2016 LIEBERMAN AWARD WINNER: TIM KAINE

(Editor's note: The Lieberman Award is given annually to the worst example of a human being over a twelve month period. Click the tag at the end of the post to review past winners.)

medalEnough ink has been spilled over Donald Trump and the people who made his rise to political power possible. I owe you more than to do something as obvious as declare the president-elect the worst human being of 2016. You'd have to go back to Hitler to find an equivalent example of one human being who was so singularly responsible for ruining an entire 12-month period for such a large number of people. But I thought it would be more interesting to take a closer look at someone you heard almost nothing about in comparison, someone you may even have completely forgotten about. Besides, Trump won this award last year.

Why Tim Kaine? What did Tim Kaine ever do to anyone? He was almost a total non-entity in 2016, yet he symbolizes everything that went wrong with Hillary Clinton's campaign and the strain of Democratic Party politics that has proven itself time and again to be a disaster. In the true spirit of the Lieberman Award, Kaine is the embodiment of the New Democrat centrism that sounds suspiciously like being a moderate Republican. His choice as the running mate is, in hindsight, one of the clearest signs that Clinton still doesn't Get It, writ large.

Certainly there are some merits to picking Kaine. He has extensive elected experience which made him a good choice for the Clinton campaign's strategy (which I talked about over the summer) of giving Americans a clear choice between Adults in the Room and a disorganized lunatic. Even with the benefit of hindsight it isn't the worst strategy ever conceived; it simply has the fatal flaw of giving the American public a little bit of credit for intelligence. It is premised upon the belief that voters aren't really going to turn the country over to a lunatic just because they're angry and his opponent is short on charisma. That turned out to be a bad gamble.

Really, what is Tim Kaine but a time capsule from the W Bush era, a Democrat perfectly designed to win a statewide election in a reddish-purple state circa 2006? He is the culmination of the Bill Clinton-led New Democrat movement in the early 90s that posited that the best way for Democrats to win elections was to do most of the things Republicans do but, I dunno, seem a little less bloodless and unhip while doing it? People like Kaine are a way for educated white people to vote for a Republican without having to feel bad about themselves because the name has "D" after it. The turn to Eisenhower Republicanism produced some short-term success for Democrats, but the 2016 Clinton campaign is likely to be its Waterloo.

As another writer put it, Tim Kaine is Civil Unions. Tim Kaine is every half-assed compromise position that New Democrats have proposed over the past 25 years in the belief that what voters really want is a candidate who thinks a lot and kinda refuses to take a firm position on anything. He is the personification of the belief that trying to please all of the people all of the time is both possible and desirable. Is Kaine the worst human being on Earth? Of course not. But he is an excellent case study in a political ideology so bankrupt that it could not stand up against a candidate who ran literally as a joke and was as shocked as anyone that he won anything.

For everyone who criticized Hillary as a wishy-washy, right-leaning panderer who sees herself as entitled to the nomination of her party, Kaine is Exhibit A. This guy has zero future. He's an anachronism in 2016; by 2020 or 2024 he will be a fossil. He has no appeal to the kind of voters the Clinton campaign as a whole could not rally to their cause. In an increasingly multiracial, urban country, Tim Kaine is the argument in 2004 that what a candidate really needs to do is appeal to enough soccer moms and NASCAR dads.

Tim Kaine may be a nice guy. He has done some impressive things for Virginia and as a civil rights litigator. But as a presidential running mate in 2016 he only reinforced the fatal attachment of a lot of the Democratic Party power structure to a thoroughly outdated and failed set of ideas. He is a relic of the time when the Party could conceive of no other way to win better than to be more like Republicans and hope that real GOPers were personally repugnant enough (and they often were) to repulse voters. He is the poster child for a party faction that stands for nothing because it is so eager to stand for whatever it believes you want to hear from it.

Congratulations, Tim Kaine. You seemingly were cast into the dustbin of history before this campaign was even over, but you will now be immortalized forever as the winner of the 2016 Lieberman Award. Go. Go away. And take Donna Brazile with you.

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134 Responses to “2016 LIEBERMAN AWARD WINNER: TIM KAINE”

  1. Katydid Says:

    Ed, gotta disagree with you there. Tim Kaine was my governor when I lived in Northern VA. He may seem like all the things you say…until you get to know him. He combines being a decent human being (nobody in the past 2 clown cars on the right can claim), but also surprisingly progressive. Not only that, but he managed to govern VA–not only the having-a-job, believing-in-science, not-making-meth-in-the-bathtub north whose civilization pays the freight for the rest of the state…but also the not-Northern-Virginia area, which is pretty much straight out of Deliverance.

    DKos has a pretty good diary up about rural Kentucky and the holler-dwellin', heroin-usin', education-hatin', self-destructive folks who vote against their own self interest time and again, and that pretty much describes the bulk of Virginia, too. Kaine was able to keep the crazies pacified enough to make the state actually function, so there was every chance he could have walked that fine line to appease the crazies in the rest of the country.

  2. Shott3r Says:

    Katydid, I agree with you. This reads as a touch too mean-spirited given the reality of Tim Kaine, but it would be perfect if read as The Idea of Time Kaine. The Idea of Time Kaine ("gotta pick a white man, can't go all in on women or minorities on the ticket, can't pick Liz Warren cuz she'll outshine Hillary", etc) is the bankruptcy of modern Democratic electoral politics writ large. The Idea of Time Kaine is Hillary thinking she could merely run out the clock, instead of press her advantage.

    With that small tweak I'm fully on board with the article.

  3. MarkD Says:

    Got to say, I would be ok with an Eisenhower Republican. Go back and read his farewell speech. One of the things he was proud of was expanding Social Security.

  4. HoosierPoli Says:

    If Tim Kaine had topped the ticket he would have won in a walk.

  5. Katydid Says:

    Elizabeth Warren did not want any part of running for office, period. She was very clear about that (and really, who would blame her?). She also had the woman-thing going for her–the Rs were sharpening their knives and salivating. They had 25 years to trump up lies about Hillary Clinton, but there would have been time to slander and libel Warren, too. They like their wimmin folk stupid, lazy, and malleable like Palin.

    Martin O'Malley also would have been a good choice for VP; he's very Tim Kaine-like.

    Instead we've got a joke for a P and a VP who thinks The Handmaid's Tale was an instruction manual.

  6. Katydid Says:

    @Shott3r; I expect the selection of Tim Kaine was more about "middle-of-the-road, got experience, generally liked".

  7. geoff Says:

    Golly, it's very early in the morning to be arguing. So I'll just say, with the very obvious "we'll never know" caveat, that if Mrs. Clinton had somehow been persuaded to make nice with Senator Sanders (and vice versa, obv.) in July, we might not be looking at Jeff "too racist to be a Federal judge in the fucking '80s" Sessions as AG and so forth.

    "Even with the benefit of hindsight it isn't the worst strategy ever conceived; it simply has the fatal flaw of giving the American public a little bit of credit for intelligence." JFC, Ed, it must be damn difficult teachin' the Youth of America with that level of cynicism. On the other hand, I about spit my morning beverage all over the screen, so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

  8. Dave Dell Says:

    Gotta say that a majority of voters didn't cast a ballot for trump.

    I've heard/read that if we had 90% plus voter turnout election results wouldn't differ. Hard to convince me that's actually the case when a few thousand votes here or there can swing a nationwide election.

    I should say that it's a little less hard to convince me that the third party voters that kept both Sec. Clinton and trump from receiving a majority of votes cast were voting for a different "disorganized lunatic".

    My problem is that we'll never know if mandatory voting or other voting changes such as election day as a Holiday would make a difference. Sometime in the next four years voter suppression laws will be found constitutional by the newly packed Supreme Court. Only "right thinking" people will be voting in the next presidential election.

  9. Sharkbabe Says:

    Shorter Ed: Hillz and dems are infuriatingly tepid goddamn fraidy cats.

    No argument there!

  10. Arjun Jobil Says:

    Darn. Now i have to get out my Chaucer to review the Handmaid's Tale. Was that the one about the weird kiss in the dark?

    About Donna B. I have to admit i was just getting to like her when she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

  11. Rich S Says:

    MarkD, you're right. Ike would be ok in the political spectrum as it existed in 1956 when he represented the bulk of the republican party and there was still a viable liberal end of that spectrum to balance things out.
    For someone with his politics to now represent the left end of our spectrum as it is today while the right end of this spectrum has shifted into sociopathic lunacy is not acceptable behavior from current dems.

