In Illinois, the primaries are over. Your state may still be in progress toward its nominations.

I cannot stress enough (and you'll get a dose of this in the upcoming Episode 003 of the podcast) that there is a time and place for everything in the electoral process.

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There is a time for fighting it out within the party, for all the Centrists screaming at the Bernie Bros and the Leftists telling the Liberals to go to hell. Then after the dust settles you're left with candidates that, for the most part, nobody is real excited about.
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People make a big show of holding their breath and insisting that they'd rather stay home or vote for (opposite party candidate) or piss away their vote on some Green Party person who's going to consider getting 1% a major moral victory.
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This is a natural reaction to losing, because losing sucks and is frustrating. One of the virtues and millstones of adulthood, though, is being mature enough to get over it in a reasonable amount of time.

Do you think I'm excited about the prospect of voting for generic, soft-center billionaire JB Pritzker for Governor of Illinois? Of course not. He's like a sack of platitudes coated in the politics of opportunism. Am I going to vote for him? Of course. I'm not stupid.

Objective #1 – and it's worth noting the enormous size of the gap between this and all other objectives in importance – is to get rid of these bastards. The ones in office with the R next to their names.

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We will have plenty of time to fight about which Democrats are the Good Ones and which ones are useless dead weight when we have the luxury of time. Right now, politics is a life and death matter for a lot of people in the United States. It's easy to treat politics like a debating society or an exercise in moralizing (in which nothing matters more than your conscience) when your relatives aren't the ones being deported and you're not the one getting gunned down because you reached for your phone.

Believe me, I get it. Many of these people are not what you want. But the first objective, the short term necessity, is to get the party that supports literal fascism out of power. Your feelings can wait. These are not normal times. There is a sense of urgency here.

Step One is "not Republicans." Everything else is a luxury that too many of the most vulnerable people in our society cannot afford at the moment. We have to put out the fire before it will be productive to spend time fighting about how to rebuild the building. Nobody wins by waiting until there is nothing left but ashes.

87 thoughts on “GET GET GET GET GET OVER IT”

  • The fire extinguisher approach to conflagration.
    The band aid on the chainsaw wound.
    Not to sound whatever kind of negative word one might want to apply to this comment; like cynical, pessimistic, defeatist, ostrichic.
    Some action's gotta happen.

  • Wow! I've enjoyed your blogs so much, that I'm thrilled to find out you're in IL too! And you're right on this, just like you're right on so much. I voted for Biss, but I'll hold my nose and vote for the billionaire who is less toxic than the other billionaire. What choices we get, eh?

    What wit was it that said, "Americans get the politicians they deserve, and they deserve to get it good and hard."? He was certainly right. Unfortunately, the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers' votes count as much as mine. Maybe they'll throw a pouty fit because Ives lost, and sit the next one out? We can only hope.

  • Normally I'd muster a lengthy string of witticisms (you can add quotation marks to that if you'd like) in response, but this time, nah, I'm just gonna go with:


    Please, in the name of mercy: Yes.

  • Of course, given that Trump has chosen Dr. Mustachio Strangelove as Sec of State, I fear we may not have time to get them out. I see them starting a conflagration to distract from declining poll results. :(

  • Brian M, I may be a wide-eyed optimist, but I feel like a preemptive ear, even with Iran or NK, would not actually turn trump into a popular president. The economy is going pretty gangbusters (a bubble that will eventually pop, but good in the here and now), and even that doesn’t seem to be helping Cheeto-Benito’s numbers. He’ll always have his die-hard Cletuses and Claras. But his incompetence and odious lack of morals and ethics are obvious, and are keeping his poll number ceiling awfully low.

    That said, he and Bolton will wreck as much as they’re allowed to, as soon as they can, so it’ll be a bumpy ride till November, to say the least.

  • Greg Bissky says:

    As a Canadian who sits transfixed watching the first chapter of the final dystopian novel unravelling south of me, I think longingly of Karen Ann Quinlan cocktails (valium and scotch) with every new outrage. Bolton? Really? Is Bork still around to fire Mueller?

    Firesign Theatre (now I'm dating myself) had a great line about the 1972 election, "A blender, anything but Nixon."

    If you Americans would have done this in 2000 and not wasted votes on Nader we'd have flying cars and a carbon line trending downwards. No Iraq war. No Alito. Maybe I'd best mix myself a cocktail.

  • @Fiona

    That would be H.L. Mencken

    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

  • @Greg B, as a former Florida Man, I gotta tell you that the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County, Katherine Harris' purge of voter rolls, and even the US Supreme Court had a hell of a lot more to do with the debacle there in 2000 than Ralph Nader. If we had adopted a parliamentary form of government like y'all have up north we might not keep having these problems. But no.

