniecrats are already doing that, and pretty effectively at the state party committee level.

        The wee problem is that in 2016, there was a ton of state-level fundraising that was supposedly state-Predidential, and the Clinton campaign sucked almost all of it up, contrary to donor expectations. That was part of the reason for the abysmal Dem performance down ticket.

        And let me remind you that it was the Hillary loyalist who picked a fight over Sanders, not vice versa? That also seems to be the pattern in the other cases I’ve heard about

        1. Mattie


          Clinton/Obama/Chuck Todd dems remain out of touch with everything alien to their privileged “people like us” experience.

          Compared to their bretheren, they are PLU “mean girls”, rabidly defending a status quo which has enriched them at the expense of their poor relations. They are cheap-date democrats who grabbed at shiny, reversible “wins” from their champions. That made it easy for them to look the other way while those champions sacrificed 26 million American households to foam the runway for PLU Bankers.

          They canibalized the progressive wing of their own party, and in the process – gave away the store to harder working republicans at all levels of government.

          They haven’t come clean, they haven’t made anything right, and they have not changed.

          Meanwhile, their more progressive poor relations are doing the hard, smart work… while the PLU seal their fate.

        2. Oregoncharles

          We’re about to find out what the firewall is between rank-and-file Democrats and the national party. It’s pretty obviously always been there, simply because most of the officeholders and the party policies do not reflect the wishes of the members. Of course, one part is already clear: the National Committee.

          I’m an outsider, so I’ve always wondered how it works. I look forward to finding out.

      2. Brad

        What local apparatus? The two parties aren’t membership organizations. Any local influence will be stamped out by the pols in the “central apparatus”.

        But I completely sympathize with being tired of the obsession with the Democrats. Time for all the Bernie supporters to turn their back on the Democrats at all levels, with or without Good Shepard Bernie. Time to organize, not a “third party”, but an independent movement with, among others, an electoral strategy aimed at the destruction of the Democratic Party, forcing the remnants where they belong: into the Republican Party.

        It is a long and hard road, but There Is No Alternative. Anybody who fails to take an independent road, in deeds and not just words, will expose themselves as not serious.

        1. redleg


          Prohibition, sufferage, and progressive reform (T Roosevelt flavor) was not party focused. There are lessons learned form those issues that appear to be forgotten.

          1. Ed Miller

            What we need is a 2nd party -that’s not alt-right Republican.

            Non-Oregonians won’t understand without that adder. JMHO

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              It’s much simpler than all this, we currently have a government that advances the interests of 10% of the population. Any party (including the Dems) that came along and promoted the interests of the 90% would have an eternal and unbeatable majority.
              “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”
              – A. Lincoln

      3. watermelonpunch

        Are you lecturing me? You missed the whole point of my comment if that’s the case. About tackling the messenger.

        And if you’re tired of it, you can stop being part of it. In your discomfort, change can begin with you!

        I realize that you probably hit reply on my comment on a whim reaction, and you probably didn’t mean this to be a direct lecture to me personally or realize it might come across that way. But if that’s the case, I wish you would’ve prefaced by making clear you were speaking generally to air your gripes. Ya know?

        The whole point is that I’ve encountered lecturing for the simple act of relating what I’ve heard about what other people think. I find that annoying yes. Especially because I can’t even do the things you suggest even if I was upset for the reasons you mentioned. I mean literally I can’t do those things.

        I’m just the messenger relating what I’ve heard if anyone’s interested. Because that’s about all I can do.
        Some are interested now, but some who aren’t seem instead of ignoring me (the normal reaction if you’re not interested), are more interested in making me feel uncomfortable about commenting, so I shut up or something. ?

        I wish people would, upon hearing a comment like mine, say “Thanks for letting me get some insight in what you’ve heard or are hearing.”

        OR, if you find the need to tell me this,

        “Thanks but no thanks to what you think and what you heard I’m not interested.”

        Either of those would seem more productive communication to me and perfectly polite. Just saying.

    2. sharonsj

      An old friend, who was a Hillary loyalist, constantly reposted Hillary articles on Facebook with the first line being: “This is for YOU, Sharon” because I supported Bernie Sanders. After half a dozen times of this, I sent her personal emails asking her to stop. She wouldn’t and didn’t until the fourth time I finally sent an email full of expletives.

      The other Facebook friends of mine, who supported Hillary, constantly insinuated that Bernie supporters were sexist fools and that we must vote for Hillary. I usually told them to shut up and stop telling me how to vote, but they didn’t listen. I don’t think they and the Democratic establishment have learned anything from this debacle.

      1. watermelonpunch

        I’m sorry to hear this happened to you and nobody’s even apologized since? Well, now we know for sure what’s NOT inspiring, right? :)

  2. bob

    “I hope that we can agree that the American people are by and large reasonable people.”

    I gotta agree with the deer on this point. No way, no how. I’d prefer if “reasonable” were never used in politics. Reasonable is the status quo. That isn’t working.

    Does it then mean that those people, who aren’t reasonable, are evil? I don’t think that follows either.

    I disagree with almost everything else the deer says.

    1. Katharine

      Why let such patently unreasonable people give nonsense definitions to “reasonable” when we can instead reclaim the word? Yes, the American people are by and large reasonable. They can see when they have been screwed repeatedly, they can identify the kinds of politicians who have screwed them, and the hackneyed rhetoric used. They can, very reasonably indeed, deduce that continuing to support such politicians is folly. They can, very reasonably, develop and work for better solutions.

      Yes, they’re reasonable. Be very afraid, establishment.

      1. watermelonpunch

        I was thinking the same thing… bob’s definition of “reasonable” seems different than the definition in the context of the author’s conversation.

        Politicians I’ve noticed (at least my reps) are fond of using the term “common sense” as an adjective.
        I find this a little off-putting. But I recognize it’s just a way of acknowledging that most people are reasonable in the sense that most people are not fringe zealots with no comprehensible reason, with nowhere to meet / cooperate, etc.

        Though yes, I acknowledge that there are some extremists obviously. That they’re loud doesn’t inflate their actual numbers.

        1. bob

          “seems different than the definition in the context of the author’s conversation.”

          Isn’t that always the problem? I wasn’t there. You were? Please report back.

          “Though yes, I acknowledge that there are some extremists obviously.”

          Is there any phrase that couldn’t be put in for “some extremists”? Bananas? Cars? Badminton? Tautology?

          1. watermelonpunch

            I’m not going to answer your questions because I have no idea what you’re asking. (Only reason I figure there are questions is the punctuation!)

            1. bob

              You claimed to have been party to a conversation, and then presumed to add context to it. You didn’t offer any proof.

              What was the conversation?

              All I got was a second hand retelling of a story. That story was WRITTEN by one person. It was about WRITTEN correspondence. It might have changed my mind if I were there in person. Apparently you were. Enlighten us. What was said?

              What’s a reasonable definition of reasonable?

              50 years ago in the US it was reasonable to make black people sit at the back of the bus.

              Is the reasonableness of the US subject to change over time? Or, as I suggested, is it tautology?

              The reasonableness of the US people is the starting point according to you. Therefore, anything not supported by *MOST* of the US people is unreasonable. For instance- the Iraq war.

              And yet, it still happened.

              Assume reasonable. Exclude unreasonable. March on to the status quo.

              1. watermelonpunch

                I never claimed anything other than I didn’t read anything like you did into the term “reasonable” from the context, that I was agreeing with the previous content that = why would anyone allow such obviously unreasonable definitions to the word reasonable??

                And from that you’re confronting me with a hostile tone claiming outright and with innuendo that I said, did, or would think or do, all sorts of things that never happened, that I never said, and is evidenced nowhere.

                You’ve bought into some kind of semantic trick someone else used on you, that now you’re going to use as a cudgel on me?
                No thanks. I’m sorry you’re obviously upset about something. But this style of communication is not going to work for me.

      2. bob

        “Yes, the American people are by and large reasonable.”

        By whose definition of reasonable? What’s a reasonable definition of reasonable? It seems whomever uses the “reasonable” trope first gets to define what’s reasonable, and then excludes everyone else.

        There was an election last fall. It was a great example of reasonableness being used to exclude everyone to the left of Hillary. I’d call that a majority, but that’s probably unreasonable.

  3. Tomonthebeach

    Please, somebody start a 3rd party. I doubt that Yves and I are the only Americans sick of listening to writers whine about who caused Trump instead of offering the country a better choice than billionaire oligarchs and kleptocrats. As the cartoon character Pogo reminded us – we all caused Trump.

    Just once before I die (I’m closing in on 70), I would like to vote FOR a candidate rather against the worst of two evils.

    The DNC today has created a home for the establishment politicians of both parties. Real Republicans should flock to the DNC now that their party too has abandoned them. We do not need leaders who are saints, just people trying to do the right thing by and for the country, advance prosperity for the majority of Americans, and try to restore public safety without resorting to ethnic cleansing.

    1. nobody

      I was just looking for stuff that explains how the institutional architecture has been designed so as to preclude any meaningful third party challenges, and I happened upon a document by Bill Domhoff (the “Who Rules America?” guy) where he explains: “Third Parties Don’t Work: Why and How Egalitarians Should Transform the Democratic Party.” What he says:

      So what should egalitarian activists do in terms of future elections if and when the issues, circumstances, and candidates seem right? First, they should form Egalitarian Democratic Clubs. That gives them an organizational base as well as a distinctive new social identity within the structural pathway to government that is labeled “the Democratic Party.” Forming such clubs makes it possible for activists to maintain their sense of separatism and purity while at the same time allowing them to compete within the Democratic Party. There are numerous precedents for such clubs within the party, including liberal and reform clubs in the past, and the conservative Democratic Leadership Council at the present time.