  12. John Danley Says:

    Kaine, despite his curriculum vitae, couldn't supply a thimble of adrenaline to animate the Dems for a better turnout in the wake of throwing Bernie under the primary bus. Too many registered voters decided to catch up on delta waves (as most felt during the soporific VP debate). More importantly, a force of personality was badly needed to counter the clinical personality disorder of the Ornery Orange Fuhrer. Sure, the spray tan crazy man lost the popular vote, but he was much more popular and bigly in the minds of the emotional yokels. Reminds me of the fox and rabbit parable (one is running for dinner; the other is running for its life). The deplorable brigade was playing for keeps.

  13. ronzie Says:

    @Arjun Jobil "The Handmaid's Tale" is by Margaret Atwood, not Chaucer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Handmaid's_Tale

    @Rich S The people who called Eisenhower a "conscious agent of the communist conspiracy" are now running the Republican party and will hold two of the branches of the federal government as of 20 January, with the third to follow just as soon as they can manage it. I don't see Progressives changing that in less than a generation, though I'd love to be proved wrong.

  14. Rich S Says:

    I'm with Liz Warren and Sanders to reclaim that left end of the spectrum. Trump needs to be fought hard I don't see shumer being up to it. Trump also needs to be hung around Ryans neck like an anchor.
    No dospute woth you. My point was that Ike is not what we need.

  15. Well....mostly Says:

    He didn't nominate himself, so HRC gets at least half the trophy. I don,t think his existence alone qualifies him: there are political realities for a D in Va.
    But the point stands. The Dems needed a shit-kicker somewhere on the ticket. Had to settle for some judo throws.
    Still TK would make a better friend or relative than any, absolutely any, of the crowd that will work in, for, or on the WH after 1/20. That's an easy call and sort of proves Ed's point. If we want to keep the those types away from the WH we have to move past the centrist dem pool and that tired bag of tricks. Not nearly enough fu in that crowd for these times.

  16. J. Dryden Says:

    Gotta side with the dissenters on this one, Ed. It's not that your characterization of Sen. Kaine's symbolism is inapt–but surely the Lieberman in question is, as others have suggested, the ones who selected him as a running mate on a ticket that was already creaky from its overload of centrism. There seems to be a notion among Democrats that the way to appeal to undecided voters is to transform into the party of the indecisive. That's a dick move, when one's opponents are steadily normalizing totalitarianism.

    "Well, who would you have chosen?" Paul Ryan. Both for what he is in himself (which I don't think you can claim for Sen. Kaine), and for what he represents. Ryan is the Vichy GOP. The ones who know that Trump was not just unqualified (we've had unqualified presidents before–Reagan and W. come to mind, and given what the GOP accomplished, it's easy to see why Ryan & Co. might have favored Trump on that term), but dangerously narcissistic, emotionally erratic, careless, loud–in a word, completely and utterly impolitic. The ones who know that making him president is actually, substantially dangerous. Who know that any love of country demands that such a man not know of the existence of the Football, much less be given its codes.

    Ryan knows this. He knows it. They all know it–he and McConnell and all the others who ducked cameras and dodged comments and got that "fuck fuck fuck" look in their eyes whenever reporters would ask "Did you see what Trump tweeted this morning?"

    And they looked into their souls and said…"The slight possibility of power is worth more than the safety of the electorate. Our egos matter more than the lives–not the QUALITY of lives–the actual LIVES THEMSELVES–of the people who elected us to serve their interests. We'll probably be OK. Probably. Maybe. Maybe."

    And then they all retreated to the secret room in the Capital that they've dubbed "Galt's Gulch" for their mid-morning circle jerk of fury, where the bank of TV screens show an endless loop of 'Black Man Rapes White Woman' pornography, and everyone has to make eye-contact with the bust of Reagan at the moment of orgasm.

    So, yeah. That guy. Those guys. The ones who collaborate with evil madness in order to advance their own bad agenda. Surely they, more than any other, are the embodiment of the spirit of Lieberman.

  17. Skepticalist Says:

    If one asked me who was running with Hillary I would have stuttered a bit providing my answer.

  18. greatlaurel Says:

    Ed, did you ever bother to read any of Hillary Clinton's platform proposals during the primary or general elections? Did you bother to watch any of Tim Kaine's speeches, especially his speech when he accepted the nomination? Clinton/Kaine ran on the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Anyone saying they were too centrist either doesn't know what they are talking about or has bought the right wing propaganda about Hillary Clinton, hook, line and sinker.

    Hillary Clinton, despite the hundreds of billions of right wing money spent to denigrate her reputation, won the popular vote by 3 million votes. This back stabbing by Ed and other self-proclaimed "progressives" just helps provide much needed cover for the theft of the election by the right wingers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Anyone who believes she really lost those states without considerable voter suppression and voting machine tampering is not paying attention. Operation Cross-Check was just one of many ways the right wing worked to suppress the vote and allow them close enough margins to easily steal the election. The exit polls had Clinton winning, only 3 times have the exit polls not matched the actual results in presidential elections, 2000, 2004, and 2016.

    You might want to stop blaming Democratic candidates and start investigating what the right wing is doing to this country. The useful idiots of the SDS helped elect Nixon. Nixon was a traitor to this country and it cost 30,000 American soldiers their lives and tens of millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians their lives, too. But it feels so good to be so smug about those darn centrist Democrats. The millions of people in the Middle Easr who have died due to the Bush regime surely preferred Bush to that darn centrist Gore, too.

    This has to be your absolutely worst post ever. Your white, male upper middle class privilege is showing. You should be ashamed.

  19. Mark B Says:

    As a resident of Wisconsin's first congressional district, I couldn't agree more with J Dryden about Paul Ryan being the ideal Lieberman winner. Talking with his office during the election, they knew full well what a Trump victory meant to his ability to finally enact his agenda. They got their rubber stamp to push Ryan's Ayn Rand nonsense, and nothing else matters.

  20. Neutopian Says:

    I was talking to a friend the other day, and we both agreed that the announcement of TK as running mate was when we realised we really might lose. Just utterly tone-deaf of HRC.

  21. Emerson Dameron Says:

    After a rough relationship collapses, it's healthy to experience some resentment. I read this less as a Kaine ad hominem than as Ed's attempt to bury those triangulatin' Clinton Democrats forever so the rest of us can start over with something new. Sounds good here.

    @Katydid –

    Just finished Hillbilly Elegy and think you might like it, despite the soft-neocon sympathies.

  22. Katydid Says:

    @John Danley; get down off the cross; we need the wood for a marshmallow roast. St. Bernie was not thrown under the bus by anyone unless you count his basement-dwelling bros who couldn't be bothered to put the bong down long enough to actually register themselves as Democrats when it counted. He didn't help himself with his disdain for women.

  23. Katydid Says:

    @Emerson Dameron; I've got Hillbilly Elegy on hold at my local library; it should be coming my way in about a month. I do plan to read it. As a second-generation American living in the south, I'm really interested to learn where the "F you, I'm gonna keep myself stupid and proud of it!" attitude comes from.

  24. Katydid Says:

    Also, what Greatlaurel said.

  25. mothra Says:

    Sigh, greatlaurel. Just sigh. First, if Hillary had such a fan-fuckingtabulous platform and progressive agenda, why didn't any of us know it? Hillary campaigned as "I'm not crazy." That's it. She never articulated her platform well–at least I didn't hear it, and I am sorry, expecting voters to go to her website, download and read a dense platform statement is just really, really poor campaigning. Sure, Hillary battled a lot of right wing hate and propaganda, but she does have a voting record in the Senate and a long public service history which one can look to for information on just how progressive she is or isn't. I think it is insulting to dismiss Ed's opinions on the misdirection of the Democratic party by saying he is a privileged white man–because if that is true, then where does that leave me, a middle-aged white woman, who shares his views? Yes voter suppression played a role in Hillary's loss, but I don't think it was responsible for all of the people who stayed at home and didn't vote. The Democrats abandoned their base (yes, some of whom voted for Nixon), and that's why they turned to a vulgar talking yam for salvation.

    All that being said, I have to agree with J. Dryden. Paul Ryan and his pals deserve the Lieberman in spades.

  26. Jason Brzoska Says:

    @Shott3r, totally right. I think Kaine was a good guy with pretty decent politics, but, yeah. he was the equivalent of running out the clock.

    I was watching the VP debate with a large group of people, and was tuned out within 45 minutes (couldn't have had anything to do with the wine, right?). By the time we hit the end, my only thought was, "I don't know who won, but I know neither of these guys will ever be President." Well, I now know I was at least half right…

  27. The Mason Says:

    This post doesn't have the same foaming-at-the-mouth contempt and disgust that previous ones did. Hell, this post seems apologetic in a few places, which is a bit jarring when one considers the original name of the award.

    I am sincerely surprised that James Comey didn't win this year.

