I'm getting to the point of personal overload on this election and hoped to take a little break for some different topics this week, but who am I kidding. So, quick roundup of Day 1 of the DNC.

This was well-scheduled. Give the first night to Sanders and Sanders supporters. He gave a terrific speech, as did Michelle Obama. Elizabeth Warren, meh. She had a zinger or two. But that address gave me a little more insight on what her potential limitations as a presidential candidate could be. She, like Barack Obama, has a Professor Mode. She's more of a lecturer than a "Let's go burn this motherfucker down" orator. She didn't do badly. It was just "meh."

Sanders insisting on a roll-call vote for the nomination is irrelevant. If that formality makes his supporters feel a little better, great. The outcome is the same whether the vote is counted or done by acclimation. Nothing gives any candidate the right to be elected by acclimation, so there's zero benefit to pushing for it.

And this is the part where I'm going to try very hard to be Good. To be Nice.

The more I listen to them, the more it's clear that the fundamental disconnect between Sanders supporters who will vote for Hillary and Sanders supporters who will not vote for Hillary is not an ideological one. It is a difference in worldview. And while not all of the "No Hillary" Sanders supporters are young, they seem to share in common a worldview that is often stereotypically ascribed to "millennials" (if that term even means anything anymore). There have been moments in my career dealing with college students in which I've been left speechless – you can appreciate how rarely I'm unable to fill the air around me with words – by their worldview. It's not a liberal-conservative thing, it is the apparent expectation that the world somehow has to make itself appealing to them. For example, I've had exasperating conversations with students who refuse to accept their only job offer because it either doesn't pay them what they have decided they're worth or it isn't "fun" enough for them. And I ask them sincerely, "So do you expect to just wait until the job market gives you what you'd like it to give you?" And you'll have to take my word on this: Some of them say yes. Some of them really do move back in with mom and dad and not work at all for years – years – waiting for something they think is worthy of them to come along. And of course it never does.

The "No Hillary" people they interviewed on MSNBC may have been cherry picked, but the ones that didn't sound dumb as a post expressed a large, visible amount of frustration with this process and with the fact that the choices available to them are unpleasant. People feel this kind of frustration all the time in all areas of their lives. The thing I just do not understand though – and here is the unbridgeable divide – is why they feel that if the choices don't please them, then they can refuse to make a choice until they get one they feel is worthy of them.

Nobody has to vote. The Sanders people are not in any way obligated to vote for Hillary Clinton or at all. Similarly, the students who don't like the jobs they're offered are free to refuse and wait for something else to come along. However, in both cases they seem destined to learn the hard way that refusing to do anything that you're not over-the-moon enthusiastic about doing is not an effective way of bringing better options to the table for the future. I just feel sorry for anyone whose approach to any part of life, including politics, is "I'm devastated if I don't get exactly what I want." God almighty, life must be one crushing disappointment after another to a person with that attitude. There are a handful of Hillary loyalists who really super-duper love Hillary Clinton, but they are a distinct minority. As with any other candidate, most people who plan to vote for her just like her better than the other options. Nobody promised us a rose garden. Sometimes you make a choice you don't love because you admit to yourself that the alternatives are worse. Is anyone reading this really excited about getting up and going to work tomorrow? I bet not. But you're going to do it – we're all going to do it – because it's the best choice we have at the moment.

To people whose worldview precludes that, politics, and I daresay a lot of other parts of life, is indeed bound to be extremely disappointing and frustrating.

150 thoughts on “LET IT ALL OUT”

  • Finally, something I can mostly agree with.

    Goethe, that bellwether of German intellectualism, has a line that reads, 'wie die Alten sungen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen'.

    If he were around today, I guess he'd be at a loss for words. Can't blame the kids, though, holding the melody's what we're teaching them.

  • HoosierPoli says:

    I'm a millenial, technically. I chuckle at "You're a 90s kid if you remember" memes. But there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between those of us who lived through the shambolic nightmare of the 2000 election and swore never, ever to repeat those mistakes, and those of us who were too young to remember hanging chads and margins of 400 votes and "not a dimes worth of difference" and are indignant, even ENRAGED when someone who is only ten years older tells them that if you don't vote for the lesser of two evils, you will get the greater of two evils, and when you realize just how much evil that is it will be too late to take it back.

    A 21-year-old was five when Bush was elected. Bush v. Gore is a paragraph in a textbook if it's mentioned at all. They're shaking their fists and swearing that the|ll vote Johnson or Stein and get Trump elected and THEN the Democrats will FINALLY listen to them. And I can only hope that the seeming breadth of this opinion is simply an artifact of the oversized mouthpiece that places like Reddit give to imbeciles because if millions of people really think this way then we are well and truly FUCKED.

  • Deep Thought says:

    I'm also border-line millennial. If I'm brutally honest with myself, I display some of these personality traits.

    Is it really surprising though? Modern culture provides such a variety of music/TV/books, and via the Internet "friends", that if you don't like something, you can keep searching until you find something you do like. These are often the way people define themselves on quite a deep level.

    But the political system in the US (and UK) doesn't let you do that. There are only two effective choices, which leads to a cognitive-dissonance inducing level of compromise. You raise a generation (or two) who are encouraged to make choices all the time, on everything from what subjects they study down to what color their shoelaces are and then expect them to like that?

    "Any color you like, as long as it's black" has long died. Modern consumer culture is this antithesis of the compromise that is required to co-exist with your neighbours.

  • Boomer here. Not a swing state. If it has an R after it's name they'll vote for it overwhelmingly here in deep red NE. So I'm a voter for third party candidates Anderson, Perot, Socialist whoever, green whoever, Marijuana Party this year if they're on the ballot.

    My impact on the Presidential election? Zero. Zip. Nada.

    That's not true on the local and statewide level. That's where it counts. That's where I hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil.

    Not all politics is Presidential but you'd think so if you judge by the attention paid. I can't tell you who is running for Congress in my district to try to unseat the incumbent R.

  • SiubhanDuinne says:


    Otherwise, good post and interesting analysis.

  • As a baby boomer I remember the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention and the 1972 takeover of the party by the McGovernites. Idealistic or not and proven right or not this sent the Democrats into the wilderness. The Republicans were able to show that they were more in tune with the country and were able to elect a string of presidents and eventually take over the congress.

    The Constitution set up the federal government with checks and balances and over time custom and precedent allowed the two parties to work together. We didn't get everything that we wanted when we wanted it, but there was steady progress. The Republicans are ignoring this in order to get and keep power for the rich.

    I think that party members actually elected to government office should have a weighted say in the party rules. I love Bernie's ideas. I'm glad that he was able to move the party and Hillary to the left. I would rather have the party stay focussed on electing Democrats rather than being "pure".

    I've seen Elizabeth Warren speak without notes at Netroots Nation and she was electrifying. I'm mad that CNN didn't show Sen. Jeff Merkley's speech and I see on twitter that MSNBC cut away. He is a progressive with some great ideas who should get more national exposure.

    I watched last night's coverage on CSPAN. One bit of advice I'd like to pass along to the DNC is to give your speakers some lessons in public speaking. A lot of them yelled into the microphone. That isn't necessary. Your ears fool you because of all the background noise. It's like people on a cell phone in talking to somebody who is in a noisy area. They start talking loudly even though it isn't necessary. Also there is a cadence that you need when speaking. Some of the speakers just spoke too fast. And you don't have to lean right into the microphone. It picks up your S sounds and your speech gets distorted.

    Let's get out there and get Hillary into the White House and the Democrats at least in control of the Senate and then work on Governors and state houses so that we can control the redistricting after the 2020 census.

  • Great post. I've unfollowed a fair number of #BernieBros after literal death threats. They are unhinged in a unique way that I literally can never comprehend.

    The interesting angle for me is party politics. Bernie could have run as a Socialist or an Independent but didn't. And that's significant. Like, why the fuck should my Democratic Party be beholden to people who haven't been bothered to vote in the past few election cycles?

    I take comfort in the fact that a lot of the douchebags were never going to vote for HRC in the first place. We don't need 'em. So fuck 'em.

  • U.S. in the EU says:

    "why they feel that if the choices don't please them, then they can refuse to make a choice until they get one they feel is worthy of them"

    This makes the false assumption that Clinton simply displeases them. There are a lot of good reasons to be neutral or even antagonistic towards her (and the DNC). It's not that Sanders (or whoever else) is the first best (as economists like to say) or preferred choice. It's that he may be in the mind of the voter, the only choice. Yes, maybe the only one *worthy* of the one vote one gets to cast.

    I am not making this assertion but it must be reckoned with before the 'lesser of two evils' argument get deployed.

  • 'may have been cherry picked,'
    I think assuming they were cherry picked is a safer bet on any network 'person in the street(room) interview'. Nothing gets televised by chance on network news.

  • Townsend Harris says:

    Citizens who can't be bothered to vote against Trump are saying, in the loudest way possible, "it's fine by me if The Donald appoints a few justices of the Supreme Court".

  • Hmmmmm.

    Could I just drop a quotation here?

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (G. B. Shaw)

    Let's put the Sanders issue to one side for a moment.

    The American elites have spent the last 40 years telling the peasants that they're paid too much, that they're lazy, that they're spoilt, that everyone else works harder than they do, that they're laughed at for being soft, that they should swallow their pride and just settle.

    And they've done so.

    And, as a result, they've lost everything.

    Americans used to be the best-paid people on the planet. Now they're well on their way to the Third World.

    Do your overlords settle for less? Of course they don't. They are among the richest people who have ever existed. And this arrogance, this expectation that everything in the world is there for them alone, seems to be frighteningly effective in delivering the good things in life to them. They tell you to tighten your belts, then sweep the table. Your society does not reward hard work. So why continue preaching as though it did?

    If I really thought that the nasty millennials were finally seeing through the sermonizing, and refusing to settle, that would strike me as a hopeful sign. Unfortunately, I suspect that these are upper middle-class youths with doting parents, behaving as they always have. (Most dopey articles about millennials are about those, as they are the only sort of young people that wealthy columnists talk to.)

    How long are Americans going to keep telling themselves "I am of no account and I must know my place"? How is "Life's a bitch and then you die" a leftist position?

  • HoosierPoli says:

    Andrew W: I'm with you all the way. What I'd like is for you to show me how you get from there to "and that's why we should elect a fake billionaire huckster psychopath, because certainly he'll swing the pendulum back to the little guy."

  • GunstarGreen says:

    "Life's a bitch and then you die" isn't a leftist position — it's the position of someone who sees the world for the way it is and accepts that it is so.

    After Bush v. Gore and the latest revelations about how the DNC did Sanders, I have trouble understanding people that persist in believing that their vote actually counts. They have two high-profile pieces of evidence to the contrary, to say nothing of all the times when it wasn't so bleedingly obvious (people still vote on Diebold machines, machines which have been hacked to play Pac-Man without ever touching the tamper seals).

