DEVIL TAKE THE HINDMOST

It's the second week of June and Republicans in Congress are already fully committed to writing this presidential election off and trying to save their own hides.

All delusions about Trump settling into Mature Campaign Mode and sticking to the teleprompter have been crushed brutally; in the first week after he promised to behave, he made a trainwreck of a response to the Orlando massacre, implied that Barack Obama is somehow involved with ISIS, and doubled down on his "Let's round up the Muslims" talk. Republicans in elected office literally cannot go one day without being asked to comment on something new and idiotic he said. And they're already crying uncle: a laundry list of prominent House and Senate Republicans – Cornyn, Barrasso, Tim Scott, Bob Corker, and many more have declared that they will no longer respond to questions about the statements of their own party's nominee. Two of the longest-serving Senate Republicans, Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander, chose to pretend they haven't heard any of Trump's statements or that Trump isn't actually the party's nominee, respectively. Two months out from the convention, it's already Every Man for Himself.

As I've said all along, regardless of the Democratic nominee we are going to see Trump destroyed by historic margins this November. He has a core of really loud, really enthusiastic supporters – and everyone else hates him. His poll numbers are abysmal. Trump is currently tied with Hillary Clinton in Utah. UTAH. The state that provided the largest GOP margin of victory in every presidential election since 2000. Even Red State, of all sources, is alarmed by his terrible poll numbers.

What we're seeing now is Republicans slowly coming to grips with the reality that this is it. This is how he's going to be for the entire campaign, unless he gets even worse. And they're shifting into survival mode. One invariant characteristic of elected officials is self-interest, and it is dawning on congressional Republicans that Trump is a disaster of the magnitude that could pull the entire party down with him – and certainly more than a few current GOP incumbents. One of the lifeboats is pulling down the entire ship and everyone is rushing to cut it loose. These people might be dumb but they're not stupid, and they're certainly adept at looking out for #1. Not one of these people like Donald Trump; they don't owe him anything, and they all realize clearly that Trump would not stop to spit on them if they were in flames. Trump is not one of them. He is an interloper. I have no sympathy for them, as they created the forces that made Trump possible, and it is gratifying to watch them scramble to avoid the fallout now. Metaphors about reaping and sowing come to mind.

The eagerness with which his co-partisans are rushing to distance themselves from Trump says more than any poll between today and November will about the outcome. It's too bad Sanders couldn't pull it out, because any Democratic nominee could crush this guy. This is not a blog one comes to expecting to feel better about the human condition after reading, but here's your optimism for the year: Americans recognize this for what it is. Not all of us, of course, but more than enough to ensure that Trump's candidacy is the disaster it was meant to be.

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54 Responses to “DEVIL TAKE THE HINDMOST”

  1. Andrew Laurence Says:

    I hope you're right but fear you aren't. Because of voter suppression and the winner-take-all system, Trump could win this thing. If he does, our only hope is that his statements are just pandering and that he'll govern as a centrist, but I think a more likely scenario is World War III.

  2. Townsend Harris Says:

    Who woudda thunk Teddy Cruz could have been outflanked and out-demagogued?
    The one-man New York Wrecking Ball Ivana Trump called "The Donald," that's who.
    Between The Donald's zipper and Hillary's impeached husband, New Yorkers gotta be proud.

  3. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    It is absurd to offer that "only hope" argument, which I've heard made by several folks who hate the Clintons. Trump is extremely dangerous to the United States as we know it. He has no interest in any legal or constitutional boundaries. Supporters are already calling for the outlawing of Islam! The best way to prove you (Ed) right is to get out and vote, where ever it is you live. And don't vote for some 3rd Party BS, Green, Libertarian, whatever. The more Democratic votes, the better. There are this time around never enough.

  4. Delbort Says:

    And also, please dear Christ, show up in 2018, too. I'm tired of electing Democratic Presidents and then handing them a thoroughly Republican congress to work with for two to six years.

  5. mago Says:

    End times for sure. Ha. Ha. Ha.

  6. wetcasements Says:

    I realize polling said Bernie would run better against Trumpolini than HRC but nope, I don't believe it.

    Sure, it sounded good at the time, but looking at the past few weeks it's clear that people might not love Hillary, but they're sure as hell going to choose her and her — admittedly — somewhat conventional, dull approach over Donald's scorched Earth approach. And what's beautiful is that Trump is now actively ruining the chances of down-ballot Republicans. Eventually, they'll have to repudiate him. It'll be a blood-bath. (Hell, Cleveland might literally be a blood-bath.)

