LOUD AND CLEAR, BRO

Special elections inevitably are overblown. Like, really overblown. Elections are ratings drivers for the media so they devote massive amounts of attention to whatever race is at hand even if it is as marginally important as, in this week's case, a single seat in the House. The weeks-long process of divining Meaning and Lessons from one congressional district will not be over for another few days and is worth what you pay for it.

Sure, it's not a great sign for the GOP that a safe district in the white suburbs of Atlanta is competitive and that a moderate Democrat almost won it without the need for a runoff. I wouldn't suggest the RNC and RCCC should feel good about that. However, it's one race and whatever sentiments are motivating casual voters at this moment will be long forgotten by next November's midterm. Hell, it will probably be forgotten in a month.

One piece of math that has nothing to do with the "Referendum on Trump" narrative jumps out of the results. The Democratic candidate (yes, singular) received 48.1% of the vote. Four other people on the ballot as Democrats received a combined 1521 votes, or 0.79% of the votes cast. Four candidates splitting less than one percent of the vote had no impact on the results. Had they all voted for the leading Democrat, he would have finished with 48.89% of the vote. Still not good enough.

I just want to meet the 1521 people who went out to cast that vote and ask them: What was the point of that? What did you accomplish? More importantly, explain what you *think* you accomplished, which is different from what you actually accomplished. Hint: nothing. You wasted your time. Were you trying to Send a Message to the Democratic Party? Well they heard you loud and clear. The message you sent was "I am a very stupid person."

Two months ago Tom F'ing Price was your House rep and you decided now that you need to put your foot down so the DNC can find some borderline socialist to run in the district. If it is not immediately evident to you why that is dumb without it being explained further, you may be a terminal case. Incurable.

What if instead of 48.1%, the final vote share had been 49.3%? How would you feel about that today? Would you feel like you sent your message then? I have surprising news for you – our two very large political parties do not bend to appease the half-percent of voters whose behavior reveals them to be illogical, impossible to placate, or downright stupid. They made every argument to you that they could possibly make in the context of this election. None of it sunk in. Why not save yourself the trouble and simply stay home next time? Subtracting your 1521 votes from the total cast would have helped Ossoff too (48.4% > 48.1%). So you didn't merely come out to cast a Meaningless Protest Vote. You actually made the odds of a positive outcome smaller, albeit incrementally, by showing up. You could have been merely passively stupid; instead you chose to be aggressively stupid. Why? To what end? Does anything you do make sense, ever, or is logic to your worldview what gluten is to your diet?

I hear and endorse the criticisms of the DNC, and I've talked about them extensively in this medium over the years. If that is a deal-breaker for you, living in white-ass Cobb County and expecting the Democrats to nominate Eugene Debs in a special election, then we will disagree but I understand. What I don't understand is going out to vote for some ding-dong who is going to finish with something like 300 votes. Stay home next time. Sleep. Get drunk. Watch porn. Do anything except what you did on Tuesday.

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63 Responses to “LOUD AND CLEAR, BRO”

  1. Dave Dell Says:

    How to know in advance with enough certainty to skip the actual voting…

    I have some sympathy for the small number of people who voted for some other dem. They had the same impact as 58,000 voters for Ossoff that put him in the runoff.

    There's not many ways to say "shove it" to the DCCC (or whatever they're called today) but a vote, while not making an impact, is potentially as cathartic as my flipping off the Planned Parenthood protestor as I drive by.

  2. Jacq Says:

    1521 votes split among four candidates doesn't sound like a protest vote so much as a friends and family vote.

  3. mago Says:

    or is logic to your worldview what gluten is to your diet?

    Har Har Har!!!

  4. NickT Says:

    "What I don't understand is going out to vote for some ding-dong who is going to finish with something like 300 votes. Stay home next time. Sleep. Get drunk. Watch porn. Do anything except what you did on Tuesday."

    PoliSci professor advocates diminished civic engagement. not a great look for you, Ed. Better that people vote foolishly, wrongly, drunkenly or for the Easter Bunny than simply give up on one of the basic aspects of citizenship.

  5. rustonite Says:

    "Better that people vote foolishly, wrongly, drunkenly or for the Easter Bunny than simply give up on one of the basic aspects of citizenship."

    No, no it is not. In fact, voting drunkenly is illegal in several states. I'd rather you drive drunk than cast a protest vote.

  6. geoff Says:

    Jesus, Ed, between you and Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, and Ronald Reagan and George Bush and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Donald fucking Trump, I'm seriously questioning why I EVER bother to vote.

    (I kinda liked Obama, but unfortunately he peaked at his first inauguration.)

  7. Misterben Says:

    I enjoyed this enormously.

  8. Maaya Says:

    I think Jacq nailed it. Friends, family, a few people who pressed the wrong buttons few who didn't realize the were in a voting booth and not a urinal, and then a very few people who deliberately chose that candidate.

  9. democommie Says:

    I'll side with Ed.

    I'm still talking to people, every day, who have every intention of finding another Berniebroapproved candidate for the next Congressional or statewide office.

    Andrew Cuomo is being the Obama of geoff's memories to a large segment of NYers who want moar librulz plz! In what is considered to be an overwhelmingly LIBERAL state (it is not) Cuomo is perceived by many of his party's voters to be on an equal footing with the U.S. Flag lapelpinned slimemold of the GOP, because he "caves" to them.

