NEGATIVE MOTIVATION

Every argument about the presidential election on the internet follows one of two courses. The first is the bullet train to Fantasy Land, with references to bizarre conspiracy theories, inaccurate reconstructions of history, and predictions of things that will never, ever happen. The second is the Let's Be Realistic track, wherein people defend positions that cannot be defended on their merits by appealing to being "practical" or "pragmatic."

Whenever a person describes him- or herself as a realist, they are doing something they know to be wrong and of which they are ashamed. That's a free life lesson.

You'll notice this regularly in conversations about the Democratic nomination this year, and to a lesser extent back in 2008 when Obama started out as a nobody (albeit one with considerably more obvious "electability" than 75 year old Bernie Sanders). Every argument in favor of Hillary Clinton, once stripped of the fallacy that she is distinguishable on most major economic issues from Mitt Romney and that her new-found social liberalism was not determined by focus group three or four years beyond the point at which it was deemed electorally "safe" to take those positions, boils down to "Well, you have to vote for her." If you don't, you're electing President Trump! Remember Nader? Remember Hitler? Why do you want to elect Hitler?

The strange thing is that I don't disagree with this logic. I, and millions of others, will vote for Hillary Clinton simply because the alternative is even worse. This speaks directly to the problem at the core of American politics, though. It is very difficult to get anybody interested in, let alone excited about, a process in which we are constantly reminding them that they have to participate to pick between two things they don't like and choose the one that they dislike less. Does the Clinton campaign really hope to fire up the voting base with semi-authoritarian appeals that everyone to the left of Glenn Beck is essentially obligated to vote for her? Regardless of how "practical" or pragmatic that may be, does it sound like a winning message to you?

What are the reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton? There appears to be one: she can most likely beat any of the shaved apes the GOP is considering as a nominee right now. That's it. Vote for her not because she is good or honest or trustworthy or makes us believe something better about ourselves and our nation, but because she has statistically higher odds of winning the November election than the Democratic alternatives.

I'm not saying that's incorrect. I'm saying it's pathetic, and it goes a long way toward explaining why the campaigns across the political spectrum have to struggle mightily to get half of eligible adults to show up to vote in our most publicized and high-profile election every four years. Imagine you were told that you couldn't cheer for your favorite football team, but could only root for the Chicago Bears to lose every week and support whoever they happened to be playing at the moment. How motivated would you be to devote your time and money to attending games? That would start to feel pointless and boring pretty quickly, and more than a little soul-crushing.

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61 Responses to “NEGATIVE MOTIVATION”

  1. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Adults are used to picking between two shitty choices, like the choice between getting up at o-dark-thirty every morning to go to a soul-crushing job or staying at home and being poor.

  2. Freecookies Says:

    Real power resides in those that control who gets on the ballot and who gets to count the votes.

    Most communist regimes were republics on paper and had elections. The same old cronies magically won every single time there was an election for some strange inexplicable reason.

    The only real difference between those old soviet bloc "republics" and this one is there happens to be two parties with the same ideology, rather than one.

    Perhaps it would be more efficient at this point to eliminate one of the parties and just have the Party running everything from now on?

  3. Wim Says:

    Well, one thing to vote for is the historic moment of electing a woman President of these United States. It's a weak positive, but it's there.

  4. pathman Says:

    So you're voting for the status quo. Frankly, I want to see this whole shitshow go down the tubes as fast as possible. I won't vote for the repub but my vote for Jill Stein won't be on my conscience like a vote for Hillary.

  5. Andrew Laurence Says:

    I'll vote for Jill Stein as well because I live in a state that is guaranteed to go for Hillary. If I lived in a swing state, I would vote for Hillary, because I prefer her INFINITELY over any of the Republican candidates, and voting third party in a swing state is the same as voting for the candidate you hate even more. If you don't see real differences between Hillary and the GOP, particularly on social issues, you aren't paying attention.

  6. Edward Says:

    The Sanders campaign has been doing well. Don't rule him out.