    And then, the debates. Oh sweet FSM how I'm looking forward to the debates. Trump won't be able to spout some kind of sexist bullshit and Hillary is going to wipe the floor with him.

    Obviously, we have work to do. Vote. Register your friends to vote. Donate. Volunteer. Don't be complacent. But a healthy dose of confidence isn't such a bad thing, given how gloomy Dems tend to be about our prospects.

  7. wetcasements Says:

    _won't be able to keep himself from spouting_

    Sorry, end of the semester. Brain is fried.

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  9. Wim Says:

    What do you mean, the disaster it was meant to be? Are you suggesting that this disaster is planned? That's probably going to be the post-November conspiracy theory, anyway.

  10. Talisker Says:

    The Republican leadership still have the nuclear option: Tear up the convention rulebook, disregard the primary results, and nominate someone else in Cleveland next month.

    The immediate consequences would be ugly, as Trump and his followers threw a tantrum bigger than anything we've yet seen. For November, it might be the less bad option for the GOP. But we'll probably never know, because very few of them have the stones to consider it.

    Some further speculation: Trump is bigoted and delusional, but he's probably noticed that Congress hates him. He could be worried about impeachment. So when he picks his VP, instead of some relatively safe establishment choice like Chris Christie, he could go with an "I dare you to impeach" option like Sarah Palin or the latest Miss America.

  11. Katydid Says:

    @wetcasements; never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate. Remember, back in 2008, Sarah Palin cooed, "Can uh ca-yull yuh JOE?" because she was too stupid to remember the man's name (she also called him "O'Biden") and couldn't name any of the judicial calls she claimed to agree with, and an alarming number of Rill Merkkkuns sighed, "Ain't she purty?" and "She gives me sparkles in my pants!" These are the same folks who would happily cheer on Trump's misogyny and obvious stupidity.

  12. Talisker Says:

    @katydid: As Ed points out, there are enthusiastic fans of Trump (and previously Palin), but they are a small proportion of the electorate. Getting 20 or 25% of the vote isn't just a loss, it's a historic annihilation.

    The 2008 election was relatively close because it had John McCain at the head of the ticket. If Palin had been at the wheel instead of in the passenger seat, it would have been a different story. Also, Palin had (a little) experience of elected office and was somewhat less crass and offensive than Trump. Jeebus help us, if Trump picks Palin as running mate, she may actually be the less dumb one.

  13. Dave Dell Says:

    I have daydreams where Donald quits in a huff before the convention citing lack of support from the party. That scenario would get me to watch the R's convention. I have a nightmare where Sec. Clinton is indicted before the Dem's convention. I have an even worse nightmare where Sec. Clinton is indicted after the convention but before the election.

    "Unhappy are the people who live in interesting times." (No idea who said it first)

  14. Misterben Says:

    I know what the polls say, and I know I ignore the polls at my peril, but here's what worries me:
    [Republicans who actually like Trump] + [People who actually like Trump and have never voted before] + [People who hate Hillary] + [People who just automatically vote Republican every time]

    That's the combination that I worry could win.

  15. anotherbozo Says:

    "This is not a blog one comes to expecting to feel better about the human condition after reading…"

    Boy, howdy.

    However, the post today makes up for all the wrist-slitting inducements of the past year. This is like news that the anticipated knee-capping will NOT be taking place. Joy! Rapture! If Ed sees light at the end of the tunnel, I'm inclined to believe it.

  16. Skipper Says:

    H. L. Mencken:

    “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

    True then. True now. Read it and weep.

  17. Skipper Says:

    @Wim — the term "conspiracy theory" is rather new in our vocabulary. If you do a search, you rarely find it before the late '60s. That was when the horribly flawed Warren Report on the JFK murder was published. There were immediate questions about it from all quarters, including a significant portion of the public.

    In respone, the CIA sent out a memo to all station chiefs that anyone who questioned the report was to be ridiculed as having a "conspiracy theory." Since then, it's been used with greater and greater frequency, almost always to defend the government against any and all accusations of shady activities.

  18. sluggo Says:

    Don't underestimate Trump's chances in a low turnout election. HRC is not going to get a lot of people to the polls, and Republicans always win low turn out elections.