  28. Ron Says:

    Has anyone ever heard anyone who is not a PoliSci major say, "Well, I really don't like the candidate, but they have a great platform, so theyy won my vote"? Platforms are for the politics nerds, who are just about the only ones who read them. While the Dems are trying not to offend anybody (except liberals), and are creating nice, detailed platforms posted on beautiful websites, the Repubs are saying "vote for us and your dreams will come true, and you'll get to beat down those other people." Guess who won?

  29. MYoder Says:

    Ha. I'm sure Tim Kaine is a great guy and a wonderful governor, but watching him at the Democratic Convention I was left with two thoughts. One, how come every other speaker was head over shoulders better than him at public speaker. Two, he really reminds me ov a non-evil Jerry Falwell. Not real impressive.

  30. MS Says:

    Kaine was a centrist nothingburger, just like Clinton. On both sides of every issue (and then the partisan true believers can point up the correct side while ignoring the other words).

    Go on, read his speech:

    http://time.com/4426037/dnc-tim-kaine-speech-transcript-video/

    He tells his personal story so everyone can get to know him. And his shtick is basically "we'll help everyone", which is nonsense political pablum. By definition, you can't help everyone. He promises "reform", which has no meaning. He tries (too hard) to appeal to Hispanics. And that is…. it. There is nothing in his speech that Donald Trump couldn't have said. Could Trump appeal to Hispanics? Sure! Could Trump promise "reform"? Sure!

    Where's the promise to put 1,000 bankers in jail for their role in cheating and breaking the country? Where's the promise to double taxes for the 1%?

    Where's the promise to increase the minimum wage by $X and insure the unemployment rate goes to Y%?

    Where's any promise with meat? Nothing. Just "reform". And "helping everyone". There is no politician in the history of the world whose platform is incompatible with that speech.

  31. Pat Says:

    Ed…. I'm completely lost. In another universe, where somehow the Democrats nominated Tim Kaine as the nominee last summer….

    … Tim Kaine, in that universe, is the president-elect.

  32. Pat Says:

    Wait… did Tim Kaine tell Hillary Clinton not to campaign in Wisconsin a single day?

  33. Pat Says:

    Did Tim Kaine tell Hillary Clinton to de-emphasize economic issues (in the middle of a ^(@****U(@* depression!!1!) and focus on Trump's character?

  34. Pat Says:

    Did Tim Kaine somehow convince the nominee that "Love Trumps Hate" makes sense to anyone, anywhere, who was still somehow undecided?

  35. Pat Says:

    … well, I guess you're right. Screw Tim Kaine! Anything to avoid recognizing your party nominated the most inexorably unelectable trainwreck since…. the Titanic? Whatever; I'm not good with metaphors.

  36. NC_Nate Says:

    I don't understand how one can believe both that Democrats need to be competitive everywhere *and* that we need to dump these Clinton-ite centrists. Politicians like Kaine exist because Democrats felt like they need to make inroads in places like Virginia and Arkansas, cause lord knows that a proto-Bernie Sanders, no matter their progressive shit-kicking credentials, isn't winning West Virginia.

  37. bax_books Says:

    good #take, Ed.
    these neolib milquetoasts need to be run out of the party if Dems want any hope of regaining power.

  38. Katydid Says:

    @NC_Nate; well, on the one hand, Bernie Sanders had utter disdain for women and was himself a deadbeat dad, which red states absolutely love…but on the other, he was calling for absolutely free college, and there's nothing a red stater hates and fears more than an education. And at the end of the day, he was a self-declared socialist, and ever since the days of St. Ronnie Raygun, rightwingers have reacted to that like vampires to sunlight.

  39. Davis X. Machina Says:

    100,000 votes in 5 counties and Tim Kaine is the prohibitive favorite for the 2024 nomination.

    Punish the man for what he is, why don't ya.

  40. April Says:

    I, for one, am tired of hearing how Hillary "lost" this election. First of all, she didn't. 3 million more popular votes (yeah, yeah I know, this is the system we have and all that…still doesn't make her a loser), voter suppression…everything greatlaurel said.

    Having said that, I'm almost glad fascist cheeto is in. Had Hilz been pres. we would have gotten the same obstruction from the repugs that O got. I think maybe, like an alcoholic, we have to hit rock bottom before we can fix things (assuming humanity survives. It might be this is Mother Earth's plan to rid herself of these infectious, destructive humans. Wouldn't blame her a bit!) The disaster to come might FINALLY be enough to wake up the majority of Americans as to who the REAL enemies are – ie, the plutocrats who want to keep us all dumb, poor and scrambling for crumbs.

  41. Tropical Fats Says:

    "Certainly there are some merits to picking Kaine. He has extensive elected experience which made him a good choice for the Clinton campaign's strategy (which I talked about over the summer) of giving Americans a clear choice between Adults in the Room and a disorganized lunatic. Even with the benefit of hindsight it isn't the worst strategy ever conceived; it simply has the fatal flaw of giving the American public a little bit of credit for intelligence. It is premised upon the belief that voters aren't really going to turn the country over to a lunatic just because they're angry and his opponent is short on charisma. That turned out to be a bad gamble."

    Just wanted to be sure this paragraph got an enthusiastic thumbs up.

  42. democommie Says:

    Did everyone hear who hates Hilary actually hold their nose and vote for her, as the alternative is the electoral equivalent of sticking your dick in a meat grinder? Just curious.

    mean, "young", as in, "never voted before this year") and older persons who said that they hated Hilary because she was, um, HILARY.

    So, if you didn't vote for her on principal, fuck you. If you didn't vote, fuck you. If you want to save your nation, vote, ALWAYS, for the person who is least likely to make it worse than it currently is.

  43. Pat Says:

    democommie, it's Hillary Clinton, with two Ls. (Don't know why that bothers me, and sorry for the pedantry.)

  44. democommie Says:

    @ Pat:

    Try as I might, I can never remember that. On a positive note I never have trouble remembering that that the Pricksident-elect has only one "t",as in, "piece-of-shit".

  45. Area Man Says:

    April wrote, "The disaster to come might FINALLY be enough to wake up the majority of Americans as to who the REAL enemies are – ie, the plutocrats who want to keep us all dumb, poor and scrambling for crumbs."

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (continues for 94 for more blog posts)

    April, you give Americans a lot more credit than I do. I thought Hillary Clinton was a lousy choice in 2008 and a lousy choice in 2016.

    But I, and everyone else, really did think that "Not Insane" would have been enough to win the electoral college in 2016. Boy, is my face red over that one!

    Counting on the vast majority of Americans to have any political thoughts deeper than "I don't like her whiny voice hrr-derp" or "He must be smart 'cause he's rich" is a mistake liberals need to stop making if they want to win elections …

    … assuming we still have elections in the United States a few years from now. When I look at what's happened lately in North Carolina, and imagine the likelihood of other Republican-controlled state legislatures trying the same monkey shines (and being able to deal with a Trump Justice Department and Trump Supreme Court) I'm not sure I want to lay odds on that.

  46. April Says:

    @area man – It did take losing a world war to bring Germany to its senses, I'll admit. And I'm also willing to admit we might have to go full dictatorial-fascist before it sinks in to the rubes, but – barring total annihilation – I think there is a point where even fox-brainwashed illiterates finally understand what's what.

    But I wouldn't put any money on it.

  47. Annie Says:

    I'm in the middle of Drew Westen's The Political Brain, and it's pretty shocking (terrifying?) how relevant many of its observations still are. Trump the candidate was the personifiction of the lever lab rats push to dispense opiates. No amount of reason or logic appears to be able to compete with that.

  48. Nathan Says:

    I've been enjoying this blog and your take on politics immensely for several years now but last few weeks I gotta say I've been losin' you man. It's starting to feel like you're forcing yourself to come up with stuff. We all eagerly look forward to your new
    posts everyday (at least I do) but maybe time to take a break from the politics for a bit bud ….we'll wait – we love you and you're still one of the best out there. How about a No Politics January special??

  49. Katydid Says:

    @April, I've grown weary of hearing the piteous wailing and the shaming that progressives must, MUST, absolutely, provide compassion for the people who voted against their own interests because Reasons. We must coddle them and pat them on their heads and tell them that they're perfectly wonderful and special little snowflakes, and that many of them understood they were doing a stupid thing by voting in Cheeto Mussolini (either directly or by not voting at all) and did it anyway because "GIRLZ HAS COOTIES, amirite?"

    I've got the news on and among other gems, the Republicans just voted to give themselves more power over the Ethics Commission to muzzle them from investigating Republican ethics breaches. There's also been a lot of whining on rightwing news sources that Democrats better not oppose any Supreme Court Justices that Trump might suggest, because such obstruction would be completely unprecedented.