    THe guy he ran against, last time? Rob Astorino got 40% to Cuomo's 54%. In the previous election (2010) Carl Paladino (S*-Buffalo), corrupt p.o.s., racist, misogynist, anti-education friend-of-Trumpligula got 28% +/- to Cuomo's 56.5%. In both elections the RepuKKKliKKKlan KKKandidate got less than 1.5M votes. However, Cuomo, in 2010 received 2.61M votes v 1.92M in 2014. IOW, about 750K NY voters stayed home in 2014. I'm pretty sure that the upstate vote was about the same.

    Take your politicians for granted at your own peril.

    * Scumbag

  10. Zak44 Says:

    The great TBogg addressed this to Naderites in 2008.
    It’s even more applicable today.

    YOUR MUMIA SWEATSHIRT WON’T GET YOU INTO HEAVEN ANYMORE

    Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes.

    They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

    You don’t live there.

    Grow the fuck up.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    democommie,
    Andrew Cuomo is like the political version of Chris Wallace:
    Their father's were great, but when they looked at how their son's turned out, they must have wondered whether it was the mailman or the milkman who actually sired them.

    In NY, I really, really like Kirsten Gillibrand. She pretty much voted "No," to "FUCK NO!!!" on everything t-RUMPLE-Thin-SKKKin and his KKKongress have put forward.

    And no, she's not exactly Emma Goldman or Angela Davis, but she's pretty damn good!

    If she keeps this up, and decides to run for POTUS, if I'm still around, I'll do whatever I can do to help her win.
    ________________________________________________

    As for what Ed wrote about, every vote is precious. And if you know anything about politics, you know it often calls for compromise.

    So, let's face some facts:
    Neither Eugene Debs, nor Emma Goldberg, nor even Angela Davis, would have a snowball's chance in hell at winning a national election in today's America – they didn't in their time (even though Ms. Davis is still, thankfully, with us).

    If compromise means voting for the lesser of two evils, then I'll compromise, thank you very much.
    Because if you think Hillary would have been even 1/10,000th as bad/evil/stupid/ignorant/bigoted as t-RUMPLE-Thin- SKKKin, then you need an intervention.

  12. Heisenberg Says:

    My, how quickly we become friends with shitty Democrats when the alternative is Trump's GOP. And yes, in the general election that is the right compromise to make, so I do agree with Ed's direct point. BUT.. what's wrong with trying to get a better Democrat nominated early on?

    The current generation of centrist/corporatist/Clintonist Democrats are very much responsible for the mess we're in today, because for the last 30 years they've essentially abandoned the working class for money. But now that we're looking into the abyss, you guys seem more that wiling to give these shitheads the keys again. If that's truly the only alternative to the GOP (as it was on 11/9/16), then yes, I'll agree. But it represents a short-term gain at best.

    After almost 30 years of Clintonism, haven't we learned that it's not solving any of our nation's big problems? Until we can create a truly progressive Democratic Party that offers a real *alternative* vision of America, this shitty cycle we're in now will just keep repeating itself. So gow about we TRY to get better Democrats instead of just giving up?

  13. democommie Says:

    "BUT.. what's wrong with trying to get a better Democrat nominated early on?,

    Nothing.

    But when they don't get the party's nod and people are all, like:

    "You don't respect my candidate (ME!!!!!!!)! Fuck you, I'll write him in or just take my indelible (black, not blue) pen and stay the fuck home–so THERE, DNC!"

    well, who needs the slimemoldGOP for an enemy when your "supporters" will ignore you or stab you in the back?

    Democratz–especially in the last 30 years–pretty much suck at politics and do a far less than perfect job of governance.

  14. Ten Bears Says:

    Quick poll of of the science department at the small college in Eastern Oregon I am retiring from: "political science", like economics and astrology, isn't a science.

    In voting since nineteen seventy-two I have never voted a republican. Voted for a couple of democrats since, Carter, Obama, and have written in Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Yogi Bear, but haver never voted a republican. Last go'round you people made it clear you neither wanted nor needed my vote. You didn't get it. Now you chastised me for not giving you what didn't want?

  15. Jestbill Says:

    /OMR (Old man rant)

    Dixie Chicks! Dixie Chicks! Dixie Chicks! Dixie Chicks!

    The American electorate are a bunch of teen aged boys with a bottle of rum.
    If those corporatist Democrats had nominated progressives over the past 30 years, there would be no Democrats in office.

    DADT was all that was possible at the time.
    NAFTA was all that was possible at the time.
    Obamacare was the best available because Clintoncare had been destroyed when it was tried.

    Eugene Debs lost big time, Emma Goldman was deported. We had almost no army at the beginning of both WWI and WWII and had no interest in saving even a shipload of refugees from the Nazis.
    Protests did not end the war in Vietnam. Protests did not end nuclear testing. Protests have not ended climate change.

    "We" are not very smart and are proud of it.
    Purity fails.
    Anhistoric claims that somebody ON YOUR SIDE coulda woulda done better if only… waste everyone's brain space.

  16. Michael Says:

    Dude 1521 is friends and family. Hobbyhorse away!

  17. MS Says:

    Eh, what people don't realize is that the Dem-who-almost-made-it is very likely to lose the runoff election. Welcome to partisanship.

    Ed's emphasis on results is a nice example of 20/20 hindsight. If we only get results when we vote for the winning candidate, all the votes for Clinton were wasted in 2016, those voters should have just voted for Trump so that they'd vote for a winner. Duh. Obviously. Buncha losers whose votes didn't matter at all. The only acceptable way to vote is to look at polls for your area and cast your vote for the most likely to win candidate, regardless of your preferences.

