So, Bernie Sanders has started to get an increased amount of media attention lately. Take that with a grain of salt; part of it comes from the fact that his campaign has been doing some interesting things, and part of it is due to the media's need to cover a second (or more) viable Democratic candidate so that the nomination process is something more exciting than a Clinton Coronation.

The second caveat is that Sanders has been harvesting some low hanging fruit. Let's put it this way: if you're the progressive candidate and you can't get 10,000 people to come out to see you in Madison, WI you might as well throw in the towel. The headlines about his early draw in places like Oregon, Madison, and Berkeley are up there with "Dog licks balls" as riveting news. Furthermore, a good deal of the national media attention he has received is condescending, depicting him as your burned out old hippie uncle who once lived on a commune and probably has an extremely high electric bill (wink). It is hardly as if full scale BernieMania is on the verge of sweeping the country.

That said, he has a real shot at this. And Team Clinton must be shitting bricks right now. I suspect that more than a few who were around her toxic campaign in 2008 dare not say "Uh oh. Here we go again…" even though they're thinking it.

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Here is the problem from Clinton's perspective. As commanding as her lead in name recognition and money over the rest of the Democratic "field" is, 75% of the party base is looking around hoping someone better will come along.

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Hillary Clinton seems like she could win a general election, and therefore nearly all left-of-center Americans consider her Acceptable. Acceptable and Great are not quite the same thing, however. She is the classic establishment candidate, and her argument for the nomination boils down to "It's my turn, and I deserve this." Like other establishment candidates (Mitt Romney, for example, who also saw his party desperately try to nominate literally anyone but him before circling back) her primary motivation seems to be that she really, really wants to be president. That's fine, but you can't make it this obvious. Democratic voters are more susceptible to idealists than Republicans. Someone who can come along and convince the party base that he or she might make things better rather than merely being Slightly Better than the Republican.

In 2008, Obama came out of nowhere, offered this to primary voters, and immediately eliminated Clinton's insurmountable lead. Sanders is capable of doing that. And I suspect the Clinton campaign knows it. Even if they won't say it, I think they also recognize that the fundamental problem is that while voters will take Clinton, nobody's terribly enthusiastic about it. We're all scanning the horizon looking for someone less infuriatingly Centrist, less New Democrat, less I Refuse to Take Positions on Anything of Importance and I'm Basically John McCain on Foreign Policy. Again, in a general election Democrats and left-leaning voters will vote for her overwhelmingly. She's good enough. Clearing the bar just barely will always leave her susceptible to challengers who leap over it and look like they could actually win a general election.

Sanders is not without flaws himself. He needs to be more conscious of his visuals when on stage or behind a podium. He needs some people who have a proven track record of running a winning campaign.
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He needs a goddamn haircut. As he stands, any opponent would have a very easy time labeling him an old codger from a bygone era. Image counts. Hillary Clinton (67) is nearly as old as Sanders (73) but looks nowhere near that age. Most people would be surprised to learn that she is even 60. Sanders also needs to avoid the fate of Howard Dean. The media will be eager to depict him as an old, ranting lunatic from the hinterlands and he needs to be careful not to give them the opportunity.

In 2016 the Democrats have a chance to give themselves a real leg up by the time the general election begins. While the GOP 20-way circus plays out as monkeys in suits flinging their own crap at one another on debate stages, the two older, mature looking and sounding Democratic candidates will turn on how well Clinton can convince voters that she is something better than Republican Lite and how "electable" Sanders can make himself sound.

In short, greet Sanders' increased visibility with guarded optimism. He can win, even if the odds remain a long shot for now. The best evidence that he is viable is the Clinton campaign's sense of alarm as they realize that she is not in fact the candidate of inevitability.

57 thoughts on “THE HAUNTING”

  • My hope is that Sanders forces Clinton to take a stand on issues that she would otherwise like to avoid. (Although to be fair to her, I DID enjoy her willingness to go to Texas and cry "bullshit" on voter suppression. She and her people understand something: that winning is, in part, all about infuriating the right people in order to pander to the right people. She has no chance in Texas, so why not take the opportunity to raise a self-serving issue that she happens to be on the moral side of–more voters = more Democratic wins–and do so in a place where she risks nothing? It was neither brave nor genuine, but I admit–it felt good to watch her give those Longhorns a hate-boner so potent that it caused a collective aneurysm.)