  50. Katydid Says:

    @democommie; you're completely overlooking the misogyny. Lots of Bernie bros have a deepseated hatred of women, particularly women who are not manicpixies who will drop to their knees and suck their private parts on command, but have made something of their lives. The rightwing started on Hillary in the early 1990s, attacking her for such stupid things as going to college, having a career before she got married, having shoulder-length hair, and wearing pants. You'll notice they attack Michelle Obama for much the same things.

    That's likely a good reason why people who pride themselves on being so observant and educated that they'll argue obscure points about superhero movies for hours and hours but find themselves parroting the long-debunked lies about Hillary.

  51. April Says:

    Katydid – agree completely! I gots no sympathy whatsoever and if the policies that the repugs are going to put in place only affected those fucking asshole dumb shits who voted for them I would be the loudest cheerleader in the stands! I hope all those rump voters are the first to die for lack of health care and/or jobs and or/food and/or of poisoned water/food/medicine and air. I hope the removal of OSHA regs means their homes and the factories they slave in 80 hours a week for fifty cents an hour falls down on their stupid, fucking heads and they die a long, slow death under the rubble. I hope every natural disaster hits them with no federal money bailout. I hope their kids never learn to read or write because they can't afford the private schools that now only exist. I hope that all the roads leading into and out of their shitty little towns become mud ruts so deep they can't even walk through to get to the store for the moldy bread which is the only foodstuff they can still afford. I hope they no longer have even electricity because they can't afford the private utilities.

    Yeah, I'm a pissed-off asshole. I am so fucking sick and tired of we dems constantly taking it on the chin and letting those fuckers do whatever they want while we keep being civilized human beings, playing by the rules. Much as I love him, and much as I appreciate his calling for us to retain our decency, I have to disagree with Jim Wright. I guess I'm glad people like him exist, but I'm not one of them.

    I'm tired of this shit; fuck every single fascist cheeto voter!! In the immortal words of…some one….(South park?) …."FUCK THOSE FUCKING FUCKERS!"

    Again, I just keep hoping that finally – FINALLY the dems grow a spine and do even HALF of the obstructive shit the repugs have done to us over the years. Keep your fingers crossed – O still could put in recess judicial appointments, including Merrick. Rooting for no-fucks-left-to-give Obama.

    (But not holding my breath. Sigh.)

  52. April Says:

    (Stonekettle, ie Jim Wright for anyone who doesn't know..)

    http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/01/resolutions-2017.html

  53. geoff Says:

    I'm afraid that with Harry Reid's retirement, Senator Professor Warren is the only nationally recognized Democrat in the Congress with the balls to stand up to the new President. It's going to be a real shitshow for at least two years.

  54. Nick Urfe Says:

    For a prize previously awarded to the likes of Donald Trump (twice!), Norm Coleman, and Bob McCulloch, Michelle Bachman, Dennis Miller, and the anti-Obama Bill Clinton, this seems a little mean-spirited. And not only that, but flat-out wrong: no way Tim Kaine wins an award, especially this seasons, whose tagged acronym stands for "Cocksucker of the Year". Why not HRC herself?

    Passed-over candidates included: Jim Comey (what's the over-under on Comey being involved in a sequel to the Saturday Night Massacre before the year is out?), Paul Ryan who just this morning acquitted himself of the charge "There is some shit he will not eat", Morning Joe, all of CNN, etc., etc. At best, Tim Kaine was just a piece of the Democratic Party's bulwark against the bloated corpse of Barry Goldwater. No one, not even Ed, thought that bulwark stood a chance of failing, and Tim Kaine hardly seems like the most symbolic reason why it ultimately did.

  55. The Mason Says:

    Okay, seriously, it's not like voting for Trump is a goddamn mortal sin.

    The median Trump voter is probably not someone worth convincing, but the funny thing is, if you treat horrible people decently, sometimes they become a little less horrible. And while wishing them a personal house call from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is amusing, in practice, they come for the kids, too.

    The marginal Trump voter is where Hillary failed to win. That was where the perfect storm of mainstream media incompetence, Hillary's INFURIATING tone-deafness, Trump's dulcet lies, and Comey's incompetence indistinguishable from malice ultimately hit.

    I like to think Sanders would have won, but that's entirely wishful thinking on my part. I voted fo I'm dating someone who refused to vote for Clinton for perfectly logical reasons (like living in a safe blue state and disagreeing with her politics).

  56. The Mason Says:

    Edit: last paragraph is incomprehensible.

    I like to think Sanders would have won, but that's entirely wishful thinking on my part. I voted for Clinton, but my girlfriend didn't, for perfectly logical reasons.

  57. Katydid Says:

    @April; come sit next to me, I think we've got a lot in common to talk about.

    @Mason; people keep saying they know people who voted against Clinton for perfectly logical reasons, and when pressed to provide them, just parrot the stupid debunked lies that have been dead and buried for the past 2 decades, but just keep shambling along like zombies. I can only assume your girlfriend voted for Cheeto Mussolini because she'd enjoy living the life that April describes so clearly. If that's the case, your girlfriend is welcome to move to Trump's buddy Dutuerte's Phillipines.

  58. Katydid Says:

    @Mason, voting for Trump is not a mortal sin, but is is proof that the voter is a stupid, thoughtless, self-centered bonehead without the basic survival instinct of a feral dog.

  59. other bill Says:

    I'm with Nathan…

  60. cromartie Says:

    I see we're going to argue about 2016 forever, so let's get some things out of the way.

    More people voted for Hillary than Bernie in the Democratic primary. I hate to break this to you 'Bernie would have won' people who still hold onto that idea, but it's about as annoying to see this as it is to see people who talk about 'Bernie Bros' (store credit to Al Giordano for that). The reality is that the Democratic Party of 2016 consisted of at least three different coalitions: urban minorities and equality identity politicians (all of whom have good points) that backed Hillary, and people whose primary points moved toward economic socialism (many of who also have good points). There were remnants of the suburban centrists we know and dread who exist largely because they look at the Republican Party for the shitshow that it is and find the Democrats as the least worst option.

    More people voted for Hillary than Trump. This is a second piece of reality that shouldn't be forgotten. She won the raw vote. As with the 1920s, the influence of rural voters outflanks those of urban voters, which is why we have Trump as President and a Republican House despite Democrats winning 3 million more votes in each aggregate race in the last cycle.

    Why do these points matter?

    Well, this brings us to Tim Kaine. Tim Kaine is the embodiment of a Democratic Party that fails to embrace a consistent, progressive message, a party that has no strategy on how to win elections from the ground up. He was a safe, Milquetoast pick for VP who just so happened to have the advantage of being able to speak Spanish. Rather than actually picking a Hispanic candidate to put on the ticket, one who would have demonstrated to voters a party that prioritized the continuation of racial inclusiveness and diversity, you picked a bilingual centrist Ned Flanders who shit all over the VP Debate stage and then disappeared from view.

    Is he a nice guy? Yes.
    Was he a competent Senator and Governor? Sure
    Is he emblamatic of a party that thinks it can cynically squeeze out a 50+1 strategy through message control and the most generic candidates possible while not really taking a stand on anything? Yes.

    And as such, he's as good a representative of this award as anyone.

    And if we are lucky, maybe the party will finally get off it's ass, fine tune Sanders' message (which is the future of the party) and find someone who can make a commitment to rebuilding party infrastructure from the ground up before the Republicans burn what's left of the country to the ground for good.

    But I'm not optimistic.

  61. The Mason Says:

    @Katydid

    Point 1: She was homeschooled by conservatives.
    Point 2: She did not vote for Los Manos Pequeños.
    Point 3: We live in CA, so it's not like her vote really counted anyway.
    Point 4: On some subrational level, we both want to watch the world burn.
    Point 5: Voting for Trump is not proof of such degenerate qualities as you state, although it does strongly suggest them. Said qualities also suggest irredeemability, hence my use of the term "mortal sin".

  62. Khaled Says:

    What cromartie said.
    The democrats also took the rust belt for granted and assumed that "not crazy" was a reason to vote against Trump, ignoring the primary results for Republicans where they tried that against Trump and lost.

    And yeah, Paul Ryan can pay all of us back, with interest, of the money he got from SS growing up and cram his $300 bottles of
    wine paid by lobbyists

  63. Khaled Says:

    Stupid phone.

    Cram that wine up his ass.

  64. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    The political value of 'heightening the contrast' (things get so bad that they get better) reminds me of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. He had freed the serfs and was moving towards a constitutional monarchy which could have made Russia a less brutal place.
    There were radicals who thought this was a terrible thing. A less oppressive regime could delay the revolution. So they murdered the Tsar. The ensuing wave of repression lasted decades, culminating in the downfall of the monarchy and the October Revolution in 1917. Success!