  • The problem with this advice, to just vote for whichever Democrat is on the ticket because they are better than the Republican, is that there's never an incentive for the Democrats to change. Once the Democrats are in power, there's no path to moving the party to the left. Instead of berating the left to get over it, do you have any suggestions on how to move Democratic candidates to the left?

  • There'd still be a path to move the Democrats left, show up to vote in the primaries, even if the more liberal Democrat isn't that much better, if liberals do better, eventually even the DNC will notice.

  • You move the Democratic Party to the Left by using the sort of institutions that Democrats will support – like unions – and run progressive candidates in the primary. The problem with letting Republicans into the building is that they'll burn it down before giving it up, so there'll be no institutions left to use.

    I know that sounds too simple, but tht's really it. The first and most important thing is "Don't let the rats shit in your food stores". After you do that you can figure out what you want to cook.

    A big part of this, frankly, is figuring out how to capture the "news" media. The current situation is far too "conservatie"-friendly; even when the cable news isn't openly FAUX-style wingnut it tends to report Republican lies and progressive truths as "opinions differ". That needs to stop, and liberals need to find ways to stop it. Way too many people are too dim to figure out which are the lies without a big neon "THIS IS A LIE!" sign pointing at it. We need to start making those signs light up.

  • SteveInMN: well Republicans have moved to the right and it hasn't been because lots of conservatives have stayed home or voted third party. It's because lots of Republicans have been primaried or have terrified of getting primaried. Seems to work well.

  • "Nobody wins by waiting until there is nothing left but ashes."

    Nobody wins by pretending the guys who are wearing firefighter outfits but throwing gasoline and cutting the hoses are "on our side" either.

    There's a constituency for fascism, and while it aligns strongly with the GOP it's not alone there.

  • "Objective #1 – and it's worth noting the enormous size of the gap between this and all other objectives in importance – is to get rid of these bastards. The ones in office with the R next to their names. We will have plenty of time to fight about which Democrats are the Good Ones and which ones are useless dead weight when we have the luxury of time. … But the first objective, the short term necessity, is to get the party that supports literal fascism out of power."

    It's also worth noting that if the people in charge of the Democratic party hadn't spent the last decades pushing the crappy Democrats, the party that supports literal fascism would not be in power.

  • SteveInMN – moving to the left is what the primaries are for. If you can't convince a majority of Democrats, you certainly won't convince a majority of Americans. Yes, the process is slow and frustrating. The alternative is literally fascism.

  • I understand the sentiment, and immediately agreed with your opinion on voting Democratic. But my tendency to approach an argument from both sides makes me notice that this is almost exactly what we deride Republicans over. Weren't they recently saying they NEEDED to have Roy Moore in, despite his flaws, simply because he had an R next to his name rather than a D?

    I mean, I believe that D's are better for the country – and people as a whole – but it just doesn't feel right to do the same bad mindless things the other side does except while shouting "IT'S OK BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT!"

  • I am quite frankly as tired of hearing about Sanders as I am Clinton, neither of whom are the problem at hand. Yeah, you lost, we all lost, get over it.

  • @ geoff:

    Yes, the Florida vote in 2000 was completely jiggered by the GOP (and yet voth Harris and Jebya fucking Bush got less than they felt they deserved–fuck'em) but the GOP's tricksters rely on 3rd party votes to make margins thinner and easier to hack.

  • What Ten Bears said.

    Attending our local Dem caucus, was gratified to hear speakers demanding a stand on gun control and to quit tip-toeing around the issue. This is in Alaska, mind you, where everyone, probably including the dogs, owns guns.

    Breaking the nexus between the NRA and the Republican party would put a serious crack in the fascist wall.

  • OMG, so much THIS. What Ed said, and also what fastEddie said too. We do not have the luxury of demanding Democratic purity while the Republicans are intent on drowning us all in the proverbial bathtub.

  • Other Nick-B: There's a difference between "milquetoast billionaire centrist you're not excited about" and "fascist theocratic child molester." I assume Ed's thesis contains a "fascist theocratic child molester" exception; it's just that there aren't as many of those guys on the D side of the aisle.

  • Keep voting for shitty candidates — because the alternatives are even worse, or some other reason — and you'll never have anything but shitty candidates to vote for. This attitude of There's Never Time To Do Things Right But Always Time To Do Things Over is the best way to guarantee that nothing ever changes. Congrats, you've been sucked in by sell-outs and cowards.

  • Nah, Ed's wrong here.