    There was, in incredibly recent history, a rich kid who literally got away with killing FOUR people as a drunk driver… with the LEGALLY-ACCEPTED excuse that he was too rich to know any better.

    The wealthy and powerful will get what they want, and you are not wealthy and powerful. Everything else is kabuki theater. Very high-production-value kabuki theater, but kabuki theater nonetheless.

  • @HoosierPoli: I didn't get there (see the sentence beginning "Let's put…").

    Also, Reddit is not remotely representative of anything except white otaku.

  • @ Gunstar Green:

    You write "The wealthy and powerful will get what they want," and (sort of in reference to that) "it's the position of someone who sees the world for the way it is and accepts that it is so."

    I am worried by your use of the word "accept" here.

    Do you mean "apprehend", or "be permanently resigned to the fact"?

    If it is the first, I don't see how it contradicts what I said.

    If it is the second, then…

  • "How the DNC did Sanders". You mean, evaluated his positions and decided another candidate was stronger? The HORROR!!!

  • If you live in a swing state, get your ass to the poll, hold your damn nose and vote HRC. You have an obligation to do the right thing.

    If you live in a state that isn't in play, vote your conscience. Via con dios.

  • As a leftist who is very disappointed by the Clinton nomination, I have some problems with your analysis. We are not consumers who are forced to choose between Coke and Pepsi, nor are we in the powerless position of graduating students in a tight job market. We are citizens of a nominal democracy and it is our obligation to choose leaders for our nation. If we have a political system that provides only bad choices, then we need to find a way to change it.

    Certainly Hillary Clinton is better than Trump, but that's not saying a lot. For at least 4 decades, those of us who are FDR/Henry Wallace Democrats have been told to suck it up and "work within the system" and things will be better next time. Of course, every 4 years both parties move further to the right. There's quite a huge distance between say RFK and HRC or between Dole and Trump.

    Those of us who want a more progressive nation need to find a way to achieve our goals, not because we are spoiled brats but because the nation is in serious danger. We face climate change, racial unrest, severe income inequality, and a government that cannot spend enough of militarism and corporate welfare, but wants to do that while cutting taxes and slashing what little remains of the social safety net. Not only do Clinton/Trump have no plan to address any of those issues, they espouse policies that will make them worse.

    Voting for a 3rd party candidate, at least in those states where the outcome is not in doubt, might be one way to force the Democratic Party to the left. If that strategy is too dangerous (because Trump!) then we are probably going to wait until it's too late.

  • This past spring, I had the "pleasure" of interviewing various managers' 20-something kids to come in as a junior-level (but mid-grade pay…) summer web developer. Time after time I gave the spiel of, "The job consists of blah-blah-blah" and got back outraged stares and "But I don't WANT to do any of that." It's just ASSumed that they'll get any job they apply for, and in their minds, they set the tasking of the job, not the other way around. It really rocks them back on their heels when you tell them, "Then it sounds like you're not a fit for this job." Whaddaya mean, they're SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES that any office would be THRILLED to have. Definitely children of the Boomers.

  • Ed, I just don't know. I'm not suprised to see *gasp* corruption in a political organization, but for the Clinton campaign to immediately hire Wasserman-Shultz, it seems a pretty clear signal that they don't care what this particular peasant thinks. You are right to press the argument about the Supreme Court and everything else, but there is a line we are quickly approaching where I'm no longer willing to be my brother's keeper.

  • Just received Bernie's email to his smitten followers calling for them to "Join Our Revolution and help continue our critical work to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the 1 percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice. Add your name here" — NO WHERE in the entire screed is the suggestion that the FIRST step in their REVOLUTION is to do anything and everything to defeat Adolph Trump – he is bordering on being as egomaniacal as the Donald as he continues to ill serve his followers.

  • OtherAndrew says:

    I don't see that the Democratic Party has been tending right, CharlesD. Obama is to the left of Bill Clinton. Hilary is approximately the same or to Obama's left. A socialist like Sanders couldn't have run a decade or more ago in the Democratic primary. Almost every leftist policy and advance since Reagan was proposed and implemented by a Democratic politician.

    It's true they aren't a party of European liberals but they aren't drifting to the right.

  • " but for the Clinton campaign to immediately hire Wasserman-Shultz" @Safety-Man, you might want to check your facts.

    To quote Mark Sumner: "Being an honorary chair does not mean that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is “in charge of” Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It doesn’t mean anything. That is, unless you think President Obama’s 2012 campaign was run by actress Eva Longoria; or former Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee; or high school guidance counselor Loretta Harper—all of whom were among 24 people who served as honorary co-chairs of Obama’s 2012 campaign.

    Being an honorary chair is not a job. It’s a courtesy. It’s the associate producer of politics. It’s an empty title handed out to help ease Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of her chair and make it slightly more palatable for her to leave a job she’d done (badly) for five years without putting up a fuss.

    It’s a face-saving sop. " (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/7/25/1551930/-Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz-did-not-get-promoted-and-she-s-not-running-Hillary-s-campaign)

  • I think that some of this attitude from younger people comes from the fact that they mostly have grown up with both parents in the work force, and I bet all of us would have liked to have gotten the job we wanted to do instead of what we settled for, and we encourage our kids to not settle but to go for their dreams. So I don't blame the younger folks entirely.

    We are also a country that doesn't like work or workers. We like success. So our kids have grown up in an environment where success is valued, but work, not so much. Especially not certain kinds of work.

    I see this in every aspect of life – we don't want or know how to put the work in to end up with the results we want. This is the Bernie campaign through and through. I was reading the article this morning about Bernie's woeful/non-existent attempts to pull in black voters – Danny Glover's account of a rally at an HBCU showed that the work was not being done. This does not speak well of what Bernie would do in office – especially since it was indicated that Bernie knew he was weak in the area of communicating how his economic ideas would impact people of color – so he avoided it. I think we dodged a bullet, really, by not having Bernie win the nomination. (And I voted for him in my state's primary).

    Clinton is a hard worker, by all accounts. I will be delighted to vote for her in November.

  • @Katydid DWS being honorary chair doesn't mean anything, except a big fuck you to Sanders supporters. How, precisely, is HRC saving face?

  • Sometimes you make a choice you don't love because you admit to yourself that the alternatives are worse.

    Indeed. This isn't complicated.

    It would be nice to fix the political system to offer better choices. By all means, go out and work on that for the 1460 days between Presidential elections. But on Election Day, if you want to stop Trump, vote Hillary. Yeah, it sucks to be in that position. President Trump would suck a lot worse, so get over it.

    If you vote for Stein, Johnson, or Mickey Mouse as a write-in, it may give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside; but for the purpose of determining who will be the next President of the United States, it will achieve precisely nothing. It is functionally equivalent to not voting at all. Given how dangerous Trump is, I don't consider that a responsible action.

  • I'm a "Gen X" adjunct, I've seen lots of "kids" –and even my own sibling– turn down opportunities when it doesn't seem to make sense. And I don't think it's fair to say, as some say and/or imply, that they're special snowflakes who only want the perfect thing. In my experience it's more that they're afraid of failing, and anything that doesn't seem like a perfect fit (like a job that they can do right away with little training if any) is a failure.
    Given how few people have the patience to read through a manual, given how many kids grow up hearing "good job" for every little thing and steered away from failure (or even mediocrity, depending on the social structure they're growing up in), it makes sense to me.

  • @Monica; as a GenX'er, I entered the workforce and have spent most of my career having to hear how my entire generation sucked and couldn't hold a candle to those who were stoned at Woodstock. For my generation, it wasn't a matter of waiting for JUST the right opportunity, the one that would pay us like kings for spending 8 hours updating our Facebook and finding Pokemon–for my generation, it was a constant struggle to take whatever opportunity we were allowed and to run with it, to succeed despite the constant drumbeat that we would never amount to anything simply because we were born into the "wrong" demographic.

  • @katydid

    Um, I never said that Debbie Wassermann-Shultz was running the Clinton Campaign. I just said they hired her. Yes, it is a face-saving thing, but why couldn't it have been a DNC position in FL? It strikes me as rather tone-deaf.

  • ClockworkSteve says:

    Cheers to @CharlesD for a good response, and I'll add my two cents.

    Clinton does not share my goals or values, and I am not obligated to vote for her. Voting for whomever the Democratic Party chooses, regardless of how distateful, is a sure path to never getting a better candidate. I was born in the mid-60's and I don't need the perfect candidate, but I need a candidate that I agree with on financial reform, healthcare, education, minimum wage, or reducing foreign intervention, just to name a few.

  • @Katydid Fabulous comeback. Great to discover you're intelligent enough to navigate the issue. That's the best you can do?

  • Pete Gaughan says:

    @mm "give your speakers some lessons in public speaking": Yep. Even Al Franken (a professional entertainer!) had a horrible night, mechanically — tripped over his own tongue a dozen times. I love Trumka and Grijalva but it's obvious they both came up through the ranks in non-amplified VFW and union halls.

    @sluggo: AND, no matter what state you live in, vote for progressive local candidates. State leg, county supers, city council, hell even dogcatcher — elections can matter.

    @OtherAndrew: "A socialist like Sanders couldn't have run a decade or more ago in the Democratic primary." Maybe, but it's not a wild idea. We've always had an anchor stone on the left: Dennis Kucinich, Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy. Sanders was further left and surprisingly more successful, but he's in the same tradition.

  • @ClockworkSteve: To paraphrase JFK: Ask not what you need from your country, but what your country needs from you.

    Which is more important: Your need to vote for a candidate who ticks all the boxes on your personal list? Or the USA's need for your vote to prevent a President Trump?

    If you live in a solid blue state, you may claim your vote's not needed, and in a sense you may be right. But the paradox would be that you only have this luxury because millions of others in your state will go out and vote for Hillary.

  • @anon – "DWS being honorary chair doesn't mean anything, except a big fuck you to Sanders supporters. How, precisely, is HRC saving face?"

    For fuck's sake, it's the act of an empathetic person. Clinton, Obama and others like DWS (for some reason), and giving her meaningless honorary position is a kindness to someone in a low time, even if it was of their own making.

    Maybe not all of us need to see our enemies humiliated and driven before us in rags. Unless it's Trump, of course. That fucker deserves it.

  • I won't insult Bernie Dead-enders by trying to convince them to vote for HRC.

    I wish they'd stop insulting our collective intelligence that Trump won't roll back eight years of genuine progress re: ACA and gay marriage.

    Oh yeah, and moved to Supreme Court significantly to the left.

    Feel free to vote your conscience and enable Trump. We'll feel free to call you out as genuine assholes who have mistaken principle for narcissism.