  19. geoff Says:

    Jeez, I hope you're right Ed. Afraid I'll be white knuckles through November, though. And I can't abide Ms. Clinton either, so it's lose-lose as far as I'm concerned. Spent like thirty minutes on the phone being lectured by my (pretty liberal) father last week on why I have to vote for Hillary. (By the way, I hate that: "Hillary". We don't call male candidates by their first names! Seems kind of belittling/ sexist to me. Don't like her, but I DO take her seriously.) So, I'm all "Red State, doesn't matter" and he's "it needs to be NOT EVEN CLOSE" and I'm all "it won't be here because I live among rednecks!" (I think he still bears some scars from the 2000 debacle.) Did not bust out the "I CAN"T VOTE FOR A FUCKING WAR CRIMINAL!!" argument, but think we're gonna need to have the "let's agree to disagree conversation" soon that so many have described here.

    Also, what Sluggo said. What happens when two widely reviled candidates run? Only the true believers bother to vote. I wanna be sedated.

  20. geoff Says:

    PS, (my) Senator Lamar Alexander has only been in the Senate since 2003. My other Senator, the under investigation for insider trading Bob Corker was briefly touted as a Trump VP pick, but I think he's too smart to crater his career by actually taking the bait.

  21. Templar Says:

    Sluggo, I disagree. Hillary support is very strong among African American, Hispanic, young, and female voters who are the core of the modern Democratic coalition and are highly motivated to oppose Trump's positions. The low turnout will be among Republicans who can't hold their noses to pull the Trump lever.

  22. Talisker Says:

    @geoff: To be fair, just saying "Clinton" can create confusion as to whether you mean Hillary or Bill. It's not dissimilar to calling JFK and RFK by their initials instead of just "Kennedy". And Bernie (Sanders) is also referred to by his first name. So I don't think it's necessarily sexist or dismissive.

  23. old white person Says:

    @ geoff and others: please explain why the Hillary Clinton hate. Have you bought 25 years of republican lies and innuendos? Is it Bill? I'd really like to know.

  24. Katydid Says:

    @old white person: I agree, I don't get the hatred. It started in 1992 when Hillary Clinton had the GALL to wear PANTS in PUBLIC and has become increasingly more unhinged ever since. Her husband? Had a consensual affair while in office. Meanwhile, the howling pack of dogs who wanted him impeached have all be caught up in far worse scandals.

    On the other hand, we had the Wasilla Wendigo that men seemingly could not stop slavering over. She was a mayor in a town of 6,000 people, who ran it into bankruptcy through stupid and crony money laundering, then had to hire an assistant mayor to run the day-to-day stuff she was too inept to run. She was elected governor by people who had no idea who she was, which she promptly quit for Hollywood. Sure, if you give her hundreds of thousands of dollars for free clothes and free hair and makeup, she looked okay back then (she's aged terribly since), but it was obvious from the first time she opened her mouth that she'd be out of her depth at a PTA meeting–never mind vice president.

    Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a law degree and tons of professional experience before becoming FLOTUS for 8 years, then she continued on in politics. She knows world leaders on a first name basis, she understands political situations, and can speak in coherent and full sentences. She knows her stuff–even her detractors have to admit that. She does her homework, and it's not a question of whether she reads–we all know she does. She spearheaded the first attempt at national health in the early 1990s and she has always been behind bettering the education and wellbeing of woman and children.

  25. cekman Says:

    Hey, Ed – what do you make of the rumor that Trump is looking into starting his own cable news network?

    If that's his grift, then it's the first time his campaign will have made any sense to me.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/donald-trump-tv-network

  26. mothra Says:

    Old White Person, I am not geoff, but I really don't care for Hillary, either. I also do not hate Hillary. I just think she is too centrist and also a bit too eager to float military intervention as a solution. Is that a Republican lie or innuendo? Don't think so….they paint her as a raving liberal who is a wimp on national security.

    Not that I won't vote for her, because hell YEAH she is miles and miles and miles better than any Republican there could ever be on offer.

  27. SunilR Says:

    @old white person: I despise Hillary Clinton's foreign policy. This doesn't go back to '92; I was happy to see her elected to the Senate in 2000. But her Iraq War vote did it for me. I think it's who she is. I don't think she was fooled by Cheney/Bush, she's a neocon who wanted that war too. Then she pushed for intervention in Libya, leaving a destroyed state in her wake. Her 'We came, we saw, he died' comment is absolutely ghoulish and disgusting to me. She wants the same outcome in Syria. I think we'll see more interventions under her.

  28. geoff Says:

    @Talisker, point(s) taken. So I usually say Mrs. or Ms. Clinton, or just write HRC (Her Royal Clinton). But "Hillary" also feels weirdly informal to me for a former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State.