  7. Andrew Laurence Says:

    If Sanders is the nominee, the GOP will win the general election. I like Sanders, but he hasn't a snowball's chance in hell.

  8. witless chum Says:

    "Imagine you were told that you couldn't cheer for your favorite football team, but could only root for the Chicago Bears to lose every week and support whoever they happened to be playing at the moment. How motivated would you be to devote your time and money to attending games? That would start to feel pointless and boring pretty quickly, and more than a little soul-crushing."

    Politics is soul-crushing and feels like it is boring and pointless. Any suggestion otherwise has always been a fantasy and fiction.

    "So you're voting for the status quo. Frankly, I want to see this whole shitshow go down the tubes as fast as possible. I won't vote for the repub but my vote for Jill Stein won't be on my conscience like a vote for Hillary."

    Feeling this way is understandable. Actually behaving this way is monstrous. Having a Democrat in the White House helps real people in a myriad of little ways, like appoint people to run, say, OSHA who actually are attempting to do the job, even though they'll be restrained from doing it as well as I think they should. I'm well to left of Sanders and I'd rather live in a different political world, but I think it's my duty to my fellow humans to show vote for the less evil candidate.

  9. Rugosa Says:

    Yes, it's a lousy system but don't forget that the Republicans actively want to make life harder for the 99%. They want to dismantle health care, Social Security, the minimum wage, and the public school system. They are destroying the country's infrastructure by refusing to maintain and modernize it. Democrats, for all their faults, actually want society to function as more than just every man for himself – a sort of sentimental nod to the "general welfare" mentioned in the preamble to theConstitution.

  10. c u n d gulag Says:

    What @Rugosa said!

    Now, how do we get over 51% of the people who show up to vote, to see that?

    That's up to Hillary and her staff.
    I, for one, hope she doesn't fuck that up.

    I'll be 58 next year, on SS Disability, and I'm one of people they'd like to cut-off and cut out.

    And it's not like my work propects, with my disability, and my future is so bright, that I gotta wear shades…

    Some of us have skin in this game.
    We've seen what the Reagan's and Bush's did to this country.

  11. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Even those of us who are fairly well off (for now) would benefit from living in a society with a better safety net and less (I didn't say "no") inequality. Hillary is unable to bring this about, but she's a better bet than the GOP assholes who are hell-bent on turning us into a third-world shithole.

  12. Ten Bears Says:

    As a matter of principle I refuse to vote a lesser evil. I have, but it didn't turn out well for me, and hence haven't in a good long time.

    I may be throwing away my vote, but it's my vote to throw away, and I do so with clear conscious, knowing I voted for what I believe is in the best interests of the country and not what some bimbo in Florida or the scion of a multi-generational robber baron political family tells me is good for the country… or my family.

  13. Andrew Laurence Says:

    If your principles lead you to vote in such a way that you increase the likelihood of the candidate you oppose THE MOST being elected, you need new principles. A vote for a third-party candidate in the general election, if you live in a swing state, is a vote for the GOP. It's just that simple. If you don't live in a swing state, it doesn't matter. I'm not sure why anyone fails to understand this. You're not being asked "Whom would you like to see be president?" You're being asked, "Of the two candidates who have a snowball's chance of winning, would you prefer the one who wants to put Muslims into concentration camps or the one who doesn't?"

    Sure, you can be a special snowflake and vote any way you want, but if you live in a swing state and vote third party, you're helping the GOP. I wish it weren't so, but it is, and wishing doesn't change reality.

  14. Andrew Laurence Says:

    You're not "throwing away" your vote if you vote third party when you live in a swing state. You do that by not showing up at all. If you vote third party, you are, quite literally, voting for the GOP.

  15. sluggo Says:

    Root for the Bears to lose???!!!! The horror! This is the most outrageous statement in the history of the internet!! What is next, human sacrifice? Oh my God!!! Oh My God!!!

    How can anyone root against the Bears?