    This is, of course, the rankest nonsense.

  18. Ten Bears Says:

    Quick poll of of the science department at the small college in Eastern Oregon I am retiring from: "political science", like economics and astrology, isn't a science.

    In voting since nineteen seventy-two I have never voted a republican. Voted for a few democrats, McGovern, Carter, Obama, and have written in Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Yogi Bear, but haver never voted a republican. Last go'round you people made it clear you neither wanted nor needed my vote. You didn't get it. It went to None Of The Above. Now you would chastise me for not giving you what you made clear you didn't want?

    We have to stop doing what we are doing, it isn't working.

    The MS is for Mad Scientist.

  19. democommie Says:

    I was NOT finished. I hate this fucking chromebook's keyboard.

    RefucKKKliKKKlans excel at demogoguery, lying, racism, misogynism and all of the other things that help get them elected. They absolutely suck at governance–because they fucking hate it, except for the pieces that keep them in power.

    @Heisenberg:

    Yeah, I suspect Mario Cuomo had moments of wondering, "WTF? this is not the son I raised.". Otoh, Chris Wallace is an absolute p.o.s. and disgrace to the profession which his birth basically guaranteed him a place in.

    It's interesting to seeTrumpbaggists who gave him a 62-38% victory in Oswego County are reacting to this:

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/08/pf/college/new-york-free-tuition/

    They're splitting along demographic, not party lines. The demographics in this case being:

    Those who have college-age children; those with children who will reach college age, someday and those with wombs and brains–and all of whom are not RICH.

    v

    Those whose children have finished college; those who are homeschooling their children all the way to their PhD; those who have multiple children by different women (iow, men with penises and without critical thinking skills) and those who will never, EVER have children, sfataa.

    I'm pretty sure that a very significant fraction of both demographics are people who hate Cuomo but love the idea of not having to borrow money to send their kids to public colleges.

    So, hate the sin (democratic governor/legislator/other elected official)–Love the sin (them ramming through a program your GOPalz would never even see as a priority)!

    There's a PBS 3-parter running on CNY PBS right now about eduCASHIN'IN! It's hosted by the late Andrew Coulson. He may be known to some, here, I knew nothing about him prior to googling him up. He appears to be a disciple of Milton Frie(market-FUCK YEAH!)dman and thinks that Charter Schools are the way to go. Charter schools, in my experience have a very spotty record. And what they seem designed to do is make the public school system ever less efficient. Once public schools are perceived to be completely worthless (not a long time, in many communities) then the business of for profit ed for the deserving view will be in charge. It's a scary fucking thought.

  20. GunstarGreen Says:

    And with that, you forfeit all right to ever lecture anyone about the need to "get out the vote".

    You cannot try to shame and guilt people into participating in this broken, corrupt system, and then when they actually DO go out there and vote, trashtalk them for their voting decision. Shit like this is WHY people don't vote. Because they know their vote doesn't matter, YOU DIRECTLY TELL THEM THEIR VOTE DOES NOT MATTER, so they say fuck it.

    And then you bitch about them not voting and offer bullshit platitudes about "ERRY VOTE COUNTS". Yeah, every vote as long as it's the vote YOU wanted.

    Either voting is an exercise of your civic duty, an opportunity to make your voice heard in selection of government… or it's a ritual of mercenary obeisance to one of two pre-selected ruling-class patsies.

  21. Steve Holt! Says:

    I'm with Ed on this. Our opponents on the wingnut side bitch and moan about the ideological purity of their candidates too. But on election day they pretty much unanimously suck it up and vote for whatever dimwit the GOP hands them, and guess what, they win elections.

  22. democommie Says:

    "Last go'round you people made it clear you neither wanted nor needed my vote."

    Really? what, exactly, did you want?

    I have never, ever gotten that fucking Schmoounicorn that I asked for. The one that I could ride through fields of waving grain, drinking mead that it pissed, until I was hungry and it cut itself up into nice shmoounicorn cutlets–starting from the ass end so's it could cook and serve them up with its forequarters*.

    Then, again, I've been an adult for about 49 years and pretty much knew when I was 20 that all politicians are lying bastards who would sell their mother to white slavers for far less than the 30 pieces of silver Judas got for selling out the myth.

    When I look back over the last 15 presidential elections and the attendant mid-terms, local, Congressional contests I see that voting for candidates who have NO FUCKING CHANCE of winning an election is just plain stupid. If you want to demonstrate your displeasure–write a fucking letter or go stand on a corner with a sign. Your anonymity in throwing away your vote is something that matters, clearly, to you. Do you tell your friends with SPED kids or aging parents or family members with mental health or drug dependency issues that you voted for a cartoon character so that another cartoon character would be elected instead of the DEMONCRAT that won't give you what you want?

    I understand people being pissed at the DNC. I don't understand people–especially those with decent educations–thinking that dis-engagement from ANY process will make it work. Ignoring a leak in your plumbing or a short-circuit in your home's wireing because you don't like what's on offer at Lowe's or Home Depot is. well, "smart" is not the term I'd use.

    * Non-obligatory and gratuitous reference to Al Capp's "Li'l Abner".

  23. Safety Man! Says:

    The problem is when people compromise on candidates that aren't Democrats (Say, Republican, for example) because they feel they better represent their concerns. Whether or not they actually do is irrelevant.