  • This post seems to dismiss out of hand the reasons voters might have to oppose Clinton. She is close with the neocons and may appoint Flournoy as Secretary of Defense and Nuland as Secretary of state she. She has a terrible record as secretary of State, supporting the coups in Ukraine, Egypt and Honduras and midwifing the destruction of Libya and Syria. She threatens to start a war with Syria and possibly Russia. She will probably end the Iran deal. She supports Israeli apartheid. She is in the pocket of Wall Street. As far as I am concerned she is guilty of mishandling classified emails but the Obama justice department is letting her skate. Why did she need to conceal her emails from FOIA requests? There is evidence of election tampering during the primary so she is willing to disenfranchise voters for her own ends. What will she do to end the corruption in Washington? She supports fracking, at least abroad. She is terrible and dangerous.

  • Like politicians, voters can compromise, too. It gets things done.

    Of course some voters strive to be Ron Paul: lots of consistency, plus a newsletter with lots of fanatics saying how great and special and amazing you are.

  • In case I missed it.

    For those who make the assumption that it's okay to vote your conscience in a "safe" state:
    2 words; Diebold, Florida

  • I'm disappointed, Ed.

    I'm in the same generation as katydid and experienced the working world in much the same way. While it galls me to see the children of boomers able to float around on parental money and expect everything to work, I don't think them stupid or lazy for doing so. They are responding to incentives, just like everyone else. By lumping all die-hard Sanders supporters under this umbrella you're making an exceptionally laxly straw man argument.

    The Democratic party gave up the language of class decades ago and has since been (at the very least) complicit in the elite program that has stagnated or impoverished the lower 90% of this country. Electing Clinton 2 means furthering that program, continuing the slide into poverty that began in the mid-70's. Unions were razed, factories closed, welfare "reformed," and entire cities turned into post-apocalypse movie sets. Throughout it all we've been told "jam tomorrow."

    I'm no stranger to messy alliances and pragmatic deal making, but at a certain point you just can't play along anymore. To have a revolution you must be willing to both to accept and inflict misery; reasonableness doesn't change anything.

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    The Nader votes in 2000 I knew cited two reasons for their choice: 1) there was no difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party, and 2) if Nader got enough of the vote the Green party would be eligible for federal campaign funds.

    I don't think either of those apply now. Given how batshit crazy the GOP has become, I can't imagine any sane person actually arguing the DNC is no different. And there's no chance at all Jill Stein gets enough votes to qualify for federal funding.

    It seems to me the logic for the never Hillary crowd is more like "I'd rather see the country go in the COMPLETE OPPOSITE direction than what I want, than see it go a somewhat different direction than what I want".

    IOW, in order to turn the DNC more to the left, they're willing to give the GOP the House, Senate, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency.

    Exactly how that accomplishes their goal has yet to be explained.

  • I am a baby boomer, so I grew up being told that the kids today are the worst generation ever with their long hair, rock and roll, riots in the streets, too much sex, no respect for their elders and so on. I have two thoughts about the kids nowaays. One is that they are surprisingly well behaved and unrebellious. Two is that they have been cheated with their lame educations and the horribly stacked economy. That's two bads on us, the baby boomers who didn't do right by them.

    As for the election, it's sometimes about winning, and sometimes it's about losing as little as possible. I've voted for god damned Republicans when the Democrat smelled too much of sulfur and wouldn't go back into its hole in the ground. (Granted we're talking about guys like Frank Hatch here, not modern Republicans.) Anyone who doesn't get this is on the side of whatever is down their pumping out Kaiju and Republican candidates. It sucks, but no one gets to choose the game.

    If anyone is serious about changing the landscape, it's time to get involved in local politics and getting more left wing sorts elected, even if it is only for the school board. Running for office is hard work and emotionally challenging. Serving is not much better. If current politics bothers you, it is time to consider running or at least following local politics and changing the local climate. Even in red states, there are pockets of blue, and those pockets can grow in influence. Look at Colorado, once solidly red.

    I remember that FDR was often considered too moderate, too pro-business, too conservative. When called on it, he told his detractors that it was their job to make him more liberal. He wasn't a magician. He was a politician.

  • @ Gerald McGrew:

    The same way it has for all political parties that wanted to remain relevant after crushing defeats: years in the wilderness, lessons learned, revision, re-emergence. That's why the right wing of the GOP is now running the tables on us, completely owning 23 states while we still chase the presidential unicorn. No one learns from success.

  • Gerald McGrew says:


    I don't understand what you're saying. You seem to be saying that the only way to change the DNC is to turn the entire country over to today's crazy-assed GOP for "years".

    If that's what you're saying….well, IMO that's not only rather selfish (for what it does to all those who would suffer greatly at the hands of GOP-rule while you wait for the DNC to come around to your views and priorities), it's downright dangerous.

    If that's not what you're saying….my apologies.

  • seniorscrub says:

    What Revolution ever started at the top? Are they trying "trickle-down revolution"?

  • ClockworkSteve says:


    I agree that politics is an art of compromise and negotiation, and I recognize that there is some feeling among Clinton supporters that the people who don't support Clinton want to have everything their own way.

    My position is that Clinton gives me nothing but having someone with the label "Democrat" on them in the presidency. Voting for Clinton reinforces the Democratic Party's tendency to nominate someone who is just a little more progressive than the Republican candidate, and I'm making the choice that long-term it's better not to reinforce that tendency.

  • Having known some of these remarkably entitled kids:

    All of them were being emotionally abused as kids are are being such at the moment you're speaking with them. You're seeing the results of two decades of focused work to keep them from growing into adults. It often works, which is why the parents are so secretly pleased when the kids move back into the home.

    It's not entitlement. I mean it is, but not the one you're thinking of. If you heard some of the things the parents say about their own flesh and blood . . . yeah, no wonder the kids don't think they're good for anything that requires real work.

  • You're a fucking idiot. Your mass generalizations on an entire generation is hyperbolic and misguided. It's easy an easy to tell an entire generation to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," when you're already at the top. We'll be the first generation in the history of this country to earn less than the previous and many of us are working hard, but the cards have been stacked against us. It's the decisions of previous generations that have made it impossible for us to get decent paying jobs, buy homes, and pay for school. Check your privilege before you spew classist bullshit.

  • Food for thought. I'm between generations. I'm technically an early x-er, though I don't feel like one most of the time (like, I was never into the rad x-games, for instance) and I'm definitely more pragmatic and less idealistic and self centered than the boomers and millennials I know.

    Your story about the refusing a job thing resonated with me. My brilliant but book-smart-only nephew took it a step further and dropped out of college because 1) his professors were wrong and 2) there are no jobs anyway. (Both in his opinion, not mine, of course.) I would like to see the passion in him, for ANYTHING at all, that the Bernie or Bust generation evince, but I'm afraid he'd be just as wrong-headed as them. Because, as a Millenial, he feels he's right about everything, and somehow he's convinced that his life has been difficult and he's been through the hard knocks already and is older and wiser at age 25.

  • I have (mostly) jumped to the conclusion that the "Bernie Bros" and "Never Hillary'" were really Republican plants. Not worth bothering with.

    But there actually is another group of people that has become much more numerous of late. They are the NOW people.

    You see them making u-turns in mid-block in residential areas. They don't use alleys or driveways, they just turn NOW.
    They are the people who walk right up to a doorway and stop to look at their phones. They are alone in the world and have something "important" to do right NOW. Too bad for you if you also want to use the doorway.
    People who say they will never vote for Clinton and make up long excuses for it are only saying that they want Bernie to win NOW.

    Tomorrow is another planet; a full lifetime away and they don't have it in them to think about anything so remote.

  • People too stupid to understand history are doomed to repeat it.

    The Bernie Bros are no different than the McGovern people in 1972. The end result was 20 years of an unchecked rightward lurch in federal and state politics for most of the country.

    The public discourse lurched so far to the right, in fact, that the only way the Democrats saved face was through southern fried DLC neo-liberalism. That this was, and in some sense is better than what we had spent the previous 20- years experiencing is a testament to just how damaging "burning down the village to save it" can be.

    It took a series of missteps by W and the rhetorical sacrifice of Paul Wellstone and John Kerry to get us to 2006 and President Obama. The idea that a tiny but annoyingly vocal minority of people who support someone who wasn't a Democrat until it was convenient for him to do so to run for President would piss that away for another two decades in the wilderness should be absurd on its face.

    It also indicates a lack of perspective. Hillary Clinton is the last of the DLC centrists. And she isn't all that centrist domestically, not anywhere near as centrist as her husband was. The differences between she and Sanders domestically are not broad.

    The fact that we're sitting here burning up a comment section wringing hands over a small and largely dismiss able portion of the party instead of permanently boxing the GOP into a declining demographic corner is a head scratcher.

    So stop the fucking navel gazing, go contribute to getting progressives that pass your purity test elected at the local and state level and bide your time until Elizabeth Warren gets the call from the bullpen.

  • Also, as a woman who has worked full time for her entire adult life for a variety of Fortune 500 companies who routinely only have one token woman in the c-suite and one or two token women on the board, I'd be so happy to finally have a female president. Why should this matter less to me than Barack Obama's election mattered to the black community?

    The smears against Hillary had a lot to do with her being female. Is she perfect? No. But she is held to a much higher standard than her male counterparts, and has been investigated and grilled ruthlessly by the right wing in efforts to discredit her. (Not speculation, see Kevin McCarthy)

    So I'm skeptical of the Bernie or Bust crowd who claim they like women, just not her, and are happy to support Jill Stein as long as they are safe in the certainty that she will never, ever get elected.

  • "I just feel sorry for anyone whose approach to any part of life, including politics, is 'I'm devastated if I don't get exactly what I want.'"

    Sounds familiar…

  • How often do you come across young folks that are of the opinion that "it's gotta get worse before it gets better, so I am gonna vote Trump to quickly rip that band-aid off, rather than suffer through a long agonizing removal"?

    I've come across one, but I cannot say I am in contact with too many newly minted potential voters.

  • Although it's a tough pill to swallow, I really appreciated this post. I caucused for Bernie in Kansas, and really caught on to the message he was bringing– both from an anti-establishment standpoint and his domestic policy. During the primary, Bernie had to highlight the differences between he and Hillary, and those differences seemed huge at the time. However, in comparison to Trump's positions, Hillary's policy is night and day (especially on social issues). This is something that many of Bernie's followers (including myself) don't want to accept, but will.

    In complete honesty, I still don't want to vote for Hillary, but I have to. She is the best of the options to run the nation. Although I think the two-party system is corrupt, we aren't ready for a third party at this moment. There is still a ton of groundwork (state seats, house and senate, etc) that needs to take place before a third party president could do anything of value. In the meantime, Bernie fans should take pride in the fact that they moved the party to the left– this is the most progressive platform the DNC has ever put forward. But moving forward, let's be adults and understand what's at stake.

  • Gerald McGrew:

    "The Nader votes in 2000 I knew cited two reasons for their choice: 1) there was no difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party, and 2) if Nader got enough of the vote the Green party would be eligible for federal campaign funds."