    Come on Ed, the Cardinals left town twenty years before you where born. This should set you straight:

  16. grondo Says:

    President Rubio thanks you for voting your super-important conscience. Because the most important thing about elections is not who ends up with the power start wars and harrass people who are different, but that YOU personally feel good about which dot you filled in on your voting card.

  17. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @grondo: This is WAY better than I ever could have stated it. Thanks!

  18. Earl Says:

    @grondo: what war has Hillary not loved? What evidence, if any, is there that she has learned any lessons from Iraq or Afghanistan? In light of her support for regime chance in Libya (how's that working out for them and us), her/Petraus' plan to arm the rebels in Syria, or her support for undermining elections in Egypt, I don't see much daylight between her and any republicans. She's more bloodthirsty than Rand Paul and probably even Ted Cruz.

  19. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Rand Paul is an isolationist, so he doesn't count. Hillary more bloodthirsty than Ted Cruz? I doubt it. But even if there is ZERO difference between her and any of the GOP candidates on war, there is a HUGE difference between her and the GOP candidates on LGBTQ rights, sending in the DEA to raid the pot dispensaries, and reproductive freedom, to name just three. And there are probably some small to medium differences between Hillary and the GOP candidates on the social safety net. Also, Hillary hasn't publicly stated that she'd throw Muslims into concentration camps, so either she wouldn't or she's keeping that up her sleeve.

    If you see no differences, you're not paying attention. If you really see this as a choice between voting third party or staying home, by all means, do either one.

  20. Earl Says:

    @Andrew:

    So basically you have no idea what you're talking about at all. I listed specific foreign policies supported by Hillary Clinton and have read Cruz's foreign policy thoughts — specifically skepticism regarding regime change — while you disagree. Because reasons. So let's agree she will get us in just as many, or more, wars than Republicans. Or maybe not official wars but she'll just as many dead people and an enlarged ISIS in her wake.

    On LGBTQ rights, what evidence is there that her support is anything but tissue thin? As Cornel West said, maybe it's appropriate for a leader to, well, lead. I mean, it's great that as of 2015 she kind of came around. Leadership!

    On marijuana, where do you get the "facts" that Hillary supports legalization or state decisions in pot? That she evolved her position as recently as a month or two ago to fend off Sanders? Leadership!

    Where was she in 2013 when Obama supported chained-cpi to cut social security? She claimed as recently as a couple months ago to support another bipartison commission (read raised retirement age without having to sack up and tell people that.) Leadership!

    What exactly are we supposed to trust a Clinton on again?

    I'll grant you reproductive freedom and muslim internment camps, but that's pretty weak tea.

  21. mothra Says:

    Perhaps it would be more efficient at this point to eliminate one of the parties and just have the Party running everything from now on?

    We could call it the Goldman Sachs Party. Or wait, that's too obvious. How about the Robber Barons? Or just Barons? They could come up with some bad-ass mascot, like the Raiders have.

  22. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Earl: I'm pretty sure I DO know what I'm talking about. I prefer tissue-thin support for LGBTQ rights over loud promises to roll them back. Same with medical marijuana, abortion rights, Muslim interment camps, etc. I'm a social values voter, and the social values of the GOP are abhorrent to me. The economy and our country's bellicosity will probably not change much whoever is elected.

    If you really don't prefer either major party candidate over the other, fine, but you're probably misinformed or have weird priorities. That is of course your right.

  23. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Hillary Clinton is a clear-eyed person living in the fact-based world, and that's what we need now. This election is too important to waste any time on purity trolling.

  24. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Bitter Scribe: Agreed. If an anti-war, pro-worker candidate could get elected, I'd gladly vote for him or her, but he/she can't. Come to think of it, I'll probably vote for Jill Stein, because as a Californian, my vote doesn't count for shit.

  25. J. Dryden Says:

    Voting Democratic these days, particularly in a national election, is usually far more of a vote against–a prophylactic vote, if you will–than a vote FOR anything. Clinton is a problematic candidate for many reasons–but the common consensus indicates that she is what the market will bear.