    @owp, sure, part of it is Bill. He DID "end welfare as we know it", bomb Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Serbia, and of course (with PHIL GRAHAM FFS!!) significantly deregulate the U.S. banking and securities sectors, which led (at least in part) to the economic crash of 2008/2009.

    But we're talking Hillary here. I honestly don't know if she's corrupt. But taking $675,000 from Goldman Sachs (esp. when she must have known she'd be running for President) and they were among the firms contributing to the crash doesn't look good. She said that she had permission from the State Dept. to set up her own private (unsecure!) e-mail server. The State Department's Inspector General's report found no evidence that she ever even asked, and noted that her request would have been denied if she had. She had approx. 30,000 e-mails deleted from that server.

    Her State Dept. led the charge for the destruction of Libya and intervention in Syria. Her Asst. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was involved in the Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine, and is married to PNAC cofounder (with William Kristol!!) Robert Kagan. (There's speculation that Ms. Nuland would be Clinton's pick for SoS.)

    As a Senator, she voted in favor of the Iraq War (II) and the Bush tax cuts.

    In 2008 she lost the nomination to an unknown freshman Senator, and this year was barely able to beat a 70 year old Socialist from Vermont.

    So, wrappin' up, I think her foreign policy is reckless and dangerous, her domestic policy is "free market" neoliberal claptrap, and she's a lousy retail politician to boot.

  29. Katydid Says:

    @geoff; the "took money from Wall Street eleventy!!!11!!" meme has been debunked time and time again; Snopes is a good source.

    As to the private email server; not only was that standard procedure at the time, but it proved to be a lot more secure than the State Department server, which got hacked. She deleted email–so what? Do you have every single email ever written to you? At least you didn't beat the classified email dead horse–that's also long debunked (the info wasn't classified when it was sent to her–it was classified afterwards, which means she is not culpable since she can't go back in time).

    A lot of senators voted for the Iraq war based on the lies they were fed by Cheney and co.

    As for "barely able to beat" Sanders–look at the numbers again; it wasn't all that close.

  30. J. Dryden Says:

    At the risk of being simplistic:

    If you dislike Hillary, you're probably doing so for sound, considered reasons.

    If you HATE Hillary, you're probably an asshole.

  31. Delbort Says:

    @old white person
    @Katydid

    She's never met a war she didn't want to jump into with both feet or a group of Middle Eastern radicals she didn't want to sell weapons to. She's super-cozy with Wall Street and supports the current commodification of democracy. Because of her ties to Wall Street and "business leaders" she had to be cajoled into supporting raising the minimum wage and I don't think she'll remember her support of it when it comes time to. I think she'll find some reason why we can't have that right now and we need to move on to something else.

    And, to clarify before I'm inevitably called on it, she supports getting "dark money" out of politics, but she's perfectly OK with the current system of campaign finance so long as you know where the money's coming from. And why wouldn't she be, she stands to make millions. Politics has become the biggest grift in this country and she doesn't mind keeping it that way.

    Here I get a little shaky, but she seems like a White Feminist. Her support of women's rights seems like it ends at abortion and birth control, which are important, to be sure, but are hardly the only issues facing women. To wit, I reference her talking to a young black voter about diversity in politics to which she replied "Why don't you go run for something?" which is at the very least not helpful.

    Overall, my problem with her is she doesn't seem to have any positions of her own other than "what will get me elected?". When she came out in support of gay rights it was only because it was the safest position, politically, and her lack of support was beginning to hurt her.

    Her progressiveness is a mile wide and half an inch deep: she knows all the words but none of the steps. Unfortunately, now that she's defeated Sanders, she is the most progressive candidate running. I won't vote for her: I live in Louisiana and I could vote for a child rapist who eats dog shit and it wouldn't matter, but I highly encourage anyone in a swing state to vote for her. And give her a Congress that will do the things we want. And vote in the midterms VOTE IN THE GODDAMN MIDTERMS I SWEAR TO GOD

  32. geoff Says:

    Thanks J. I find it embarrassing disliking Ms. Clinton, because so many assholes (as Katydid correctly points out above) hated her from DAY ONE (1/20/93 or so) for the crime of being a well-educated, intelligent and articulate, and socially liberal WOMAN. Who wore pants. ("Oh noes!!")

    And I recognize that almost all of the Republican House "investigations" of the Clintons over Whitewater/ Travelgate/ Filegate were bullshit. (They got lucky with Monicagate, but Bill kinda walked into that one.)

