WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS

The Russians don't exactly have a long, rich tradition of political participation and the Putin era is doing little to enhance it. Your average Ivan on the Street has little interest in politics; not because politics are not important but because participation in such an obviously, almost cartoonishly, rigged system is a waste of time. We Slavs are nothing if not a practical people.

Of course the USSR years gave generations of Russians practice shrugging, eye-rolling, and honing black humor in response to their one-party political system. After some brief flirtations with the pretense of democratic institutions in the 1990s Russian politics seem to have fallen comfortably back into that routine. Everyone knows. Everyone knows that the elections are not real, that the rule of law is nonexistent, that aggressive journalists or political opponents end up dying of mysterious causes, and that an enormous pile of oil, gas, and dirty banking money is the only thing that influences the direction of what passes for governance. The government and political process (such as it is) are so corrupt that eventually people give up on even trying to change it. For Russians already used to going through the motions of the Soviet system it didn't take long.

This, I think, is the real endgame of Trumpism and the reason (well, one reason) for Trump's obsequious affinity for Putin. Rather than taking a Russian-style brute force approach, though, Trump better understands the American affinity for being entertained. He's putting on a show for his idiot followers while running an administration so spectacularly inept, clownish, and corrupt that your average American who is not terribly interested in politics and already inclined toward cynicism can conclude once and for all that all of it is a joke. Of course the activists Trumpers take such delight in riling up will try to strike back, but the right understands that getting people to participate in this process is already the left's biggest challenge. The more that can be done to convince non-voters to stay that way, the longer the GOP can overcome unfavorable demographic trends.

When I see things like Monday's bizarre spectacle of Sam Nunberg – someone the President hired (and fired, and hired) on multiple occasions to run his campaign – lurching from one news show to the next like a drunk on his last bender before he leaps off a bridge, I worry that the "I can't believe any of this is really happening" aspect of Trump's presidency has already done long term damage. The fact that nobody will stop this shitshow reinforces every notion, already popular, that the whole political process and both parties are rotten and the whole thing is a sham. None of this is normal, but at some point it will become normal. For some young people it may be already.

That is the real long-term goal here – not to win, but to convince such a large part of the population to give up on the process, declare it hopeless, and get back to scrambling around trying to make a living that a small, wealthy minority will be able to hold onto power longer than it otherwise could. I don't believe in large scale conspiracies and I don't think incidents like Sam Nunberg's meltdown proceed from any kind of central authority or plan. It is much more plausible that shitshows like this are the logical product of putting sociopaths – extremely dumb sociopaths, that is – in charge and watching them line their pockets without giving one minute shit if the entire system is in flames by the time they're done with it.

Let me put it this way: if their goal wasn't to make all of politics and governing a joke that most people will eventually ignore altogether, they couldn't have come up with a plan that would accomplish it any more effectively.

63 thoughts on “WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS”

  • I'm dubious there's actual strategy, but it doesn't sound like a particularly unlikely outcome.

    But we'll just have to see how it goes – it's not over until it's over, and it could end better or worse than we expect. It's probably not a good idea to have any great sums of money riding on one or the other, though.

    I'd prefer to hope that this will turn out to be one of those "check yourself before you wreck yourself" periods in US history where people unfortunately wind up learning the hard way why all those things they didn't pay attention to in school turn out to be important after all. But that remains to be seen, and for all I know the lesson everyone will get to learn is that "mutually assured destruction" wasn't just a catchy turn of phrase.

  • I think Ed is getting to the heart of why Thomas Frank / Bernie Sanders / Walker Bragman types are so lost in the wilderness. They just can't grok that much of middle and working-class White America is happy to stay broke and sick and living in Midwestern / Rust Belt shit-holes, as long as a demagogue like Trump makes them feel morally and socially superior to, ahem, the blahs and the feminazis and the gays and the Hispanics, etc.

    I mean, I get it too — how the hell could someone vote directly against their own economic self-interest, over and over again?

    Because racism and sexism is a thing. A huge thing. I'd argue, the _defining_ thing in the American pysche.

  • @wetcasement

    West Virginia would beg to differ. WV has steadily voted for Democrats who have steadily allowed coal mining interests and corporations to erode the living standards of the people. Democrats consistently dominated WV politics until the early 2000's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_West_Virginia). Certainly, racism plays a part in all votes for the GOP, but when you're fielding the likes of Joe Manchin and the rest of the capitalist cadre, it's not a surprise that even your own base would eventually become uninterested.