    Protest votes do not send the Democratic Party a message, but apparently losing roughly all the elections doesn't really either, so that argument is neither here nor there.

    I maintain that we wouldn't have to argue about protest votes if the Democrats could nominate candidates that suck less. Again whether or not they actually suck is less important than polling at a >40% dissapproval rating.

    Sorry I'm salty today.

  24. MS Says:

    To put it another way: there are two sorts of politically active people.

    There are people who care about ISSUES. They want, say, liberal stuff. Or conservative stuff. Or whatever.

    And then there are people who care about TEAMS. They want their team to win. The Packers. The Patriots. The Yankees. The Republicans. The Democrats.

    The TEAM people are for their TEAM, right or wrong. If their TEAM nominates child-molesters who oppose every issue that the TEAM traditionally has stood for, the TEAM people don't care. "Our team uber alles!" is their only motto.

    The TEAM people are most vehemently opposed to anything that undercuts the team. Democratic TEAM people hate Bernie most of all, because he represents the greatest threat to their TEAM. They are barely opposed to Republicans, but they fucking HATE progressives.

    To my mind, the TEAM phenomena is a vestige of monkeys living in tribes, and ought not to be encouraged. The Democrats are not entitled to votes, nor is anyone else. There are tons of reasons to cast votes for non-major-party candidates, ranging from "major parties are bad" to "I know this candidate personally" to "this candidate has the best policies" and so on. All of these are perfectly valid. But you know you're dealing with a TEAM person when they get personally offended – outraged! – that someone didn't choose their TEAM.

  25. Alan C Says:

    Protest voting in the primary I can understand. If that 0.79% stay home in the runoff, especially if it promises to be won or lost by a razor-thin margin, will really prove they're assholes.

  26. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    The DNC successfully rigged the Democratic Party primaries so that the Democratic Party nominee would be a Democrat.

    The RNC is probably wishing they'd thought of that.

  27. joel hanes Says:

    In NY, I really, really like Kirsten Gillibrand.

    In CA, I'm watching Ted Lieu. Experienced, whip-smart, tough, unafraid to speak his mind, owes very little to the national Dem. apparatus.

  28. Mo Says:

    The notion that simply voting is enough of a demonstration of one's virtuous engagement as a citizen is so pathetically weak that words fail me.

    Kinda like thinking that having a checking account makes you a financial genius.

    With voting for a non-major candidate being about the same as bouncing a check and thinking, "There! That will show those bastards at the bank!"

  29. Joe Jonas Says:

    It used to be said that both parties will piss on you, at least the Democrats will give you an umbrella. The Republicans are now holding our mouths open while they take a fat, steaming shit in it. I don't care what corporate Democrat the party puts up, they've got my vote. (And this coming from a registered Green party BernieBro who voted for Hillary, albeit in a deep red state.)

  30. Major Kong Says:

    The worst Democrat today is better than the best Republican.

    It wasn't always such, but in 2017 I'd say it is. Speaking as someone who voted Republican until the mid 1990s and was still registered as one just a few years ago.

    Every Republican in Congress is either a foaming at the mouth Tea Party nut-job or they're worried about facing a primary challenge from one. The end result is pretty much the same.

  31. SeaTea Says:

    Exactly what Heisenberg said, and what Democommie said in reply. I don't see any contradiction between those two points of view. Fight the good fight for the candidate you feel is best, but after that, stop being a spoiled brat who threatens to take your toys and go home if you don't get your way every single time on every single issue.

  32. democommie Says:

    The dems rigged the system. Right. They rigged it because it's riggable. Just like everyone else in the game of politics will do. The reason that Trumpligula GOT the nomination is that the RNC gives not a flying fuck about what any of their candidates thinks as long as he's a WINNER–witness the current groveling going on with Gingrich, Romney, et al.I flat fucking guarqntee that if Newt found out Trumpligula was one of Hitler's lost sons he'd be practicing his Nazi salute and ordering some shiny, strappy black on black uni and boots.

    The GOP has done nothing to advance the stated goals of just, equal and free society (that I'm aware of) since the late 60's–and that only reluctantly–or early 70's. They have been either the party of obstruction or the party of sticking it up the 99%'s ass–since Nixon, if not earlier.

    NOT voting or not voting for the only person who has a chance of slowing them down is idiotic.

    I have heard, for at least the last 30-35 years how the dems have let the working man down. I have heard for the last 30-35 years how they are going to take my gunz away (I don't got some). I have heard for the last 30-35 years that the entire democratic party apparatus is EXACTLY the same as the GOP. For the last 30-35 years I have heard that the dems are as hot to bomb the fuck out of the planet as the GOP. I could go on in this vein for a long time and not run out of examples.

    And yet, after 30-35 years we still have unions, we still have people of color being allowed to live freely and vote. We still have women in the work force. We still have a lot of shit that the Republicans would love for us to NOT have. Now that they control both houses and the WOH we spend our time and energy on arguing about how much worse it would be if somebody who's not progressive gets elected? I think that we are deep into "worse" at the moment–and I can see "worst" looming.

    I don't know much about Osoff–then again he's not running in my district–but a quick google shows that he has a decent education and worked for John Lewis. Osoff has worked in Washington for a former U.S. Rep, from Georgia. His being a democrat is probably a result of his parenting and education. He already has a decent career, it seems. Otoh, maybe he thinks that being a U.S. Congressman, even one who is vilified by his own constituents (he is a JOOOOOOOOOO!, after all) is just something he needs to do for his bucket list?