    Sanders is running as a Democrat–that is, what a Democrat used to be before Bill Clinton transformed the term into "triangulating centrist." I like that. I like that he's forcing the conversation into places we want it to go. I hope that Clinton is affected by this change in course. I still think she'll win–I think the difference between now and 2008 is that she will not let herself or any of her people coast–she may believe she's due, but, like Nixon when he ran against Humphrey, she is not going to take a FUCKING THING for granted. Expect the Republican nominee, whomever he may be (apologies Ms. Fiorina, I just don't think it's your year), to get mauled like the warm-up puppy at a dog fight.

    The description of Clinton as "Acceptable" has always hit me as painfully accurate. Look, in a lot of important ways, Hillary Clinton is indistinguishable from her Republican colleagues. True. Fact. Agreed. Bellicosity, retrenching the economic status quo that widens the gap between rich and poor, yes to ALL of that. But: she's pro-choice. She'll appoint judges that won't bade their interpretations of the law on Leviticus. She likes widely available health care. She is "OK or better" in a lot of categories in which whomever she runs against will not be–in which, indeed, whomever she runs against will be much, MUCH worse.

    This is American politics in the age of Fox News and Citizens United. You're not going to get a revolutionary. You're not going to get an idealist. You're not going to get someone who will give you what you want. The best you can hope for is someone who will not take away what you NEED. Don't like it? Great. Start your own news media empire. Lobby to have campaign finance reform enacted by Constitutional Amendment. Run for office yourself. Or, fuck it, join the Hillary campaign and try to affect it from the inside.

    Or, you know, just carp about how "She's really a Republican," and discourage people from supporting her. But just keep in mind, as you do, what all those fucking idiots who voted for Nader in Florida got as a result of making their point about how Gore and Bush were the same–when you cut your nose off to spite your face–when you snivel and sneer about how much you can't stand Hillary, great. Enjoy watching Bader-Ginsburg's replacement vote to repeal Roe v. Wade while we construct a series of gulags along our southern border to "help contain the problem down there."

  • US leaving the UK says:

    JD: your stuff is always great but – like a whipped puppy – there are so many times 'the left-ies' can be asked to vote 'against their guy' rather than 'for our guy'.

    As I've said before, at this point, cause and effect need to be linked for "Real 'Mericans" ™. As in: Vote for this turd, get a bucket of piss in return. If A, then B.

    Then again, if history is any guide, they kinda seem to like taking it on the chin if just to show you: "Didn't hesitate in choosing the finger I'd like to keep after the accident! The middle one, for hte Libruls!!"

    And, Ed, "Hillary Clinton (67) is nearly as old as Sanders (73) but looks nowhere near that age. Most people would be surprised to learn that she is even 60." I will assume that you are joking. Assuming you meant to write "…learn that she is under 75." To anyone with a parent in that range, she looks awful.

  • We've got gay marriage and the ACA. We'd have neither if McCain/Palin had won in 2008, or Wilard "Mitt" Romney in 2012.

    It sucks to constantly repeat this because it's pretty much an admission that we'll never have a truly progressive POTUS ever again but, ahem, Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz.

    /drops mic

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    My gut still tells me HRC is unelectable and will screw up somehow. Part of Bernie's appeal must come from seeing Jeb Bush struggle – when you don't feel as compelled to line up behind Acceptable, it's okay to shop around.

  • I like Bernie but I don't know if he could win a national election.

    Even if Hillary were the worst Democratic candidate, I'd take the worst Democrat over the best Republican in the White House.

    Just imagine Scott Walker with a GOP-led House and Senate. Oh, and he'd probably get to pick the next three Supreme Court justices.

  • @Kong: Walker with the House and Senate is called Wisconsin. A once proud state that now looks like Mississippi, only with snow.

  • I've been asking myself just how electable Hillary Clinton is since before 2008; I remember 1992 very well. I was just finishing my master's in comp sci and competing with non-degreed good-old-boys for jobs and being castigated for Refusing to Make the Coffee (because I don't drink coffee, so why should I make it for anybody else?) for the office, and it really resonated with me that here was a trained lawyer who wanted more out of life than to sit at home baking cookies…and the pre-Teanuts completely lost its mind over this. A lot of Rill Murkuns rose up in fury that President Clinton had an educated wife, and there were many mean-spirited remarks about a "co-presidency". This is part of what she's up against.