    The idea that Democrats should vote for Roy Moore or Dick Cheney as long as he's running on the D ballot instead of the R ballot is a pernicious one. A destructive one. A shooting-your-own-foot one. It's penny-wise ("we'll get a D in office!") but pound-foolish ("except he'll destroy the party from the inside out!").

    Every vote you cast should be thought of as two votes. You're voting for who you want to see in the public office, and you're also voting for who you want to see running your local Democratic Party, the direction the party should move in. Every single time you vote for one of those tools, you're literally voting in more corporate Democrats in the future (as governor, he's a superdelegate and thus will be deciding who your next Presidential candidate is…). He'll be running the state party, purging anyone left of Clinton and bringing in more like him. You're signaling to the party that this dude is perfectly acceptable to you, that you want more of him.

    As a political guy you should know the public follow leaders. Putting a corporate D in office results in reshaping the values of Democratic voters to be more in line with his values.

    Your strategy is the one Democrats have been using for decades. You can try to win battles, but it's making you lose the war.

  • Are there any examples of winning through insisting on purity? Honest question. I don't know. The Freedom Caucus?
    Can't think of many areas where things come up rosy, just as I might want, with no compromise.
    Politics in the country s like a giant game of tug of war. Things move only when there are more on one side than the other. Heft seems to matter more than philosophical notions.
    People die when there are more on the right-hand side. If that's because we argue among ourselves which specific direction to pull the rope

  • I understand the motivation behind this, but hectoring people doesn't get them to vote for your preferred candidate. It just doesn't.

  • @Well mostly

    The Freedom Caucus is probably the prime example of how to win by just holding to your beliefs and fighting like heck.

  • Are there any examples of winning through insisting on purity? Honest question. I don't know. The Freedom Caucus?
    Can't think of many areas where things come up rosy, just as I might want, with no compromise. Who gets it like they want it?
    Politics in the country is like a game of tug of war. Things move only when there are more on one side than the other. Heft seems to matter more than pure philosophical notions, though those are related.
    People die when there are more pulling to the R side. If that's because we argue among ourselves which specific direction to pull and let the R side drag us all ever further to the right, then WTF is that? Yes there are frustrations built into the D mix, but arguing over those is only available to those privileged enough to wait out this shit storm we're in.
    Ed's right here. Period.

  • > "I assume Ed's thesis contains a "fascist theocratic child molester" exception; it's just that there aren't as many of those guys on the D side of the aisle."

    Why would you assume that? That's the explicit opposite of what he said, and his argument is the standard one. Ed said: priority one is getting Republicans out, and wayyyyyyyyyy down the list after that is getting better Democrats. So, no, absolutely not, this argument that is being made does NOT contain a child molester exception. Ed says, "vote for child molesters, as long as they don't have a R next to their names". Only later (when?) can we somehow engage in the process of getting "better" Democrats. Definitely not now. And not tomorrow. But…sometime.

    And frankly if you thought that was wrong when it applied to Roy Moore and Republicans voting for him, then you should have the ability to know it is wrong when applied to Democrats too.

  • Think Supreme Court when you go into the voting booth – stopping another undiluted Trump selection is among the most critical issues to consider –

  • I'm not going to argue about purity (it does NOT exist, btw, in any political party) but…

    Fuck you morons who think that throwing a vote away, 'cuz, it'll send those assholedems a message–is a good idea.

  • Good successor to TBogg's classic "Your Mumia sweatshirt won't get you into heaven anymore" from 2008.

    Sadly, from the comments (and from other places I lurk on the Intertoobs), there are still too many people who don't get it. Not even after 15 months of Trump.

    And not for nothing, Ed didn't endorse voting for child molesters, he advocated for getting R's out of office and out of power. Give the D's back the House and you can have two years of Adam Schiff investigating everything and anything shady Trump has done. (Starting with his tax returns.) . Give the D's back the Senate and Trump gets to appoint no one else. (Invoke the McConnell Rule: "We're not going to give a nominee at a time when we hold the majority because fuck you.")

    Elections have consequences and now is def not the time to stand on ceremony.

  • Emerson Dameron says:


    While we wait for the next Mass For Shut-Ins, Indivisible has some decent ideas:

    I suppose the other option is fighting with #Resistance libs on Twitter until they suddenly see the light and line up behind Tulsi Gabbard.

  • I'll vote D. Won't do any good where I live, but I'll do it. But….

    Unless I see some openly stated positions on issues that are important to me they don't get my $ and they don't get my volunteer time. They can't just run on "I'm not a Republican't", "Be afraid, be very afraid", "They're coming for me because I'm opposed to them", etc…

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    I don't consider Pritzker evil or anything. He's just basically a big pile of nothing. I'll vote for him for the same reasons Ed will, but it still galls me that be can just buy his way into office.

