Hillary declares for 2016
April 12, 2015 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced (via a YouTube video and emails to supporters) she is running for the position of nominee on the Democratic Party ticket for the 2016 US Presidential Election. Her campaign website. Will she win the Democratic candidacy? Bookmakers currently say "very likely". And the presidency itself? "50/50".

Hillary's twitter profile pre-announcement read "Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD...". White House First Ladies profile.

Several significant Republican candidates have expressed an interest in the position of POTUS, most notably John Ellis "Jeb" Bush , Scott Kevin Walker, Richard John "Rick" Santorum and Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz. Also Donald John Trump Sr.

Recently on MetaFilter:
- American Dynasty.
- Hillary, Voldemort 2016! You know it makes sense!

Elsewhere:
Politico: Hillary Clinton readies presidential launch.
Guardian: Hillary Clinton to announce presidential campaign.
Time: Five other women who ran for president.
New York Times: What Hillary Clinton Would Need to Do to Win.
FiveThirtyEight: Clinton Begins The 2016 Campaign, And It’s A Toss-up.
Politico: Hillary Clinton's slow walk to 'yes'.

There are only 575 days until the election.
posted by Wordshore (754 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's 2015, so am a little surprised not to see an "official" hashtag. Is it #Hillary2016, #Clinton2016, or something else?
posted by Wordshore at 12:31 PM on April 12, 2015


There are only 575 days until the election.

Only?
posted by adept256 at 12:32 PM on April 12, 2015 [22 favorites]




And here...we...go.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


#rightWingBullshitTornadoActivate2016, most likely.
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


Winter (election) is coming.

575 days, 19 hours, 26 minutes, 9 seconds from now.
posted by Auden at 12:34 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


As with the new Mad Max movie, my expectations are very low.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:34 PM on April 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


They say people don't believe in heroes anymore. Well damn them! You and me, Hillary, we're gonna give them back their heroes!
posted by box at 12:36 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]




Didn't you guys fight a revolution to rid yourself of monarchy? If not I can't wait for 2036 for the Chelsea Clinton/Malia Obama ticket.
posted by PenDevil at 12:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [45 favorites]


I'll say this much, she's no Elizabeth Warren.
So, how do we begin to put pressure on her re: Citizens United and the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 12:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


Only 575 days more of Fox News blowing hard about her running while ignoring the utter idiocy that is sure to be spouted from the republican candidates.
posted by Catblack at 12:40 PM on April 12, 2015


Didn't you guys fight a revolution to rid yourself of monarchy?

If it was a monarchy she would not have lost to Obama in 2008. Still, it is troubling to see the same names pops up. That said, both her and Jeb have entirely reasonable qualifications to put their names in the ring as serious contenders. It's up to the voters to reject those options if they want to.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


I'd like to announce that I'm running for president in 2028.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Didn't you guys fight a revolution to rid yourself of monarchy?

Joe Kennedy III in 2016!
posted by Apocryphon at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone but Bush or Clinton.
posted by 445supermag at 12:43 PM on April 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


She probably should run on the message of "Do you really want to hand those idiots in Congress a Republican President?"
posted by Thorzdad at 12:44 PM on April 12, 2015 [45 favorites]


Hilary: Not the ideal candidate. But is a lady, which frankly we are overdue for. But yes, has many flaws. Which I am sure we are all going to talk about.

Republican Candidates: A seething indistinguishable mass of faceless white dudes dedicated to the ruination of the planet, elimination of all resistance to rule by a tiny elite, and who enjoy indulging their general petty hatreds of various groups.

Yeah, that's gonna be a tough one.

As for Warren, she has repeatedly stated she does not want to run, and as many feminist commenters have pointed out, ignoring the thing a lady tells you she does or doesn't want is sexist and women are tired of it. So stop harassing her and acting like "no means yes." If she wanted to run for Pres, she would

I doubt she'd be half as effective in the Oval Office as she might be where she is, though.
posted by emjaybee at 12:44 PM on April 12, 2015 [110 favorites]


Hillary Clinton was the "presumptive Democratic nominee" in the 2008 election starting in about 2005. When was it that the 2008 field widened?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2015


I'll say this much, she's no Elizabeth Warren.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 3:37 PM on April 12 [+] [!]

Thank Jeebus for that. Do you want to get a Republican elected? Warren is a one note song sung somewhat out of tune.
posted by Gungho at 12:46 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Can we have some other Democrat choices please? Or is the choice literally her or some fucked-up republican?
posted by el io at 12:49 PM on April 12, 2015 [33 favorites]


I am really and truly not ready for this to start again. I mean, really. And also truly. I still haven't recovered from 2014, which was brutal. I am done trying to mask my contempt for the local Democratic party establishment, which luckily has pretty much no crossover with the group of people who actually do the work during elections. I cannot bear to spend the next however many months listening to the lazy, entitled, useless Party people whine about how Hillary is failing to kiss their asses sufficiently, as if we should choose presidential candidates based on whether they come to Iowa local Democratic activists' birthday parties and barbeques. I think it is fucking obscene that Iowa has so much power in the nominating process. I don't think most people have sufficiently focused on how totally undemocratic caucuses are. (Hillary has, though, which is part of the reason that the Party activists hate her.) I'm just done. I don't know if I'm literally done, but I can't work up any enthusiasm at all.

I haven't heard from Hillary's people yet, which is sort of interesting. They claim they're contacting Iowa activists, but nobody can figure out who that is. I'll be curious to see if they call me soon.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:49 PM on April 12, 2015 [30 favorites]


Republican Candidates: A seething indistinguishable mass of faceless white dudes dedicated to the ruination of the planet, elimination of all resistance to rule by a tiny elite, and who enjoy indulging their general petty hatreds of various groups.

I'm starting to suspect that one of the primary functions of the Republican Party is to be so utterly loathsome and horrible that the Democrats somehow become an acceptable option.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:51 PM on April 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


Didn't you guys fight a revolution to rid yourself of monarchy?

Nah, that was to kick out the foreigners.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can we have some other Democrat choices please?

I heard that Lincoln Chafee may run.
posted by thelonius at 12:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


PS: if anyone here sees that post and figures out who I am, then I literally am done. It is complete political suicide in Iowa to oppose our status as first in the nation. That is the most important political goal, more than literally anything else in the world. Understanding that is going to be key to understanding the Democratic caucuses in Iowa this year, because the party activists think Hillary wants to get rid of first-in-the-nation and that an easy Hillary win will spell the end of it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is my surprised face.
posted by 4ster at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone want to bet FoxNews spins her announcement as "Hillary disrespects Christians" for announcing on "the Lord's day"?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb are effectively running, although I can't think of two less appealing candidates.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2015


Can't wait for the awesome collision of the TSUNAMI WAVE OF CLINTON HATRED coming from the Fox News Right smashing against the equally awesome wave of resigned "meh" from the Left on November 8, 2016.
posted by Auden at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


>> Can we have some other Democrat choices please?

> I heard that Lincoln Chafee may run.


Not sure if that was meant to be a joke or not, but I LOL'ed.

(If he's serious, more power to him, of course, but ...)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:54 PM on April 12, 2015


2016 Presidential Candidates Face Challenge Talking About Inequality [1,2]
Noam Scheiber documented how candidates in both parties are talking a lot about inequality but largely adopting policies that align with the preferences of the wealthy. “Hillary Rodham Clinton, though she has been more open to a government role in solving the problem, has yet to mention tax increases as a possible answer,” he wrote, later adding that she “has also largely avoided saying anything that might offend her wealthy supporters.”
posted by kliuless at 12:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Or is the choice literally her or some fucked-up republican?

Pretty much, yeah. There does not appear to be any credible Democratic contenders this time around. I know a lot of people said the same thing in 2008, but a lot of people also knew Barack Obama had a fighting chance very early on too. There is no Obama this time around. You will get stuff like a token Biden run but nobody is going to bring out the knives.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:56 PM on April 12, 2015


Martin O'Malley I know next to nothing about; Jim Webb is a resounding Meh. I can't wait to hear again about the random weird excerpts from his book. I'd rather have Hillary by a long shot.

Ugh. I'm not ready for this. And I can already feel myself getting sucked into it.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I cannot bear to spend the next however many months listening to the lazy, entitled, useless Party people whine about how Hillary is failing to kiss their asses sufficiently, as if we should choose presidential candidates based on whether they come to Iowa local Democratic activists' birthday parties and barbeques...

I haven't heard from Hillary's people yet, which is sort of interesting. They claim they're contacting Iowa activists, but nobody can figure out who that is. I'll be curious to see if they call me soon.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious


Eponysterical?
posted by one_bean at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The 500 days of Glee.
posted by clavdivs at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2015


Hilary: Not the ideal candidate. But is a lady, which frankly we are overdue for. But yes, has many flaws. Which I am sure we are all going to talk about.

It's a good fit because America isn't an ideal country anymore either.
posted by srboisvert at 1:00 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd like to address my own bias somewhat...

Would anyone like to step up to the plate and explain why any particular non-Democrat candidate might be a good choice? (I personally would prefer "H" to any of the Republicans, right now, but I'd also be happy if someone could convince me otherwise.)

please don't hurt me
posted by iffthen at 1:02 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love her and I and I want her to win so hard. SORRY NOT SORRY.
posted by lydhre at 1:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [38 favorites]


> I heard that Lincoln Chafee may run.
Not sure if that was meant to be a joke or not, but I LOL'ed.


No, it wasn't meant to be a joke, although that seems to be how the press is spinning it.
posted by thelonius at 1:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eponysterical?
No, not really. They'd be calling me to do pretty boring, unglamorous stuff like volunteer-recruitment phone calls. I don't want my ass kissed. I'm just curious about whether they're going to rely on the local party people, try to mobilize Obama-campaign people like me, or try to do it all with outside folks.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:09 PM on April 12, 2015




The Dems could nominate Ronald McDonald and I would vote for him over a Republican this go around. The next President will likely pick Justice Kennedy's replacement on the bench (in addition to others on the Court). I've never been the biggest Hillary fan, but give them hell, sister.
posted by sallybrown at 1:09 PM on April 12, 2015 [58 favorites]


Even if they haven't told their candidates, I suspect that some of Webb and Chafee and O'Malley's campaign people recognize that, barring something crazy happening, they're basically running for a VP nod. If Hillary is functionally-unopposed for the D spot, she can position herself just-slightly-to-the-left of the R candidate, run a more expensive campaign than has ever been seen, cash in on '90s nostalgia, bring female voters out in droves, and likely win the thing.

That's not the best of all possible worlds, and I'm no HRC stan, but, compared to some of the other ways it might go, it sounds pretty good.
posted by box at 1:10 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Omalley is a real candidate, but it does remain to be seen whether he can play with the big girls. She may just crush him.

Elizabeth Warren would easily beat both H and whatever piece of trash the republicans throw up there.

This is the left's first real chance in decades not to be subsumed by corporatism, to insist on a candidate that actually represents left wing beliefs rather than just "is not a psychotic conservative". But it seems like most of us are too chicken to come out and fight for what we believe in. So be it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:10 PM on April 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Martin O'Malley I know next to nothing about

Trust me, you want to keep it that way.
posted by sallybrown at 1:11 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Would anyone like to step up to the plate and explain why any particular non-Democrat candidate might be a good choice? (I personally would prefer "H" to any of the Republicans, right now, but I'd also be happy if someone could convince me otherwise.)

It would really depend on what your own political views and goals are. But unless you are right of center, I don't think any comprehensive case can be made. Unless you are willing to vote third party for your conscience, the Supreme Court nominations are kind of a trump card that should keep you voting for the Democrat.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:12 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wonder if anyone will remind her that the Democratic primary isn't winner-take-all by state this time.
posted by localroger at 1:15 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.

What kind of Americans are not everyday Americans?
posted by klue at 1:15 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Weekend Americans?
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:17 PM on April 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing and whatever the email deal is about, and pretty soon too. That's a lot of crap to answer for.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 1:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the presidency itself? "50/50"

Eh the odds are pretty screwy at the moment. You could bet on Clinton and Bush in such a way to guarantee a 25 to 30% return on your stake. If you spread amongst the other potential candidates your return falls to around 10%, but it's still guaranteed.

I'm not a gambler BTW, i just spent a lot of time writing software used by the industry.
posted by lawrencium at 1:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Would anyone like to step up to the plate and explain why any particular non-Democrat candidate might be a good choice? (I personally would prefer "H" to any of the Republicans, right now, but I'd also be happy if someone could convince me otherwise.)

I was pretty happy voting green for several presidential elections. Obviously my candidate didn't win, but I was able to sleep like a baby.

Before the pile-on of hate starts for 'throwing my vote away', I was voting in states that were non-contested by a long-shot. There wasn't any question by a large margin which candidate was going to win. My vote literally didn't matter.
posted by el io at 1:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


That video's pretty good.
posted by mazola at 1:19 PM on April 12, 2015


At this point "50/50" only applies if it's Hillary Clinton vs. Generic Republican. The problem with Generic Republican is that sooner or later they have to settle on one, and they're facing a similar dilemma as in 2012 -- there just isn't a solid Republican flag-bearer of whom all of their factions approve.

Jeb bears the baggage of his brother's terms; moderates have to be like "oh god, not another Bush" and neither hardline conservatives nor evangelicals are particularly impressed. The not-Jeb candidate is Walker pretty much by default, but Walker is pretty much the concept of ambition poured into a suit, and he'll have some trouble once he actually has to answer questions and stick to one side of an issue. Paul is Paul and the Five Minute Rule applies in full. Rubio has credibility issues, and the clown car follows close behind him with Cruz, Trump, Carson, Santorum, Huckabee and other no-hopers waiting for their turn to scream at the Values Voter Summit "debates" and suck up donations.

As far as betting goes, I have larger concerns for now.
posted by delfin at 1:21 PM on April 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


I thought the video was pretty good, too, for what it's worth.
What kind of Americans are not everyday Americans?
Everyday Americans are people like you, silly. Non-everyday Americans are whatever Americans are not like you and you don't like.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:24 PM on April 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing and whatever the email deal is about, and pretty soon too. That's a lot of crap to answer for.

I'm sure they'll let us know as soon as that resolves to something my concrete than yelling "BENGHAZI!" and frantic arm waving.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on April 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


The idea that you're throwing away your vote by not voting on the main democratic candidate is a FUD tactic very effectively used by Democrats to intimidate the left in the US.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


Wow, that video is pretty great. I wasn't sure if I was watching a youtube commercial for a bank or something (that's not an insult) for the first 30 seconds. I've never seen a political commercial with that tone before, and although it sort of seems like it's selling her as a product (which, of course, it is), if they keep that tone consistent, it could really break her away from the pack (further than she probably already is).

I like the logo, too. It's simple and says what it needs to say (unlike the Rand Paul/Mad Men stuff that turns him into a faceless silhouette, or his "RAND" logo with the flame on top, which just looks rally cheap).
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, what el io said--if you live in a state with winner-take-all electoral votes (sorry, Mainers and Nebraskans), and the Dems have shit on lock, then you might consider going for a Green, Socialist, etc.

(This presumes that you are, personally, somewhere to the left of the Democratic Party. Since you're commenting on Metafilter, stereotypes would suggest you are.)
posted by box at 1:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here in New York, where I'll likely have to choose between the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and the Working Families candidate... Hillary Clinton. Electoral fusion is weird but fun.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The idea that you're throwing away your vote by not voting on the main democratic candidate is a FUD tactic very effectively used by Democrats to intimidate the left in the US.

I vote third party regularly, I very well might for this election. It is kind of throwing your vote away in some cases because the third party candidate will not win. I never criticize someone for wanting to vote for the best candidate and not getting all game theory on the impact of that, but I do urge people to be realistic about what they are doing.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


The idea that you're throwing away your vote by not voting on the main democratic candidate is a FUD tactic very effectively used by Democrats to intimidate the left in the US.

Unfortunately, due to the way the system is designed, it also happens to be true.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:36 PM on April 12, 2015 [44 favorites]


I couldn't announce 575 days in advance. What if I changed my mind?!?
posted by mazola at 1:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]




Didn't you guys fight a revolution to rid yourself of monarchy?

It took France a couple tries, so, you know.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:39 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


She is 67 years old now. In November of '16 she will be 69. That is the same age as Ronald Reagan in November 1980. The job has not gotten easier in 36 years.

This is a really terrible idea.
posted by bukvich at 1:39 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


i would vote for hillary if she bought me pizza
posted by mazola at 1:40 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


In a first past the post system, voting third party is the only way to discipline a second party that has drifted (or failed to adapt) to circumstances, whether by changing its direction or simply replacing it, and throwing the election to the first party is very much a part of that.

Voting Nader over Gore / Lieberman may have made George Bush President, but it also struck a first blow in a largely successful effort to evict traditional moderates from the Democratic Party.

UKIP may thrown the next British government to Labour in the upcoming general election, but you can be sure that the Tory opposition (and, eventually, the next Tory government) will have much more of a UKIP flavor.
posted by MattD at 1:41 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


That YouTube video was awful, who is running her campaign?
posted by snofoam at 1:43 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Hilary video was different enough to make me feel a bit nonplussed. At first it seemed like an ad for a hardware store, and somehow gradually morphed into a campaign announcement. That might prove to be a smart tactic for an ex-FLOTUS.

Drinky Die: "the Supreme Court nominations are kind of a trump card"

Good point.

I'm somewhat to the left of Democrat on a bunch of issues, and somewhat to the right on one or two. Not sure how that matches the stereotype... I'm in Georgia.
posted by iffthen at 1:43 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia page on Republican candidates includes people who haven't declared yet.

My personal take:

Of the broader field on the Republican side, the only ones who appear (at this point--remember, it's very early) to have anything of a chance are Jeb Bush and maybe, maybe Marco Rubio. (Also note: both are based in Florida, the quintessential problematic swing state.) Jeb is said to be winning the "fundraising primary" with big donors at this point.

Rand Paul would be an unorthodox candidate if he gets the nomination, and one who might make the Democrats scramble a bit on strategy. However, I think he's likely to crash and burn before too long, either because he squabbles with the press, or he alienates the base with a libertarian aside, or both. I'm going to predict he'll become the designated "gaffe prone" candidate this cycle.

The rest of them are probably unelectable in a national campaign. Too extreme and would lose swing states (Cruz for example), have too many, ahem, "associates under investigation" (Christie, but possibly also Walker), or are pure joke candidates who will be winnowed out early (Santorum, Trump, Carson, etc.).

Pataki and Kasich are listed on the page, I haven't heard anything about them running, they might appear moderate-ish and electable next to the rest of the field, but if you want that, you're probably donating a couple of million to Jeb anyway. Seems unlikely that they'd run, but again, it's early.
posted by gimonca at 1:43 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm somewhat to the left of Democrat on a bunch of issues, and somewhat to the right on one or two. Not sure how that matches the stereotype... I'm in Georgia.

Well, watch the polls, but you will likely be free to vote your conscience if you want in Georgia.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are only 575 days until the election.
Only?


Yes. I (English) really enjoy US elections and sometimes wish they went on for longer, though I admit to probably being in a minority with this view. There's many fascinating aspects to the US process; the campaigning, the use of media, news coverage and manipulation, town meetings, the TV adverts (which I love for their "wow" factor), the actual voting process, and a lot lot more. We're in an election campaign here in the UK and it's excruciatingly predictable in how the process is working out and what people are saying.

I'm also really pleased to be heading to Iowa in a few weeks for a while, and am hoping to meet or at least see the odd candidate or two in action. Had a chat with Rick Santorum for a few minutes last time around (we disagreed on, well, everything to be honest but it was cordial). The time before that, myself and a bunch of librarians fresh from an ALA conference went to see Obama give his victory speech in the park in Chicago. Excited for this election!
posted by Wordshore at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing

Anybody who cares about this is someone who would likely never vote for a Democrat anyway.
posted by gimonca at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2015 [28 favorites]


Walker is a serious candidate, put a gun to my head and I would say he or Jeb will be the nominee and either one could be competitive nationally depending on how things play out.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:46 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kasich is at least a name that's getting polled. Pataki, AFAIK, isn't even that.
posted by box at 1:47 PM on April 12, 2015


The idea that you're throwing away your vote by not voting on the main democratic candidate is a FUD tactic very effectively used by Democrats to intimidate the left in the US.

For many of us, it's a decision between taking a principled stand for our ideals, or doing our best to preserve our safety.

I'm personally not going to encourage people to vote for a third party candidate when the likely outcome of a third party candidate getting a significant percentage of the vote is going to be a Republican in office doing his damned best to take away more of my human rights. Saying that this is the likely outcome isn't FUD; it's a real consequence of our fucked two-party system.

I'm not going to judge people who make a different decision, but this directly affects a lot of us in ways that are more than just economic. (Not that economics aren't important too, but personally, I'd choose not being a second-class citizen over better economic opportunities.) It's really uncharitable to imply that people who have made this decision are brainwashed. No, we're actually just scared or worried that we'll lose even more ground in the fight to be fully recognized as human beings who have the right to self-determination and non-discrimination--and for good reason.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:48 PM on April 12, 2015 [51 favorites]


Walker is pretty much the worst person in the world. One thing to be said for him as a candidate: that would cure my lack-of-enthusiasm problem.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:48 PM on April 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Prediction I'll probably regret: Jeb gets the nod--Clinton vs Bush is too psychologically powerful for the nation to resist.
posted by box at 1:49 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Walker is a serious candidate, put a gun to my head and I would say he or Jeb will be the nominee and either one could be competitive nationally depending on how things play out.

My feeling too. For the Republican VP ticket pick, there will be a strong case now for Susana Martinez rather than e.g. the 2012 ticket of two dull white dudes.
posted by Wordshore at 1:50 PM on April 12, 2015


Walker is a serious candidate, put a gun to my head and I would say he or Jeb will be the nominee and either one could be competitive nationally depending on how things play out

If you put a gun to my head, I'd tell you to pull the trigger
posted by hellojed at 1:51 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyone but Bush or Clinton.

Would that be an endorsement of Santorum?
posted by notreally at 1:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thirding or fourthing Walker as a serious candidate.

As someone who doesn't have an instinctive aversion to Republicans but often thinks their behavior is... less than intelligent, can anyone explain what's wrong with Walker besides what I currently see? Being vague on evolution is not a good sign he can coherently represent any sort of platform, his own or his party's. gimonca already mentioned "associates under investigation" and so on.

Ambition is more concerning in the absence of competence, and... Walker seems a competent governor; are there any real competence issues?
posted by iffthen at 2:00 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm betting Jeb gets the republican nod, just because he's already sucked the air out of the donor pool available to the other candidates. Jeb has raised stupid amounts of money. The money people want jeb. The vp spot will probably be a "inclusive party" nod and they'll pick Rubio.

That said, I live in a state where voting in the dem primaries is silly, because I'm one of the endangered species, a Leftist in Texas. More often than not, I'll vote in the republican primary, trying to influence who they pick for final local and state ballots, because in the big election, I'm pretty much a yellow dog democrat, but when my choice loses...and they will...at least I have a hope that the other side isn't horrific. (This hasn't been successful either, as the Teahadists consistently win here.)

So, yeah...I'll vote for Hillary, but more out of fear of the other side than real enthusiasm. She's no leftist, our Hillary, but she's the best we're likely to get.
posted by dejah420 at 2:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Winter (election) is coming.

If someone could just leak online the first few episodes of the New Presidency ahead of time, it would save us a whole lot of hassle.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


I think it's almost certainly going to be Jeb and HIllary. As much as I don't want a Bush/Clinton faceoff again, I can't see any other likely scenario, unless one of those two really messes up somehow.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:05 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The fact that this is quite likely going to be a contest between a right-wing, pro-military, pro-Wall Street, pro-fossil fuel candidate, and an ultra-right-wing crazy person yet to be determined does not make me enthusiastic. (I don't actually believe that the Republican candidates are crazy but they are required to proclaim crazy beliefs in order to succeed, which makes them hard to distinguish from actual crazy people...)

> I'm personally not going to encourage people to vote for a third party candidate when the likely outcome of a third party candidate getting a significant percentage of the vote is going to be a Republican in office doing his damned best to take away more of my human rights.

Statistically, most Americans live in a non-swing-state, so for them voting third party will have no effect on the actual Presidency, while sending a strong message, and (hopefully) soon allowing a third party to get federal funding.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:06 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing and whatever the email deal is about, and pretty soon too.

the benghazi thing is just a bunch of trumped up bullshit, espeically seeing as the president is the person who should be held ultimately responsible

the email server that got erased?

let's put it this way - if you or i had done this with an investigation pending - or even possible - we'd be in serious danger of being charged with obstruction of justice - and she may still be

also, i fear her foreign policy may be quite a bit more hawkish than is safe in today's world
posted by pyramid termite at 2:06 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


The money people want jeb. The vp spot will probably be a "inclusive party" nod and they'll pick Rubio.

Not as long as Jeb is still a Florida resident -- Pres and VP are required to be from different states. Of course, that didn't really stop Cheney from "uprooting" to Wyoming when he chaired Bush's VP selection committee and by golly he discovered that the best person was himself.
posted by chimaera at 2:16 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Politico article on Walker from a couple of months ago. Again, just my personal take, but I get the sense that while Walker seems to have a teflon coating in Wisconsin politics, I'm not certain he'd survive the scrutiny and battering of a Presidential nomination run.

In Walker's favor, you could say that competing Republican candidates might not want to attack him around potential scandals that the conservative base believes to be partisan and invented. ("It's just those Democrats trying to pull him down!!")

I'd agree that he's a serious candidate other than the history of legal issues. (And by 'serious', I don't in any way imply that I agree with him....)
posted by gimonca at 2:16 PM on April 12, 2015


If someone could just leak online the first few episodes of the New Presidency ahead of time, it would save us a whole lot of hassle.

Madam Secretary, 8pm Sundays on CBS!
posted by Talez at 2:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just thinking about the slate of Republican candidates make me ill, much less any one of them winning. Moving to Canada's not even an option this time around, thanks Harper.
posted by lineofsight at 2:18 PM on April 12, 2015


Anyone but Bush or Clinton.


I'd take Bush over Randroid and Creepy Cruz.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jeb should've been the one to run in 2000 in the first place. He was always more qualified, more intelligent, and less easy to hoodwink (you know Cheney was the functional boss those eight years while making GW feel like it was him) than his Oedipally-motivated, dry-drunk eldest brother.
posted by chimaera at 2:22 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


also, i fear her foreign policy may be quite a bit more hawkish than is safe in today's world

Hrrm. Any Republican candidate, and I include Paul in this, will be declaring war on Iran within moments of achieving office, with the people behind the Iraq invasion doing the planing and the firm conviction that Iraq was not a disaster. It's not really possible to be worse.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


For many of us, it's a decision between taking a principled stand for our ideals, or doing our best to preserve our safety.

The reason why I don't trust arguments about using your individual vote to take a principled stand for your ideals is that the idea of individual purity feels inherently fascist to me. There is nothing outside totally contingent tactics; votes should be cast on the basis of whether or not that particular vote represents the best left tactical move available, even if it feels dirty.

Although Hillary Clinton is reprehensibly right wing, I imagine I will likely end up casting a vote for her; I'm not one of those "make things worse to make things better later" accelerationist types, and having that particular reprehensible right winger in office, rather than whichever full out fascist the republicans put up, will likely allow more space for decent people to practice decent politics in. Of course, the practice of decent politics requires understanding that the democrats aren't friends, but instead seat warmers at best and sneakily hostile right wing twerps at worst.

Also of course, none of my money will go to her; my money goes to Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative, thank you very much.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:24 PM on April 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Hilary: Not the ideal candidate. But is a lady, which frankly we are overdue for. But yes, has many flaws. Which I am sure we are all going to talk about.

Republican Candidates: A seething indistinguishable mass of faceless white dudes dedicated to the ruination of the planet, elimination of all resistance to rule by a tiny elite, and who enjoy indulging their general petty hatreds of various groups.


How do we make this a bumper sticker?
posted by heathkit at 2:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


As someone who doesn't have an instinctive aversion to Republicans but often thinks their behavior is... less than intelligent, can anyone explain what's wrong with Walker besides what I currently see?
He really hates unions in general and public sector unions in particular, but you can't so much go after the cops and the firefighters, so he has basically declared war on teachers. He also has a thing about public education, so he has declared war on the University of Wisconsin system. Basically, his big achievement in Wisconsin has been destroying the unions there, but the big awesome byproduct is that he's also significantly damaged the public education system. Yay!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


Any Republican candidate, and I include Paul in this, will be declaring war on Iran within moments of achieving office

I don't know if I would include Paul on that. He will campaign as a hawk and signed the dumb letter because he has too but at the same time he is being savaged for what is most likely his true view.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:27 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


(you know Cheney was the functional boss those eight years while making GW feel like it was him)

Traveling through Texas in November '08, there was this local-neighbor on the Amtrak who had some great stories about Dubya. Non of them particularly flattering, to put it mildly. Wish I'd filmed some more, but here's a little snip.
posted by Wordshore at 2:28 PM on April 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


There's one more point regarding risk I want to make.

A generation or two from now, when the climate change shit has really hit the fan, young people are going to be asking us, "You knew all about this! Why didn't you do anything? Why did you keep producing leaders who kept doing nothing?"

Yes, there's a risk of getting a Republican President or Supreme Court if we push back on this issue - but weigh this against the certainty that if the United States doesn't take dramatic action, and soon, planet Earth going to take the climate change bullet and havoc will ensue.

Seen in this light, seen from this larger perspective, the risk of putting the Democrat's feet to the fire is a lot less. If climate change does its worst, one Republican Administration more or less will be insignificant by comparison.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Anyone but Bush or Clinton.

Would that be an endorsement of Santorum?


Well, nobody really endorses Santorum, it's just something that happens. But I'd vote for a Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich ticket before Bush/Clinton. Some other hate votes I'd rather make, Vox Day/Voldemort, Zombie Reagan/Nixon's preserved head, Ozzie Davis as dyed JFK from that movie,...
posted by 445supermag at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm admittedly kind of 'meh' about Clinton, mostly because of her history with banks and the financial industry. But on Real Time a bit ago (not sure why I still watch it), Bernie Sanders had a good point. Just because she has a history of working with that industry means she understands it, it doesn't necessarily follow that those are the only interests she serves. And she actually tried to do something about health care two decades ago and paid a huge price for it.

Ultimately, I think what Obama's presidency demonstrates is that the president is actually very limited in what they can accomplish, unless there's also a strong, vocal popular movement pushing them in the right direction. So even if Hillary wins, it doesn't really matter how populist she is. If the oligarchs are the only one showing up to the fight, they're going to win every time.
posted by heathkit at 2:36 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's your bumpersticker: Santorum Happens
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


He really hates unions in general and public sector unions in particular, but you can't so much go after the cops and the firefighters, so he has basically declared war on teachers. He also has a thing about public education, so he has declared war on the University of Wisconsin system. Basically, his big achievement in Wisconsin has been destroying the unions there, but the big awesome byproduct is that he's also significantly damaged the public education system. Yay!

That seems pretty fair. I think it would be interesting to see a Scott Walker with a solid plan to tackle the issues automation is going to cause, which would involve doing something meaningful to address problems that unions address, but this is probably never gonna happen.

If Rand Paul stays in the habit of giving interviews to people like Alex Jones it should make for an entertaining election.
posted by iffthen at 2:38 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ultimately, I think what Obama's presidency demonstrates is that the president is actually very limited in what they can accomplish, unless there's also a strong, vocal popular movement pushing them in the right direction.

Well, also that Americans are fucking dumb about voting in midterms.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on April 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


the only thing wrong with Walker is the Koch brothers
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2015


If Jeb gets the Republican nod, I hope someone makes an ad that is basically:

Hey, remember when President Bush said there were WMDs in Iraq, so we started a war that killed 100s of thousands of people, but there weren't any WMDs?

Yeah.

Remember in 2008 when Bush was in his second term, and the economy imploded, leaving thousands out of work in the worst financial crisis since the Depression?

Yep.

That was awesome! Let's vote for his brother!

*fist bump*
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that Rand Paul will get the Republican nomination, because just like people here doubt that he's really a hawk, so does the Republican establishment. It's too bad, because it would be entertaining if nothing else.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:48 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really want a bumper sticker that says "CLINTON > CRAZY"
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 2:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm really not a fan of Clinton at all, and not voting for her in the primary, but yeah, the alternative is a nightmare scenario. As as much as some might like to pretend otherwise, that is the choice - the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate.

If it ends up being Clinton v. Bush, that will be interesting, but I think there's a pretty significant difference there - the Clinton years were pretty dang good for the US, and the Bush years really, really weren't. Unless you're part of the 27% crazification factor, you really can't deny that.
posted by kafziel at 2:53 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


A Long Island Democrat used the "meh" meme quite literally this morning:
"Jon Cooper, a former Suffolk County legislator who was the first Long Island politician to endorse Obama, said he felt "meh" about Clinton's campaign, but added he would support and raise money for her."
posted by etaoin at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else getting tired of this vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils game?

For 2016 I think I'm going with the Green Party. Ideologically, they are much more in line with my own beliefs, but I've never voted Green because I got caught up in the rhetoric that I would be throwing away my vote. Both Democrats and Republicans are ultimately interested in maintaining the status quo, and that's got to change if we want to get through the next few decades. Of course the Green Party candidate won't win in 2016, but if enough people withdraw from the two-party system, and support a third-party candidate, I'm hoping that we'll at least be able to change the public dialog, and maybe get a third-party candidate invited to the debates.
posted by bstreep at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


I will take this moment to announce my running for President of the Republicans for which we stand, United under baited breath and to the monarchy for which we stand.

Thank you.
posted by clavdivs at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2015


Bush: Third time's the charm.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


the only thing wrong with Walker is the Koch brothers

I'd argue that there are many maaaaaany other things wrong with Walker. But yeah, the Bros Koch are more than enough and then some.
posted by argonauta at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


Hilary: Not the ideal candidate. But is a lady, which frankly we are overdue for.

I just found out about something you're going to be really psyched about. There 158 million other women in the United States!
posted by the jam at 3:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anyone want to bet FoxNews spins her announcement as "Hillary disrespects Christians" for announcing on "the Lord's day"?

Well, it's Orthodox Easter today, so there goes that voting bloc right out the window for her...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:02 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Best wishes to her. (And I hope she'll have better luck with music videos than last time around.)
posted by Zonker at 3:08 PM on April 12, 2015


Is anyone else getting tired of this vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils game?

It's not a game. Anyone even remotely left-of-center should probably be on their knees daily, from now until the election, praying that Hillary wins.

If she loses we are more than likely looking at undivided Republican rule, so imagine what has happened in Wisconsin over the last 4 years but on a national scale. Considering the fact that the Republicans are quite likely to simply end the senate filibuster, there's almost literally no end to what they can "accomplish".