    As for point #2, it's important to note that "federal campaign funds" does not necessarily guarantee greater success in an election. Case in point: Ross Perot got enough votes in 1992 (19%) to qualify for federal funds. He went on to get barely 8% of the vote in 1996. Getting federal funds for one's campaign surely helps, but it's not a miracle cure that can overcome the systemic advantages that the two major parties have.

  • Brett:

    "Although I think the two-party system is corrupt, we aren't ready for a third party at this moment."

    You'll never "be ready" for a third party. Because of how the US electoral system is set up,* the only time third parties "work" is when one of the two established parties is weak enough to lose their "established" status. And despite all the doom and gloom rhetoric surrounding both parties these days, we're nowhere near that point.

    Hell, the last "third party" candidate to win the Presidency was Abraham Lincoln. And a big part of his success was due to the disintegration of the Whig party over the issue of slavery.

    *See Duverger's Law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

  • @Mama; I think you're onto something. On this very thread, the arguments against Hillary Clinton seem to boil down to "I'm reapeating the rightwing smears no matter how untrue they are, and besides, she *might* do whatever crazy thing the voices in my head are whispering to me even though there's no actual indication of it, so I'm going to get up on the crazy platform and insist it's true because I imagine it might be!"

    Just like we saw the bigots emerge in 2008, we're seeing the misogynists crawl out from under their rocks. ZOMG! A woman thinks she'd make a good president–obviously she's a power-mad dictator! Unlike all the men who had run for president over the past 200-some years!

  • @JestBill; you forget the NOW people who park their shopping carts smack dab in the middle of the aisle while they stand there texting the equivalent of the Oxford dictionary furiously into their phones.

  • I remember a line from the old Drew Carey show:

    "I hate my job!"

    "There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY. We meet at the bar."

  • @Chris, geeze, get down off the cross–we need the wood for a marshmallow roast! Do you really believe you're the first generation in the history of the world to not have the world handed to you on a silver platter? Poor snowflake.

  • @ClockworkSteve:

    My position is that Clinton gives me nothing but having someone with the label "Democrat" on them in the presidency.

    They said that about Bush vs Gore during the 2000 election, and look how that turned out. Y'know, I think there might have been some meaningful differences in electing President Gore after all.

    Anyway, Hillary ain't running against a bland corporate tool like Marco Rubio. She's running against openly fascist Donald Trump.

    Just how bad does Trump have to be, before defeating him becomes a priority? Does he have to actually promise to commit genocide? What the hell would it take to make you recognise him as a clear and present danger?

  • "The end result was 20 years of an unchecked rightward lurch in federal and state politics for most of the country. The public discourse lurched so far to the right, in fact, that the only way the Democrats saved face was through southern fried DLC neo-liberalism."

    Thank you for providing some historical context, cromartie. It adds some nuance to the criticisms of the Clintons as unprincipled centrists. When Clinton came into the White House, the GOP had held the White House for 20 of the past 24 years. After the Reagan revolution, the right had basically won the debate that government was the enemy and must be dismantled. This was the cultural and political context when Clinton was elected and that Hillary was operating in when she tried to get work done on a health care plan. And 2 years later was the Gingrich revolution and the rise of congressional obstructionism and government shutdowns. People slamming the Clintons as too moderate might at least acknowledge the political environment they were working in.

  • I was a Nader voter in 2000 and am unrepentant; in this cycle I have been a Bernie supporter and I am currently deciding what to do. As an unrepentant Nader voter, I find lesser-evil arguments to be wholly unpersuasive; but there's a much more positive pro-Clinton argument that I'm really not seeing very often, and it hinges on the fact that she has been pulled to the left by Sanders. In a variety of small-step changes, but also in moderating her TPP support (I believe she's officially against it now), her willingness to put a "21st century Glass-Steagall" into the platform, and in the lead-up to Sanders's endorsement, coming out in favour of free college and public option healthcare. *Assuming* that these are all not just empty promises—and Sanders seems prepared to hold her to them as much as possible—that's substantial. (I was initially disappointed by her VP pick but am now persuaded to wait and see on that.)


    This is precisely the successful end-game that a lot of Nader supporters, and third-party advocates generally, were looking for when we said things like, "if we just vote for the lesser evil, what motivation do the Dems have to ever do anything for the progressives?" The sad, endless rightward march that we on the left saw and felt helpless to stop if we worked within the party.

    And although I maintain that the reductionist blaming of Nader for Gore's loss in 2000 is bogus, there are a lot of people then and now that frame it that way, and remember it strongly. And when Sanders comes round and riles up a (ahem) yuuuge number of people to support his platform, and Clinton and the Dem leadership make leftward moves as a result (and there's no question that it's *as a result* here)… we should probably support that. Because if we don't, then why should they bother moving left next time?

    The only question is: is their leftward move *enough*? I'm still thinking about that. But structurally, this argument is going to be much more persuasive to many in the progressive wing of the Dems (and many independents on the Dems' left flank) than the "eh, who else you gonna vote for?" argument that many are effectively making (including on this thread).

  • Right on. It's called getting off your ass, putting on your big girl panties, and doing the hard work. You may not like it much, but it needs to get done.

    NB: us Mexicans would never have gin with tacos–Tequila only. Anything else is a sin.

  • @Cromartie, ironically, Bill and Hill themselves worked on the McGovern campaign in '72. Guess they learned their lesson: tack right and keep on tackin'.

  • Katydid, wouldn't it be just amazing if lots of people sat back during this election and said to themselves,

    "Whoa. Nominee who brings more experience to the job of President than all but three (3!) previous ones in the whole history of the country.

    "Nominee who has worked her whole life to improve life for the disadvantaged.

    "Nominee with a backbone of steel who has withstood all the smears and hate thrown at her.

    "Nominee with a proven ability to negotiate successfully.

    "And, yes, nominee who is no more warlike than the milder mainstream male candidates and Presidents.

    "I wonder why I'm so convinced she's a worthless piece of corporate corruption? Good god. Could I perhaps have absorbed some of the sexism and misogyny around me?"

  • wow what a off the world post, ED. amazing. so out of touch with reality and the world we live in. that anyone would think HRC is "okay" for the White House, is the "Better" choice, well, Welcome to your world.

    Sad, is all i can say. I can what happens when HOPE is thrown out the window. a shame. i knew from the get go that Hillary wouldn't allow Bernie to get in "her" way. to watch people do "whatever it takes" is not a generational thing. so, it's been instructional and educational and very sad to watch this play out in the particulars.

    you really haven't got much of a clue to write such a post. lol. you are good otherwise for your point of view, which i don't see much online. lol

    what a waste. all those who give up hope for practicality get exactly what they wish for.

    Sad. really Sad. kind of like America Today. sold off the highest bidder.

    Welcome to the USSA. Fascism is still fascism, whether Trump or Hillary is the "Leader"

    Perhaps a through study of the Weimar Republic and the Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich might help some. obviously, most are not asking questions. that is the real danger here.

  • Then again. Hillary can do things no Republican could ever do. that is the "power" of Blue Dogs. Hillary will take us down quicker than Trump ever could and do all the dirty work that Republicans feared Trump would do. that's where Hillary comes in. She is Smart, Determined and Fearless. Watch out for those in a "Leader".

    So sad. amazingly sad to see such willfulness. that gets in the way of "sight". age really does have its' benefits. Hustlers are seen for what they are. and ignorance is not appreciated either. getting old is not for the squeamish. or as Bette Davis said, Old Age is not for sissies!

    none so blind as those that will not see. maybe age will help you. just this judging without perspective is a faulty trap.

  • @Beleck – "She is Smart, Determined and Fearless. Watch out for those in a "Leader"."

    So if I'm reading you correctly, what you're looking for in a leader is dumb, easily dissuaded, and cowardly.

  • The continuing hate-on that some people have, and have had, for HRC has long puzzled me. There are politicians with national reputations who are at least as duplicitous and unscrupulous who don't get half the bile that's directed at her.

    Also, there is one historical example of 'heightening the contradictions' working as intended – the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. The nihilists were convinced that the killing would reverse the trend toward a constitutional monarchy, increase repression, and speed the Revolution. And they were correct! Look how happy everyone was.

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    Maybe it would help if a "Never Hillary" "Bernie or Bust" supporter could outline their long-term plan. Something that fills in the blanks between….

    Don't vote for Hillary/Trump is elected


    The DNC becomes what I want it to be

    Fill in the steps that lead from the first part to the last.

  • @Quixote (and Mama): YES! Exactly! Instead we get a lot of butthurt whining about "Waaaaah, the guy I worship blindly didn't get the nomination 'cause he's not actually a Democrat and couldn't back up his pie-in-the-sky promises with actual plans to get his plans realized! I'm gonna throw myself on the floor and scream and kick my heels and repeat all the tired old debunked rightwing lies until everyone caves in to me!" Or, worse yet, "I'll SHOW YOU ALL! I'm going to vote for the guy who's failed at everything he's tried and will usher in WWIII before taking away all our rights because I'M A PETTY IDIOT!"

  • @Gerald McGrew; the anti-Hillary folks can't seem to come up with any rational position, can they? I've never heard one elaborate anything sensible.

  • ScrewyCanuck says:

    Anyone else notice we're seeing more than 50 comments on a single page? Ed?? Did you fix it??

  • To @ClockworkSteve and everyone with issues about the Democratic party's nominees:

    Your point is valid, but your solution is wrong. All you do by refusing to participate is make yourself look childish, make Ed's point, and make sure that what you say you want will never happen. If you're only going to participate on Election Day, and only if the choices you are given meet your exacting standards, then like Ed said, you are "destined to learn the hard way that refusing to do anything that you're not over-the-moon enthusiastic about doing is not an effective way of bringing better options to the table for the future."

    If you want change you have to get involved and take action. If you want a party to nominate someone different, then get off your asses and get involved. Sign up with a local party, knock on some doors, stuff some envelopes, attend some meetings, go to a couple of fundraisers, take Election Day off work and drive people to the polls. If you have any money, donate it to candidates you'd like to see elected. And keep doing it. The people who are involved in making these decisions have been doing this stuff for years and years.

    THAT is how things change. It takes time, and energy, and commitment, but it's still possible.

  • The Democrats are a lot like the Weimar Republic.

    Badly disorganized, split by factions, centrist at best – and 100% preferable to the alternative.

  • You "Bernie or Bust" and "HRC is pretty much just a Republican, I just know it" people make me want to volunteer for the Clinton campaign.

    You want a better option? Then get some decent Democrats elected to the Senate, Governors elected outside of the Northeast/ New England and Upper Midwest, maybe swing a few state legislatures so that the gerrymandering doesn't create bullshit like in Pennsylvania or Ohio where a state that largely votes D has an overwhelming House delegation that is R. Show up for midterms and local elections.