    We here at the G&T Board are way, way, way more progressive (in the aggregate–hi there, BB in GA!) than the national electorate. WAY more. We would all, of course, very much like for a true progressive to run and to win. That'd be great.

    We might as well wish for a unicorn-pony while we're at it. The depth of reactionary-to-the-point-of-delusional thinking in this country, as evidenced by our beliefs and our CONSISTENT willingness to vote against our economic best interest in favor of retarding social progress, is simply too great to overcome by any candidate.

    It is, however, able to be tapped into and ridden HARD by the GOP candidates.

    Complain about Clinton all you want. She's not a particularly good person. She's not a "good" candidate, if you believe a candidate should be a pacifist, an idealist, morally consistent, unselectively honest–all things that we should, perhaps require of our candidates. You are absolutely entitled to dislike her–to find her attempts at sincerity repulsive (Lord knows, I do.)

    But she's not a racist, misogynist, Islamophobic Social Darwinist who believes in enforcing a racially segregated vision of a Christian nation that equates diplomacy with cowardice and knowledge with blasphemy.

    To pretend that there is no choice because neither choice is palatable is to prefer idealism over reality. Which is what we profess to despise in GOP voters, isn't it?

    Between now and the nomination, work like hell to get someone you want nominated–you absolutely should do that.

    But she gets the nomination, just hold your nose and vote for her. To do otherwise would be to cut it off your face for spite.

  26. Coises Says:

    Is there more than a hunch backing the assumption that the Democrats would be less likely to win the presidency if Sanders were nominated than if Clinton were nominated?

    • How many people would choose Hillary over one of the Republicans, but would choose a Republican over Sanders?

    • How many people would just stay home if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, but would show up to vote for Sanders?

    It seems to me those are the two groups most likely to make a difference, and it’s not clear to me that the first would outweigh the second.

    Adding some Bernie-inspired voters to the mix could help with other offices up for election as well.

  27. Nate Says:

    Grondo makes a great point. I vote AGAINST who I don't want in office. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for LESS evil and while I really want Bernie to win the DNC, if he doesn't, I have infinitely more serious issues with ANY of the insane GOP candidates than I do with Hilary.

  28. Nate Says:

    @Earl it's not weak tea if you're a woman, or Muslim, or both. Or care about others.

  29. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @J. Dryden: Welcome back! Very insightful comment, well explained. I agreed wholeheartedly until the penultimate paragraph. I fear that if we get Bernie Sanders nominated, he will lose badly. So working hard to get him nominated may not work out for us. Sigh.

  30. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Coises: In my case it's just a hunch, as I am neither a political scientist (though I played one in my undergrad years back in the day) nor a pollster. I would be interested in seeing some good poll results on the very questions you ask, but of course people lie to pollsters all the time.

  31. Jumanji Boi Says:

    I thoroughly enjoy the folks in the comments who think they're offering thoughtful responses but who are actually proving the point of the post.

  32. Yet Another Nate Says:

    I'm certainly no fan of Clinton, but I respect her as a competent public servant. I'll vote for her in the general. It may not be enthusiastic, but who cares? They all count the same.

    Besides, anyone who thinks a Sanders presidency would be markedly different from a Clinton presidency in terms of stuff accomplished with this open sewer of a congress probably isn't thinking clearly anyway. The president is a figurehead with the power to appoint Supreme Court justices (not a small thing, but still). If we want shit to get better, we have to start with the sociopaths getting elected at the state and local level. They have a greater impact on your life than the president, anyway.

  33. Skipper Says:

    I'm going to bookmark this page so I can refer to it when the Corporatist Machine puts Hillary into the White House and she fucks over working people good and proper — or starts another war in Bumfuckistan.

  34. Yet Another Nate Says:

    @Skipper – Not like benevolent President Rubio, no doubt, whose devotion to the working class is well-documented.

  35. Arslan Says:

    Actually I'm so sick of this that I want a Republican to win. Americans need to learn the hard way. The right needs to get what it thinks it wants, and face the consequences. The left needs to get its ass kicked even more until it realizes that its had its head up its ass since the 60's and seems to be shoving it further up.