Imagine the privatization of social security, the privatization/voucherization of medicare, turning medicaid into block grants, the total repeal of Obamacare and a return to the bad old days of pre-existing conditions, the gutting of 45 years of environmental legislation, a federal right-to-work law, and drastic cuts to SNAP and WIC. Forget about any action on global warming. Forget about anyone in the federal government saying the words "global warming". Imagine that there will be a good chance of getting at least 5 votes on the supreme court to overturn Roe v. Wade and do god knows what other kinds of irrevocable damage. Also, imagine war with Iran.

I'm not the biggest Hillary fan. I don't even really like her, to be honest. But I would crawl ten miles over broken glass to vote for her.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:09 PM on April 12, 2015 [188 favorites]


Have we completed this Bingo card yet? I give it two days max before it's completely full.

https://twitter.com/EverydaySexism/status/587335083075436544
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:09 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


How can anyone get excited about this? It's a genuine question, not a dig at Hillary. By "this", I mean everything... the predictable candidates that are all fairly conservative (regardless of party), the same partisan commentary, the dumb misogyny and gross caricatures, the media's breathless polling and focus on campaign minutiae, the whole rigmarole. We have a year and a half of this low-burn radiation to look forward to? I was excited in 2008 with Obama, along with everyone else, but those wings have melted and I crashed hard and now I'm looking at what's more or less some kind of ruined post-apocalyptic political landscape, and I can't muster even a weak "rah team" to save my life. I don't think I'm alone!
posted by naju at 3:09 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


Obama's 2008 campaign broke my ability to be enthusiastic about any candidate for the US presidency, possibly forever. On the flipside, a Republican candidate with fervent rhetoric would probably also not keep any of his or her promises, so in some sense, this is reassuring.
posted by tecg at 3:11 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a lot of thoughts about HRC's candidacy, and on a personal level it boils down to how much it sucks that as a quasi-socialist anti-war pro-union seriously-concerned-about-climate-change feminist living in Ohio, I will probably ultimately be guilt-tripped into voting for HRC because of future Supreme Court nominations and my vote being a hot thing because Ohio = America's favorite campaign stop. Maybe I should bring a flask into my polling place with me to make this shit easier to swallow.

On a national level, i think the un-challengedness of HRC's candidacy is a damning indictment of the Democratic Party. I loathe Rubio, Cruz and Rand Paul, but at least the GOP has been grooming a bunch of rising stars to begin taking the reins of leadership (scary though it may be). Where the eff are their counterparts on the left? The first ones who come to mind are the Castro brothers in Texas but unless you're a super politics nerd you probably haven't heard of them. In Ohio, we are constantly seeing young Democratic leaders being thrown under the bus (first Jennifer Brunner, now P.G. Sittenfeld) because the party establishment has someone in the wings and it's "their turn." And then the race just sputters out. I can't help but see the parallels with Clinton's candidacy at this point in time.

Now cue all the people telling the left that we want to see a unicorn, when really I just want to stop feeling goaded into voting for the least worst person for at least once in my life.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:11 PM on April 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


Can we have some other Democrat choices please? Or is the choice literally her or some fucked-up republican?

Last I heard, there was back channel and closed door messaging going on within the Democratic Party of "either support Clinton or you will be silently pushed out, and never advance/retain your position/get anything done again".
posted by emptythought at 3:13 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


when really I just want to stop feeling goaded into voting for the least worst person for at least once in my life.

This has been my experience in every presidential election I have ever voted in.
posted by deadbilly at 3:19 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Now cue all the people telling the left that we want to see a unicorn, when really I just want to stop feeling goaded into voting for the least worst person for at least once in my life.

But this is the thing. In a representative democracy this is literally the best you can hope for. Because there are 318 million people in this country and when you distill it down to even a dozen choices there are going to be some that are absolutely repugnant to you and some that you will tolerate. You will always be voting for the least worse person because that's what representative democracy tries to do, get the least bad candidate.
posted by Talez at 3:21 PM on April 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


Hope. And. Zzzzzzzzzz ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:23 PM on April 12, 2015


I'll support Clinton after she wins the nomination and vigorously campaign for her in the general election. Won't be voting for her in the primary and I'm not looking forward to the less-than-civil reactions I encounter from some Democrats when I voice disagreement on various issues that Clinton supports.

Mostly, I'll be thinking about how much our politics could improve if people would put in a tenth of the interest & outrage they express during a presidential election into local and state elections & party-building activities in non-presidential election years. Though, I have to admit, I do understand the cynicism and (often well-justified) sense of powerlessness in the face of the current system dominated by monied interests. Such interests don't, fortunately, dominate as much at the most local levels, so I think it's still possible to drive bottom-up change.
posted by audi alteram partem at 3:23 PM on April 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Not me, I worked and voted for Bill. I loved me some Bill. I loved Obama until day 1 when he filled his cabinet with corporatists and neocon apologists. I voted against Romney, rather than for Obama the second time around. But I think the rest of my votes have all been reactionary, rather than because I liked for whom I had to vote.
posted by dejah420 at 3:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


> In a representative democracy this is literally the best you can hope for.

Don't try to snow us by saying this sorry state of affairs is the best we can get, because this is simply untrue. The US and other representative democracies have had strong, effective leadership before - it's not common but it's certainly not impossible.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Bartlet/Hoynes 2016?
posted by Fizz at 3:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Such interests don't, fortunately, dominate as much at the most local levels, so I think it's still possible to drive bottom-up change.

The outside money is present now in local elections, and it actually has potential to lock them down a lot harder than the national elections are. A billionaire can afford to fund elections everywhere, good luck as a local random Jane taking them on.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:27 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


The difference between experiences of voters on the right and left right now is at least a number of contenders for the right-wing are falling all over themselves to prove themselves about how much they love guns/fetuses/the invisible hand of the market.

What do we have on the left?

That's what I mean about how much it sucks to be voting for the least worst -- because the least worst isn't even a real competition on the left the way it is (right now) for the right.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:28 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Seeing a Clinton vs. Bush race is an eerie thought, to be sure, but the "monarchy" stuff seems somewhat misplaced.

We've ended up with a system (and a populace) that wildly favors incumbency, and known surnames ride easily on that. BOTH Clinton and Bush start out on third base, if you will, because of pure name recognition. It's a very steep climb for any other hopeful to compete with that in either party. (I still can't quite believe Obama did it, honestly.)

But there is a significant difference between Hillary and Jeb that seems to get lost in the ease of the "monarchy" jabs, if you're trying to control for nepotism and Bildeberg and non-meritocracy and whatnot, which is that Hillary has been by almost all accounts an intellectual equal to Bill since they were in their twenties... and the dude came from Arkansas (and the wrong side of the tracks to boot). George 43 and his father George 41 and his Senator grandfather and his great-grandfather and his great-great-grandfather ALL went to Yale -- not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but I humbly suggest that there's a wholly different textile in the coattails that Jeb and Hillary are each hooked to.
posted by argonauta at 3:30 PM on April 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


The only thing that could make me not vote for Hillary next year would be naming her Joe Lieberman or someone equally odious as her running mate.

There are very few equally odious.
posted by delfin at 3:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't try to snow us by saying this sorry state of affairs is the best we can get, because this is simply untrue. The US and other representative democracies have had strong, effective leadership before - it's not common but it's certainly not impossible.

Most democracies don't have 710,767 people per district. Without a dramatic expansion of the number of house members the ability of things like unions to elect candidates is going to be dramatically curtailed as the influence required to become elected expands exponentially.
posted by Talez at 3:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Plus you have things like plurality voting, lack of separate parties for regional blocs, ethnic blocs, language blocs and other fun things that other more developed representative democracies have. A United States with 4500 house members, at large MMP voting and coalitions would look a lot different from the state gerrymandered entrenched power we have currently.
posted by Talez at 3:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


is present now in local elections, and it actually has potential to lock them down a lot harder

Agreed that that's a possibility, but I said "don't dominate as much [at this moment]." Billionaire's (nor much of anyone's) money wasn't spent in my last school board election. It could happen. And if it did, then there are ways to fight it at the local level that are different (and possibly more effective) for the local level than for a senatorial or presidential campaign, though from what you said, we disagree on that point and that's fine. I'll still be paying attention to and supporting my local candidates, as I think that's the ethical and responsible position for myself.
posted by audi alteram partem at 3:33 PM on April 12, 2015


The Republican primaries will be another clown show dumpster fire that damages the GOP brand, when everyone knows it's Jeb. It will be interesting to see if he runs on a moderate platform during the primaries, and let the GOP establishment keep the party in line.

The Democratic primaries will be a genteel and serious squash match where Hillary debates opponents to her left on serious policy issues, with a few zingers to keep people watching.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:34 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


There are very few equally odious.

Clinton / Lewinsky 2016!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:37 PM on April 12, 2015


Despite being enthusiastic for albeit-flawed Hillary, I must admit to wishing Jessamyn was running for president instead.

Also, "Jessamyn/Cortex 2016!" does sound pretty cool.
posted by Wordshore at 3:40 PM on April 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think she would make an ok president.
She has plenty of negatives, but to be fair anyone/everyone running will. I also think the arguments against the seeming never ending cycle of the same families dominating politics is a valid one. Although, it certainly is NOT a monarchy.
Frankly what concerns me most is this kind of brittle-brightness to Clinton, combined with the air of inevitability that gets built up it makes me more than just a little worried that all it would take to topple her would be some random fuck-up, say if Bill gets caught again, and having her suck all the air out of the room when talking about challenging candidates... :(
Can anyone say Gary Heart?

Anyways yeah, count me as another, likely won't vote for her in the primary, but will with a clean conscious in the general.
posted by edgeways at 3:40 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is this the first US Presidential election where a candidate has actually openly held a "gay people are real people" position?
posted by phunniemee at 3:40 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Who are the other Democrat contenders?

As seen from abroad, Hillary is not the ideal contender, although she is light-years more sane than the GOP guys.

It always amazes me that Americans are the last to understand the American political system. Yes, it sucks. But it is yours, and you have to deal with it.
posted by mumimor at 3:43 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who are the other Democrat contenders?

If you don't know the answer to that, you probably don't know as much about the American political system as you think.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:44 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


If you don't know the answer to that, you probably don't know as much about the American political system as you think

I dont pretend to know anything! I just wonder all the time how mefites complain that Obama didn't achieve universal healthcare or peace on earth or internet safety or abolition of torture. Because it seems the American system lets congress have a very strong say in these things. But who am I to judge - as said, I know nothing
posted by mumimor at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2015


Bush vs. Clinton? How 1992. Maybe Ross Perot, Jr. can join them.
posted by le_vert_galant at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm glad some people like the logo. I don't like it at all. Maybe I'll get used to it. I think a logo that was more classically patriotic would have been better. Whatever.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:50 PM on April 12, 2015


Not as long as Jeb is still a Florida resident -- Pres and VP are required to be from different states.

??

Do you have a citation for this requirement? Like many an engaged foreigner, I watch US presidential politics closely, but I have never heard this one.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


That was awesome! Let's vote for his brother!

*fist bump*


People are going to think about that anyway, and that proposed ad seems about as legit as an anti-Hillary ad that goes, "Remember when Bill Clinton did Whitewater? And then lied under oath about his affair? Vote for his wife."
posted by Apocryphon at 3:54 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clinton / Lewinsky 2016!

Over Clinton / Lieberman? Absolutely.

Lewinsky never picked up the Gores' "restoring morality to America" banner and waved it proudly and loudly. She never campaigned on a "no freedom from religion" platform. She never lost her party's voters, then ran as a spoilsport and openly courted Republican crossover votes to keep her office. She never endorsed a Republican for President and spoke at his convention while still claiming to be an Independent Democrat. She didn't hold caucusing with the Democrats hostage in order to keep chairmanships. She wasn't a vocal supporter of war with Iraq, an American Enterprise Institute talking head, an advocate of increased government surveillance of private citizens, a knee-jerk supporter of Netanyahu and his ilk, or a bully intent on using every method possible of cracking down on Wikileaks and similar whistleblowers.

She also wasn't among the first to publicly scold President Clinton for having an extramarital affair. That's sort of a special case, though.
posted by delfin at 3:54 PM on April 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Pres and VP are required to be from different states.

Snopes says false.
posted by Wordshore at 3:55 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


If Jeb gets the Republican nod, I hope someone makes an ad that is basically:

Hey, remember when President Bush said there were WMDs in Iraq, so we started a war that killed 100s of thousands of people, but there weren't any WMDs?


That would be an odd way to attack Jeb Bush, considering the likely Democratic nominee voted for the Iraq War.

If anything, going forward, Democrats are going to do their best to pretend the Iraq War never happened.
posted by riruro at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Martin O'Malley I know next to nothing about...

You may recognize him from characters such as Mayor Thomas Carcetti, from TV's hit show "The WIre."
posted by ennui.bz at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Who are the other Democrat contenders?
The short answer is that there aren't any realistic ones.

The longer answer:

The big hope of the left is Elizabeth Warren, who is blazingly smart and genuinely progressive on economic issues. However, she can't win, and she has stated fairly emphatically that she's not running. There's a big "draft Warren" movement in Iowa, which I don't think is going to get anywhere.

The other big hope of the left is Bernie Sanders, the only socialist in Congress. He suffers from the problem of not being a Democrat. He's a complete fantasy.

There are, at the moment, two people who have made it pretty clear they are running. The first is Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy. He's running to the right of Hillary. He says that he wants to save the Democratic Party from the scourge of identity politics, but he wrote a book on the superiority of his own ethnic group, the Scots-Irish, and he idealizes Andrew Jackson, whose entire political career was built on appeals to white patriarchy, so you might be forgiven for reading "saving the party from identity politics" as "returning the leadership of the party to white dudes, who deserve it." The other one is Martin O'Malley, who used to be governor of Maryland and before that the mayor of Baltimore. He's running on the basis of not being Hillary Clinton. I guess he's the most serious non-Hillary contender right now, but I don't think anyone thinks he has a real shot.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm sort of hoping someone like Julian Castro gets the VP slot
posted by edgeways at 4:00 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


> In a representative democracy this is literally the best you can hope for.

Don't try to snow us by saying this sorry state of affairs is the best we can get, because this is simply untrue. The US and other representative democracies have had strong, effective leadership before - it's not common but it's certainly not impossible.


Yes, back in the Golden Days, when men were men and....

Coming at it from a Leftist perspective (which is where most Mefites are, I think), the people who would be complaining about the choices today would also have been complaining about the options during Lincoln's election (any abolitionist could tell you how lukewarm he was on slavery, any African American could tell you how racist he still was). FDR was, as any number of Left-wing commentators were happily saying at the time, in no way shape or form acceptable except by contrast to his opponents.

We have had strong, effective leadership - from figures as varied as Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR, LBJ and Reagan - but it has been overwhelmingly leadership leading the country in a moderate liberal or a conservative direction. I feel like a lot of people here conflate "effective" leadership with "leadership headed in a direction I like and fast." We haven't had a lot of presidents headed in a direction that folks of a Left-leaning political stripe would approve of at any particular speed.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


it's amazing that after 150 comments no one has even broached what Clinton's politics actually are, what principles she stands for, what you think she would do in office...
posted by ennui.bz at 4:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


We haven't had a lot of presidents headed in a direction that folks of a Left-leaning political strip would approve of at any particular speed.

Fair point, but also during the turn of the century we had a legit Socialist competing for the Left's votes. I don't see any parallels today.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


it's amazing that after 150 comments no one has even broached what Clinton's politics actually are, what principles she stands for, what you think she would do in office...

It will be near indistinguishable from if Obama had a third term. Again, she is a super well known brand, there isn't much to speculate about.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:04 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This whole Monarchy/another Clinton thing is a load of crap. She's not Bill clinton's offspring. She wasn't born into the role of heir apparent. She's a former president's wife. And for the vast majority of my life that has been a job that mostly enatiled reading to schoolkids and smiling a lot. The claim that it's just more of the same seems willfully shortsighted to me.

I feel the same way about Hillary Clinton as I feel about Obama. Any alternative to de facto rule by White men has a political power that goes beyond individual policy opinions. That Hope thing? I still feel it. I feel it in a way that maybe only makes sense if you grew up in a world where you were never allowed to take power for granted.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:05 PM on April 12, 2015 [32 favorites]


she stands for the status quo with slight reformation

the republicans, by contrast, want to shake things up, or at least claim they want to

a person who dislikes the status quo but is rightfully scared of how republicans would shake things up is faced with an underwhelming choice
posted by pyramid termite at 4:06 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


[A couple comments deleted; please don't use the edit function to change content, thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:06 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The net result of FDR's presidencies was a dramatic move toward the left, one that took generations to undo even partly. To see FDR as someone moving things to the right is hard for me to understand.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:06 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


it's amazing that after 150 comments no one has even broached what Clinton's politics actually are, what principles she stands for, what you think she would do in office...

After thirty years, is she a sufficiently unknown figure that the broad answers to those questions aren't already known?

during the period of FDR we had a legit Socialist competing for the Left's votes. I don't see any parallels today.

Debs died in '26, Roosevelt was elected in '33. Debs never recieved more than 6% of the vote in any of the presidental runs he took. Admirable man in many ways, but he kind of proves my point. He was the Ralph Nader of his era.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:08 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The first is Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy. He's running to the right of Hillary.

I'm not sure that's accurate. In terms of launching future wars against foreign states and other military misadventures, I'd say he's well to the left of Clinton, and in economic terms he's closer to Warren and is a kind of economic populist. I think people are underestimating him and his candidacy.
posted by Auden at 4:10 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


What if the right-wing was put into the position where they are able to enact all of the changes they want, break things so badly that they're discredited forever and "Tea Party member" becomes as dirty as word as "liberal"? I'm not saying you should vote for GOP, just that all clouds have a silver lining, should a worst case scenario manifest.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:10 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The net result of FDR's presidencies was a dramatic move toward the left, one that took generations to undo even partly.

A lot of folks would argue that Huey Long's candidacy forced FDR to defend his policies to the Left, hence why I am running out of patience for center party Democrats finger-wagging the Left about facing up to reality in the name of unity.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:12 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


What if the right-wing was put into the position where they are able to enact all of the changes they want, break things so badly that they're discredited forever and "Tea Party member" becomes as dirty as word as "liberal"? I'm not saying you should vote for GOP, just that all clouds have a silver lining, should a worst case scenario manifest.
The problem with that is that an awful lot of people said it in 2000, and look how that turned out.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:13 PM on April 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


And I should also note that Huey Long was a problematic figure, dude had demagoguery on lockdown and some pretty unsavory alliances.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:15 PM on April 12, 2015


What if the right-wing was put into the position where they are able to enact all of the changes they want, break things so badly that they're discredited forever and "Tea Party member" becomes as dirty as word as "liberal"?

Study the recent political history of Kansas.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:16 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


What if the right-wing was put into the position where they are able to enact all of the changes they want, break things so badly that they're discredited forever and "Tea Party member" becomes as dirty as word as "liberal"?

That would require 1) a population truly educated in sociopolitics and civics, and 2) an overturn of Citizens United/the death of both Koch brothers and everyone like them/take your pick.

So, yeah, no.
posted by tzikeh at 4:16 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and a complete destruction of FOX News and all of its putrid relations.
posted by tzikeh at 4:17 PM on April 12, 2015


The problem with that is that an awful lot of people said it in 2000, and look how that turned out.

the most important event of bush's presidency wasn't caused by him or his policies, it was caused by 19 men with box cutters, none of whom were on the ballot

and although it's impossible to say what exactly will happen, it's very likely that the most important event of our next presidency will have absolutely nothing to do with the election or who wins it

something will happen - or a few things will happen - and none of the candidates or the system itself will be able to deal with it effectively

we are woefully unprepared for our future
posted by pyramid termite at 4:20 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jeb should've been the one to run in 2000 in the first place. He was always more qualified, more intelligent, and less easy to hoodwink (you know Cheney was the functional boss those eight years while making GW feel like it was him) than his Oedipally-motivated, dry-drunk eldest brother.

I still have a soft spot for Neil Bush (and by 'soft spot' I mean 'loathing respect'). Any man who can say with a straight face that he didn't know the women knocking on his hotel room door were Thai prostitutes, he just thought they were really, really friendly -- that's the kind of denial that serves a politician very well. It's positively Clintonesque.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:20 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clinton / Lewinsky 2016!

Don't you Americans have it already as Clinton vs. Lewinsky with Monica very conveniently making the media rounds?

it's amazing that after 150 comments no one has even broached what Clinton's politics actually are, what principles she stands for, what you think she would do in office...

I always like this sort of optimism: assuming people have a motive to run for a political office that has something to do with politics and integrity. We should draft people into office, especially those people who don't want to be in control of other people's lives. I don't trust people who want it, yet the most capable people never, ever do...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:20 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm glad some people like the logo. I don't like it at all. Maybe I'll get used to it. I think a logo that was more classically patriotic would have been better. Whatever.

Well, there's always this one ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hillary is definitely not my first choice. She is way too middle-of-the road. But, I do think there's a pretty good chance to shift at least a little left this go 'round. Republicans (especially in the senate) have A LOT of seats to defend this time, and the blue-dog causing issue of the ACA isn't as divisive an issue as it was. I see a better than even chance at a Democratic sweep. That would give President Clinton both a push and cover to exercise her more liberal tendencies. One can hope, anyway.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2015


Not sure if this has been mentioned yet- the odds link for the election has some unusual candidates, courtesy of PaddyPower and Ladbrokes...

Charlie Sheen: 500
Eva Longoria: 750
Kim Kardashian: 1000
Nate Silver : 538 (obviously)
Alec Baldwin: 750
posted by The Zeroth Law at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still have a soft spot for Neil Bush (and by 'soft spot' I mean 'loathing respect'). Any man who can say with a straight face that he didn't know the women knocking on his hotel room door were Thai prostitutes, he just thought they were really, really friendly -- that's the kind of denial that serves a politician very well. It's positively Clintonesque.

Thank you for informing me that this man exists, and that this event happened.

I always like this sort of optimism: assuming people have a motive to run for a political office that has something to do with politics and integrity.

Elizabeth Warren being in it for the hookers and cocaine, presumably? It's not optimism. Fanatics and honest folks do end up in Washington, it's just a much, much harder slog.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:27 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Never regretted signing that NDA more than now.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:31 PM on April 12, 2015


REALLY not looking forward to the misogyny that is about to explode all over our country (even more than usual).
posted by mynameisluka at 4:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm glad some people like the logo. I don't like it at all. Maybe I'll get used to it. I think a logo that was more classically patriotic would have been better. Whatever.

Try this one.
posted by Wordshore at 4:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


REALLY not looking forward to the misogyny that is about to explode all over our country (even more than usual).

I won't mind it if it drives the reasonable people into Hillary's camp. There will be so many awkward moments from rightwingers unable to handle the thought of a woman as President, and then from the Republican candidates having to comment on those while trying not to alienate women or women-haters.
posted by sallybrown at 4:37 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


oh almost forgot.

it's pretty quiet, but there is some speculation that Amy Klobuchar is thinking about a run.

Knowing it's a long short and all, I'd certainly vote for her in a primary.
posted by edgeways at 4:39 PM on April 12, 2015


Amy Klobuchar would be really interesting. I don't think it would be a great career move to run, but I hope she does it anyway.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:42 PM on April 12, 2015


If Barbara Jordan were alive, this would all be moot.
posted by clavdivs at 4:48 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, hey, I wonder if the PUMAs will reemerge?

Those guys were fucking nuts.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of hoping someone like Julian Castro gets the VP slot

The battle for Texas would be insane.
posted by argonauta at 4:54 PM on April 12, 2015


Do you have a citation for this requirement? Like many an engaged foreigner, I watch US presidential politics closely, but I have never heard this one.


The rule was in there originally; the most recent version is in the Twelfth Amendment:
"The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; ...."

As Snopes discusses in the link above, the rule isn't that nobody can vote for 2 people from the same state, it's that that state's electors can't.

And there is no way a swing-state candidate like Jeb Bush is going to punt Florida's votes.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:57 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The battle for Texas would be insane.

Precisely.

(or probably not, but I like to pretend so at least)
posted by edgeways at 4:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


ahem

PALIN! PALIN! PALIN! PALIN! PALI...


what?
posted by 4ster at 4:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Welp, looks like that's the race. I can safely turn off the TV and block news websites for the next 575 days, walk into my polling place, cast my vote, stagger outside to crumple over and vomit, pick myself up, brush myself off and get on with my life.
posted by indubitable at 5:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


Why can't we all just vote now and spare ourselves the next 575 days?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's early yet, but the fact that Hillary's campaign team managed to make Chelsea's Elle cover happen, right now, suggests that her people have got some real not-to-be-underestimated P.R. savvy.

I was agog. (With mixed feelings, I admit... but dang.)
posted by argonauta at 5:08 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


lieberman (or any other corporate mouth-whore) and i'm out
posted by j_curiouser at 5:09 PM on April 12, 2015


It always amazes me that Americans are the last to understand the American political system. Yes, it sucks. But it is yours, and you have to deal with it.
posted by mumimor


Ah ok, thanks. What paragon of informed electoral conduct do you call home?

We Americans can do without the condescension. I see right wing national governments in charge in many of our peer nations.
posted by spitbull at 5:10 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm glad she's running. I'll be voting for her. Jeb is going to be a major problem though. I thought he was going to run some time ago, but it's pretty clear it's going to be him this time. His ability to speak Spanish is going to be a problem.
posted by cashman at 5:13 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. The PUMAs were still going as of 2012 - wonder what they'll do now, and if she'll ever acknowledge her cult of embarrassing whack-jobs.
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Elizabeth Warren... However, she can't win..."

Why can't she win? Honestly asking.
posted by the jam at 5:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, Hillary is 44 is going strong today. They're currently rambling on about how Obama forced Hillary to announce today so the Republicans would go after her instead of him.
posted by kafziel at 5:18 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really can't agree with the spin that Hillary running is a dynastic move - she's first generation on the national political stage, and her previous turn on the stage was as half of a couple so she can reasonably be thought to have contributed to the success. Which is a far cry from a second-generation Washington insider like Rand Paul or like Jeb Bush, who is third generation on the national poltical stage with a brother and father who were in the white house. Cruz is abhorrent, but he's at least the first in his family to hit the big time. (I don't know enough about Walker or anyone else who's likely to throw their hats in the ring.)
posted by rmd1023 at 5:19 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still have a soft spot for Neil Bush (and by 'soft spot' I mean 'loathing respect').

Oh I have Neil to thank for the fact that I own my house. HI NEIL! His S&L debacle messed up the economy so badly in the early 1990's that we were able to acquire all sorts of things real cheap.
posted by localroger at 5:28 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like Hillary and have liked her since I first saw her and Bill interviewed in '92 but it's insane that there seems to be no serious contenders for the nomination under 60 years old. Where are the young democratic politicians?
posted by octothorpe at 5:29 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why can't we all just vote now and spare ourselves the next 575 days?

Because Hillary would get all the democratic votes while the republican vote would be...


Oh



YEAH, WHY CAN'T WE?!
posted by evilDoug at 5:30 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am excited for what is going to be one of the nastiest political campaigns ever. Go Clinton!

/Pick Mayor Castro as your running mate and sew up the Hispanic vote, possibly even TX!
//Let Obama campaign for you! Many people love him; Gore distanced himself from Bill and paid dearly!
posted by Renoroc at 5:34 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bartlet/Hoynes 2016

But this is the end of the second term of Santos/Baker (sorta - West Wing universe presidential elections are two years off from ours.)

I like Seaborn/Young, Seaborn/Rackman, Seaborn/Lyman, and (dark horse) Seaborn/Fiderer. In reality (ahem) it's probably Sullivan/Haffley.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:35 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]




I like Seaborn/Young, Seaborn/Rackman, Seaborn/Lyman, and (dark horse) Seaborn/Fiderer. In reality (ahem) it's probably Sullivan/Haffley.

It's Katzenmoyer and Wick. It's always Katzenmoyer and Wick.
posted by tzikeh at 5:38 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


So since the bs and lies are about to kick into high gear, what are this time around's resources that can be used to separate fact from fiction? I know I'm going to blow a gasket like I about did this afternoon when watching people on television make up some nonsense, then speculate about how the lie would fit into a great negative narrative about Hillary. Is Politifact reliable? What good sites are there specifically to do a somewhat objective job of evaluating claims?
posted by cashman at 5:41 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still have my sign from her 2008 run! I'M READY! And so is my baby!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:47 PM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why can't she win? Honestly asking.

Warren can't win because she has no elite support. Without the support of the elites, she can't raise the huge money necessary for a presidential campaign. Last cycle it was what, over a billion dollars for both Obama and Romney? And it's only guaranteed to be more expensive this time around. I'd be surprised if the winning candidate raised less than $2 or $3 billion. That's a lot of scratch, and nobody like Warren will raise it so long as they go around trying to break up the modern day banking trusts and rein in the finance barons and legalized loan sharks of the world (i.e., the aforementioned elites, who have all the $).
posted by dis_integration at 5:50 PM on April 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


So since the bs and lies are about to kick into high gear, what are this time around's resources that can be used to separate fact from fiction?

What's to separate? Short of Hillary being found to be chosen child of C'thulu and eater of babies and molester of animals, she's going to be the better choice for President and she's going to win.

Everything else is just talking and spending money until election day. Save yourself the heartache and rewatch Battlestar Galatica or something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Save yourself the heartache and rewatch Battlestar Galatica or something.

If you want to save yourself heartache, I'd suggest maybe another show.
posted by tzikeh at 5:53 PM on April 12, 2015 [28 favorites]


Ok, Firefly! Or Lost!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:54 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Now you're just trolling.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:57 PM on April 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: " (I don't actually believe that the Republican candidates are crazy but they are required to proclaim crazy beliefs in order to succeed, which makes them hard to distinguish from actual crazy people...)"

"Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." --K. Vonnegut
posted by notsnot at 5:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


I may be getting ahead of myself, but... I would like a Hillary Presidency, as that would maybe/probably mean that her Presidential Library would be in Chappaqua, and then you would have her library there, and FDR's library an hour or so up the Taconic State Parkway, maybe a bit more if you go along the river, and Eleanor Roosevelt's house also there, and those three would make a lovely day trip, with a compare/contrast sort of deal. Or you could make a weekend out of it, maybe stay in a nice B&B in Rhinebeck, and do the van Buren house a bit more upstate, and it would be a lovely little road trip of political history, and the Hudson Valley is so beautiful in the fall, isn't it?

Make this happen, America. Bus tour operators are counting on this.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Well a Presidential Library has a lot more to offer when federal personnel follow the federal records act, so...
posted by mostly vowels at 6:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


She could host the library on her own server.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:04 PM on April 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


Clinton recounts in her 2003 book Living History that Walmart CEO Sam Walton “taught me a great deal about corporate integrity and success.” Though she later began trying to shed her public identification with the company in order to attract labor support for her Senate and presidential candidacies, Walmart executives have continued to look favorably on her, with Alice Walton donating the maximum amount to the “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC in 2013. Walton’s $25,000 donation was considerably higher than the average annual salary for Walmart’s hourly employees, two-thirds of whom are women.
something something neoliberalism
posted by p3on at 6:08 PM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


A lot of politics is just theater. In reality we all kind of exist in a Brownian milieu where we interact with people of a wide range of beliefs and opinions just fine. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Scalia (for example) are tremendous friends despite being pretty diametrically opposite in many many ways.

What amuses me about another Clinton/Bush election is that Bill Clinton is an awfully good pal of the Bushs. I think he and they are also pretty different on some (not all) politics, but they are freggin chummy as hell. As I've said before, B Clinton's nickname around the Bush compound in Maine? "The brother from another mother", I kid you not.

So, we are about, in all likelihood, to have an election where the political supporters of the two candidates work up to loath one another, while the families of those candidates seems to get along like a bunch of suburban lawn tractor riding jockeys.

It's pretty amazing really.
posted by edgeways at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


Walmart recently came out against a religious-freedom-by-which-I-mean-discrimination law in Arkansas.

I still don't like 'em, but, yeah.
posted by box at 6:24 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hell, thge Kochs are pretty pro marriage equality.
posted by edgeways at 6:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would love to see HRC get elected and then realize she's past middle-age, she's the president, fuck-it-who's-she-trying-to-impress? and get back to her student radical self. Actively push back against the loss of abortion rights and contraception access, seriously agitate on behalf of the disenfranchised and disadvantaged and drop all the lessons she learned about appeasing political socialites.

I suppose even when she was a student radical that she had her cronyism problems and it appears (from 40 years later) the she had the same "in it to Go Down In History" instead of a more palatable "in it to Make the World Better motive". But, goddamn. I want a radical social welfare, abortion rights, no military president, and I want it now. And an HRC sudden reversion to her youthful passion seems to be the only hope right now for that.

I mean, dear god, she and Bill have all the fucking money they need personally; neither of them need to have good prospects after she retires from being president; so piss everyone off already. Socialize medicine. Pack the court with Pro-Abortion, Anti-God judges. Screw your rich buddies and do some good for the majority.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:36 PM on April 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


That Vox article linked up thread is really interesting. I'd no idea she had a part in the Nixon impeachment.
posted by dejah420 at 6:38 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would love to see HRC get elected and then realize she's past middle-age, she's the president, fuck-it-who's-she-trying-to-impress? and get back to her student radical self. Actively push back against the loss of abortion rights and contraception access, seriously agitate on behalf of the disenfranchised and disadvantaged and drop all the lessons she learned about appeasing political socialites.

I hear Barack Obama's going to do something similar; he's just waiting so ... uh, so as not to disturb the off-year elections in November.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:45 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Where are the young democratic politicians?

They mostly haven't bothered positioning themselves in the last seven years, as Clinton has been the presumptive 2016 nominee since Obama sewed up the nomination in 2008.
posted by Etrigan at 6:50 PM on April 12, 2015


Voting for Jeb Bush is voting for the lesser of three evils. The other two being his brother and father.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:54 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where are the young democratic politicians?

Corey Booker and Martin Heinrich come to mind as Gen-X/Millenial candidates - Booker's taking a pass, Heinrich might toss his hat into the ring to see if he can snag a cabinet post and consolidate his position for 2024.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:59 PM on April 12, 2015


New rule: any conversation about the multiple and deeply disturbing things about Scott Walker should always include Scott Walker's Toxic Racial Politics
posted by triggerfinger at 7:03 PM on April 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


Where are the young democratic politicians?

Not all that young, but Rahm Emanuel may be a strong candidate some day, though not that popular with the left.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:10 PM on April 12, 2015


Not all that young, but Rahm Emanuel may be a strong candidate some day, though not that popular with the left.

Understatement of the year there.
posted by octothorpe at 7:15 PM on April 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Where are the young democratic politicians?

Feidin Santana 2032?
posted by argonauta at 7:18 PM on April 12, 2015


but Rahm Emanuel may be a strong candidate some day

Always has had the ambition to be the nation's first Jewish president. More power to him, I say. Not our (Chicago's) nicest guy, but, then, we've never had a nice guy mayor. He's certainly one of our less-criminal ones, Washington and Byrne being the others. All are party hacks, of course. Anybody get elected mayor anywhere who isn't?
posted by Chitownfats at 7:23 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clinton cronies, at least the ones from the Arkansas days, were all about social welfare. Unfortunately, they were, and still are, also all about the art of the possible. Practicality wins, so when it takes appeasing the crazies to keep the money flowing, that's what they do. Bill was that way, and I suspect Hillary will do the same. I'd like to think they miscalculated wrt welfare reform and bank deregulation, not realizing quite how harmful the policies they were agreeing to would be in the long run. It's impossible to know, sadly.