  • Christ, a year into the trump admin and there are still lefties making a case for purity or gtfo re: dem candidates? Really?! That sort of ignorance requires a shit-ton of privilege. It’s a two-party system, it sucks, and purity votes work best in the primaries or at the local level. Support the shit out of your preferred candidate, but if they lose in the primary, vote for the better of the remaining options. Don’t just throw a tantrum because your team lost.

    (And yes, that means that if the dem is a pedophile, or demonstrably more corrupt than the R, vote for the R or abstain. But don’t burn it all down because the corporate dem hurt your fee-fees.)

  • @Leon; of course it takes a lot of privilege, and it's been really eye-opening to see so many otherwise decent people shout that they don't care about issues that affect women (51% of the population) or children (another chunk of population) because their candidate coddles their fee-fees, and how it was much much better to get Trump than to vote for the nominated candidate because if the coddled aren't being indulged, then BURN IT TO THE GROUND.

  • @Leon– YES. It takes a full metric shitload of privilege; it's pretty much "the turd is on trajectory to the turbine, but fuck all y'all, because I'll be okay if the shit hits the fan." They will (or at least think they will) get by in the GOP's perfect society if it comes to fruition because they're not on the list of Undesirables to be culled or subjugated.

    Interesting timing on all of this, too, as I had a Purity Angel at the bar today griping about how fascist Cheeto Benito is…then told me how he voted for Trump because Bernie is great, Clinton is the devil, and he wanted everything to fall apart so we could rebuild and start all over. He said it all with a totally straight face. I asked him if he was being serious, and he said, "Yes".

    I asked him if he felt any sort of social responsibility towards those who wouldn't make it through "everything falling apart", such as myself, because I have a chronic health condition that controls every single aspect of my life and if Trump and his army of lunatics get their way, me and people like me *will* die. Then I let him marinate in his own discomfort for a bit while doing bar inventory, because it's always fun to make people who are being assholes about stuff feel like shit for it, especially when they were expecting someone to agree with or at least entertain and enable their privileged bullshit. It's the little victories.

    I don't know if my "meet people, make them like you, get them to tell you one of their asshole judgy sociopolitical assumptions, then unveil you're actually part of/an authority on the very group/topic they're disparaging and let them feel like assholes for it" approach actually works on people, but it's certainly fun to do. You have to do it in person, though, so they have to look you in the eye and tell you to your face.

    There are a LOT of people out there who expect you to just roll with their shit, banking on you letting it go because 'it's not worth it', or wanting their social acceptance badly enough that you won't stand up to them. Fuck that, man. "Going high", cushioning egos, making space for bullshitters is a malicious cultural side effect of Both Siderism. It's extremely important that we stop treating bullshit like it's a valid alternative to reality.

  • @Katydid:

    I believe by "otherwise decent people" you mean "otherwise decent white men".

    Honestly, the ones that surprised me most were the white women who voted for Trump (53%). People are horrible, though, so it really shouldn't have. Maintaining white supremacy and "standing by your man" and all that crap.

  • It's cool that we have so many Roy Moore voters in the audience! The time for arguing is in the past! Screw your purity tests, vote for Roy!

    Just out of curiousity, suppose you succeed in 2018 – the Democratic vote does well, and lots of corporate Democratic tools are elected. So what's the end game now? What's the *next step* for you?

    Because the next step for them is to expand their hold over the party. They'll expand foreign wars, add in some tax cuts for their billionaires to the Republican tax cuts for THEIR billionaires, privatize some more public services, do some more broken windows policing to make sure no one thinks they are soft on crime, slash some welfare to make sure no one thinks they are soft on the poor people, make sure progressives are shut out of primaries, and so on. And then 2020 rolls around. So now the shit sandwich that you think everyone should vote for is a bit shittier, and naturally the Republicans are still insane. So who do you vote for in 2020? Does the logic still hold? Any Dem over any Republican, no matter what?

    I'm just pointing out that this strategy you've been advocating for is exactly what the Democrats have been pursuing for the past decades, and look at all the success it has achieved – party in shreds, party doesn't stand for anything at all, shut out of state and federal legislatures everywhere, hated as much as the Republicans. That level of "success" should cause some introspection, some rethinking, but apparently not.

    Vote for Roy!

  • seniorscrub says:

    First things first.
    When your plane is in a power dive from 50,000 feet, are you going to want the pilot to do everything possible to level off or are you going to complain that the beverage cart has been delayed?