      This strategy of forging a separate social identity is also followed by members of the right wing within the Republican Party. By joining organizations like the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, they can define themselves as Christians who have to work out of necessity within the debased confines of the Republican Party. That is, they think of themselves as Christians first and Republicans second, and that is what egalitarians should do: identify themselves primarily as egalitarians and only secondarily as Democrats.

      After forming Egalitarian Democrat Clubs, egalitarian activists should find people to run in selected Democratic primaries from precinct to president. They should not simply support eager candidates who come to them with the hope of turning them into campaign workers. They have to create candidates of their own who already are committed to the egalitarian movement and to its alternative economic vision of planning through the market. The candidates have to be responsible to the clubs, or else the candidates naturally will look out for their own self interest and careers.

        1. Steve H.

          Yes it is. Your excerpt zeroes in on the mechanism of How.

          “clubs within the party” : Turchin writing on the Price Equation makes something clear. If the within-group co-operators can be successful and reproduce, and then sequester non-co-operators into a separate group, the chances of co-operator success increase. Put ’em on a committee.

          That mechanism is what makes Zuck’s presidential bid dangerous. As groups use Fcbk to organize, a malevolent administrator can introduce FBU‘s that disrupt social cohesion within the group. An advanced form of voter suppression.

          1. likbez

            Clubs within the Party was how the Communist Party of the USSR operated. They were called factions. They were unable to challenge the ruling elite and if they became too strong they were simply purged from the Party.

            Nothing new here. Cooptation of those who deviate left or right from the party platform and party oligarchy can be effectively used within “game of clubs” framework due to the iron law of oligarchy. Those who can’t be coopted can be purged or excommunicated.

            For all practical purposes two party system behaves as an improved version of one party system. Iron law of oligarchy essentially guarantees the upper hand for the leadership within the interparty struggle for power. And provides for the leadership the opportunity to pursue their own agenda, different from the wishes of rank and file members. Like was the case with Bill Clinton selling Democratic Party to Wall Street and turning it into yet another neoliberal party — soft neoliberals, like sometime Clinton’s “third way” neoliberalism is called.

            Only parliamentary system when parties are allocated seats due to votes they got with some “passing” threshold can provide the opportunity of the third party to emerge as the major political force outside a single election cycle or two.

            It is important to understand that the “first after the post” system virtually guarantees the elimination of any contenders to both major parties. Unless there is a revolutionary situation when the ruling elite is so discredited that can’t rule “as usual”. Then winners are usually incorporated into the party framework and partially emasculated somewhat later, when they face the challenges of governing the system which is totally against them. Like now the situation developed in case of Trump.

            You can say anything about British elite but this was pretty ingenious political invention.

            In other words, the main task to two party system in to prevent any possibility for the challengers of status quo to obtain political power via elections. Reforms should be approved by party oligarchy to be viable. And there are powerful internal mechanisms like DNC which help to block advances of anybody who want to challenge the status quo.

            Also the emerging leaders can be simply bought. This is another way how the iron law of oligarchy operates.

            1. likbez

              Forgot to mention.

              Lesse evilism is the mechanism by which voters are coopted to vote for one of two dismal choices in two party system.


              == quote ==

              From a rhetorical point of view, however, lesser evilism involves more than just the logical principle behind it. The reason is plain: except in a trivial sense, better choices are less bad only when the alternatives are bad or, more precisely, regarded as bad. Less bad choices are less evil only when the alternatives are or are thought to be bad indeed.

              This is all that the “evil” in “lesser evilism” implies. Strictly speaking, evil is a religious, not a political, notion. But lesser evilism in politics is a secular phenomenon, and the force of the word is rhetorical only. Its religious origins and connotations are useful for giving the word a resonance that “bad” and even “very bad” lack; not for making any theological or otherwise portentous point.

              Although the logic behind lesser evilism is impeccable, the principle seldom applies directly in real world circumstances. In political contexts especially, there are too many complicating factors, and there is too much indeterminacy.

              This is why lesser evilism in politics – especially, electoral politics — can be, and often is, a bad idea.

              Myopia is a chronic problem in electoral contests because voters tend to focus on candidates’ personalities or on what they believe they are likely to do if elected, neglecting other pertinent considerations.

              Suppose, for instance, that Obama truly was less disposed than McCain in 2008 or Romney in 2012 to expand the wars he inherited from George Bush and Dick Cheney or to extend the range and intensity of the Bush-Cheney “Global War on Terror.”

              Of course, war making is not the only thing Presidents do, but even if we focus only on that, we can still wonder whether voters favoring peace who voted for Obama served their cause well.

              Unofficially, but most assuredly, America has a duopoly party system – in consequence of deeply entrenched practices and traditions, and thanks to laws that make ballot access difficult for candidates who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.

              Therefore, in Presidential elections and most others as well, Americans face straightforward X versus Y choices. Independent or third party candidates have no chance of winning. They seldom even have a chance of affecting the outcomes in more than negligible ways.

              Some of the problems this raises have nothing to do with the comparative merits and shortcomings of the candidates themselves; they are problems with lesser evil voting itself.

              This is because elections in the present affect elections in the future; among other things, they can and often do initiate or continue trends.

              As a general rule, but especially when the choices voters face remain above the threshold beneath which talk of lesser evil voting becomes rhetorically appropriate, choosing the better candidate is no guarantee that the choices will be better still the next time around or the time after that.

              But once the lesser evil threshold is crossed, it does seem that the choices keep getting worse. There is no inherent reason why this must be so, but there is ample anecdotal evidence that bears out the suggestion that, in our time and place, lesser evil voting encourages a downward spiral, “a race to the bottom.”

              To be sure, America’s deteriorating political culture cannot be blamed entirely, or even mainly, on the pervasiveness of this practice. The corruptions of money undoubtedly play a larger role.

              Still, lesser evil voting does seem to feed upon itself – hastening a downward trend.

              The consequences are especially damaging in a duopoly party system like ours, where choosing the lesser evil means choosing a Democrat or (in very rare instances) a Republican, further diminishing the already meager prospects of breaking free from the duopoly’s stranglehold.

            2. Propertius

              It is important to understand that the “first after the post” system virtually guarantees the elimination of any contenders to both major parties

              The Whigs beg to differ.

              1. Propertius

                To be a little less snarky:

                I think you’re making the unwarranted assumption that the Democrats are still a major national party. I think the Democrats are well on the way to becoming a minor regional party whose influence is restricted to the Northeast and West Coast. In the rest of the country, they’re pretty much irrelevant. They (and, as a former Democratic Party state official who is still a registered Democrat, I find it really uncomfortable to use that pronoun) still have some time to turn that around, but it’s pretty apparent the national organization has absolutely no interest in doing so. It would break too many rice bowls.

                1. watermelonpunch

                  It’s always about jobs isn’t it. Whether it’s the working class or the professional class or the political class. It’s always about the desire to protect one’s own job.

                  Strangely middle class moderately educated people seem the least likely in the past couple of decades years to be jealous about protecting their own jobs, and maybe that’s why that class is shrinking? Complacency. But perhaps not for longer.

                  1. JTFaraday

                    That’s part of it, but the other part of it is they’ve adapted to the need to be “flexible,” preferably within the context of the two income family.

            3. Brad

              Right. USA is a state-party system (the USSR was a party-state system, a difference). That’s why we need to stop thinking in terms of “third party”. That’s for losers.

              What we need is a multifaceted movement with an electoral strategy. Not an electoral party. Elections are but one arena for political action. And a fairly narrow one at that, especially in the USA.

              One testing ground will be the sanctuary cities, and states like California, or now the states that legalized marijuana. For President Bannon this is not about “morality” but defending and expanding their most ardent social base: The police forces of all sorts. Decriminalization of anything shrinks their sphere of social power so it must be reversed, and more things criminalized. That’s what is in store with Bannon.

              So lets see what all these liberal Dems from Jerry Brown on down to the mayors and city council people do to defend us. Better yet, let’s not wait, let’s build a movement that will make concrete demands for self-defense and non-cooperation right now. If they don’t move in the correct direction then run against them.

      1. DH

        This would have to be done so as to attract moderate Republicans. I haven’t thought a third party was viable in the past but the combination of the Tea Party and Trump in the Republican Party is making moderates squirm. However, the Democrats re-anointed Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader, so the moderate Republicans can’t go there.

        I think the present time is the most likely time in the past 80 years to have a viable third party that would be focused on scooping up the boring middle third of America. I can see the slogan now “No rants. No marches. Just boring governance.”

      1. Edward E

        Bill Dance was a beautiful beagle that danced with skunks. That was his sport, he loved it!
        Reminds me of @AngryWHStaffer, interesting

    2. Edward E

      I voted FOR Henry Ross Perot. FOR Ralph Nader. FOR Chuck Baldwin. FOR other third party candidates. Perot was our best opportunity, we just simply blew it. The reflubicrats have now made it impossible. I don’t think my votes get counted. Try to early vote, down there at the courthouse they ignore and do everything they can to make it unpleasant.

      Don’t let the purity test slap your butt on the way out.

      1. RabidGandhi

        In “Perot was our best opportunity”, who is “we”?

        IMNSHO, Perot was a proto-Trump: perhaps a nice respite from the usual governing crowd, sprinkled with some good aspects like no NAFTA (Perot) and no TPP (Trump). But as we are seeing now with Trump’s revolting cabinet picks, it is delusional to expect popular salvation to come from a billionaire ex-machina.

    3. Tully

      The existence of a multi-party system (including a viable third party) is near impossible in the US because of the architecture of our electoral system. Other western democracies enjoy proportional representation electoral systems where every vote counts and thus where small parties can compete for a share of power (all they need is a group of loyal followers; parliamentary seats are awarded according to the share of vote won). The US, on the other hand, has a single district winner-take-all (pluralist) system where every vote does not count and thus where small parties cannot compete for a share of power. This is only one reason why the US is by many measures the least democratic western democracy – barriers to power have been erected whose purpose is to limit democracy. Our electoral system is only one of those barriers to power.