    As you might have guessed by now, I don't agree with this approach.

    I know someone who is absolutely convinced that Sanders would have won if he'd been the Democratic nominee. By a remarkable coincidence, he also has said that he can't stand listening to Clinton's voice, and that the only political issues that matter are economic and class related, while gender and racial issues are merely distractions. Biggest surprise, he's a white man.

  65. jcdenton Says:

    @Robert Walker-Smith

    To add to your point: political successes of the worst segments of society often only validate and embolden vestiges of those ideas and impulses in the general population. If the general population is implicitly and only sheepishly racist, then the victory of outwardly racist assholes will turn those impulses explicit and strident.

    The ratchet of failure doesn't suddenly reverse itself. People who blame minorities for the bad times aren't suddenly going to recognize how wrong they were as the times get worse. They're more likely to double down on explaining their failures through hatred of minorities. This pattern has repeated itself many times in doomsday theorists who only move the goalposts without discarding their convictions when presented with the very obvious evidence that the world has not in fact ended. Sunken cost fallacy means that we're more likely to stick to terrible ideas that we have invested energy into rather than change our minds.

  66. Katydid Says:

    @Mason; is your girlfriend 10 years old and therefore completely dominated by her conservative parents? If so, how did she vote?

    Also, you contradict yourself. If your girlfriend's upbringing renders her so mind-numbed that she blindly follows her parents, then she had nobody to vote for. She wouldn't be for Johnson (pot) or Stine (woman) because the conservative drumbeat was against them. You said she didn't vote for Trump…but she did mysteriously vote.

    And it's a cop-out to say you voted in California so her vote didn't matter. As we saw in this last election, so many people's votes were not counted that Trump was viable. So, congrats on being part of the problem.

  67. Scout Says:

    Between the bags of pure evil that are Kellyanne Conway, James Comey, Paul Ryan, Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, Joe Scarborough, Mitch McConnell… shit, the list could go on and on… it seems you could have chosen someone far worthier of the Lieberman than Tim Kaine.

    I'm so sick of the people who keep insisting Trump wouldn't be PEOTUS right now if only Bernie, Warren, Brazille etc etc etc. had/hadn't done this or that or the other thing. HILLARY WON. I certainly will never forget this. I will also never forget how betrayed we were by the media, most notably NPR, CNN and The NY Times.

  68. Katydid Says:

    @Cromartie; I get your point, but here's an angle I've read about and am giving thought to: we've just come off 8 years of having a non-white man in the White House, and we've all seen the hysteria and obstruction that erupted over that. Hillary Clinton adds another layer–a non-man! This caterwauling wasn't just from the right. If she'd included another non-white or non-man to her ticket, just imagine the unending shrieks from the immature white man-boys in her own party.

  69. Brian M Says:

    It's easy to focus too much on Trump. We have been "fascist" for a long, long time.

    https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-supermanagerial-reich/#!

  70. Aurora S Says:

    I'm with Katydid. Voting for Trump is proof that, at very least, you're willing to stand aside and allow the sacrifice of others' rights or even lives if it means the mere prospect of getting whatever nebulous nonsense that comes out of Trump's mouth. And that makes you a dickhead at best.

    The people who "voted their Conscience" by either abstaining or irrationally voting third party can also choke on a bag of dicks, because they've named their emotions "Conscience" to shield themselves from reality. They've essentially made a non-choice so that they can tell themselves the story that they are Good People, with Untarnished Principles, and Better Than Everyone Else. They've decided that they'd rather just close their eyes and beat off. I might have to have to pay for their non-choice with my blood, so fuck them. It was an exercise of immense privilege or immense stupidity.

    The puzzling thing about all of this is, how the fuck can any of what Trump has offered his lizard legions actually be appealing? They're leaving me out for the White Walkers for…what again? What constitutes a "gain" for them?

  71. Katydid Says:

    @Aurora S, this is typical conservative thinking–"I voted against my own self-interest to screw you over, but WAAAAH, you have to coddle me and comfort me because now it affects ME, too!" Just like those British morons who self-righteously voted for Brexit to "send a MESSAGE" and are simply aghast that they're going to have to live with their own pettiness.

    Also, yes, it was completely obvious that even the two best-known alternate party candidates had zero chance of winning–just like Nader had no chance. "What's an Aleppo?" and "Vaccines cause autism!" were never going to win over the majority of the country.

    Additionally, there are dozens of blogs and websites out there about conservative/religiously homeschooled kids who grew up and learned to use their brains–"Homeschoolers Anonymous" and "LoveJoyFeminism" and "No Longer Qivering" (sic) being just three. There's no excuse in the age of the Internet for people to wallow in the excuse of blaming their parents.

  72. Katydid Says:

    @Aurora S; apparently the threat to cut the few safety nets we have left in society is a powerful aphrodisiac to Trump's voters. And don't forget, voting for him (or a useless alternate-party candidate) is "sending a message to that uppity bitch who has the nerve to think wimmen be people, amirite?"

  73. April Says:

    @katydid – lol, thanks, hun.. Sitting next to you might be the only place I'll be allowed from now on.
    @aurora – it isn't so much what they lose as what THOSE OTHERS WHO ARE BLAH PEOPLE will lose. Their hatred of the others is greater than their own self-interests.
    @The mason – "Okay, seriously, it's not like voting for Trump is a goddamn mortal sin" I think it is. When you vote for a raciest, bigoted, homophobic, woman (and perhaps even child) assaulter who plans on doing everything possible to loot this country for his own personal gain and fuck the people over, then that seems to me to be mortal "sin" (if I can re-define sin as to mean a crime against humanity instead of against ""god"). I mean, if that's not, then what is?

  74. Skepticalist Says:

    Next time how about a Dem VP candidate that pisses off the GOP to the extent that they'll have to spend their half their time ranting on him rather than ignoring him?

  75. Skepticalist Says:

    (spend half their time ranting)

  76. greatlaurel Says:

    @katydid, @april and @aurora
    May I come allowed to join you, too, please?

  77. April Says:

    @greatlaurel – SURE. You bring the dip.

  78. greatlaurel Says:

    Drat, this needs an edit feature. I still hope I may be allowed to join you, despite my lack of grammar and typing skills?

  79. April Says:

    I didn't even notice, so I guess my reading skills are sub-par as well.

  80. greatlaurel Says:

    Thanks, April. I make a wicked carmelized onion dip. To combat the depression since November I learned how to make sourdough breads. Sourdough crackers using the discarded starter are delicious!

  81. democommie Says:

    As has been said, with more diplomacy and less rancor, by other folks–making nice with dickhead ruck bags is not in my skill set.

  82. democommie Says:

    Fuckbags, you p.o.s. algorithm, FUCKBAGS!!

  83. Katydid Says:

    @Greatlaurel, awesome! I'll bring the margaritas.

  84. Katydid Says:

    @Skepticalist; we had 8 years of hearing how the POTUS was simulataneously an atheist and a Muslim and was personally going to confiscate everyone's guns RIGHT NOW THIS VERY SECOND, and then we had about 18 months of ZOMG BENGHAZI!!! Also, too, EMAILS!!!! It was quite frankly a relief to have a VP candidate that wasn't being slandered 24/7.

  85. April Says:

    Look, a bland, white male was the ONLY chance Hilz had to win. Bad enough she was missing a dick….combine that with anything other than a WM and her chance would have been nil.

    Don't believe me? Look how many people didn't care that rump admitted to molesting women….we still don't count for much, in the eyes of a LOT of people!

  86. mago Says:

    Wow. Ladies, lay off the chocolates.

  87. April Says:

    Really, mago? REALLY?

  88. greatlaurel Says:

    @April and @Katydid, sounds delightful!

    @mago Racism is deeply ingrained in American society, basically a founding principle. However, the US elected a black man and still has not allowed a woman to become the president. Look how desperately hard so many men, especially white men, are still working to explain to us why Hillary Clinton was a bad candididate, while tripping over the actual facts of the theft of the election by GOP voter machine manipulation, voter suppression and GOP treason using Russian hacking. Comey certainly is so insecure of his own masculinity that he could not tolerate a woman in the White House. Clearly, misogyny and sexism are even more important American "values".

    Women are bathed in misogyny from the time they are born. Little girls are taught being intelligent and high achieving are wrong. Just think about all the vileness that was hurled at Hillary Clinton for daring to break the pattern. Our little girls have seen all this. Many women cave in and viciously attack women who dare to step out of the obsequious mold. Kellyanne Conway is the classic example of a woman who has made a career viciously attacking another woman for having the temerity to have a career. Conway is clearly suffering from a severe personality disorder due to her quite transparent self loathing, but it makes her a useful idiot to the oligarchs.