The problem is one of priorities, not of their actual point of view. Sadly for the folks still in Arkansas, the Tea Party took over. And sad for me, as I want to go back. Fayetteville is where I belong, but fuck all if I'm going to live in a place even nuttier politically than Florida. (Fayetteville is an island of almost-rationality in a sea of total loons)

As far as Alice Walton's campaign contributions go, personal loyalty counts a lot more than politics in that particular group. As long as HRC isn't publicly castigating Wal-Mart and the Waltons, Alice couldn't give two shits about political differences. She's already got more money than God anyway. As much as people rag on them and Walmart, it's a completely different mindset than that which drives the Kochs. Sometimes the results are similar, but as has been shown recently, they lack the ideological certainty that I consider to be the real danger.
posted by wierdo at 7:32 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Scott Walker's Toxic Racial Politics

Excellent article, btw.
posted by gimonca at 7:33 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lord, I forgot she was a republican and a board member of Walmart.
posted by clavdivs at 7:51 PM on April 12, 2015


Regarding the question of how to cast your own vote, unless you live in a swing state and the election is a nail-biter in the polls, the probability that your vote will affect the electoral outcome is essentially 0. However, the effect of your vote as a message is the incremental increase in the vote share for whomever you cast it. Your vote may increase that message by a thousandth of a percent, but that's a lot more than the chance of you affecting the election outcome. In almost all circumstances, you vote is entirely about (a tiny contribution to) a message. So vote for whoever you think will send the best message to whatever tiny percentage of the elite and/or the public that pay attention to such things.

And then you can spend the rest of your time figuring out what things you can do other than your personal vote to make the world a better place.
posted by chortly at 8:08 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like the logo, too. It's simple and says what it needs to say

Yes a think a blue arrow going from left to right just about sums up HRC.
posted by cacofonie at 8:21 PM on April 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


Evita!
posted by telstar at 8:23 PM on April 12, 2015


She is 67 years old now. In November of '16 she will be 69. That is the same age as Ronald Reagan in November 1980. The job has not gotten easier in 36 years.

I am a HRC fan but I have been concerned about her presidency ever since I realized her age a couple years ago. If this was 2008 that would be one thing. But yeah, last time we had a president this age it was Reagan . . . and haven't there been unofficial confirmations that he was already suffering from Alzheimer's by the end of his term? I know women tend to be more robust at a later age but man, the presidency is tough. I don't know.
posted by schroedinger at 8:25 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Regarding the question of how to cast your own vote,

remember that voting is only one small part in participating in the democratic process. That's where the 3rd party, multiparty, fuck elections discussion has taken me to. That there is no dilemma between voting and shaping change in other ways. You can cast a ballot fully conscious of what you can expect from that vote, and what accumulative effect that'll have with other votes, and participate in democracy in other ways at the same time. I think presidential elections in particular have a tendency to narrow democratic options in general, with voting framed as the whole deal, your one shot every four years. This pulls our attention away from the examples of populist movements that have made gains and continue to push for changes in different spheres of our society. I'm all for participating in the set of practical realities voting addresses, just don't think that's to the exclusion of participating in the practical realities other forms of democratic involvement address.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:52 PM on April 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


^^^ You've got my vote.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:55 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


no one has even broached what Clinton's politics actually are, what principles she stands for, what you think she would do in office...

What she would do in office? She would appoint one, possibly two, Supreme Court Justices. This is literally the only thing I care about; if we lose SCOTUS nothing else will matter. Nothing.

All are party hacks, of course. Anybody get elected mayor anywhere who isn't?

Jerry Brown?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:59 PM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Clinton taps Harvard professor’s ideas on social mobility[*]
Chetty’s emphasis on upward mobility offers a less divisive way to address middle class economic issues than the rhetoric of income inequality that progressives in the Democratic Party like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and her followers are pushing. It’s also more palatable to large corporations and wealthy donors who have funded her previous campaigns...

The research Chetty and his team have done shows that children who grow up in parts of the country with less segregation, less income inequality, stronger schools, more social capital, and stable families are more likely to improve their social standing as adults. He and his colleagues are preparing to release policy prescriptions in coming months.
posted by kliuless at 9:11 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I Ready for Hillary? - Public school teacher and public education blogger Peter Greene's first reaction.
posted by bardophile at 9:22 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


if enough people withdraw from the two-party system, and support a third-party candidate

That's not really how it works; it's a consequence of the first-past-the-post system. Hell, even Canada has three major parties, and pretty much every electoral district (I'd say 98–99% of them) has only two viable candidates.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:29 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not a Clinton fan by any means, but I think that is a smart, well-done video. Clinton herself barely shows up, and only later in the video. It's quite a while until the first presumably straight white man makes an appearance (and if I'm recalling correctly he seems to be in an interracial relationship). They did a good job of portraying values of social and economic progress while taking the focus off Clinton herself. She might run a smart campaign.
posted by univac at 11:01 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Game Of Thrones gif already. (I guess a spoiler if you haven't seen the first episode of season 5 yet.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:24 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bernie is going to run as a dem. But Hillary will be the nominee.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:25 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let me also say: Obama has been an excellent president. I have my issues with him, but under thr circumstances he's done amazing work. I was excited about 2012, and I would be again were he running.

I will be excited to see HC elected primarily because it's so important a Republican not get elected. But I think she'll be a good president, too. Better than BC, certainly.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:30 AM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]




Greider: But Is Hillary Ready For Us?

...But these are not normal times. The preliminary skirmishes are more meaningful this time because they reflect the profound crisis of identity that burdens the Democratic Party. What does the party really believe? Whose interests will the nominee truly fight for? Democrats lost their old soul long ago, as critics like myself repeatedly charged. The 2016 election could become the decisive moment that either transforms the party with an aggressively liberal economic agenda or clings to the past and the “corporate-friendly” straddle devised a generation ago by Bill Clinton’s New Democrats.

Trouble is, the New Dems are now the Old Guard. Their center-right program—financial deregulation and “free market” globalization—has not only run out of gas but is rightly blamed for laying the groundwork for financial catastrophe. Yet the New Dem wing still holds the high ground, with big money and loyal supporters as well as Clinton clones populating the key governing positions. The labor-liberal insurgency has a weak bench because for a generation its promising young people were excluded from governing ranks—systematically screened out by both Clinton and Obama administrations—if they showed telltale signs of leaning leftward or embracing non-conformist ideas that resonate with the party’s New Deal values.

posted by CincyBlues at 12:54 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I really came to dislike Hillary Clinton during her 2008 bid for the nomination, and although I'm sure a lot of it was due to Mark Penn, it got ugly in a way that was hard to stomach. I also LOLed at that Onion article Drinky Die linked to.

But the GOP is so fully off the rails these days, and still inexplicably manages to win elections in no small part by pandering to the worst elements of their decades old Southern Strategy, coupled with a re-energized Dominionist Religious Right, plus the populist Tea Party disaffected libertarians and left over Birchers, that I'm planning on doing something I never dreamed I would do seven years back. I'm volunteering for Hillary Clinton's campaign- maybe even before the primary- but without any doubt if and when she wins the Democratic nomination, absolutely, fully in. I officially re-registered as a Democrat a few years back for the same reason. The GOP is even worse now: full-on know-nothing clown car populism, Tea Party and glibertarian racism, xenophobia, anti-science, anti-intellectual and Religious Right backed and guided by the Koch brothers and the Birchers. It's all about the lunatics fully in charge over there, no longer screaming from the sidelines. No fucking way am I going to allow them to take more power than they already have. Way too much is at stake now, and it's gotten downright scary in an unmistakeable pre-fascism flavor now. The possibility of losing my insurance due to a few pre-existing medical conditions and the GOP trying to repeal the ACA would be enough for me, but it's so much more...

I'll take all the criticism about lesser of two evils and Wall St. corporate campaigns and royalty candidates in another Bush vs. Clinton contest, and still work my ass off and put as much of my free time and energy into making damn sure we don't turn into the United States of Galt and Dominionism. No fucking way.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:58 AM on April 13, 2015 [24 favorites]


And as emjaybee mentioned, Clinton will very likely be the first woman nominated to run for president. The first black president in the US- winning two terms- followed by the first woman president would be pretty awesome. Or taken on its own, regardless of Obama's terms, a great accomplishment, and it's about time for anyone but yet another white man.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:14 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


#anarchists who feel dirty voting for anyone, yet alone dynasties, hillary 2016
posted by talking leaf at 1:46 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


was that under 140 characters? i hate this world.
posted by talking leaf at 1:51 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I live in Ohio, so I don't have the luxury of voting my conscience. I'm all in for Hillary.

That said, WATCH OUT FOR KASICH. He's the snake in this particular patch of grass. He seems reasonable, compared to, say, Cruz, and seems smart compared to Walker, and his last name isn't Bush. But make no mistake, he is reactionary, anti union, and in-the-pocket of people like Sheldon Adelson and the Kochs. Things are going reasonably well here in the Buckeye State (cf housing starts, jobs numbers, tOSU winning the NCAA-yes that matters) and since the presidential election is basically just a grab for Ohio/Pennsylvania/Florida, someone who can claim success in Ohio will go a long, long way. Sleep on Kasich at your own risk.
posted by holybagel at 1:58 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


And as emjaybee mentioned, Clinton will very likely be the first woman nominated to run for president. The first black president in the US- winning two terms- followed by the first woman president would be pretty awesome. Or taken on its own, regardless of Obama's terms, a great accomplishment, and it's about time for anyone but yet another white man.

Yeah, this would be a historical achievement for the Democratic party. (It already is, with Obama's success, but this would take it even further.) It's something they can hang their hats on for maybe centuries, like Lincoln for the Republicans or FDR for the Dems. It defines who is who and what they stand for at a crucial turning point in American history.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:08 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing and whatever the email deal is about, and pretty soon too. That's a lot of crap to answer for.

Benghazi is a non-starter and has been repeatedly trotted out by Fox and Breitbart to no effect, even after senate hearings. Nobody cares outside the most rabid elements of the Republican base, and there is no story anyway. As for the emails, I'm less sure, but it's nowhere near being the kind of story that could ruin her campaign. She could blow it, but that mostly depends on how she deals with the press.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:16 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, to be perfectly clear, I like Hillary Clinton as a person, but the nasty racial politics of the 2008 primaries was enough to make me want to write her off politically (admittedly, the misogyny directed at her from the opposition was not any better but didn't seem to be Axelrod's or Obama's strategy). After seeing her work with the Obama administration as Secretary of State, plus from her time as a US Senator, I think she's very qualified for the top office and has obviously not let politics or personal feelings prevent her from doing a damn good job for her previous rival. Obama didn't take what her campaign did in 2008 personally, and vice versa.

Politics is a lot of compromising to get anything accomplished, particularly when it comes to winning the nomination and general election. I'd prefer a more progressive candidate like Warren, but she emphatically does not want to run, and Clinton is very sharp and a tough negotiator who also can do diplomacy internationally with the best of them. And I agree with her on so many issues, there's no good reason to be so ideologically pure that I'd deny the opportunity to move forward in many ways with her leading. There really is no way to win any political victories in a meaningful way by refusing to work towards a longer term goal of progress, not according to each election cycle and every victory or defeat. This is a long game, much longer than one or two election cycles, and it's not so much about any single candidate or race. I genuinely like her. But she better not let Penn come back into her campaign this time. I want her to be willing to fight back whenever necessary during the whole ugly process, but not the way he did it.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:35 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just hope she gets better advisors for this campaign. In 2008, for the first time in many elections, the (late-ish) primary in my state mattered to the outcome. I was exactly the kind of voter that Clinton needed to reach: I was excited about Obama, and leaning to voting for him, but I was starting to wonder, am I just being caught up in his charisma, and not making a really considered choice? Then I read a New Yorker article about Clinton's performance as a Senator, that I thought was vey impressive. It said, more or less, that she had worked very hard to reach out to people who had opposed her, and to represent all the State.

But then came these clumsy, racist dog whistles that they broke out in South Carolina, and I was so disgusted that my decision was easy. It was cowardly and futile tacking to the right. I voted Obama and started donating money to his campaign.

Also egregious, of course, was their evident ignorance of how the caucus states even worked. They had seemingly just assumed that they would waltz in to victory on Super Tuesday, and they had no plan at all for what to do if that did not happen. That's unappealing on several levels.
posted by thelonius at 3:27 AM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


She really needs to stay away from Mark Penn. That guy was a disaster.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:58 AM on April 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


Can't wait for the awesome collision of the TSUNAMI WAVE OF CLINTON HATRED coming from the Fox News Right smashing against the equally awesome wave of resigned "meh" from the Left on November 8, 2016.

No Clintonian inspired "meh" can top the deeply unenthusiastic sigh uttered by the entire collection of Romney voters in 2012. Besides, Hillary has a pretty enthusiastic group of supporters going back before 2008. She's not as charismatic as Obama, but she's much more likeable than McCain circa 2008. I mean, something tells me she's going to be more relaxed this time, which I think will help her a lot. Her big challenge will be to get out the youth vote in any kind of big numbers comparable to the Obama campaign. They might agree with her and still not really feel connected to her goals the way they did to Obama's in 2008, or not enough to show up on election day.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:31 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, to be perfectly clear, I like Hillary Clinton as a person, but the nasty racial politics of the 2008 primaries was enough to make me want to write her off politically ...

Yeah, I went into the 2008 campaign season thinking that I was happy with all three choices (including Edwards) but Obama ran such a good campaign and Hillary ran such a bad one that I was happy to vote for Obama by the time PA voted. Hoping that the announcement video is a harbinger of the tone that her campaign will have this time.
posted by octothorpe at 4:34 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah well Bernie Sanders would be be first socialist Jewish president, just saying.

I think HRC can get young women to vote for her in very large numbers if she can motivate them to vote at all. Free copies of The Handmaid's Tale at her campaign events might help.
posted by spitbull at 4:36 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: "She really needs to stay away from Mark Penn. That guy was a disaster."

He's too busy at Microsoft creating embarrassing ad campaigns against Google.
posted by octothorpe at 4:38 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, Edwards. Almost forgot about him. At least he didn't get the nomination before his political career imploded. What a disaster.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:42 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think HRC can get young women to vote for her in very large numbers if she can motivate them to vote at all.
The problem with young women is always getting them to vote at all. They're reliable Democratic voters when they vote, but they're not reliable voters. What I hear a lot from young women, anecdotally, is that they're not very interested in politics, and they don't think they should vote if they're not really well-informed. Guys, on the other hand, are a lot more likely to have confidence in their decisions even if they haven't done a ton of research. And Republicans know that they can discourage young women from voting by introducing just enough doubt to make them think they shouldn't risk making a mistake and should stay away from the polls.

It's an interesting conundrum about how to address it. I'm sure the Democrats are thinking about it, because they're very good at targeting messages to particular audiences at this point.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:57 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


What she would do in office? She would appoint one, possibly two, Supreme Court Justices. This is literally the only thing I care about; if we lose SCOTUS nothing else will matter. Nothing.

Appoint ≠ confirmed by the Senate.

When it comes down to it, the primary reason anyone with any semblance of a conscience needs to vote for HRC is to have someone in the Oval Office who won't be a rubber-stamp for the (probably still R-controlled) Congress. That's really the long and short of it.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


So seriously, who do y'all think will be her running mate and why?
posted by pearlybob at 5:26 AM on April 13, 2015


So seriously, who do y'all think will be her running mate and why?

Hopefully, it's not a white man. Unless he's openly gay.

I'm serious. She should pick someone who would solidly make the D ticket "not white guys in suits". A ticket that's as forward-looking and inclusive as possible and still be viable.

Being a woman, she's already lost the bigot vote, anyway, so there's really no reason not to pick a Hispanic/African-American/gay/whatever running-mate. Doing so would, perhaps, work to really bring the bottom-feeding nastiness of the right to the surface on a national level and distract whatever actual message the R nominee wants to promote.

It would really be a "Go on. I dare you. Show the country what you really are." move on her part.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel fairly certain she's going to pick HUD Secretary Julian Castro. He's a very well known politician in Texas, he's done a good job at HUD, and he's very charismatic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:45 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Heck, you beat me to it. I was going to say Castro as well. Current ticket prediction is Clinton/Castro vs Bush/Martinez.
posted by Wordshore at 5:56 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Castro is who I anticipate also.
posted by dejah420 at 6:12 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Being a woman, she's already lost the bigot vote, anyway, so there's really no reason not to pick a Hispanic/African-American/gay/whatever running-mate.

There are definitely some racist votes she has not lost just for being a woman. I say bring back Biden.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:16 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I say bring back Biden.

Gropey Joe
posted by phunniemee at 6:21 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are definitely some racist votes she has not lost just for being a woman. I say bring back Biden.

Given the pattern of turn-out for most U.S. elections, it would make way more sense simply on a practical level for her to focus on GOTV campaigns to get women & under 35's & non-white folks to the polls in the first place and let the relatively few remaining racists who might vote Democrat go hang.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:29 AM on April 13, 2015


Like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Democrats have been waiting in vain for years now for demographic inevitability to make them a permanent partisan majority. Despite all her numerous downsides, Hillary Clinton may be beneficial for the Democrats, because she might the Democrats best shot to play wedge politics successfully against the Republicans, by winning the votes of elderly white women (many of whom who would otherwise go GOP) who want to see a woman in the White House before they die.
posted by jonp72 at 6:32 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The ghost of Lieberman being raised earlier makes me fearful.
posted by Artw at 6:36 AM on April 13, 2015


Joe Lieberman is a relic of the past. He's the last person HRC wants on her ticket.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:37 AM on April 13, 2015


Voting Nader over Gore / Lieberman may have made George Bush President, but it also struck a first blow in a largely successful effort to evict traditional moderates from the Democratic Party.

I would have vastly preferred eight years of ho-hum centrism under Gore/Lieberman to the shitshow we got under George W. Bush, and I am no fan of Lieberman.
posted by jonp72 at 6:39 AM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Drinky Die: "I say bring back Biden."

You'll definitely get the votes of staff writers at The Onion.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:40 AM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


There is not a snowball's chance in hell that it will be Lieberman. I mean, not even the slightest, tiniest little chance. He has burned way too many bridges with the Democratic establishment, and it doesn't make any sense at all from an electoral math perspective. She could choose a white guy, but it will not be him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


You won't get Joe Lieberman, but the chances you get someone with similar centrist Democratic establishment credentials is pretty high. Really though, don't overthink the VP pick. Overthinking the VP pick is how you end up with Palin or even Edwards. Stick with boring establishment types like Biden. If you have to depend on the VP to get people excited, you probably already lost.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:42 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


1. Can she pick Obama as Veep? Or is that some obscure no-no? How about Michelle Obama?

2. emjaybee's comment is dead. spot. on:

As for Warren, she has repeatedly stated she does not want to run, and as many feminist commenters have pointed out, ignoring the thing a lady tells you she does or doesn't want is sexist and women are tired of it. So stop harassing her and acting like "no means yes."

Warren is brilliant to realize fighting from where she is is the most effective place for her to be. She's the only person I've heard speak that made me sit up & listen like Obama did. Her keynote at the Know Your Value conference is very much worth watching.

3. Nthing Every fucking word seymourScagnetti said.
posted by yoga at 6:43 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Warren also has the problem of being a deadly boring speaker. Hillary, for her all faults, engages folks a lot better.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:44 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


1. Can she pick Obama as Veep? Or is that some obscure no-no? How about Michelle Obama?

She can't pick Obama, the VP has to meet the same qualifications as the President and since he has already served the max allowable terms he can't apply. She could pick Michelle, but I doubt she would want that job.

The dream appointment for Obama is Supreme Court but that would be a confirmation nightmare and the rumors I've heard are Michelle does not like living in DC.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:45 AM on April 13, 2015


Also, Hillary is a Rodham, not a Clinton, technically.
posted by yoga at 6:46 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Voting for Jeb Bush is voting for the lesser of three evils. The other two being his brother and father

I'd disagree. George Bush the Elder peacefully oversaw the end of the Cold War. He was fiscally responsible enough to raise taxes when it was necessary for budgetary reasons, instead of acting like an antitax ideologue. And although I think the Gulf War shouldn't have been started, he at least had the wisdom not to push on to Bagdad and occupy Iraq the way his son did. I see Jeb Bush as another moderate-in-wolf's clothing, just like his brother. Don't forget how moderate George W. Bush's image was at the time of the 2000 election.
posted by jonp72 at 6:48 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


the rumors I've heard are Michelle does not like living in DC.

It's the curse of living in Chicago. Nowhere else will ever be good enough.
posted by phunniemee at 6:50 AM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


So based on the "meh" response I've seen, right now I'm giving this election to the Republicans, 75-25.

The lack of enthusiasm for Hillary is going to be deadly, because whoever the Republicans nominate, they ARE going to be enthusiastic and driven to take the White House.
posted by happyroach at 6:50 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


happyroach, I could not disagree with you more. I am pretty meh on Hillary in general, but people are going to come out in droves to vote against whoever the GOP puts up.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 AM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, she is far from a lock but should definitely be regarded as the favorite to win for now. All of the Republicans have serious electability questions.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:53 AM on April 13, 2015


I'm not sure that's accurate. In terms of launching future wars against foreign states and other military misadventures, I'd say he's well to the left of Clinton, and in economic terms he's closer to Warren and is a kind of economic populist. I think people are underestimating him and his candidacy.

Your underestimating the racial element behind Webb's candidacy. I don't view Webb as personally racist himself, but he is chasing a chimera of poor Democratic rural white votes that no longer really exists as a viable constituency.
posted by jonp72 at 6:54 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


HRC could nominate Warren for the Supreme Court, that'd be fun.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:54 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


(And the Republican primary process is about finding someone who is just good enough for the evangelicals, the libertarians, and the traditional Republicans. That candidate is always going to be compromised enough to sap out some of the enthusiasm. See Romney, Mitt. There is no force like Obama or Reagan who can bring them all together with pure force of character this year.)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:55 AM on April 13, 2015


Going against Hillary will be red meat for the Republican base, but that base frickin' hated Obama and that wasn't enough to stuff an empty suit into the White House in 2012. And nominating yet another Bush would have an equal and opposite effect on the Democratic base. The question is the squishy voters in the middle, and in the current environment I don't see what makes a Republican candidate win.
posted by graymouser at 6:57 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


So based on the "meh" response I've seen, right now I'm giving this election to the Republicans, 75-25.

I'm calling it for Hillary, about 52-48. There's pure gut, where Republicans can't help but shoot themselves in the foot over stupid antics. Add in the Hillary factor and their base will just be nutso rabid again, which will drive the middle over to her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Of course, as a perennial third party supporter and registered Independent, I'm 100% certain not to vote for Hillary. But I just don't see the electoral votes changing for Bush or Walker unless the situation in the country changes significantly.)
posted by graymouser at 7:03 AM on April 13, 2015


As a New Yorker, I was pleasantly surprised to see that our primary is February 2nd, basically first after New Hampshire (not counting caucuses in Iowa and Colorado). It's weird. We never matter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:06 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics."
--Jonathan Chait, "Why Hilary Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election" (link)
posted by jonp72 at 7:14 AM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Benghazi is a non-starter and has been repeatedly trotted out by Fox and Breitbart to no effect, even after senate hearings.

I can imagine the Jimmy Kimmel segment right now.

Q: Can you tell me what Benghazi is?

A: Isn't it what those Japanese guys say in those old World War II movies? You know, like Saving Private Ryan!
posted by jonp72 at 7:18 AM on April 13, 2015


Hillary's campaign team managed to make Chelsea's Elle cover happen

Someone close the windows! Her hair's blowing all over the place and we are trying to have a photoshoot!

her previous turn on the stage was as half of a couple so she can reasonably be thought to have contributed to the success.

Forgetting about 2008? She didn't win but she definitely had the stage just as much as Obama, until the moment she lost.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:33 AM on April 13, 2015


The campaign logo says it all. @HillaryClinton will be moving to the right in order to win
posted by growabrain at 7:36 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Going against Hillary will be red meat for the Republican base, but that base frickin' hated Obama and that wasn't enough to stuff an empty suit into the White House in 2012.

It does not matter who the nominee is for the Democratic Party. They will become the next version of the Most Hated Person in America to the GOP. The reason Hilary Clinton is getting this now is she is the Heir Presumptive. If someone else should get the nomination, the cannons will turn on them.

So, screw what it will do the GOP base. The GOP base will simply declare that we've always been at war with Eastasia and get on with the 20000 minute hate regardless.
posted by eriko at 7:45 AM on April 13, 2015


Hillary releases kitten campaign ad. Frankly, this is probably a great strategy, at least on the internet.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:46 AM on April 13, 2015


The American public has already said No to Hillary Clinton. Since then, she has only gotten worse.

H→[door]
posted by Sys Rq at 7:50 AM on April 13, 2015


Bill Curry thinks this is already a losing campaign.
posted by bardophile at 7:53 AM on April 13, 2015


Hillary releases kitten campaign ad. Frankly, this is probably a great strategy, at least on the internet.

Sadly not real: that's a satire column.
posted by cjelli at 7:55 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


growabrain: "The campaign logo says it all. @HillaryClinton will be moving to the right in order to win"

This is fun and all, but the arrow points right because moving left to right is perceived as moving forward.

Maybe it would work differently in a right-to-left language like Hebrew.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:55 AM on April 13, 2015


The campaign logo says it all. @HillaryClinton will be moving to the right in order to win

If Clinton is moving right in the election campaign, I don't like it any more than you do, but if she does, she's simply acting in accordance with some cold, hard facts about public opinion right now. According to the Washington Post article, Hillary Clinton doesn't have a problem with liberals. Not hardly., the percent of voters who want a more conservative alternative to Clinton exceeds the percent of voters who want a more liberal alternative by 9 points (20 percent vs. 11 percent). In addition, Clinton gets higher support in polling from self-identified liberal Democrats (72 percent) than from moderate or conservative Democrats (60 percent). Other polling shows that liberal Democrats were more favorable to Clinton's tenure at the State Department (by a margin of 96% to 1%) than moderate Democrats (by a margin of 84% to 12%).
posted by jonp72 at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2015


Is anyone else getting tired of this vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils game?

I've been tired of it. My enthusiasm for Obama in 2008 was on sort of a yo-yo, and I just went "I'm not going to do this anymore" and voted for Jill Stein in 2012. Unless we see some surprise candidates popping up soon on the Democratic ticket or Hilary issues some kind of not-watered-down manifesto about income inequality, the environment, education, health care and equal rights for all, I'll do it again in 2016.

Blah blah Supreme Court blah blah; there is always, always some excuse or other for the claim that voting strategically against Republicans is more important than voting for what you want. every. damn. election.

IMHO, in the longer term the only way to unfuck the country is breaking the stranglehold of the two-party system. And while I don't believe my vote in 2016 is going to put Stein in the oval office or guarantee the Greens ballot space and serious media attention in 2020, I have to be true to myself.

When I think about voting for Hilary, I think about the "I must not tell lies" scene from Harry Potter. I don't want Hilary in office. I want another Bush, or Walker or any of the rest of that ilk even less. But it's like someone is asking whether I want my left arm or my right arm broken, and I'm going to say "neither" whether or not they will accept the answer.
posted by Foosnark at 8:02 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Rubio is in.
posted by Wordshore at 8:17 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The makeup of the Supreme Court is hardly an 'excuse' in this context. Think about all the stuff the SC has fucked up the last decade. Start with Citizens United.
posted by persona au gratin at 8:21 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


For me, the makeup of the Supreme Court is issue #1. I can't think of a more important factor in my decision on who to vote for president and the idea of "Jeb" Bush making those nominations makes me pretty terrified.
posted by octothorpe at 8:24 AM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Blah blah Supreme Court blah blah; there is always, always some excuse or other for the claim that voting strategically against Republicans is more important than voting for what you want. every. damn. election.

This is politics. You will never get everything you want, no matter what party you sign up with. It's a spectrum of how much you get with your vote - if you vote Democrat, you will get a sizeable fraction of what you want. If you vote Green, you will get nothing.

There are two elections for every office - the primaries, and the general.

You campaign for your ideals in the primary. You find and promote candidates with policies and ideas in line with your values. It will take several election cycles to build a bench of candidates with the experience and network to start capturing office.

You can't build this bench from inside the Greens.

You keep the nation from outright destruction in the general. We do not live in a time that affords us daydreams of Parliamentary democracy or enough of a comfortable margin to back a protest candidate. We live in an age where voting for Ralph Nader brought us unending war and economic ruin.

The Greens are worse than useless. They're a useful tool of the right to gut the progressive left.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:59 AM on April 13, 2015 [27 favorites]


IMHO, in the longer term the only way to unfuck the country is breaking the stranglehold of the two-party system. And while I don't believe my vote in 2016 is going to put Stein in the oval office or guarantee the Greens ballot space and serious media attention in 2020, I have to be true to myself.

True to yourself? Not everybody is physically or economically comfortable enough to have the luxury of making a vote true to themselves. A vote is not an expressive act, like an interpretive dance. Votes have consequences.
posted by jonp72 at 9:05 AM on April 13, 2015 [19 favorites]


But it's like someone is asking whether I want my left arm or my right arm broken, and I'm going to say "neither" whether or not they will accept the answer.

Unless you're ambidextrous, which arm gets broken will result in dramatically different consequences. And if you know that they aren't going to accept "Neither," you'd best decide pretty quickly which set of consequences you would be better able to live with.
posted by bardophile at 9:14 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]




A vote is not an expressive act, like an interpretive dance. Votes have consequences.

I often vote as an expressive act, regardless of the consequences which are on an individual level basically non-existent.

During the Bush years Hillary Clinton voted in the Senate to give Bush the authorization to launch the Iraq war. In my opinion, it was almost certainly a purely political vote and she did not really support the Iraq invasion, or at the very least the incompetent version of an Iraq invasion Bush ran. But then, that's what voting purely based on assumed political consequences looks like, a rubber stamp for disasters.

That vote probably cost her the 2008 primary more than anything else she had control over. It's the main reason I voted for Obama instead. When I voted for Obama and became an early supporter I was not doing it for practical reasons, he looked like a bad bet to many analysts, but in the end he proved to be an incredible success story.

Expressive voters aren't always counter-productive, sometimes they can be early adopters of a very good alternative. Sometimes they vote for Nader, too. But it's not as simple as reducing your vote to pure political calculus always being the right choice.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:17 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Warren is brilliant to realize fighting from where she is is the most effective place for her to be.

"McArdle's target is a budget amendment that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently persuaded almost all Senate Democrats to vote for, aimed at increasing Social Security benefits. The implicit plan would resemble one first proposed in 2012 by now-retired Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, in 2013--eliminate the cap on wages subject to the payroll tax (currently $118,500) and boost benefits especially for low-income retirees."

looks like clinton and warren are presenting a 'good cop/bad cop' tag team, whilst their (wealthy) media backers are lining up...
posted by kliuless at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2015


Megan McCardle get something almost totally wrong?!?!?!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


God, this election.

OK, I'll say it plain -- I've never been a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I'm too young to have a good bead on Bill's tenure (I had only just turned 12 when Bush v. Gore was going down), but I remember the run-up to 2008 in exquisite detail. I remember Hillary's craven, unprincipled positions (flag burning, violent video games, the Iraq War). I remember her flaky, dysfunctional campaign staff (Patti Solis Doyle, Terry McAuliffe, Mark Penn). I remember the tasteless tactics the campaign employed against Obama, the racist dogwhistling and the increasingly desperate and self-serving contortion of the primary process (superdelegates, caucuses vs. primaries, the Florida/Michigan fiasco).

But here's the thing -- Obama was pretty much my dream candidate, and I'm still proud to have voted for him to this day. Clinton just wilted in comparison. But taken outside the context of 2008, Clinton is actually a pretty decent Democrat. Look at Martin O'Malley, for example. He's trying to position himself as the populist progressive alternative to the Clinton machine. But according to analysis by FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten, Clinton is significantly more liberal than him in every respect -- in fundraising sources, public statements on policy, and in endorsement from liberal icons like Howard Dean and Elizabeth Warren. And while O'Malley lacks a legislative record, Clinton's is further left than more than 50% of Democrats in the last Congress -- a caucus thoroughly winnowed of Blue Dogs. The fact that she's stocking her staff with Obama veterans and fresh faces like Robert Mook -- and apparently centering her campaign on economic justice and LGBT rights -- is also heartening.

But the real motivator, as others have said, is the Republican field. This is a deeply scary time, especially after the 2014 election. People focus on the loss of the Senate, but the Democrats were gutted last midterm from top to bottom nationwide. The GOP controls more state and federal legislative seats than at any point since 1928, and are more radical than at any point since Reconstruction. If Walker and his particular brand of ugly, racially-polarized divisiveness wins the nomination, and Clinton loses (even odds!), the results would be catastrophic. I'm talking a GOP House, a GOP Senate almost certain to kill the filibuster, unprecedented state-level control, all under an ambitious right-wing warrior-president itching to dismantle healthcare reform, public and private unions, public academia, climate action. A Randian budget that hikes rates on the poorest while eliminating corporate, capital gains, and estate taxes. Tort reform that makes abusive companies even more invulnerable. Rollback of net neutrality. Rollback of EPA and other federal regs.

And the Supreme Court. My god, the Supreme Court. Already decisions like Citizens United, McCutcheon v. FCC, and the VRA invalidation have dealt sweeping setbacks to progressive goals. Just one or two liberal vacancies and you've got a hard business-conservative majority for the next generation.

(And hey, if they've got their druthers, I wouldn't be shocked to see wholesale structural changes that make it nigh-impossible to undo such a platform. Think gerrymandering unimpeded by the Voting Rights Act. Think running the Electoral College by congressional district. Think war with Iran, for some nice rally-round-the-flag.)

Obama premised his presidency on a vision of bipartisan cooperation, and the Republicans self-radicalized by recoiling from it so viscerally. Now voter apathy has put this aggressively no-compromise party in position to control all levers of government. I actually find myself hoping that a saner/more-electable Republican like Bush wins the nom, because the prospect of a savvy Tea Party type taking advantage of moderate disgust and liberal indifference and rallying the angry base to defeat Clinton midterm-style is just utterly horrifying.

(Folks think Clinton's got this in the bag because of her sky-high poll numbers throughout Obama's tenure, when she was beating every GOP candidate in head-to-head polls by large margins, but that was back when she was above the fray at State. Check the polls again -- her numbers have slumped back down to 50-50 now that she's in the running.)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2015 [36 favorites]


I too am done being blackmailed by Dems who take leftists for granted and do absolutely nothing to make my life better. You don't just get to say "but they're worse!" and go on defending NSA spying, votes for shitty wars, bending over backwards for banks & corporations that hurt the American people, and not closing Guantanamo. Sorry, fuckers, but nope. You know when the Dems did well? For the 10s Obama acted like he cared about real change. And look where that went. If the Republicans can pander to total lunatics, you can attempt to pander to us, maybe just once. And don't even get me started on "he's black! she's a woman!" Oh wow, white men will let you be in charge as long as you make no changes and carry water for their corporate backers! My! Progress!