      1. DH

        Actually parliamentary systems based on ridings (House Congressional Districts) have a strong history of third (and fourth) parties. The trick would be to locate 100 strong local candidates willing to run under a single new party in swing districts instead of just being independent like Sanders. If you could elect half of them, they would pick the next Speaker of the House and would require moderation in bills in order to get them passed. The current radical right members would lose their ability to drive legislation under the Hastert rule.

        The mistake is in focusing on third party presidential candidates. Like what the Tea Party did, you need to start in the House. If a Republican got primaried out because he was too moderate, then he could run under the new banner for that seat. In many cases the ones that got primaried out are quite popular and can get votes from the Democrats.

    4. Vatch

      There are third parties, and they are quite disappointing.

      The Green Party is led by incompetents who chose as their Vice Presidential candidate in 2016 a supercilious race baiter who insulted Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Bernie’s people were natural fits for the Green Party, but the Greens blew it — big time.

      Then there’s the Libertarian Party. In 2012 and 2016 their Presidential candidate was a man who supports private prisons. Nobody who supports private prisons cares about liberty. The Libertarian Party should be called the rich people’s corporate party. But then how could we distinguish them from other two rich people’s corporate parties, the Democrats and the Republicans?

      I think we’re better off trying to reform the Democrats. Vote against the establishment Democrats in the primaries. If you live in an area where Democrats have zero chance of winning, donate to progressive non-establishment Democrats in other places. If you have a sufficiently extraverted personality, run for local office yourselves.

      1. John k

        Greens are incompetent. So what? Bernie was offered the party. Take them over, organize them. Trump trying to dismantle EPA and dissing global warming makes greens and progressives a better fit than ever.
        And the alternative of taking over the dems seems hopeless. Dem elites will fight any and all progressives tooth, nail, and funding. Dem corp masters hate progressives, explaining why dem elites do. They would far prefer the rep wins than any progressive… dem and rep elites are on the same team.
        The greens are on the ballot in most states… all those failed third parties that people point to started from scratch.

        1. Vatch

          Bernie was offered the party. Take them over, organize them.

          For better or for worse, Sanders is a man of his word. At the beginning of the Democratic primary process, he agreed to support the eventual Democratic nominee. If he had become the Green candidate in August, he would have reneged on his promise.

          If the Greens can stop nominating unrealistic candidates like Ajamu Baraka, they might have a future. But if they continue pushing such fantasies, they’ll continue to lose. And as difficult as it is, reforming the Democratic party will be more feasible.

  4. DakotabornKansan

    Do we need any further proof that the Democratic Party is more interested in reconciling with the corporate elite than with its populist base? Its core party leadership is against populist ideas. Liberalism of the rich having failed the middle and working classes, fails on its own terms of electability. It helped create today’s shockingly disillusioned and sullen public.

    Did the Charlie Brown left really believe that this time that Lucy wouldn’t pull the football away and they wouldn’t land on their kiesters? But the Democratic Party always pulls the ball away. It’s their nature.

    “The crucial tasks for a committed left in the United States now are to admit that no politically effective force exists and to begin trying to create one. This is a long-term effort, and one that requires grounding in a vibrant labor movement. Labor may be weak or in decline, but that means aiding in its rebuilding is the most serious task for the American left. Pretending some other option exists is worse than useless. There are no magical interventions, shortcuts, or technical fixes. We need to reject the fantasy that some spark will ignite the People to move as a mass. We must create a constituency for a left program — and that cannot occur via MSNBC or blog posts or the New York Times. It requires painstaking organization and building relationships with people outside the Beltway and comfortable leftist groves. Finally, admitting our absolute impotence can be politically liberating; acknowledging that as a left we have no influence on who gets nominated or elected, or what they do in office, should reduce the frenzied self-delusion that rivets attention to the quadrennial, biennial, and now seemingly permanent horse races. It is long past time for us to begin again to approach leftist critique and strategy by determining what our social and governmental priorities should be and focusing our attention on building the kind of popular movement capable of realizing that vision.” – Adolph Reed Jr., “Nothing Left, The long, slow surrender of American liberals,” Harper’s Magazine, March 2014 issue

    Don’t waste any time pissing and moaning — organize!

    It is time to revisit “Fighting Bob” LaFollette’s Wisconsin tactics of the early 1900s.

    If the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that we must become its soul.

    “There never was a higher call to greater service than in this protracted fight for social justice.” – Robert M. La Follette Sr.

    1. BeliTsari

      Watching this, from 1963 or so, the whole scam always looked like a 1930’s Loony Tune, where Foghorn Leghorn and Ralph the dog clock in to play their assigned rolls each day? All Trump has to do, is exactly what Mook, Wasserman Shultz & Hillary has been doing: bait what their complicit media descries as Leftist to project blame. There IS no plan B. Until DeVos’ brother can find someone to blow up his YOOJ casinos, they’ll have to stick to baiting a race war, deporting Puerto Ricans & shooting ever more brown people, in cold blood. God knows, they’ve lots more than 240 years’ experience at this? It’s basically like having Charlie Manson in the White House, sending out his flying monkeys to stand their ground & beat down hippies. Difference is; now, the DNC’s slumlord, hedge fund shills & criminal lawyer super-delegates won’t have to watch it from the balcony in Daley’s Chicago. Just more vacuous reality infomercial re-runs?

  5. Ernesto Lyon

    There is a liberal propaganda state of the 10%. It is dogmatic and thus unfalsifiable.

    Arguing with them is like arguing atheism to a fundamentalist. They cannot hear arguments that violate the structure of their religion. They simply do not parse.

    1. Gman

      I must say I really appreciated your analogy of neoliberalism and religion.

      To extend it, if I may, religions cannot exist and persist without faith ie a conviction without the need for proof, or worse sometimes despite overwhelming personal or widespread evidence to the contrary.

      Most established religions, unsurprisingly are rigidly hierarchical, controlling and equally require a self-serving, venal priesthood to act as conduits to interpret and explain (away?) the finer points, gross injustices and glaring contradictions thrown up by the current ‘natural order’ and structures it demands and imposes on its potentially questioning or waivering followers.

      The ‘religion’s’ arcane nature is maintained at all costs, and this is facilitated by a deliberately impenetrable jargon (to a credulous, often fearful laity whom mostly endure its harshest edicts), and all tied together by an over arching fallacious narrative predicated on fear that demands unconditional obedience and compliance or facing severe, lasting consequences for apostacy.

      Keep losing the faith, people.

    2. PH

      Maybe to some degree, but that is more in the general public. Not in the blue dog hierarchy.

      Most of them are not that smart. Not intellectual. And certainly not devout.

      They are clinging to their place in the world, and the chit-chat verities of the clique.

      They are smug. And they think they know best how to win.

    3. witters

      Well, My view is slightly different. Neoliberalism is dressed up as a theory of the good society, but it is no theory (as, you say, it is immune to falsification). What it is is a strategy. It suceeds or fails for those those whose interests that strategy embodies. In fundamentals that is the corporation.

  6. Gman

    In much the same way Blair’s catastrophic prime ministerial terms as leader of the UK’s mainstream ‘Left’ will be justifiably viewed unkindly through the lens of history, so too will corporate place man Obama’s two abject ‘Democratic’ presidencies (although to be fair it was Billy boy who saw $ signs in his eyes and who really first started the rot proper for the Democrats.)

    Let’s be realistic, really successful politicians are rarely shrinking violets, and are mostly to a man or woman sociopathic narcissists, but it is only in the modern age that these apparently credible, flag of convenience, self-serving, ideologically bereft personalities not only have the power to lead and dominate these long-established political parties during their relatively brief tenure, it appears they now also have the power to profoundly undermine or even possibly destroy them in the longer term.

    Is it just a shame or coincidence that these once proud and powerful parties of waning influence happen to traditionally represent the interests of working people I wonder?

  7. Andrew

    What a frustrating situation. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the corporate Democrats really do have a death wish. I agree with many comments that it is incredibly destructive and stupid to double down on their losing strategies instead of embracing the Sanders wing of the party. I partly agree w/ Glenn Greenwald that electing Ellison would have been an easy way to welcome in the Sanders wing, but unlike him, I’m not sure the Dem chair really is just a symbolic position. It certainly is symbolic–and the corporate Dems have chosen potent (and loathesome) symbols in Debbie W-S and Donna B. But I disagree w/ Greenwald that it is only symbolic. I think the position does matter in many ways. In any case, in this election which came to be seen by Dems as a battle for control over the direction of the party, it is clear now who runs the show and is determined to continue running the show: the corporate shills of the Clinton/Obama Dems.

    But I also see this as a failure of Ellison and the progressives. We have to play hardball if we’re going to win. Ellison had the endorsement of many Dem stalwarts; he has a relatively strong record for a Democrat; emboldened with party authority, I believe he could have done a lot; and yes, he would have had great symbolic value. But he did not make a strong case for his leadership, as far as I can tell. He didn’t declare loudly and clearly why the Dems have been losing and make a powerful case for why, now, the Dems need desperately to change. Instead he was having dinner with Perez, cutting side deals, and making a great effort to smile and please everyone. Haim Saban and the corporate Dems came after him with hateful islamophobic slanders; Ellison stepped back, spoke softly, praised Israel, and vowed to work closely with corporate Dems. And he still lost. These conciliatory positions will not cut it. Unless and until there’s a vigorous position articulated within the party on the desperate need for drastic changes, we’ll lose.