    Granted that he is not every guy the dems put up for office. He is also not some terrible corporatist. Ao, there's that.

    I always tell people to vote. I also tell them to spend some time finding out who the fuck they're voting for.

    Ed prolly should have said, "be an informed voter" but for a lot of folks that appears to be impossible.

  33. let them die Says:

    imagine if all the suppressed voters had been able to cast ballots. maybe get mad at voter suppression instead of rando weirdos.

    After all, if there were only one Big Republican, he'd be the rep without runoff.

  34. Mo Says:

    For those who haven't read Democracy for Realists yet…

    …real people are not much like the citizens imagined by the folk theory [of democracy]. Numerous studies have demonstrated that most residents of democratic countries have little interest in politics and do not follow the news of public affairs beyond browsing the headlines. They do not know the details of even salient policy debates, they do not have a firm understanding of what the political parties stand for, and they often vote for parties whose long-standing issue positions are at odds with their own. Mostly, they identify with ethnic, racial, occupational, religious, or other sorts of groups, and often – whether through group ties or hereditary loyalties – with a political party. Even the more attentive citizens mostly adopt the policy positions of the parties as their own: they are mirrors of the parties, not masters. For most citizens most of the time, party and group loyalties are the primary drivers of vote choices.
    Thus, the folk theory of democracy fails."

    The book was written before the 2016 election. One of the money quotes from the last chapter:

    _All_ the conventional defenses of democratic government are at odds with demonstrable, centrally important facts of political life. One has to believe six impossible things before breakfast to take real comfort in any of them.

    And this should give us wonder, considering that 62,000,000 of our neighbors voted for Trump, what "kind" of people these are:

    …voters choose political parties, first and foremost, in order to align themselves with the appropriate coalition of social groups. Most citizens support a party not because they have carefully calculated that its policy positions are closest to their own, but rather because "their kind" of person belongs to that party.

    Polls and surveys seem to solidly reflect that the "kind" of people who vote Republican are 1)racist 2)misogynist 3) authoritarian. Nice!

    If your vote is the sole bullet in your little handgun, you are indeed stupid to piss it away on any candidate incapable of defeating the opposition. Considering that we're ignorant armies clashing by night, with your one bullet, would you shoot yourself in the foot? Aim at a tree? Or join the fusillade at the enemy?

  35. templar423 Says:

    Mo: This. Excellent post. Thank you. Go over to Lawyers, Guns, and Money to read many, many explanations of why protest votes and third parties are an utter waste at best and narcissism at worst.

  36. Katydid Says:

    Right on, Democommie! "I have heard, for at least the last 30-35 years how the dems have let the working man down. I have heard for the last 30-35 years how they are going to take my gunz away (I don't got some). I have heard for the last 30-35 years that the entire democratic party apparatus is EXACTLY the same as the GOP. For the last 30-35 years I have heard that the dems are as hot to bomb the fuck out of the planet as the GOP. I could go on in this vein for a long time and not run out of examples.

    And yet, after 30-35 years we still have unions, we still have people of color being allowed to live freely and vote. We still have women in the work force. We still have a lot of shit that the Republicans would love for us to NOT have. "

  37. Death Panel Truck Says:

    The DNC successfully rigged the Democratic Party primaries so that the Democratic Party nominee would be a Democrat.

    Why shouldn't the Democratic nominee be a Democrat? Sanders pretended to be a Democrat throughout the primary season, but just the other day declared he's not a Democrat. If Sanders had been the nominee, the GOP would have won forty states. All they'd have had to do was make TV ads with an unflattering image of Sanders with the word "Socialist" superimposed over his face, with the hammer and sickle flag of the old Soviet Union in the background. It would have scared the hell out of people who otherwise stayed home. "Did you know Bernie Sanders honeymooned in the Soviet Union?" would have done him in. "What an un-American thing to do!" "What is Bernie Sanders hiding?" The GOP would have destroyed him.

  38. Brian M Says:

    Demo: Overall, I agree with your cri de Coeur. Except on one item:

    "For the last 30-35 years I have heard that the dems are as hot to bomb the fuck out of the planet as the GOP. "

    Yemen…Libya…Syria (yes, we are deeply enmeshed)…Afghanistan… Somalia..Central America (Carter started that one, even if the Reagan Gang made it worse)).

    Going back further, that racist, classist prig Wilson's (one of the a worst presidents in history) dragging us into WWI laid the groundwork for a century of disasters.

    Profitable death is bipartisan.

  39. mainmata Says:

    Awesome, so on point!

  40. democommie Says:

    @ Brian M:

    I was thinking of the period since 1960 (and yes, Johnson taking really bad advice). But, I'm not sure that staying out of WWI was possible given the situation. I am always ready to change my mind but I will need some convincing.

  41. Steve in the ATL Says:

    I live in CD-6 and proudly voted for Jon Ossoff. Anyone who voted for the other Dems in the race is either a family member or a moron or both. Anyone who voted for Karen Fucking Handel or the other equally execrable republicans is an asshole or moron or both.

    Anyone who argues that Dem candidates need to 100% Bernie pure is both an asshole and a moron. You may have the luxury of being an asshole and a moron while posting from your artisanal mayo coop in Brooklyn or your organic pot farm in Oregon, but millions of us live in the real world where we are surrounded by centrists, conservatives, bible humpers, gun nuts, etc.

    This district has been sending Tom Fucking Price to congress with HUGE majorities. There has often been no Dem for me to vote for. Before that, our congressman was Newt Fucking Gingrich.