    Over the last forty years, Democrats have consistently abandoned unions and the working class (it goes back to about 1978: https://www.lawcha.org/2016/11/23/bill-clinton-remade-democratic-party-abandoning-unions-working-class-whites/). It's not difficult to see why unions and the working class don't see the Democrats as natural allies (and may become co-opted by fascist rhetoric). Establishment Dem support for the current wildcat strikes has been lukewarm or sneering at best (worthless Joy Ann Reid recently scolded WV for not voting Dem!), so again, its kind of easy to see why the strikers and public sector workers don't see Dems as being useful on this point.

    The reality is that Bernie Sanders is overwhelmingly popular precisely because he actually promises tangible improvements in material living conditions, while the majority of Dems are just as complicit in the class war against the poor (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/opinion/democrats-trump-dodd-frank.html). In the case of WV, the strikers have made good headway against what is really a bunch of capitalist Dems and their GOP allies.

  • Interesting Times, we live in. Are they Orwellian, Nineteen Eighty-Four? Or did Huxley nail it twenty years earlier, is it a Brave New World?

    Orwell warned that we will be overcome by externally opposed oppression, the Big Brother boogieman, whereas Huxley sees that people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

    Orwell v Huxley in other ways:

    ~Orwell feared those who would ban books; Huxley feared there would be no reason to ban books because nobody would want to read one.

    ~Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information and conceal the truth; Huxley feared the truth would be drown in a sea of irrelevance.

    ~Orwell feared we would become a captive culture; Huxley feared would become a trivial culture.

    ~In 1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain; in Brave New World, people are controlled by inflicting pleasure.

    ~Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us; Huxley feared that we will love what will ruin us.

    Huxley held that what is said is less important than the way it is said, the medium through which the information is conveyed; said another way, if a totalitarian power, Orwell’s Big Brother, can control the means through which information is delivered, the content is of little importance.

  • The basic thesis that "voting against the Dems is voting against your economic interests" is almost hilariously false.

    The welfare state, unionism, public sector employment and other aspects of even a basic social safety net have been stripped away under Dem administrations and leadership. Dems are ultimately fine with the same economic goals that Republicans have (deregulation, privatization, free trade) but at a different pace. The GOP wants to tear the system apart right now, the Dems largely want the the system to collapse naturally.

    Let's look at public education, for example:
    – Over the last 60 years, teacher pay has declined significantly compared to other professions in a fairly linear fashion, regardless of which party was in power (http://www.nea.org/home/14052.htm)
    – Obama and other Dems were happy to jump on the Charter schools train, which fundamentally undermines public education and leads to resegregation (https://soundcloud.com/citationsneeded/citations-needed-episode-01-the-charter-school-scam)
    – Dems in certain states, bolstered by a significant amount of private money, have been leading the charge in school privatization (https://tultican.com/2018/01/04/the-mind-trust-attack-of-public-education-is-led-by-democrats/)

    When Nancy Pelosi says "We're capitalists, that's just the way it is", it may be useful to actually believe her (and no, capitalists don't have your economic interests in mind).

  • @wetcasements

    Dems completely controlled both West Virginia state houses between 1930 and 2014, you political incompetent (literally, it was a solid blue state for roughly 84 years):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_House_of_Delegates
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_West_Virginia

    In that time, WV plunged to about the 48th in the Union. Teacher salaries have declined over a 60 year period without pause.

    Are you really myopic enough to think history began on Nov 9th, 2016?

  • Sam Nunberg earned himself a theme song …The AQUABATS: MELTDOWN

    …He didn't want to have one, but he had one…

    Shorter: The MAGASPECTACULAR SHITSHOW is poisoning your will to resist the death of America.

    Like a savage beating forces acquiescence to rape – the ever-crashing zeppelin of Trumpism is a psychic assault meant to destroy your will to engage in politics, to believe democracy can work AT ALL.

    I still have a small hope that enough people are energized to take a big bite out of GOP dominance this year. Once their total control is broken then some law enforcement/judicial actions can be taken against the obvious traitors, reavers, and wreckers.