  • @Emerson Dameron: Why why why do apparently sensible people still think Tulsi Gabbard is great?! SHE. IS. TERRIBLE.

  • To be completely fair Ed, people of color have always been gunned down for reaching for a cell phone, same as deportations. It’s great that people care now, but it’s not like the current administration invented it. They did, however, invent this soft reset on facism.

    Usually I vote for whom I believe to be the better candidate, but this year it’s going to be straight D, unless someone is a child molester, etc.

  • This isn't about the beverage cart, it's that this plane has been headed (slowly, gracefully) into a terrain feature since the late 70's, regardless of who is in the cockpit. Talking about Trump in apocalyptic terms (as if he's something special) when he's just bog-standard republican is just a wolf story to scare reluctant left voters back into line.

    Bill Clinton famously said, while fucking over workers and the poor "Where are they going to go?" and that line of reasoning has carried forward to the present day. That line of reasoning has lost the dems 1000 seats in the last decade. that line of reasoning got us the Clinton-Kaine ticket (seriously, Tim Kaine?) which managed to lose to the most reviled man in america.

    We're not the ones being unrealistic, it's you.

  • @demo—

    I don’t think the crybaby perfectionists are even progressive at all. It’s all a load of shit. They’re ridiculously self-absorbed and need something to gripe about to be “heard”. They’ll be fine either way it goes. If we’re all still here in 20 years and Faux News eventually kicks the Christianity and anti-pot shtick, they will have these guys ripe for the picking. If they truly wanted society to change for the better, they’d cut the Both Siderist bullshit, realize that life is unfair and you can’t always get what you want, and begin with pragmatism. The truth is that they don’t actually need pragmatism, though, because this is not about survival for them. They can prioritize their “wants” over others’ “needs” because they’re fundamentally selfish and possibly don’t understand/care that other people who are not them exist.

  • Great post Ed.
    Great responses too, mostly.

    The purity angel problem makes me sick with worry, these people get a lot of attention by hollering about things worthy of notice and moral condemnation but then they offer no good options to deal with it. Shortly before Ed posted this I had a brief and dismal twitter exchange on this topic.

    I just don't get how people would rather yip-yap all day about injustice while totally avoiding any description of a way to address it. 'BURN IT ALL DOWN and START OVER' is a goddamned stupid UNACCEPTABLE position and it only makes sense coming from a place of privilege believing that when everything burns they will somehow escape the fucking flames (ht @Leon, @Katydid, @Auroura S, @MajorKong, @SeniorScrub, ). What kind of malevolent narcissistic suicidal 'the-whole-world-can-die-before-me' bullshit is that? These people must have no kids, family, or love/care for anyone if they think the best way forward is to promote the collapse of USA and global civilization (#JohnBolton).

    @LeeCamp and Redacted Tonight is a sometimes entertaining serial lefty rant against everything that currently exists. I agree with some of the acknowledgment of and opprobrium for the many repulsive crimes of global capitalism and policies supported by the US government. I disagree with the 'disappear-up-our-self-righteous-lefty-asses' refusal to promote pragmatic steps to address the problems they describe. If ALL you do is promote cynical despair and moral disgust then your goal must be poisoning your audience and exterminating hope, when you succeed at that you perpetuate the status quo because you are politically neutralizing the people who might be moved to oppose it.

    It makes me suspect that some of the voices on the left might actually be agents dedicated to neutralizing the left.
    I know that is paranoid, it could also be that some people are assholes who can criticize all day but never offer any helpful ideas. The weird thing is that 'sinister agent of the conspiracy' and 'fucking asshole/purity angel' often look and sound exactly the same.

    What I believe is required is people who are willing to counter-program against the assholes. People who can look at the sins of our nation with open eyes, be compassionate to those who suffer because of those sins, who can patiently describe the way forward in atoning for those sins, and to promote the belief that we can work together for a better tomorrow. I think the #MarchForOurLives kids have been a HUGE step towards a good direction and more of that signal needs to be encouraged.

  • MS: You're very good at taking a thesis ("Fuck your purity test, vote for a Democrat even if they're milquetoasty centrist neoliberals") and making it into a different thesis ("vote for child molesters as long as they're Democrats"). If you were being intellectually honest you would be able to take Ed's argument as it's written, and not as you've decided it is, but that doesn't seem to be your forte. Your hand-wringing about CORPORATE DEMOCRATS notwithstanding, there's a million fucking miles between JB Pritzker and Roy Moore, just like there's a million fucking miles between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If you can't see the difference, by all means go and vote for Jill Stein or whatever. Just know that your "THEY'RE ALL THE SAME AMIRITE HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THAT SOUTH PARK EPISODE WITH THE TURD AND THE DOUCHE" approach to politics is going to have real consequences for real people, because while the ACA is sure as hell not perfect, it's also sure as hell better than people dying from treatable illnesses because it was "preexisting" and they're not wealthy.