    One reason why this is so frustrating is that across the country, I believe the landscape looks very promising for a progressive agenda–at least as progressive, or more so, than what Sanders articulated. The energy is there, and growing. But we still lack the organization. Where will it come from? Not from the Greens, I’m afraid. As much as I agree with Stein and the Greens positions on many issues, the Greens have over the decades proven that this is not a party interested in building grassroots power. For that you need broad and sustained efforts over time at the level of school boards and city councils, building toward winning candidates to positions at the county level, and mayors, and state representatives, and so on. You have to build a name for yourself and prove through smaller campaigns what you stand for and that you can win victories for your voters. And voters need to feel that it is their party, our party. The Greens have not done any of this. It’s not enough to just have good ideas or be able to win a policy debate.

    There’s the Working Families Party, which has done some of this organizing and has some victories. But it’s still woefully short of what is necessary. But I believe there’s a lot of talent and potential on the left–and a growing and restless energy now under Trump. We have to be strong and clear that this corporate Dem program is unacceptable. We need to field local candidates on issues people care about, from city banking and municipally owned power and IT, to police violence, more community control in schools, and so on. Whether the people carrying out these potentially popular programs are Dems, Greens, Working FP or Socialists, matters less, it seems to me. But if people are convinced that only a reinvigorated Dem Party will be able to do it, then there needs to be a hostile takeover. The Clintonites & the Obama people, Haim Saban and their ilk: they’re not our friends and must be denounced and opposed. These people are at best wishy-washy and mealy-mouthed when it comes to advocating for us; they continue to compromise rightward and adopt unpopular conservative agendas and to kick us in the teeth. Fuck them. We must articulate a positive, winnable agenda around issues we care about.

    1. PH

      See the comment above about local clubs. A good place to start.

      Change is not going to come top down, even if that sounds like the easiest way. Too much ego and money invested in the old ways.

      Blue Dogs are confident Progressives cannot win in rural states. We must prove them wrong.

      Blue Dogs do not believe we can find credible primary challengers. They think we are just a bunch of whining idealists. We must prove them wrong — not on blogs — at the polls.

      1. WhiteyLockmandoubled

        It is not only clubs. It’s the party structure itself at the municipal and county level, which is generally occupied by a combination of well-meaning 10% liberals, eager corporate acolytes who see politics as a path of personal advancement but find the Republican social positions icky and whoever just shows up.

        In many places it’s mostly the latter. So, form your own club, yes, and go to local party meetings, yes, but more than anything else, work. Organize. Knock on your neighbor’s door, listen to them and talk with them. Then do that again, and again, and again. Recruit your friends and colleagues to do the same. When the moment is right, get someone whose values you really trust to run for office, and if there’s resistance from the existing party apparatus, well, run a contested primary. The people who do that work — registering, persuading and turning out voters, can take over the local structure of a party and win from the left.

        And btw, if you’re struggling to persuade others, don’t give up. Get your egalitarian club together, and instead of complaining about how others don’t get it, role play conversations with different types of voters, put your beer down, and go back out on the doors.

        It’s not actually complicated. Just hard work.

  8. Anti-Schmoo

    American citizens are at the bottom of the bucket; shut up, stay poor, and forget the “myth” of a middle class.
    These are some very simple truths, which Usian’s seem loathe to accept or understand.
    The evidence is clear with almost every comment offering nonsense solutions; year after precious year; ad infinitum…
    If there is a solution; I have no idea what that would be. But knowing and understanding the reality on the ground, gives a firm place to stand.
    It’s a place to start…

  9. allan

    There is no better sign of the contempt that the Democratic leadership has for its constituents t
    han the way Donna Edwards was treated in the primary for the open Senate seat from Maryland.
    Maryland being Maryland, whoever won the Democrat primary was going to win the general.
    The two leading candidates were Chris van Hollen, a slick fundraiser
    high in Pelosi’s train wreck House leadership,
    and Donna Edwards, an African-American who was one of the most progressive House members.

    Almost the entire Dem power structure (and, of course, the WaPo) went after Edwards guns blazing.
    Oddly, Edwards critics were never accused of sexism or racism by Clinton supporters. Weird.

    The DNC is important, but only part of the story. The DSCC and DCCC have been horror shows for years,
    led by incompetent clowns, corporate fronts, or (in the case of Jon Tester, who ran the DSCC this past cycle),
    sock puppets for people like Schumer.

    And yet it seems to be impossible to discuss this stuff rationally with many Democrats.
    Far easier for them to blame the party’s woes on BernieBros.

    1. Mattie

      Amen again. What they did to the very able and proven Ms Edwards by shunning, shaming and crushing her – should be thoroughly analyzed. As a case study, hers might provide progressives with strategic options for defense and defeat.

  10. BeliTsari

    Jeepers, you don’t think some YOOJ, classy K Street “social networking advocacy solutions” firm will now be tasked to slap together a grassroots, Cumbaya warbling Democratic Socialist lemming forking… oh, that’s right… been there, dun did that? We can’t mock Trump’s craven churls, spoon-fed C & K Street’s große Lüge without turning the selfie-cam around on our geriatric children’s crusade, awaiting some canny carny barker messiah?

  11. RickM

    Ha! I lost a good friend because I told him in November 2015 that if it comes down to Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump, she will lose the state-by-state contest while winning the popular vote, notwithstanding polls to the contrary. I didn’t let up on that obviously correct assessment through all of 2016, and he finally told me my intellectual arguments rank down there with some of his fundamentalist relatives. Another was still predicting a Hillary landslide until 10:00 pm EST on Election Night. She is big on the “Stupid Trump Voters” meme, while blaming “me” for the outcome. Everyone needs to face the truth. The national Democrats only care about their membership in the Establishment, even if they are relegated to “inconsequential” as they are overtaken by events due to their abject fecklessness.

    So be it. From 1974-2008 I voted for the Democrat as the “Left Wing of the Possible,” in Michael Harrington’s phrase, and for at least 20 years too long. Never again. As my brief colloquy here with a reader last night concluded, it’s time to rejoin DSA as an elder and raise even more hell with the “kids”!

    1. Katharine

      I will continue to evaluate candidates on their merits, not their party affiliation. I can’t stop donating to the party organization, since I did that years ago, but I can certainly tell it where to get off, whether in phone calls or using its reply-paid envelopes. I realize what travels in those may never be read by anyone but a data-entry clerk, if indeed they bother to enter the data, which I’ve always doubted.

      1. Kokuanani

        Well, I have to say that the volume of DNC et al. mail I receive has fallen to a trickle since I spent the past year returning their pre-paid donation envelopes with nasty comments. The pleading e-mails are gone as well. So someone is entering data.

      2. SpringTexan

        Yeah I always send those back with a note and usually a column explaining exactly how bad they are, whatever recent I’ve read that’s good.

    2. Vatch

      RickM, I’m curious. Do you know whether your former friend has seen either of these two recent articles?

      Thomas Frank:

      Matt Stoller:

      If a Hillary or Obama supporter has an open mind (yes, a few of them do have open minds — a Hillary supporter in my family admitted to me that Bernie would have been a better choice), these two articles can help them to understand what’s been happening.

      1. RickM

        Vatch: Let me try this again; first reply disappeared…Beginning in early 2016 I tried to convince my liberal friends with facts such as those in your links, with no success whatsoever. Most of them stick to the “Stupid Trump Voter” meme, even when confronted with the work of Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberals and Ellie Russell Hochschild in Strangers in Their Own Land, which perfectly describes my many cousins in Louisiana, not one of whom is stupid to my knowledge. Different, yes, and for damn good reasons. Stupid, no. You can’t be stupid and survive on an offshore oil rig. My particular liberals go no deeper than Rachel Maddow, whose Stanford-Oxford/Rhodes Scholar pedigree is all the authority they need. It goes without saying that Wellesley-Yale was/is just as authoritative, now and forevermore. Their epistemic closure/confirmation bias is simply the opposite side of the same coin the Tea Party or Alt-Right uses to explain markets or climate change or liberal fascism. As the president would say, “Sad!”

        1. Vatch

          Well, you tried. As Yves pointed out in her introduction, there are aspects of cultish thought processes here.

          Of course the Obots and Hillaristas aren’t the only cult members. Limbaugh’s ditto-heads. some of the tea-partiers, and some of Trump’s more enthusiastic supporters also fit that mold. I don’t like to say this, but some of Bernie’s supporters probably also qualify. Open mindedness can require a lot of effort.

          1. watermelonpunch

            I typically spot a cultish zealotry push by the way someone behaving that way tends to use slur-ishy name calling labels for the other groups.
            You might want to think about that. Just sayin’.
            Can’t help but notice that you said “Bernie’s supporters” and “Trump’s more enthusiastic supporters”, but some other groups you referenced with pop slur labels.

            1. Vatch

              Yeah, you’re right. I was intemperate. Sorry.

              I didn’t say so (I should have), but I was thinking that many Obama supporters are not Obots, and many Hillary supporters are not cultish Hillaristas. But I didn’t say that, so the failure is mine.

              Since I’m a Sanders supporter, I’ll say it: Bernie Bros. But we’re not all Bernie Bros, especially the women!

  12. David

    I became a more active commenter on PoliticalWire during the primary season and was subject to considerable vitriol due to my lack of enthusiasm for HRC, which only increased in amount after the election when I refused to vote for her (going 3rd party instead). I hung on for a little while, trying to make my points re where I thought the country needed to go, but have simply stopped participating in the discussions as I realized that the system has to run its course and I am not going to be able to change that. And slamming one’s head against a brick wall repeatedly does begin to hurt after a while. I think I’ll just use my vote to support those I policies I think are good, or at the very least to block any candidates supported by the establishment. It isn’t much, but it is something.

    1. Benedict@Large


      Indeed, slamming one’s head against a brick wall repeatedly does begin to hurt after a while.