    And no, please, do explain to the rest of us how Trump winning will help anything. Please explain to my non-white Muslim friends who are terrified of a Trump presidency. Please explain it to the people that got health insurance thanks to the ACA how it being repealed will help anyone. Ask anyone in Kentucky how it's working out that the governor there is rolling back the Medicaid expansion because of "freedom" or some shit.

    Explain how a few Trump appointments to the Supreme Court will help advance any progressive causes. And tell it to the families of the soldiers that will be going to war because Trump needs to defeat ISIS or something and (after being told where ISIS is located) our "boots on the ground" get bogged down in a regional civil war with no objectives or end in sight.

  • I don't blame the kids for declining to take shitty jobs that they don't want. From their point of view, it's a matter of opportunity cost. You can lose a certain amount of your life being badly paid, bored and going nowhere, or you can back yourself and wait rather than settling. I think it's a healthy sign they they decline to take the garbage offered up by their patronizing elders who fucked America up to start with. The older generations are in no position to lecture others on this topic.


    "We'll feel free to call you out as genuine assholes who have mistaken principle for narcissism."

    People who talk about "my Democratic party" are in no position to open their yaps about narcissism.

  • So maybe instead of retreating into righteous self-loathing we should actually just burn the shit down and start again.

    I'm almost, but not quite, one of your disaffected millenials. Only I don't feel like waiting for the world to change on it's own.

    Power is made by power being taken, as they say…

  • And that last, Major Kong, is where we disagree. Continuing the Weimar Republic could never have led to the Germany of today (not that it's anything the rest of us should be happy about). Blowing up the democratic party gets us there without, IDK, 30 million dead.

    My antipathy for HRC is not personal but wholly political: I don't like the direction she represents in the party; the direction it's been traveling for 40 years. You have the question backward Katydid. It's not "how does mojrim's plan get us there?" it's "how does repeating the same unsuccessful strategy over four decades get us there?"

  • @mojrim:

    Blowing up the democratic party gets us there without, IDK, 30 million dead.

    You're sure of that? Absolutely positive? Because I'm not. President Trump could start WWIII in a fit of pique, or through sheer ineptitude. It's not worth the risk.

    GWB was a horrible disaster as President, but he worked within the system. He did some normal, sane things that any President is expected to do. He understood the basics of how government operates. And by the way, even though he's a lot better than Trump, he started the Iraq War and killed hundreds of thousands of human beings for no good reason at all.

    Trump is on a new level of madness and stupidity. He doesn't appear to know what he'll say or do next, doesn't understand anything and doesn't care to find out. If you are not scared of President Trump, you are not paying attention.

    This election is about one thing: Choosing the next President of the United States. The winner will make decisions of life and death for hundreds of millions of people. Next to that, expressing your special uniqueness is nothing but dust and ashes.

    You want to express your clever and nuanced political opinions? Start a fucking blog. Meanwhile, if you are a minimally decent human being, vote to stop Trump from winning. The most effective way of doing that is voting for Hillary Clinton, because there are tens of millions of people who are not minimally decent human beings, and will show up to vote for Trump.

    You don't like the situation? Congratulations, neither do I. Now for five minutes in the voting booth, stop whining about how things aren't the way you want, and cast a vote to stop them from getting worse. Sometimes in this life, that's the best you can do.

    Or you can vote third-party, or stay home and masturbate. For the purposes of stopping Trump, they are functionally the same.

  • I wasn't going to comment but I noticed someone saying something wildly inaccurate, and the correction gives us a good lesson in politics. Edward claimed that Hillary supported a "coup" in Ukraine. Maidan was not a coup d'etat and Hillary wasn't even secretary of state at the time.

    Maidan happened because enough Ukrainians got sick of their thieving government that was running their country into the ground. Why did they rise up? Because apparently Ukrainians have far more balls than Americans, who prefer to either protest things that aren't actually happening (Tea Party movement), or who only come to protests if it's fun and entertaining (Occupy).

  • I might also add that as much as I revile Hillary Clinton (I'm registered in a solid red state so my vote doesn't count), I think these Bernie die-hards ought to be honest with themselves and consider what they have been doing politically between elections. You can't just be apolitical 3 out of 4 years, then jump on a bandwagon and expect your candidate to succeed against someone with powerful connections within the party. Instead of waiting for a candidate who speaks directly to you, you might want to consider speaking directly to party officials and congressmen on a regular basis.

  • @Talisker: "And by the way, even though he's a lot better than Trump, he started the Iraq War and killed hundreds of thousands of human beings for no good reason at all." Don't forget "destabilized the Middle East and let ISIS take a foothold". Even with that, he's far and away better than President Trump would be. For all of W's failings, he at least surrounded himself with people who knew how gov't worked, not has-been 1970s tv stars and sportsball personalities.

    @mojrim: so sorry you don't value health care for everyone, tighter control over the federal prison-for-profit corporations and basic rights for women and minorities, which is what Hillary Clinton has worked her entire career for. It's you who has the wrong end of the stick–you don't like Hillary Clinton because you've been taught to, so therefore facts don't matter to you.

    @NickT: while the Millenials are sitting in their parents' basements waiting for the rainbow-farting unicorns to come bestow riches upon them, other generations just had to roll up their sleeves and get on with life.

    @April: more Boomer narcissism? You think the poor, benighted Boomers and poor little Millenials are the only generations to ever struggle to find decent jobs? An entire generation of Gen X remembers quite clearly the Boomer disdain because we worked multiple McJobs and lived 6 to an apartment to scratch out a living. The generation before you lived through the Great Depression; jobs weren't dropping off trees then, either. But Boomers and Millenials don't seem to care about anything unless it affects them personally.

    @KWG & Major Kong: Exactly! Petulant foot-stomping and threatening to vote for the least-suitable candidate ever are just childish tantrums. Want to see change? Show up and do something.

  • @Kovipakistan,

    You are wrong; the "regime change" in Ukraine was a coup, perhaps the most obvious in history. We know this because the Russians released an incredibly damaging tapped phone conversation between Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador there discussing the composition of the new government. Listen for yourself:


    While Clinton was not Secretary of State at the time, the coup was years in the making. It was managed by neocon Clinton protege and former Cheney staffer Victoria Nuland, who is expected to be the Secretary of State in a Clinton administration. The U.S. spent 5 billion dollars (!) promoting this coup. The democratically elected government of Ukraine was forced to flee for their lives and replaced with a U.S.-sponsored government which included– as the icing on the cake, a Nazi party. The fact that you are not aware of this basic history is a testament to the thoroughness of the propaganda in the Western press about Ukraine.

  • Actually Edward I am right, and unlike you I don't need to rely on Youtube for my sources since I've worked in Ukraine and have personally met people who were involved in Maidan.

    -The phone call means nothing. The burden of proof is on you to explain why the US government would decide to overthrow a government just because it suspended the signing of an EU trade agreement that it had engineered in the first place. You did know that the EU integration deal was Yanukovych's project, right?

    "The U.S. spent 5 billion dollars (!) promoting this coup."

    No, actually they didn't. If you actually bothered to see how that money was spent, the vast majority was spent on disarmament since 1991. Again, the burden of proof is on the coup claimers to show exactly how the amount of money spent on "democracy building" actually led to a coup. How did the US government know that the Berkut police would be unusually brutal when they cleared the square on 30 November? That's the incident that turned a protest into a riot.

    "he democratically elected government of Ukraine was forced to flee for their lives and replaced with a U.S.-sponsored government which included– as the icing on the cake, a Nazi party."

    They weren't fleeing for their lives- they were fleeing with the riches they stole to avoid being held accountable. After the elections in May neither of the two nationalist parties managed to make it into the government. They failed to meet the minimum threshold to get seats in the parliament.

    "The fact that you are not aware of this basic history is a testament to the thoroughness of the propaganda in the Western press about Ukraine."

    As a journalist living in Russia and doing work in Ukraine, I'm personally acquainted with many members of that "Western" press as well as people who were involved in many of these events. It's obvious that you don't know anything about Ukraine or Russia and you're just regurgitating shit you heard on RT.

    You're probably no more informed on US politics either, sadly.

  • @Katydid (RE: Those spoiled kids who you interviewed)- Sorry to hear you had to deal with people like that. Still, if they don't want that job, I'll take it. No, seriously, what's the job and what does it entail? I'm curious now. (I probably would have killed for a job like that after college.)

    And while we're on the topic of "kids these days," let's not forget which generations raised them (or didn't raise them, depending on how you see want to view it).

  • If you'd asked me when I was a kid, say around the time the ERA went down to defeat and the Religious Right was just getting warmed up, if I thought there would ever be a woman President, I think I would have laughed in your face. Not because a woman couldn't do the job, but because the gains of the '60s and '70s were being crushed and it didn't look to be getting any better, like ever. (Jeez, this makes me sound like some kinda super-enlightened feminist. I was not, but it was plain to see the country was moving backwards, and hell, Ronnie was gonna drop the big one and end it all anyway.)

    This is a very long-winded way of congratulating Ms. Clinton on her nomination (hi Hill!) which, like her or not, is historic. It took a hundred years, but here we are. We can all be proud of that.

  • X-RWU; I'd love to offer you the job, but it's only going to the Baby Boomer managers' kids. No others need apply. We've got someone in it now who shows up when he feels like it, does whatever he feels like doing (lately it's Pokemon Go), and leaves when he feels like it. But hey, boss's kid.

    Quite a difference from my own Gen-X post-college interviews. "I see you have a degree in computer science and four years' experience working in your school's computer lab, plus summer experience teaching kids about computers in special tech camps. I don't understand computers, and you weren't at Woodstock so I'm not going to hire you for this programmer's position–instead I'm going to hire my stoner buddy who also knows nothing about computers and usually isn't sober on the job, but isn't a slacker loser like you Gen X'ers."

  • Katydid- Also sorry to hear about your own employment problems from way back when.

    I know this other blogger/commenter, a Gen-X-er himself, who also once made comments about how Baby Boomers in positions of power will only hire if they must, and if and when they do, it's their own spawn or younger relatives. He made some comment like, "It's as much as they both hate each other, Boomers and Millennials will work together to gang up on Gen-X-ers like me" – something like that. It sounded a bit paranoid, like the -they're-out-to-get-me variety, but who knows, maybe he had a point there.

    Also, don't you just hate it in general when companies post openings which they're never going to fill with anyone other than their pre-selected candidate?

    (Also, speaking as one of the younger generations myself — I was born in the mid-1980s and I just turned 30, does that make me a Millennial or just Gen-Y — there are exceptions to every rule. I'm not like most of my age group, and I can't help but frown and shake my head at some of their antics too. Then again, every generation has its share of idiots…)

    Also, assuming that my comment here somehow creates yet another page of comments, anyone mind creating links to the first 2 pages of comments?

  • X-RWU; don't you see all the comments on one page? Am I the only one who sees them all on one page?

    Also, there are a number of bloggers out there who blog on generational issues. Generally speaking, generations have certain themes and trends. Of course there are always exceptions to the generalization, but generalizations exist because they're mostly true.