So if you want this black woman pulling the D lever, you better get something better than "the sky is falling."
posted by dame at 9:30 AM on April 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


So if you want this black woman pulling the D lever, you better get something better than "the sky is falling."

Do your research on Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, etc., and come back in here and say that again.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:33 AM on April 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


When someone says they are done being blackmailed trying to blackmail them again probably isn't the best approach. I would suggest selling Clinton's positives instead, and there are a lot of them.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


So if you want this black woman pulling the D lever, you better get something better than "the sky is falling."

It's in your personal best interests and those of the country to push that D button.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


> This is literally the only thing I care about; if we lose SCOTUS nothing else will matter. Nothing.

You should cultivate a sense of perspective.

If we don't elect someone who will take dramatic action on climate change, in 30 years no one will care who was on the Supreme Court in 2017 because they'll be too busy struggling to survive.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:38 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I see all the Democrats and crypto-Democrats are doing their "we need to close ranks behind Hillary because scary Republicans" song and dance, as usual.

But guess what? The Democratic convention has not even happened yet! There are way more than two evils to choose from at this point! And here's the great thing about elections in a democratic country: you don't even need to be a celebrity to run! If there is a D candidate who wants to come in and run on an actually palatable platform*, that's totally possible.

Please, at least give the "lesser of two evils" thing a rest until there are actually only two (sans third party candidates) options, after the D and R conventions have chosen their presidential candidates. Democrats' willingness to rush rightward is just so reflexive these days -- it's amazing.

* some free ideas for any would-be HRC challenger out there off the top of my head: basic minimum income, socialized health care, student debt abolition, Green New Deal, free abortion and birth control on demand, socialized daycare, significantly downsizing the military, dismantling the nuclear weapons arsenal, shortening the work weak, ending endemic surveillance, prosecuting war criminals in former administrations, ending the War on Drugs, ending the War on Terror, etc.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:45 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Re: Lincoln Chafee No, it wasn't meant to be a joke, although that seems to be how the press is spinning it.

I don't really understand that article, because nothing in it makes me not want to vote for him. What exactly is the joke supposed to be? That he doesn't understand The Way Things Are Done well enough? Because that seems kindof good to me, actually. (And also, the Curt Schilling disaster falls firmly at the feet of Carcieri, so.)
posted by likeatoaster at 9:47 AM on April 13, 2015


Among Hillary's positives: This is the error page on her website.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:47 AM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


You should cultivate a sense of perspective.

If we don't elect someone who will take dramatic action on climate change, in 30 years no one will care who was on the Supreme Court in 2017 because they'll be too busy struggling to survive.


I'm sure the Republicans will get right on that.

I'm all for a competitive Democratic field and I hope someone legitimately awesome wins, but at this point - even though it shouldn't be this way - yes, in America we get two choices in Presidential elections. That's just plain reality. Changing it would require a constitutional amendment.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:47 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do your research on Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, etc., and come back in here and say that again.

I would strongly recommend not telling people how to conduct their lives on axes that they live and are not a rhetorical point. It is insulting and treading mighty close to worse adjectives. Your presumption that I am ignorant of Republicans does say a lot about the idiocy of Democrats, though, and why we are in this position.
posted by dame at 9:51 AM on April 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's a spectrum of how much you get with your vote - if you vote Democrat, you will get a sizeable fraction of what you want. If you vote Green, you will get nothing.

A vote is not an expressive act, like an interpretive dance. Votes have consequences.

If you want to be completely cynically realistic, who I vote for will not affect the outcome. Gerrymandering and demographics have determined that my little piece of geography will almost certainly vote blue, and be shouted down by my state's overall redness.

And I don't buy the scapegoating of Nader after the 2000 election. Gore failed to inspire Democratic voters to support him in sufficient numbers. By far the biggest thief of Democratic votes was Bush. (Well, voter apathy first, then Bush, then disenfranchisement.) And I still don't understand why Gore didn't push for the full recount.

(FWIW, I voted for Gore that year, and Obama in 2008.)
posted by Foosnark at 9:52 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Your presumption that I am ignorant of Republicans does say a lot about the idiocy of Democrats, though, and why we are in this position.

I apologize. I just think that threatening the Democrats to pander for your vote is not going to work out well in a national election.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:55 AM on April 13, 2015


So if you want this black woman pulling the D lever, you better get something better than "the sky is falling."

Your choices next November are as follows:
  • Republican nominee
  • Democratic nominee
  • someone who cannot possibly get elected
  • nobody (i.e., stay home and don't vote)
These last two choices are functionally identical. Don't kid yourself into thinking you have any other options. (With few exceptions, these are your choices in all elections, but it's especially true for the presidential contest.)

You can work toward a better voting system than first-past-the-post, but you can't vote as though we already have such a system and then ask everyone else to pretend that you're making a difference.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:02 AM on April 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Dear people living in a fantasy world:

Yes, we all want Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren to be President. That would just be the bees' knees.

Unfortunately we live in the real world; vote against Hillary and you are quite literally voting for another Alito or Scalia.

HRC '16
posted by holybagel at 10:04 AM on April 13, 2015 [24 favorites]


If we don't elect someone who will take dramatic action on climate change

Putting progressives on the Supreme Court is taking dramatic action on climate change - every rule and regulation to reign in carbon emissions will be fought tooth and nail by both industry and conservative local government. Only a supreme court without a conservative stranglehold will allow us to take decisive measures.

I mean, how did you think this was gonna work? Captain Magical President flying around the country to punch smokestacks? The Koch brothers kicking at the dust and going "Aw, shucks!" when Captain Magical President waves the mighty "Stop Polluting" wand?

It doesn't start with policy, that's the end game. You need to earn your way there by delivering votes, lots of them, to allies and counteracting opposition to your goals in the other branches of the government. You got a Green that can do that? No. You do not.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:06 AM on April 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


But remember, if a Republican is elected he WILL be Captain Magical President and do everything you hate. Democrats are totally powerless to do any obstruction of their own.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:12 AM on April 13, 2015


And I don't buy the scapegoating of Nader after the 2000 election.

Sorry, it's simple math. Nader's influence on the 2000 was sufficient to cause Gore's loss, even if it was not a necessary cause for Gore's loss. (It's as if the perennial third-party die-hards have never heard that you can have multicausal explanations for historical events!) In the 2004 scholarly paper, "Was Ralph Nader a Spoiler?: A Study of Green and Reform Party Voters in the 2000 Election," the authors Michael C. Herron and Jeffrey B. Lewis estimated that 61% of Nader voters in Florida would have preferred Gore to Bush, while 39% of Floridian Nader voters would have preferred Bush to Gore. In other words, what Gore lost in Florida was equal to about 22% of the Nader vote (61%-39%=22%). That works out to approximately 21,447 votes (22% of 97,488 Nader votes), which is almost 40 times George W. Bush's official vote margin victory of 537 votes.

The counterargument is usually that "Gore was a bad campaigner," but that neglects several problems: (1) Gore won the popular vote! Since when is the guy who wins the most votes the bad campaigner?; (2) It's a false dichotomy that neglects that historical events can have multiple causes; and (3) It ignores the Electoral College and the Supreme Court decision that robbed Gore of his victory.
posted by jonp72 at 10:14 AM on April 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


GOP is almost certain to take the House. Senate is a possibility. All GOP = no veto points.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:14 AM on April 13, 2015


Appoint ≠ confirmed by the Senate.

Yes, but we're not talking about circuit court nominees who can be held up indefinitely*. They will have to confirm someone, and while Republicans will put on a good show for their constituents the SCOTUS appointment still seems to be sacrosanct. They will drag it out as long as they can, and there will be compromises neither side will be happy with, but like I said, losing SCOTUS will be losing everything. And if the Republicans control the Senate and the Presidency it could be the difference between life and death for millions and millions of Americans, and life and misery for almost everyone else.

(I'm not even talking about the cases the court has taken, I'm talking about every outrageous law that is considered a "test case" in order to get to SCOTUS.)

On preview:

You should cultivate a sense of perspective.

If we don't elect someone who will take dramatic action on climate change, in 30 years no one will care who was on the Supreme Court in 2017 because they'll be too busy struggling to survive.


Which is why we need a Supreme Court who will uphold those laws.


*Isn't this an obstruction of justice since it has the effect of slowing certain courts to a halt?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:15 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nader's influence on the 2000 was sufficient to cause Gore's loss

And Gore's influence was sufficient to cause Nader's loss if we pretend Nader automatically owns all Gore votes the way Democrats pretend they own Nader votes. But in reality, Nader was like #50 down the list of causes for Gore's loss.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oops, should have previewed the preview: Slap*Happy gets it.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2015


I might also add that if Gore had become a more inspiring campaigner by moving leftward (usually the people making this argument assume "inspiring"= more economically populist or "happy warrior" liberal), then he might have lost the electoral votes of other, more conservative states.
posted by jonp72 at 10:18 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I might also add that if Gore had become a more inspiring campaigner by moving leftward (usually the people making this argument assume "inspiring"= more economically populist or "happy warrior" liberal), then he might have lost the electoral votes of other, more conservative states.

Yeah, a much better strategy would have been to better appeal to the centrist dems who voted for Bush who vastly, vastly, vastly outnumber Nader voters.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:19 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd be surprised if the winning candidate raised less than $2 or $3 billion.

Now we see the violence inherent in the system. Help, we're being repressed.
posted by busted_crayons at 10:21 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


But remember, if a Republican is elected he WILL be Captain Magical President and do everything you hate. Democrats are totally powerless to do any obstruction of their own.

Do you remember what it was like from 2002 until 2008? It seems to me that you've likely forgotten. Are you happy with the Citizens United decision? Did that work for you? Do you like big money buying local and statewide elections? How about Hobby Lobby, was that a good deal for you? Democrats were sure able to keep the VRA decision rom disenfranchising voters, mmyep.

How about Bush gutting the SEC and ordering it to look the other way, how did that turn out? Was invading Iraq effectively opposed when the Bush Administration stacked the deck against congressional Democrats, controlling the foreign policy and intelligence gathering aspects of the government?

Bush was able to deliver lots of votes to his conservative allies, and to counteract opposition in other branches of the government. Better than any damn wand.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:21 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, a much better strategy would have been to better appeal to the centrist dems who voted for Bush who vastly, vastly, vastly outnumber Nader voters.

[Citation needed]
posted by jonp72 at 10:22 AM on April 13, 2015


* some free ideas for any would-be HRC challenger out there off the top of my head: basic minimum income, socialized health care, student debt abolition, Green New Deal, free abortion and birth control on demand, socialized daycare, significantly downsizing the military, dismantling the nuclear weapons arsenal, shortening the work weak, ending endemic surveillance, prosecuting war criminals in former administrations, ending the War on Drugs, ending the War on Terror, etc.

Well, as a political science type it would be fun to have the CCES or NAES data from that election. Policy-wise, it would kinda suck to watch the Republican candidate win NY and CA.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:23 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you remember what it was like from 2002 until 2008?

Yes. My biggest upset during the time was the invasion of Iraq Clinton voted to authorize and the eventual financial collapse Bill Clinton era laws certainly helped create the environment for. Along the way, I also had my usual complaints about interventionist foreign policy in general (which Clinton supports in broad terms) and on the domestic front the drug war stuff (which Clinton also supports, more so than at least one Republican candidate.)

A forceful Democratic party could have restrained the worst of Bush. So now I must vote for Democrats...or they will let it happen again. Yeah, okay.

Are you happy with the Citizens United decision?


I'm not as upset about it as other's are. Money was polluting politics anyway, just an incremental step to make it worse. It's not like it's going to be dialed back any time soon even with a Democrat in office. Not something I will one issue vote on.

How about Hobby Lobby, was that a good deal for you?

Maybe Democrat Chuck Schumer should not have introduced the RFRA and maybe Democrat Bill Clinton should not have signed it into law?

Democrats were sure able to keep the VRA decision rom disenfranchising voters, mmyep.

If only we had a Democratic President, we could have stopped that!
posted by Drinky Die at 10:28 AM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


If only we had a Democratic President, we could have stopped that!

To nominate someone other than Alito and Roberts? Yup.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:32 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think she'll have to get past that Benghazi thing and whatever the email deal is about, and pretty soon too. That's a lot of crap to answer for.

Oh please. The R's are still trying to pretend Whitewater and Travelgate were legitimate "scandals;" they'll be having tantrums over the emails and screaming "Benghazi!!11!!!" for the next 30 years no matter how many times they're proven to be baseless accusations.

Hillary has been the target of GOP hatred since 1992. She thrives on it. They can't touch her. She's been the (Gallup) most admired woman on the planet for for 19 of the past 22 years.
posted by caryatid at 10:33 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


But remember, if a Republican is elected he WILL be Captain Magical President and do everything you hate. Democrats are totally powerless to do any obstruction of their own.

I think the argument is that since the GOP controls the House and Senate, a Republican will actually be much more capable of enacting their agenda.
posted by Jpfed at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


> Putting progressives on the Supreme Court is taking dramatic action on climate change

No. Taking dramatic action on climate change means actually doing something to reduce carbon output into the atmosphere. You might argue that having a progressive Court is a necessary step; but it is not "dramatic action". In particular, without an Administration that considers climate change an emergency and takes actual concrete action, it will be worth exactly nothing towards the real goal - preventing the world from taking the climate change bullet.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


No. Taking dramatic action on climate change means actually doing something to reduce carbon output into the atmosphere. You might argue that having a progressive Court is a necessary step; but it is not "dramatic action". In particular, without an Administration that considers climate change an emergency and takes actual concrete action, it will be worth exactly nothing towards the real goal - preventing the world from taking the climate change bullet.

Ok, fine, and yet again - what will putting a Republican in the White House do about this? Because, again, that is the choice we have.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:37 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


To nominate someone other than Alito and Roberts? Yup.

Roberts who has preserved the ACA, you can do much worse. Look, I think I've already been pretty clear that if you are solely focused on results based voting the Supreme Court will be a trump card, but not everybody is or should have to be.

Magical Repulican President does not exist, he can be restrained with obstruction as well. Don't mock the idea of a powerful Democratic President at the same time as you ignore the same restraints applying to Republicans. Bush got away with what he did because Democrats let him. They don't have to do that the next time they aren't in office, and there WILL be a next time. I think Hillary's re-election campaign will be an extremely vulnerable moment. The establishment better be prepared to spend more time obstructing than hippy punching.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:37 AM on April 13, 2015


Many of you are acting as if the primary has already happened. If you don't like Hillary, then put your efforts towards someone you DO like. One the primary has passed, we can start the "vote if you don't want the world to be destroyed" rhetoric. Personally, I think >500 days of that rhetoric is a great way to alienate tons of people who would otherwise vote. In contrast, having multiple options - for at least the near term - could motivate sections of the party that are really just completely disinterested at present.

Once we are past the primary, I think it's clear that there will be only one choice. It's an important vote - I've said it before, but SCOTUS nominations and Veto power are nothing to be trifled with. But until then, I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to be very critical of what's perceived as "our only choice," and best to fight for that choice to be as in line with our actual wants and needs as opposed to "she's electable and is predetermined to be the victor, better support her now!" That's not democracy as it should be, that is fearmongering and silencing of the masses, and that's the exact shit that so many of us are tired of. It's exactly what the Democratic party has been pulling in the south, and it has alienated MANY voters.

Even if you don't think that a candidate who is campaigning (or who COULD campaign) has a chance in hell of being elected, just having them as part of the party competition changes things for the better for the victor - For all of the ridiculousness of the republican antics at the moment, there is one thing that they are doing correct, which is fostering enough competition within themselves that the issues that may make or break an election amongst their own party and that resonate with their own voters are being brought to light, allowing them plenty of time to refine their platform - even potentially throw someone NEW into the mix.

While the great leftist ideal candidate that some would want here may not stand a chance in hell of being elected, if they have enough energy and support, it's a force to shift the party ideals and energy - and ideally the platform of the victor - towards those same ideals, although perhaps not as far as it would be with this mythical ideal candidate.

The primary is such an important vote, and will do more to express your voice, yet it is so greatly neglected. Those of you who are telling us who are critical of Hillary (to the point of saying we may not vote for her) that we need to just step with the party line and vote against destruction are not hearing what we have to say. We've had enough silencing of voices.... Think back to many who were critical of GWB as well as the War On Terror, many of us were outright dismissed by the party in control. Telling someone that if they don't vote for Hillary that they are an agent of destruction is really just another form of "if you are not with us than you are against us." We've heard enough of that shit over the years, hearing it from our own party isn't exactly the call to action you may hope it is.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:39 AM on April 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


I think the argument is that since the GOP controls the House and Senate, a Republican will actually be much more capable of enacting their agenda.

A little more so, but without a supermajority in the Senate the minority party can stop almost everything they want to stop. I mean, Obama wasn't supermagic President when he had the house and Senate.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:40 AM on April 13, 2015


Fuck. Look, people, I live in one of the 5 states that will actually decide the election. Let's be realistic, Hillary is our best bet for half-ass decent policy. Wish all you want that the Actual Left had a presence nationwide, but talking 3rd party? Remember how well Bush the lesser worked out? Or Nader?
posted by holybagel at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Once we are past the primary, I think it's clear that there will be only one choice. It's an important vote - I've said it before, but SCOTUS nominations and Veto power are nothing to be trifled with. But until then, I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to be very critical of what's perceived as "our only choice," and best to fight for that choice to be as in line with our actual wants and needs as opposed to "she's electable and is predetermined to be the victor, better support her now!" That's not democracy as it should be, that is fearmongering and silencing of the masses, and that's the exact shit that so many of us are tired of. It's exactly what the Democratic party has been pulling in the south, and it has alienated MANY voters.

This I can totally agree with.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember how well Bush the lesser worked out? Or Nader?

Not really. Has anyone brought it up in this thread yet? Mods?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:44 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Even though I am very disdainful of third-party protest votes, I actually was a Naderite Green myself, having voted for Nader for President over Bill Clinton in 1996. When the next election rolled around in 2000, I was a Ph.D. candidate in a very lefty sociology department at University of California, Berkeley. The heated debates on the grad student mailing list pretty much boiled down to "Gore or Nader?" I wish I still had the transcripts of some of those debates, because I saw some of the smartest arguments ever written about why people should consider voting for third parties. There were lots of very smart people on that grad student list and, if there's a solid or remotely plausible argument for voting third party that wasn't on that list, I certainly haven't seen it.

One of the discussion topics in the debate was what the election of Bush or Gore would mean in terms of abortion, Supreme Court nominations, and the rest of the so-called "social issues." I remember arguments that were actually quite plausible at the time about how George W. Bush came from a country-club Republican background and how his record of appointing judges in Texas was relatively moderate (especially by Texas standards), which led several people to conclude that abortion, the Supreme Court, or social issues would not be affected at all by whether Bush or Gore was in office. Other arguments on the mailing list made a plausible case of "not a dime's worth of difference" between Bush and Gore on economic and foreign policy grounds as well.

Then, the election rolled around. Because I was in California and I had the opportunity to see the popular vote and the electoral votes get counted before I cast my ballot, I decided to wait until the last possible minute to cast my vote until the polls closed at 8PM. Instead of voting for Nader like I had done in 1996, I vacillated as the nail-biting results of the electoral tallies came in. Since the result was still in doubt, I finally decided at the last minute to vote for Gore, and I have not regretted that choice since.

A year or two after Bush got elected, I decided to go back and look at some of those Nader vs. Gore debates on the grad mailing list. Putting on my social scientist hat, I decided to look at some of the pre-election predictions made in the context of those debates. When I did, I concluded that the Nader supporters had made numerous predictions or hypotheses that proved to be quite... er... um.. falsified by recent events.

So, yes, I do have intellectual arguments against purely symbolic, expressive, non-strategic votes for third parties, but mostly, I'm against it because I've seen this movie many times before.
posted by jonp72 at 10:45 AM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


> Ok, fine, and yet again - what will putting a Republican in the White House do about this? Because, again, that is the choice we have.

We're in a bus, and ahead is a cliff. You offer us the choice of two bus drivers. One of them wants to keep going at the same speed - the other one wants to accelerate.

We need a driver who will turn around. We can't win by selecting either of these two drivers who don't care about the cliff. The argument that we should select the driver that will kill us a little more slowly is a short-sighted one.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:45 AM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


And let me point out, as many others have here: Hillary is NOT yet the candidate. If enough people expressed their utter revulsion for her, she would NOT be the candidate.

There are numerous reasons to consider her ineligible. Her hawkish support for the Iraq War, which was an obvious con and recognized as such everywhere except by US senior political figures, should alone permanently disqualify her from public office.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:51 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


We need a driver who will turn around. We can't win by selecting either of these two drivers who don't care about the cliff. The argument that we should select the driver that will kill us a little more slowly is a short-sighted one.

Accomplishing this means stocking the local school boards and city councils with potential candidates for twenty years from now.

You know what? If someone manages to beat Hillary in the primary, fine. Great, even. If someone can beat her, I'm for it. But if you vote for Not Those Lousy Dems Again in the general, that's a vote for the continued erosion of my human rights.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:54 AM on April 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


We need a driver who will turn around. We can't win by selecting either of these two drivers who don't care about the cliff. The argument that we should select the driver that will kill us a little more slowly is a short-sighted one.

The cliff is just a metaphor, dammit! The real analogy is that finding a driver who will turn around is not a viable option. The choice is between one who will slam on the brakes (the Democrat) and one who will accelerate (the Republican). But guess what? As long as we're only talking in metaphors, it's really all just Lebowskian "Well, that's just your opinion, man."
posted by jonp72 at 10:57 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


vote against Hillary and you are quite literally voting for another Alito or Scalia.

No, "quite literally" it does not work that way at all. The ballot is not "Democrat" vs "Everyone Who Is Not A Democrat". Votes for candidate C do not get magically counted as a vote for candidate A (unless there's something funny with the ballots of course).


Putting liberals on the Supreme Court is taking dramatic action on climate change...

I'd like to see some evidence that Hilary is a liberal, and would put liberals on the Supreme Court. She's center-right, pro-business, pro-war, and socially kind-of-moderate -- having slowly moved there from a history of being right-center, pro-business, pro-war, and socially conservative. And she's going to nominate center-right, pro-business, socially kind-of-moderate judges. Which is a damned sight better than another Scalia, but don't expect the roster to be filled with people willing to take "dramatic action on climate change."
posted by Foosnark at 10:57 AM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Accomplishing this means stocking the local school boards and city councils with potential candidates for twenty years from now.

This is on point, but one area where the Democrats may just be kind of screwed by outside forces. Getting young people involved in local politics means getting them invested long term in the local community, but we don't live in an era where people really get that invested. Young people probably don't own homes and they don't know if they will have the same job in a few years, they don't have kids yet and they aren't certain when (if) they will. When all of this (home, career, family) comes together, for all they know they may be living in another state as likely as they are where they are now. Who is going to run for school board on a 20 year political plan in that position?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:59 AM on April 13, 2015


If enough people expressed their utter revulsion for her, she would NOT be the candidate.

You do realize that Hillary Clinton polls above 60-70% among all Democratic party factions, including self-described liberals? How exactly do you plan to get to this "enough"? It just isn't there. It's not like Democrats don't know that she voted for the Iraq War. You may think this disqualifies here, but the polls suggest that, for a lot of Democrats (including a lot of self-described liberals), it does not.
posted by jonp72 at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


..."center-right, pro-business, and socially kind-of-moderate" is literally as good as we are going to get. Perfect? No, not by a long shot. Realistic? Yep.
posted by holybagel at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Taking dramatic action on climate change means actually doing something to reduce carbon output into the atmosphere.

Exactly; the existing governmental and economic systems don't seem particularly equipped to deal satisfactorily with the problem of anthropogenic climate change in time to avert dire consequences. There is a lot of deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic shit in most discussions about electoral politics.

that's a vote for the continued erosion of my human rights.

A vote for any large-party candidate in a presidential election is a vote against the humans rights of large numbers of people, by that reasoning, unless you think your rights trump those of victims of US military adventures, enthusiastically pursued by presidents from both major parties.

The Obama administration openly includes extrajudicial killing in its foreign policy toolkit, for example. I guess Obama voters hate human rights.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:04 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's either Hillary, who has some issues, or someone completely off the map. Is that what you want?
posted by holybagel at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


A vote for any large-party candidate in a presidential election is a vote against the humans rights of large numbers of people

You know what? Yes. We live in the evil empire. We are the Fire Nation of the modern world. We suck, and we kill people a lot.

I've come to terms with this, since it ain't my fault I was born here, and I can't afford to leave.

The country is essentially an oligarchy, and it's just a matter of which oligarch. That doesn't change the fact that Republicans in 2015 are not just evil, but stupid and short-sighted to a degree that would seem totally unrealistic if it weren't reality, and which will bring the US closer to the brink of Total World War than any Democrat, which you must admit would also be bad for the environment.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:11 AM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


I just want to put out a plea to those already throwing their hands up over lesser-of-two-evils problem in the presidential race: your vote in local and state elections in 2016 matters. A LOT. Even if local-/state-level elected officials can't single-handedly fix America's military-industrial complex or wealth gap or environmental or foreign policy or civil rights issues the way your President of choice would, what they are doing is matters (see: Kansas). Go blank/Independent/third-party/Green/mauve/reptilian/chad-hanging in the Prez section of your ballot if that's how your conscience compels you, but please don't let your frustration about the only two viable POTUS candidates (once we get there) discourage you from voting altogether in 2016.

(Your fellow citizens in DC, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas thank you especially. (Relevant John Oliver bit here.))
posted by argonauta at 11:14 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


This whole thread just makes me want to buy Cortex and the other mods a drink sometime. I think I owe them.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:15 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Accomplishing [dramatic action on climate change] means stocking the local school boards and city councils with potential candidates for twenty years from now.

Even now might be too late. Twenty years from now is definitely too late. It's certainly not "dramatic action".

This isn't some wild-eyed Chicken Little claim - this is the scientific consensus.

> You do realize that Hillary Clinton polls above 60-70% among all Democratic party factions

That doesn't mean anyone LIKES her. That means people think she'll beat the Republicans. That's hardly the same thing. My Facebook pages are filled with Democrats urging me to support Hillary, even though they personally hate her.

> You may think [starting a bogus war] disqualifies here, but the polls suggest that, for a lot of Democrats (including a lot of self-described liberals), it does not.

Hundreds of thousands of people dead, including thousands of Americans; God knows how many people left homeless or crippled; trillions gone from the US Treasury; complete failure in establishing any sort of viable state; based entirely on lies, as was completely obvious even at the time; and Americans just don't give a shit?

Exactly how much failure and how much murder does it take before you won't vote for someone? I mean, this is the same country that completely eliminated Howard Dean as a serious candidate because he once yelled at a political rally!

Honestly? You're doomed. And no one will root for you when they read about this in the history books. They'll say, "How could they be so selfish and stupid?" It's just a shame you're taking the rest of the world down with you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:15 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd like to see some evidence that Hilary is a liberal

Measurements based on Hillary Clinton's voting record in the110th Senate indicate that she was more liberal than more than 50% of the Democratic caucus and the 11th most liberal Senator overall. (cite)
posted by jonp72 at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Honestly? You're doomed. And no one will root for you when they read about this in the history books. They'll say, "How could they be so selfish and stupid?" It's just a shame you're taking the rest of the world down with you.

How did I manage to forget writing the US Constitution?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Exactly how much failure and how much murder does it take before you won't vote for someone? I mean, this is the same country that completely eliminated Howard Dean as a serious candidate because he once yelled at a political rally!

Although I never agreed with her Iraq War vote, Hillary Clinton was just one Senator among many who voted for the war. If you are calling her responsible for "failure" and "murder" on the basis of that vote alone, then by the same logic, I can call anybody who voted for Nader in 2000 as equally guilty of "failure" and "murder," because the ultimate outcome was the same. I don't care what your pristine good intentions are when you vote. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
posted by jonp72 at 11:23 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honestly? You're doomed. And no one will root for you when they read about this in the history books. They'll say, "How could they be so selfish and stupid?" It's just a shame you're taking the rest of the world down with you.

So, do you actually talk like this throughout the day, or do you kind of save the best bits for Metafilter?
posted by FJT at 11:25 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's either Hillary, who has some issues, or someone completely off the map. Is that what you want?

No, I don't want any of the major candidates. I think Clinton, and most other Democrats, are "completely off the map", albeit off of a slightly different map than Republicans are. Indeed, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is huge, but if you average the stuff on their respective records and put it on the Badness Continuum, they're both so deep in Bad Territory that the difference -- though large -- is small compared to the distance separating either from Not-Bad Territory.

Since I avoid actively endorsing bad things, I don't vote for either of them; since there is no point in voting for third-party candidates, I don't vote in national elections, although I would if there were a candidate whom I wanted to actively endorse. I'm not, by the way, "helping Republicans" or some such shit, any more than I would be if I didn't exist; I don't owe anybody loyalty just because I find Republicans appalling. The clusterfuck will unfold just fine without me, which is why I find the nice-ideals-shame-if-something-were-to-happen-to-them in-group discipline tactics that self-proclaimed pragmatists throw at the genuine left extremely irksome.

I've come to terms with this

Okay, we probably just have very little to discuss.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


As an Ohioan, all I gotta say is if you people get Kasich elected, it will be your own damn fault when things implode. That guy is a LOON, and a self-righteous one to boot. His idea of appropriate policy + a Republican-controlled Congress = DISASTER.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's obviously impossible to know whether Al Gore would have invaded Iraq after 9/11, but looking at his administration's killing of 500,000 Iraqi kids and bombing of Iraq I'm not sure that the answer to that question is as resounding of a "no" as many people (usually Democrats) think it is.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 11:29 AM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


The ballot is not "Democrat" vs "Everyone Who Is Not A Democrat".

Arrow's impossibility theorem, the impossibility of attaining independence of irrelevant alternatives in a first-past-the-post voting system, and Duverger's law suggests that it is.
posted by jonp72 at 11:29 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can call anybody who voted for Nader in 2000 as equally guilty of "failure" and "murder," because the ultimate outcome was the same. I don't care what your pristine good intentions are when you vote. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Clinton directly made a vote to authorize Bush to act, that is not equal to voting for a candidate who would have never done that but lost. An obvious direct consequence is not the same thing as an indirect result.

Clinton's only excuse is that she didn't realize what Bush would do with the authorization he was granted, but if we grant her that we probably have to grant the same to the voters who elected Bush in the first place. Hell, the Bush voters have better excuse, they didn't know about 9/11.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:31 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


“Stop Hillary!” Doug Henwood, Harper's, November 2014

N.B. “In honor of yesterday's stunning announcement, we've released our November 2014 cover story, "Stop Hillary!" from behind the shackles of the the paywall. Doug Henwood has written a new introduction. ”
posted by ob1quixote at 11:37 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Since I avoid actively endorsing bad things, I don't vote for either of them; since there is no point in voting for third-party candidates, I don't vote in national elections, although I would if there were a candidate whom I wanted to actively endorse.

So you don't see any value in trying for a moderately bad outcome instead of a horribly bad outcome?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:37 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


No, I don't want any of the major candidates.

And I don't want to have to get up and go to work every day, but alas.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:41 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Okay, we probably just have very little to discuss.

I know what your beliefs are. I want to hear your strategies and tactics. If you don't have them, then all you're doing is fantasizing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:42 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


> You do realize that Hillary Clinton polls above 60-70% among all Democratic party factions

That doesn't mean anyone LIKES her. That means people think she'll beat the Republicans. That's hardly the same thing. My Facebook pages are filled with Democrats urging me to support Hillary, even though they personally hate her.


Hillary has been named by Americans as the most admired woman in the world for 17 of the last 18 years. It's funny that people are saying there's a "meh" response toward her. She was seen as a lock before she announced she was running because so many people like her. There aren't any alternatives because nobody wanted to run against her because she's so popular.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I know what your beliefs are. I want to hear your strategies and tactics. If you don't have them, then all you're doing is fantasizing.

What are your realistic strategies and tactics for serious change?

Keep voting for Democrats forever because we will lose the Supreme Court otherwise might be right, but it's not a realistic strategy or tactic for reform. Don't ask others to provide something you can't to the discussion.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:45 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


> So, do you actually talk like this throughout the day, or do you kind of save the best bits for Metafilter?

No, I'm generally not confronted with monumental levels of moral indifference in my day-to-day life.

By any possible measure, the Iraq War was far more destructive to the world than 9/11. Far more people were killed; more Americans were killed, and at least 50 and perhaps or 100 times as many Iraqis were killed, in a country a tenth the size of the US; far more property damage was done; unlike in 9/11, the area was destabilized, leading to ISIS, consequential damage which has already killed more people than 9/11; and it cost more to the US.

If some candidate for higher office in another country were one of the planners of 9/11, you'd be going ballistic. But somehow, when a group of Senators organizes a much bigger catastrophe, one with much greater negative consequences to the United States (and two orders of magnitude greater effects on the victim country of Iraq), you just shrug. "All those Senators agreed! You can't blame them. We can't hold them to account for these war crimes - even only by not voting for them - or else the Republicans will get in!"
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:46 AM on April 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


Democracy Now had a good roundtable on HRC today
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 11:50 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So you don't see any value in trying for a moderately bad outcome instead of a horribly bad outcome?

Read my comment again. I view both as horrifyingly bad, so even the large difference doesn't compensate. It's not "moderatley bad vs. horribly bad". It's "horribly bad vs. somwhat more horribly bad".

If you don't have them, then all you're doing is fantasizing.

What are your strategies and tactics? Because electing Democrats is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's not fair to call your Stockholm syndrome more pragmatic* than my fantasy when it actually isn't.

*Pragmatic means "supportive of a course of action that has a reasonable chance of actually engaging with serious structural problems without causing new ones, instead of tweaking the (horrifying) status quo".
posted by busted_crayons at 11:51 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


What are your realistic strategies and tactics for serious change?

First is keeping the Republicans out of the White House in the short term, because I don't believe in accelerationism as a strategy.

I believe that the Republican field is so thin because they are becoming obsolete as representatives of half the country, and as demographic shifts make the country bluer and bluer, there are emerging opportunities to snatch new areas away from them.

I strongly believe that the only way we will get a viable leftist party in the US is if the Republicans collapse into a third party, leaving the Democrats to fracture or leaving space for a third party to actually have a fighting chance in the general election. The only way THAT happens is by building up the local and regional base - not by tossing away millions on a quixotic presidential bid that will never, ever happen.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:52 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I don't want to have to get up and go to work every day, but alas.