    But I can't and won't forgive the destruction of Libya. Sure, it's on a smaller scale, but how's it really any different than what GWB did in Iraq? (By the way, I don't care about the Benghazi "scandal". If they hadn't deposed Kadaffi, it wouldn't have happened in the first place.) But "we came, we saw, he died"?! That, and the extralegal drone assassination of US citizens (even if bad guys like Anwar al-Awlaki) are just completely beyond the pale to me.

  33. Beleck Says:

    Hillary is the greater Evil. lol. I'd vote for Stalin before i'd vote for Hillary. Hate Hillary, No way. she is just by far the greatest danger when compared to idiot Trump. Hillary oozes EVIL like Cheney. More frightening to watch Hillary than any stupid Trump.

    the Media loves Neocons and Hillary is the finest one out there. so enjoy more wars, more Wall St. ownership. that is Hillary. hate only hurts those who hate, not the object of the hate.

    enjoy your Corporate Oligarch and the new Female Plantation Master, Hillary

  34. Bitter Scribe Says:

    My biggest fear is that some knuckleheaded Trump opponents will do something stupid in the streets of Cleveland and galvanize support back to his side. Please, for the love of God, keep it peaceful. Or better yet, just stay home and watch the Republicans destroy themselves on TV.

  35. Bitter Scribe Says:

    geoff: The difference between our interventions in Iraq and Libya is that Iraq was a flat-out invasion, for reasons that proved to be bogus. Libya was a spontaneous uprising by a long-repressed people. We sent no soldiers there; our only role was to keep Qaddafi from using his air force to slaughter his own people, thereby ensuring his downfall.

  36. Beleck Says:

    Ignorance is Hillary's greatest friend. those who know nothing abut the Middle East are ripe for the picking. just reading the errors of what led to this or that explains why Hildebeast can pick up lots of low info votes.

    Education really does make a difference. that's why they privatized Schools. Charters et al.

    Hillary really thanks you for not knowing.,

  37. Katydid Says:

    Thanks for chiming in, Beleck. I'm afraid you can't talk sense into the "Freedom fries!–They hate us for our freeeeedom!!!" people.

  38. Noel Barrett Says:

    Bitter Scribe: Good to worry about the knuckleheads in Cleveland – a bigger worry is a Reishtag fire or in this case a Trump Tower fire – doubt the Trumpist & Bundy dopes could think this up (much less know the history) but the Tower would be a great target for the ISIS heads too – whichever group of assholes did the deed, the resultant Trump victory would be just what each wanted!

  39. Skepticalist Says:

    Donald Trump is exciting much like a strain of a virus thought long dead. Dumb me, I was stunned at just how prevalent it still is. Fortunately the chosen leader is a 12 year old child that can't shut up.

    Hillary may be boring as hell but she's an adult, knows how to play the game which is no fun but necessary in a world in serious need of adults.

  40. SunilR Says:

    @Bitterscribe: Both Iraq and Libya were regime change operations. Yes, we first planned to occupy Iraq for a long time, but our puppet didn't play along. As for the humanitarian claims for our Libyan intervention, they mean as much as the bogus reasons given for the Iraq War. We don't intervene for humanitarian reasons, we just pretend that's our reason.

  41. Nate Says:

    I don't really worry about Hillary getting indicted or not. If she does, the Dems will do the easiest and probably smartest thing and choose the runner-up in the primaries, which is Sanders, who I like quite a bit more than her. If Trumplekins gets indicted due to his diploma-mill adventures, who does the Republican party have from that "deep bench" that won't also get blown out in historically large margins? Cruz? lol.

  42. Isaac Says:

    Others have said what I've been trying to come up with words for. I dislike Secretary Clinton, based especially on her actions as Secretary of State that helped escalate the destabilization of the Middle East and North Africa. And like every Democrat nominee I've ever seen in front of me on a ballot (I'm 36), not really inspiring, genuine, or believable, but I'll vote against the Republican AGAIN. I don't Hate her though. I'll reserve that for if she starts WW3 or something. But Trump? Hate isn't nearly a strong enough word. The day of his funeral will be a national holiday.

  43. Deggjr Says:

    'Hillary voted for the Iraq War' is a Republican talking point to minimize the Bush administration's responsibility for the war. It may be helpful to review the AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002 and its timing.