    When you live in an actual dictatorship like I do, where people have been sent to jail for things they posted on social media, it's hard not to develop a deep disgust for Americans who fail to take advantage of the political freedoms they have to improve their system. As far as I'm concerned, there needs to be more suffering.

  36. Robert Says:

    My favorite suggested new slogan for the Democratic Party – "" We're fucked up, but the other side is nuts!"

    Every time I hear the "I want to burn the whole stinking edifice to the ground, so let the greater evil get elected! The inevitable overthrow and cleansing will be here all the sooner!" argument, I remember the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881.* The Nihilists were alarmed by his emancipation of the serfs and endorsement of a parliament; the drift to a constitutional monarchy would impair the drive towards revolution. The assassination had the very effect they desired. Russia labored under a brutal authoritarian regime for the next thirty five years, to be liberated by a brutal totalitarian regime for the next seventy. I do not imagine Clinton to be an improvement over the earlier Clinton. But the SCOTUS ruling that made my marriage legal in the eyes of the Federal government would not have happened if not for certain Justices.

    In short, if you are willing to help the GOP candidate win because you disapprove of Going on, you are free to do so. And the rest of us are free to read you to filth for the rest of your life.

    *No, really.

  37. Robert Says:

    Sorry, Going On should be Clinton.

  38. Rick Says:

    RE: "What are the reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton? There appears to be one: she can most likely beat any of the shaved apes the GOP is considering as a nominee right now. That's it."

    That would be enough, even though that's not 'it' by a long shot.

  39. Jestbill Says:

    @Arslan
    I think that may have been a factor in the election that put Hitler in power.

    Seriously. I'm old and often wish people would suffer from their own obvious stupidity and learn thereby. They don't learn.

    I welcome President Rubio. May his administration be as successful as Obama's.

  40. Mo Says:

    Freecookies & Mothra –

    Perhaps it would be more efficient at this point to eliminate one of the parties and just have the Party running everything from now on?

    Just like China, ya mean?

    I could see that. Maybe it's happening right now. Which party is more likely to produce the self-righteous cadres that kill and imprison their neighbors?

  41. MBL Says:

    I dunno, replace "Chicago Bears" with "Notre Dame" and you've described about the last 30 years of my life. It works out okay.

  42. Beleck Says:

    choices, choices, choices?

  43. Haikucrazytoo Says:

    @arslan

    Don't sugar coat it.

  44. Kaleberg Says:

    It's sort of like watching my weight and exercising. I hate having to stop eating before I'm satisfied and exercise hurts, but if I don't I'll go the way of my parents with diabetes, injections, amputations, partial blindness and other stuff which play the role of the Republican candidate in this analogy.

    As for your sports team analogy, I think that's one of the reasons I never could "get" being a sports fan. It all seemed so unrealistic. Even the version with the guys running around the field with helmets and shoulder pads was just fantasy football to me.

  45. Kaleberg Says:

    It's like the "You're Going to Die" choose it yourself adventure book at:

    https://www.somethingawful.com/comedy-goldmine/choose-your-own/2/

  46. wetcasements Says:

    Gay marriage legal now.

    The ACA, warts and all, is a hell of a lot better than the "don't get sick" plan most people had before Obamacare.

    Yes, our two-party system sucks sometimes and has limitations. But by design you don't get to pick the precious snowflake of your choice. You have to vote in the larger context of what the two parties are actively trying to accomplish.

    Sorry to say, but your Jill Stein vote won't get you into heaven. It could, in fact, quite possible fuck over somebody who has insurance for the first time in their life, or your gay neighbors who finally have full rights to marry as US citizens.

    But sure, "heighten the contradictions" all you want. If you don't vote for Hillary next year you're basically voting for future Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz.

    And that's a really shitty thing to do.