So don't go stand in a line and proclaim your endorsement of that state of affairs.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:53 AM on April 13, 2015


electing Democrats is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Not electing Democrats is blasting a hole in the hull while sticking your fingers in your ears.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:53 AM on April 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


*Pragmatic means "supportive of a course of action that has a reasonable chance of actually engaging with serious structural problems without causing new ones

This 'reasonable chance' of yours- it seems to involve a third party winning a US Presidential election in 2016?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:55 AM on April 13, 2015


First is keeping the Republicans out of the White House in the short term, because I don't believe in accelerationism as a strategy.

I believe that the Republican field is so thin because they are becoming obsolete as representatives of half the country, and as demographic shifts make the country bluer and bluer, there are emerging opportunities to snatch new areas away from them.

I strongly believe that the only way we will get a viable leftist party in the US is if the Republicans collapse into a third party, leaving the Democrats to fracture or leaving space for a third party to actually have a fighting chance in the general election. The only way THAT happens is by building up the local and regional base - not by tossing away millions on a quixotic presidential bid that will never, ever happen.


There are mathematical reasons that militate against the stable viability of third parties. Meanwhile, the permafrost is melting at a rate similar to those demographic shifts of yours.

it seems to involve a third party winning a US Presidential election in 2016?

No, that's impossible. I meant that no actual candidate's platform has such a reasonable chance etc.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:58 AM on April 13, 2015


First is keeping the Republicans out of the White House in the short term, because I don't believe in accelerationism as a strategy.

I believe that the Republican field is so thin because they are becoming obsolete as representatives of half the country, and as demographic shifts make the country bluer and bluer, there are emerging opportunities to snatch new areas away from them.

I strongly believe that the only way we will get a viable leftist party in the US is if the Republicans collapse into a third party, leaving the Democrats to fracture or leaving space for a third party to actually have a fighting chance in the general election. The only way THAT happens is by building up the local and regional base - not by tossing away millions on a quixotic presidential bid that will never, ever happen.


This may be an inaccurate paraphrase, feel free to correct me if I am misstating. But it kind of sounds like you just kind of want to wait for the Republicans to fade away and don't have any coherent strategy to speed that process along.

I don't think they will fade away. I think they will adjust. I think that they dominate state level governments and the US Senate and House because they are still extremely competent and pragmatic political operators who are willing to adjust when neccesary.

Unseating them is going to require decades of direct political action on the local and state levels, third party candidacy for federal office may be quixotic, but it is also 100% irrelevant to whether that mission will succeed or fail. You need to build up the local Democratic base, 1-2% of nuts who vote third party in Presidential elections won't impact any of this.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:59 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


> This 'reasonable chance' of yours- it seems to involve a third party winning a US Presidential election in 2016?

No. This thread is about Hillary Clinton as a candidate for President. What you are arguing against is the "anyone but Hillary" group. If we made it clear that Hillary wasn't going to fly, the DNC has plenty of time to field lots of other candidates.

> quixotic presidential bid

The fact that well over a year before the DNC convention, talking about "anyone other than Hillary" is held by Serious People to be "quixotic" pretty well sums up the pathetic state of US politics in 2015.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:00 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


There are mathematical reasons that militate against the stable viability of third parties. Meanwhile, the permafrost is melting at a rate similar to those demographic shifts of yours.

I know that, but I can't vote for Not Melting Permafrost 2016.

I don't think they will fade away. I think they will adjust. I think that they dominate state level governments and the US Senate and House because they are still extremely competent and pragmatic political operators who are willing to adjust when neccesary.

So the left's solution to this problem is to keep pretending it isn't true? The only way to stop them IS to fight them at this level! That's exactly what I was saying! That's what I meant by "the only way THAT happens is by building up the local and regional base."
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:01 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


To clarify: the political and economic system currently in place is not up to various tasks that it faces, by a long shot. Some type of change at least as far-reaching and radical as, say, the New Deal, will be necessary. Nobody is realistically going to bring that about as a result of the 2016 presidential election, and there aren't that many chances thereafter.
posted by busted_crayons at 12:02 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


To clarify: the political and economic system currently in place is not up to various tasks that it faces, by a long shot. Some type of change at least as far-reaching and radical as, say, the New Deal, will be necessary. Nobody is realistically going to bring that about as a result of the 2016 presidential election, and there aren't that many chances thereafter.

Now this I can agree with.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 PM on April 13, 2015


Well, it was a pretty good run this time:

Days Since "Moral Purity" vs. "Gritty Realism" Debate
290 0

I would love to hear if anyone has ever been persuaded to change their approach to voting by the discussions we have here. I'd be surprised, but I'd like to hear it.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:03 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


There's NO WAY we went 290 days without this argument.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:04 PM on April 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


So the left's solution to this problem is to keep pretending it isn't true?

No, the American left as an entity overwhelmingly votes for Democrats in every election. I'm not saying third party voting is the solution, I'm just telling you not-3rd party voting isn't the solution either. You need to find a strategy to invest people in local politics and nobody in this thread has that.

I'll be right by your side in trying to think this out, but just please, both sides including me, we should avoid saying a Presidential vote is a major step in that direction. It's not, no matter who you pick.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:05 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


> That's what I meant by "the only way THAT happens is by building up the local and regional base."

But you have said that you don't expect this strategy to pay off for decades. This is much too late - if that strategy would even work, considering gerrymandering, and considering the lack of attraction that the Democratic Party has for young energetic progressives today.

The idea that if we work tirelessly to elect candidates that we hate today - because they won't even let you in the door of the Democratic dog-catcher's race if you won't swear allegiance to Hillary - then perhaps a generation from now, when it's much too late, we might get a candidate we like - this idea isn't going to fire anyone up, and it isn't going to work. You might as well give up wasting your time on politics, and enjoy your life.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:08 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


A lot of folks would argue that Huey Long's candidacy forced FDR to defend his policies to the Left, hence why I am running out of patience for center party Democrats finger-wagging the Left about facing up to reality in the name of unity.

You do have the option of donating to and voting for Bernie Sanders as a Democratic candidate. That could serve the same function as a Huey Long campaign in 1932. That does not automatically preclude somebody from supporting Hillary Clinton in the fall as the least worst choice.
posted by jonp72 at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


If some candidate for higher office in another country were one of the planners of 9/11, you'd be going ballistic. "

I'm not sure if I would go ballistic. There are people in power right now in other countries that were involved in some terrible things or at least supported some terrible things in the past that were done to my family. Things that were as or more terrible than 9/11. I could decide to be angry, outraged and go ballistic at that, or I can acknowledge that it's totally different country and there are other reasons why they are elected or in power that aren't really related to that terrible event.

I never said not to blame those Senators or whether or not to vote for somebody. I'm just pointing out that saying "we're doomed and history will hate us" is a bit hyperbolic, silly, and actually over-inflates our sense of self-importance.
posted by FJT at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2015


You might as well give up wasting your time on politics, and enjoy your life.

Welcome to nihilism! It's not as bad as you might think!

Look, I don't actually disagree with what you just said - part of my thinks I'll be telling my kids about how we used to have electricity - but you're not putting forward any proposed solutions to it either. "Everything is super fucking bad and possibly unfixable" is fine as a place to start from, but I really don't see how it translates to what we should do in this specific election cycle.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


because they won't even let you in the door of the Democratic dog-catcher's race if you won't swear allegiance to Hillary

This is somewhere between manifestly untrue and insanely paranoid.
posted by Etrigan at 12:12 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


The idea that if we work tirelessly to elect candidates that we hate today - because they won't even let you in the door of the Democratic dog-catcher's race if you won't swear allegiance to Hillary - then perhaps a generation from now, when it's much too late, we might get a candidate we like - this idea isn't going to fire anyone up, and it isn't going to work. You might as well give up wasting your time on politics, and enjoy your life.

Saying you don't have enough time is one of the least convincing arguments for third-party voting. The last time a third party won the presidency was in 1860! And that was only because of the collapse of the Whig Party as one of the two major parties! It's been 155 years since a third-party candidate won the presidency. Are you telling me you have the luxury of waiting another 155 years?
posted by jonp72 at 12:13 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


> you're not putting forward any proposed solutions to it either.

Sure we are - #anyonebuthillary. It's 14 months to the DNC, people - you can't find one candidate who isn't a war criminal and gives a bit more of a shit about climate change than "business-as-usual"?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:14 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


part of my thinks I'll be telling my kids about how we used to have electricity

But you won't though. Civilization is not actually at stake in these elections. Republicans will be more shitty by a large margin and might do more long term damage to the planet, but the trains will run on time no matter who you elect in the richest country in the world.

What we do in the short term is not as important as what we do in the long term, and that is one reason scared people say, "Something completely different than what we are doing now."
posted by Drinky Die at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not electing Democrats is blasting a hole in the hull while sticking your fingers in your ears.

While we're talking in useless metaphors, the choice between electing a Republican or a Democrat is the choice between using 100 pounds of TNT on the hull or 80 pounds of TNT.

Pardon me for saying "how about we put the explosives away?", even though nobody's listening, instead of lining up to pass along the 80 pounds.
posted by Foosnark at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Busted_crayons: to be clear, the Obama administration claims its killing of terrorists is covered by past Congressional declarations on war on AlQ. (Not that there isn't moral difficulty with what they're doing!). But there is a legal justification here.

This isn't directed at you, but a general comment: it's striking to me how much liberals (many, at least) almost try to believe the worst about Obama. I don't know why that is. (Eg the only explanation for Geithner and Summers is that he's a Wall Street stooge. The only explanation for drone strikes is that he's a bloodthirsty neocon. The only explanation for the ACA is that he's a stooge for the health insurance companies. The only explanation for Gitmo's not being closed is that he's secretly Lindsey Graham. Etc.)
posted by persona au gratin at 12:20 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Electing Democrats means subordinating your whole political strategy to the goal of continuously electing more Democrats. They are called "the graveyard of social movements" for a reason: they suck these movements in with claims of realism, then take out anything meaningful in their programs in exchange for access and influence. And you can see it here: we have to support Hillary, which means trimming any progressive sails for the next 574 days.

I believe in social movements more than I believe in Democrats. I don't think that a third party will be successful in the short term, but I think it is more important to work to wrench more and more progressives (and workers, and women, and people of color, and LGBT people, etc) out of the Democratic Party machine, and that we will get more if we can organize independent of them, than we can get by any number of Democratic Party victories. Social movements made Nixon's presidency more liberal, by comparison, than Obama's. (Not that, as a socialist, I am at all satisfied with "more liberal," but the point is that the objective environment can matter a lot more than the personality elected.)
posted by graymouser at 12:20 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jesus Christ. Sorry Hillary isnt leftwing enough for us. Have fun with President Cruz, people.
posted by holybagel at 12:21 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


This thread is about Hillary Clinton as a candidate for President. What you are arguing against is the "anyone but Hillary" group. If we made it clear that Hillary wasn't going to fly, the DNC has plenty of time to field lots of other candidates.

The scenario of Hillary "not going to fly" is unlikely to happen. Hillary Clinton is one of the most cautious politicians of our lifetime, and it's highly unlikely she hasn't learned a great deal from her mistakes during the 2008 Democratic primaries. At this point, if you want to derail Hillary Clinton, you're realistically more likely to do it by uploading something that implicates her in a scandal onto Wikileaks (during the primary, I hope) than with a protest vote in the general election.
posted by jonp72 at 12:24 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe in social movements more than I believe in Democrats. I don't think that a third party will be successful in the short term, but I think it is more important to work to wrench more and more progressives (and workers, and women, and people of color, and LGBT people, etc) out of the Democratic Party machine, and that we will get more if we can organize independent of them, than we can get by any number of Democratic Party victories.

I don't disagree with this at all, but I still think it'll work a lot better if we have a D president than a R one.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:25 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




> Have fun with President Cruz, people

There's that same broken idea again! Even suggesting that there might be other Democratic candidates other than Hillary Clinton, even trying to shift the conversation away from the right-wing direction the Democrats have taken - these actions are the same as actively trying to elect the most repugnant Republican candidate possible.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:27 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jesus Christ. Sorry Hillary isnt leftwing enough for us. Have fun with President Cruz, people.

Cruz isn't getting nominated. The Republicans also trim down their choices to the most moderate and electable. And personally, I'm to the right of most of Metafilter I think.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:28 PM on April 13, 2015


Are you telling me you have the luxury of waiting another 155 years?

With advances in modern science and my high level income, it's not crazy to think I can live to be 245, maybe 300. Heck, I just read in the newspaper that they put a pig heart in some guy from Russia. Do you know what that means?

But seriously... the Dem candidate will have to raise > $1 billion, about 70% of which comes from finance IIRC. Will Sanders or Warren be able to rake in that kind of money from the industries they're running against? If they can't, can they compete with the bazillion-dollar wielding Republican, especially if they run somebody halfway-sane? I don't know the answers, but I live in South Florida so my vote doesn't count anyhow.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 12:30 PM on April 13, 2015


jonp72: that's a great story about the 2000 election from Berkeley. I had exacty the same experience in Madison. (Though we were a swing state...)
posted by persona au gratin at 12:31 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


My thoughts are pretty much consumed with the current political climate on an ongoing basis. Right now, the problem that I see is that we have one party who has successfully managed to motivate several extremist groups to vote while largely managing to avoid alienating the base, and we have another who seems to think that the best course of action is to try to direct the "centrist" conservatives, all while entirely neglecting the rest of the democratic base. I had thought that this was purely a strategy for southern democrats (one that I feel has greatly failed and is just overall horrible), but reading this, I'm beginning to think that it's more nationwide than I had believed. I hear a lot of outrage within the party, but I see incredibly little presence and action locally.

It is true that there are many moneyed interests behind politics that are difficult to compete with - that is an understatement. But there is ultimately only one course of action I can see that is rational -- Get involved with your local party and make your voice heard, regardless of the challenges you may perceive. Ideally, find people to accompany you who are like-minded to help reinforce your voice. Action begins locally and filters upwards, and that action requires numbers. You may not win every battle, but it WILL make a difference and chip away.

Regarding third parties, I think that it is going to take a long time to get there. That battle is best fought on the local stage, and numbers there will lead to numbers regionally and possibly nationally, and potentially break the stranglehold of the two parties. If you can't elect a third party locally, then I'd argue that you have very very little change of engaging the nation in any effective way. That change won't happen from the top down.

The reason that the two parties we have in control right now are able to remain so is because they have strong structure and presence - many local offices, as well as national structure. The third party that comes closest to getting this done is the Libertarian party. Think about what the Libertarian party fundamentally believes and there is some humor to be found in the fact that they are the most structured across the nation outside of the major two parties.

The point is, there are structures and a coordinated national effort that need to be in place and adhered to before a third party really becomes viable on the national stage.

Where I am, I personally feel that it's worth fighting a battle to mold the democratic party more towards ideals that I hold close than I feel it is to help get a third party momentum (as most of those near me are really awful, YMMV). I think that more can be done trying to mold the party to what I'd like to see than with a "formal" third party. Think of it as a revolution from within... And given the amount of disaffected Democrats, I think that there's a strong base to guide the party back into the line we'd like to see. It just takes action.

Let's look at the Tea Party for a good example. So how many of them actually ran officially and successfully as the "Tea Party" as opposed to Republican, or maybe Libertarian as an edge case? Zero, to my knowledge. They have aligned themselves with the Republican party for election purposes. The reason that I can see for how they came to power is because they were able to energize a base that had been largely apathetic, yet still appeal to many of the core -- and much of this happened on a "grass roots" level. Social networking, local meetings and rallys. I'd argue that they would be nowhere if it wasn't for the action of a lot of passionate local people. And because of this, the Republican party has fundamentally shifted - and while there is infighting, there is still a very very strong unity on core issues that has taken the house and the senate by storm. The shift in seats was mostly due to the influence of this party - and was a direct result of local action.

My point to all of this is that your options are all local if you really want to enact change, and you aren't independently wealthy enough to shape politics to your desire with cash. The only other option - outside of living with the cards as they fall and voting how you feel best - is inaction. What other options do we really have here?
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:32 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The "anyone but Hillary" people remind me of Howard Dean supporters back in the day. And he turned out to be terrible. Clinton will be the nominee, and she'll win the presidency. Assuming video of her eating puppies or something doesn't emerge.
posted by Justinian at 12:32 PM on April 13, 2015


Social movements made Nixon's presidency more liberal, by comparison, than Obama's.

This is absolutely ridiculous, especially when considered in light of the goals of the feminist movement, civil rights movement, and the movement for LGBT rights. (Seriously, we've gone from where "faggot" was commonly used in conversation to where same-sex marriage is legal in over half the states!) In addition, it completely ignores how (1) Nixon was thwarted a great deal by Great Society holdovers from the LBJ administration, (2) Democrats had dominated both Houses of Congress for an exceedingly long time at that point. See also: To Noam Chomsky and Everyone Else, Nixon Was Not a Liberal.
posted by jonp72 at 12:33 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


The "anyone but Hillary" people remind me of Howard Dean supporters back in the day. And he turned out to be terrible.

Uhh, besides screaming that one time, why was he terrible?
posted by Drinky Die at 12:33 PM on April 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


I will campaign hard for Bernie, who is just dreamy. Then in the fall, I will campaign for hard Hillary. I hope Bernie will have pushed her a bit leftward. But even if not, she'll make a good president. The GOPer will make a cataclysmically bad president.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:35 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


(Seriously, we've gone from where "faggot" was commonly used in conversation to where same-sex marriage is legal in over half the states!)

Yeah, we went from Obama opposing gay marriage to supporting it. Shows what you can accomplish when you elect somebody and then wait a few years until politics forces their hand.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:35 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


But there is a legal justification here.

I neither believe their claim nor particularly care if drone assassinations are legal or not since they are reprehensible regardless.

her in a scandal onto Wikileaks

That would be deliciously poetic justice.
posted by busted_crayons at 12:36 PM on April 13, 2015


Even if one believes that the two parties are just different levels of horribly bad, I can't believe that NONE of the planks in their respective platforms -- issues on which they differ 180 degrees and about which they can and will make tangible changes to the lives of millions of people when elected -- feels consequential enough to make voting worth the cost of implicit "endorsement."

Abstaining from voting for either the Giant Douche or the Turd Sandwich isn't a get-out-of-guilty-conscience-free card when you KNOW that one of them is devoted to strip mining National Parks and/or eliminating the theory of evolution from public schools and/or increasing militarization of the police and/or reducing women's access to healthcare and/or... well, I don't know, what do you care about?
posted by argonauta at 12:36 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The point is, there are structures and a coordinated national effort that need to be in place and adhered to before a third party really becomes viable on the national stage.

The problem with Ralph Nader was that he was never interested in building a grass-roots base for the Greens. Heck, he never even registered as a member of the Green Party, even when he was its presidential candidate! It was a nihilist left-wing cult of personality the whole time.
posted by jonp72 at 12:37 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Obama was 'evolving' on gay marriage because he was afraid if he came out for it, it would have killed its progress. He'd always secretly been for it.

Again, it's striking how people believe the worst about the guy.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:38 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Abstaining from voting for either the Giant Douche or the Turd Sandwich yt isn't a get-out-of-guilty-conscience-free card when you KNOW that one of them is devoted to strip mining National Parks and/or eliminating the theory of evolution from public schools and/or increasing militarization of the police and/or reducing women's access to healthcare and/or... well, I don't know, what do you care about?


I don't know, what do you care about enough that you wouldn't vote for the douche or the turd sandwich? Is there anything?

Maybe the douche decides that being pro-choice is losing him elections against the pro-life turd sandwich. Will you avoid them both and only vote for a pro-choice candidate?
posted by Drinky Die at 12:39 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


> The problem with Ralph Nader was that he was never interested in building a grass-roots base for the Greens.

Ralph Nader stumps extensively for the Green Party to this very day - I saw him speak for a local Green Candidate for the last election, and super-aggressively fundraise the crowd to boot (he got almost $5K in pledges in 30 minutes simply by cajoling and persuading, it was awesome).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:41 PM on April 13, 2015


He'd always secretly been for it.

Again, it's striking how people believe the worst about the guy.


It's striking how people believed him when he said things instead of just assuming he was a liar willing to sell gay people up the river for political gain, you know, which is the BEST version of him apparently.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:42 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Again, it's striking how people believe the worst about the guy.

Yes, we know that deep down in his most liberal heart of hearts Obama really dislikes establishing a global, due-process-free drone assassination program of US citizens. He may have crafted and continues to operate it, but it really eats away at him, inside. Ditto for all of his other awful policies.

Didn't this argument go out of fashion a while ago?
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 12:42 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


See also: To Noam Chomsky and Everyone Else, Nixon Was Not a Liberal.

That's missing the point entirely. Nixon, who was in fact a conservative, and who was fought against by many people on the left, was himself to the left of the modern Democrats you are telling us to support. In objective, cold hard facts policy on the ground, if not in saying nice things about people, he did more good than Obama. When people say that modern Democrats are basically Eisenhower Republicans, it's not meant to compliment the old Republicans.
posted by graymouser at 12:44 PM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't know, what do you care about enough that you wouldn't vote for the douche or the turd sandwich? Is there anything? Maybe the douche decides that being pro-choice is losing him elections against the pro-life turd sandwich. Will you avoid them both and only vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Are they running in the general? Do these two candidates differ on any other positions I care about? Who are the alternative candidates? If the answers are yes, any, and none, then yes, I will vote for one of those candidates. That won't be the extent of my political activities, but it will be among them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:46 PM on April 13, 2015


I don't know, what do you care about enough that you wouldn't vote for the douche or the turd sandwich? Is there anything? Maybe the douche decides that being pro-choice is losing him elections against the pro-life turd sandwich. Will you avoid them both and only vote for a pro-choice candidate?

Are they running in the general? What other positions do these two candidates hold? Who are the alternative candidates? If the answers are yes, any, and no, then yes, I will vote for one of those candidates. That won't be the extent of my political activities, but it will be among them.


Is there really nothing? Not one thing that could put you over the line? Both candidates support War with Iran immediately following the inauguration. Will you vote for someone else now? Is there nothing that will get you to vote outside the two party system?
posted by Drinky Die at 12:49 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


In this dystopian reality you put forth, I've already joined a terror cell, but I don't think it's come to that just yet.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:50 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


>In this dystopian reality you put forth, I've already joined a terror cell, but I don't think it's come to that just yet.

It's not dystopian fantasy, it's why I sometimes vote third party. Both candidates are almost certain to engage in foreign policy excursions I oppose right down to my core. I don't ask you to agree with me I should feel that way, I only ask you to understand that such feelings are why I don't always vote for the lesser of two evils. It's the same feeling that is strong enough that you claim it would motivate you to terrorism. I think just sticking with, "Voting for another guy/gal" is pretty reasonable.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Shows what you can accomplish when you elect somebody and then wait a few years until politics forces their hand.

See, that's what I hope for in a President. Vote for the Guy (or, now, Gal!) least likely to get in the way of Progress. We're not electing a King/Queen, and I don't expect the average politician to go to any position that doesn't have a considerable lump of voters supporting it. I'm pretty sure Presidents McCain and Romney would have been able to hold the line against SMS much longer, while Obama, having stuck a toe in the water, is now doing this.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:54 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's the same feeling that is strong enough that you claim it would motivate you to terrorism.

You don't understand what I meant by that. I think that's a thing you do when there are no options left. It just seems like you think the political system as it stands - I mean the R/D dominated system we have today - can't be worked with or fixed, but must be totally overthrown, and I don't agree. If it came to the point when both parties were literally identical, which was your hypothetical, then that would be that point, but I just don't agree that the national elections make no difference in the overall misery of the world. They actually make a huge difference. It's your classic "do you redirect a runaway train so it kills one man instead of two men" situation. You can say "the train shouldn't even BE on those tracks," but it is.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:55 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also all of these metaphors and hypothetical are silly. There aren't any trains, Titanics, two pro-liefe candidates in the general, etc etc. There is a fucked up country with a fucked up national election ahead of it and there's really nothing any of us can do but gawk and cry.

Despair Globally, Act Locally, that's my motto.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:59 PM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Romney was the king of the flip flop, if you want leadership based on bowing the the polls and political expediency he was your best bet.

It just seems like you think the political system as it stands can't be worked with or fixed, and I do. If it came to the point when both parties were literally identical, which was your hypothetical,

No, not literally identical. Identical on at least one issue on which your are unwilling to personally compromise. Do you really have none? If no, then fine, you are an exceptionally pragmatic person. But I think you do have some limits, and if they were passed you would make the same choice I have often made.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:59 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't like Hillary, just as I didn't particularly like Obama in 2012, but I'll still vote for her if I live somewhere where she has even a slight chance of losing against the Republican candidate. A few reasons:

1. While the Democratic party on the whole is way, way more conservative than I am, they don't believe they have some sort of divine right to enforce dominionism like many of the leading Republican candidates. These people want to enact laws to directly harm women, minorities, non-Christians, etc., and I can't in good conscience help let that happen. I believe every Republican president or every Republican controlled Congress we have, the average US candidate veers even more to the right to cater to the new "average", which makes reversing this trend even more difficult in the future.

2. I wish someone like Dennis Kucinich, or someone from the Green party could win the 2016 presidential election. But pragmatically, that won't happen. It sucks that the system is set up the way it currently is, but there's not enough money, not enough voters, and no high-profile candidate to get elected. And I think no third party will ever take the presidency while they have zero members holding positions as Governors or Congressional members. There needs to be a concerted effort to get members of these parties in the roles of Mayor, state Congress, and Governor, and then things like Congress and the Presidency become a possibility.

3. There's other possible Democratic candidates that I like more than Hillary, but I need to factor in electability. I'd rather have a worse Democratic candidate with a 50% chance of winning, over a better candidate with a 5% chance. I think the Democratic National Committee has a lot of sway on what goes on in the party, and they've already decided that Hillary will get the nomination, because it's their best chance. Unlike many others in this thread, I don't see a Democratic win as a certainty. I think Jeb Bush is almost certainly going to get the nomination, and from what I've seen, he's an extremely strong candidate. Besides "not another Bush", which is a weak reason to not elect someone, he has very little in the way of public mistakes or controversies. He's likable, and people seem to vote for the more likable candidate. And I think much of the population is sexist enough to believe a woman should simply not be president. If I had to bet right now, my gut says Jeb is going to win.

I hate these facts, and I hate that modern US politics effectively forces our hand every four years to vote for the lesser evil. So yes, I think we should be spending much of our time campaigning for better candidates of better platforms in ways where they can actually get elected, but when it comes to election day, and the last thing I can possibly do is cast my vote, I still think it's an important enough choice to take the best option available, however slight that option may be.
posted by Skephicles at 1:00 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't need my candidate to believe everything I do. If I did, I'd run myself. When I vote, I don't vote for my avatar, I vote for whoever is available and least terrible, because that's the choice I'm presented with. We can work for our ideals all day every day, but there is no 'none of the above' option in the general.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:01 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know, what do you care about enough that you wouldn't vote for the douche or the turd sandwich? Is there anything?

Nope.

In your example, I'd vote for the one who is even the teeniest smidgen more pro-choice than the other. Just because in previous elections both candidates stayed completely silent on LGBTQ rights, or had indistiguishable approaches to the USSR, etc., didn't mean that there were no other completely apparent, and consequential, differences between them -- or that I didn't actually care about those issues.

Hillary and Jeb (let's say) could both come out in favor of forbidding vaccination, world-wide, and I would still have reasons to vote for one instead of the other, and to hope that my preferred candidate wins.
posted by argonauta at 1:02 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


> the Giant Douche or the Turd Sandwich

Nothing has hurt political motivation than this fucking South Park episode. It's not that cut and dry.

I've been trying to avoid talking about this as if the primary was already done. The vote isn't Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich, the vote is:

- Giant Douche who will be completely aligned with the house and senate who will in combination push through all sorts of legislature that will effect everyone - especially if you have a pre-existing condition - and who will likely lead the charge into more warfare when given the option of diplomacy or military action, and who will likely have house appointments that do nothing but accelerate this path. Also someone who is likely to champion more "Religious Freedom" and pretend that climate change doesn't exist.

-Turd Sandwich that is more likely to veto the truly destructive stuff, who will likely have a better rappor with the international community, and who will also be appointing supreme justices, who is MORE likely to have appointments in general that are moderate at the worst. Someone who isn't a science denier, who will at least utter the phrase climate change, and who likely won't be championing for more institutionalized discrimination.

You don't like the Turd Sandwich, then NOW IS THE TIME to act to change who it is, and I have beat that to death in my earlier replies - but if the above is what we are looking at, which I think is pretty accurate of what a Hillary ticket would look like, I'll gladly eat that Turd Sandwich. It will taste awful while I'm doing so, of course, but when that Turd Sandwich really comes down to will one of my friends live or die (I have one friend who is literally alive because of the healthcare act) I will do it for him any day. And that's just one thing riding on that - It's the most visceral, but it's not by ANY means the only thing I think eating this sandwich will help out.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


> In your example, I'd vote for the one who is even the teeniest smidgen more pro-choice than the other.

In computer science, this is referred to as a greedy algorithm - always selecting the option that's locally the best.

There's a whole science of optimization because greedy algorithms don't work very well in a large number of real world situations.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:12 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


(And just to clarify: it's not because I care too little about the outcome of that hypothetical election, it's because I care too much.

I do not foresee that there will ever be a presidential candidate that I agree with 100%. Maybe I cede that too easily, but when it is November 8, 2016 and there are only two viable presidential candidates on the ballot, and one of them WILL win, I consider not voting to be the greatest of three evils.)
posted by argonauta at 1:13 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


In your example, I'd vote for the one who is even the teeniest smidgen more pro-choice than the other

Okay, do you think there is even a smidgen of value if while you do that some other voters stand up and say, "Absolutely not. The state forcing women to bring pregnancies to term is objectively evil and should never be allowed. I will not stand for it in any circumstances and will not vote for anyone who supports it."

I know it feels manipulative to phrase it this way, but I don't know how else to make it clear that this is how I feel about American bombing campaigns overseas. Our government is murdering people. I can't square that away into a pragmatic pro and con list the way other people can, it's just too wrong. Do you feel me? If doing so is a requirement you ask of me as a voter, I am going to stop voting, because I can't do this.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


also, argonauta: I know you weren't arguing in favor of that episode... This is more of a response triggered by that damned episode than it was to your comment.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




I can't square that away into a pragmatic pro and con list the way other people can

Exactly. Moreover, if someone else can square it, then, even if they and I are in perfect agreement about everything else, we have comparatively little in common.

This is part of why I resent people trying to rope me into their Machiavellian little electoral games like I owe them something. Two people understanding that the titular character of "Rosemary's Baby" grew up to be Rick Santorum or whatever does not really mean that those two have much in common, certainly not to the extent that one is somehow stealing from the other by not joining their clan.
posted by busted_crayons at 1:24 PM on April 13, 2015


I have plenty of reasons to be unenthusiastic about Hillary. But I am also convinced that there is zero chance of a preferable Democratic nominee, given (a) the political muscle behind her, (b) her only rival of any substance being someone (Warren) who has no reason to run this term, has denied running repeatedly and can do more good where she is, and (c) the nonentity status of anyone else considering a leftist run.

Can they push her (slightly) to the left in debates? Maybe. But I doubt it.

And when you come right down to it, as odd as it may sound, the Presidency is the LEAST of the Democrats' worries in this upcoming election. Yes, the notion of President Cruz or President Paul or President Walker is horrifying, but the electoral math at present favors Hillary substantially unless she shits the bed completely between now and then. More important is for Dems to make what substantial gains they can in the House, the Senate, the Governorships and the local legislatures, and THAT is going to require all hands on deck to get their asses out and vote.

Maybe we can't get a Presidential nominee that's a leftist, but against the current House that won't matter much because nothing remotely good can pass there. But if we can get some of the egregious shitheads OUT of Washington that's a net plus.
posted by delfin at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


In your example...

...greedy algorithms don't work very well in a large number of real world situations.


When someone is expressly speaking about a ridiculous and reductive example, it is at best somewhat tacky to upbraid them for choosing a tactic that doesn't work in real-world situations.
posted by Etrigan at 1:58 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The reason Hilary Clinton is getting this now is she is the Heir Presumptive. If someone else should get the nomination, the cannons will turn on them.

No, Hillary Clinton is a special case. Having grown up in a fundamentalist-Christian family, I was still pretty well plugged into conservative news media back in the early '90s, and they had the hate-cannons trained on her from the start. Right-wingers were talking about her as a future presidential candidate during Bill's first term, long before I ever heard anyone from the Democratic side of the world bring it up, and the idea made them furious.

I don't know whether this is still true, since I've long since lost touch with Republican culture, but my impression back then was that running Ms. Clinton as the Democratic candidate would essentially be a gift to the Republicans. Nobody else comes close to inspiring the kind of virulent loathing you see when her name comes up among conservatives; an otherwise unremarkable Republican candidate could perform well just by not being Hillary Clinton.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:05 PM on April 13, 2015


It's not "ridiculous and reductive" to say that both candidates can be pro-war. John Kerry in 2004 was for expanding the war in Iraq, and continuing the war in Afghanistan, and huge swaths of the antiwar movement voted for him on no better basis than the fact that he was not George W. Bush.
posted by graymouser at 2:05 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So you don't see any value in trying for a moderately bad outcome instead of a horribly bad outcome?

Accelerationism ain't gonna accelerate itself
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


When someone is expressly speaking about a ridiculous and reductive example

Both major party candidates being pro-life? No, it's what the last (and several forthcoming) PA senate races look like. Bob Casey, Jr.

Less likely he will ever be a Presidential candidate with that handicap in Democratic politics, but far from impossible, especially if a candidate aiming for the center decides to give him a VP nod at some point.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:10 PM on April 13, 2015


Kerry was not for expanding the war in Iraq. By 2004 he was ambivalent about Afghanistan, as obl was in the wind.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:10 PM on April 13, 2015




The Krugman piece makes a rather interesting observation:

... suppose that Ms. Clinton is indeed the Democratic nominee. If so, you can be sure that she’ll be accused, early and often, of insincerity, of not being the populist progressive she claims to be.

On the other side, suppose that the Republican nominee is a supposed moderate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. In either case we’d be sure to hear many assertions from political pundits that the candidate doesn’t believe a lot of what he says. But in their cases this alleged insincerity would be presented as a virtue, not a vice — sure, Mr. Bush is saying crazy things about health care and climate change, but he doesn’t really mean it, and he’d be reasonable once in office. Just like his brother.


The media has a double standard - huh. Who'd have thought it.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:30 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why do progressives suck so much at moving the Overton Window
posted by Apocryphon at 2:54 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why do progressives suck so much at moving the Overton Window

Because pragmatism is a dirty word.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:57 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the argument is that since the GOP controls the House and Senate, a Republican will actually be much more capable of enacting their agenda.

Maybe people should remember that there is more than one election happening in Nov. 2016, and pay more attention to Congressional races, instead of already deciding that the GOP should control it.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2015


All are party hacks, of course. Anybody get elected mayor anywhere who isn't?

Well, Bloomberg, but I'm guessing NYC counts as a special case.
posted by The Bellman at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2015


maybe Marco Rubio.