    You'll notice that Laura Bush appeared to be sedated through the entire Bush occupation of the White House, and Michelle Obama has been completely excoriated for her carefully-non-confrontational focus that people should consider eating a vegetable occasionally and periodically get up off the couch. You'll notice she doesn't mention that she sat on the board of a hospital and was also an accomplished person in her own right.

  • HoosierPoli says:

    If Hillary has one thing going for her, it's that basically everyone has made up their mind about her, one way or the other, and from polling it seems that more people like her than don't (OK, maybe like is too strong a word). She's the HW Bush to Obama's Reagan – not exciting but not threatening, a totally known quantity.

    My worry is that there's somebody lurking on the Republican bench who would be primed to take her down in four years. My OTHER worry is that she turns out to actually have principles, and those principles involve shredding some of the better things Obama has done. It wasn't too long ago that she was pushing the War on Drugs and DOMA.

  • Once again I must say that the comments on this site are worth taking the time to read.

    I've given money to Bernie for several of the reasons mentioned above but mostly on the hope he can still be viable so that we can see real issues, discussed by adults, in the presidential debates.

    I love it when he's asked "politics as a horse race" question in an interview and he answers in terms of an "issue that needs discussion".

    Having received his campaign literature/email bombardment I have to agree that he needs some experienced professionals on staff to help.

  • "…I'm Basically John McCain on Foreign Policy." (Ed) Exactly, and that is why I will NEVER vote for Clinton.

  • I've been doing some interviewing around the country with people about the state of our democracy. One thing that strikes me is the fact that in all of the conversations I had there was zero enthusiasm for Clinton. Most people are not paying attention to politics, but the quarter to a third who are, reserve their enthusiasm for Warren, Paul and Sanders. Of course, the people who pay attention to politics don't run the show and the corporate media establishment is going to do their damnedest to keep it that way – despite their journalist-employees current desire to stage a horse race. If one of the crazies in the GOP (rather than an established corporate lackey like Walker) wins the nomination I expect the establishment of both parties will be pleased to incorporate Clinton as acceptable for theater democracy.

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    Someone who can come along and convince the party base that he or she might make things better rather than merely being Slightly Better than the Republican.

    Obama came out aimed at the base. The actual base. People didn't listen to him, and assumed — projecting all the way — that he was some sort of social democrat. He had a solid hold on the base of the party — check out his endorsements by this point in 2007.

    Sanders is coming out aimed at people who think they're the base.

  • If Sanders only accomplishes one thing then good for him: shining a light in the left side of the room, a mostly quite area that's been in the shadows for a long time. You know the conservatives have dominated the narrative too long when so many can easily be convinced President Obama is a socialist. And here comes a self-professed socialist! It's as if we've forgotten there are nice, shiny things on the left side. Compelling arguments and look – no horns or tail!
    The stoic, austerity line is so engrained in the US that the market shits it's pants when the Greeks tell Merkel/Europe to shove it. I'm convinced that Sanders simply talking about some verboten topics stimulates dead parts of our collective brain.
    Is it really possible he'll go far? Who knows. But what a pleasant contrast to the constipated, angry 'take back the country' message that dominates our political conversation. Fresh air, badly needed. That might be enough.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    I'm with @Major Kong!

    I LOOOOOOOVES me some Bernie.
    But, it's not just his age that'll be a problem. It's that eventually, the MSM will turn on him and remind everyone that, thought he's running as a Democrat, he's really a… GASP!!!: Socialist!!! Oh my….

    But this will only be if he wins the Democratic nomination – which is unlikely.

    What I expect over the next few months, is the MSM doing some Bernie-fluffing.
    Our media members have a hate/love relationship with the Clintons.

    For whatever reason, and despite that fact that they're easy fodder for headlines and stories (real and fictional), they really do hate them, and love to take them down a couple of notches – if not totally destroy them.

    After Monica, and all of the money they made off of one BJ (all hookers take note – gay, straight, LGBT), they took Bill's transgressions, and made Gore's association with him seem dirty.

    They painted Gore as an out-of-touch elitist, desperate to be President, and who was a fabulist:
    "Gore says he created the internet! Har-har!!!"

    And then, there was MoDo of the NYT's who led the pack in the feminization of Gore:
    "He's so feminized, he's practically lactating."