    Unfortunately, the damage done by the #GOPComplicit traitors is severe and rebuilding this country will be slow. The remnant GOP + FoxNews + Russia will fire up a fierce rear-guard action to paralyze and exploit divisions within the activist/Democratic party coalition. To FUD and confuse every mass media channel they can.

    A clear, articulate, and focused slate of principles, policies, and goals for restoring American societal norms and order (and the government institutions that advance, protect, and uphold those norms) is essential for a coalition of activists and horrified regular citizens to embrace as an alternative to MAGA insanity. We absolutely need some leaders to step up and bring that message before the electorate or else we might wind up in Russia 2.0 because nobody bothered to offer a compelling alternative to 'we are going to keep raping you'.

    We are not Russia, our citizens are not completely cowed into a fetal position, not yet.

    I finally checked the Podcast Ed, super good!

  • The BernieBro deadenders are either Russian bot-trolls or purity unicorn seekers and they are hell bent on fucking things up for the rest of us working to remove the virulent Trump cancer from the body politic. The evil for evil's sake R party is counting on the left's infighting to put the final nail in our already compromised democracy. No, we are not yet Russia, but we're close. It was a good piece, Ed, even though it does nothing to help me sleep at night.

  • "A clear, articulate, and focused slate of principles, policies, and goals for restoring American societal norms and order (and the government institutions that advance, protect, and uphold those norms) is essential"

    Some here deride jcdenton as a berniebro or complicit and delusional. I sadly believe that the real delusion is statements like the above in quotes. As jcdenton noes, when has the DLC-led Democratic Party ever even approached this "slate" during the past forty years?

    Luckily I am too old and will not last that long anyway. And, I have no kids.

  • "I don't believe in large scale conspiracies and I don't think incidents like Sam Nunberg's meltdown proceed from any kind of central authority or plan."

    It's easier to destroy than create. That's been the right's advantage all along.

  • "Everyone knows. Everyone knows that the elections are not real, that the rule of law is nonexistent, that aggressive journalists or political opponents end up dying of mysterious causes, and that an enormous pile of oil, gas, and dirty banking money is the only thing that influences the direction of what passes for governance."

    Yeah, not my favorite Leonard Cohen lyric.

  • And Scout: As bad as Trump is, Clinton led the initial assaults on the social welfare system and deregulated the vampire squids. Hillary is a slobbering War Sow. The Peace Prize President led the war on Libya that destabilized the entire region, supported the Saudi War Crimes (ongoing) in Yemen, and continued the disasters in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also refused to prosecute the Vampire Squids who helped create the 2008 crash. Heck, going back further, the Sainted Peanut Farmer helped start the Afghanistan and Central American disasters and provided ammunition to the Indonesian generals as they slaughtered 1/3 of the Timorese.

    It is not purity unicorn seekers who note that the Democratic Party is another vortex of evil. I will agree that Trump is far far worse. But forgive us if we are not enthusiastic about voting for more Feinsteins and Schumers and their ilk. Especially as they are totally beholden to the war party and big finance. Heck, after 40 years of deindustrialization, military weapons, financial flim flummery, and silly software aps are the only thing the United States CAN do.

  • @Scout

    Trump is a symptom, not the cause. The illness is a capitalist system that is able to buy politicians like bottled water. The illness is a system that perpetuates war, misery, absence of health care, racism, sexism, xenophobia and ignorance for the sake of profit. Trump isn't doing anything that the GOP (and Dems) and their capitalist masters haven't already been doing for decades.

    If/when Dems remove Trump, we'll still be left with a system that buys politicians of both stripes. It's not a purity test when both parties are in the bag for capitalist oligarchs. How many Dems do you think get donations from say Saudi Arabia, AIPAC or the Pharma lobbies?

    The only true dead ender here is the person who does the same thing (electing neoliberals, be they GOP or Dem) and expecting some kind of different result (capital not having an upper hand in society).

    @All

    For everyone concerned with this concept of Trumpwashing (Trump is the ultimate evil,
    a unique threat, etc, etc), I urge you to listen to the [Citations Needed] analysis of this phenomenon: https://soundcloud.com/citationsneeded/episode-22-trumpwashing-how-the-media-uses-trump-to-launder-our-criminal-past

  • I don't know if you guys get this or not, but "restoring American societal norms and order" means going back to a state just slightly less terrible than the current one. No one with any sense of ethics and empathy actually wants to go back there.

