IT QUACKS

So let's talk about die-hard Bernie fans, without engaging in a subjective debate about which candidate is Better or whether he "should" drop out. My answers for those two questions, on the off chance anyone wants to bias their reading of the following with it (foreshadowing!) are Sanders and after California, respectively.

The problem that has developed for the most strident Sanders enthusiasts boils down to a question that I ask a lot when people make implausible claims with extreme conviction – "Tax cuts create jobs" or "Obesity isn't unhealthy" for example: If this argument isn't bullshit, why does it have all of the characteristics of an argument that is bullshit? If this is true, why does the argument employ all of the rhetorical techniques of claims that are not true? Read enough of the post-May 1 arguments coming from the Sanders fanatics and with the exception of the proper nouns, the structure of the rhetoric is becoming indistinguishable from 9/11 Was an Inside Job arguments.

A few things in particular have become the foundations of all of the pro-Sanders / anti-Clinton rhetoric, at least the rhetoric from anti-Clinton people left of center. Republicans use entirely different "logic" to come to the same conclusions. Pay close attention to the arguments from your most fervent Bernie Friends and you will notice eerie similarities to the "Reverse Scientific Method" favored by conspiracy theorists everywhere.

1. Cherry picking – This is Conspiracy 101: Take all of the available data, pick out the parts that support your argument and throw out all the rest. Go through a list of 250 polls, choose three of them, and pretend the rest don't exist. Complain about Superdelegate counts, ignore that Sanders trails by a healthy margin in pledged delegates too.

2. Appeal to Skepticism / Authority – Alternately praise and deride Experts. One minute, academics and experts don't know what they're talking about and are by definition unreliable. The next minute tout the credentials and authoritative opinion of someone who agrees with you. Denialists love this. "Scientists are full of shit. Also, look at this paper a scientist wrote proving that CO2 emissions aren't real!"

3. Arrogance / Ad Hominem – We are the enlightened seekers of truth, you are the sheeplike masses. We have a monopoly on truth and reality.

4. Moving goalposts – One minute it's about X, the next it's about Y, the next it's really all about Z. Sanders' candidacy at this point has been given any number of purposes without much discrimination. Keeping young voters engaged, helping down-ballot, moving Hillary to the left, serving as a counterweight to Trump, he's actually winning, it's a matter of principle…there is a real grab bag of options out there. When one argument is disproven (assuming the person making the argument is interested enough in facts and evidence to concede that) another is produced quickly to take its place.

5. Sudden Expertise – Like the kid who watched some 9/11 videos on YouTube and suddenly has a Ph.D. in structural engineering, lots of people who haven't paid much attention to politics until recently are able to tell the rest of us in excruciating detail how politics and elections really work. Future events are predicted with great certainty; millions of independents will guarantee a Trump victory if Clinton wins. Sanders will defeat Trump, Clinton cannot. This group of voters will do _____. This other group of voters will do ______. Mind reading is rampant.

6. Straw Man / Impossible Standards – Here is a list of flaws about Clinton, therefore Clinton is unacceptable or cannot win. You think the nomination race is over, therefore you're a Clinton-worshiping moron. The following things about Clinton are terrible, therefore there is no difference between her and Trump. On and on it goes.

7. Rotating, contradictory arguments – We must not nominate Clinton because she will lose to Trump and that will be a disaster. Also, it doesn't matter if my refusal to vote for Clinton helps Trump win because the presidency isn't really all that important or Congress will stop Trump from doing anything nuts.

8. Sinister Forces – Like any sinking ship, the Sanders campaign is developing a rich corpus of Dolchstosslegende to explain how it was cheated. The Democratic Party certainly does exert control over the nomination process in a manner that some candidates can better exploit than others. But citing these factors makes little sense. The primary calendar was established well before Bernie Sanders decided to run, not manipulated in real time to screw him. "The media is against us" is what Republicans say when they lose. Trying to turn the recent events in Nevada – which involved four delegates and is almost entirely bullshit anyway (but Politifact is not to be trusted anymore!) – reads like a textbook chapter on how persecution complexes develop in groups.

The problem is these issues aren't isolated to The Rabble in internet comment sections, a group not usually associated with making high quality arguments based on facts. This rhetoric is coming from high-ranking staffers and the candidate himself lately. After California's primary any scenarios in which Sanders wins the nomination will be so far out there that, were the campaign interested in my advice (note: it certainly is not) it might be more productive at this point to start thinking of ways to make a dignified exit that maintains and consolidates some of the positive accomplishments of the campaign. It seems like there is more to gain from coming out of this with one's credibility in tact than from adopting a down-in-the-bunker mentality. I used this exact same analogy with Clinton when she lost to Obama in 2008: In the short- and long-term, the guys who said "Oh well, we tried, let's go surrender to some Americans" did vastly better than the ones who fought until the Soviets were within earshot and then killed themselves.

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85 Responses to “IT QUACKS”

  1. Jim McGonigle Says:

    I'm surrendering to the Canadians….

  2. NC_Nate Says:

    The extent to which this primary has turned normally reasonable people into tin-foil hat wearing loonies screaming "VOICE VOTES CAN'T MELT STEEL BEAMS" has been really disappointing.