    2. marku52

      I used was a regular reader of Kevin Drum for probably 10 years or so, back to the CalPundit days. The commentariat there became really hostile to any outside ideas as the primary wore on. The Closure is now complete, although some of the the really hostile commenters have disappeared (their David Brock paychecks stopped, I suppose) but still reality can’t come into play. Even Drum himself was changing weekly about the loss (It’s BernieBros! It’s Comey! NO, it’s the Russians! NO Wait, it’s Comey)

      Sad, he’s done great work on lead and violent crime. I check in there once in a while just to take the temperature of the Delusion of the TenPercenters.

      Self reflection still hasn’t penetrated for any of the real reasons for Trump

  13. Gman

    A Paul Street quote from his excellent piece in CounterPunch entitled, ‘Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump,’ should serve as an adequate riposte to the introspection and self-criticism averse Mr Doe,

    ‘Arrogant liberals’ partisan hypocrisy, overlaid with heavy doses of bourgeois identity politics and professional-class contempt for working class whites, is no tiny part of how and why the Democrats have handed all three branches of the federal government along with most state governments and the white working class vote to the ever more radically reactionary, white-nationalist Republican Party. Ordinary people can smell the rank two-facedness of it all, believe it or not. They want nothing to do with snotty know-it-all liberals who give dismal dollar Dems a pass on policies liberals only seem capable of denouncing when they are enacted by nasty Republicans.

    Contrary to my online rant, much of the liberal Democratic campus-town crowd seems to feel if anything validated – yes, validated. of all things – by the awfulness of Herr Trump. It exhibits no capacity for shame or self-criticism, even in the wake of their politics having collapsed at the presidential, Congressional, and state levels.’

    1. flora

      “much of the liberal Democratic campus-town crowd seems to feel if anything validated – yes, validated. of all things – by the awfulness of Herr Trump.”

      I’ve noticed the same. My guess is that, imo, the Dem estab has spent years teaching it’s more left-ish base to accept losing – veal pen, ‘f*cking hippies’, Dem estab suggest marching for a cause then fail to support cause, march to show numbers and get nothing, elect Dem full control in 2008 and lose single-payer, end of Iraq war, roll back Bush tax cuts, renegotiate Nafta, etc. Lucy and the football. The left-ish part of the party has been groomed over 30 years to accept losing its fights. When Trump wins it just confirms “the way things are.” No introspection required since it confirms the trained outlook. imo.

      1. Gman

        Good cop, bad cop?

        Dems or Republicans?

        Each has its vital role to play.

        Societies it seems, like souls, are lost in increments, but it’s always more seemly, expedient and agreeable for some if it can be done without too much of an ado.

      1. Portia

        good article. but my neighbor gave me a ride this morning and went into a loud rant (after I made small talk about today’s weather) about how it’s just weather, global warming does not exist, and she is sick and tired of turning on the TV to watch the weather and having global warming shoved in her face. and that she is a strong Republican, and is ashamed to live in such a liberal state as Vermont, and the only reason she is here is to be near her grown kids, and as soon as she can she is getting out of this sorry state. I asked her if she watched Fox News, and she said YES! it’s fair and balanced and they show both sides, and everything else is fake news. I am not making this up. this is verbatim. so I will not judge her, but she scares the shit out of me.

  14. PH

    People often have an emotional commitment to their candidate. Upon losing, all Hillary supporters will not go “oh well.” Many will be upset.

    Better to focus on issues going forward.

    Also, if you want to build a majority party, probably best not to devote ALL your energy to screaming what clueless assholes most ordinary Americans are. Most ordinary Americans do not agree with commenters here. One reason Blue Dogs are so willing to ignore you.

    You can come up with lots of reasons. There are lots of reasons. But bottom line is that you not only have to be right; you have to convince.

    And no, collapse of the world will not convince. It may make you feel like there is proof you were right, but that is a hollow victory.

    We have to win elections. To do that, we need a generous and positive message. And we need the votes of many Democrats that will not agree with you on some things — perhaps many things.

    It can be done. It will be difficult. But it can be done.

    Most people with ridiculous political ideas are nice people. There are positive appeals that will work over time.

    Angry and haughty is not the formula.

    1. Gman

      ‘We have to win elections. To do that, we need a generous and positive message’

      Corporate place man and all round Wall St wet dream Dem Obama already won two off the back of some well-rehearsed, soaring, apparently inspired, optimism filled, yet ultimately empty rhetoric. Both his presidencies stink by most meaningful measures if you care to check.

      ‘Positive, generous messages’ may well still win elections and help some people feel better about themselves, but the effects are usually fleeting.

      They don’t create sustainable decent paying jobs (for other people), put food on (other people’s) tables, (other people’s) kids through schools or provide adequate, affordable healthcare access (for other people) either really do they?

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Elite Blue Dogs do not ignore the commenters here; they ignore the voters. “Ordinary” people in turn do not despise them; they ignore them. Pretending that this widespread, benign disinterest is confined to some narrow internet blogocracy is going to fail you…. again, and again, and again. As it has for 8 years now.

      The vocal contempt here is a modest thing compared to the complete ennui “ordinary Americans” display in the face of the vapid inadequacies of the “Democratic” Party.

  15. Tony

    It is amazing how many people are still incapable of acknowledging how bad a candidate HRC was and how far they reach to come up with other reasons for her loss. I grew up in Midwest and have many friends and family who voted for Trump not because they liked him but because they found Clinton even more unappealing and even less trustworthy.

    They looked at how the Clintons made tens of millions of dollars, Bill Clinton’s decades of predatory behavior towards women, the hubris, lack of responsibility and poor decision making related to the Email issues and HRC’s unwillingness to even minimally tend to her health and physically prepare for the months of campaigning. Her candidacy was based on years of amassing money and power and entitlement. Other than the potential to elect the first female president, there was absolutely nothing about HRC that was inherently appealing.

    It was an extraordinary challenge to field a candidate even more unappealing than Trump to millions of swing voters, but the Democrats managed to do it. The Clintons are finished, over and have tarnished themselves for history. Anyone who could even imagine a 2020 HRC candidacy is delusional.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Other than the potential to elect the first female president, there was absolutely nothing about HRC that was inherently appealing.


      Anyone who could even imagine a 2020 HRC candidacy is delusional.

      They will do it simply to mash her in our faces.

      Remember, their goal is not to win. It is to keep us out. Running Hillary again serves that end just fine.

      1. aliteralmind

        Remember, their goal is not to win. It is to keep us out. Running Hillary again serves that end just fine.

        Wow. That’s it. They’d rather drown true progressives than win.

        1. jsn

          So true.

          But most progressives can’t bring themselves to believe it until they find themselves being held with their own heads underwater.

          Needless to say, the survivors tend to be somewhat radicalized!

          1. Portia

            Needless to say, the survivors tend to be somewhat radicalized!

            eh, not radicalized. unless by that you mean calling them on their lying bullshit and refusing to play their victim game any more

    2. JL

      Pretty much everything you claim drives people away from Clinton applies just as well to Trump. Look at how Trump made millions of dollars: sticking investors with losses, tax law arbitrage, and above all inheriting then failing to keep up with major equity indexes. Look at his hubris, and decades of predatory behavior towards women, e.g. behaviors related to the pageant he finances. Look at his history of poor decision making in business resulting in numerous bankruptcies. One thing is true, he did make deals that were good for himself: even as business ventures collapsed and other investors lost money, Trump personally usually had very limited losses. To my mind that’s exactly the wrong kind of behavior we want for a president though.

      I readily agree that HRC ran a flawed campaign with little to draw undecided voters, but even so there’s a deep Clinton hatred in this country I’ve never understood. A large fraction of the population appears to view both Bill and Hillary as the coming of the anti-christ, for no good reason. That is, the Clintons seem to be pretty much garden-variety politicians with all the usual skeletons in the closet, but nothing that seems to stand out from the rest of the Washington ilk. If the hatred came from leftists betrayal could explain it, but most Clinton-haters seem to be deeply conservative. Maybe I was too young during the WJC years to understand the source.

      1. Portia

        it’s the blatant and unapologetic influence peddling and using high office to get the platform to do it that gets a lot of people. and yes, there is a lot of corruption. it is just the “everybody is doing it, so don’t expect me not to get my piece of the pie” attitude, and the global, third world nature of Hil and Bill’s shameless pandering that gets me.

      2. RickM

        JL: How about this? Hillary Clinton was “dead broke” in her (false) words when she left the White House. A few years later she and Bill are worth a couple of hundred million dollars, or thereabouts, for doing nothing productive. Then there was the fact that Bill’s wandering parts played a significant role in the ultimate selection of GWB…Plenty to see here that many of us, left and right, are not of a mood to ignore.

      3. watermelonpunch

        I think people felt it more from repeat nature of the Clintons, whereas DJT hadn’t been actually running for public office before, just going about his own business, whether they found it appealing or not. Evidence backing this up is how people get really hot under the collar at the idea that she might run again, or even that her daughter might run for office.

        It’s a great many things, in a variety of combinations for various people, that seem to be the source of it. But I would not describe that in public.
        But I can tell you this. The most fervent and outspoken hatred of Clintons probably is perceived as coming from the deeply conservative, but I don’t actually think that’s the reality. I’m not even sure what conservative means, and I’m even less clear on what a liberal is. I just think of those labels as something someone hurls at someone else to make them “other”.

        Characterizations (stereotypes) are always coming from the person disagreeing of course. I don’t know people who fit any. And even if they do seem to, even if they assert to identify strongly with a particular party, they often have a few or several views that don’t fit in at all with other people I know who would identify the same way. I’ve gotten clues that many don’t even realize this, but that’s another aspect of it.

        I just figured every person is like this all over the country. Or even all over the world!
        When I found out about bubbles I was gobsmacked. And a little jealous to be honest.
        (I found out in the summer on Science Friday, and then started talking to friends who live elsewhere and confirmed it’s true!)
        Wow, how much more comfortable must it be to exist where you don’t have to walk on eggshells with acquaintances, or find yourself hurt by the unthinking remark of someone who just assumes you agree with them.