    Lay off the chocolates? No fucking way.

  89. mago Says:

    Wow again. By chocolates I meant eating those confections and resultant stimulation.
    Sometimes I forget where I live.

  90. April Says:

    @ mago…LOL…I coulda told you this might not be the place for offering corrections to we uppity wimenz.

  91. April Says:

    @greatlaurel Black men ALWAYS do something before any color of woman; they got the right to vote first, they were in space first, pres first…I'm sure there are a lot of other examples.

  92. Katydid Says:

    @April and Greatlaurel, thanks for saying better than I did. Mago's bringing the chocolates to our party!

  93. Lalo Khezia Says:

    Brian M–thanks for the link. I hope
    everyone followed it & read the review.
    Somewhere I saw the term 'turnkey totalitarianism'
    used to describe the current situation. U.S. has the
    largest prison system in the world; Obama deported
    more people than Bush. Trump will inherit these
    governmental mechanisms for repression,
    most of which have been in place since 9/11, &
    widen the scope of their application to include
    his personal enemies, at least those who don't
    have large legal staffs.

  94. NickT Says:

    "This has to be your absolutely worst post ever. Your white, male upper middle class privilege is showing."

    You don't really know much about Ed, do you? And the sooner the Democrats stop snottily attributing white male privilege to anyone they disagree with, the sooner they'll have a chance to make a convincing case. And yes, Donna Brazile should scurry offstage, along with the Clintons and the rest of their cronies.

  95. HoosierPoli Says:

    @greatlaurel – While there is no doubt some people didn't like Hillary Clinton for sexist reasons…maybe even the majority of her detractors…plenty of people opposed her for legitimate reasons. I was too young to be influenced much by the conspiracy crap of the 90s, other than to laugh at it in retrospect. Maybe that makes me the minority. But "being a woman" didn't force her to run a truly dishonorable campaign against Obama in 2008, nor did it force her to roll over and play nice with the Iraq War with the rest of the Democrats. Her problem, from my point of view, is that her actions in the name of political expediency have turned out to be millstones around her neck. She also is a weak campaigner and has basically no ability to read the public mood, which are both the kind of "touchy-feely" people-oriented skillsets that women are generally thought to have more of than men.

    The idea that people disliked Hillary because she was a woman, in other words, might cause us to learn the wrong lessons from the election. People like me disliked her because she was a politician with no discernable spine or principles she wouldn't sell out. She was no more vulnerable to Iraq flip-floppery than Kerry.

    Let's run at least one woman who actually has the courage of her convictions and see how she does. Then we can start tearing our hair out about sexism.

  96. NickT Says:

    @HoosierPoli

    What did Clinton in for me wasn't so much the right wing attacks, but the fact that she seemed to spend more time enriching herself than fighting for any discernible set of core beliefs. She spent years in the Beltway, playing footsie with some distinctly illiberal positions, groups and individuals – and never seemed to realize just how much damage she did to her own credibility along the way. I find the latest myth of Hillary Clinton as fearless liberal warrior absolutely laughable, because it misses out so much of her actual career.

  97. geoff Says:

    Well, I'm as guilty of it as anyone else, but in all the rending of garments over Ms. Clinton's historic defeat*, none of us have been saying much about President Obama. I was about as excited as a Southren (sic) White Boy could be when O was elected and sworn into office. (We watched it on TV! At work!!)

    Well, we all know what's happened since. After eight years of economic stagnation and endless war, the Democratic Party controls fewer statehouses than since before the Depression, just lost* the Presidential election and made no real gains in the Congress, which they lost control of years ago. You can talk about racism and Republican obstruction (and you'd be right), but Obama has brought the Party to its lowest standing in over 85 years. We know that a lot of former Obama voters went for Trump this time around; you can call them "deplorables" (Clinton's fatal error IMO), but I think a lot of them (let's say, I dunno, about 80K?) flipped from D to R because they'd bought into Obama's soaring rhetoric eight years earlier and it had gained them nothing.

    *Yeah, the EC is a tottering 18th century anachronism, but I don't think right now's a real good time to start talking about amending the Constitution.

  98. geoff Says:

    TL;DR the Dems are dead, and I don't see 'em making any kind of a comeback anytime soon.

    ("Help us Senator Professor Warren!! You're our only hope!!)

  99. geoff Says:

    @Katydid/ April/ GreatLaurel (can we call you The Troika?), we definitely disagree on Ms. Clinton's fitness as a candidate, but a sincere thanks to y'all for not letting up on the sexism angle. Would somebody like John Kerry as the nominee have pissed me off as much? Honestly, probably not, since after all I voted for his boring Centrist ass in 2004. Hmm, why might that be?

  100. Brian M Says:

    Thank you, Geoff.

    When we choose a Democratic political leader who is basically "more of the same ol' same ol' neoliberal claptrap, are we surprised people begin to lose enthusiasm. (And I was never one all that enamored of his speechifying, either. Obama always struck me as a Assistant Vice Principal for Discipline lecturing us stoners and jocks on our sins!)

    I despise the Trump campaign and his coterie of swamp monsters. Would Hillary (or Obama) ever CONSIDER lecturing GM and Ford (and Carrier) about relocating factory jobs? Even if it is nothing but optics and propaganda? No, they would burble about retraining the 50 year old laid off factory workers to take on student loan debt to be video game designers!

  101. Brian M Says:

    I should have thrown in a "But" in the second paragraph. While also acknowledging Trump's use of bribery (tax breaks! Always tax breaks!) as another factor in saving a few jobs.

  102. Skepticalist Says:

    Over here in southwestern NY it was that Hillary got within 100,000 votes in the county rather that run a bad campaign.

    My likely non-voting cousin was beside himself with glee now that cops will still be able to shoot and ask questions later and that the candidate he didn't vote for won. This was a big part of the election here.

  103. The Mason Says:

    @HoosierPoli

    What you said. I voted for Clinton and I'd do it again, but mainly because she was the lesser (by at least an order of magnitude) of two evils.

    @Katydid

    Conservative influence stays for quite a while, and does not dissipate consistently. I was pro-life in high school and a libertarian in my early 20s.

    How is it that living in a solid-blue state makes me part of the problem? Are you chastising me for daring to live near friends and family? Would you rather I live in a city where the most meaningful in-person conversation I had was an argument with a deluded old lady about how Sharia law was taking over?

    I have a friend who wrote in "Bernie Sanders". Is he part of the problem, too?

    I worked the polls on Election Day, and helped people vote even though I knew some of them voted for Los Manos Pequeños. Had I worked in a swing precinct, would it have been moral of me to "misplace" certain votes? After all, voting for Trump highly suggests a lack of sapience, so it's not like they are "real" votes.

    Good people are very much capable of selfish/evil acts. I tried to convince any friend of mine who would listen to vote for Clinton, and at least two of them refused to. Should I stop talking to them altogether, when I sympathize with the very reason they could not bring themselves to vote the way I wanted?

    You can acknowledge unpleasant facts, or you can play "gotcha" with someone who is trying to find common ground and who is already sympathetic.

    Or you can dismiss me as another misogynistic BernieBro with horrible friends, to which I have to say, I am not a misogynist… I think.

  104. Ned Says:

    This post reminds me of an e-mail that I received on July 23 from Common Dreams, with the title: "Clinton VP Choice Inflames Progressive Base | Your Week In Review" .

    The text began with:

    by Jon Queally
    "If Clinton has reached out to Bernie supporters, it appears that she has done so to stick triangulating thumbs in their eyes."

    My response to them, which could also apply to the present post:

    Given things like the article mentioned in the title of this mail, I don't plan on ever again giving money to support Common Dreams.

    Kaine was a civil rights lawyer for more than 10 years, but that wasn't good enough for you.
    NAACP rating 96%–not good enough.
    Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 100%–not good enough.
    NARAL Pro-Choice America, 100%–not good enough.
    Brady campaign to prevent gun violence, 100% (and this in a pro-gun state)–not good enough.

    See https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/50772/tim-kaine#.V5KZVbgrLIU for a lot more info.

    For someone like me, who cared a lot about and was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960's, already the first two points above tell me he's a good person. But you, or at least the "Bernie Bros" among you, don't see any of that.

    So goodbye Common Dreams…

  105. Katydid Says:

    @Nick; you talk and you talk, but you keep repeating the same tired old zombie talking points. You're furious that Hillary Clinton–based on the lies told by Bush and Cheney–voted to go to war? So that makes her a "war hawk"? Seriously? Wow.