  47. Buckyblue Says:

    As someone who lives in a blue, presidential state, and Alabama for the rest of it, having a federal gov't controlled by the repugs scares the shit out of me. Walker and his, if it's possible, dumber minions in the lege have 'reformed' a once solid progressive blue state into something the Old Confederacy would be proud of. And so while I don't like Hillary like most on this board, she is one hell of a fuckin' lot better than the troglodyte right. They really will cut Social Security. They will end Medicare and any other safety net program all while laughing at anyone who doesn't look and vote like they do. I've talked with my state reps, these guys seethe with contempt for anyone brown or liberal. So if you're in CA and want to vote Jill Stein, knock yourself out. But if it's a swing state hold your nose and vote Hillary because the other side will fuck over this country and we won't get it back, not in our lifetime anyway.

  48. Katydid Says:

    @JestBill; it's actually pretty amazing that this administration got anything accomplished at all, given the amount of stupidity the other side has thrown. There are easily-googleable lists of everything this admin has accomplished; I recommend you view them. They're really an eye-opener.

  49. Major Kong Says:

    Hillary is smart and she's tough. I don't agree with all her positions but I at least trust her to not let the GOP roll over her.

    I'd much rather see her in the White House than endure a Trump or Cruz administration while hoping for that perfect progressive candidate to come along.

    Remember "Gush and Bore" from 2000?
    "Both parties are the same. It doesn't matter which one wins."
    Anyone who can still say that after eight years of W obviously wasn't paying attention.

    And believe me, a Cruz administration would have us fondly remembering W as a "reasonable moderate".

  50. Tim H. Says:

    I'm hearing "Hillary, a kinder, gentler lizard". But damn, the alternative sucks harder…

  51. Racer X Says:

    I am with Arslan. Of course it didn't work in Kansas…

    Also for the kook who keeps saying Sanders will get crushed in the general election if nominated:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sanders-beats-republican-candidates-poll_565ee12ce4b079b2818c95fc

  52. DRickard Says:

    Why settle for the lessor evil this year? Vote Cthulhu!

  53. robert e Says:

    Football is a poor analogy because, unlike American politics and governance, most Americans have enough familiarity with football to grasp the rules and practices and to understand what's at stake.

    Unlike American politics and governance, there is no lack of resources, materials and institutions devoted to making participation in and engagement with football easy and appealing for all kinds of people in all walks of life.

  54. HeidiB Says:

    Former Sen. and Sec'y of State Clinton has more leadership experience than any other candidate. She represented the U.S. in the international realm for four years, people! She might even get some things done, which is I'll be voting for her (no matter how much time she spends in the bathroom). I already can't wait for 2016 to be over.

  55. Townsend Harris Says:

    New York Democrats vote in a party primary in April 2016 and, as much as I love Bernie and will vote for him in the party primary, tell me again why he isn't the lesser of two evils.

    New Yorkers vote in a general election in November 2016 and, as much as I despise Hillary yet will vote for her in the general election, tell me again why she isn't the lesser of two evils.

    In every tight race, it's the same old rules and tactics anywhere a race is up for grabs:
    motivate the base
    sway the undecideds
    demobilize/disenfranchise those who'll vote the wrong way.

  56. Dr. Acula Says:

    "Every argument in favor of Hillary Clinton, once stripped of the fallacy that she is distinguishable on most major economic issues from Mitt Romney"

    Boy, that's seriously stupid. By that logic, Barack Obama's also indistinguishable on most major economic issues from Mitt Romney, as Obama and Clinton are almost identical on economic issues.

  57. willf Says:

    There appears to be one: she can most likely beat any of the shaved apes the GOP is considering as a nominee right now. That's it. Vote for her not because she is good or honest or trustworthy or makes us believe something better about ourselves and our nation, but because she has statistically higher odds of winning the November election than the Democratic alternatives.

    You are incorrect, sir.

    The latest Quinnipac poll (03Dec) has Bernie beating all Republicans by a greater margin than HIllary. He beats Trump ins a landslide.