    I would be thrilled to vote for a French socialist to represent me, but the vast majority of my neighbors would not. So the best we can do is try to elect a Dem who campaigns as a centrist though he may actually be a liberal. Kirsten Gillibrand did the same thing when she represented a purple district and got more openly liberal when her electorate was the entire state of NY.

    So purity ponies: fuck off. We would love to have your vote, but we aren't going to play your games. Grow the fuck up and act for the highest good of the country rather than your ridiculous ego. If you can't do that, have fun at the Jill Stein 2020 rally and don't wonder why we don't give a fuck what you have to say.

    Apologies to the others who have made the same point more eloquently, but I had to get this off my chest.

  42. Redleg Says:

    I agree with Ed and with Mo. Here's a thought experiment:

    Situation 1: A centrist Democrat is running against a standard Republican. You don't think the Democrat is progressive enough, but you vote for him/her anyway. After the Democrat wins the election, you write letters to your new representative and go to town hall meetings to make your voice heard and to influence the representative's thinking on the issues.

    Situation 2: A centrist Democrat is running against a standard Republican. You don't think the Democrat is progressive enough so you vote for some obscure progressive with no chance of winning. After the Republican wins the election, you write letters to your new representative and go to town hall meetings to make your voice heard and to influence the representative's thinking on the issues.

    I which of the 2 situations are you more likely to be able to influence the representative's thinking on the issues? If you said Situation 1, you get a gold star. If you said situation 2 you get to wear the dunce cap.

  43. democommie Says:

    "you write letters to your new representative and go to town hall meetings to make your voice heard and to influence the representative's thinking on the issues."

    Writing letters to people who think that you're a "taker, loser,commie, whatev" is generally a waste of time.

    Going to town meetings is a good idea–unless said town meetings do not happen (in my area) or said town meetings are "stocked" with reliable usefully cheering idiots.

    It's a painful process but the only way to undo the damage done by the GOP is in the same way, from the ground up. Think globally, vote locally.

  44. Scott F Says:

    What exactly are you trying to accomplish here Ed?

    To begin, as you stated there is virtually no scenario in which Ossoff would've crossed the 50% line. The 1521 extra votes, or lack thereof, would've gotten him close but as the saying goes: close enough only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If those 1521 voters would've casted their votes for Republicans, there would be no debate here.

    Blaming voters for voting for Democrats whose names are not Ossoff is just as bad as blaming Bernie supporters and third party voters for Clinton's "loss". Again, Ossoff wouldn't have won the seat outright with or without those 1521 votes. As for Clinton, this is the FIFTH TIME in our nation's history in which the winner of the popular vote failed to win the electoral college. That indicates a problem with the system, not its participants.

    We (i.e. the left) campaign relentlessly for everyone to exercise their right to vote and berate people for not voting when given the opportunity. It makes us look real hypocritical when we turn around and berate people for not voting "responsibly" and if they can't do that, encouraging them NOT TO VOTE AT ALL.

    I'm all for shaming voters under certain circumstances but this IS NOT one of them.

  45. Whitt Staircase Says:

    "Should I write a letter to my congressman?"
    "Each congressman has got two ends:
    a sitting end and a thinking end.
    Since his entire existence depends upon his seat–
    why bother, friend?"
    –E.Y. "Yip" Harburg

  46. democommie Says:

    "We (i.e. the left) campaign relentlessly for everyone to exercise their right to vote and berate people for not voting when given the opportunity. It makes us look real hypocritical when we turn around and berate people for not voting "responsibly" and if they can't do that, encouraging them NOT TO VOTE AT ALL."

    Well, that's an interesting thought. All I'm hearing from, "the left" as you call it–I think you're full of shit on that, btw–is "BERNIEBERNIEBERNIEBERNIE". That's the sum total of what I'm hearing. Oh, that's not you. You're different. Spell out how you differ.

    "I'm all for shaming voters under certain circumstances but this IS NOT one of them."

    Which circumstances would require you to shame them? Voting for someone you don't like?

    Grow the fuck up. Start working your miracles at the level of local elections, then proceed up the ladder. It's how it works if you want it done right–that Trumpligula took over the GOP notwithstanding. You might have noticed that although they all cheer for the N-in-C* in public the whole "united front" thing is a sham. A beheaded DNC would not advantage anyone but an opportunist like Bernie.

    * Narcissist-in-Chief

  47. Katydid Says:

    St. Bernie is supporting the Omaha, Nebraska mayor who's anti-choice. This is no suprise to anyone who's been paying attention. St. Bernie was a deadbeat father and has a record of not supporting women's rights to basic bodily autonomy. If women can't control their own bodies, they're forever second-class citizens.

  48. democommie Says:

    "And he does not pretend to be a dyed-in-the-wool leftist, noting that he enjoys the backing of both Sanders and centrists like former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), for whom Mello once worked."

    Ben Nelson was a DINO, forever. I grew up in Omaha and while there are plenty of democrats in the city a far too large percentage of them are hard-right democrats.

    If you don't support a woman's right to choose, fuck you. Thanks for showing your colors, Bernie.

  49. Scott F Says:

    "All I'm hearing from, "the left" as you call it–I think you're full of shit on that, btw–is "BERNIEBERNIEBERNIEBERNIE". That's the sum total of what I'm hearing."