  3. cromartie Says:

    Two important things are happening today:

    1) Sanders is encouraging people to support Debbie Wasserman Schultz's primary opponent. She's terrible at her job as DNC head and should have resigned two years ago, so re-aiming fire away from Clinton and toward her is something he should do if he wants to land this plane reasonably and

    2) Sanders supporters will get five seats on the DNC platform committee as opposed to six for Clinton supporters.

    Certainly I'm going to get lit into by a Bernie true believer, but whatthefuckever. Sanders' best legacy, and he needs to start thinking about this now, is to drag this party back to the left where it belongs. Contrary to what you might think, barring a full scale disaster, political movements don't transform nations literally overnight;they recognize and seize on the discontent of the populace and nudge it in a particular direction over a sustained amount of time.

    Sanders, and his supporters, have a fantastic opportunity to do that, and if he can land this plane the right way he and his supporters can have a great deal of influence on the party moving forward. If they can channel that enthusiasm toward making the Democratic Party populist again, to borrow a phrase, then this campaign will, over time, be seen as a success.

    The problem, of course is that there's no immediate gratification in that and . So the fear is that they all take their balls and go home, instead of taking their belief system and working on changing society.

    (Or, if you want to point the generational finger, there's the danger that, like their Grandparents in the 1970s, they could just throw up their hands and say 'fuck it, I'm not getting drafted' and go off and start communes and move to the suburbs).

    But if you think there's no future in this type of movement, imagine a Sherrod Brown or Elizabeth Warren stepping up for this interview instead of Bernie.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/transcript-bernie-sanders-meets-news-editorial-board-article-1.2588306

    If I were them, I'd keep fighting for that.

  4. rafe Says:

    I have to believe that Bernie is a rational person, and as worried about a Trump presidency as I am. That gives me hope. I certainly wish Bernie had done better but in fact, he did far better than I dreamed he might, many months ago.

  5. Michael Says:

    You can tell Bernie supporters apart from HRC supporters, because they use the exact same logical inconsistencies.

    Why, it's almost as though most people are poorly-thought-out buffoons.

  6. John Danley Says:

    To make matters worse, the shape-shifting reptiles were seen coaching the actors at Sandy Hook.

  7. SeaTea Says:

    I think, ironically, Trump himself explained it well when he said "The primary system is screwed up and totally rigged, but since I won I don't care. I really don't." Whomever wins will be in charge and they're unlikely to want to change a system that allowed them to win.

  8. Kevin Kingsland Says:

    You make a lot of good points here, and I appreciate that the folks you are targeting are "the most strident Sanders enthusiasts…" who "make implausible claims with extreme conviction."

    I would like to add that a lot of the most ardent supporters of Bernie also seem to not actually listen to and take to heart the nuances of Bernie's positions on the goals of the campaign. When pressed in interviews he does state that he will do everything he can to prevent a Trump presidency. Not to try being a mind reader, but I assume Bernie is a rational person based on what I've heard and read from him, and will not run as a third party candidate, or encourage his supporters to: vote for a third party candidate; abstain from voting; or vote Trump.

    I will state I am a Sanders supporter until the candidate is officially declared at the convention. I will vote for Hillary if she is the Democratic Party's candidate.

    I assume Bernie is doing all he can to gain as much bargaining power as possible for influencing the party platform at the convention. One point I think a lot of people miss about Bernie is that, while an optimist, he is not an extremist (not even comparable to Tea Partiers like Cruz), he is good at crafting compromises, and he is not a fool. Based on his decision to run as a Democrat to try to start his political revolution, I assume he knows the pointlessness, and damage to progress of running as a third party candidate. It seems to me his hope is that if he isn't the nominee, he can keep people excited, adjust the party platform, and get more progressive candidates to step out of the weak-ass campaigning that has kept the democratic party muddling through presidental election years, and getting their asses handed to them in midterms because the DNC, and state Democratic party leaders, refuse to do anything to excite voters.

    My hope is Bernie will make good on the rhetoric of his campaign being about starting a political revolution, and not about "me" but "us." But we'll have to wait and see.

  9. Elrond Hubbard Says:

    OK,

    1. Thank you for your continued posting here and any/everywhere else. Your rare, Thomas Frank-esque ability to somehow be able to deconstruct complex ideas into simple, clear, easily consumable points, while managing to keep the overall high-browness of the thought, is enviable. F*cking Bigtime. Add to this your humor and wit, and damn baby, you fine.

    2. I took German from 8th grade – 4.5 years of college aka 8.5 years, and this is the first time I've ever seen 'Dolchstosslegende.' I don't even want to think about what other hilarious things I am clearly missing.

    Thank you, keep it up!

  10. Sunny Says:

    Thank you for this. I have been feeling really isolated—funny, seeing as how I keep getting called one of the mindless sheep—because I have the audacity to think that Hillary is better qualified and will do a better job. I would certainly vote for Bernie if he were to pull off a miracle and get the nom, but at this point it would not be because I like the guy.

  11. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Ed, I wish you had been teaching political science when I was majoring in it, but you were probably in middle school. This is an AWESOME post. I marvel at how adults can be so irrational as to prefer Sanders over all other candidates but prefer Trump over Clinton. If you live in a swing state and vote third party or write in Sanders, or stay home, you help Trump win. The lesser of two evils is still evil, but it's also lesser.

  12. Ronnie Lee Bailey Says:

    The sole argument I'll make for Bernie is that Hillary can't beat Trump. The party has chewed off its right leg in order to assure her the nomination, and now she's permanently lost 12-18 percent of her base. The Dems are bleeding out as a party.