    Trump is a vulgar capitalist and imperialist. The previous societal norms were a polite version of the same.

    "Trump brings America's subtext into the text" – Adam Johnson, Citations Needed

  • @Ten Bears

    You may be onto something. I willingly give corporations information that I would be horrified if the government was tracking without my blessing.

    For example: My wife and I have an app on our phones that lets us know where the other one is located at any given moment. That app also keeps a record of our movements. And yet we use it willingly because it's so damn convenient.

  • "He's (the GEB) putting on a show for his idiot followers while running an administration so spectacularly inept, clownish, and corrupt that your average American who is not terribly interested in politics and already inclined toward cynicism can conclude once and for all that all of it is a joke."

    Uh, COMPLETELY disagree, at least with the inept part. (I'll give you clownish and corrupt.) Just over a year in and the Giant Evil Baby and his evil minions have put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and a lot of right wing crackpots in the lower federal courts, passed an enormous tax giveaway to corporate America, gutted the EPA and environmental regulations, begun selling off public lands for oil and gas drilling, and I don't even know WHAT's going on at Education and HUD. They're working on rolling back the already toothless and entirely compromised Obama era financial reforms (Dodd-Frank). The MIC's getting a raise and Paul Ryan's gonna take another crack at Medicare and Social Security any time now. I'd say things are going pretty goddamn swimmingly for the corporations that own America.

  • Not even gonna replay that same argument.

    What is simply stunning when I think about it, is that the people bent on becoming the new royalty are doing everything they can to preside over a wasteland.

  • come on jcdenton. You must be a berniebro and a purity unicorn if you cannot see how inspiring the DCCC program is! /sarc

  • I knew I'd take shit for my comment. I'm no spring chicken and have no love for the DCCC or the DNC, but come on. Did any of you seriously fear for your lives when Obama was POTUS? So what makes you think Hillary would have been so bad? And PS – she fucking WON.

  • @Scout, I did not fear for my life when O was Pres, but I'm a middle-aged white USian. A lot of black men and women and children were murdered by police right here in the USA during his term (same as it ever was, I know), and even more completely innocent men women and children were killed by flying death robots in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and on and on.

  • @geoff

    Wait until John Bolton gets picked for National Security Adviser.

    Those flying death robots will seem like gnats compared what's probably going to be unleashed on the world.

  • @Scout

    I'm a white, well-employed, educated man. I had nothing to fear under Obama and honestly… I have nothing to fear under Trump (so long as I don't spend too much time talking disparagingly about capitalism and racism). White, well-employed, educated men can "pass" (blend in) in a society geared towards serving the needs of white, well-employed, educated men (at least for now).

    However, I'd like you to reflect for just a second on the idea that others may have had something to fear under Obama:
    – Poor people losing their mortgages to banks that had blatantly defrauded them
    – Poor people and students losing their jobs or working in precarious labor as full-time jobs began irrevocably dwindling after 2005
    – Black men being killed in increasingly flagrant ways by a militarized and racist police
    – Black men being incarcerated by an increasingly privatized carceral state
    – The roughly 2.5 million people deported
    – The untold numbers who were quietly droned to death
    – The untold numbers killed in conflicts that we threw our support behind or were directly responsible for instigating

    I personally have nothing to fear (yet)… but for anyone in a precarious position, whether because of race of poverty, there was something to fear. The canaries in the coal mine have been dying off for quite a long time.

    @ Brian M

    I am deeply inspired to vote for one of:
    – Private Prison Labor Supporter, Max Jailtime
    – High Priced Political Consultant, Jet Setter
    – Former GOP Speechwriter, Bill Warcriminal
    – Inherited Wealth Aficionado, Chad Prepsweater the Third

    @geoff

    Isn't that a pretty good and ultimately depressing commentary on what choices we've been given? The political options that have been foisted on us? We can either have the dude who's been quietly killing people with flying death bots (or rather his more hawkish protege) or something even worse than flying death bots? Is this really the best we can do?

  • So, show of hands: who among those bickering about West Virginia actually live there or know any West Virginians at all?

    Not to be an ass about it, but I’m gonna be an ass about it.

  • Did any of you seriously fear for your lives when Obama was POTUS?

    No, but I'm not an undocumented immigrant or a Yemeni kindergartener.