    Being a middle class straight while male myself, I'm pretty much okay in the Trump administration. That doesn't mean that I'm going to go "well the Democrats don't meet my every single policy ideal so we might as well have the guy who wants to deport every brown person and says Nazis are fine people and bans transgender folks from serving in the military and wants to build a dumbass border wall and trashes healthcare and makes WH staff sign NDAs to him rather than the executive branch and wants to lock up journalists because TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN LOL"

  • This thread is proof of how the heretic is always more despised than the infidel. Better still, the heretic you seek to burn isn't the one that's causing you grief.

    There really are no purity angels, at least not in substantial numbers. The people that caucused for Sanders but turned away from Clinton in the general are actually a miniscule number and, I'd wager, statistically insignificant in the states that cost her the election. The problem was and remains the average, low-energy voter. These people don't eat, sleep, and breathe politics like you, me, or the strawmen you're battling. They catch a few ads, hear the sound bites, and get dragged to the polls by the high-energy voters they associate with.

    Those people aren't interested in purity tests; they have no criteria upon which to hold one. They didn't turn out in PA, etc… because Clinton didn't excite them. They swung Alabama because of tremendous ground game by Jones's allies: black church ladies and the NAACP. They tend to stay home in off-year elections because it's not exciting enough to move them. They vote by sense impression and peer pressure, and they are the majority of the population.

    The dems didn't lose 1000 seats in eight years because of Sanders voters and both-sider pundits, they lost because they have nothing interesting or exciting to motivate those low-energy voters. So, keep up the good work, folks. If this thread is any measure of the dem establishment thought process we're in for seven more years of republican rule.

  • Democrats have a real chance of taking back the House and will make gains in the Senate.

    Would this be the case if Hillary had been elected? I suspect not.

    There is something to the argument for not settling for more of the Pelosi/Hoyer/Clinton/Feinstein/Schumer corporaCrats.

  • Nick: Ed's whole piece – every word of it – is about the absolute and utter importance of voting D ahead of any other considerations. You get an F for reading comprehension. I agree with you that you (and others in this thread) would like to waffle out of the implications here, but too bad, you don't get to. Either voting D is important or it isn't. Either people have to swallow their purity tests or they don't.

    Pritzker, the particular D at hand, is a child of grotesque inherited wealth and was recorded by the FBI trying to buy a political office from Blagojevich:

    Literally the only reason he isn't in jail is that grotesque inherited wealth. Oh, and he also cheats on his property taxes, because fuck you, that's why:

    If you think that he has anything at all in common with YOU, or that he holds any "Democratic values", whatever those may be, you are deeply delusional. He doesn't KNOW anyone with a net worth of less than $50 million. He's pursuing politics because that's the sort of thing you dabble in when you have more money than you know what to do with, not because he's burning with desire to help people. But I do predict Hyatt hotels will manage to get favorable tax treatment in Illinois under his firm but fair rule. His hedge fund should also come up with some significant tax breaks. After all, you don't spend $70 million of your own money on an election without a return on investment.

    Vote Roy! What could go wrong? Pritzker will inspire a whole new generation of Democrats with his deeply held values, right?

  • To buy the “but if we say to vote D no matter what, we’re no better than the Republicans!” relies *entirely* on Both Siderist bullshit to hold any water at all. The thing is, while the Dems are certainly no angels, the GOP is much, much worse. Being a Democrat doesn’t inherently make you a good person, but Republican ideology is strictly rooted in exploiting white nationalism, racism, xenophobia, fear, and paranoia in order to shovel all of America’s wealth upwards. They have no problem throwing vulnerable populations right under the bus in order to get their way; in fact, that’s a feature, not a bug. So, no: they’re not The Same.

    Either you’re okay with this or you aren’t. If you sit on your hands because Both Siderism, you’re enabling the Republicans. By donning your Purity Angel halo and wagging your finger at the rest of us for doing whatever it takes to stop the Republicans from enacting their agenda, you’re enabling the Republicans. Taking the “high road” is enabling the Republicans. Fuck, there won’t be anyone left to congratulate you for your piety, so get off your goddamn high horse.

  • Also, if you think you’re safe because you’re a WASP-y type or can at least reasonably fake it, they will eventually come after you for insufficient purity in some area, so it would behoove you to help inoculate society from these fucks now, while you’re still able.