  13. doug Says:

    Ed, A polysci tour de force. thanks. I wish I had a class under you.
    Kevin, 'he is good at crafting compromises' Say what?

    The man has never had a bill he sponsored pass to my understanding….

    Could you name a couple of these 'crafted compromises'? I like him as a candidate, but am unaware of this gift of his…
    Can you make me like him more? thanks.

  14. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Ronnie Lee Bailey: I think you're dead wrong about this. I think Clinton has a much better chance than Sanders does of beating Trump. Nationwide polls are irrelevant because the general election is actually 51 separate state (and DC) elections and because almost all states use a winner-take-all method of allocating electoral votes (EVs), and the two that don't (Maine and Nebraska) generally break all blue (Maine) and all red (Nebraska) anyway, and furthermore the rules (one EV for each House district's winner and two EVs for the statewide winner) don't permit them to split 2-2. Also, those states together represent only eight of 538 possible EVs.

    Sanders supporters are concentrated in college towns and among young voters who rarely turn out to vote. I've said for a long time that in the general election, Sanders would sweep Madison, Berkeley, Ithaca, Ann Arbor, and Bloomington (Indiana), and though we'll never know how accurate this is (and it's obviously a humorous exaggeration), I think it's fairly on point. Clinton has stood up to 25 years of Republican smears. All Trump has to do is trot out the hammer and sickle flag and Sanders is done for. If there's one thing Americans love but think they hate, it's socialism, and I don't care whether you put another word in front of it or not.

  15. Chris Says:

    Yes, hardcore Bernie supporters are making bad arguments. In classic Clinton style, the response has been to have campaign surrogates demonize them at every turn (I don't mean to imply that Ed is a campaign surrogate). This is not how you deescalate a conflict and win over the other side. This is how you alienate the people you want to vote for you. Bringing together the party takes more than just Sander's endorsement. Since Team Hillary is so confident that they've won, they need to starting acting like it.

  16. Chris Says:

    doug, he's very good at getting amendments to bills passed, not as good at getting his personal bills passed.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/24/bernie-s/bernie-sanders-was-roll-call-amendment-king-1995-2/

  17. c u n d gulag Says:

    Keep it up, Ed!
    We loves ya!

  18. NC_Nate Says:

    Chris – There is no conflict really. Honestly. I voted for Sanders but I was really impressed with Clinton's campaign website and her dedication to policy for issues that many politicians won't even touch. She even has stuff on public land policy, which is one of my pet issues and I can't remember the last time a national politician even gave it lip service.

    She is trying to bring the party together, truly. But there's a segment of the Sanders crowd who will simply not accept anything short of her dropping out, putting on a hair shirt and retiring to rural Alaska.

  19. anotherbozo Says:

    In line with traditional practice, if Bernie carries his delegates all the way to the convention, presumably he will want to win some, er, considerations before releasing them, if not exactly delivering them, to HRC. (I think–not a real authority, just old) So I thought this article was a propos and relevant, past all the crying, name-calling and gnashing of teeth:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-convention_us_573f3f7fe4b045cc9a70d454?utm_hp_ref=politics

  20. pathman Says:

    I'll keep it simple. I don't support the majority of the policies Clinton believes in. Should I vote for that? I don't think so.

  21. Andrew Laurence Says:

    pathman: In the primary, of course not. If you like Sanders, vote for him. But in the general, it comes down to Clinton v. Trump, and if you don't prefer Clinton over Trump, you're not paying attention.

  22. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Also, a lot of people who lack a background in political science forget the purpose of a primary: For party members (and in some states, the unaffiliated) to select the candidate they believe has the best chance of defeating the opposing party's nominee in the general election. NOT to select the candidate they think would make the best president. That's what the general election is for. I think either Democratic candidate would be a fine president (though Sanders is unlikely to get much done), while Trump would be a disastrous one. So my choice in the primary was the candidate I felt would most easily defeat Trump, which is Clinton. In the general, I'll happily vote for whoever is the Democratic nominee.

  23. TakomaMark Says:

    I'm sympathetic to Bernie's populist arguments with regard to policy. I'm not sure that would make him the stronger electoral candidate, but I like his positions. I don't like the fact that he's insinuating that an election where he's trailing badly in the popular vote is somehow being "stolen" from him. The majority doesn't always make the right choice, but winning the majority sure gives your right to victory a lot of legitimacy. In order to overrule the majority you need a really, really strong argument and he doesn't have any that are strong enough.

    I really don't get his strategy either. The only way for him to win, since he won't be winning on pledged delegates, is to convince the superdelegates over to his side, but he seems to be going out of his way to antagonize the superdelegates. I don't think pissing them off is the way to win them over but that seems to be his current thinking.

  24. cromartie Says:

    "The party has chewed off its right leg in order to assure her the nomination, and now she's permanently lost 12-18 percent of her base. The Dems are bleeding out as a party."

    That's adorably naive. Her retention rate will be the same as Obama's was four years ago.

    There is a demographic transition among whites, however, as The Atlantic details nicely today. You're trading uneducated whites for educated ones while maintaining the African American core group and growing support among Hispanics, which is a demographic swap I'll take 10 times out of 10, thanks.