    @Mason, you have a real chip on your shoulder. Do you seriously think that you and your friends are the only people ever in the history of the USA to have grown up around conservatives? Are you still 12? At some point people start thinking for themselves–sometimes it's in their early teens, sometimes in their early 20s, but you can't blame other people on your friends voting for a dumpster fire or chose to throw away their votes stupidly.

  106. Katydid Says:

    *choosing to throw away their votes stupidly.

    Public Service Announcement; multitasking is hard, yo!

    Anyway, Mason, get down off the cross; we need the wood for the marshmallow roast. There were too options; complete disaster and yeah, sure, okay. Your friends childishly chose the complete disaster option for Reasons. Own it.

  107. Mo Says:

    Well now.

  108. Katydid Says:

    Kaine was a civil rights lawyer for more than 10 years, but that wasn't good enough for you.
    NAACP rating 96%–not good enough.
    Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 100%–not good enough.
    NARAL Pro-Choice America, 100%–not good enough.
    Brady campaign to prevent gun violence, 100% (and this in a pro-gun state)–not good enough.

    See https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/50772/tim-kaine#.V5KZVbgrLIU for a lot more info.

    @Ned; as I said above, Kaine was my governor when I lived in Northern Virginia. I liked the guy. I thought he'd be a good VP because of his decency and his unflappability.

  109. jcdenton Says:

    @Ned

    I appreciate Kaine's record. He seems like a truly decent and competent human being. Unfortunately, this past campaign required more (or less) than that. It required people to sell themselves better, both to progressives to the left of Clinton and moderates across the spectrum. If someone with a worse record could inspire people to come out and vote, that's the person who was actually required.

    Continued arguments about Clinton's and Kaine's true record are pretty useless… it's important to understand how they were perceived by the different groups that failed to make an appearance in this election (or chose to *shudder* vote for Pumpkin Pinochet). Whatever either of them said on a website or in some other context only contributes to a part of their public persona. The ones they chose to craft for themselves through mass media clearly didn't stick very well, especially given that they were primarily targeted towards attacking Trump. Kaine was useless because he wasn't an attack dog and didn't make himself that interesting to progressives farther to the left. I don't think his actual progressive credentials are on trial, just his ability to win.

  110. Katydid Says:

    @jcdenton; But Clinton/Kaine did win the popular vote. Even with all the voter suppression and the lack of polling machines in key Democratic strongholds, they still got nearly 3 million more votes than Trump/Pence. I think Kaine was a balancing act–even people who call themselves progressives bleat, "ZOMG, in 2003, Hillary Clinton voted to go to war based on lies all of America was being told–that PROVES she's a WAR HAWK!!! Eleventy!!!111!!!" Kaine's opposition was mostly local–the rightwingers in Northern Virginia were pants-soilingly indignant that Kaine was a decent human being who favored progressive causes, but the butthurt heroin addicts in West Virginia and Alabama had no idea who he was.

  111. geoff Says:

    @Katydid, some of us consider Ms. Clinton a hawk due to the Obama administration's destruction of Libya, its drone assassination "program", and her repeated calls for a "no-fly" zone in Syria.

  112. Gabe Says:

    I'm sorry but anyone who couldn't see that Bush/Cheney were arguing in bad faith to invade Iraq is exceedingly naive.

  113. April Says:

    To all the men…..no matter how wonderful you are, no matter how hard you try, you're all sexist to some degree. You HAVE to be, because, unless you walk the world in a female skin, you have NO FUCKING IDEA how embedded sexism is in, well, just about everything. Not your fault (unless, of course, you are actively promulgating sexist behaviors.) but I would like to point this out. (Please don't take this as female whining…I've long since accepted and learned to mostly ignore the subtle shit that goes along with being dick-less. I am, in fact, extremely appreciative of those men who really do try to combat societal pressures and who, therefore treat me as a real person. You guys ROCK!)

    Same thing goes for all us white people. No matter how much we try and not be raciest, we all are, simply because we can't possibly understand all the subtle racism a black person encounters every day. (Cue orchestra – "Everyone's a little bit raciest, it's true….")

    What this means is that, for men, even if you don't think so – for you – and even if you have other reasonable objections to Hilz, you might accept that deep, deep down there still was a bit of a squick to a girl pres. Look at Obama….yeah he was elected whilst black, but WHAT A BLACK GUY, AMIRITE? Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte and Ward Cleaver all wrapped up in this one guy and his picture-perfect family. And even this had to come after the disaster that was W. For a lot of the "poorly educated" a cunt after a nigCLANG was just a bridge too far.

    Personally, I think it's time to end the post-mortems and move on. Fascist cheeto and his merry band of republithugs are the powers now, and we have to focus on what we can do to minimize the damages.

    And, also too (WONKETTE) give mutual support to help get through these upcoming dark times.

  114. Aurora S Says:

    Sorry, but the sudden 180 done by the liberals who jumped on the anti-Hillary train is incredibly suspect. The conventional wisdom is that she is too "Washington", too snuggly with Wall Street, too much of the "same"…it's just interesting that the things that would be considered strengths or at least dismissed as not unusual or problematic in any past election with any other (male) candidate are considered weaknesses when applied to Hillary. I don't think that there is anything that this woman can do that people will not have a problem with. Is she too conservative or too "radical feminist"? Is she too cold and calculating, or too angry? Come on, boys, which is it today?

    This is not to say that there are not legit criticisms to be had of HRC. This is to say that the qualities that we all complain about, most of the time, boil down to her exhibiting characteristics that are acceptable and even desirable when of a man, but considered socially unacceptable for a woman. Her life choices and accomplishments don't sync with her gender role, and here in 2fuckingthousandfucking17 we STILL find that threatening.

    Interestingly…during the first stages of Primary Election Psychosis, a number of eventual-Bernie Bros in my social circle had griped that they'd just like another term of President Obama. Then later bitched of HRC being "more of the same"! Umm…isn't that what you wanted?

    I would also like to know what these supposed Obama-turned-Trump supporters were expecting from Obama that they felt robbed-of in some fashion when all was said and done?

  115. Aurora S Says:

    Also didn't appreciate the "chocolate" comment…which illustrates April's point rather well. I'm gonna calls it right the fuck out…four women are talking about sexism and the possibility of it being a factor in the country's attitude (as well as that of the liberal-identified male commenters here) towards HRC and the implication is that we need chocolate to relieve the PMS we must be having to bring it up in the first place. Comments about tampons and midol too overt, I suppose? Rather than hearing us out and consider the possibility that we may be *right*, it's easier just to blame it on those pesky uteruses for making us hysterical and dismiss it outright. We made you uncomfortable by challenging the image that you have of yourselves, and ladies are not supposed to do that to men. The fact that Ye Olde PMS dismissal popped up is a nice little nugget of proof that supports exactly what April is talking about.

  116. The Mason Says:

    @Katydid

    Okay, but first let me adjust my crown of thorns. Also, I do not have a chip on my shoulder, but the rod up my butt does. Nuance.

    My point is, don't alienate potential allies merely because they made horrible/stupid decision in the past, especially if they repent for said decision.

    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." -Benjamin Franklin

  117. greatlaurel Says:

    @katydid and @Ned Thank you for such effective eviseration of the completely absurd "not exciting/liberal enough" nonsense. It is still astounding how many self proclaimed liberals are eager to glom onto the right wing attacks on Clinton and are desperately creating new imaginary flaws to slime Clinton and Kaine with in order to excuse the racism and sexism that was used so effectively to entrap the racist and sexist "liberals" in their pathetic support of the Bernie Sanders campaign which was at its very core racist and sexist. Sanders was more than happy to accept right wing money and propaganda to viciously attack Hillary Clinton. His fans were more than willing to ignore Sander's willingness throwing communities of color under the bus to help his wife's nuclear power pals find a cheap place to dump their toxic spew to help their bottom line. But Hillary Clinton is some sort of grasping monster for earning money giving speeches and selling books while donating to her family's foundation that has saved millions of lives. The sheer hypocrisy is mind numbing.

    Your wise words are greatly appreciated.

  118. greatlaurel Says:

    @April and @Aurora Thank you. Very well done. I salute you both.

  119. NickT Says:

    "This is not to say that there are not legit criticisms to be had of HRC. This is to say that the qualities that we all complain about, most of the time, boil down to her exhibiting characteristics that are acceptable and even desirable when of a man, but considered socially unacceptable for a woman."

    Horeshit. Clinton's greed, incompetence and apparent delusions as to her achievements are hardly desirable qualities. Nor is a long track record of playing footsie with some deeply unpleasant rightwing groups and individuals. They wouldn't be desirable in a man and they are not desirable in a woman. At some point, supposedly liberal women need to recognize that simply blaming men for their own failings, misjudgments and weaknesses isn't going to cut it any longer.