  • The rise of the right over the last few decades was driven in large measure by weaponized fearmongering. What might be the left's alternate version of that program? Gotta be something different because I doubt fearmongering from the left will work…

  • MS: Yeah man, fuck everyone who's going to get deported or bombed or die of treatable illnesses because of Republican policies; Both Sides have shady characters so it doesn't matter which is in power. Immigrants, minorities, and coherent foreign policy are far less important than you getting to feel good about yourself.

  • mojrim: Certainly not any policies implemented by the party that gutted Glass Steagal, started the whole Afghanistan debacle, "ended welfare as we know it," refused to even investigate the vampire squid crash of 2008, and destabilized all of North Africa with the Libyan finagling.

    (Nonetheless, D is still less insane as R. There is no choice. I voted for Kodos)

  • So I'm an IL Dem who voted for Biss, but I'm happy to vote for Pritzker as well. So far he's run as a reasonably progressive Dem. Of course, I was firmly enough in the Biss camp that I haven't yet done my diligence on how much Pritzker can be 'trusted'.
    There's all sorts of things that I expect he'll institute at the state level– minimum wage increases, rolling back right-to-work stuff, passing some policies around reducing discrimination etc. Caring about the environment. Even as a progressive I think mainstream dems can do valuable things. I mostly wish it didn't come down to a billionaire vs billionaire battle, but at least the local tv stations and mail runners are going to make some cash.

    Also noting that Illinois is not that progressive of a state. I mean, Chicago keeps voting for Emanuel, and we're the crazy lefties. So I thought Biss would be closer, but in retrospect I'm not surprised, only disappointed.

  • Squabble squabble squabble … we get to vote on which robber baron member of our business oligarchy we imagine is most like us [does he drink beer? do women make us uneasy?], and hope they don't completely pillage the countryside and slaughter us peasants.

    Everyone's read Democracy for Realists by now, yes?

    A shorter, courtesy of a BBC blog:
    It's our turn.–Anne Romney

    And of course the obvious Trump cabinet of foxes chowing down in all the hen houses.

    Death to the Wingnut Tribe! Vote! [it's less painful than cyanide]

  • As if on cue, Facebook helpfully reminded me of this quote from a year ago: [eyes roll into white, jaw goes slack, head falls backward, hands type awkwardly as if possessed]

    "Anti-government invective paired with pro-business propaganda has produced some monumentally strange results in the belief systems of many Americans."

  • That's the thing, Brian M. It's easy for generally bloodless people like me, and political junkies in general, to do that math and come up with a lesser evil vote. The majority of humans, however, don't work that way. To rouse the ordinary voter from their couch you need to generate some excitement, something establishment Ds have utterly failed to do. Schumer's infamous remark about picking up white collar moderate Rs in the general is the problem given form – no one is going to vote for R-lite when they can have R-heavy.

  • I haven't even got the time to read all of the comments, never mind figure out which ones are sincere or cynical or simply kabukkakeagitprop from genuine homegrown Red Guard types or bots.

    Ed says the Illionois primary is over, so—

    Ed; were there any progressives running campaigns for anything at the local or state level? If there were; did they get support from the young, left or leftish voters in something like the numbers show voted for BernGarJil in the 2016 debacle? Was there a picofuckgram of support on social media for the elected positions that were up

  • Fucking chromebook macros–well, arthritis and carpal tunnel prolly don't help. Anyway, to continu:

    Was there a picofuckgram of support on social media for the progressives running for jobs–that nobody really wants–that were up grabs.

    I'm asking you, Ed, because you are better at this shit than I am but anybody else can chime in.

    I'm going to vote for any NON-RefucKKKliKKKlanzman that is running. D's first, unless one of the others is a better bet and has a chance.

  • Fucking chromebook macros–well, arthritis and carpal tunnel prolly don't help. Anyway, to continu:

    Was there a picofuckgram of support on social media for the progressives running for jobs–that nobody really wants–that were up grabs.

    I'm asking you, Ed, because you are better at this shit than I am but anybody else can chime in.

    I'm going to vote for any NON-RefucKKKliKKKlanzman that is running. D's first, unless one of the others is a better bet and has a chance.

  • mojrim: No doubt, no doubt. One might even ask: What is WRONG with us being so "interested" in the sociopathic, psychopathic nastiness of politics? :)

  • RosiesDad: I lost count of the number of times I sent that TBogg column around in 2016. Not nearly enough, as it turned out. But keep in mind that complacency was a big factor in that election. Right up to election night, just about every poll and forecast had Clinton tromping Trump, which gave many the luxury of feeling that they could afford to sit out the election or throw a symbolic vote to Sanders or Stein. Because they couldn't bring themselves to vote for the lesser of two evils, we got the evil of two lessers.