  25. The Mason Says:

    The infuriating irony is that Sanders will probably kick ass in California, and even with all 546 of our delegates it likely wouldn't matter. That and the fact that Clinton's campaign seems to go out of its way to screw itself over.

    I may end up voting for Clinton in November, but that's only because she's so damn incompetent that California may up a swing state.

  26. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Sanders may win a majority of the popular vote in California's June 7 primary, but there's no way he'll win all of the delegates. Clinton is within about 100 delegates of securing the nomination, so even a blowout in California for Sanders would make no difference.

    I also highly doubt that California will be a swing state in the general, but I appreciate your willingness to consider voting for Clinton just to make sure.

  27. Mike Says:

    WHY MUST YOU BE A TOOL OF THE ESTABLISHMENT!

    Sorry. I couldn't resist.

  28. blahedo Says:

    As a Sanders supporter, I was *very* glad to see recent email from the campaign (cromartie above also makes reference to this) throwing support towards a variety of down-ticket pro-Bernie candidates in their local primaries. This is how the future—if any!—of the Bernie movement will have to go, if it's to have any lasting impact (other than a destructive one).

  29. Skepticalist Says:

    Every kid or nurse's aid in two western NY hospitals drools for Bernie. If by some time travel device he would win the nomination, it just wouldn't work…yet. The S word is toxic even in 2016.

    I can imagine the rants and graphics that would be prepared by the Trumpsters. One of the softer ones would probably be similar to what we have here.

  30. diana Says:

    awesome post. Thank you.

  31. Leading Edge Boomer Says:

    There exists a notable lack of attention span among advocates for Sen. Sanders. They need immediate gratification, which is folly in the US political system. To succeed, investments of energy to build a political infrastructure that makes a future difference is the way home. The new lawsuit to change the CA voter registration rules Right Now is just an example.

    They vote, but leave all down-ticket contests blank. Belatedly, the Sanders campaign is noticing that there are candidates that mostly agree with them, but no financial support is flowing there. Contrast that with the Clinton organization.

    A couple of other political scientists' research finds that Sen. Sanders advocates actually support his positions only weakly. They are less likely than advocates for Sec. Clinton to: Support a higher minimum wage; Approve of more government spending for health care; Generally favor expansion of government services financed by tax increases.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/opinion/campaign-stops/do-sanders-supporters-favor-his-policies.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

  32. Katydid Says:

    Chris: "In classic Clinton style, the response has been to have campaign surrogates demonize them at every turn "

    Well, that's the most incredible case of projection I've ever seen. The Berniebros are still acting like Teatards: http://theslot.jezebel.com/roberta-lange-tries-to-tweet-about-baseball-is-mobbed-1778222866 and making death threats because their fee-fees were hurt that they couldn't pull off illegal shit in Nevada.

  33. Leon Says:

    Left-wing revolutionaries have too short an attention span to see a revolution through. Voting for Obama doesn't get you change if you let the midterms go by unnoticed (another election?!). Then there was occupy wall street that was a thing… Once… How can Bernie make any difference that they want if they sit on their hands in the midterms like they have with his predecessor? Especially when Bernie would have radical ideas that would get no traction in the do-nothing congress.

    I actually voted for Bernie in the primary, but not without some reservations (not because of his ideas, but because of his supporters and what Ed mentions above).

    Election fatigue has set in and the conventions haven't even been held yet.

  34. X-RWU Says:

    Looking at all the people and comments freaking out over Trump getting elected… It's like 7+ years ago when I saw all the right-wingers freaking out over Obama getting elected the first time. (Disclosure: I used to look at some right-wing blogs and websites back then, if only to see what they were saying and thinking. Even today, I'll look at stuff from both sides.)

    Meanwhile, my father is confident that Trump will never be elected, FWIW.

    But my two cents? No way in hell would I vote for Trump, and while I wouldn't mind seeing Hillary or Bernie get elected, especially as a means of keeping Trump out of the White House… I'm worried that if Bernie gets elected, whenever he causes this problem or refuses to fix that problem, he'll be used as a scapegoat and an excuse to blame the Jews and whip up hatred every time something goes wrong on his watch.

  35. Andrew Laurence Says:

    X-RWU: I think where you may have gone slightly astray is in your assumption that the sorts of people who blame things on "the Jews" actually require any sort of excuse to do so.

  36. Chicagojon Says:

    Fuck me "Elrond Hubbard" is an awesome handle.

    Oh, and yah on the Bernie front. Good job, nice work, now get the fudge out.

  37. wetcasements Says:

    " This is not how you deescalate a conflict and win over the other side."

    Eh, sorry, but no. As a life-long registered Dem I don't owe Bernie or his supporters a damn thing. He was welcome to run as a Socialist or Independent but he decided to run for the _Democratic Nomination_ against a highly popular opponent, who happens to be married to a highly popular former president (among registered Dems, natch).

    And that's fine. And credit to his efforts.

    But at this point, as he and his supporters have torn into HRC after the mathematical possibility of him winning it passed, it's nothing but sour grapes and acts of petty buffoonery on the part of the Bernie Bros.

    To put it another way, let's go back six months. Me and others in this thread said all along we support HRC but will happily vote for Bernie if he manages the upset. This is anecdotal, but man, it sure as shit was hard to find Bernie supporters willing to just come out and say if Hillary wins it, we support her. (Bernie, to his credit, _did_ say this.)