    What are you on about? Are Democrats not left? Is "the left" only limited to Bernie fans in your mind? What am I full of shit on? Do you think Dems are just sitting around circle jerking while the GOP illegally gerrymanders districts and curtails voting rights? Or did my mere mention of Bernie piss you off? Seriously what is your point?

    "Which circumstances would require you to shame them?"

    When voters cast their votes for candidates who are woefully unqualified for the offices they seek. Drumpf voters deserve to be shamed for their choice. People who voted for Gary Johnson for his foreign policy experience deserve to be shamed by their choice.

    "Grow the fuck up. Start working your miracles at the level of local elections, then proceed up the ladder. It's how it works if you want it done right"

    Tell that to the DNC. They're only just now starting to get it and will probably need to be reminded multiple times. In the meantime, stop telling voters to stay home if they aren't going to vote for someone who has a reasonable chance at winning. Doing so serves no other purpose than to shift responsibility away from the losing candidate.

    It's not unreasonable to suggest that Ossoff and Clinton could've done more to sway voters to their sides. That said, not everyone can be swayed. Thus, it is also not unreasonable to suggest that nothing more could have been done to help them. The point is none of that matters. If all 1521 voters went for Ossoff, a Republican or stayed home, Ossoff would still be going to a runoff and we wouldn't be having this discussion. Clinton was downed by an electoral college system that has failed this country for the FIFTH TIME. What is unreasonable is telling voters that they're better off staying home than voting for someone other than your chosen candidate because that all but ensures that they will NOT BE THERE when you need their votes to win.

  50. Katydid Says:

    @Scott; "Clinton could have done more to sway voters to her side". In whose dreamworld? Even people like St. Bernie were running a smear campaign against her, and the media sure had it out for her full-bore. Clinton had over 40 years of experience as a lawyer in Arkansas, as a first lady, then as a senator–experience working for people, for families, for women and children. My friends in other countries–who don't watch American news, but have lived through decades of her and admired her diplomacy and knowledge of how the gov't actually works–expressed their wish that she be elected. It was only in the USA that there was a constant mouth-breathing whine "ooooooh, she killed Vince Foster! She's running a child sex-trafficking ring out of the basement of a building that doesn't even have a basement! SHE WEARS PANTS! BENGHAZZZZZIIII!111!!!11"

  51. Katydid Says:

    Re: basic bodily autonomy (and thanks for the support, Demo!) Remember a few posts ago when I was embarrassed to report just how close to the edge I was living? That one-sixth of a donut was a coveted treat? That I burst into tears over winning a 79-cent bottle of store-brand soda? That I was sharing a 2-bedroom apartment in a dodgy neighborhood with five other people?

    Well, know what the LAST thing I needed back then was? A baby. There was no way I could have worked all those stupid low-paying crappy jobs *and* managed daycare and diapers and all the other things babies need. In the waning days of St. Ronnie and the rise of George Bush the First, welfare wasn't an option for single moms. What was available to 20-something me? Planned Parenthood, with affordable doctor visits (the only ones I could afford) and birth control that meant I could keep working those crappy, low-paying jobs instead of jumping off a bridge in despair.

    So, all those anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood politicians? They can go die in a fire and I will not miss them.

  52. democommie Says:

    "What are you on about? Are Democrats not left? Is "the left" only limited to Bernie fans in your mind? What am I full of shit on? Do you think Dems are just sitting around circle jerking while the GOP illegally gerrymanders districts and curtails voting rights? Or did my mere mention of Bernie piss you off? Seriously what is your point?"

    I don't know, are democrats "left", not according to the NEW, IMPROVED LEFT.

    It appears that you now think that democrats are basically doing what you want except for that pesky DNC. Here's an idea. START YOUR OWN FUCKING PARTY. Call, it, um the NAPLNBTNBMMFACS*. And get your own mailing lists and build your own local networks of volunteers and ALL of the other shit that the dems and the ReFucKKKliKKKlansmen have done over the last 150-200 years.

    Then, just about the time you get up a little head of steam you'll start seeing your carefully cobbled coalitions of BLM, Green, Socialist/Workers/Family and whatever other balkanized, fractionated chunks of voterkvetchers you've managed to assemble start to dissolve into various puddles of benighted self-interest. First one group will say that you're not sufficiently ideologically pure on the issue of peanut-free school lunch programs; then it will be the PETAistas who insist on a totally vegan state and national legislature or perhaps another equally divisive, nonsensical and "highly principled" bit of idiocy by an as yet unknown group.

    That is what the DNC is dealing with and has been dealing with for at least the last 50 years. Ideological fealty– not ideological purity–is what the RNC does, and does very well. The DNC has NOT done that for a number of years.

    According to most of the reasonable progressives I know, change is incremental–unless it's cataclysmic. You don't want "change" you want "CHANGE, RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!". Good luck with that.

    I don't like the DNC. I didn't like Hilary as a candidate–although I have tremendous respect for her toughness and work ethic. Hilary Clinton spent a lot of years being the loyal wife, mother, politician, SecState and party loyalist despite the fact that she watched them abandon her whe she first tried to come up with some plan approximating national health care and and then watched them abandon her beleagured husband after the RefucKKKliKKKlansmen started the impeachment process. Whether you like it or not, she put in the hours and built the relationships that enabled her to win the nomination for the last election.

    Bernie Sanders has led a charge of one in a lot of instances on the floor of the House and Senate. Not that I think all of his votes were calculated political moves (in the sense of self-aggrandizement) but tilting at windmills was a specialty.

    Yeah, I could go on about this to book length, but it's Ed's blog and I have to take my hairy roommate for a walk.