    Yes, I do hate it when companies have a pre-destined candidate in mind and run phoney interviews to keep EEO off their backs. It's galling to go on those interviews and realize you wouldn't get the job even if you were the best qualified candidate, and it's galling to have to give these interviews knowing the boss is just going to hire his kid and it's a huge waste of everyone's time, not just mine, to have to interview other people.

    My advice? If you need to support yourself, take whatever job comes along that will do that, no matter what the field. My generation was told (generally speaking) that we were out of the house at 18, and it was up to us to figure out how to support ourselves. About that time several movies came out making fun of us for being losers for working whatever jobs made us an offer. Many of us worked McJobs (or several McJobs strung together) while trying to get into the jobs we actually wanted. There's rarely a Job Fairy to sprinkle magic dust upon a new graduate's head that poofs the graduate into a dream job at a dream salary (unless their parent is the boss…).

  • Whenever I see the iconic image of a five-year-old Samar Hassan covered in her parents blood, I am reminded of my Quixotic Nader vote in 2000.

  • Katydid; yes, you're right, sorry, I failed to notice that all comments were on this page, instead of 50 at a time (perhaps something finally changed?).

    As for generational generalizations (boy, isn't that an interesting choice of words)… Well, I must be a really bad Gen-Y-er, because I don't fulfill most of those stereotypes (har har). I don't take selfies, I rarely use Facebook and only then out of necessity, I feel like the only person my age who doesn't know how to use Photoshop or other such image manipulation programs, I've never engaged in grossly irresponsible activities like excessive drinking, etc.

    And OH YES, do I know about pointless, time-wasting interviews. In another comment, I'll tell you about THREE (3) different job openings and interviews in my own city's school district where they most likely rinky-dinked me with that BS.

    Also, while I agree that there's some entitlement mentality, let's not forget who told them all their lives that they were entitled to great jobs and awesome lives if they got their precious college degrees. You say shame on the kids for being spoiled and delusional, I say shame on their well-meaning but foolish parents (and other adult authority types) who spoiled them and deluded them with BS fairy tales about magical college degrees and other non-existent prospects.

  • @X-RWU (can I call ya X?): My sincere sympathies for the pointless interviews. As to the generational gaps; sounds like you straddle two groups or are the leading edge of a group? My understanding is those things run in 20-year cycles and it makes sense that those at the tail end have different experiences from those at the beginning.

    As for being entitled; the folks currently throwing tantrums at the DNC are fully-grown adults. Their upbringing no longer excuses their actions; they're adults and know better.

  • Katy; yes, you may call me X for short. (Just in case you were curious about my screen name: I was originally "An ex-student from RWU" but that got shorted to X-RWU. I'll let you guess what school that could possibly be, but there's a backronym joke to it; it can also stand for "Rich White University.") Also, I'm not sure if I straddle the hazy boundary between two different generational groups; as someone born in 1986, I assume I'm technically Gen-Y.

    Also, as promised, here's my little tale about getting an office job in my own school district (where I was a student, mind you).
    Somehow, they got my name and wanted me to come in for an interview. Maybe it was because I took some test at the local government center? I dunno.
    School #1 is my own high school which I attended. One of my old teachers was even part of the interviewer group. Did being an alumnus help? NOPE.
    School #2 is this pre-school for kids with learning disabilities (think autism, Asperger's Syndrome, etc.), and it's attached to the middle school which I attended, within walking distance of my family's house. Mind you, I have an LD myself, and was one of the first kids in the school district to have these problems, and I subtly dropped hints that had this kind of school existed back in the day, I might have been one of their students. Between my proximity and the fact that I was one of the types of people they want to help, did any of that help? NOPE.
    School #3 is another middle school; I never attended there, but I walk that way all the time because my branch of the town's library is right across the street from them, and I literally walk that way all the time. Maybe my close proximity might make me a viable candidate? NOPE.
    By the time a 4th school tries calling me this past January (of this year), I leave a polite reply saying that I already have a new job, but I encourage them to keep me in mind, and hint that I might be willing to jump ship if they can offer me more… but no response.
    And that was that.
    TL;DR — I think they just kept me and my name and reserve for when they needed to interview people because they were only legally obligated to do so.

    And as for the people at the DNC: Just to bring this back to the original topic, yes, you're absolutely right. (And just yesterday, I heard from a friend of mine who lives in Philly who told me about all the craziness there. Things such as protesters demanding things like, I kid you not, "gay marijuana" — whatever the heck that is.)

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    Still waiting for a "Bernie or bust" advocate to outline their long-term plan that goes from "Don't vote for Hillary/Trump gets elected" to "The DNC becomes what I want".

  • @mojrim

    So after Trump gets elected and becomes cements his power as a Putin/Erdogon style strong-man, how does your now suitably pure progressive party ever gain power again?

    I'll answer for you – they don't. Ever.

    To paraphrase Orwell: a Gucci loafer stomping on a human face, forever.

  • I see we have a bit of blustering self-justifying going on with the Purity Ponies about why they're Really Right in their self-indulgent tantruming. Ed tends to wave his arms around about this sort of thing a bit from time to time, but I wonder – as with so many things, is this really getting worse, or have some segment of nominal adults always gotten stuck at four years old, and we only notice it so much now thanks to the Information Superhighway[/reverb]? I mean, I could see many of the 18th-C Bourbons being Bernie-or-Busters if they had the misfortune to have been changelinged to modern families a couple decades ago. There's a strong element of Marie Antoinette about some of the ones I've had speech with. Nature or nurture? The age-old question…

  • @X (and yes, call me Katy–that's my name anyway): it's often who you know that gets you hired. I got my first programming job because (no lie) i tutored the boss's kid in Spanish. In addition to substitute teaching during the day and working as a veterinary technician at an emergency overnight place, I also tutored Spanish/French/Russian in my spare time (it was the Cold War years and some high schools actually taught Russian). While I was at their house going over the difference between "ser" and "estar" for the billionth time, Daddy came home complaining about the new computer he was now expected to use at work, and how could he be expected to run computer programs?!? I offered to come help him if he hired me, he asked what I could possibly know about computers, being a girl, I told him my undergrad degree was in computer science, and he hired me on the spot. Moral of the story; put yourself out there, you never know what will lead to a great job.

  • Also, for those who have trouble getting hired, have you tried China? It's the Land of Opportunity over there, and I hear tell that the streets are paved with gold. Of course, it helps if you can speak Mandarin. Teaching jobs are there almost for the taking.

  • @JohnR and Major Kong; despite the Intertubez and all the information just there for the googling, there just seems to be a coddled cohort that believe the world really does revolve around them and their wants, and they are absolutely apoplectic that for possibly the first time in their lives, they're not getting what they want. Mommy and Daddy indulge them in anything, so therefore everyone else OWES THEM. Just like the toddlers they remain mentally, they have absolutely no concept of the consequences of their actions–why should they? They've never had to face consequences before. Based on the tantrumming we've all read on this very thread, they seem to believe if Trump wins, so do they.

  • @JohnR and Major Kong; despite the Intertubez and all the information just there for the googling, there just seems to be a coddled cohort that believe the world really does revolve around them and their wants, and they are absolutely apoplectic that for possibly the first time in their lives, they're not getting what they want. Mommy and Daddy indulge them in anything, so therefore everyone else OWES THEM. Just like the toddlers they remain mentally, they have absolutely no concept of the consequences of their actions–why should they? They've never had to face consequences before. Based on the tantrumming we've all read on this very thread, they seem to believe if Trump wins, so do they. It's astounding that they absolutely cannot reason any better than a toddler.

  • @Kovpakistan,

    I don't know how you can say the regime change in Ukraine was not a coup. A democratically elected government was violently overthrown. What am I missing? Lets look at your points one by one:

    1) "-The phone call means nothing."

    It depends on the contents of the call. In this case Nuland and Pyatt are deciding that "Yats" should be the next prime minister. That sounds like a coup to me. Here is the transcript:


    2) "The burden of proof is on you to explain why the US government would decide to overthrow a government"

    In 2008 at a summit in Bucharest, NATO issued a communique declaring their intention to absorb Georgia and Ukraine. In 2013 the EU offers Ukraine a trade agreement which stipulated restrictions on their trade with Russia, so the agreement aimed to decouple Ukraine from Russia. As Robert Perry writes here:


    "The plan was even announced by U.S. neocons such as National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman who took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post nearly a year ago to call Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward eventually toppling Putin in Russia.

    Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress, wrote: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

    In other words, from the start, Putin was the target of the Ukraine initiative, not the instigator."

    The Russians countered the EU proposal with a more attractive offer which the Ukrainians accepted instead.

    3) After a trip to Ukraine, Estonia's foreign minister related to EU foreign affairs chief Ashton in another intercepted phone call allegations that the murders which precipitated the coup were committed by snipers from the area controlled by the protestors. Here is a link:


    These allegations came from discussions he had with Ukrainians, including the main doctor who treated the wounded from the attack, Olga Bogomolets. According to Bogomolets, the snipers murdered both police and protestors. Why? Lets recall that at this point an agreement had been made to hold early elections. This agreement was supposed to end the crisis but it was violated by the protestors. Why?

    4) "you're just regurgitating shit you heard on RT"

    I occasionally read RT but not on a regular basis. The Western propaganda on the Ukraine has been critiqued by academics such as Steven Cohen and John Mearsheimer and left wing journalists/writers such as Robert Perry and Mike Whitney as well as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). It is true I am "regurgitating" other views since I am not an expert on Ukraine. Here is an old VIPS statement:


  • Major Kong: That requires me to believe that he is capable of doing so, a proposition I cannot accept. While he's certainly a PR genius he is utterly incompetent at both leadership and management. Lacking either skill set he must, to pull an Erdogan, surround himself with smart, capable lieutenants, a thing he has also proven incapable of. I assess that danger at slightly above zero and below 0.01.

    @Talisker: The Shrub got us (or rather permitted Wolfowitz & Co) into two insane and self-defeating wars for ideological reasons, the same reason we wrecked Libya and are going back into the levant as we speak. Trump is an ordinary criminal, and thus 1/20th as dangerous as an ideologue, and yes, I see the irony of that statement. This is not about proving how clever I think I am, nor how special and virginal my vote is, nor not liking the situation, it's about all the marbles. The american leadership class has proven itself constitutionally incapable of recognizing problems that don't show up at its cocktail parties; the only answer, then, is to launch a burning pig carcass through the window. That carcass is Donald Trump.

    @Katydid: You seem to have a number of odd and unsupported assumptions about me. Given my background it's hard to imagine how I would have become the person you imagine me to be. How, pray tell, do you imagine I was taught to hate HRC? I have been paying attention for more than 35 years and spent the 90's in stunned indignation at what a so-called liberal president did to me and mine. I understand the incremental approach on healthcare, but what we got was China MFN, NAFTA, sentencing "reform," more cops, more imprisonment, further de-unionization, and Graham-Leach-Bliley. Oh, and waging war on the Arkansas teachers union.