    So no, sorry, the burden isn't on us to assuage your fee-fees. The burden is on you to get out and vote for the one person who stands between the White House and Trump this November.

    And if you can't be bothered to do that, you're a shitty person anyways.

    Obligatory Tbogg link:

    https://shadowproof.com/2008/02/25/your-mumia-sweatshirt-wont-get-you-into-heaven-anymore/

  38. Davis X. Machina Says:

    This is anecdotal, but man, it sure as shit was hard to find Bernie supporters willing to just come out and say if Hillary wins it, we support her

    It's not up to us. The dialectic is a harsh mistress…

  39. wetcasements Says:

    "The dialectic is a harsh mistress"

    So are closed primaries.

  40. jon Says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries,_2016

    Looking at the closed v. open primaries and all the variations of caucuses and such, the pattern that emerges is that each has won just about the same number of contests but Clinton won the ones that had the most delegates up for grabs. And that's what made up most of the difference, not open/closed or anything else.

    She's just consistently beaten him. That's the story. Everything else is background noise at a whiny pitch.

  41. Edward Says:

    This post makes a lot of accusations against Sander's voters. These accusations will be true of some supporters but does it address the strongest arguments to vote for Sanders? (Can similar accusations be made against some Clinton supporters?)

    I am opposed to Hillary Clinton because she is a war-monger as described here

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/66904/yes-hillary-clinton-is-a-neocon

    and she is a corrupt, bribed, servant of corporate interests. For example, today on the Naked Capitalism blog this article

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/05/destroying-medicare-to-save-obamacare-hillary-clintons-public-option-plan.html

    appeared discussing Clinton's "public option" plan. It concludes:

    In summary, Clinton’s attempt to save ObamaCare politically by adding on the “public option” is a bait and switch operation designed to eliminate the threat of Medicare for All.

    Bernie Sanders is good on economic issues and so-so on foreign policy matters but better then Clinton. More importantly, Sanders wants to use his campaign to build a movement that champions the issues he is campaigning on– mostly New Deal type issues. I see this as a continuation of the Occupy movement.

    The possibility of electoral fraud by the Clinton machine has been examined in a series of articles here:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/09/hillary-clinton-versus-bernie-sanders-taking-election-fraud-allegations-seriously-part-1/

    Finally, I think the emailgate scandal is being ignored by the press but it is huge. If Clinton is indicted, as seems likely, she is probably finished and Sanders will be the Democratic nominee. Maybe he isn't such a long shot? Here is an article discussing some recent developments in this case:

    http://original.antiwar.com/andrew-p-napolitano/2016/05/11/a-perfect-storm/

  42. wetcasements Says:

    "If Clinton is indicted, as seems likely"

    LOL

  43. Kaleberg Says:

    Wasn't Dolchstosslegende about the first world war in which the German government insisted victory was imminent even as Germany was losing and the Americans bringing in new resources? The surrender came as a surprise to most Germans, so the legend of some kind of back stabbing was spread in the 20s and 30s.

    The Sanders campaign came in with a big handicap. Clinton has been planning this run since '07 or so, so she had a lot of her ground team in place, and that is the kind of thing that wins elections. She's smart, but she has some terrible instincts. It's almost as if she has to fight herself to listen to what her brain tells her.

    Sanders started his campaign last year, and building an organization takes time and money. He's won a lot of delegates, but Clinton has a head start, and she has focused on the states with large delegate counts. I had a lot more respect for Sanders before his recent meltdown. I'm hoping he doesn't turn into another Ralph Nader. We really don't need a president who will make W look like a competent statesman.

  44. NickT Says:

    The only thing this post (plus comments) convinces me of is that the Democratic party is perfectly happy to vote for a candidate who obviously has no core beliefs plus a record of belligerent incompetence when it comes to foreign policy.

    They ain't perfect, but at least the Greens seem to believe in something other than the need to kiss Wall Street's ass.

  45. HoosierPoli Says:

    NickT

    There is no Green Party in the USA. You might be confusing the American system of government with Germany, where winning five percent of the vote is enough to get you a voice in government.

    The Greens seem to believe that principles are more important than outcomes – that the whole world suffered through eight years of Bush but that's A-OK because at least three percent of Floridians can pat themselves on the back for their purity.

  46. Talisker Says:

    @TheMason

    The infuriating irony is that Sanders will probably kick ass in California

    He's never led in the polls there. He's 17 points behind in the latest ones. So this statement is based on what evidence, exactly?

    I believe Ed's list needs another entry: 9) Denial / Pure Wishful Thinking.

    The fact is, Hillary has been winning more votes than Bernie. Not just a few more, a lot more. The Bernie supporters don't have to like it, but it's undignified to pretend it's not happening.

  47. NickT Says:

    @HoosierPoli

    There most certainly is a Green Party in the US. You might be confusing your wish with the facts of the matter, or perhaps you just don't think too much beyond the endless round of the two too-big-to-fail parties, neither of which now has anything credible to offer to the American people.

    http://www.gp.org/

    For the record, I was a Democrat ever since the time I first became politically aware, which was some 30 years ago. I am tired of defending a party that does nothing to address its own obvious inadequacies and has nothing to offer beyond a vague sense that the GOP are even worse.

  48. wetcasements Says:

    "neither of which now has anything credible to offer to the American people"

    Except, ya now, 10 million Americans who can now afford health care thanks to the ACA and who could very well lose it under Trump.