    From the text:
    “(a) Authorization.–The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to–(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

    The resolution passed on October 16, 2002. The bombing of Iraq began on March 20, 2003. President Bush used over five months to determine to make his decision. The resolution that Hillary Clinton and many others voted for did not require the use of force. Her vote is not to her credit but she didn't vote for the war.

  44. HoosierPoli Says:

    I hate Hillary for what she said and did in 2008, when only Democrats were paying attention. I don't have the slightest interest in the soap opera bullshit of the 90s. The crap she pulled in the 08 primaries has tarred her permenantly in my eyes.

    I'll only vote for her if it looks like I need to, but it's not looking like that at the moment.

  45. Katydid Says:

    Thanks for that link, Deggjr. HoosierPoli, yeah, Hillary's camp was a jerk in 2008, but here's how I look at it–you're wasting your time hating the person who stepped on your foot while all around you the mob is setting fire to the place and raping your wife.

  46. svnski Says:

    Sweet swingin Jeebus…

    As a non-US reader of this blog, I really can't believe how American liberals can honestly not back any Democratic candidate over Trump. Whatever HRC has and/or might do isn't in the same ballpark as the damage that The Donald could wreak on the world.

    Seriously, pull your heads out of your arses and actively fight off the very real rise of proper bigoted facism in your country. Sure, you might not have the perfect liberal candidate to support, but for fucks sake, DONALD with the launch codes???

    And if you really want to move your country to the left, campaign, volunteer, vote, whatever you have to do, on the state, county, school board, water baord, hall montor, whatever stupid elections you have all the fucking time. Grow it from the roots. Play the long game.

  47. SunilR Says:

    I think it's a total cop-out for Democrats to claim they weren't authorizing force, but just giving Bush the option to use it. They were voting for war and they knew it. There's a reason the vote was held in October, before an election. The White House and Republican leadership knew Democrats wouldn't have the guts to vote no, and they were right. But anyone who was paying attention KNEW Bush was going to war. Hillary Clinton defended her vote for years. That's who she is, it it's what she'll do again in the White House.

    If you want to vote for her, that's one thing, but people supporting her should know what they're voting for. I don't think she was fooled by Bush/Cheney. If she was fooled she's too dumb or lazy to be president. There wasn't any shortage of reporting that pointed out the flaws in the Bush/Cheney propaganda.

    She's not dumb and she's not lazy. It's possible that she too was gutless, which I thought at the time. I don't think that anymore. Libya shows that her Iraq vote wasn't an aberration. Her admiration for Kissinger shows us who she is and what she believes.

  48. Robert Says:

    Anyone and everyone who expressed skepticism about the necessity of the Iraq war at the time was calumniated, excoriated and anathematized. I'm sure that Clinton already had her eye on '08, and knew that openly opposing Barbarian George's Excellent Crusade would seriously impact her chances. For some reason, my perception of her as a cool-headed, practical schemer with blood so cold it would give a penguin chilblains does not bother me – it's almost Kennedyesque.

    In short, anyone who seriously thinks that President Trump would be better for the country than President Clinton 2.0 is receding from objective reality fast enough to cause a red shift.

  49. Heisenberg Says:

    @deggjr: You're delusional. It was a vote for war.

  50. joel hanes Says:

    It's too bad Sanders couldn't pull it out

    I like a lot of Sen. Sanders policies and positions.

    He'd have made a very poor President.

  51. SunilR Says:

    @Robert,

    I'm not saying Trump would be better. I am saying that in voting for Hillary Clinton Democrats will be voting for a hawk. If she wins she will take it as an endorsement of her positions. For some that will be true. For the lesser-of-two-evils crowd it won't be true, but that's how she'll take it. Her bombing campaigns will be less random, and she'll tell us she's doing it for humanitarian reasons, not to make 'Murrica great again. But it will be the usual imperialism, with the piles of dead bodies we never have to see.

  52. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Heisenberg: How do you know what she was thinking when she voted for the authorization? Maybe she just saw it as authorizing the President to use force if he chose to do so. Without such authorization, he probably would have done so anyway.

    I wish she'd voted against it, but it wouldn't have changed the outcome, and it's a pretty poor reason to prefer Trump to her 13 years later. Do you harbor any illusions that Trump would have voted differently?

  53. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @SunilR: You're not wrong, but at this point it's a choice between her and Trump, and that's an easy choice to make even if you don't like either of them.

  54. Isaac Says:

    This guy says it pretty damn well: https://samkriss.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/learning-to-live-after-bernie-sanders/