No more maybe: Marco Rubio tells donors he’s running for president
posted by Room 641-A at 3:07 PM on April 13, 2015


If only we were more pragmatic, more willing to move the Overton Window still farther to the right, then we could move the Overton Window a little bit to the left.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:10 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well going back to my silver lining scenario, if we had a new Herbert Hoover come into office, implement everything the right wants, and then the economy collapses, the political discourse would move left again in a desperate search for solutions.

The problem is, it's doubtful there's a modern equivalent to FDR, waiting in the wings. And the modern day Democrats would find some way to screw up such a scenario anyway.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:18 PM on April 13, 2015


the political discourse would move left again in a desperate search for solutions

I fear it wouldn't - the problem would be that we weren't conservative *enough*. Look at all the people doubling down on tax cuts for the rich, even when the economy is tanking in, eg, Kansas. For many of these folks and their supporters, Conservative-ism cannot fail; it can only *be* failed.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:51 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


You can't move the Overton Window left by triangulation and lesser-evil politics. It's a longer term thing. You have to posture very hard to the left to open dialogue that's even moderately left; FDR could get the New Deal through because he sold the ruling class on it as the only option that would stave off Communism. Obama is a triangulator, and that was used against him: his position, which is actually moderate conservatism, was made the hard left, and insane anti-tax, anti-regulation policies are now viable. It's been a disaster. If there had been a far-left response demanding Obama nationalize banks and put everyone without a job into a massive green energy program, things might have been different. But the left was mostly without an organized response.

Now, I want the whole kit and kaboodle, but I understand that it's not going to be acceptable while people can be brought in the terms of "respectability" and "electability." The hard-right has used insurgent politics very well, as the left has forgotten how to.
posted by graymouser at 3:59 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel you, Drinky Die. And I support you -- and am likely in your debt for bringing those principles into all the spheres that you touch (including this one). I mean it.

I'm not cold-hearted or Machiavellian, I promise, and I am profoundly concerned about the current state of affairs. I think we just have different answers to the question of "how do I sleep at night with my own (maybe-meaningless) actions when I know that many terrible things will only get worse anyway." My leanings on that have gotten much stronger in the wake of what I've seen as truly stunning changes to the proverbial game in the past 10-15 years: Citizens United, gerrymandering, the rise of Fox"News," superPACs, the Koch Brothers et al., the Alliance Defense Fund et al., the growth and influence of Christian Dominionism, the onset of utter disfunction of Congress, the self-selection of candidates who are credibly motivated by the idea of public service and the public good vis-a-vis those willing to endure (and fund) campaigns, etc. etc. etc.. The bankrollers behind all of this have been astoundingly cunning and astoundingly successful, there is no countervailing force from the left, their resources are virtually unlimited, and they basically scare me shitless.

Barring an act of God, I am confident that either the D or the R will win the presidency -- and that American bombing campaigns overseas will continue in the next administration. It does and will continue to appall me daily, too. (I have greater hope in the Ds than the Rs for any chance that they will diminish, for what it's worth.) What I can't bear on top of that is knowing, knowing!, that by not voting at all* when there is ultimately a choice between two candidates on Election Day, I am only giving more control over wide-ranging outcomes to the forces that I believe are the most dangerous (see above). I will know that I'd stayed silent when more laws are inevitably enacted that harm people I have human empathy for, and when the country (and political system) becomes even more irrevocably committed to the current course at home and abroad.

Can you feel me at all, too? I'm scared, not callous. If all the well-meaning people opt out, who does that leave?


*which is what I was specifically responding to, very different in my mind than rallying for a non-presumptive candidate, especially between now and the primaries, and not letting any frontrunner off easy on their specific policy positions and the importance of those issues in this election. I may have been fast-forwarding too much to the inevitability of a two-way race, separate from Hillary's specific credentials, but I sure hope we end up with the strongest possible candidate on the Democratic side.

(Also: this: "More important is for Dems to make what substantial gains they can in the House, the Senate, the Governorships and the local legislatures, and THAT is going to require all hands on deck to get their asses out and vote." says much better what I was trying to get at here. Again, if the well-meaning people decide to give up on the general, especially this far out, who does that leave more of going to the polls?)
posted by argonauta at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I fear it wouldn't - the problem would be that we weren't conservative *enough*.

The current situation is bad, but it's not as bad as it could be if the Tea Party and Koch co. really got everything they wanted. I just think eventually in that worst case scenario, and revealing how bad their policies are on a national level, the pendulum will come swinging back.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:09 PM on April 13, 2015


It's not a pendulum. Fucking things up more does not benefit anyone, not even indirectly. Accelerationism is the byword of Nick Land, and let's not become Nick Land...
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:29 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you want an example, look at Kansas. Brownback fucked up every he touched in that state but did people see that as a lesson in how badly conservative policies work in the real world? Nope. The state went and re-elected him to keep cutting taxes and services and making the state even worse.
posted by octothorpe at 4:52 PM on April 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


If the GOP ends up with both chambers and the White House, what happens when they sell the national forests? Does anyone believe that the people will ever get them back once they've been sold? It seems dangerous to assume that the damage which could be inflicted can be reversed simply by repealing the legislation afterwards. Could we realistically un-privatize Social Security after a "market-based solution" has been implemented? We can't raise the dead when their ignorant stances on reproductive health costs lives.

We can't un-destroy the environment, either, and so I am profoundly in agreement with the view that drastic measures are necessary in order to fight climate change, but if step 1 of those measures is "let the people who don't believe in climate change take their best shot at permanently obstructing positive action on that and a wide range of other vital issues," I have a hard time believing that's the right course of action. When it comes to climate change, my preference is to have the best leaders in charge at all times because we can't predict what form the next Katrina-like disaster will take and I think our response in the aftermath will be what ultimately dictates our climate change policy.

On top of that, "break it and rebuild it better" just reminds me too much of "let's rewrite our software from the ground up," which is always tempting but only prudent when you can fully account for the edge cases, which cannot realistically be done here. I'll be encouraging everyone I know to vote and will make the case for the Democratic candidate even though if Clinton gets the nomination, they may not be as excited as Obama made them, because there are still many vital choices further down the ballot at the Congressional, state, and local levels.

In the mean time, I'm going to hold out hope for at least a little while longer that a dark horse will step up and decide to try and build the first campaign to raise $1 billion (or whatever insane sum is needed) without the backing of the usual suspect money spigots.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:53 PM on April 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


How did FDR happen, then?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:11 PM on April 13, 2015


More important is for Dems to make what substantial gains they can in the House, the Senate, the Governorships and the local legislatures, and THAT is going to require all hands on deck to get their asses out and vote.

Agreed. The House is a tough call, with the ridiculous gerrymandering that's out there, but this is actually a decent Senate cycle for the Democrats potentially, and there are likely to be at least a couple of competitive Governor's races. State legislatures are always, always important.

If your local state legislative race is not competitive, look for one nearby that is, and consider sending a donation to the better candidate. A little bit goes a long way in those small races.
posted by gimonca at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


consider sending a donation

If you do this, send cash in a plain envelope, with a machine-printed address, applied while wearing gloves, dropped into a collection box at midnight somewhere across the county line: else you will be HOUNDED FOREVER by hysterical appeals for more money, desperately needed in order to sway some utterly critical election race between two people you've never heard of from a part of the country you know nothing about OR ELSE THE REPUBLICANS WILL WIN. Getting yourself free of this mess will take more unsubscribe emails than you can imagine, and will likely require you to dig down deep for reserves of profanity you never knew you possessed.
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:41 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


How did FDR happen, then?

Even a quick read through the Wikipedia article on the 1932 election makes it obvious that it was a lot more complicated than "Repubs collapsed the economy, so everybody vote Dem", and took place in a U.S. much different than today. Hell, FDR campaigned on a platform of cutting taxes and shrinking government.

Believing that if the Republicans trash the economy everything they'll wind up out of power forever is a thoroughly simplistic bit of magical thinking, and completely ignores the real and lasting damage that will be done to the lives of millions of people, and drastically underestimates the amount of work it would take to restore even a fragile stability to the U.S.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:44 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


IMHO, in the longer term the only way to unfuck the country is breaking the stranglehold of the two-party system.

I disagree. The real strength of the Tea Party was in winning a number of local elections in addition to having a place in the bigger elections. It took a few cycles, but it worked. Democrats and their progressive wing need to concentrate on the local races and the off-year minor elections. That has been a weak spot for a while now, and it cost us dearly in 2014.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:46 PM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


If your local state legislative race is not competitive, look for one nearby that is, and consider sending a donation to the better candidate. A little bit goes a long way in those small races.

We've done that for quite a few non-local candidates since we live in a Democratic bubble that never has contested races. My city hasn't elected a Republican to office in over 80 years now.
posted by octothorpe at 5:50 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The biggest hurdle to the off-year elections for progressives is getting the youth vote involved. It's possible, but it takes years of grassroots organizing and outreach. I'm ready to do the work, though I'm definitely middle aged now. However, I'm also much more focused on the long term and far less easy to waver based on setbacks. It's the only way to make progress in the long run, to make sure progressive victories stick and voters feel like they are part of a larger effort, not just in one race because they happen to like one presidential candidate.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:51 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




Also, when I mention Tea Party victories in local elections, I mean really local, down to the level of school boards and dog catcher. They didn't overlook a single office if they could find any candidate to represent the Tea Party view, and they always ran as Republicans, not third party. They also "primaried" incumbents in their own party who weren't conservative enough. Not sure about the long term strength of the latter strategy, but it's how they shifted the core of the party to the right and booted out nearly all moderates.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:02 PM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


dame, you may want to consider avoiding throwing stones given that you were complaining about Obama's failure to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. The fact of the matter is that doing that was one of the first executive orders he issued upon taking office in 2008. Congress, which controls the money, said that we can't spend any of it on doing that. That is why it remains open. Blame the Republicans and blue dog Dems in the House that wrote the legislation, the politics that "forced" the Senate to agree, and the fact that the Constitution requires that money bills originate in the House.

It's really hard for me to take someone's political opinions seriously when they blame Obama for that particular turd. (There are many that he does deserve blame for, but that is not one of them and how it went down was widely discussed at the time)
posted by wierdo at 6:12 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Different people have different #1 issues, which is completely understandable. I admire the passion people in this thread have for the very real issues that literally endanger the metric fuckton of other people we share our world with. But please consider that a Republican president from 2016-2020 will likely mean that within a few years, your countrywomen who are raped, whose pregnancies endanger their lives, or who simply feel unable to properly raise a child will no longer have the ability to make basic medical choices about their lives and their bodies. We will lose control over our very bodies. This is not a small thing. Balance that against what not voting for the Dem candidate will mean. What will you actually gain, against that loss?

We will also lose any glimmer of a chance we may have to: end the death penalty; see the various NSA/DOJ/other government spy programs found unconstitutional; see the drone program and/or similar executive-directed killings found unconstitutional; end the gerrymandering that's currently padding Congress with rightwing nutsos; protect Obamacare, which is saving lives every day; and so much more.

Think of the Warren Court and what it was able to do for this country. I've seen GWB-appointed circuit judges at work--they are not secret Blackmuns, and you do not want a bench full of these people, I promise you. By 2020, Scalia will be 84 and Kennedy will be 83. Having a Democratic president in office to replace these two [profanity redacted] would have a HUGE impact, far far far beyond the impact any one President would have.
posted by sallybrown at 6:23 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Obama could literally say "OK, those guys are free to go." That's not spending any money. The unlawful prisoners could walk out of the US base, either down to the water or to its border with Cuba. Or they could just lead a normal-ish life, eating the same food and living in the same accommodation but not bound by prison rules.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:25 PM on April 13, 2015


Joe in Australia, no, the President cannot literally say "these guys are free to go", open the doors and let the prisoners free on their own. It literally does not work that way. There are, in fact, a number of prisoners who have not been released, despite the President and many others saying "release them" because their home countries literally will not accept their return and there is no diplomatic entry into other nations under the circumstances.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:50 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


A few more thoughts about the long game...

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially because of the protests in Ferguson and how the older civil rights activists are still participating, and why so many of them are inspired by the new wave of young people becoming engaged. John Lewis was one of the original civil rights activists, one of the Freedom Riders. He has also been serving in the US Congress representing Georgia's 5th district since 1987. He was literally beaten violently again and again when he began participating in politics as an activist in the civil rights marches- he refused to quit, though friends and family asked him to reconsider whether it was worth the price he paid with his own blood. Nobody could have blamed him if he chose to step away and think of his own safety. But he never gave up the fight, not even after the major victory of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, not even after MLK's assassination in 1968, not after the election of either Bush, nor the recent sweep of Tea Party victories, or any of the local racial strife rearing its head in his home state so many times since the 1960s. In fact, he recently helped author a trilogy of graphic novels titled March (not all are published yet) based on a first hand view of civil rights activism in the '60s, because he wants to help educate young people on what actually happened during their struggle. It is being used as a teaching aid in classrooms across the country.

Anyway, I was just thinking about him recently after he did some interviews to help publicize his graphic novel series, and to talk about his perspective on the current civil rights struggle. It's all the same struggle, and he's still in it. He never once gave up, because his goals are much bigger than one election cycle or one bill, or the SCOTUS appointments or the declaration and end of war. I think that's an important lesson for activists today, to remember that the goals aren't even about the ideal candidate. To stay involved means keeping a bigger purpose in mind and never lose sight of it or give up the fight. I understand and empathize with anyone who becomes discouraged enough to step away and let others continue the fight without them. There are many good reasons to do so. But there are also many good reasons to continue.

That's why I believe in the larger purpose, and why the elections matter but aren't the reason to get on board, nor to give up. There are many battles to be fought in the big war, many losses and victories along the way. There is a much bigger goal than winning the next presidential election, and it will only be reached by people who are involved understanding the true purpose of civil engagement and political activism.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:53 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Did you not read what I said?
The unlawful prisoners could walk out of the US base, either down to the water or to its border with Cuba. Or they could just lead a normal-ish life, eating the same food and living in the same accommodation but not bound by prison rules.
Obama's problem is that he doesn't want to relinquish control. He has these illegal prisoners for whom he is responsible, but he just can't bear to say "You are free to go." So there's all this dicking around about finding "acceptable" countries for them to go to, and in the meantime he is illegally holding them in confinement.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:00 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


They could just come to the US and get jobs. There's always room for good app developers on the Apple Store, for instance, and the Phillies need bullpen help.
posted by delfin at 7:11 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, when I mention Tea Party victories in local elections, I mean really local, down to the level of school boards and dog catcher.

I have family working in community organizing in southeast Michigan, and we were talking about how ugly and mean-spirited the last few years of American politics have been (indeed, much of politics in the developed world). So the family member says "Oh you don't knew the half of it. School board elections in *small Michigan school district* got a tremendous amount of outside money to run a smear campaign against a candidate from a minority community. And the pattern has been repeated all over the place." Progressives really need to get their acts together at the local level, otherwise things are moving in an increasingly ugly direction. It used to be that friends and family worried about my safety because I chose to live in Pakistan. While I have always found that worry amusing, it is only in the past year that I have stayed worrying about the safety of my friends and family in the US.
posted by bardophile at 7:24 PM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Joe in Australia, no, actually he can't. That would be considered spending money because the guards would have to turn the key. There are good reasons for that strong interpretation that past Supreme Courts have deemed necessary, despite it seeming quite ridiculous in this specific case.

This is basic US Constitutional law. I forgive you for not knowing, but it really chaps my ass when US voters trot out that particular canard. They should know better, since the basic principle is right there in plain text in the Constitution and it hasn't changed since 1787.
posted by wierdo at 7:25 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's the reality:

One of two people will win the elction. One of them will be a Republican, one will be a Democrat. Period. Third-party fantasizing is so much hot air. It will be one or the other.

Which one is going to continue American Imperialism abroad, plunging the world into more and more wars?
Which one is going to help erode or outright destroy the rights of women to control what happens to their own bodies?
Which is going to actively work against environmental protection?
Which is going to actively work against any help whatsoever for the poor?
Which is going to control SCOTUS seats, and thus control the ideological bent of those seats?

Fuck the names, fuck everything else. Those are the questions.

If you don't want a post-Handmaid's Tale/Mad Max world, then make sure the electable Democrat gets in. Because another Republican in the White House is going to be GWB II: Fuck You Too.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:02 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


They could just come to the US and get jobs. There's always room for good app developers on the Apple Store, for instance, and the Phillies need bullpen help.

The TSA is hiring as well.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:24 PM on April 13, 2015


Another Hillary roundtable from KPFA's Letters and Politics, starts at around 6:30.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:50 PM on April 13, 2015


> The fact of the matter is that doing that was one of the first executive orders he issued upon taking office in 2008.

The fact of the matter is that the "order" that he wanted to promulgate wouldn't have actually freed anyone at all - it would simply have relocated the lawless zone to the United States, which was why politicians on both the left and the right pushed back on this. Source.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:01 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


@JohnFugelsang: "Rand Paul is running from Libertarianism faster than Ayn Rand ran to the mailbox for her Social Security checks."
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:30 PM on April 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


If you don't want a post-Handmaid's Tale/Mad Max world, then make sure the electable Democrat gets in.

Talk about fear mongering! It's Hillary or dystopian future. And somehow, it's always like this. Yet serious political scientists say we live in an oligarchy, ruled by a moneyed elite. But it's always of the utmost importance to support the Democrat this time.

You sit there and talk about empire, when no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention since before Wilson. (Ask Zbigniew Brzezinski about Afghanistan if you want one for Carter.) You talk about issues that the Democrats use as perpetual bait on their hooks. But they are moderately less awful on those issues, not out of a titanic divide among parties, but because that's what they have calculated it takes to get their operatives to browbeat constituencies that would otherwise look for a party that's not controlled lock, stock and barrel by Wall Street.

It's one party of the 1% or the other party of the 1%. Lacking any positive program, lacking any long-term vision or even short-term fixes, the Democrats make a sustained appeal to the awfulness of the other party. And they are amazingly successful at it. But in the long term, it keeps the oligarchy in power, since they will always have the lesser evil to fall back on. And the Democrats get worse and worse, but progressives dare not move against them for fear of worse.

It's a vicious cycle, but like any abusive relationship, you just have to dump the motherfucker already.
posted by graymouser at 9:45 PM on April 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention

Oh, sorry to break the beat but 'Gulf of Tonkin'.
posted by clavdivs at 10:06 PM on April 13, 2015


Er, he said "no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention..."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:25 PM on April 13, 2015


Talk about fear mongering! It's Hillary or dystopian future. And somehow, it's always like this.

You're guilty of doing the same thing as the other side. A lot of this thread boils down to either how bad things will be unless a Democrat is in office OR how bad things already are unless a Democrat/Republican isn't in office.

It's probably a good thing that some of the American public manages to be apathetic about all this. Because, it seems every four years the Apocalypse is just around the corner.
posted by FJT at 12:40 AM on April 14, 2015


It's a vicious cycle, but like any abusive relationship, you just have to dump the motherfucker already

You understand that with our system that wouldn't mean we no longer have a two party system, it would only mean that the composition of the two party's platforms shift slightly. Or, possibly, that one of the two major parties is replaced by a different party in the two-party system. But that hasn't happened in a very, very long time.
posted by Justinian at 1:29 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can we talk more about the problem of local politics, as bardophile put it so well up there? I live in Ohio and the lack of large numbers of young progressives being nurtured on a local/state level to move up the ranks actually worries me more in the long run than working through the mental gymnastics of Clinton vs. anyone else vs. third party.

Can anyone show me a local/state progressive or Democratic organization that is actually doing remarkable work of stacking the benches with a new generation of leaders? Because I really want to know what that looks like.

Also, how do you take over your local Democratic establishment when the meetings are worse than a high school cafeteria full of cliques? Totally serious. I have tried to do the "attend my local Dem meeting" thing before (albeit in my previous state) and have literally had people not want to talk to me because I didn't intern for someone.
posted by mostly vowels at 2:37 AM on April 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


You understand that with our system that wouldn't mean we no longer have a two party system, it would only mean that the composition of the two party's platforms shift slightly. Or, possibly, that one of the two major parties is replaced by a different party in the two-party system. But that hasn't happened in a very, very long time.

As it is we have two parties owned by Wall Street. We need to build one that isn't. You can't be building for that while you clutch at every candidate the Democrats say is "electable," because then you wind up having to discipline the very political and social movements that would be the base of a new, independent party. You have to make the break with the Democrats, hard and fast. And that means, for a period, relying upon social movements and pressure from below to protect the things that people always say are the reasons we need to keep electing more Democrats. The situation – from the environment to police brutality to women's rights to LGBT rights to immigrant rights to workers' rights – requires a dramatic shift, of a kind you just cannot make while stumping for Hillary Rodham Clinton. We're never going to have a chance to fix things if we leave the Democrats in charge.
posted by graymouser at 3:21 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Badass Teachers Association lays down the gauntlet in a congratulatory letter to Secretary Clinton.
posted by bardophile at 4:26 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you live in smalltown Iowa, look out for a van followed by a security detail wandering around the backroads.
posted by Wordshore at 4:35 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


chortly, a bunch of people voted for Nader to 'send a message' in 2000. I, personally, was not pleased with the results. Nader got lots of donations from cynical asshole conservatives who knew he'd fuck up the election. Stunt voting is bad.

Vote for someone who can be a good president. I love Elizabeth Waren, but I don't know if she has the skills to be a good president. I know Nader didn't. I think Hillary does. I would dearly love a feminist, socialist, environmentalist president. I'll be happy to vote for H Clinton, and get good Supreme Court judges, a president who prioritizes issues that affect children, a president who has at least thought about the issues.

Election a year and a half away, and I get sucked into discussing it. Thank fuck for Netflix; I can avoid the campaign ads.
posted by theora55 at 4:41 AM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Every time we discuss American politics, we have the same discussion about the two-party system and whether it's a good idea to support Democrats. It's tedious, it's always the same arguments on both sides, and I feel like everyone pretty much already knows where they stand. Maybe we should just link to the last discussion, and people could follow the link in the unlikely event that they feel that they need a refresher?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:02 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not really every time, it's a lot, but this is a big flare up in this thread that we have been avoiding most of the time lately. It comes with the territory once the election season starts heating up. Even in the best case, it's always going to be months and months of repetitive old conversations even without the third party stuff.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:05 AM on April 14, 2015


It's a vicious cycle, but like any abusive relationship, you just have to dump the motherfucker already.

That's a fun idea. In the real world, the winner on 8 Nov 2016 will have either a D or an R next to their name. Period. There is no escaping that basic reality.

Given that unalterable* fact is it better to vote for a D, or for an R who will support invading Iran, tax cuts for the rich, removing womens' autonomy over their own bodies, put asses on SCOTUS seats who think that Scalia is right about everything?

* unalterable in the sense that it will not change for 2016, no matter what you do, and even if serious grassroots work starts yesterday it's going to take decades to change that fact, which is not an argument against grassroots work
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:21 AM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


it's always the same arguments on both sides

It's doubly frustrating when one of the sides persists in the face of all available facts to insist that third parties are electable under a first-past-the-post system. Sure, it might happen, in the sense that I might be simultaneously devoured by a shark and struck by lightning with the winning half-billion-dollar lottery ticket in my pocket, but it shouldn't be treated as a realistic scenario, because it isn't.

All it sounds like to me is "well, even if the bad guys have their shit together enough not to split the vote, we don't have to have our shit together because of reasons!" Examples from 1992, 1996, and 2000 that this is emphatically not the case do nothing to dissuade these arguments.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:24 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I live in Ohio and the lack of large numbers of young progressives being nurtured on a local/state level to move up the ranks actually worries me

A few people in this thread have alluded to this "where are all the young progressives?" motif. I think it can be explained by the fact that the Democratic establishment's message to them is very uninspiring. "Come fight for a world that is... only slightly less awful than the one the Republicans are offering and in which you can spend all day disciplining more idealistic people than you." Does that sound like an appeal that will galvanize people motivated by noble, progressive goals? Sorry, but it just doesn't. They take a look at the rotting moral fibre of the Democrats and understandably opt for more satisfying activities than hippie punching and submission to the whim of Rahm Emanuel (or whoever the local Democratic machine has fêted).

I would love to hear if anyone has ever been persuaded to change their approach to voting by the discussions we have here. I'd be surprised, but I'd like to hear it.

It wasn't on Metafilter, but yes, at least one friend has told me that I have changed his views on this subject.

He is a progressive who was feeding me the "we must close ranks behind the Democrat immediately" line. I replied that if he was committed to progressive ideals, that was a poor strategy to pursue. The reason is this: politicians fight over contested votes, not votes that have already been pledged to them. If one wants to move a candidate to the left, the worst thing that one can do is say "I pledge my vote to you, [Democrat]" since at that point the candidate immediately stops listening to one's demands. It is no surprise that Democratic candidates find themselves trending towards the middle, and therefore rightward, because those are the votes that they haven't already won. Hence the depressingly predictable result every election cycle of those that spend all day boosting the profile of the Democrat du jour and then, after election day, wonder why the person they invested so much time and emotional energy supporting is ignoring their will.

This doesn't mean that one needs to abandon the "lesser of two evils" strategy when one enters the voting booth, but up until that point maintaining that posture makes no sense if one is committed to progressive politics. I suppose, strictly speaking, this didn't change his approach to voting, but there you have it.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:43 AM on April 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


That's a fun idea. In the real world, the winner on 8 Nov 2016 will have either a D or an R next to their name. Period. There is no escaping that basic reality.

We definitely, definitely do not have a Democracy. So vote for my side.




Wait, where are you guys going? YOU IDIOT ASSHOLES IF MY PARTY THAT YOU DON'T SUPPORT LOSES IT'S YOUR FAULT!
posted by Drinky Die at 6:14 AM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So here's the thing, Noisy Pink Bubbles. I'm truly a grass-roots person. For the last two elections, I've been a Neighborhood Team Leader in a swing state, which means that I make phone calls, knock doors, recruit and train volunteers, and do the nuts and bolts, on-the-ground organizing of the Get Out the Vote effort for the Democrats. I'm a worker bee, not a strategist, but I think I've got my ear pretty close to the ground, and I hear *a lot* more actual voters say that they're thinking about staying home because they think the Democrats might be dangerous radicals than because they don't think the Democrats are progressive enough. I just don't think there are that many disaffected progressives in the actual places where elections are determined. I think there are a lot of people who have progressive impulses but who have also been convinced to ignore those impulses because of fear-mongering. So if you want your strategy to work, rather than convincing progressives not to vote, what I think you should be doing is working on convincing people on the ground, especially reluctant voters in swing states, to become progressives. Because right now, the electoral calculus about reluctant voters does not pull Democrats leftwards, and it's not going to do so until more people embrace progressive politics, no matter how many progressives stay home or vote Green.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:15 AM on April 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why are you mocking me for describing the world as it actually exists? Am I somehow incorrect?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:16 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just don't think there are that many disaffected progressives in the actual places where elections are determined.

There aren't by any objective polling measure, so let the strategy bees know hippy punching is bad strategy.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:17 AM on April 14, 2015


I'm not even sure I follow that, Drinky Die, but I will certainly defer to your expertise on all matters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:19 AM on April 14, 2015


I'm not even sure I follow that, Drinky Die,

It's not hard to follow. Disappointed progressives have never been the major swing vote in any Presidential election, ever. Spend your time figuring out how to keep centrist Democrats from voting for Jeb Bush, not worrying about the left.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:22 AM on April 14, 2015


Spend your time figuring out how to keep centrist Democrats from voting for Jeb Bush, not worrying about the left.
No, actually, that's not what we're going to do, because all the data suggests that the problem isn't centrist Democrats who vote for Republicans. It's die-hard Democrats who stay home. But thanks for your insight.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:28 AM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious, my appeal to my friend only worked because he considered himself progressive. If the people you are trying to reach are starting from a different place, then different tactics will be required. For instance, you can tell these relatively conservative Ohioans that HRC wants to criminalize flag burning. That might get them excited about the Democratic ticket.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:30 AM on April 14, 2015


It's doubly frustrating when one of the sides persists in the face of all available facts to insist that third parties are electable under a first-past-the-post system.

You're reading one of the sides wrong, then. Nobody I know who's a Green supporter, including myself, actually expects the Green party to win nationally. I'd be thrilled if we picked up more than a couple of percent.

If you want to work on somebody, work on the people who aren't going to vote at all because they think both sides are the same or because they believe (whether accurately or not) that their vote doesn't matter... or who are going to vote for a Republican because they dislike Hilary. I guarantee they outnumber progressive third-party voters by a significant margin, just like they did in Florida in 2000. (On preview: what ArbitraryAndCapricious said.)

Best case scenario:

- Bernie Sanders runs as a Democrat. He gets a significant portion of the primary, making Hilary realize maybe leaving progressives in the cold is maybe not the best strategy. She picks him up as VP.
- Clinton/Sanders win the general election.
- Stein picks up a few percent, and the Green Party wins the chance to have a name on the ballot in 2020 in several states. This pulls the Democrats a bit further leftward.
- Democrats pick up several seats in Congress and the spine to actually do something.
- Hilary turns out to actually be a good president and we wind up with single-payer health care, a serious focus on the environment, massive public and private investment in green infrastructure, much better foreign policy than we fear, no ridiculous trade agreements, economic reform aimed at reducing income inequality, retooling public education, an amendment to protect same-sex marriage and trans* rights, clarification of RFRA so it can't be used by businesses or individuals to deny services or insurance coverage, the end of corporate personhood, four youngish progressive SCOTUS appointees, gutting the NSA and rebuilding it from the ground up, prison reform, improved accountability and less militarization of police, mandatory vaccinations, campaign finance reform, and eight years without bombing anybody.

Of course, that's not going to happen any more than (A) a third-party candidate will win the general election or (B) third-party voters will spoil the election without there also being two or three dozen more significant causes.
posted by Foosnark at 6:32 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hillary Bold. Because, America.
You're welcome
posted by growabrain at 6:36 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, actually, that's not what we're going to do, because all the data suggests that the problem isn't centrist Democrats who vote for Republicans. It's die-hard Democrats who stay home. But thanks for your insight.

Literally none of the data. Leftists are an extremely reliable Democratic voting block because they are so heavily engaged in politics and nothing could persuade them to vote Republican. They do not stay home. They do not vote for Republicans. Centrists gave Bush Florida in 2000. They do stay home sometimes. They do vote for Republicans sometimes.

This is why I get, as a an actual political realist, someone who looks at the polls and accepts them good or bad, so infuriated with people who pretend they are realists because they are reciting media and Democratic party lines even when the data doesn't back them up. You aren't a realist, just a very dedicated follower of party messaging.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:37 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mostly Vowels, I have that same question. A few primaries back, I was elected precinct chair for my area. When I went to the Dallas area meeting for this section of Texas, I was completely ignored. Nobody but established party members were picked as delegates to the convention. My area was ripe to harvest and change, but the Dems didn't want to bother with areas where they needed to fight, so they ceded all of it to the Teahadists.
posted by dejah420 at 6:40 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


No, actually, that's not what we're going to do, because all the data suggests that the problem isn't centrist Democrats who vote for Republicans. It's die-hard Democrats who stay home. But thanks for your insight.

See, there we have it.

The 308,000 Florida Democrats who voted for Bush in 2000 weren't a problem, compared to the millions of Florida Democrats who stayed home.

However, the 24,000 Florida Democrats who voted for Nader ruined it for everyone and that's why we can't vote third party anymore.

Gotcha.
posted by Foosnark at 6:43 AM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


(Also, I love you folks every single one. We all want the best for our countries. Sorry if I came off as an ass in recent comments.)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:49 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nixon, who was in fact a conservative, and who was fought against by many people on the left, was himself to the left of the modern Democrats you are telling us to support.

This is historical nonsense. Rick Perlstein, who has written several books on Nixon and who is well to the left of elite Democratic Party consensus, has also argued against this as well. All these claims of Nixon's liberalism completely ignored the federal crackdown on the Black Panthers that began during his administration, his appointing of segregationist judges (including trying to get them on the Supreme Court), and his deliberate attempts to tear apart the alliances between labor & the civil rights movement.

In addition, these claims about Richard Nixon ignore what historians call "path dependency." Nixon was a conservative who was limited in how conservative he could be because of the domestic policy liberalism of the presidents who preceded him (LBJ especially). Similarly, Obama was (and is) limited in how liberal he could be because of the conservatism of the presidential administrations that preceded him. This is also why it's extremely shortsighted for the Left to "take a mulligan" on an election because they don't view the Democratic candidate as liberal enough. Yes, the Democratic candidate isn't liberal enough, but that's because we haven't even begun to roll back the right-wing institutional changes made by Reagan or George W. Bush. If you just cast a throwaway protest vote without any strategy behind it, you're just giving the right wing a free opening to make more incremental changes that will be even more difficult to roll back.
posted by jonp72 at 7:37 AM on April 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


The 308,000 Florida Democrats who voted for Bush in 2000 weren't a problem, compared to the millions of Florida Democrats who stayed home.

However, the 24,000 Florida Democrats who voted for Nader ruined it for everyone and that's why we can't vote third party anymore.

Gotcha.


And exactly what position was Al Gore supposed to adopt to get the votes of both the Bush Democrats and the Nader Democrats? Please enlighten me.
posted by jonp72 at 7:39 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, actually, that's not what we're going to do, because all the data suggests that the problem isn't centrist Democrats who vote for Republicans. It's die-hard Democrats who stay home. But thanks for your insight.

Literally none of the data. Leftists are an extremely reliable Democratic voting block because they are so heavily engaged in politics and nothing could persuade them to vote Republican. They do not stay home. They do not vote for Republicans. Centrists gave Bush Florida in 2000. They do stay home sometimes. They do vote for Republicans sometimes.
Die-hard Democrats are not necessarily (and in fact are not typically) leftists. And there are a whole lot of people who vote for Democrats when they vote but who often don't vote. They're the deciding factor in elections in my state, not the swing voters on whom everyone focuses. Turnout, not swing voters, decides election. And although some progressives would like to pretend otherwise, you don't get reliable Democrats to vote just by tacking to the left. I wish you did.
ArbitraryAndCapricious, my appeal to my friend only worked because he considered himself progressive.
Yes, correct. And I think that it might be worth spending some time and effort trying to figure out how to convince other people, especially voters in swing states, to embrace progressive politics.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:45 AM on April 14, 2015


Nixon was a conservative who was limited in how conservative he could be because of the domestic policy liberalism of the presidents who preceded him (LBJ especially).

To prioritize this over the impact of the mass social movements in the '60s shows a fixation on the Presidency as the only way to change things, while trying to argue that it's relatively impotent to actually do so. Nixon's record was a direct expression of power exercised from below on him from the left, much more than it was a reflection of precedents set by LBJ.

This is also why it's extremely shortsighted for the Left to "take a mulligan" on an election because they don't view the Democratic candidate as liberal enough.

You're arguing that we have to keep tweaking the system to get it to produce better results. I'm saying that the current two-party system is fundamentally broken, and we have to go outside of it – both in terms of movements and of political parties – if we are ever going to get better results. The game is rigged in favor of the ultra-wealthy, and voting for the Democrat does not change that one bit.
posted by graymouser at 8:09 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Spend your time figuring out how to keep centrist Democrats from voting for Jeb Bush, not worrying about the left.