    Then came the earth-tone suits, and Gore sighing in a debate, and the MSM kept building-up their 'rather have a near-beer with' and ranch-brush cutting GOP candidate, W.

    I look for MoDo to start a new trend – in other words, nothing original, just apply the same stuff she wrote about Gore, and put Hillary's name in her column.
    Look for Hillary to be 'masculine.'
    'She's so masculine, she practically has balls!'

    And if Hillary starts wearing earth-tone pant-suits, the MSM will jump on her like piranha on a new and unaware Missionary going for a swim.

    The GOP has the clown car – actually, a clown bus – but look for our MSM to provide the circus around Hillary's efforts.

    I'm not her biggest fan, but I'll take Hillary over the Neo-Fascist bigoted, stupid, ignorant, evil, sociopathic and psychopathic, uber-"Christian" GOP candidates!!!

  • "That said, he has a real shot at this. And Team Clinton must be shitting bricks right now. I suspect that more than a few who were around her toxic campaign in 2008 dare not say "Uh oh. Here we go again…" even though they're thinking it."

    First, it's clear that she's learned a lot since 2008. She's hired Obama's campaign people, and her themes reflect that it's no longer 1992.

    Second, as you yourself pointed out, the MSM doesn't like and doesn't want Sanders. He's being pumped up by them for the sake of pretending that there's a horse race. The second that he actually does well, they'll dump on him for being a Commie.

    Note that we saw this in 2012, with the MSM (and the GOP base) eagerly pretending that each of the midgets in the race was actually somebody who could beat Mitt.

    As for enthusiasm, note that it's also no longer 2008. Anybody expecting to be 'home by Christmas' is a fool; this war is a war of attrition.

  • Sanders has no ability to change Clinton — Obama proved that you can simply lie your ass off during the election and there will be no consequences.

  • I still have a hard time believing Hilary has a real shot. A) she's a Clinton and B) she's a woman. The GOP have lost the battles of gay marriage and the ACA so I fully expect them to double down on women's rights. Banning birth control, denying equal pay, outlawing abortion, denying scholarships to single women (something that has been batted around in the past), treating miscarriages as crimes, punishing women for having sex–this is where the GOP is going to go and I don't see how a woman candidate can stand up to the onslaught of misogyny that the GOP regularly whip up.

    People point to A Handmaid's Tale as our future, but I suggest people read When She Woke by Hilary Jordan for a true glimpse into our future.

  • That should read "denying scholarships and financial aid to single mothers." Everyone knows single women go to college just to find husbands.

  • Sanders is in a position where he has no expectations, so he can pretty much say whatever he likes. And it sounds great: break up the banks (never mind that it wasn't the size of the banks but the lack of institutional control and regulation that was the problem)! support higher education (but only by paying for students, not dealing with actual institutional issues)! rebuild our infrastructure (never mind that the House and Senate are all about NOT doing that)! single-payer healthcare (ignore the House and Senate trying to vote to end the compromise bill that exists)!

    If elected, and Sanders does some sort of compromise to get any of that, the Betrayalist wing will rise up and wonder why he lied to them. It will be Obama Single-handedly Destroying Single-Payer all over again. If he uses a drone somewhere, it will be "OMG! I didn't vote for that!" And so on. You want a progressive country that has liberal values? VOTE FOR A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS! Otherwise Eugene V. Debs wouldn't do any better than Obama has or Clinton will or Upton Sinclair or Elizabeth Warren or Shiny Manic Pixie Candidate could.

  • Where to begin?

    First, the president will be whomever the corporatists want to be president. They've said they're cool with either Hillary or Jeb!

    Bernie will. wittingly or unwittingly, play the role of a sheepdog. He will keep the progressives and left-leaning indies excited. At some point — maybe December — the Hillary Juggernaut — with 10 times the money Bernie has — will unleash the hounds of hell.

    Remember, in December of 203, Howard Dean was the "unbeatable front runner." In mid-December, the corporatist media began a three week barrage — "Howard Dean is unelectable." Every media outlet from the NY Times down to the Supermarket Pennysaver carried the same message. By the Iowa caucuses, he was roadkill.