  • I'll vote as progressive as possible in a primary, but a conservative Democrat will almost certainly be less catastrophic than any contemporary Republican, don't forget where the Dixiecrats went when they abandoned the Democratic party!

  • @Isaac Segal; the pre-election predictions were so one-sided because of the very reasons we see daily; Trump is not a president and his administration is a dumpster fire. This reminds me a lot of the Brexit vote; the idiot members of society got all self-righeous about "SENDING A MESSAGE WITH MAH VOTE!!11!!" and just like Brexit, we see how very stupid that idea was. Combined with the gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voter hacking, the wrong person was elected even though he got fewer votes. While most of the Brexit voters bewailed the results ("But we just voted for it–it's not like we actually wanted it!") in the USA there are more cowards who pretend "Both sides are exactly the same!!!"

  • Glass-Steagaall was the fault of the GOP and the Bluedogs (Fuck them, every last one of them) who thought that running to the right would help them. Clinton had a choice, sign it or veto it and get overridden. You can argue about his lack of zeal in twisting arms, but the bill was veto proof when it came to the WH.

  • Illinois is a case in point for why it's better to have any democrat governor over any conservative. Rauner ran as a moderate, fix-it Republican, ended up Blagojevich-level damage.

  • demo: Perhaps. But this then devolves into a "The Democratic President just had to do this or that awful policy or action".

    Another form of both siderism.

    I note you acknowledge the role of the "Blue Dogs" there. Which again, does create a lack of enthusiasm for the less nasty party of Wall Street and War.

  • @Emerson:

    Jordan Peterson is essentially a white nationalist version of the New Age Bullshit Generator:

    The problem with dorky underemployed white guys so easily exploited by the Right is that the paranoia seed exists within them as it is, and they believe that they deserve the privilege that their white cis het maleness offers. The Republicans see this and sink their claws in. Like Bern said, I don't know what the Left can do to counter weaponized fearmongering. As your friendly neighborhood Aristotelian rhetorician, I can tell you that strict appeals to the logos or ethos rarely work as well as appeals to the pathos. Unfortunately, the Left hasn't been taking the pathos route since the 60s (until very recently, it seems).

  • Daniel Biss was my guy in the IL primary. I'm going to (probably) vote for the blue oligarch/Pritzker over the red oligarch/Rauner. That said, on the big stage, it sure looks, walks, and quacks like we are all pretty fucked. If the sentiment is that significant portions of society are going to suffer even more if the red oligarchy is in power so we need to be sure to support the blue oligarchy so those people suffer less (but indubitably will continue to suffer) and the fiscal aspects of our country are fundamentally geared to escalating a vibrantly unequal distribution of wealth, how is that not going to sprain our collective arms patting ourselves on the back for choosing slow death over quick? Because to me it sure seems (on most days anyway) that things are FUBAR to a point where debating the merits of cannibalism over starvation isn't a win, it's just postponing the loss a little longer. How are we not all sick of that? How can literally TENS OF MILLIONS of voters okay with that? You know how fucking hard it is to rig an election if, say, 85% of the electorate votes? I mean, WTAF? If that many sufferers can't figure the fuck out what they need to do to be able to vote for someone who isn't either a bona fide bought and paid for tool for or the actual disgustingly wealthy pigdog who doesn't give a squirt of piss about them, then what on Earth are we even bickering about? Seriously.

  • That is what ends up happening when society by and large loses faith in their government. Now everyone is super easily manipulated, and can just blame all their problems on immigrants and Muslims and BLM, because the government has NEVER been effective or honest during pretty much any living person's lifetime.

  • Daniel Studer says:


    Don't get me wrong I'll probably vote straight-ticket Dem in the general elections this year, and I'll vote in my primaries for the leftmost person on the ballot.

    What I won't do is vote for a candidate I don't like in the case where the Democratic establishment put their thumbs on the scale for that candidate in the primary. I'm not going to support election-rigging, even when it's done by my nominal "team". Call me a bernie-bro or a dumb leftist or Not A Real Democrat or whatever the hell else – we've heard that shit before and it's not convincing anyone.

  • Isaac Segal says:

    Purity is not an option anymore. Sitting out an election because an establishment Democrat is on the ballot proves nothing—except to make it one less vote a Republican needs to win.

  • @Brian M.:

    For me it always devolves into voting for any democrat over any republican until the batshitKKKrazzeemotherfuckerz don't run all three branches of gummint. So, I can live with the lesser sin.

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