Yeah, that's exactly what the democratic party has done in the south. It hasn't worked well.

We have 16000 registered democratic voters in my county. Around 4000 of them turned up to vote, assuming they voted on party lines - and even if they all voted against party lines, we still had at least 4000 stay home. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2:1 here, yet the Democrats are TROUNCED in every election. Republican victories have been anywhere from a 3:1 to a 4:1 margin.

This isn't about the super-left not being engaged, it's about the Democratic party engaging their core at all. Do you really think that if the majority of us won't even come out and vote that the answer is to go FURTHER to the right? Apparently, the Democratic party has thought that for a while, because the candidates have been campaigning on being JUST like the other one, but SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT!

Most of us don't show up to vote because we dislike both the Republican and the Democratic candidates, they seem indistinguishable, it all seems disingenuous, and feel like we are going to get fucked regardless. It's VERY VERY hard for me to vote on a local level because of this.

Again - This isn't about engaging the extreme fringe, it's about no longer neglecting the core in an attempt to get people to vote for you who likely wouldn't anyways. Give us something to believe in and we'll show up and vote in droves, but when you honestly feel like it doesn't make a fucking difference and your own party is trying to court voters from the other and taking their core for granted, you are much more likely to stay home.

Where I am, you are more likely to get people to vote for someone local or regional than a federal level election. But if you get them out there to vote, the fed level tends to be reliably along party lines. We have a wealth of voter statistics that demonstrate this throughout the state. This may be different elsewhere, of course.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:22 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Going along further -- Do you think that all of the Republican victories we saw in the 2014 election were because the Tea Partiers were getting votes from the centrist left?

Look very critically at 2014 and tell me again that we need to try to get those centrist votes. We have very solid evidence here that moving away from the center will energize a base that would likely otherwise not vote.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:25 AM on April 14, 2015


Grist is pro-environment, but they take a pretty fair, factual view of what a Clinton presidency would look like in terms of energy policy: Eight things you need to know about Hillary Clinton and climate change

Basically, a couple feel-good points, but lots of family connections to dirty energy, and she is in favor of more drilling and more fracking. She also doesn't want to touch the issue of climate change because it is politically fraught.

It's not a great situation, so hopefully we can get a strong Democratic challenger to push her anywhere left of her current right-wing views.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:31 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nixon, who was in fact a conservative, and who was fought against by many people on the left, was himself to the left of the modern Democrats you are telling us to support.

These arguments are easily refuted with data. You can analyze presidential vetos, requests, and public statements in common with congressional votes to estimate ideal points for presidents (but with a fair amount of noise because their ideal points will be based on a few statements etc instead of on hundreds of votes). And you can chain comparisons together in such a way that you can compare the estimated preferences of a current sitting MC to anyone else in Congress back to 1789. And, happily, Keith Poole and company have already done this.

If you do, you find that Nixon's DW-NOMINATE score is 0.464. In terms of recent Senates, this puts Nixon in company with Sam Brownback, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Lindsey Graham. Hardly liberal. In terms of recent Presidents, Nixon was well to the right of Ford, slightly to the right of Bush the Elder and Reagan, and a little to the left of Bush 2.

If you're curious, Obama's score is -0.384, which puts him in the same ballpark as Reid, Feinstein, Dodd, or Byrd. Just to the right of Carter and Clinton and well to the left of Johnson. Hillary Clinton is just to the left of Obama at -0.413, which puts her in the same crowd of people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:03 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


> If you do, you find that Nixon's DW-NOMINATE score is 0.464.

Uh-uh - did you read what that score actually means?

It doesn't represent some timeless measure of liberalism - how could it? Instead, it measures how liberal you were relative to the field of candidates at the time.

No one is denying that *for his time* Nixon was a rightist, or that he supported other rightists. The point is that his policies (which DW NOMINATE doesn't take into account at all) were by today's standards extremely liberal.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:16 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're arguing that we have to keep tweaking the system to get it to produce better results. I'm saying that the current two-party system is fundamentally broken, and we have to go outside of it – both in terms of movements and of political parties – if we are ever going to get better results.

You cannot go outside the two-party system with a third party that is still competing with that two-party system under the old rules. In order for third parties to be viable, you'd have to completely change the electoral laws, including reducing impediments to ballot access, eliminating the first-past-the-post voting system, and allowing for New York-style fusion parties. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen, because the necessary changes can only be changed by legislatures dominated by the two-party duopoly that already benefits under the old rules. If you want to change the structure of the entrenched electoral laws, you'd have to do it through a mass citizen movement on the scale of the Arab Spring or the Velvet Revolution. Voting Green or another third party is a sideshow.
posted by jonp72 at 9:26 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


No one is denying that *for his time* Nixon was a rightist, or that he supported other rightists. The point is that his policies (which DW NOMINATE doesn't take into account at all) were by today's standards extremely liberal.

The policies were liberal because you still had holdovers from LBJ's Great Society period, which were partially (although not totally made possible) by pre-1968 social movements. But overall, it's the liberals in the federal bureaucracy who had more ability to impede Nixon than somebody who just got radicalized in 1968.
posted by jonp72 at 9:39 AM on April 14, 2015


> You cannot go outside the two-party system with a third party that is still competing with that two-party system under the old rules. [...] Unfortunately, [changing the rules] is not likely to happen,

Neither of the existing two parties is going to fix the huge, systemic issues that we are facing - and indeed, with their relentless lockstep march to the right, they're going to make things worse.

So your argument seems to come down to, "We're screwed." We're not going to do anything significant about climate change, we're going to continue the foreign wars, and there will be a continued transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% - and there is no way within the system to change this, and no way to change the system.

So what's your solution? Mass suicide? Or just patiently waiting for the end?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:39 AM on April 14, 2015


So your argument seems to come down to, "We're screwed."

Um, that is not what I said. My argument is that you're not going to change anything by announcing you're voting Green or some other third party 15 months from now. My argument is that you either put up or shut up. You start organizing now, on structural issues that go beyond the current presidential contest, or you're just blowing hot air.
posted by jonp72 at 9:44 AM on April 14, 2015


Neither of the existing two parties is going to fix the huge, systemic issues that we are facing - and indeed, with their relentless lockstep march to the right, they're going to make things worse.

Okay. And if there's a Republican president, it's going to get much worse, much faster, especially for the 99%. And women. And queer people. And people of colour.

The only two choices on the ballot that have a chance of winning are R and D. Those are the only options. Which one is going to be worse for people, Clinton (presumably), or whoever the clown car spits out (Bush, probably)?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


The incessant concern trolling around third parties is just that. Voters in a handful of electorally competitive states have a genuine decision to make that pits idealism against pragmatism. The rest of us are inherently making a symbolic statement in voting for a presidential candidate. And on the extreme off-chance that a state like Massachusetts or Hawaii gives its electoral votes to the Republican because of a strong third-party showing, well, that is by definition a meaningful political result, not symbolism.

If you live in Ohio or Florida or a very small number of other states, you have a potentially thorny dilemma before you. Any progressive living in, say, South Carolina, Oregon, Utah, or about 40 other states who votes for a pro-war Democrat is failing their values while throwing away their vote.
posted by threeants at 9:52 AM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


> My argument is that you either put up or shut up. You start organizing now, on structural issues that go beyond the current presidential contest, or you're just blowing hot air.

But organizing third parties doesn't count, you claim. So you're talking about organizing Democrats? How's that going to work? Are you claiming that local Democratic party organizations are open to these ideas? In my experience and in the experience of many people on this page, talking about these concepts in local Democratic parties gets you thrown out, no matter how politely you phrase it.

> The only two choices on the ballot that have a chance of winning are R and D.

We're back to the "greedy algorithm" (which, by the way, works badly in both theoretical and practical cases).

Yes, as long as we're not willing to ever risk a loss to the Republicans, we must always vote Democrat, and we will continue to move in the wrong direction, and we are screwed. Americans have bought that argument for generations, and it's worked badly for them, and it'll continue to work badly for them forever. The stakes will always be higher in each election, the risk of not supporting the Democrats will be higher and higher, and we continue our lockstep march to the right.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:54 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Voters in a handful of electorally competitive states have a genuine decision to make that pits idealism against pragmatism.

Are you insinuating that Dems are the idealists? Because I can think of a ton of Republican policies that have nothing to do with pragmatism.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:55 AM on April 14, 2015


> Are you insinuating that Dems are the idealists?

No, threeants is saying that voting third party is idealist.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:55 AM on April 14, 2015


Ah, I see. On a local level, though, that's not always the case. On a national level, you are contributing to the funding of third parties.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:56 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, threeants is saying that voting third party is idealist.

(Specifically in the context of living in an electorally competitive state where one might be conflicted between voting one's values and voting strategically. In a non-competitive state where one's vote is extremely unlikely to matter in the R/D contest-- the majority-- voting for a third-party candidate to get his or her party to the 3% national threshold is quintessentially pragmatic.)
posted by threeants at 9:58 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, I understand what DW-NOMINATE scores mean. I've read the underlying articles about the methods it uses, more times than I care to count because of the number of times I've had to teach it. I've used it, its cross-sectional analogue, and competing (and arguably more straightforward) item-response models to estimate ideal points. I've co-authored published, peer-reviewed articles that use analogous techniques in a cross-sectional setting to create common-space ideal points for legislators in different states.(1)

It doesn't represent some timeless measure of liberalism - how could it?

Indeed not; the fact that the first dimension happens to be pretty clearly a liberal-conservative one is something figured out by looking at the scaling itself. There's no requirement that it be a liberal-conservative dimension (and in fact scalings of the Nebraska legislature from around 2000 have a first dimension that's essentially free of any discernible issue content)... but it is.

It doesn't represent some timeless measure of liberalism - how could it? Instead, it measures how liberal you were relative to the field of candidates at the time.

No, the whole point of DW-NOMINATE is that it outputs scores that are intertemporally comparable. It's certainly true that you can't impute specific issue positions across long time spans -- you wouldn't want to make statements about Lincoln's position on social security from his score.

DW-NOMINATE iterates first over each individual congress and then globally iterates over the set of them together, so it explicitly compares people who aren't in the same Congress. In concrete terms, this is actually pretty easy for Nixon, since he served with many long-serving Senators. Comparing him to Lindsey Graham in particular is easy; the positions Nixon took were very unlike the votes cast by Ted Kennedy and dissimilar to, but less so, those cast by Byrd. And since Graham served with both Byrd and Kennedy, we can directly compare his voting record to theirs, and by doing so compare Graham's voting record to the positions taken by Nixon. And this is exactly what DW-NOMINATE does.

The difference between now and then is not that Nixon was actually liberal. It's that some specific positions or actions map differently onto a liberal-conservative dimension than they would have in 1972.

(1) Though you could also torture DW-NOMINATE itself into doing this for you, if you really wanted to and had some time to burn.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


> The difference between now and then is not that Nixon was actually liberal. It's that some specific positions or actions map differently onto a liberal-conservative dimension than they would have in 1972.

I'll concede that - let me phrase it this way: "Richard Nixon was not at all a liberal by the standards of 1972, but his positions and actions were very often to the left of Mr. Obama's contemporary positions and actions."

This to me is a sign of a massive move to the right. Am I wrong?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:05 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most of us don't show up to vote because we dislike both the Republican and the Democratic candidates, they seem indistinguishable, it all seems disingenuous, and feel like we are going to get fucked regardless. It's VERY VERY hard for me to vote on a local level because of this.

As a woman, they absolutely do not seem indistinguishable to me. While I appreciate your point, I really, really wish that guys (and it's almost always guys) would stop perpetuating this myth that the two parties are the same, because then it becomes a thing, and then a lot of people - like yourself - don't go out and vote because of it.

I like having autonomy over my body. I like not being penalized for any birth control choices I may make. I like when politicians take things that women are disproportionately affected by (such as rape and sexual assault) seriously. I like seeing steps taken towards equality in the workplace. I like when people make a deliberate effort to give women a voice.

In fact, it seems pretty clear to me that when it comes to these issues (and they're big ones for me personally) we actually aren't fucked, regardless. There is a huge world of difference between the Democrats and the GOP when it comes to women's issues. And the differences are in ways that actually really matter in my day-to-day life (as well as the lives of millions of other women).
posted by triggerfinger at 10:08 AM on April 14, 2015 [23 favorites]


Look at the actual issues Republicans campaign on. Look at the actual things they vote for in legislatures from Indiana to DC and the actual things they do.

'Risking a loss' is divorcing the reality of their effects and abstracting this whole thing into a theoretical exercise. It's not theoretical. Would a Republican president have vetoed Keystone XL? Would a Republican president veto however many more repeals of ACA the wingnuts are going to attempt (and could succeed at passing after the next election)? Would a Republican president have directed his SG to make arguments in favour of SSM at SCOTUS? Would a Republican president have put Sotomayor on the bench? Would a Republican president have negotiated with Iran, or would he (it'll be a he) have said "Let's roll"? Would a Republican president ever say that climate change is real? Would a Republican president support or veto tax cuts for the wealthy?

Reducing this to a game of competing teams is a huge part of the problem. False equivalency--they're both awful--really neatly elides how spectacularly awful one party is on just about every issue there is.

on preview, no point in continuing this comment bc triggerfinger nailed it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:10 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Clintonomics: What do we know about candidate Clinton's economic policy views?
The best place to start is an occasionally gushing, but nonetheless illuminating assessment by Jared Bernstein. He emphasises Clinton's wonkiness: she has expert knowledge of policy-relevant data. He thinks she is more sceptical of free trade agreements than her husband was - which may also put her to the left of President Obama, whose trade policy she faithfully executed as his secretary of state. Albert Hunt's column also defies the conventional wisdom that Clinton is more conservative than Obama, at least on domestic policy. Both in health and financial regulation, he writes, Clinton has in the past taken the more liberal position.

On broad economic issues, most commentators join The Economist in scratching their heads, many simply referring to the recent report on inclusive prosperity [pdf] from the Center for American Progress (CAP), written by Lawrence Summers (who was, of course, Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary) and UK shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Clinton has a long association with the CAP [founded by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] (its president Neera Tanden is a long-time Clinton adviser) and no doubt shares many of the ideas it promotes. The report advances a moderately progressive agenda with a focus on education, mobility and efforts to raise market wages for the poor, rather than redistributive tax policies. (Though it should be noted that Summers recently publicly criticised another research group close to the Clintons, the Hamilton Project, for its narrow emphasis on skills and education, arguing for more traditional demand-boosting and redistribution policies as well.) On low wages it is fair to surmise that Clinton is well aware of the overwhelming evidence that raising them is good for productivity.
This Report Has the Most Clues to Hillary Clinton's Economic Plan
Among [CAP's] proposals: higher taxes on the wealthy through the elimination of exemptions and deductions that disproportionately benefit the rich, and curbs on CEO compensation by limiting the tax deduction a company could take for stock options for its top executive unless they are expanded to include most employees.

The commission also called for significantly increasing the time between when options are granted and when they can be exercised and for limiting the amount that can be exercised at any given time.

Unions would gain power through changes in collective bargaining, including faster elections to determine union representation and increased protection from employer retaliation against workers trying to organize. The commission opposes state-level obstacles to unions, including recent legislation in Republican-led Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana to restrict collective bargaining by public employees.

The commission backs a big tax cut for the middle class, with households earning up to $95,000 a year benefiting. The tax reduction would remain in place until income stagnation is overcome. Another potentially expensive proposal is the expansion of national service programs to help the young get work experience during times of high unemployment.

It also supports a number of proposals that President Barack Obama championed but failed to get through Congress. They include a higher minimum wage, increased spending on roads, bridges and other infrastructure -- $100 billion per year over 10 years is the report’s recommendation -- and guaranteed financial support for an education at a public four-year college or community college...

The report also recommends some financial sector reforms -- stronger regulation of shadow banking, for instance, and tougher sanctions for financial misconduct. But it doesn’t come down hard on Wall Street.
krugman: "the influence of big money on Democrats has at least eroded a bit, now that Wall Street, furious over regulations and modest tax hikes, has deserted the party en masse."

Here's how Hillary Clinton plans to raise tons of campaign money
There are at least three fundraising groups known as super-PACs already dedicated to supporting Clinton’s campaign: Ready for Hillary, Priorities USA Action and American Bridge 21st Century. Many others will no doubt line up behind her over the next 20 months. The list of Clinton’s possible big-money donors is a long one, but here are five reliable sources of money that will probably form the core of Clinton’s fundraising network:

Lawyers. Law firms have been Clinton’s single biggest source of funds, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, contributing $23 million to her as a senator and another $16.5 million to her 2008 presidential bid. Firms whose employees donate the most: DLA Piper ($1.1 million in total donations to Clinton's various campaigns), Skadden Arps ($626,950), Greenberg Traurig ($466,300) and Kirkland & Ellis ($489,182). All of those firms lobby for corporate clients or have in the past.

Wall Street. When Clinton was a senator from 2001 to 2009, 5 of her 10 biggest funding sources were Wall Street banks: Citigroup (No. 1 with $782,327 in donations), Goldman Sachs (2, $711,490), J.P. Morgan Chase (4, $620,919), Morgan Stanley (6, $543,065) and the now-defunct Lehman Brothers (9, $362,853). Donors from the securities industry overall contributed $11 million to Sen. Clinton. Wall Street CEOs who have helped fund her past campaigns include Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and James Gorman of Morgan Stanley. They may have soured on Democrats since Clinton was in the Senate, due to aggressive new banking regulations rolled out under Obama. But they may also see Clinton as friendlier toward the financial industry than the current president.

Unions. Though in decline, labor unions are still huge campaign contributors, and most support Democrats. Clinton can count on support from top donors such as the Service Employees International Union ($23.4 million donated to Democratic candidates in 2014), the American Federation of Teachers ($19.4 million), the Carpenters & Joiners Union ($16.2 million) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($10.9 million).

Tom Steyer & Friends. The California hedge-fund manager and Democratic activist has become America’s single-biggest individual campaign donor, with $74 million in contributions in 2014 alone, all of it to Democratic and liberal causes. Steyer has supported Clinton in the past and most likely will again. Other wealthy donors who support Democrats and may very well bankroll Clinton: Chicago entrepreneur Fred Eychaner ($9.7 million donated to Democratic causes in 2014), hedge funders James Simons ($8.2 million) and George Soros ($3.8 million), LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman ($1.1 million), DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg ($756,800), and John Doerr ($1.2 million), the Kleiner, Perkins venture capitalist who was a controversial figure in the recent Ellen Pao trial.

Women’s groups. Clinton is the top recipient, after Obama, of money donated since 1990 by groups advocating for women’s issues. The biggest such group is EMILY’s List, which funds pro-choice candidates and has been a big Clinton backer, giving her $7.5 million during her career as a politician.
posted by kliuless at 10:19 AM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sure, I understand what you're saying. You're not willing to risk the "-10" score you get from the Republicans, and would rather take the "-3" score you get from the Democrats.

That's definitely a strategy, but don't try to delude yourself that this is going to fix the issues of our age, the ones they'll talk about in future history books - climate change, increasing income inequity, the endless foreign wars, the surveillance state - because it is not.

By declaring out of the gate that you will vote for the Democrats no matter what, you rob yourself of any possible leverage you might have with them. What possible reason do they have to care about what you think, as long as you hold your nose and vote for them?

For the last 30 years or so, Republicans would rather lose than vote in a candidate who wasn't on message for them. It seems to me that this strategy has worked extremely well for them.

I feel that we're again back to "fixing these issues is now impossible". If you do not believe this is the case, I welcome some sort of plausible scenario where America deals with the issues above in some sort of reasonable and adult fashion.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:28 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


This to me is a sign of a massive move to the right. Am I wrong?

Yes, because looking at one issue or a few issues is inherently less informative than looking at all issues together, including a whole mass of issues whose mapping to a liberal-conservative scale seems to have been pretty consistent.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, I understand what DW-NOMINATE scores mean. I've read the underlying articles about the methods it uses, more times than I care to count because of the number of times I've had to teach it. I've used it, its cross-sectional analogue, and competing (and arguably more straightforward) item-response models to estimate ideal points. I've co-authored published, peer-reviewed articles that use analogous techniques in a cross-sectional setting to create common-space ideal points for legislators in different states.(1)

Looks like somebody just done got schooled, son.
posted by jonp72 at 10:47 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm all in favor of nurturing third parties. The issue, in my opinion, is that a Presidential election is the wrong time to take a stand for a third party, for all the reasons that have been stated repeatedly in this thread. There is simply no way for a Jill Stein or a Winona LaDuke or whomever to gain the sort of national notoriety and broad presence necessary to compete in a national election, or even to garner enough votes to open up public election funding in future elections.

Nader was able to make a splash in 2000 because he'd been a well-known national figure for more than 20 years (and, as someone pointed out upthread, his affiliation with the Green Party was little more than a means to an end), and Perot was able to make a splash because he's an insane billionaire who managed to force his way into the spotlight. Most third-party candidates simply don't have those resources or name recognition.

Third parties need to be built from the ground up. Get some socialists on the school boards, get some Green Party mayors or aldersmen. Let them build up respect and notoriety on the local level, and move up from there -- state legislatures, the House of Representatives maybe, or the governor's mansion. The only way that a third-party candidate is ever going to have a shot on the national level is if he or she is a career politician with a verifiable record, strong fundraising ability (until the campaign finance system is reformed), and is easily recognizable to the public. That's the only way that the conversation about third-party candidates will ever move from "Who?" to "Well, what are her views on the issues?"

Still, however, be careful what you wish for. What happens if the Green Party expands and is successful to the point that it has a viable candidate in every Presidential election? The country is still basically 46% left-of-center and 46% right-of-center, so if there are two left-of-center candidates and one right-of-center candidates, the left-of-center candidates will always split the vote and the right-of-center candidate will always win.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:23 AM on April 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


jonp72:
> Looks like somebody just done got schooled, son.

Not at all. (I'm likely older than you, by the way, so perhaps "son" isn't really a respectful manner of address?)

Here's the essence of the counter-argument provided:

ROU_Xenophobe:
> DW-NOMINATE iterates first over each individual congress and then globally iterates over the set of them together, so it explicitly compares people who aren't in the same Congress.

But that exposes the essential fallacy of the metric - it assumes that individual's political positions stay the same over their lives, which is manifestly not the case - remember, we're talking about Hillary here, yes?

Let's take the following simple example. Imagine a two-party system where a lawmaker's left/rightness is scored as a number between 0 and 100. At the beginning, the D's are all at 0, and the R's are at 30. Both D and R get a "perfect" DW-NOMINATE score, because they always vote together on issues.

Now suppose that both Ds and Rs move 2 points to the right every year. 30 years later, the Ds are at 60, and the Rs at 90. The Ds are now far to the right of where the Rs started. But everyone still gets a "perfect" DW-NOMINATE, because everyone's always voted lockstep every time.

You have apparently done a great deal of work with DW-NOMINATE and I'd believe that this is a pretty standard argument, so you might have some more information here, of course. But, well, I'm paid to do a good job on puzzles. Figuring out whether a representative is "objectively" more left or right depends on an "objective" metric of left or rightness for each vote, which can't exist. And any "relative to others" metric will fail to some variation of the "universal translation of data points" argument I present above.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:23 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


And really - if your numbers tell you that America is more left-wing than ever, you should check your numbers.

As a random example, in the 90s, there was the concept of the "Peace Dividend" - that there would be economic benefits to less defense spending. Can you imagine any mainstream Democrat proposing this idea in 2015? But the leaders who popularized this slogan were George H. W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher!

Since 1972 we've seen the destruction of unions. We've seen the anti-war movement going from a vital force to being completely marginalized and despised. The whole idea of a Just Society has been lost; the whole idea of the welfare state reviled; worker protections eviscerated; securities regulations flouted (remember that the Milken et al prosecutions happened under Reagan); pollution protections steadily eroded (with some victories there, thank Goodness, but overall we've lost); and the new challenge of climate change (another pollution issue) basically unaddressed; and then there's of course the jail/surveillance state and the militarization of the police.

Again this we have better health care and gay rights. Worthy accomplishments, very much so, but they can't disguise that the last 30 years have basically been a rout for the left.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:47 AM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


We can have some confidence that both parties aren't moving to the right in a way that would be difficult to pick up through voting because the structure of Congress and of the federal government means that votes on highly comparable issues are repeated across time, most obviously reauthorization of existing programs. It's certainly true that nominate doesn't know that this vote to reauthorize a HUD or DoE program should be connected to the previous reauthorization votes; all it sees is a matrix of 1s and 0s and blanks. But if both parties were really marching to the right, then reauthorization votes of liberalish programs would cease to be partisan, would pit all Republicans and most Democrats against the left tail of the Democrats, and the programs would fail to be reauthorized. AFAIK this hasn't been happening.

You can also look at survey responses or other public positions taken by MCs. Right now I'm finishing a paper that looks at responses to Project Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test, which in part asks Representatives to state their preferred levels of spending and taxation across a pretty wide array of issues, using a simple 6-point scale. They're only meaningfully available from 1994 to 2006, but during that time the results aren't consistent with both parties moving to the right. Both parties become more supportive of defense spending, yes, but both parties also become more supportive of (or less opposed to) welfare spending, and more supportive of taxing wealthy families, and more supportive of education spending, and less supportive of law-enforcement spending. And a few issues where the parties are moving in opposite directions or one is moving while the other isn't. But 7 observations is not much of a time series.

And really - if your numbers tell you that America is more left-wing than ever, you should check your numbers.

They don't say that. They say that since the 1970s, northern Democrats' voting patterns haven't moved, southern Democrats have moved a little to the left (mostly there are just fewer R's-in-D's-clothing), and Republicans' voting patterns have drunkenly wandered off to unexplored regions on the conservative side of the scale.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


There is simply no way for a Jill Stein or a Winona LaDuke or whomever to gain the sort of national notoriety and broad presence necessary to compete in a national election, or even to garner enough votes to open up public election funding in future elections.

I'd also like to add that LaDuke endorsed Kerry for President in 2004, not Nader, her former running mate. That should tell you something about how former third-party candidates themselves have considerable doubts about a third-party strategy. Please note also that Bernie Sanders has an extensive background in third-parties as a candidate of the Liberty Union and Socialist Parties, but he too has chosen to run under the Democratic Party banner. Third parties have some great candidates, but even many of them are aware of very significant structural barriers that prevent any third party from winning.
posted by jonp72 at 12:24 PM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


By declaring out of the gate that you will vote for the Democrats no matter what, you rob yourself of any possible leverage you might have with them.

But I'm not engaging in a dialogue with the DNC here (or a polling firm or a news outlet or a community organizer or Clinton herself), I'm talking with other Mefites. I'm telling you the truth, that--given the information I have today--I dearly hope that the Ds will be more successful than the Rs in getting out the vote 573 days from now. Who do you think I should be bluffing to about that at this stage, for leverage? To y'all? Would that be "deluding myself" less?

More importantly, who are some of the potential third-party presidential candidates that any non-Republican should be watching and considering rallying support for instead?
posted by argonauta at 12:29 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> highly comparable issues are repeated across time, most obviously reauthorization of existing programs.

Not so. A reauthorization of an existing program can be very much to the left or the left depending on the funding.

For example, during the Clinton Administration funding for public housing fell $17 billion while funding for corrections rose $19 billion (source). As far as I know, no reauthorization votes failed during that time, but this is a huge move to the right by any "left/right" criteria I know.

> But if both parties were really marching to the right, then reauthorization votes of liberalish programs would cease to be partisan, would pit all Republicans and most Democrats against the left tail of the Democrats, and the programs would fail to be reauthorized.

But programs rarely fail to be reauthorized at any time - so how is this any sort of signal? "This thing that rarely happens, continues to rarely happen."

Looking at "left" favorable programs, very few of them have actually failed to be reauthorized, but many of them have received brutal cuts, while right wing programs such as Homeland Security have received vast sums of money - by the time the next President takes office, the US will likely have spent over a trillion dollars on Homeland Security alone. (A trillion is a lot of money - if I spent a million a day, it'd take me almost 3000 years to spend a trillion...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:33 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> As a woman, they absolutely do not seem indistinguishable to me.

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I was referring to the specific candidates where I have been. You are absolutely correct, of course. And informed voters will be aware of these issues and where the candidates stand... Most of the time, it will at least be a clear division over this one INCREDIBLY important issue.

As far as my specific complaints -- Just keep in mind that not every democrat runs on a pro-choice platform. The prior state senator for my region (not to be confused with our Federal senate) - who ran and won as a democrat - voted AGAINST womens rights every single time the issues came up within the state senate, on record. This last election, he was unseated by his Republican challenger -- but they literally had the exact same stances. There have literally been times where they ARE indistinguishable!

My frustation also comes from their reluctance to be extremely vocal on the things that ARE different, and the feeling of "that didn't work, let's march more towards the right." All of the campaign materials we had locally emphasized things that were more brazen attempts to court the right as opposed to fundamental issues like womens rights and marriage equality. I'd argue that the Democrats themselves are perpetuating the myth that they are the same. For another good example, look at how so many of them distanced themselves from Obama this last election cycle. Another losing strategy.

I certainly don't feel that the parties are the same now, and as I've stated many times above - you will see me vote strongly for the person who I believe will enact the most positive change every time, even if it's only a sliver of improvement.

I can't shake fear that things are going to end up looking more like the "present" republican party vs. the tea partiers as the democrats continue the rightward drift. They still won't be the same if that happens, and we could very well find ourselves voting for the lesser of two evils again, while forgetting that what we have as options now ever WERE options.

Honestly, I'm probably letting many of my local frustrations spill over into the national platform.

My only point is that I feel like there are better gains to be had by embracing the democratic core values across the board than trying to reach across the aisle in an attempt to "convert" republican votes. If there's a single issue that is actually matching what I expect from the party, you bet your ass I'll vote based on that issue. And I certainly don't feel like the parties are the same -- but I feel like there is a really problematic rightward shift. I'm not asking for a dramatic leftward shift -- just not to leave behind the ideals form the basis of the party, and certainly not to drift more and more right wing. If they keep overcorrecting, what I describe above regarding the Republican vs Tea Party is not only possible, it's inevitable.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:37 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


But that exposes the essential fallacy of the metric - it assumes that individual's political positions stay the same over their lives, which is manifestly not the case

No, it can fit a linear trend term for anyone who served in at least five Congresses. Some longtime members end up with constant estimates but I don't recall offhand how the algorithm determines that (or whether Keith just manually selects some members to be the fixed points the others shift around).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2015


As a random example, in the 90s, there was the concept of the "Peace Dividend" - that there would be economic benefits to less defense spending. Can you imagine any mainstream Democrat proposing this idea in 2015? But the leaders who popularized this slogan were George H. W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher!

The link that you provide as evidence is the Wikipedia page for the term "peace dividend." You seem to view this as airtight proof of the spinelessness of post-Clinton Administration liberals, but I'm afraid the link doesn't mean what you think it means. For one thing, the Wikipedia entry provides absolutely zero evidence that either Bush Sr. or Thatcher popularized the term "peace dividend." In addition, just because somebody uses the term "peace dividend," that doesn't mean they are in favor of reducing defense spending. And even if they are in favor of reducing defense spending, that doesn't prove that they are in favor of shifting government funding from defense spending to discretionary social programs.

In fact, when I look on Google Books, it appears that the term "peace dividend" was already in use before the end of the Cold War to refer to an anticipated reduction in defense spending after the Vietnam War. Here's a link to a quote I found in Lawrence Malkin's 1987 book The National Debt:

When the Vietnam War was over in 1975, defense spending in noninflated dollars had settled back to $68 billion, exactly the same as it had been a decade before. But the peace dividend that was supposed to be waiting was no longer there.


Please note that Malkin was a fiscal hawk, and he did not view the peace dividend as an opportunity to expand social spending. Similarly, the Cato Institute released a report in 1990 called America's Peace Dividend: Income Tax Reductions from the New Strategic Realities.

Your historical evidence here is as slipshod and threadbare as the evidence for Nixonian "liberalism."
posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> But I'm not engaging in a dialogue with the DNC here (or a polling firm or a news outlet or a community organizer or Clinton herself), I'm talking with other Mefites.

In a public forum, read by hundreds of thousands. And I get exactly the same message on my Facebook and on every other "liberal" medium - "Hillary is the candidate. We must all rally around Hillary as a candidate and suggesting anything else will result in the Republicans winning."

But the reverse is true. This is the time for people to put her feet to the fire. This is the time to suggest that you might support a different candidate at least in the primaries if Ms. Clinton doesn't move to the left. And are you really so dead that no conceivable primary candidate, even one you haven't heard of, could ever possibly eclipse Ms. Clinton?

In any such game, whether it's negotiating your salary or dating or playing poker, announcing your exact intentions at the very start destroys your bargaining position.

But progressives have done this for generations, told the Democrats that they'd support them no matter what, and the results have uniformly been dreadful for them.

This idea that we can't possibly question any of this "because President Cruz" is bullshit. This is the time to ask tough questions. If we can't ask them now, when will we get to ask them in what you imagine are the next nine years and change of Hillary?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:51 PM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


> Your historical evidence here is as slipshod and threadbare as the evidence for Nixonian "liberalism."

Again, knock off the rudeness, hmm?

20 years ago, even "right wing" leaders would talk about reducing the military budget even though they didn't actually do it. Now no Democrat or Republican even talks about it at all. This is a big loss for the left, and pointing out that the term "peace dividend" predates Bush I is irrelevant.

I had a long list of other leftist defeats since then in the same comment - and let me add another, that it seems today unlikely that we'll ever again see effective tax rates on the 1% anywhere near as high as they were at their lowest in the Reagan administration.

Basically, if you look at everything that was on the left's agenda in the US in 1972, they made negative progress on absolutely everything except gender rights. In "new business" they scored a win on health, but big losses on other huge new issues - climate change, income inequality (though you can argue that that's not really new), the militarization of the police and the security state.

It seems like a near-universal rout for the left, a near universal win for the right. Claiming that the US hasn't moved at all, or that it has moved toward the left, seem contrary to the fact.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


But I'm not saying and have never said "Hillary is the candidate!" or "because President Cruz" or anything like it, seriously:
"...[not voting] is what I was specifically responding to, very different in my mind than rallying for a non-presumptive candidate, especially between now and the primaries, and not letting any frontrunner off easy on their specific policy positions and the importance of those issues in this election. I may have been fast-forwarding too much to the inevitability of a two-way race, separate from Hillary's specific credentials, but I sure hope we end up with the strongest possible candidate on the Democratic side."
I am 100% open to supporting a non-Hillary candidate in the primaries AND in the general, and yep, even one that I've never heard of. I do not consider her nomination a fait accompli or that questioning/wishing/voting otherwise is some kind of betrayal. Quite the opposite: I think that vocal, passionate debate and relentless pressure on BOTH parties' agendas is vitally important. I'm sure that you do see lots of "Hillary or shut up" messages on Facebook, but that ain't me and it ain't all of us. It's possible to be a non-Hillarist today and still dearly hope that the Ds will be more successful than the Rs in getting out the vote 573 days from now. I just can't get behind opting out altogether as a "less deluded" strategy for fixing the issues of our age.