    They administered the coup de grace with the phony "Dean Scream." In a room full of screaming, shouting, hooting supporters, someone handed Dean a noise deadening microphone, the type sportscaster use in crowded stadiums. He didn't know this. Dean was trying to be heard over the crowd, and people who were there have said they couldn't hear him. However, those watching on TV, heard no crowd sounds, just Dean trying to holler over the crowd. The "Dean Scream" was played something like 600-700 times on the corporatist news media over the following two weeks. They can do something similar to Bernie to paint him as crazy.

    Hillary is not "shitting bricks" over Bernie. Every politician needs credible opposition. That's how you keep the base excited. That's how you get them to send you their rent money.

    Howard may force Hillary to say something progressive, but that's just talk. If Obama did everything he promised on the campaign trail, this would be a much better country, but it was all bullshit.

    Obama didn't "come out of nowhere." He was carefully groomed and promoted for this job. Just because he wasn't on our radar doesn't mean he "came out of nowhere."

    Yes, we got ACA and same-sex marriage on Obama's watch, but the marriage came from the courts — not the White House. Obama came to it kicking and screaming as he "evolved."

    The ACA was and is a scam. Sure a few more people got insurance. Check back on this next year as insurance companies are now asking for rate increases of between 25 and 35 percent. And Obama on the campaign trail was all for single payer. Once he got elected, not so much. So much for what people say when they're looking for the job.

    Bernie's saying some good things — although he has a few skeletons in his own closet. But he's not going to be president. Wall Street will make sure of that.

  • All I ask of this election is that Carly Fiorina stay in the race as long as possible. I love watching that idiot burn her own money humiliating herself.

  • Michael, you even get re elected after it is known you lied your ass off. Is this a great country or what?

    Bernie = George Mcgovern = NOT A CHANCE IN HELL of winning national election. Old George had a lot of momentum for the nomination. Lots of it paid for by his eventual opponent…

    History rhymes ….

  • Great. Another season of boomers rehashing the same old stuff. Bernie's star will fade and Hillary's political tin-ear will ruin her again. Please let this be the last time. She reminds me of the movie boxer surrounded by hype men who encourage a bum because they get paid. Disgusting. Progress stifled again.

  • Jeneria, I think that the GOP's message there will help her. They'll piss off/frighten a very large number of women.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    My bad…

    Note to self:
    Finish coffee before commenting on others comments!

  • @Barry; a sickeningly amount of women vote Republican despite their strong anti-woman, anti-family message. It's inexplicable.

  • "@Barry; a sickeningly amount of women vote Republican despite their strong anti-woman, anti-family message. It's inexplicable."

    Yes, and a sickening about will, even as the GOP doubles down.

    The point is that a bunch will look at that, and change.

  • Katydid – appallingly similar to the women of ISIS, no?

    I blame the quest for self-righteousness. Once you've knuckled under, for whatever reasons, to bust loose you nave to not only to make the move of admitting you were mistaken, or at the very least snookered, but likely deal with shriveled old mental mummy mother-in-law and aunts who will label you as evil and immoral and ensure that you are socially penalized.

    There's a reason why Republican women are also likely to be religious, it requires the same mindset.

  • @ Everyone; sorry for the typo; meant to write "sickening", not "sickeningly".

    @Mo: I was going to bring in the religious angle as well, but you said it better.

  • Kirk Jundt says:

    Barry your point brings to mind What's the Matter With Kansas. The right promotes issues that are cynically selected to scare/offend certain segments of the population away from progressive thinking and all the while promoting an agenda that actually hurts that very constituency. You can scare some people enough to believe "liberals" will, of course, allow criminals to menace families and communities causing the frightened to vote against their own best interests.

  • Hmmm… I disagree with much of what's written above. As a 44 year old married dude, I have various conversations with many women aged 40 – 70. Every single one I talk to that is a Dem is wildly, crazily excited about Hillary. She is their vindicator of several decades of putting up with men's misogynistic shit, and that's a pretty sizable demographic you sweep away in the above analysis. Your analysis has too much of Ed's beliefs in it without realizing the current Democratic coalition has a lot of folks very, very different from Ed.

    Alternatively, I don't know of any Republicans that felt passionate about Mitt except the richest of the rich.

  • Emerson Dameron says:


    That was the idea behind HRC 2008 as well. The reality was someone who was entirely out for herself and willing to humiliate her supporters over and over in a desperate series of "Hail Mary"s.