    And gay marriage, which will undoubtedly be rolled back under a Trump victory replete with down-ticket wins.

    And whatever crack-pots he'll cough up to the SCOTUS.

    Sorry, but adults understand that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  49. NickT Says:

    @wetcasements

    "adults understand that the perfect is the enemy of the good"

    And easily frightened children believe the story that an incompetent, frightened and corrupt Democratic party is "the good". Your party can't even organize itself convincingly at the local level and your future nominee is a widely despised party hack who wets her finger and waits for the latest passing wind to tell her what she believes. If this is what you are looking to as your brave defender of gay marriage and Obamacare, you've got some serious problems with reality.

  50. Katydid Says:

    @Wetcasements: exactly.

    "But at this point, as he and his supporters have torn into HRC after the mathematical possibility of him winning it passed, it's nothing but sour grapes and acts of petty buffoonery on the part of the Bernie Bros."

  51. NC_Nate Says:

    @NickT – See #6 in the post. Thanks.

  52. doug Says:

    OK this is maddening. Ed, get a real place where more than 50 comments are shown. You are big guy now!

  53. Andy T Says:

    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2016/05/23/it-quacks/comment-page-1/#comments

    First page of comments yo

  54. sluggo Says:

    @NickT

    Amen. Tell it like it is Brother!

    And secondly, Nader did not cause Gore to lose to Bush. About 97,000 people voted Green Party/ Nader in Florida 2000. About 300,000 Democrats voted for Bush. Not losing Democrats to Bush would have won him the Presidency.

    BTW Gore was a horrible candidate in 2000.

  55. sluggo Says:

    HRC was my fourth choice in the Dem Primary in 2008. She does not reflect my values and beliefs. I don't believe that she can keep us out of war, I don't believe that she will help my economic situation.

    I see her as a terrible candidate and a terrible president. She is an over-rated clusterfuck.

    The only reason I can come up with for voting for her is that she is not a Republican.

  56. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @Sluggo –

    You have just made Lincoln Chaffee very, very happy.

    Hillary and the DNC taken the, "Ha ha, suckers! Take it and like it!" approach since the beginning. I'm not shocked that this has driven Team Sanders a bit nutty, but I think it's time to go home, let some healing occur, and plan for the future.

    I never thought I would say this but I think the Tea Party was onto something. Get dozens of Sanders-type candidates elected to county commissions, state houses, Congress… Get Debbie Wasserman Schultz primaried and demand tough compromises from Team Hillary when they inevitably start fucking up against Trump and can't pooh-pooh young socialists with the usual impunity.

    The nomination process is essentially over but the fight is not, or shouldn't be.

  57. Talisker Says:

    @Emerson Dameron: Chaffee wasn't running in 2008. John Edwards and Bill Richardson are delighted though. :-)

  58. aaron Says:

    ideological capture is alive and well in america
    trump: demagogeury, fascist populism
    neocons/paul ryan/bush: corporate sovereignty, socially conservative
    neolibs/clinton: corporate sovereignty, socially liberal
    sanders/greens: progressive populism

  59. Dave Dell Says:

    Based on the caucus here in a deep red state I'd say there are a wide spectrum of Sanders supporters. I predict that almost all of that spectrum will vote. Vote against Trump by voting for Sec. Clinton perhaps, but vote nonetheless. I am a Sanders supporter. But I will (mainly) vote for Sec. Clinton for the following reason: Judicial nominations/appointments matter.

    One of the main arguments by those favoring Sec. Clinton to "woo" Sanders supporters to the ballot box this fall should, I feel, be just that. Whose going to appoint judges that have views that you can, if not be enthusiastic about, live with?

  60. will Says:

    Pay close attention to the arguments from your most fervent Bernie Friends and you will notice eerie similarities to the "Reverse Scientific Method" favored by conspiracy theorists everywhere.

    If you haven't noticed these same similarities cropping up in comments and posts by Clinton supporters, then you need to check your internet connection, because you are not on line.

  61. Clinton vs. Trump and the Democratic end game … « blueollie Says:

    […] from the Sanders campaign might hurt us against Trump. Gin and Tacos has a nice summary of the denialism that is going on among Sanders supporters. Paul Krugman provides a summary of the types of Sanders supporters that one encounters: Genuine […]

  62. geoff Says:

    I really wonder what Sanders was thinking when he entered the Democratic contest. (I'm also curious as to why he was allowed to run in the first place. Seems like the DNC could have said "No, you're not a fucking Democrat!") Surely Sanders realized he wouldn't get the kind of party support or media coverage Clinton was guaranteed.

    Maybe he just wanted to provide the invaluable public service of demonstrating that self-financing (through small donors) a Presidential campaign is possible. Or maybe it was just a three- quarter life crisis.

    Whatever, it's been fun watching Sanders stir up the young 'uns and say (to my ears) that both the major parties have been bought and paid for by corporate interests, but anyone who thought Sanders would get nominated for the Presidency by a party he's been a member of for less than two years (and worse, whose gravy train he threatens to interrupt) is hopelessly naive.

    So in November I'll once again dispiritedly push the touchscreen for Dr. Stein, from my ever redder red state home where my Presidential vote for whomever will be overwhelmed by a landslide for That Guy With The Stupid Fucking Hair.