        Which brings me to a term I’ve heard recently: “Purity test”

        I assumed nobody would ever see a candidate that actually supports all their views, or even most of them. That they just pick their priorities and go with it. Because that’s what people where I live do.
        Maybe that’s why PA is a battleground state?

  16. oho

    Gonna beat a belabored dead horse: “Superpredators” + “bring them to heel” + a campaign devoted to the identity politics of undocumented migration and not the plight of lower-class whites and African-Americans.

    African-Americans have Facebook accounts and access to Youtube.

    The 30,000-feet pundits glossed it and declared everything A-OK over but that 1996 archive footage left a viscerally bitter taste at street level.

    1. aliteralmind

      African-Americans have Facebook accounts and access to Youtube.

      At least for now they do. The internet as we know it is slowly going away.

  17. flora

    “it’s remarkable to see how childish and self-destructive the posture of the orthodox Dem backers is. It isn’t just the vitriol, self-righteousness, and authoritarianism, as if they have the authority to dictate rules and those who fail to comply can and must be beaten into line.

    Sounds kinda like a cult.

    I’ve run into this. My response is a blank stare followed by a vocally flat “oh” to whatever nonsense I’m hearing. I have the same response to very young children who are trying to tell me something. Although, with little children I try to smile and stay engaged.

    1. flora

      per Jeff – “It seems that my friends, my friends’ friends, and I are exclusively to blame for the Trump Presidency and the Republican takeover of government.”

      Hillary was wooing the suburban GOP voters, not the working class industrial belt voters. Really, it’s the suburban GOP voters’ fault Trump won. /s

  18. dbk

    I appreciate two posts on this subject, which given the presumed insignificance and technocratic nature of the position (!), aroused a lot of ire on both sides of the Demo divide. (Anyone interested in real ire can just head over to LGM, where iirc four threads and about 2,000 comments have now been devoted to this topic of “nothing to see here, let’s move on”).

    What is left to say, I wonder? What’s the way forward for progressives who are genuinely interested in supporting possibly-radical new approaches to addressing economic inequality?

    It occurred to me while reading the comments on this and the previous post that perhaps after all, it’s not that ways forward are unknown to the legacy party members, but that they’re unacceptable, because they would genuinely lessen the gap between rich-poor.

    If so (and I’m starting to feel that this is the case), then working within the party could be quite difficult, although the arguments against 3rd party start-ups are compelling. There was a great quote from Bill Domhoff on this subject upthread with a powerful argument for continuing to work within the existing structures.

    Apropos of Domhoff, I was thinking that one way might be to continue to work within the party, but to distinguish the progressive wing clearly, perhaps with a new name – I like Domhoff’s Egalitarian Democratic Party, it sort of reminded me of Minnesota’s DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) party. As others have noted on both threads, this would need to be purely grass-roots, local-to-state level work, and as Domhoff wisely notes, candidates need to be identified and encouraged to run for, well, everything. They would need to caucus with the Dems at the state level, but eventually could force Dems, if they gain sufficient numbers, to shift their positions on economic issues, thereby creating momentum.

    These past few days, I’ve most enjoyed reading comments from people who are getting involved at the local level – that’s so heartening. And also, I’ve watched a good number of Town Hall meetings – the crowds are also heartening, even if I wouldn’t always have chosen the issues individual constituents addressed. This massive awakening and interest in political life across the country – I want to believe something positive will come of it.

    1. Joel Caris

      I kind of wonder if a “Working Democrats” title would have a shot at catching on, coupled with a heavy focus on strong, universal economic policies: Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, some kind of student loan debt forgiveness, Glass-Steagall reinstatement, a constitutional amendment removing corporate personhood.

      Hell, couldn’t that seriously catch on in today’s environment?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Not to be that guy, but the problem is the perception the Democratic Party cares about those things and nostalgia.

        The black guy with the Muslim sounding name became President while promising higher taxes, fair trade, and universal healthcare (perception matters) while running against a war crazy veteran and a war crazy lunatic who claim so to have dodged bullets.

        1. Joel Caris

          I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying that the problem with such a move is it would be too easily co-opted due in part to too many people thinking the Democrats actually stand for these policies, despite the fact that the majority of them and the party apparatus actively works to undermine any movement in these directions?

          Fair point if so. I think any such work via a faction within the party, so to speak, would have to make itself clear to those who have lost faith in the Democratic Party by taking active stances against the establishment and exhibiting some level of hostility toward a good faction of Democrats.

          I would be all for a third party coalescence, but I’m sympathetic toward the idea that third parties simply don’t get traction in our political system. So I lean a bit more toward an attempted hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. On the other hand, party’s die; it may be that a third party route could work as a replacement for the Democrats once they die from actively abusing and thus hemorrhaging their base.

          Alternatively, both approaches could work. A wing of the party actively hostile toward the establishment could jump ship to a third party if the Democrats were dying, joining forces to establish the replacement party. Or the vice versa could happen; if a progressive wing appeared to truly be winning and taking control of the Democrats, a sympathetic third party movement could jump in for the final push to clean house and reinvent the party from scratch.

          I think it still comes back to the need for active movements and organizing around clear policies and principles, then taking the opportunity to gain nationwide traction whenever and however it presents itself. Personally, I just wish I had a clearer idea of where such efforts on my part would be best focused. (It’s somewhat complicated by being in Portland, Oregon and having some decent Dems here, though there’s still a lot of terrible ones and even the good ones I’m still wary of.)

      2. Propertius

        a constitutional amendment removing corporate personhood.

        Why do you want to make it impossible to sue corporations?

        1. Portia

          this is why we need to remove corp personhood

          re Citizens United v. FEC, 2010

          In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that if individuals have free speech, then so must collected groups of individuals. Corporations are groups of individuals and, therefore, they have free speech rights. Further, the Court found, the ability to spend money is central to the ability to disseminate speech. Therefore, limiting spending is also unconstitutional, because limiting money is equal to limiting speech.

    2. reslez

      > This massive awakening and interest in political life across the country – I want to believe something positive will come of it.

      If the prevalent ideas aren’t from the Left nothing good will come of such an “awakening”. We already know what ideas from the Right will get us: we’ve had 40 years of nothing else (with a garnish of divisive Identity Politics thrown in). We need to keep pushing the 12 Point Platform until that’s what people demand and that’s what they require from candidates. Ideas from the right will only get us ever more precarious jobs at starvation wages stripped of environmental and worker safety protections.

      Since we know from the Gilens and Page study that public opinion has no effect on policy outcomes I don’t know what rational case there is for optimism, but hope isn’t necessary to persevere.

      Medicare for All
      A Job Guarantee at a living wage
      Break up the banks
      Public campaign financing with a ban on outside donations

  19. drb48

    The Wall Street/establishment wing of the party has clearly learned nothing from the debacle of the last election and is clearly unwilling to learn. Sadly the same seems to be true for the “progressive” wing of the party – i.e. WheresOurTeddy has it exactly right IMHO but the “left” still won’t abandon the dead hulk of FDR’s party – which has rejected everything it formerly stood for – if the calls for “unity” from Ellison and others are any indication.

    1. Portia

      last time I looked, the “The Wall Street/establishment” is doing better than it ever has. the Dems are crying because they aren’t in power, that’s all

      1. Portia

        MAD is part of the mainstream govt now. continuous conflict in many places has replaced “major” circumscribed wars.

    1. aliteralmind

      I honestly don’t see how things will truly get better, except with a lot of people suffering or dying. It seems that we’re in this desperate last-gasp phase of trying to work a system that’s supposed to be just, but hasn’t been for decades. My entire life.

      On Friday I witnessed the NJ Pinelands Commission vote for a 15 mile pipeline that should never have been approved. It’s substantilaly for profit and export. They voted while 800 people were screaming their opposition, after five years of fierce opposition. Literally tallied the votes during the screaming. This is the commission whose mission is to “preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve.” It was approved by a 9-5 vote. That’s how far Governor Christie and big money has gamed the system.

      Billionaires get to throw hired hands in between us and them (like politicians and police and receptionists and PR staff…everyone’s just “doing their job!”…we are “rude” if we fight them because they have nothing to do with it!), we have to risk our bodies and time directly. We have to organize masses of people with hardly any resources and a diminishing internet, they write a check and get hired professionals with access to do their bidding as they sit in their comfy third homes. They write the procedures and laws, we get to yell and scream for ten minutes, then our voices tire and their decisions get rammed through anyway.

      Oh, and they had a public comment AFTER the vote, which was in the agenda not as “vote” but “approve with conditions.”

      Something’s gotta give.

  20. Ep3

    What about us in Michigan? We have been manipulated and mentally changed from a strong union democratic state to a redneck, “wannabe backwards early 1900s southern state” that maintains a governor who knowingly fed thousands of people lead tainted water. And he continues to do nothing about it. If we do anything about it, the republican legislature will just gerrymander our districts again to maintain their power. I live in a district shaped like a banana, running east to west in the middle of the lower peninsula. 80% of the district (US house seat) has always been strong democratic. But the district was re shaped in the early nineties so that it was extended forty miles east to encompass a county that was once known as the capital of the KKK in Michigan. This swung the majority to republican. They are a minority, but with all the money.
    As I was saying to someone yesterday, when I say something like “I don’t like obamacare either”, it is automatically assumed that I want trump & Paul Ryan to hand out vouchers. Yet when I follow up by stating I want Medicare for all, I am called a crazy Hillary loving liberal.

    1. Katharine

      Well, you can always say scornfully that she never wanted anything as good for people as Medicare for all. But it’s tough being in a spot like that. There is a relative of an inlaw whom I admire enormously because, living in a conservative rural area she nevertheless firmly states her progressive opinions, if necessary finishing up, “Anyway, that’s what I think,” in a way that let’s people know she has formed her opinion and will not be changing it merely for fact-free hostile criticism. It takes amazing steadfastness to go on doing that.