  • JCDenton, panic in politics goes back a ways, the south embraced secession to guard against the supposed horror of Lincoln*, the early GOP embraced big business to guard against TR, later Joe McCarthy for fear of another Roosevelt and Truman, and for all intents and purposes, suicided by embracing Dixiecrats**, for fear of LBJ, The Democrats, apparently not wanting to look out of place, shitcanned what was left of the new deal, for fear of Nixon. Ed, have I missed anything?

    *Absent secession, at worst Lincoln would've forbidden slave holding in the west, reducing the collateral value of the slaves, which may explain New York copperheads.
    **The Dixiecrats returned the hospitality of the GOP by taking over and staging RINO hunts for anyone rash enough to hold to old standards.

  • @jc denton, yeah. When your choices are war or MORE war, what to do?? No wonder people don't vote. Having missed the sixties by virtue of being born about halfway through, I grew up thinking the Dems were the "peace" party. Obama and Mrs. Clinton (and the feckless John Kerry) definitively killed that ridiculous notion for me.

  • WHO's going to run from the other side of the dems? Primaries are in, what, six months or less?

    Not a fucking word about candidates for the other side of the dems. NOT a word–or has everybody kvetching about the DNC (who ARE scumbagz) and waving their hands about HorribleHilz actually been subliminally pushing for someone and I just haven't seen it?

    Sit out another election or throw votes away on candidates who CANNOT win. Be my guests and then come back and complaing. Complaining seems to be what the BernGarJill factionists are best at.

  • @Tim H.

    I think you missed the Dems moving rightward towards free trade, privatization and deregulation in the 90's as a response to Reaganism.

    The issue is that the natural instinct seems to be to move rightward for some reason (well, ok, I know the reason) whenever there is a political panic. Now our so-called "leftist" party is economically to the right of Angela Merkel's union-supporting center right Christian Democratic party (this is in no way an endorsement for that pro-austerity party however).

    Given that the Dem base itself hasn't shifted as far to the right as the leadership has, this indicates that economic forces are at play. The Dem base, which largely hasn't gained anything through the expansion of privatization (and is in many cases actively hurt by it) doesn't see the benefits. However, it's really easy for capital to influence politicians, and as its reach expands so does its ability to influence all facets of political life. So here we are… listing rightward after each political panic.

  • @democommie

    DCCC is actively blocking progressive candidates with massive levels of grass-roots support (raising a $100K in initial, small-donor funding). So you know, keep beating that drum about how some of these people "cannot win", etc, etc.

    Article here:
    https://theintercept.com/2018/01/23/dccc-democratic-primaries-congress-progressives/

    Interview on Chapo here:
    https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/episode-180-d-triple-c-6-mafia-feat-ryan-grim-12818

    I mean, is your entire political calculus predicated on the idea that Dems need to win over those moderate, suburban Republicans to succeed? If so, I may have some bad news for you (they don't exist). :p

    I also don't know if you understand how loathed the Dem machinery is among young voters to the left of say Tim Kaine.

  • I see we have a troll here. A persistent one at that.

    Jcdenton is either a Russian troll bot or some lowlife repug ( redundant redundancy )

    The number of lies per sentence is a dead giveaway.

  • jcdenton, I'm suggesting that the rightward shift began in the seventies, a closer look at Carter's policies, like Reagan's but without the all caps and exclamation points, should confirm this.

  • Currently re-reading Richard Hofstadter's The Age of Reform … because history rhymes?

    Hoping this time the verse doesn't end in "WW"…

    And now back to feeling like a gnat in the jell-o.

  • "Did any of you seriously fear for your lives when Obama was POTUS? "

    An Afghani, Libyan, Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, or black teenager would answer that question a little differently.

  • schmitt trigger says:

    @jcdenton
    "The illness is a capitalist system that is able to buy politicians like bottled water."

    Sad but very accurate words.
    Nothing epitomizes this pimp-whore relationship better than the NRA and Congress.

  • @Sipsip
    Everyone is a Russian troll! Look out the window… perhaps the Red Square is right there. :)

    @Tim H
    Ah, I see what you're saying now. My knowledge of the Carter administration is admittedly pretty poor. I know that Bill Clinton began agitating against unions as early as 1978.

    @democommie (forgot to respond to this link)
    Yep, Bernie isn't a saint and he's hardly free from capitalist influence. But this sort of makes my point for me. Very few politicians in the US, no matter how left-leaning (and remember, if you're really left-leaning, you actually oppose disarming the working class as well) are able to escape the influence of capital.