    I will look at the rest of your comment, again, when I have a little more time and see if I can see anything in there that makes me think I'm incorrect in my assessment of Bernie and his brand new, better version of progressivism. I doubt that I'll find a need to change my thinking.

    @ Katydid:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Omaha Mayoral race. I saw this re: Mello:

    "And he does not pretend to be a dyed-in-the-wool leftist, noting that he
    enjoys the backing of both Sanders and centrists like former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), for whom Mello once worked."

    Ben Nelson is a hard-right democrat–progunz, prowar,prolifetillbirth. Having both Nelson and Bernie backing him, Mello could well win. There are still enough racists, misogynists and Reagan dems in Omaha to give Mello a chance to beat the incumbent. Thanks, Bernie!

    * New American Progressive Left Not Beholden To No Bigass Motherfucking Money And Corporatist Shitweasels *

  53. Katydid Says:

    *sigh* Sanders is not a Democrat. He has a number of ideas I like, but an awful lot I don't. As for Senator Ben Nelson….I can't even.

  54. democommie Says:

    My dear older sister, gone almost 19 years, was married twice. Her first husband was a complete bastard and a waste of oxygen. He dumped her with two young boys and then went on to father 6 more children with two or three different women.

    She raised her sons with little help while being the glue in the family sammich. Nobody's visit home or distant troubles seemed to escape her attention and she had a pretty good habit of not scolding people before helping them get out of some jam (although she could usually see right through whatever flimsy excuse one of us devised). She met a guy, they spent many nights together and got married, a couple of daughters down the road. Those four kids are married, responsible parents with 11 children between them. The dad of the daughters is a great guy and I cannot talk politics to him–at all. He probably listens to every fucking asshole on hate radio and buys a lot of it, wholesale.

    He doesn't hate anybody, that I'm aware of, but he sees a boogieman of Deep State or something similar in every thing done by anyone that is not a republican (and probably a teabagger). He once told me what a fine guy Lee Terry, Jr. was.

    "When Terry first ran for Congress in 1998, he signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Limited Government to limit himself to three terms in office. After winning the primary and general elections, Terry reneged on his promise, saying that he had signed the pledge because "term limits is an important issue and that was the way I wanted to signify my dedication to the issue." He ended up serving eight terms in the House.[18]"

    This is how much he likes the ladies:

    Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. (May 2011)
    Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
    Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
    Voted YES on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)
    Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
    Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)
    Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
    Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
    Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
    Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
    Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
    Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
    Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance. (Dec 2006)
    Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion. (Jan 2008)
    Bar funding for abortion under federal Obamacare plans. (Jul 2010)
    Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)
    Congress shall protect life beginning with fertilization. (Jan 2011)
    Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. (Jan 2011)
    Life and human rights begin at fertilization or cloning. (Jan 2013)
    No family planning assistance that includes abortion. (Jan 2013)
    Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment. (Jan 2007)
    Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment. (Feb 2009)

    And of course he voted to eliminate the ACA.

    So–no politics at the family reunion if he's there. I still love the guy, just can't talk to him about shit that he's plainly wrong on.

  55. April Says:

    https://www.facebook.com/IAmaLiberalTilMyDyingDay/photos/a.1711317355753429.1073741828.1711184969100001/1931642043720958/?type=3&theater

  56. Katydid Says:

    GAAAAAH—I hate the term "preborn person". There is no such thing. That's like calling a bag of flour a "preborn cake". Also, those idjits who bleat on and on and on about how much they luvs them some "preborn babies" never seem to give a damn about them after they're born. Come to think of it, they don't give a damn about them when they're gestating either, otherwise affordable prenatal care and good nutrition would be every pregnant woman's right. But after they're born, the "pro-lifer" is the first to scream about how they should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

  57. democommie Says:

    Maybe they should call them, "Pre-ignored" or "Pre-disposed".

  58. Katydid Says:

    The bottom line is that a baby's not guaranteed until it survives birth. I have two kids–wanted them both very much, went to quite a bit of effort to do everything "right" (according to the doctors and those books)–nutrition, exercise, sleep, meditation, etc. etc. etc. Almost died in my first pregnancy, baby almost died, too, from one of those complications of pregnancy that randomly occur despite everyone's best efforts. Stuff happens. Had I died and the baby died, could I have been prosecuted for murder for "killing the unborn baybeee?" Of course not–that's stupid.

  59. Katydid Says:

    Hey, DC-ish folks; did I see any of you at the March for Science yesterday? I was the soaking wet, shivering person from all the rain.

  60. Jae Says:

    I live in Cobb County, and I am happy this election is over. All the advertising for it was painfully stupid, every single YouTube ad was Ossoff related, whether pro or con.

  61. April Says:

    Katy – My younger daughter went to the LA one. Mommie proud.

  62. Procopius Says:

    I got baffled at, "… you decided now that you need to put your foot down so the DNC can find some borderline socialist to run in the district." Borderline socialist? WTF? The DNC ain't never gonna run no borderline socialist. They won't even run a right of center Democrat. If you ain't reliably "Red to Blue" RINO they're gonna ask you for a donation, not send help.

  63. democommie Says:

    @ Procopius:

    With OWC*:

    2017 Borderline socialist democrat = Eisenhower republican

    2017 Patriotic KKKonservative = Folks who think the "Horst Wessel Lied is a catchy, danceable tune.

    I'm still able to see which one is the lesser of two evils.

    * Overton Window Creep