    2. EyeRound

      I live in a district shaped like a banana

      Here in upstate NY my (state assembly) district’s shape was once described as “Abe Lincoln riding on a vacuum cleaner.” Like the one you describe, it was carefully constructed to include a wealthy minority so as to ensure that the “right” candidate always wins.

  21. EyeRound

    “Do what I want. That’s unity.” Wasn’t that one of W’s wise injunctions? Now we hear it in motherly tones in HRC’s video released on Friday. Is this anything like her debate response to Bernie, “I get things done. That’s progress. (Therefore) I’m a progressive!”? Always need to look for what this kind of word-salad leaves out.

    A note as to the Establishment Dems: In the Dem primary race there were 800 or so “Super Delegates” and almost all of them were locked into HRC before the primary race began. At the convention all but about 25 of them cast their votes for HRC. (Sorry, I don’t have exact numbers.)

    Now, who are these 435 Dem Party luminaries who are tasked with electing the DNC Chair? Am I right to assume that they are a carved-out chunk of the Super Delegates of yore? If I am, then the Establishment Dems are in big trouble, and they know it just from the numbers.

    In other words, 200 of the 435 just voted for Sanders by proxy of Ellison. That’s half. If half of the Super Delegates had voted for the Sanders wing at the convention, wouldn’t Sanders have been the Dem candidate?

    What we are seeing in the dulcet tones of HRC’s “unity” video, together with the power punch of the monied interests in the DNC, is the public face of a party in panic, digging in with all of its claws. From this it seems that Bernie is a bigger threat than many folks may realize.

    I don’t mean to be Pollyanna-ish here. It’s anybody’s guess as to what to do with this state of affairs. But perhaps Bernie is on the right track with his efforts to take over the Dem Party?

    With that in mind, the real dividing-line is wealth vs. poverty, income inequality, etc.,

    1. mpr

      “If half of the Super Delegates had voted for the Sanders wing at the convention, wouldn’t Sanders have been the Dem candidate?”

      Uh, no because HRC got a clear majority of the elected delegates and 3.5m more votes in the primary. But hey, don’t let me disturb your alternate reality, and enjoy the next four years !

      1. tegnost

        your reality was created from whole cloth

        Those mean chair throwing bernie bros!
        Can you say Debbie Wasserman Schultz?
        How about Donna ( Brazile?
        I’ll think I’ll stick with my alternate reality, you can keep your fake one.

        1. tegnost

          and to your vote tally caucus states don’t vote, the popular vote total of the primary is a meaningless comp

          1. mpr

            True, if caucus states did vote (i.e. were democratic) HRC would have won by even more. See e.g I’m sure if the roles were reversed here you’d be screaming that the corrupt DNC was ignoring the democratic vote in favor of an undemocratic caucus.

            But, as I said, enjoy the next four year. Maybe you really will – Trump is the alternate reality candidate after all.

            1. reslez

              > But, as I said, enjoy the next four year.

              I sincerely will, and I hope that you’ll enjoy the fruits of your tainted primary process that installed a corrupt, inferior candidate and drove millions of voters in swing states to Trump.

              1. bob

                My ears were ringing-


                “were reversed here you’d be screaming that the corrupt DNC was ignoring the democratic vote in favor of an undemocratic caucus.

                But, as I said, enjoy the next four year. Maybe you really will ”

                A textbook example! No logic, no connection, just a snide, underhanded, passive aggressive outburst. Dressed up as logic!


              2. mpr

                I sincerely will

                Yep, doesn’t surprise me. You’re happy to see millions of people suffer. because you didn’t get your way. You’re probably some kind of champagne socialist who thinks they’re personally well enough insulated from any of the fallout.
                I’ve always felt the Bernie phenom had a good dose of white privilege. That’s why the vast majority of the African American community voted for HRC.

                1. FluffytheObeseCat

                  Hillary lost. She lost. To a vile, freakish, demented skank. Because she was a wretched candidate; an obvious snob whose corruption was unleavened by sass or humor.

                  She failed to do the one thing a candidate must do: win. A winning candidate needs to appeal to the hearts and minds of the vast independent electorate. She. Lost. Because she exuded indolent, haughty contempt for the people whose votes she sought.

                  1. mpr

                    Completely disagree that she was a snob, or corrupt, or haughty or humorless. Of course she isn’t the world’s greatest politician, but there are plenty of average male politicians who run for office and don’t have those labels thrown at them.

                    There are many reasons she lost, but one of them was the childish, white, male privileged petulance of Bernie supporters who stayed at home/voted for Stein.

                    1. bob

                      ” , but there are plenty of average male politicians who run for office”

                      Is that how they decided to run her for prez- “she’s not the worlds greatest…”

                      She wasn’t just running for office. She was running for the highest office in the US. Let’s go back to the beginning-

                      “Of course she isn’t the world’s greatest politician”

                      We can agree on that, but…but…but….

                      What the hell do men “who are not the worlds greatest politicians” have to do with Hillary not being the world greatest politician? Why are you comparing her to Men? Are you some sort of a misogynist?

                      Does the “BUT” infer some sort of connection? Are the 2 parts mutually exclusive? What is the connection?

                      Normally, the first part of the sentence is connected in some part to the second part. Let’s try this out.

                      “Of course she isn’t the world’s greatest politician,”

                      OK, some sort of premise. A premise I can even agree with. Then-

                      “but there are plenty of average male politicians who run for office”

                      We can agree on that part too. There are men. They run for office.

                      I’m not sure what it has to do with the first part, about Hillary. She’s not a man, and Is not just running for office. Hillary RAN (past tense) for president. She lost.

                      But- it solves everything. Even giant gaping holes of logic, and saves your meme for another day.

                    2. Pat

                      Excuse me, but your disagreement with my assessment that Clinton was highly corrupt is not proof that you are right and I am wrong. Now I can make several points regarding her corruption, can you defend her?

                      I am not male, I am not privileged, and I was never petulant but outright in saying from mid point in her Senate term on that I would never waste a vote again on Hillary Clinton. She lied to get into office, lied while in office and did NOT one thing while in office to help anyone who was not a major donor. Yes I supported Sanders, someone who actually recognized that the status quo was NOT good for a majority of Americans. Something that your “isn’t the world’s greatest politician” was too isolated to actually get until someone stating that won a primary against her for the SECOND TIME she ran for President. She is that arrogant and unconcerned.

                      Yes, I voted for Stein. Clinton lost because she thought she could get the votes of moderate Republicans and she wouldn’t have to reach out to people who thought there should be free public higher education or even a minimum wage that wasn’t ten dollars behind what it should have been if it kept up with wildly underreported inflation. And forgot that traditional Democratic voters she and the Dems had shat on for decades might not have anyplace to go but didn’t have to show up to vote either.

                      There is only reason Hillary Clinton lost. Sure your candidate was arrogant, entitled, incompetent and yes, lazy, but most of all she was stupid. Any one running for President who takes voters for granted deserves to lose, and any candidate who doesn’t campaign in entire states in the weeks leading up to the election is taking voters for granted. Stupid.

                    3. Portia

                      you are completely ignoring the fact that Trump was “elected” by the electoral college so yeah, TPTB saw Trump as a more viable candidate than Hillary to put forth the agenda of the financial/corporate syndicate. She was under investigation by the FBI, for chrissake. the Repubs had vowed to impeach her. so give credit for Trump’s presidency where it is due.

                    4. sharonsj

                      For the New York primary victory speech, Hillary Clinton wore an $12,495 Giorgio Armani tweed jacket and talked about inequality. That jacket cost more than my annual Social Security.

                    5. mpr

                      Pat, I’d defend her, if you said anything to defend her from. You’re just making unjustified assertions.

                      I was never petulant Yes, I voted for Stein.

                      The second of these statements refutes the first.

                      she wouldn’t have to reach out to people who thought there should be free public higher education or even a minimum wage that wasn’t ten dollars behind what it should have been

                      Obviously you prefer HRC’s positions in your alternate reality to her actual positions (hint: she was in favor of free college for the middle class). Of course now you get President Orangutan – but hey you voted for Stein, so you have your “principles”.

                    6. bob

                      no trouble here. You can’t see the forest for the trees. Hillary isn’t corrupt? I didn’t even bother to challenge that. It’s self evident.

                      When will the Hillary trolling stop?

                      Also, you continue to define petulant-

                      “The petulant little brat couldn’t see that the leader he was following was a fraud.”

        1. Vatch

          Thanks for pointing this out. In my long reply to mpr at 10:38 AM on Feb. 27, I completely forgot to mention the likely fraud in several of Democratic primaries. The article to which you link is good, and yet it even misses at least one state where improprieties occurred. See this:

          Thousands of Illinois primary voters turned away from polling places due to lack of ballots have been denied their vote after a recent court ruling.

          In six counties across Illinois — Adams, Champaign, Effingham, Madison, Sangamon, and St. Clair — polling places ran out of ballots amid higher-than-expected voter turnout, meaning thousands of voters were sent home after waiting in line. On March 17, Adams County state attorney Jon Barnard went before Adams County circuit judge Chet Vahle to ask for an injunction that would grant those voters the ability to vote late due to ballot issues.

          The next day, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who has introduced her at campaign rallies, filed an appeal in Illinois 4th District Appellate Court to prevent late voting. On March 23, the appellate court issued a stay on Judge Vahle’s injunction, meaning those voters won’t get a chance to cast ballots in this primary. Hillary Clinton won Illinois by roughly 35,000 votes, or a slim 1.8 percent margin, effectively splitting delegates with Sanders.