    My general attitude has been that Bernie is a good start. A wake up call to a moribund system. But ultimately I'm interested in policies, not people. If there is a more left-leaning candidate than Bernie out there (with a better record on guns), vote for that guy or gal instead!

  • "Let me put it this way: if their goal wasn't to make all of politics and governing a joke that most people will eventually ignore altogether, they couldn't have come up with a plan that would accomplish it any more effectively."

    Well, jfc sorry to be a contrarian AGAIN, Ed, but as you surely know, and moreover could probably actually understand their methodology, political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page have pretty clearly established in their 2014 paper "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" that ordinary citizens have practically NO measurable influence on federal legislation, whereas corporations and other interest groups have substantial influence.

    Which makes me wonder if all of us politics nerds who pay attention and bother to vote are the real suckers.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/01/23/democracy-in-america-an-interview-with-authors-ben-page-and-martin-gilens/?utm_term=.df2cd849b9a7

  • @geoff—

    If voting was just a waste of time for the little guy, why would the Republicans put so much time, money, and effort into preventing “undesirables” from voting? Surely all would be better spent on controlling what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms and whether or not they have children.

  • "DCCC is actively blocking progressive candidates with massive levels of grass-roots support (raising a $100K in initial, small-donor funding). So you know, keep beating that drum about how some of these people "cannot win", etc, etc."

    Is that an answer to:

    WHO are the candidates? If so, it's the wrong answer.

  • @AuroraS, yeah I know and agree. It's getting hard to stay positive though; this century has really sucked so far. But thank you. You too, DC, and Brian and jc and MK and katydid, and of course our host. Appreciate all of you : )

  • @geoff—

    Thanks :)

    I believe Those Darn Millennials are getting fucking sick of being bullied and mocked by their fucked up, greedy, supremely self-absorbed Boomer parents. They’re no longer putting up with being treated like cannon fodder for simply going outside, or being used as trophy children. (I firmly believe that the “participation trophy”—a concept created by Boomers themselves—was actually a self-congratulatory move, so they could show off what great parents they were for signing their children up for Little League and swim team.) They’re becoming old enough to Do Something About It. Making fun of them is attempt to control them. The Olds are terrified of the Yutes.

    I highly suggest not being complete assholes to the people who will be changing your diapers in the not-so-distant future.

    There’s also a wave of people getting fucking sick of the “reaching out” and “compromise” (which ALWAYS means bending over to appease the Republicans) and are ready to leave the old white guys in the dust. Isn’t that the “white genocide” old white bigots are terrified of? Being outnumbered?

    Can you imagine how swiftly gun laws would change if a large group of Black dudes held a “Second Amendment” rally, heavily armed and wrapped in American flags, the way the RWNJ WASP militia-types do? (I’m sure they don’t feel like getting mowed down by the SWAT team, though, because that’s exactly how it would go down.) We’ve been on the edge of Something for a while now. We need to solidify.

  • I know you dig hockey, Ed, so I have to wonder… any thoughts on the alleged rigging of the KHL (as in, moreso than usual) this election season? ;)

  • @AuroraS, yeah, as I remarked to my millennial child, those kids in FL have the right idea, and maybe need to go on strike and refuse to go back to school until the legislature does something about teh gunz. And she and her younger sister are way to the left of where I was at their ages. So the kids are alright (thanks Pete!)– there IS that.

  • I was just the other day sharing with my millennial grand-daughter my recollection of the sixties, were while the draft differed college students garnered the spotlight it was the high schoolers facing the draft who took to the streets. I was one of them.

  • defineandredefine says:

    @democommie, others asking where are the more progressive candidates –

    In WV – https://theintercept.com/2018/03/07/west-virginia-teacher-strike-midterm-elections/

    In NC – https://www.drkyleforcongress.com

    Those are the 2 examples I know of off the top of my head. I hope it's far from an exhaustive list.

    Also, I'm sure that neither of those candidates are full on super leftists, but they're a start, especially when you consider where they're running.

  • Jill Stein is a loony anti-vaxer, the left wing equivalent of right wing ignoramus Gary Johnson.

    Being a fervent anti-vaxer alone is enough to disqualify a candidate.

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