    HRC, flying solo, has given us unlimited support for Israel, the Libyan debacle, a vote for invading Iraq, roadblocking the Iran deal, and a promise to escalate in Syria and get into a confrontation with the Russians. She negotiated TPP and is likely to sign it, and opposes any significant reform of the financial system.

    So tell me Katy, what's there for me to like?

  • Skepticalist says:

    Believe me, we are nowhere near the end times. It just seems that way having to see Donald Trump's countenance every day. Putting an end to this is a good enough reason to vote for HRC. Do an old boomer a favor.

    Youngsters that haven't had the fun of using old voting machines have missed the satisfaction of slamming down a lever against some throwback. It was healthy. Fun too.

  • @Katydid Why do you insist that there are no legitimate or rational reasons for a progressive to be less than thrilled with Hillary?

    Do you really believe that all opposition to her is the product of either misogyny or internalized right wing attacks?

    FYI I'm voting for her.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    I think we can just ditch the phony "generation" crap. Age is not the issue, nor who had it harder in life. The only thing that matters is stopping the fascist Trump. Adults of all ages should get on board with that. HRC is the only viable option to Trump. Vote for her, whether you are an old fart, a young whippersnapper, or anywhere in between, whether you were happy to take a shit job or opted for your Mom's basement instead, and whether you block the doorway because you are texting or don't even know how to text.

  • @mojrim:

    Trump is an ordinary criminal

    No, he's really not. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were ordinary crooks. Trump is a megalomaniac who wants the entire world to kiss his ass, and will act out in unpredictable ways when this is not forthcoming.

    The President of the United States is not a fucking reality TV star. The office has immense power and heavy responsibilities. Trump doesn't give a fuck about responsibility, and will actively use all the power at his disposal for what he perceives to be his own personal benefit. He is too ignorant to understand the consequences let alone care about them.

    Giving Trump the keys to the Oval Office is like giving a loaded gun to a chimpanzee. We have no idea what will happen, except that it's unlikely to be good.

    The american leadership class has proven itself constitutionally incapable of recognizing problems that don't show up at its cocktail parties; the only answer, then, is to launch a burning pig carcass through the window. That carcass is Donald Trump.

    Brave talk. I assume you're confident you personally will not be burned by the flaming pig carcass. I have news: The corporate establishment won't be burned by Trump either. They've got the money and connections to ride it out, unless he does something so insane as to burn the entire country.

    Fires have a way of getting out of control. If Trump's conflagration involves a large-scale war or nuclear weapons, the burning may not be just a metaphor.

    Assuming Trump is only a disaster instead of an existential catastrophe, the ones who will suffer are ordinary working people, especially women and minorities. Basically, you want to sacrifice them to produce some kind of badly defined wake-up call to a ruling class who won't care anyway. Are you really sure you're on the side of the good guys here?

  • @Gabe; back "in the day" there was a comic strip that ran in the newspapers called Bloom County (forgive this if you already know). Bloom County was a fictional small town with a small-town newspaper that employed 10-year-old Milo Bloom and sometimes a penguin (it's a comic strip, just go with it) at the Editorials desk, where people would drop by to submit their editorials to the paper.

    There's one strip in particular that I always think of when the anti-Hillary people get started. In the strip, Milo's manning the desk when a tall, huge guy wanders in and demands his editorial be printed immediately. What's on his mind? A bunch of crazy Talking Points about guns, all garbled up. Mind you, this strip was drawn sometime in the 1980s. The guy, who is open-carrying several rifles and pistols that are hanging off his body, carries on for several panels about how guns don't kill people, people kill guns! And other nonsense and non sequiturs. At the end, he thrusts a piece of paper at Milo Bloom and says, "It's all right here!" to which Milo responds, "Verbatim!" I find when I start asking people exactly WHY they are spitting and frothing at the mouth about Hillary Clinton, their answers are all invariably long-debunked Talking Points and nonsequiturs.

    ZOMG, Hillary Clinton is the ONLY POLITICIAN EVER to pander to Israel! She's…a monster! She voted for a stupid war based on lies! STONE HER, she's a witch!

  • @Talisker: Agnew was an ordinary, and incompetent, crook. Nixon was a paranoid and possible egomaniac that sabotaged LBJ's Vietnam negotiations to reach the white house and conspired criminally to remain in office. If we can survive Nixon, we can survive Trump. As for large scale war, HRC is practically promising us one in the levant. It's a safe bet that, had she been elected in 2008, we would have been at war with Iran by now. Given that the president cannot launch on his own sole authority, I'd put their potential foreign policy damage as being roughly equal.

    Electoral defeats change how parties see themselves and the policies they support. The GOP is not going to return to Bush/Romney after this, my desire is that the Democrats don't return to the DLC program of neoliberal/neocon/free trade with has been destroying the american working class for 40 years. If you are unwilling to both accept and inflict suffering you can't have a revolution. Yes, people would be hurt in a Trump presidency, but pain is already on the menu, the only choice is between slowly bleeding out and stitching without anesthesia.

    @Katydid: You keep responding to criticisms of HRC that I'm not making, and to talk to some Hillary hating conspiracy nut that's not part of this discussion. You assert without evidence that she has been fighting for (me, us, progressivism, etc…) throughout her political life, while I assert this is false and provide specific evidence for my claim. If you have some actual, policy based evidence against my claim please provide it.

  • @mojrim; to be honest, I haven't been addressing you at all since you became so outraged that I didn't know your history. We're all online, dude; none of us know each other that well.

  • @mojrim; sorry, hit while trying to shoo the cat off the keyboard. Your statements are all the vague stuff that's been debunked for 20 years now; you don't actually provide anything to counter that hasn't been countered by Snopes and the other fact-checking sites a million times before.

  • @Katydid: I'm not "outraged" that you don't know my history; I'm annoyed and fascinated that you impute certain ideas to me without knowing it. Again, you seem to be responding to the crank in Bloom Country rather than me: whitewater, Vince Foster, etc… Stuff I sat through with bored resignation in the 90's and which have absolutely nothing to do with my position.

    I listed a number of specific policy positions and accomplishments of the Clintons, starting with China MFN. These are real, concrete political facts with real, ongoing effects. They are the kind of policies I am unwilling to support any further for any reason. NAFTA is a real treaty, Libya is sliding into anarchy, Graham-Leach-Bliley is the law of the land. It is literally impossible for Snopes to have debunked these because they are neither vague, nor conspiratorial, nor false.

  • @Katydid Millions of us marched in the street against that war. And we were hoping against hope she would lead the anti war effort. As for the "lies", they were transparent lies and tons of credible people were pointing that out.

    Anyone who bought what Bush and Cheney were selling in 2002 will never have my trust.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Vote for Hillary or help the fascist. Whether you "trust" her or not. And whether she has "specific policies" that you disagree with, or not. Really, no one gives a shit about any of y'all's "objections" to her. The other side is running a fascist. Object to that. Or don't. But don't expect everyone else to hold your hand while you ruminate and preen.

  • @philadelphialawyer: Nobody is ruminating or preening here. Ed set up a rather lazy straw man argument about who we are and why we're making the choice we're making. I don't need your approval or anyone else's, but it's nice to set the record strait and put the arguments to the test once in a while.

    If Trump is a fascist then so are most mainstream GOP officials. If you listen/read his actual proposals, such as they are, the only difference between him and them is (a) saying it plainly and (b) inciting violence. America survived Nixon, and Bush II, and the GOP congress under Gingrich. Trump has nothing on them except bad hair and a complete lack of unifying ideology. In truth, that last makes him far lest dangerous than Ted Cruz and no one lost their mind over him.

    Power only heeds power, and Hillary has made it clear she has no reason to listen any further now that Sanders has conceded. I was waiting, and hoping, for some kind of concession, some indication she understands that free trade and unregulated banking are a failure. She has given none because she does not believe that. Those are positions she has held for her entire political life; it's fantastical to imagine her giving them up now.

    I spent an unfortunate fraction of my adult life in sales and, sad as that is to look back upon, it taught me this: Always be prepared to walk away from the table. If you're not you have already lost.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Free trade and unregulated banking. With Hillary.

    Or Nixon, Bush II, and Gingrich, PLUS inciting violence. With Trump.

    The latter sure sounds like fascism to me. Also, if you knew anything about it, you would know that fascism is the ultimate in opportunistic, non unified ideology. It absorbs some leftist ideas, and practices, and perverts them. It pretends to be against big business. It pays lip service to "the little guy," while all the while it is really about hierarchy and power. And it demonizes "the other" and incites violence against those who fit the description, or can be made to fit it.

    But, yeah, Ted Cruz is not all that far from being a fascist, either. So what? He's not the other option, Hillary is.

    Given all that, how is there any real choice? Sure, you can walk away from the table, but that only helps Trump. If you are in a solidly, for sure, red or blue state, then, sure, do whatever the fuck you want, as it doesn't really matter. But, if your vote does, or even might, matter, how can you possibly say that neo liberalism is just as bad as neo fascism? Or that you can just walk away from the choice?

    Trump might start WWIII. At best, he will marginalize people of color, women, Muslims, GLBT folks, and immigrants. He will undo the ACA, the VRA, the Civil Rights laws, the EPA, etc, etc, he will put abortion rights at risk. He will sign any piece of shit law that a Republican Congress puts on his desk. He will appoint authoritarian, racist SCOTUS judges. He will be worse on the banks than Hillary, and no better on free trade. He will bust unions, and trash the remains of the safety net. He will use the power of the presidency to persecute and oppress anyone who tweaks his ego. He will make the police and national security state even more oppressive than they are now. He will green light police shootings. And on and on. Trump is a narcissistic, sociopath, as well as insecure and idiotic. He has no sense of decency or shame or empathy. He is a complete and utter piece of shit, as well as dangerous to the nth degree, because he is not bound by any sense of institutional norms or rules, at all.

    For fucks sake, man, get over Hillary. She is more or less the same as Obama and her husband. OK, you don't love them either, but they are not fucking Mussolini. Trump is, or worse.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Well Gabe, if you are voting for her I really don't care whether she has your "trust," or not. And I wonder why you think anyone else does, either. Kinda the point of our host's blog entry…that your vote is a choice in the real world, not an opportunity to signal your unique, awesome specialness. Apparently, you get that, I am glad to hear it. Who you "trust," what you marched for and why, whether you are "thrilled" as a "progressive" with her or not, meh, not so much.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Chomsky on The Choice:

    1) Voting should not be viewed as a form of personal self-expression or moral judgement directed in retaliation towards major party candidates who fail to reflect our values, or of a corrupt system designed to limit choices to those acceptable to corporate elites.

    2) The exclusive consequence of the act of voting in 2016 will be (if in a contested “swing state”) to marginally increase or decrease the chance of one of the major party candidates winning.