    People never remember anything, and she hasn't had a chance to piss off idealists by showing her true colors this time. Yet.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Kirk is right.

    Fear itself brings out the worst of us on the left. Some boomer women and old boomer men my age are terrified of establishing real party differences in the country. Scary shit, that.

    Gotta like Bernie and his fans but somewhere along the line those fans need to know from him what to do to avoid another Ralph Nader experience. History shows the horror of such an event.

    I can imagine the level of Socialist ranting from the GOP and a good number of Democrats should things go against Hillary in the primary.

  • Clintons==> triangulation.
    Reagan/Bush/Tea Party==>straight talkers who mean what they say.


    Most of the labels were written/drawn/scrawled at some ad agency.

    Anyone who thinks the President has much to do with foreign policy has just not been listening. The military is in charge. Period. We worship our heroes in uniform and will sacrifice anything to get them killed–in as distant a locale as possible. –But their civilian health care is way too expensive.

    A vote for Hillary will be a vote for ACA. She can say she was working on health care before some voters were born.

  • Yeah, Bernie does need a bit of a trim. I'm glad he's running and even if he doesn't get the democratic nomination, I'm glad he's providing some serious competition for her. Hopefully, she'll adopt some of his idea and become a better candidate. The only republican that doesn't seem super crackpot nuts is Jeb and I'd still take Hilary over another Bush.

  • @Chris: as a woman in the demographic you mentioned, I'm not thrilled about Hillary Clinton. In addition to anything she can control, she has been eviscerated by the rightwing nutjobs since 1992 and the low-information Foxbots have had their talking points against her memorized ("She wears pants!"). I'd be absolutely thrilled to have a field of women to choose from–I was excited to hear what Sarah Palin had to say in 2008 (and then she opened her mouth and I realized instantly what a disaster she was).

    @Nate; you have no idea how despicable Jeb is. Not only did he fix the 2000 election in favor of his brother, but he also got Congress involved in a special session on Easter day to craft a law to keep a husband from stopping a feeding tube for his wife, who had been dead for more than a decade but kept alive by machines. Jebya stepped between a man, his wife, and the doctors who had been telling him for a decade that there was no "her" left, in order to pander to the vicious nuts who wanted to stick their nose in other people's private medical situations.

  • Katydid is 100% right about that fuck Jeb! Just because his IQ is visibly 10 points higher than his brother's (and honestly, Rick Santorum's might be, the bar is low) does not make him somehow more "reasonable." In relation to the Kkklown Kkkar he is not the most extreme ideologue, but that's only because mandating that a state university system be governed like a business is old news.

  • In 2008, Obama came out of nowhere …

    For some, perhaps. I will always remember his speech at the DNC in 2004, thinking, wow, I am glad this guy is in our (Dem) bullpen. And then looking forward to hearing more.

    … the two older, mature looking and sounding Democratic candidates will turn on how well Clinton can convince voters that she is something better than Republican Lite and how "electable" Sanders can make himself sound.

    And what a contrast to the Klown Kar Kalavacade of Fail. THAT is the win. I have no problem voting for either Sanders or Clinton. Given what the Republican Party has done to the US since Reagan, I'll happily vote for Skippy the Kangaroo Mouse if that is what the Democratic Party puts forth as the candidate. Having to choose between Sanders and Clinton is like having to decide whether I want steak or lobster for dinner.

    The opposition has canted downward into a foul-smelling morass that no longer resembles reality, and has no business whatsoever occupying the office of the Executive.

  • "Sure a few more people got insurance."

    Yeah, so what if a piddly-widdly 10 million + of our fellow Americans can now afford decent health care.

    And gay marriage? Pshaw! If Vice President Palin had been in charge in 2009, we'd all be gay married by now!

    Drop in the bucket!

    Nader/Unicorn Farts 2016!!!

  • There's something about Hilary being the candidate that fills me with an overwhelming urge to set the world a light and cheerfully dance around the bonfire as the world burns.

    Is it the cynicism of her being foisted upon us perhaps? It's how "they" have done away with the pretence of giving us real choices and watch us fight over crumbs for their entertainment as they eat their feast—which is us. I almost hope the other side can find an electable nutter who would be the spanner in their Bu-nton machinery.

  • Bernie is, indeed, bringing a different perspective. But even from here (Australia) it's painfully obvious he can't have a chance at winning (or even running, probably) a general election. You don't need a tin hat to see that The Powers That Be are not going to have any of that.