  63. Skipper Says:

    Wow — looks like the Hillary camp is panicking the Bernie bashing and Bernie supporter bashing is reaching titanic proportions. I've never seen anything like this in 50-plus years of observing politics. Let me see if I can summarize the anti-Bernie message coming from Camp Weathervane:

    Dear Bernie Supporters, you are a bunch of dirtbag losers who don't know your ass from your elbow. You're a bunch of fucked-up political naifs who are out to damage the Democratic party. You're just hopeless losers looking for free stuff. Oh, and by the way, please join our club because Queen Hillary needs your support to beat the horrible Trump Man.

    Yup, that's the perfect way to get allies. Good luck with that.

  64. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @Skipper –

    This is why I wish at least Sanders himself would take the high road and start cutting deals. Clinton and her Twitter street team are so smug, divisive, and tone-deaf – and her victory is so very, very Evita evitable – that I do not trust them to beat Trump without a lot of help.

  65. Emerson Dameron Says:

    Strike "Evita" from the ^^^. :/

  66. Katydid Says:

    @Skipper; speaking for just myself, I was a huge Bernie fan until he made it clear that he had zero interest (his own words) in anything having to do with women's issues like health and bodily autonomy. I was further disappointed when he made no effort whatsoever to rein in his Berniebros who were making death threats and harassing women. Even John Freakin' McCain (may peace never be upon him) had the basic human decency to rein in his followers when they started calling Barack Obama names.

    If he's the nominee, i will hold my nose and vote for him, but he's shown me very little to like.

  67. Wayne Ruffner Says:

    For quite a while now the Big R machine has made my choices at election time simple: Always vote against Republicans. Period.

    I used to vote for Democrats, now I'm just against Republicans. I hope they (small-r republicans) come back to the middle someday soon.

    Can't change from my method yet.

  68. democommie Says:

    Nick T:

    Really? You think that there is some possibility that Trump would be a better thing for the U.S. than Clinton or anyone else that is currently on the Democratic ladder of seniority?

    It's NOT an fucking academic exercise that is bloodless–if Trump gets in the WH it will be truly fucking horrible for a significant fraction of the populace.

  69. wetcasements Says:

    "Your party can't even organize itself convincingly at the local level"

    Which is why Bernie is winning the nomination, esp. with blacks, women, and Hispanics. Oh, wait…. He's actually getting crushed by millions of votes. Go figure!

    "The only reason I can come up with for voting for her is that she is not a Republican."

    Given we have a two-party national system and will have it for another 1000 years or so, that's not really a bad thing. There are no gold stars for ideological purity. There are raging right-wing assholes poised to sit on the Supreme Court, however.

    Also, not voting for the eventual Dem nominee is, at best, half-vote-for Trump. And that makes you, in scientific terms, a dick-head.

    Please don't be a dick-head!

  70. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @Katydid –

    The Sanders camp did try to curb online harassment from his supporters.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/02/07/3746988/bernie-sanders-tells-berniebros-to-knock-it-off-we-dont-want-that-crap/

    I agree that Bernie’s big weakness is that he focuses entirely on economics at the expense of other important human rights issues, to the point of alienating women and minorities because he Just Doesn't Get It.

    Clinton, on the other hand, counters with her "How will breaking up banks end sexism?" feint, which is such obvious self-serving bullshit that it's Not Even Wrong.

    Bernie is done for now and I think he should get busy doing what he can to help the Democrats develop the "bench" of young actual progressives they need, so we're not stuck voting for HRC-type candidates until we die.

  71. Chris Hedges Says:

    the biggest form of denialism among the clinton camp

    1. disregard for months worth of national polling which has established an indisputable trend. Clinton is a weaker candidate against Trump, in both battleground states, and in aggregate of national polling

    2. Clinton can no longer compete with Sanders in terms of raising capital from transparent US citizen donations (she can only keep her campaign financed by a. Super PAC support, b. Clooney/1% neocon gala type events, c. extracting DNC money from state level fund raising)

    3. Clinton's policies, general theme, and willingness to maintain a dynamic public presence have become completely beligerent (a. reneg CA debate, b. various obscene confrontations with NVCD at events, c. brazen egotism, delusion, and naked confidence with the "I will win" guarantee, d. Increasing heavy reliance on the Trump boogeyman stump)

    we are witnessing a second meltdown. She lacked the consistency, clarity, and merit to win in 2008, the same becomes eerily blatant in 2016

  72. Khaled Says:

    My issue with this (and I know i'm hella late to the party here) is that we do not live in a monarchy. I will vote for HRC in the general, but Bernie is capturing the "OMG can't someone without the name Clinton or Bush F–king be president?" vote on the D side. The economic issues he correctly identifies will not be solved without a lot of down ticket Ds being elected. But really, that's all the left can come up with? Clinton and a socialist from Vermont? Any decent D governors like Dayton in Minnesota or any senators that aren't tools? We get Hillary, who at this point feels like a coronation and someone that looks like your crazy uncle who needs a comb. Seriously.

  73. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @wetcasements –

    Bernie supporters who sit this one out are, indeed, in my estimation, dickheads.

    I think he has prompted an examination of what makes HRC such an awful choice for so many people's futures. He and his fans should start fixing that and repairing Boomers' damage to the Democratic party.

    Pretending HRC, as she's currently running, is anything but the usual lesser of two evils and failing to examine the flaws of Triangulation because "OMG BernieBros" strikes me as equally dickheaded.