      2. Vatch

        Uh, no because HRC got a clear majority of the elected delegates and 3.5m more votes in the primary.

        That’s true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Clinton had a huge head start over Sanders, in money raised, name recognition, and in support by prominent Democrats. In many states, people chose to take advantage of early voting in the Democratic primary. In many places, especially in the early primaries, but even in later primaries such as California, this means that people voted for Clinton before they had a chance to learn much about Sanders.

        There was also the huge problem of the media blackout against Sanders. Early in his campaign, and even to a certain extent later on, the media simply did not publish as many articles about Sanders as they did about Clinton (or Trump). Opinion columns in prominent newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times were heavily biased against Sanders:

        Let’s not forget that the Democratic National Committee was also biased in favor of Clinton.

        The polls clearly showed that Sanders would have performed much better against Trump than Clinton did:

        Unlike Clinton, Sanders would have won a majority of the Electoral College votes, because he understood how people in rural and small town America have been harmed over the past couple of decades. He beat Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin, and he would have also beaten Trump in those states. Trump won Pennsylvania by a very narrow margin, entirely due to the frustrations of people in rural areas and small towns. It’s a near certainty that Sanders would have picked up enough of those votes to win Pennsylvania.

        1. mpr

          Vatch, much of what you say about the disadvantages faced by B.S is reasonable, but that isn’t proof of a conspiracy. It just means B.S wasn’t compelling enough to win the primary. Obama was, showing it could be done, B.S wasn’t.

          Your assertion that B.S would have won the election is just delusional. Sure, if you add to HRC’s total any people who didn’t vote for her but might have voted for B.S he probably wins, but that assumes that B.S would have retained every HRC vote which is certainly wrong.
          The Republican oppo file on B.S was published after the election, and it was brutal.

          More generally, for whatever reasons (brainwashing, culture, history) B.S’s positions are too far to the left to win a general election today – just his proposal for single payer would have turned off millions of people. I mean if his positions were not even compelling enough with the democratic base to win the primary (disadvantages or no) how could they hope to convince the general electorate ?

          1. Foppe

            Lambert/Yves/Outis: lots of words being produced by this one. Is this useful practice against The Average Hillbot, or someone wasting other people’s free time & energy? Imo the latter, although there is something to be said for honing one’s skills on dummy targets (and if not, why are there shooting ranges?).

          2. flora

            If the dem estab wants to maintain the corporate DLC control (and it does) and is also playing a long game then DWS and the DNC would have allowed an honest primary, allowed Sanders the fair win. And then – by your calculation – Sanders would have been trounced in the general. At that point the DNC could step forth and say, “see, the country just won’t vote for the left-ish candidate.” And with great moral righteousness continue its corporate control, having allowed the left-ish candidate to be beaten in the general, thus “proving” the DNC’s point.
            But the dem estab just isn’t that bright. Now they puff that Sanders could. not. win. Pure conjecture on their part. Hillary sure didn’t win. The dem estab got nothing. They even managed to make the GOP look right in its description of the Dem party. Now, that’s something!
            The dem corporate estab is so desperate to hold on to power it would rather lose with a corporatist, lose 85% of the counties in the country, than win with a non-corporate Dem candidate. And now they complain.
            What’s the old definition of chutzpah? To kill both one’s parents then throw oneself on the mercy of the court as a poor orphan?

            1. flora

              ” B.S’s positions are too far to the left to win a general election today – just his proposal for single payer would have turned off millions of people.”

              Odd. That’s what Obama ran on in 2008. And he got elected.

          3. Vatch

            The Republican oppo file on B.S was published after the election, and it was brutal.

            Link, please. We might have different connotations for the word “brutal”.

            1. Vatch

              Bernie would have won.

              Of course he would have. Half a dozen national polls showed this. Additionally, there are millions of Americans who simply have a very intense dislike for Hillary Clinton. Some of this is very unfair, and some is justified, but in both cases, that dislike that people have is real. Few people have a visceral dislike for Sanders.

              1. Vatch

                See the polls compiled at the Real Clear Politics website that I linked to at 10:38 AM on February 27. Sanders would have won against Trump.

  22. Eureka Springs

    Some of the things I want from a party.

    A democratic process within. Establish polling and voting by all members, not some final 400 or super delegates.
    The party writes, debates and endorses legislation, not lobbyists.
    A serious cap on contributions. Complete immediate transparency on all money matters.
    Issue based… platform long before leadership or candidates.
    A way which leadership or candidates and office holders must adhere to the party platform. Example… if the party platform says expanded Single Payer (HR 676) for all… then a vote for ACA would have been grounds for immediate removal from the party for sitting Reps. Note that would have meant basically every sitting prog would have received the boot. We would have all been better served had we primaried all of our so-called own long ago (including Sanders and Kucinich).

    At the very least this should be established by a prog like wing within a party. For we have no way in which to hold usurpers to account.. or keep the eye sharply focused on issues. That’s the lesson from ’06 ’08 ’10. So many act blue/blue America candidates lied and to this day they continue to be among the least scrutinized.

    I didn’t see Sanders, Ellison etc. heading this way had they won. I don’t see it in any existing third party.

    1. Propertius

      A democratic process within. Establish polling and voting by all members, not some final 400 or super delegates.

      With a secret ballot to inhibit coercion. Don’t forget that.

  23. LT

    There it is in black and white: the “new red scare” about Russia enabling feeble minds to be dismissive of criticisms about the establishment.

  24. Donald

    Testing. I tried posting a long comment and it didn’t make it.

    Short version–Sanders did everything people said Nader should have done and Sanders was still treated like a pariah, so the self described pragmatists are really the intolerant fanatics. There was more, but I don’t feel like retyping it, especially if I am having technical difficulties posting.

    1. PH

      I agree that Sanders ran A primary campaign instead of third party, and so answered a big establishment talking point.

      Beyond that, I see the campaigns as vastly different. Nader campaigned at the end of a long bubble. Bernie campaigned after the financial collapse and after years of doing nothing to help ordinary people.

      I think Bernie’s campaign was more powerful, and gives more of a springboard for future campaigns.

  25. mike

    The part before the byline is reasonable and interesting. The DNC is acting to preserve their own power, not to win elections. Classic “iron law of oligarchy” stuff.

    The part after the byline is less interesting. Why do we care what some anonymous guy on facebook says? Of what interest is there in a facebook argument between an activist and some rando? Is this more notable than a thousand other political arguments on facebook that occur every day?

    Dan Brooks has written about the practice of “eggmanning”, as a sort of counterpart to strawmanning– you can find people making basically any argument on social media, no matter how specious. Elevating the voice of such a person just so you can dismantle their poorly chosen words does not make for compelling reading.

  26. Sound of the Suburbs

    Mapping US / UK politics

    Right – Tories / Conservatives / Republicans

    Elitist Left – Whigs / Liberals / Neo-liberals / Democrats

    Real Left – Labour (the US is not allowed this option)

    You need a real left, liberals are not the real left.

    Liberals have over-run the Labour party in the UK but progress is under-way to get things back to the way they should be.

    Universal suffrage came along and the workers wanted a party of the left that represented them and wasn’t full of elitist, left liberals.

    The US has never allowed the common man and woman to have a party of their own, they need one, a real left not a liberal, elitist left descended from the Whigs.

  27. Glen

    Well, I haven’t voted Dem in the last two Presidential elections so no big loss.

    It’s the other thirty years of voting Dem that I wonder about. Maybe I could have made a difference back then.

  28. TMc

    This all makes me think the Democratic establishment are not honest actors. They would rather meekly accept corporate money and play the part of the always losing Washington Generals rather than come out swinging for progressive values.

  29. habenicht

    As these events unfold, I think there is an application of Upton’s SInclair’s famous observation:

    “It is difficult to get a man (or in this case party) to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”

  30. uncle tungsten

    The crew stood on the burning deck whence all but they had fled, and terrible realisation kept turning in their head.
    That when the ship of state strikes the rock of fate and the tides of time are turning,

    They tend to bucket the captain when it’s the whole damned ship that’s burning

  31. rps

    It’s not Hillary Clinton’s job to earn the votes of those tens of millions of Deplorables. It is the job of those tens of millions of Deplorables to just vote for her. Because as bad as they may feel she and the Democratic Party are for their own good, Trump is so much worse…and they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyway.

    Fixed it for ya Jeff

    1. rps

      Oops, please insert basement dwellers for basket of deplorables. Or are they the irredeemables but thankfully they are not America. Or maybe they are the bucket of losers? Gosh, I’m confused, who were Hillary’s esteemed voting constituency? Or is that beloved corporate donors?

  32. nope

    I can see why those in the middle of the country who have lost jobs would be reticent to vote for Hillary given her fondness for outsourcing and offshoring. Democrats have spent decades dealing away whole industries and then have the nerve to call those who don’t want to be burned twice by their policies idiots and bigots? How long did they think they could do that and continue to get votes? Their entire platform for the past two elections has been: Vote for us. No promises but hey, we’re not as bad as the other guys. Meanwhile the cost of housing, education and healthcare skyrockets. Wages have not kept up. Secure jobs with benefits grow more scarce. There was a candidate who addressed those concerns on the democratic side and he was steamrolled. Super delegates and the media made it clear from day one that Hillary was the preferred candidate and spent everyday during the primaries calling anyone who liked Bernie stupid, unreasonable bigots whose votes were unneeded. Turns out they were wrong. They can’t win without those votes. They’re not getting those voters back by continuing to call them stupid and not addressing their very real concerns either.

  33. Tim

    Is this that moment in time where history repeats itself and the Democratic equivalent of the Tea Party rises up?

    It doesn’t have to be named “X Party” either, it could just be “anti-establishment democrats”.

    We know berniecrats are in action, but will critical mass be reached with other disenfrachised Democrats who see the insanity of the party planning to do the same things over again that had been causing them to lose?

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