    Bernie Sanders Is The Most Electable Candidate of Either Party

  58. Andrew Laurence Says:

    All of these polls have one major flaw: The election is not a straight-up nationwide vote count. Progressives tend to be concentrated in states which will go overwhelmingly for whoever is the Democratic nominee, thus wasting a lot of progressive votes. For example, California has 1/8 of the US population and is about 2/3 Democrat. New York has a large population and is also heavily Democrat. But the general election is about winning STATES, not the vote count, and the populous swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and (maybe) Michigan will determine the outcome. Couple this with the fact that tiny states, which are mainly conservative, have disproportionate weight in the Electoral College, and it's not a shoo-in for any Democrat against Trump.

  59. The new wrecking crew Says:

    No. I refuse. I don't care if Trump wins. Maybe that's what needs to happen this time. Maybe we need Trump, or even any of the "shaved apes" to show the rational majority what fucking lunatics the right is, and how they are the ones dragging the country over a cliff.
    Go ahead. Let them appoint more Scalias to the court so it can be legal to do public cavity searches on street corners just to keep the fat-assed, ignorant soccer moms feeling safe. Let them turn us into Pottersville (Merry fucking Christmas!). Let them send other people's children to fight and die in another bullshit war. Let them have the oligarchs run the government so they can have free reign to destroy our climate, air, and ground water. We let all these things happen and we fucking deserve it.
    As far as Hillary is concerned, she voted for the AUMF to invade Iraq. She did this as the result of a political calculation. She believed it likely that our troops would return home victorious in the fall of 2003 to a ticker tape parade down Times Square, just like Desert Storm. And, voting against it would have relegated her to the sidelines and uninvited to the celebration. Regardless of the bullshit claims about yellowcake, and aluminum tubes, and all the rest. None of that mattered. The only thing that mattered to her political future was to not bet against the winning side. It would be like wearing a Canucks sweater to the Rangers ticker tape parade in '94. You think the emails dogged her? Imagine how the right wing noise machine would have treated her after voting against the AUMF if the US had kicked ass in a short, low casualty war.
    It was insulting to hear her say that if she knew then what she knows now. Give me a fucking break. She couldn't talk to Zinni? She couldn't call someone at Los Alamos to ask about using anodized aluminum for uranium centrifuges? She doesn't know the yellowcake guy (forgot his name, Sean something or other) well enough to talk to him? Bullshit.
    Political calculations are usually part of life. Obama has made plenty of them that pissed me off, but were probably the only possible way forward. But this one went way too far for me. I will never vote for her. Several hundred thousand people died as a result including 4500 of our own, with many thousands of lives irreparably damaged, or destroyed.
    May she spend an eternity in hell with Rumsfeld's cock in her mouth.

  60. Links 12/29/15 | Mike the Mad Biologist Says:

    […] on foreign policy at the debate. But who watched? (warmongering is a bizarre form of privilege) Negative motivation Dear New York Times: The Real Reason Young Feminists Reject Hillary Police dogs waiting for dinner […]

  61. Barry Says:

    DRickard Says:
    "Why settle for the lessor evil this year? Vote Cthulhu!"

    "Why vote for the lesser evil? Because you get less evil"

    The new wrecking crew:

    "No. I refuse. I don't care if Trump wins. Maybe that's what needs to happen this time. Maybe we need Trump, or even any of the "shaved apes" to show the rational majority what fucking lunatics the right is, and how they are the ones dragging the country over a cliff.
    Go ahead. Let them appoint more Scalias to the court so it can be legal to do public cavity searches on street corners just to keep the fat-assed, ignorant soccer moms feeling safe. Let them turn us into Pottersville (Merry fucking Christmas!). Let them send other people's children to fight and die in another bullshit war. Let them have the oligarchs run the government so they can have free reign to destroy our climate, air, and ground water. We let all these things happen and we fucking deserve it."

    First, if there was a way to put you into that timeline, I'd do it right now.

    Second, this is mother-loving dumb – after Dubya, we have an idea of what Rebpublican hegemony can do. And if they win in 2016, not only will they have all three branches (plus SCOTUS for ~20 years), they'll have the knowledge of how Bush II blew it.