  74. paintedjaguar Says:

    Cherry picking – Complain about Superdelegate counts
    This perfectly reasonable complaint is about superdelegates being lumped in with pledged delegates by the media, since superdelegates literally do not vote until the convention. This is part of the PR war and it should be obvious how this kind of thing distorts the contest. People love a "winner" and an exaggerated differential also discourages turnout for the underdog.

    Moving goalposts
    I don't know what you're on about here. Most of the "purposes" you list are notions that have been put forth by Hillary fans, not by Sanders. I think the actual purposes of the Sanders campaign itself are quite clear. Sure, people have a variety of justifications for supporting a given candidate, some of them foolish. And how is this a complaint that's specific to Bernie?

    SInister Forces
    "The media is against us"… reads like a textbook chapter on how persecution complexes develop in groups."
    Heysus-on-a-cracker, you're taking this line now? After a solid week of both the entire corporate media plus the Democratic leadership calling for Bernie to apologize and throw his campaign under the bus over imaginary "violence" that literally never happened? The mind boggles.

  75. Talisker Says:

    @Khaled: Well, there was Martin O'Malley, ex Maryland governor. IIRC he polled in the low single digits and dropped out after New Hampshire. If the primary voters were hungry for someone who was a mainstream Democrat, Not Hillary, and Not Bernie, his candidacy might have taken off, but it was not to be.

  76. Katydid Says:

    Samantha Bee does a great job in highlighting the Bernie bros' whining and carrying on: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/24/1530629/–FEEL-THE-TURN-SAMANTH-BEE-of-FULL-FRONTAL-EXPLAINS-THE-RULES-TO-BERNIE-AND-HIS-SUPPORTERS-AGAIN

  77. Tim Says:

    I think Bernie has brought a lot to this election , getting money out of politics being one of the best . I think he deserves praise for runing on donations from ordinary people , and
    that a man who has been largely dismissed by the media has made it this far . With hardly any name recognition ,being a Socialist, and sticking to what he believes in for 40 years should get much more credit from you all . She may have started 7 years ago and didn't have a answer to XL pipeline was plenty enough to make me feel she's a weasel .

  78. Ralph Nader Says:

    The only path to a Trump administration is through Hillary Clinton

    (as was the case with G.W. – whose only route to the white house was through a similarly weak candidate like Al Gore/ progressives only support Dems when the case is compelling)

  79. Kim Says:

    FWIW-There was some huge shenanigans going on in Nevada. They have already said there was a silent meeting before-hand, to change the rules. That's why her motion did not have to be seconded and made it so only she had a say. There is a 30 or 40 minute video on the whole evening.

  80. NC_Nate Says:

    Yeah, there was a private meeting before hand, *of the rules committee*. That was made up of *half Sanders supporters*.

    And a references to a 40 minute video… Come on folks, are you trying to sound like 9/11 truthers?

  81. moderateindy Says:

    My problem is with people that call themselves progressives/liberals and then support Clinton. What in her history makes you think she is going to champion any progressive policies? Even with women's issues she hasn't been great where policy is concerned. She supported Bill's welfare reform bill. Decidedly bad for women, and children. Came late to the 15hr living wage policy. Since women are more likely to have min wage jobs, it would have been nice to be out front on this policy.Most of her stances on women's issues are pretty much mainstream Democratic policy positions.
    The thing is, this is the fist time in the last 3 decades that the democratic party has a candidate that is truly progressive, and has an actual chance of being elected. Yet people that say they are progressive choose to support someone that is going to give us the same old center right policies that have put us in the position we're in now.
    Other than her current rhetoric, which was "refined" once Sanders message started gaining momentum, why would you believe that Hillary is going to try to change the status qou?
    If you think that we need to change the direction of this country, particularly where corporations / Wall Street/ the 1% are concerned, then you actually have to actively do something that might change that paradigm. Sanders may not be able to change it, but Hillary seems to have no intention of even trying to disrupt it.
    Perhaps supporting Sanders would have been a risk, but at some point if you want to change things, you have to take a risk, and this election presented an opportunity to take a chance while having the risk part of the equation extremely reduced.
    Who knows how long it will be until we get another chance like this to elect an actual progressive? The nature of running for the President tends to favor more centrist candidates. Only the crapshow that is the current GOP, and Trump, has presented us with the opportunity to get a progressive elected. I don't see such a debacle duplicating itself any time soon.
    It seems that Clinton supporters are driven by the fear of "what might happen" instead of the promise of "what could happen"

  82. NC_Nate Says:

    @moderateindy – See #6. Thanks.

  83. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Maybe because what COULD happen is the end of our country.

  84. john andres Says:

    As a Sanders supporter I am left with a few choices. All of them smell bad. He can't win now. He was always an idea whose time has never come to the Dems. Too bad Hill goes from being a bad idea to a worse idea daily.She continues to reminds of why democrats were so happy when Bill was finally out of the Whitehouse.Now it is back to, give us this day our daily humilitation.

  85. Reza Aslan Says:

    the problem with the fanboi's and their employment of "#6"

    Is that by its logic, Donald Trump is also 100% definsible!

    We cannot hold him to impossible standards of "political correctness" and "anti-hate" in just the same context that,

    We cannot hold Hillary against impossible campaign finance, trade, energy, and health insurance/pharma standards!

    The logic of #6 is pure fluff when put under inspection