    Hillary, on the other hand, can win. It even seems likely she will, considering the likely opposition. Bird in the hand, etc., etc.

    We all hate repeating it, but…. court appointments. The entire fucking planet is relying on y'all to put a Democrat, any Democrat, in the White House for the next term. Hillary can be that Democrat.

    It's been mentioned above, but please, remember 2000. Shrub & Gore looked like two sides of the same coin during the race, but five years later, Bush had invaded everywhere, mortally wounded the international standing of the US, and fucked the global financial system half to death, while Gore had become obsessed with climate change. Appearances can be deceiving.

    Having said all that, I thought Obama was unelectable, so ignore me.

  • @Xynzee: I think at least part of the answer to your question is that HRC has been around for ages, so we've heard all the attacks on her (from left and right) so many times that we've all subconsciously internalised at least some them.

    Many of the accusations – "She's only in it for herself!", "She's a corporate shill!", "She stands for nothing!" – are head-deskingly stupid, because they're simply prerequisites to running. Find me a candidate that doesn't conform to these prerequisites, I'll show you a candidate who is not, in fact, a candidate at all.

  • Spiffy McBang says:

    "Democratic voters are more susceptible to idealists than Republicans."

    Bwuh? The only candidates Republicans put forth any longer are idealists. Sanders has the capacity to do something with this race because when he puts forth ideas, the numbers add up and/or they've been proven in other countries to be more successful than whatever the American alternative is.

    An idealist, by definition, is someone searching for the perfect regardless of whether or not something short of that would still be good. If Sanders is an idealist, it's only because of where his ideas stand relative to the political situation in the country as a whole, not because of their ability to work if he somehow got them implemented. And if we're calling people idealists on that basis, we're fucked.

  • Bruce: "The opposition has canted downward into a foul-smelling morass that no longer resembles reality, and has no business whatsoever occupying the office of the Executive."

    @Bruce: I give you…Donald Trump.

  • @eau: I wish it were that easy. One of the most true statements I ever heard was about Slick. He was the greatest Republican president the country ever had—and it wasn't a compliment.
    What I've seen of her leaves me very concerned. What I see is someone who's good at gaming the constituency and will offer "cheap throwaways" to placate the base whilst putting someone on the SCOTUS who would entrench and expand C-Unt'd. But she's got that 'D' after her name!!! And she's pro-choice…. if we're all serfs and she expands the surveillance state… BFD.

    She's a bit like Bunny. Everyone was shocked!! Shocked I tell you when he and Shonkey passed down their first budget. Everyone was shocked what an ideological hack they'd put in power. I'd been watching what he'd been saying for years, so I wasn't shocked in the least. Though the current detention centre reporting policy was a bit of a surprise. He probably learned a few things from Ruddock who at least had the good sense to keep his more evil desires under his hat.

  • "The ACA was and is a scam. Sure a few more people got insurance. Check back on this next year as insurance companies are now asking for rate increases of between 25 and 35 percent. "

    Somebody's libertardlican slip is showing.

  • @Katydid wow, he sounds awful! Again, as I said, I'd take Hilary over him any day. I appreciate the knowledge though.

  • How terrible is the ACA that the insurance companies are asking for rate increases? It's so terrible that states now can demand that those rate increases be justified with actual numbers and can also be rejected.

    Silly Obamacare! It's gotten in the way of the free market's good old days when the insurance companies could raise rates and just tell people to stick it.

  • I'm not voting for any Bushes or Clintons. This is the part where American democracy proves what a sham it is. Obama gave us a glimmer of hope, but we all know how good and truly fucked it really is.

  • @Xynzee: I had no idea she was down with C-Unt'd (nicely done, BTW). That's… horrifying.

    Funny that you mention our illustrious PM, because I see HRod as a lot more like ol' Backroom Bill: Nobody wants them, but at least their not the full-blown neoconservative nutbars they face across the aisle. Bill's bland enough that the "swing voters" might just let him slip through the gate, and enough of an empty suit that our corporate overlords may allow it to happen too. Much like Hillary.

    It's the old "Shit sandwich vs shit sandwich with added crushed glass". Sure, I'd prefer a sandwich with no shit at all, or just a little shit (Saunders, Albo), but that's not one of the menu items available right now.

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