    3) One of these candidates, Trump, denies the existence of global warming, calls for increasing use of fossil fuels, dismantling of environmental regulations and refuses assistance to India and other developing nations as called for in the Paris agreement, the combination of which could, in four years, take us to a catastrophic tipping point. Trump has also pledged to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, offered to provide for the defense of supporters who have assaulted African American protestors at his rallies, stated his “openness to using nuclear weapons”, supports a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and regards “the police in this country as absolutely mistreated and misunderstood” while having “done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Trump has also pledged to increase military spending while cutting taxes on the rich, hence shredding what remains of the social welfare “safety net” despite pretenses.

    4) The suffering which these and other similarly extremist policies and attitudes will impose on marginalized and already oppressed populations has a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will result from a Clinton presidency.

    5) 4) should constitute sufficient basis to voting for Clinton where a vote is potentially consequential-namely, in a contested, “swing” state.

    I would note that, in point three, Noam leaves out that Trump has called for the use of torture (he doesn't think water boarding even qualifies as torture, and wants to go well beyond that) and for the targeted, intentional killing of the innocent family members of terrorists.

    This is just not the year for the "both sides suck" notion.

  • @Katydid – IIRC no one was blaming GenXers. Thus they didn't need defending. It seems to me that life has pretty much sucked for everyone from mid-boomer down.

  • @JohnR – I'm in China, lots of teaching jobs available, no Mandarin required. For qualified teachers, the streets really are paved with gold. (I make more in RMB than I ever did in the US. And that doesn't take in the very low cost of living.)

  • @Philadelphialawyer It was relevant to the discussion. If you don't want to read people's opinions you are in the wrong place.

    You don't see me saying no one cares about your opinion, even though they don't. Stop being a d!ck and giving my hometown a bad name

  • @philadelphialawyer: You're entirely missing my point here. I'm not saying that Clinton is no better than Trump, that much is clear if only because she won't try to regress things. This is not about some ephemeral interpretation of the word "trust" because none is required. My argument has two basic premises:

    1. Trump is not fundamentally worse than any other GOP federal office candidate of the past 20 years, and no more dangerous to the republic than Nixon.

    2. Giving the democratic party a victory with Clinton will solidify its neoliberal/neocon position for at least another decade.

    Sure, there will be loses in a Trump presidency, but no more than we would have gotten from Romney or McCain or "JEB!" for that matter. In fact, given his utter inability to settle and make peace with the GOP establishment, he'd be unlikely to accomplish much of anything. Moreover, this "next Mussolini" is just hysterics. The institutions of the republic were designed to withstand attempts at mob/dictatorial rule, and have done so in the face of stronger and more able men.

    The same is true of the "he'll start WWIII" nonsense, if only because the nukes won't fly on presidential authority alone. Frankly, the way he talks about Russia and China (the other nuclear armed powers) he's extremely unlikely to get into a pissing match with either. As to the levant and Afghanistan it's hard to imagine him doing a worse job than what Clinton is already promising to do.

    So many of you seem to see Trump as some kind of mythic ogre, coming out of the mists to burn the village, eat the women, and rape the cows. He's not; he's neither big nor strong nor competent enough to do that. Yes, there will certainly be damage to left programs, but those are recoverable; consider how the right retrenched in the 90's and is now running the tables at the state level. There will be no dictatorship, no martial law, no Leni Riefenstahl films.

    Our real problems in the country, the things that give Trump such an opening with the GOP base, are things that american elites have agreed on since the mid-70's: free movement of labor, capital, and goods. Those elites, regardless of other, less important positions of disagreement, share a clear consensus that these are unalloyed Good Things. This consensus has given us 40 years of stagnant wages, steadily decreasing job growth, downward mobility, and increasing consumer debt. Clinton, and the wing of the party she represents, are among the principal architects of this disastrous policy set, and they show absolutely no sign of rethinking those positions. Electing Clinton will solidify in their collective mind that they are getting it right, that the program is working, and that they should stay the course.

    This is not some Davos/Trilateral Comission/Agenda 21 bullshit, it's simply their track record and words on the subject. Conspiracies are almost always bs but groupthink is real. When an elite group gets all it's information from within itself, as beltway villagers do, they will dismiss whatever external information gets through as fringe thinking. That's why her answer to a hollowed out manufacturing base and a working class in free fall is cheaper college: everyone she knows went to college and look how well they're doing! Never mind that all those jobs are taken, or that not everyone can actually manage it anyway – those things don't exist in her world.

    She's not evil, in fact, I'm sure she's very well intentioned, she has simply been wrong on every single policy decision she has ever been called upon to make. America can survive four more years of republican misrule; america's working class cannot withstand 20 more years of neoliberalism.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Gabe, I thought the discussion was about whether folks should vote for Hillary, or not. Not virtue signaling accounts of their marching history, and their internal struggles to bring themselves to do so, given her lack of "progressive" purity, and how hard she is to "trust." My bad if that was wrong, dickhead.

  • @Grung e Gene: Sorry, I missed your earlier question, but given Libya's current state I must admit I find it puzzling. Simply put, it has descended into anarchy, joining the ranks of failed states. It has become a major recruiting and staging ground for Daesh. It's stockpiles of soviet supplied weaponry are now loose and being sold to non-state actors the world over. And it's our fault for taking down the government.

    Check out AJ's section on Libya if you want a running tally of this continuing disaster.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Mojorim, if you can't see how Trump is worse than the run of the ranch Republican (which is already quite bad), then I guess I can't help you. It seems that you are pretty much blind to the harm he can and will do to the most vulnerable folks in our society. Folks for whom things like foreign and trade policies, manufacturing jobs and bank regulation, are the least of their concerns.

    I would point out, though, that Hillary is not running for a twenty year term, only a four year one. You might also consider the rest of what Chomsky said, which is that with Hillary as president, the center of political gravity stays where it is now, or even moves left, and the agenda that you are advocating becomes/remains a viable option for the Democratic party, and is thus part of the national conversation. With Trump in power, Hillary, and neo liberalism, is the left wing of national politics. President HRC will also at least listen to your concerns, if only to keep the peace within her party. And the ground will be prepared to push things further leftward when she's gone. With Trump, everyone to the left of Atilla the Hun will be playing desperate, goal line defense, just to keep shit from getting crazy. It will be back to the eighties and nineties for the Dems, having to compromise and even pander to the right, just to stay relevant at the national level.

  • Anyone arguing that 'Trump wouldn't be any worse than Bush the Lesser, but electing Clinton would be disastrous' has freely relinquished the right to be taken seriously.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Robert: Sorta like the problem with the Sanders campaign in general. The "only my issues matter" mentality. TPP and the banks. That's it. What happens to Black, Brown, female, LGBT, Muslim, immigrant, etc, folks, qua those identities, means nothing. Sure, there will be "losses" in those areas, and elsewhere, under Trump, but no big deal. Because, I guess, the contradictions will heighten and THEN we will bring the Jubilee. Either that, or Trump WANTS to do a bunch of crazy, unconstitutional, hateful, repressive, disgusting stuff, but, hey, he probably won't get away with TOO much of it, because the military or the GOP in Congress will save the day. Right.

  • @philadelphialawyer @katydid

    The Overton Window/political COG thing isn't real. If it were we wouldn't have a GOP congress and 23 state governments.

    You both seem to be working hard, over time and over budget, to not understand my plain words, leaving us at point non plus. Sometimes you must accept a tactical retreat for strategic gain, knowing that a number of villages will be razed in the process. Fundamentally, neither of you (and many others) seems capable of accepting short term pain for long term gain. Jill Stein was right: that penny-hoarding of yours is how we got here in the first place and I will have no more of it.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    We get it mojo. Sometimes folks just disagree with you, rather than not understand your subtle wisdom. To wit: You want to let the villages (that, conveniently, you don't live in) burn, in order to someday, in the prophesized future, save them.

    And it is funny how you are Braveheart, and yet you are all about retreating. And how your version of La Pasionaria, Jill Stein, has "Go ahead and pasaran" as her slogan! When she is not too busy worrying about Hillary's emails compromising "national security," that is.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    mojo: Because, when I repeatedly mentioned the folks at risk from Trump's racist, sexist, anti gay, nativist, English only, religious bigotry identity politics, you kept coming back with the standard Sanders, all that matters is economics, line, which makes me "imagine" that you are not among those folks.


    "Our real problems in the country, the things that give Trump such an opening with the GOP base, are things that american elites have agreed on since the mid-70's: free movement of labor, capital, and goods. Those elites, regardless of other, less important positions of disagreement, share a clear consensus that these are unalloyed Good Things."

    The "real problems" are all economic, the "other" things are "less important." You couldn't even bother to name the "other" things as you hand waived them way. Which makes me think that you are not personally impacted by them. Over and over, you make it clear that you are all and only about "the working class." When that term is used, to the exclusion of terms about race, gender, orientation, religion, immigration status, and so on, it leads one to believe that what is really being discussed is the white working class.

    As an aside, you might want to work on maintaining some consistency, as you first said, "So many of you seem to see Trump as some kind of mythic ogre, coming out of the mists to burn the village…He's not." But now you are saying, "Sometimes you must accept a tactical retreat for strategic gain, knowing that a number of villages will be razed in the process."

    Nice that you now admit that Trump will lead to a "conflagration," but I have my doubts that it is your village that will be among those burnt to the ground.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Oh, and this bit, "So many of you seem to see Trump as some kind of mythic ogre, coming out of the mists to…eat the women, and rape the cows," seems pretty damn dismissive of Trump's misogyny.

  • @mojrim what is your full name? I'm am making a donation to Hillary's campaign in your name today, and I want to be sure I spell it correctly.

  • @philadelphialawyer:

    Your willful ignorance is lies in asserting that either I don't understand the consequences of a Trump presidency or don't care because they will not affect me. Neither of these is true, but they serve as a handy tool for avoiding the actual argument. There can be no doubt that his election would mean losses for both liberals and progressives, but they would be ordinary political losses. There will be no martial law, no kristalnacht, no third world war. I will certainly take some losses, being brown and living on a combination of VA and SSA disability benefits, but I also am acceptable losses.

    This is different from how @katydid mischaracterizes my arguments, resorting to the simple tactic of pretending I am a cartoon character from the 90's and arguing with him.

    Analogies are messy by nature but generally good for evoking a sense of a thing. There was nothing inconsistent in mine, they just used different scale to describe different ideas and outcomes. How the ogre analogy is dismissive of Trumps misogyny escapes me.

    Now, it is certainly reasonable to understand my arguments and disagree with them, but you'll have to actually read them and stop imputing to me ideas you are getting elsewhere. That's exactly the kind of lazy straw man argument that Ed made at the beginning.

    @Mama: It's Mojrim ibn Harb – but I'd be careful donating money to anyone you like under that name – it's arabic for "criminal, son of war."

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