  120. Katydid Says:

    @Mason; to summarize; your friends voted to ship this country down the pike and they're proud of it and you yourself crow about how they VOTED THEIR CONSCIENCE, but how dare anyone mention it because it might huwt dere (and your) widdle fee-fees? How exactly are these people allies, when they knowingly voted for the worst possible outcome and find it hilarious because bitchez be bad, amirite?

    All I see is a lot of butt-hurt that you're being called on bad behavior. Talk about privilege…geeze, thanks for providing a realtime example.

  121. Katydid Says:

    @Greatlaurel, AuroraS, et al, it seems we're arguing in circles. Thanks for fighting the good fight, but apparently fish can't explain what water is because they've always been surrounded by it.

  122. geoff Says:

    @April, thanks and yes, sexism is unavoidable in a sexist society; it's the water we swim in (h/t Katydid). As I said to my kids a couple years ago (they're women), you can't help absorbing some of the values and attitudes of the culture you grow up in (we were talking about racism). BUT, you need to attempt to look objectively at those attitudes and think and do better. (My younger has a female friend who told her sexism is "over". She was aghast.)

    A lot of the whining about Clinton I think comes from the horrible realization that night is falling and the Dems, miserable corporate sellouts that they've become, are probably dead and buried. We're on our way to a One Party State, and that State hates you if you're a woman, or black, or brown, or queer, or poor, or pretty much anybody who's not rich, white, and male. Same as it ever was I guess, but somehow it feels worse this time.

  123. jcdenton Says:

    @Katydid
    While I appreciate that Clinton did well with people who weren't completely racist and sexist, the popular vote isn't the one she was asked to win (the majority of which came from CA, from what I can tell). She was asked to win the EC vote.

    Mentioning the popular vote is great if you want to convince yourself that the raw plurality of Americans aren't complete wastes of human flesh (I desperately hope that this is also true for a *majority* of Americans as well), but is irrelevant to the Democratic party's primary goal: winning elections under the current elections system. If Clinton had lost the popular vote, but won the EC vote, I can't imagine too much progressive hand-wringing, and the rest of us would be much better off.

    @Aurora S
    Many men, perhaps all men at a certain level, are certainly sexist. However, it may be important to separate out those who didn't like Clinton, but were perfectly happy with Warren, from the rest.

    A large number of more left-leaning progressives and especially younger voters were also disenchanted with Obama after he failed to deliver on a number of his promises (not all his fault in the given the Congressional climate, I'm aware). They most likely saw Clinton as more of the same or even worse, heavily underestimated Trump's appeal to America's entrenched nativism, and ultimately stayed home. Many of these were registered Democrats. The largest proportion were minorities. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/registered-voters-who-stayed-home-probably-cost-clinton-the-election/

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that Clinton's "real" credentials as a "liberal/feminist" or a "hawk/corporate shill" don't matter. As a politician, she accumulated enough of a record to feed both narratives handily (although the sexism did throw in an additional twist). The fact that both narratives are pretty believable from certain standpoints and the fact that she was not able to effectively fight off one while entrenching the other is the serious flaw here.

    You work in the election system that you have, with the past record that you have, in the media climate that you have. Adjusting to these is the reality of the American electoral system and failing to do so (or even perhaps being a candidate when these weight heavily against you without a serious counter-strategy) was her greatest flaw. I certainly see adding Kaine to the ticket as part of that flaw.

  124. Katydid Says:

    @JCdenton; I don't understand; are you saying that the majority of Clinton's votes came from California? That's not true at all.

  125. Katydid Says:

    Also @JCDenton; I guarantee you that if Warren had run, she would have dealt with the same stupidity that Clinton faced. Even when people thought she'd be tapped for VP, the knives were being sharpened.

  126. The Mason Says:

    @Katydid

    I will gladly give my life to save yours in the coming war, if for no other reason than to spite you for disagreeing with me. This is not sarcasm; I have a very strong and bizarre sense of justice.

  127. Katydid Says:

    @Mason, I spent 24 years of my life in the military keeping you safe. You're welcome.

  128. jcdenton Says:

    @Katydid

    To clarify, I meant that the majority of her popular votes came from just 5 states, the largest of which was CA. http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/popular-vote-results-2016-clinton-trump-2012-2008-vs-electoral-college-california-uncounted-ballots-new-york-update-totals-final/. The basic point being that she had CA in the bag, so her popular votes in largely progressive states are sort of irrelevant to determining her overall national "likability".

    If Warren had run, I believe (based on a general reading of the electorate, not on any hard stats) she would at least have had the support of many more progressives who despised Clinton for her real or perceived cronyism. I agree that she may have also faced the same level of sexism, but not the same level of ingrained distrust.

  129. Aurora S Says:

    @jcdenton–

    I agree. Though much of what has been accepted into the conventional wisdom about HRC is the result of the right wing propaganda machine forging its own "truth", and Warren hasn't had that. We can't really ever know because Warren wasn't the nominee nor was she running, but I (admittedly very cynically) expect the people I know who were all talking shit about HRC saying, "But I'd totally vote for Warren!" were doing so in order to tell themselves they're not, deep down, actually just sexists who have been thoroughly brainwashed for decades by right wing bullshit. Convenient, then, that Warren wasn't an option? Guess they're just gonna hafta vote for that third party hard Republican plus weed and minus all the uptight Jesus bullshit who's totally diametrically opposed policy-wise to the democratic socialist that they were previously on board with, before he lost the nomination…

    With that said, going on their congressional voting records alone, I may have voted for Warren over Clinton given the choice. But I wasn't. I would've voted for Bernie over Clinton as well, but that was also not a (realistic) choice. I'm not going to have a temper tantrum and refuse to participate or watch the world burn because my preferred choices didn't make it to the playoffs. Clinton may be kind of a stodgy awkward old fart, but that should be immaterial.

    I was totally convinced that the clown car shitshow that was the GOP presidential nomination process was evidence that the Republican Party is imploding. But here we are, where they have a chokehold on the entire government. All things considered, it's fishy as hell.

  130. Aurora S Says:

    I think mentioning the popular vote is a technique we're all using right now to remind ourselves that humanity is not a total lost cause. It's true that more Americans voted for HRC than Trump, yet here we stand. The system in its current form is basically at odds with the will of the people. It's a small comfort, but we have been experiencing continuous gaslighting from the Right for so long that any little bit of proof that we're not actually the crazy ones here is flaunted.

    That's the thing the Left has to realize, though. We're constantly "shining light on things", like the proof is in the damn pudding or something. It's like we have a royal decree from King Robert, unopened, that he signed prior to his death handing the realm over to us, right before the Lannisters with the Small Council and the kingsguard there to witness the whole thing, and they just take a look at the damn thing, tear it in half, and throw it up in the air before arresting us for treason, just for the hell of it. We're standing here like Ned Stark wondering why, despite irrefutable proof, they don't just come to their damn senses and give a shit about the realm rather than themselves because it's the Right Thing To Do. They will never give a shit about the realm, because they look upon the people they govern with contempt. WHEN YOU PLAY THE GAME OF THRONES, YOU WIN OR YOU DIE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

    #DropsTheNerdMic

  131. jcdenton Says:

    @Aurora S

    I think if nothing else, this election has proven that progressives need to start playing for keeps. Progressives seem to routinely underestimate the organizational and rhetorical capacity of their opponents, and routinely overestimate the competence of the average voter to see through the bullshit. The Democratic electoral machine literally runs half the time on dreams and starshine. Well, time to mix in some blood and fire.

  132. Katydid Says:

    @jcdenton; thanks for clarifying. I agree with you. I also agree that we need to remember that we're dealing with people who can't be reasoned with and there's just no appealing to their better natures, because quite frankly, they have none. I think that was President Obama's biggest mistake; treating his opponents with common human decency and respect.

    @Aurora S, you put that into perspective for me, thanks; how funny that people who swore up and down they'd vote for Warren, IF ONLY she were running, then turned around and voted for Trump or either of the third-party candidates who were the antithesis of Warren. As for "burn it all down", after re-reading the comment thread, I'm getting quite a chuckle over "Oh yeah? Well, I'll join the military and die for you because THAT will show you for disagreeing with me!" Uhm, whut? Sweetie, go right ahead, nothing's stopping you. But if you think you're being persecuted for having your beliefs contested, just wait until life under Trump!

  133. Aurora S Says:

    @jcdenton

    I see what you did there…

  134. chuck Says:

    Nobody seems to have mentioned here the unprovable – but perfectly plausible -theory that Kaine was persuaded to hand over the chairmanship of the DNC to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz years ago in exchange for the VP nomination.

    That being said, DWS seems more deserving of the award than Kaine does.