(I do still honeslty want to know who some of the lesser-known contenders are that I should be watching.)
posted by argonauta at 1:38 PM on April 14, 2015


Let's be honest, though. We know the Democrats on the national stage. And while it's possible that someone could magically appear out of the woodwork, it's pretty unlikely. Obama was a known commodity in 2008 and had been discussed as a potential presidential candidate since his 2004 keynote address at the convention. Bill Clinton basically came out of nowhere in 1992, but that was pre-internet and pretty early in the 24-hour news cycle days. It seems pretty unlikely that Hillary will have any real competition from someone we don't already know.

And I just don't see voting for anyone else in the primary based on the current slate. Martin O'Malley was my governor for years, and while he's a smart guy and, in my opinion, a good politician (although many Marylanders disagree), he's just too green for national office and, in any event, isn't starkly to the left of Hillary. I don't expect much out of Webb or Chafee. And while a Bernie Sanders run would be interesting (and could make for watchable debates), I don't think anyone would really take his candidacy seriously. All of the real rising stars of the Democratic party have chosen to keep their powder dry and sit this one out.

So yeah, I would certainly consider voting for a more progressive candidate in the primary, to keep Hillary honest, but who?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:51 PM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I just can't get behind opting out altogether as a "less deluded" strategy for fixing the issues of our age.

And I agree with that.

Of course, since most of us don't live in swing states, we do have a rational strategy that works extremely - vote third party. We live in New York State - our D vote would have literally no impact at all. Voting Green Party in New York States has a huge effect, if only to point out to the D candidate that there are votes on the left that are being left on the table.

> Martin O'Malley was my governor for years, and while he's a smart guy and, in my opinion, a good politician (although many Marylanders disagree), he's just too green for national office

He spent seven years as the governor! How is he "greener" than Mr. Obama was? Heck, Clinton had only two more years' political experience than O'Malley when he was elected; Carter had less political experience.

> and, in any event, isn't starkly to the left of Hillary.

But he is to the left of Hillary... and if running against Hillary, he'd be forced to define himself as further to the left, hmm?

> So yeah, I would certainly consider voting for a more progressive candidate in the primary, to keep Hillary honest, but who?

You just named four possible candidates for this. If your goal is to keep Hillary honest, they don't have to mimic your views entirely, you don't have even to support them in the primaries - just send them a few $ now, sign up for their mailing lists.

I don't see this happening en masse. The machine is in motion and it's Hillary all the way. But your contribution, your voice and your primary vote might make a difference and you certainly won't know if you don't try (and the cost is marginal).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:30 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Er, he said "no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention..."
posted by lupus_yonderboy

To intervene militarily also means arms and advisers, so, FDR then for OSS support of Vietmihn against the Japanese. We're in the heck do you get your history.
posted by clavdivs at 2:39 PM on April 14, 2015


If you want to change the structure of the entrenched electoral laws, you'd have to do it through a mass citizen movement on the scale of the Arab Spring or the Velvet Revolution.

By all means, what hashtag do I have to retweet to enable that?
posted by Apocryphon at 2:42 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Of course, since most of us don't live in swing states, we do have a rational strategy that works extremely - vote third party. We live in New York State - our D vote would have literally no impact at all. Voting Green Party in New York States has a huge effect, if only to point out to the D candidate that there are votes on the left that are being left on the table.

As a Marylander, all I can say is beware of this strategy. Maryland is (supposedly) a solidly blue state, but during the last election, the polls were just plain wrong and we ended up with a Republican governor. Every state is potentially a swing state. (Although yes, you're probably safe in New York.)

He spent seven years as the governor! How is he "greener" than Mr. Obama was? Heck, Clinton had only two more years' political experience than O'Malley when he was elected; Carter had less political experience.

While I've been happy with Obama, I think his inexperience has been a problem. I fought against all those who said he was inexperienced and naive, but now I think there was something to that criticism. I think that going in with the viewpoint that he was going to "change the tone" in Washington and bring back a culture of bipartisanship turned out to be a mistake. One of the things I like about Hillary is that she knows better than almost anyone how the system works, and could be an LBJ-style arm-twister to get stuff done.

If you saw O'Malley's speech at the 2012 convention, you can immediately see that he doesn't have the same poise or skill as Obama had in 2004. I think that, on the campaign trail, he will come off as a lightweight. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

You just named four possible candidates for this. If your goal is to keep Hillary honest, they don't have to mimic your views entirely, you don't have even to support them in the primaries - just send them a few $ now, sign up for their mailing lists.

I'll keep my options open, for sure. I'm just saying that I don't think any of Hillary's competition in the primaries is serious enough to influence the way she would otherwise run a campaign. Again, I may be wrong, but that's my sense right now.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:49 PM on April 14, 2015


This article from Mother Jones is more bullish on O'Malley than I am, but it makes good points. I definitely agree that, whether Hillary gets the nomination or not, and whether I plan to vote for her in the primary or not, there needs to be a real competition in the primaries in order for the D side of the ticket not to get stale.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:52 PM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


clavdivs: "Er, he said "no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention...""

Double negatives in English mean the same as the positive: "Every Democrat has started..."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:42 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, semantics. So, which Democrat did start a foreign intervention before Wilson?
posted by clavdivs at 4:02 PM on April 14, 2015


Again, knock off the rudeness, hmm?

20 years ago, even "right wing" leaders would talk about reducing the military budget even though they didn't actually do it. Now no Democrat or Republican even talks about it at all. This is a big loss for the left, and pointing out that the term "peace dividend" predates Bush I is irrelevant.


Dude, your historical research was based on linking to a Wikipedia page, which didn't even have sourcing for the claims you made. You're constantly moving the goalposts here so you can promote a narrative about how the Democratic Party has always betrayed "the left," when your own evidence doesn't support what you claim it does. In addition, you're doubling down on an empirically false claim that the Democratic Party and Republican Party are both moving equally rightward, which ROU_Xenophobe has already done a good job of refuting. You can't just respond to losing an argument by just throwing up your hands and saying, "Well, you're just a big meanie."
posted by jonp72 at 4:13 PM on April 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ah, semantics. So, which Democrat did start a foreign intervention before Wilson?

Polk.

But, um, "no Democrat has not started a foreign military intervention since before Wilson."
posted by Sys Rq at 4:23 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn Whigs.
posted by clavdivs at 5:54 PM on April 14, 2015


Woo, I misread a double negative which suprised me only in misreading and thinking Lupus would support the claim "no democrat has started a military intervention since Wilson" my bad on reading but no reason to be to fighty now folks.
So yes, a non democrat has started a militarly intervention before Wilson.
posted by clavdivs at 6:02 PM on April 14, 2015


Ah, semantics. So, which Democrat did start a foreign intervention before Wilson?

jefferson davis
posted by pyramid termite at 6:24 PM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]




O'Malley is lacking in the requisite charisma and comes off as phony. There's no love lost for him in Maryland despite the fact that he's a local who spends his free time playing in an Irish rock band and he managed to pass same-sex marriage and ban the death penalty during his term. Somehow he still has the smell of rotten cheese and failure about him. I doubt he'll be able to garner enough support to send a gentle leftward breeze toward Hillary, let alone shove her that way.

Hard to explain but you'll all be feeling it soon enough.
posted by sallybrown at 7:50 PM on April 14, 2015


Make your own words in the Hillary typeface.
posted by blueberry at 8:05 PM on April 14, 2015


jonp72 noted You're constantly moving the goalposts here so you can promote a narrative about how the Democratic Party has always betrayed "the left," when your own evidence doesn't support what you claim it does

Show me this 'goalpost moving' jonp72. I would like to see it. lupus' positions have been clear throught each of his statements.

In addition, you're doubling down on an empirically false claim that the Democratic Party and Republican Party are both moving equally rightward, which ROU_Xenophobe has already done a good job of refuting.

A: I see no doubling down on ANY such claim about "equal movement rightward". Again, show me the quote.
Besides: whatever the magnitude of rightward drift is, lupus' conclusions hold. If there is rightward drift in from both parties, by voting for the less rightward drifting party, you are merely slowing rightward drift.

jonp72: You are making demonstrably false statements about lupus_yonderboy's positions and arguing in bad faith.
posted by lalochezia at 8:58 PM on April 14, 2015




posted by pyramid termite at 9:24 PM on April 14

Come now PT, you have been around long enough to see when we joke but Davis. That was an internal matter and not subject to the term "Foreign". I am shocked at the loss of hilitarly and satire amongst our fellow politicians. shocked and besmirched. Mortified. Gotta smoke?
posted by clavdivs at 10:07 PM on April 14, 2015


We may have an early winner in the Hillary Sexism Bingo: don't elect her because she is hideous, ugly, old, frumpy, angry and more. (I won't link to the original hate-filled screed.)
posted by madamjujujive at 4:45 AM on April 15, 2015


Show me this 'goalpost moving' jonp72. I would like to see it. lupus' positions have been clear throught each of his statements.

lupus_yonderboy made a claim that the "peace dividend" was a concept originated by George H.W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher. I showed that it most definitely was not. His read-between-the-lines implication was that Obama is effectively to the right of Bush, Sr. and Thatcher, which is at best highly debatable and at worst completely at odds with the evidence in yonderboy's own thread. This is what I'm talking about when I say moving the goalposts: this insistence that "Ha, ha, you proved me wrong, but don't you know that you proving me wrong proves me right? Ha ha!"

A: I see no doubling down on ANY such claim about "equal movement rightward". Again, show me the quote.

Ya see, there's this thing called context. Yonderboy's statements throughout are a common variation of the theme that "the Democratic and Republican parties are the same" or that any ideological distinction between the two parties is a distinction without a meaningful difference. Yonderboy could come back and say that the Republicans have moved farther to the right than the Democrats, but then that would completely contradict his original premise that the parties are the same. Besides, this assertion of yonderboy has been completely contradicted by ROU_Xenophobe's political science evidence and the bulk of the political science literature about how the ideological changes in both parties are consistent with asymmetric polarization with an extreme rightward tilt to the Republicans. I might not be up on the latest political science literature as ROU_Xenophobe, but I do know a little bit, and the evidence was already there as early as the 1990s to show that ideological distances between the two parties were increasing and that most of it was driven by the extreme rightward movement of the Democrats. This is completely at odds with the common leftist lament that "the two parties are the same."

Finally, don't accuse me of bad faith when yonderboy changes his point every time I try to refute his point.
posted by jonp72 at 6:26 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


most of it was driven by the extreme rightward movement of the Democrats.

You meant to type Republicans here, I think.
posted by bardophile at 6:32 AM on April 15, 2015


most of it was driven by the extreme rightward movement of the Democrats.

You meant to type Republicans here, I think.


Indeed.
posted by jonp72 at 7:21 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The real lesson to take from Hillary Clinton for progressives is that no one should see a president as the person who will solve their problems. If we wanted somewhere better than Hillary to run, we should have organized to move the party to the left. We haven’t, and if Hillary hadn’t run, the likely frontrunner would be one Andrew Cuomo, a politician far worse than Hillary. If progressives push her to the left through consistent organization, she’ll swing left. If she feels more pressure from Republicans, she’ll swing right. This shouldn’t be all that hard to figure out, yet it constantly surprises us how politics actually work in this nation.

Erik Loomis, All the Hillaries
posted by jonp72 at 7:47 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Hiliary sexism bingo." What a catchy phrase, keep that one going folks.
posted by clavdivs at 8:07 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we wanted somewhere better than Hillary to run, we should have organized to move the party to the left. We haven’t...

There was Occupy and RootStrikers and so forth, and there's been all manner of local campainging (some successful) for marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage. There's been a big show of support for Elizabeth Warren, who won't run for President, and for Bernie Sanders, who might. I think as a people, we have demonstrated that there's a big hungry mass of political will that's left of where the Democratic Party is now.

How can it be demonstrated more strongly, compared to the centrist pull of Wall Street money? Except maybe for saying "you have failed to represent me, and I'm voting for a progressive candidate whether they're on your ticket or not."
posted by Foosnark at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


How can it be demonstrated more strongly, compared to the centrist pull of Wall Street money?

Vote in primaries. Organize people to vote in primaries. Donate money and time to preferred primary candidates. Form more-or-less formal organizations to do these things. Keep doing them for 20 years.

This is really not rocket science.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:16 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Keep doing them for 20 years.

There's the rub.

The Tea Party didn't take 20 years to exert its pressure on the GOP.
posted by Foosnark at 9:24 AM on April 15, 2015


The Tea Party is an creature of billionaire backers and FOX news, it doesn't really have an equivalent.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's amazing to me how little support Obama is getting from the left on the nuclear deal. The White House is basically acting on its own to try to prevent another war in the ME, and seemingly has little support from anyone, even many of Hillary's supporters. Seems like a good time for the left speak out against Democrats and Republicans trying to sabotage the deal, but they are mostly silent on it as far as I can tell.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Tea Party has been doing it since 1964, though they've changed names a few times. They have been a constant infection in the Republican party, and when W had screwed the pooch so solidly by 2008 that mainstream Republicanism didn't dare show its face, they claimed the mantle. Then, like Artw points out, the usual billionaires who want government contracts and not to pay taxes noticed them and decided they could be useful. But the ground troops have been working hard for much longer than 20 years.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:55 AM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't necessarily think voting for a progressive candidate is necessarily enough. I'm reminded of Audie Bock, who was the first Green Party candidate to be elected as a state legislator, but she eventually ended her relationship with the party after she took money from two oil companies in a futile attempt to get herself re-elected. Bock later re-registered as a Democrat and had even considered running to the right of Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, criticizing Lee for her lone vote against the war in Afghanistan. I don't think Audie Bock joined the Green Party or ran as a Green Party candidate, secretly thinking "I can't wait to be a sellout." However, she ended up that way, because she had no financially self-sustaining way to keep herself in office and remain true to Green Party ideals. That's why I think you can vote for Jill Stein all you want, but if by some miracle she does win the White House, she's going to get last-minute donations from Wall Street just like anybody else who has a plausible shot at the presidency. The point is not who sits at the desk in the Oval Office. The point is the source of the money that got them there. Until there is a way to propel somebody into the White House that does not involve any significant Wall Street contribution, you are not going to solve the structural issues at work here.
posted by jonp72 at 9:58 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


If Hillary hadn’t run, the likely frontrunner would be one Andrew Cuomo

This ... is probably true, and truly horrifying. Cuomo is our governor, and he's doing a great job of balancing our state budget on the backs of the poor, the disabled, and the school system.

I think he would make a great "centrist" candidate that the Republicans would *love* to work with, and the FSM save us if he's ever the Democratic nominee.

(And I'm proud of Ithaca for voting - with a supermajority, even - to override the state-imposed property tax caps so that the schools could keep reasonable funding levels. I like having decent schools, I think our teachers work hard and do a decent job, and if I'm happy paying eye-watering levels of property taxes to support that, I don't see why the State should forbid my county from asking us (collectively) to pay more.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:01 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


To concede a point, I'm pretty solidly a person who expects to vote for the Democratic party's candidate, but if Andrew Cuomo won the nomination, I'm not sure what I'd do.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:04 AM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


As far as I can tell, Andrew Cuomo is only a Democrat because it was the best way to take advantage of the immense political goodwill, and undoubtedly no small amount of connections, his father (dog rest his soul) left behind.

Can we bring Mario Cuomo back from the dead and put him in the race? This Mario Cuomo:
We Democrats believe in something else. We democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact, and we have more than once. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt lifted himself from his wheelchair to lift this nation from its knees — wagon train after wagon train — to new frontiers of education, housing, peace; the whole family aboard, constantly reaching out to extend and enlarge that family; lifting them up into the wagon on the way; blacks and Hispanics, and people of every ethnic group, and native Americans — all those struggling to build their families and claim some small share of America. For nearly 50 years we carried them all to new levels of comfort, and security, and dignity, even affluence. And remember this, some of us in this room today are here only because this nation had that kind of confidence. And it would be wrong to forget that. (src)
I want a presidential candidate to give stump speeches about the New Deal again.
posted by dis_integration at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Tea Party didn't take 20 years to exert its pressure on the GOP.

What are we asking: how to get someone elected president or how to influence a party? Because this whole question about shaping political parties started off from 'who you should vote for in the presidential election,' which is a fairly narrow question.

If the concern here is 'electing a president,' whether the Tea Party exerted pressure on the GOP as a whole isn't entirely germane, since it has failed to elect a Tea Party president, nor even have a Tea Party candidate win the presidential primary. It's unlikely that one will win the primary in 2016, from the polling I've seen so far, but possible. In 2020, maybe. Let's charitably say the Tea Party started in 2007: that's at best nine or ten years before a Tea Party president (2016), more likely at least thirteen (2020) or seventeen (2024), because of the advantage of incumbency. Again: at best, it will have taken the Tea Party close to a decade to elect a president of their choosing. A twenty-year timeline is not far off from that, given how infrequent presidential elections are.

But at the same time, I wouldn't start with the Tea Party in 2007. You might better start with the creation of Americans For Prosperity or and FreedomWorks -- organizations with deep ties to the Tea Party movement -- in 2004, because the Tea Party would not have achieved the success it's had without the support of external organizations. But even 2004 is probably too soon, because both of those organizations grew out of the dismantling of Citizens for a Sound Economy, which was founded by the Koch brothers in 1984. That's one example; there are others.

Both the ideological and organizational roots of the Tea Party go back far longer than the movement itself; people have been advocating for the same things the Tea Party supports for a long time. And not coincidentally, the Republican Party has been gradually moving rightward, and was doing that before the Tea Party movement. So if the question is 'how do you influence a political party,' the answer is, yes, money, effort, and time.
posted by cjelli at 10:32 AM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]




The White House is basically acting on its own to try to prevent another war in the ME, and seemingly has little support from anyone, even many of Hillary's supporters.
  • Here's what would really happen if the US bombed Iran
  • Striking Iran, then, wouldn't be Tom Cotton's "several-day" endeavor. It wouldn't stop Iran's nuclear program unless the United States committed to more or less permanent war with Iran, if it even did it then. And it would likely have devastating consequences for the US and its allies.
  • The three benefits of ending the U.S.'s cold war with Iran: "First, it could reduce American dependence on Saudi Arabia... It could empower the Iranian people vis-à-vis their repressive state... Finally, ending the cold war with Iran may make it easier to end the civil wars plaguing the Middle East."
also btw* [1,2,3]
-Elizabeth Warren Finally Speaks on Israel/Gaza, Sounds Like Netanyahu
-Hillary, Elizabeth Warren, and Israel: "Why Hillary Clinton's hawkish pro-Israel stance won't hurt her, even with the Democratic Party base."
-Why Rand Paul Matters: "his skepticism about the surveillance state, like his skepticism that U.S. military engagement is a corrective to seemingly every foreign circumstance, is a valuable contribution to the Senate (and will make life uncomfortable not only for many of his fellow Republican candidates but also for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton)."

---
*and further afield...
viz. A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation
cf. Ulysses goes to Washington: Political myopia and policy commitment devices
posted by kliuless at 11:24 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


So she's running on campaign finance reform? Should be very interesting to see what kind of transparency she insists on w/r/t donations.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:36 AM on April 15, 2015


The Tea Party is an creature of billionaire backers and FOX news, it doesn't really have an equivalent.

George Soros needs to become the man that the right-wing believes him to be.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


On her own Flickr account: Hillary on the campaign trail.
posted by Wordshore at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2015


“The First Great Debate: Amy Goodman Opens The Window,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 15 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 5:23 PM on April 15, 2015


Good Lord, I used to think Pierce was seeing ghosts when he talked about "brogressives having a crush on Rand Paul", but the twaddle that Scheer was spouting in that interview was insane. I had to check to see that it actually was the same Robert Scheer that I remembered.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by Artw at 6:11 PM on April 15, 2015


From the Pierce article:
And can I say that Ms. Sawant seems to have just a touch of Scott Brownitis in that she seems to believe her election was a little more of a world-historical moment than it actually was.
Being a Trotskyist who is not in Socialist Alternative (Sawant's party; if you know British far left politics, they're aligned with the group that used to be the Militant tendency over there) and not caring much for their particular brand of far left politics, can I just say that dude you have no fucking idea how bad Sawant and her group have this complex going on right now.

But yeah, leftists with delusions about Rand Paul need a good slapping. A Paul presidency would be awful, and the imperative would be opposition that would make Occupy look like a walk in the park.
posted by graymouser at 6:24 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


How Silicon Valley almost joined the Confederacy… and the Rand Paul speechwriter who probably wishes it had
Still, for some romantic diehards, the idea of a Silicon Valley that would support Wilkes Booth over Lincoln is an idea to be savored. One of those diehards is a man called Jack “Southern Avenger” Hunter, author of “John Wilkes Booth Was Right,” and former chairman of the Charleston, South Carolina chapter of the extreme-right League of the South.

More importantly, Hunter is a close associate of Senator Rand Paul, the presidential wannabe who has announced plans to open an office in Silicon Valley in order to attract tech money for his own campaign.

How close? In 2011, Hunter co-wrote Sen. Rand Paul’s first book, “The Tea Party Goes To Washington”, published in 2011. He also served as Sen. Paul’s head of social media, and was the Ron Paul 2012 campaign’s main blogger when Rand’s dad ran for president.

In 2013, the Washington Free Beacon was first to reveal that Hunter “spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist.” Stunningly, as the Huffington Post reported, Rand Paul stood by his “Southern Avenger,” before later allowing him to resign on his own.

Still, as others pointed out, Hunter was hardly the first neo-Confederate on Rand Paul’s staff. In 2010, Rand Paul’s senate campaign spokesman, Chris Hightower, resigned after a Kentucky blogger found all sorts of racist gibberish on his MySpace page. In fact, Rand Paul’s own “Suggestions for Further Reading” list in his 2010 book includes books by Thomas Woods, a neo-Confederate secessionist and former member of the League of the South; and Murray Rothbard, the anarcho-libertarian who promoted the politics of Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, and who supposedly ghost-penned Ron Paul’s racist newsletters. Rand Paul has written that Murray Rothbard “was a great influence on my thinking.”
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:13 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”
― David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!
posted by caryatid at 7:23 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


In fact, Rand Paul’s own “Suggestions for Further Reading” list in his 2010 book includes books by Thomas Woods, a neo-Confederate secessionist and former member of the League of the South; and Murray Rothbard, the anarcho-libertarian who promoted the politics of Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, and who supposedly ghost-penned Ron Paul’s racist newsletters. Rand Paul has written that Murray Rothbard “was a great influence on my thinking.”

To be fair, I think it was Lew Rockwell who was the ghostwriter of Ron Paul's newsletters. Rothbard came up with the concept of "paleolibertarianism" whereby libertarians would make strategic alliances with Old Right racists who thought nonwhites were getting too many state resources, but I don't think Rothbard can be blamed for the specific racist content of the newsletters.
posted by jonp72 at 4:44 AM on April 16, 2015


One manifestation of this indiscriminate biliousness is the statement that gets aired every four years: that in presidential elections we are asked to choose the lesser of two evils. Now, this is not an analysis or an insight; it is a cliche, and a very tired one, and it often comes in the same package as the insistence that there is no difference between the candidates. You can reframe it, however, by saying: we get a choice, and not choosing at all can be tantamount in its consequences to choosing the greater of two evils.

Rebecca Solnit, A Letter to My Dismal US Allies on the Left
posted by jonp72 at 4:46 AM on April 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


From the same Solnit piece :
We talk about prefigurative politics, the idea that you can embody your goal. This is often discussed as doing your political organising through direct-democratic means, but not as being heroic in your spirit or generous in your gestures.
posted by bardophile at 5:36 AM on April 16, 2015


An undocumented immigrant writes me: "The Democratic party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with." Or as a Nevada activist friend put it: "Oh my God, go be sanctimonious in California and don't vote or whatever, but those bitching radicals are basically suppressing the vote in states where it matters." Presidential electoral politics is as riddled with corporate money and lobbyists as a long-dead dog with maggots, and deeply mired in the manure of the status quo – and everyone knows it. (So stop those news bulletins, please.) People who told me back in 2000 that there was no difference between Bush and Gore never got back to me afterward.
It's cool how radicals, who are really powerful in America and are often listened to, are suppressing the vote by arguing that a lesser evil is still evil, just like how conservative governments are suppressing it by using laws and state power. Just two sides of the same coin, my friends.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:47 AM on April 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Rebecca Solnit is so insufferable. Nobody assumes the mantle of condescending hippie-punching Democrat discipline master during election season with more preternatural alacrity than her. Che Guevara giving me a pedicure? This is just bad faith. Not that I am a fan of Democratic partisanship, but there are way more respectable ways to do that kind of thing.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:10 AM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Chipotle Manager: Hillary Clinton Didn't Leave Anything in Tip Jar

Sigh, it's going to be a long 18 months until the election.
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 AM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


When did Chipotle start providing table service?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It doesn't sound like they did. There's a tip jar at a lot of places that don't offer table service. What strikes me as funny is that Clinton wasn't the one who paid the bill, so it's kind of silly to ask whether she put the change in the tip jar.
posted by bardophile at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a tip jar at a lot of places that don't offer table service.

Yeah, my point was more that Clinton is not being an awful person for not giving in to tip creep in traditionally untipped positions.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:46 AM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The point is that this is a painfully stupid discussion to even be having. Who the fuck cares that she had a burrito bowl for lunch at a fast food restaurant and did or didn't tip?
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 AM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


And more nonsense scandal crap from Buzzfeed. Apparently the fact that her grandmother was born shortly after her parents imigrated to the US and didn't move here herself is a huge deal.

I really need to stop reading Memeorandum for the sake of my sanity.
posted by octothorpe at 8:30 AM on April 16, 2015


It's cool how radicals, who are really powerful in America and are often listened to, are suppressing the vote by arguing that a lesser evil is still evil, just like how conservative governments are suppressing it by using laws and state power.
Well, look. I agree that radicals aren't really the problem. (Or maybe the fact that they aren't a potent force in American politics is actually the problem, but they're not the primary thing suppressing the vote.) And if I lived somewhere else, I might even consider voting third party. I have actually voted third party in national and local elections when I lived in New York and Illinois. I get a little sick, though, of the sanctimony, especially when it comes from people in safe Democratic states, and especially when it comes from people who personally don't have a lot at stake. I woke up every Saturday morning for months to knock doors for Democrats, and we failed, and now we have a Republican governor and there's a Catholic priest on the state medical board deciding what kind of medical care I get. And I mean, I understand that a lot of dudes on the coasts think that's small stuff, and that's fine I guess, but it would be cool if you would lay off the mockery a little bit, because we're doing the best we can out here. And if you're not actually getting up on Saturday mornings and volunteering your time to try to make things better in whatever way you can, then I'd sort of appreciate it if you'd stop badmouthing those of us who are.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:36 AM on April 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


Clinton Bypassed Centrist Taco Bell for Liberal Favorite Chipotle
When newly minted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made an impromptu stop at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Ohio, she wasn’t only grabbing a quick meal. She was also patronizing what happens to be a favorite of the Democratic base.

The Chipotle chain’s customers score as the most “liberal” in the country, according to fall 2014 data from Experian Marketing Services. Self-described liberals score 145 in the Experian index, meaning they are 45% more likely than the average American to visit a Chipotle.

Second on the list is Starbucks; self-described liberals are 30% more likely than the average customer to visit one.The Chipotle that Ms. Clinton visited in Maumee, Ohio, at 1385 Conant Street, wasn’t the only food option in the area.

[...]

On the other side of the street was a Taco Bell, which scores high among “middle of the road” Americans in the Experian data – perhaps a more electorally savvy choice for a politician.

And if Ms. Clinton wanted to reach out to locals, right next door was Deet’s, a local, a family owned and operated “home-style barbeque restaurant” featuring “the most succulent, tender, flavorful meats.”

It’s all just gastronomical symbolism, of course, but as the presidential hopeful road-trips across Iowa, she could visit a Chick-fil-A – there are 11 in the state according to that restaurant chain. Chick-fil-A scores high for self-described conservatives in the Experian data (they are 20% more likely to eat there than average) and the chain has become a darling of Capitol Hill Republicans.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:50 AM on April 16, 2015


Clinton Bypassed Centrist Taco Bell for Liberal Favorite Chipotle

Ohgodmakeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstop
posted by Etrigan at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


This is literally the stupidest fucking "controversy" I can possibly imagine.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is literally the stupidest fucking "controversy" I can possibly imagine.

Aww, I bet you couldn't have imagined this one either. And they're just getting started...
posted by bardophile at 10:01 AM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


so you can promote a narrative about how the Democratic Party has always betrayed "the left,"

I know that this comment wasn't aimed at me, but there is good literature on this subject that I think is worth introducing into this thread. Robert Brenner's 1985 article The Paradox of Social Democracy: The American Case lays out a narrative of Democratic party (and other elements: labor union bureaucrats, black political leaders, etc.) betrayal of the constituencies they claim to represent.
But [proponents of working inside the Democratic Party] fail to distinguish between the interests of bureaucratic and middle-class elements which dominate these organizations and which represent them inside the Democratic party and the very different interests of the rank and file and working-class elements which constitute the membership of these organizations but play essentially no active role inside the Democratic Party. The new social democrats point out further that the stated programs of the ‘left’ Democratic Party officials, Black politicos, and trade union leaders are generally at the left extreme of the political spectrum in the U.S. today, and that, if implemented, these programs would amount to a giant step forward for the American people. But they fail to distinguish between talk and action, what’s on paper and what’s implemented. They simply ignore the near-total incapacity not only of Democratic Party Congressional majorities, but also of fully fledged social democratic governments around the world, to impose reforms upon capital throughout the period of crisis which began in the early 70s. Nor do they recognize how totally committed these parties have been in power to austerity and attacks on the working class. Finally, those who would rebuild social democracy in the U.S. point out that social democracy in general, and the Democratic Party in particular, has appeared as the “vehicle” of those great waves of reform which have, periodically, shaken the advanced capitalist countries. But they fail to distinguish between the immediate legislators of reforms and the creators of the mass political offensives which actually made reform legislation possible. They characteristically, and disastrously, neglect the tumultuous mass movements which transformed, willy-nilly, what hitherto had been do-nothing reformist politicians into agents of social and political change.
There's also a good discussion of the tension between leftists and Democrats during elections in the "Winning Elections and Organizing Mass Movements" section. Here's an excerpt:
Winning an election is entirely different: it demands two basic things: 1) appealing somehow to 50% plus one of the voters; 2) getting potential supporters to the polls. Nothing else matters. Money and bodies, and little else, are required. It follows that the way to win is to adapt one’s program to the existing consciousness of the electorate. The right has to move left; the left has to move right. The battle is for the votes in the middle. This is not to deny that mass struggles and the transformations of political consciousness with which they are associated would in theory be of help to a liberal or left candidate. It is simply to point out that, in the short period of an electoral campaign it is almost never in practice feasible even to try to call such a movement into existence. It can rarely be done, and it would be absurd to predicate a campaign on succeeding in doing it. To win in an election, one must essentially accept consciousness as it is and try to adapt.
...
Because of this logic, the reform-minded rank and file Democrats can have little or no sympathy for radicals who want to use the campaign “not only” to win, but to build organization and change consciousness. First, they understand that if the candidate were associated with radical ideas (as he/she would be if his/her followers were spouting left ideas in the campaign), it would be much more difficult to get the moderate vote. They understand, too, that the same is true, only more so, for any sort of mass organizing of militant direct action, for this is guaranteed to frighten moderate potential voters. It was on the basis of this sort of reasoning that some of the new social democratic forces “understood” Mondale’s move to the right in the recent presidential campaign. Given the rightward political shift within the electorate, they ask, what else could he have done? Of course, it is precisely because the electoralist perspective must accept the state of mass movements and mass political consciousness as given that it is, in the end, like other reformist strategies, futile and self-defeating.
I wish I could paste more in, but I think that would be an abuse of the Blue. The piece is a bit long, but well worth the read. I also have a more readable copy if anyone is interested -- memail me.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anyone who prefers Taco Bell to Chipotle will never get my vote. In point of fact, they cannot get my vote because they're nine years old.
posted by delfin at 10:15 AM on April 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


And if you're not actually getting up on Saturday mornings and volunteering your time to try to make things better in whatever way you can, then I'd sort of appreciate it if you'd stop badmouthing those of us who are.

Maybe show a little generosity for "radicals" and presume they are doing other things to help bring about change for the better. The presumption being made here is all radicals do is smirk, "badmouth" and be "sanctimonious" and nothing else, while you and others participating in election season are doing all the hard work. This is exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned how we seem to forget that democratic participation does not begin and end on voting day, or even campaigning.

As I said earlier, I personally like the idea of doing both voting and other stuff. I just thing radicals and their presumed sanctimony is like an infinitesimal problem when compared to the actual roadblocks to democratic participation thrown up by the rich and powerful.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:59 AM on April 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


When will Chipotle offer dessert classics such as cinnamon twists or the caramel apple empanada?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:09 PM on April 16, 2015


Chipotlegate: Why Does Hillary Hate Regular Americans?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:20 PM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Chipotlegate: What does Hillary know, and when did she learn it, about the Quesarito?
posted by box at 1:48 PM on April 16, 2015


DRUDGE /// BREAKING /// HILARY'S JIHAD AGAINST QDOBA
posted by Chrysostom at 2:21 PM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone who prefers Taco Bell to Chipotle will never get my vote. In point of fact, they cannot get my vote because they're nine years old.

Or they're a college sophomore. And up at 3AM. And stoned. Either way, they're likely to be under the constitutionally mandated age of 35 years for the presidency.
posted by jonp72 at 4:17 PM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It always starts with food. There was that non-controversy over Obama and arugula, after all.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:56 PM on April 16, 2015


rand paul at cracker barrel coming soon
posted by pyramid termite at 5:16 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tip jar overflowing with bitcoins.
posted by Artw at 6:45 PM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pizza Ranch. In Iowa, the Republican identity-politics fast-food stop is Pizza Ranch, a Christian all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. I am certain that Rand Paul either already has or will soon appear at a Pizza Ranch near me. Ugh.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:51 PM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


“The Romney Strategy,” Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station, 16 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 8:31 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love DFW, but that quotation from "Up, Simba!" is ridiculous. When someone doesn't vote, which diehard's vote are they causing to double in effect? The diehard Democrat or the diehard Republican or what? Both?

Oh wait, a non-voter simply has no effect on either candidate's vote count, except a probabilistic one based on assumptions about how likely the voter is to have voted for each candidate, had they voted. (This type of assumption is usually implicit in the standard hippie-punching arguments, namely that the hippies being punched "owe" the Democrats a vote, or are "stealing a vote" from the Democrats or some such bullshit.) So, if they genuinely would not vote for either under any circumstances, then their non-vote really has no effect, and complaining about their non-vote is almost as stupid as complaining about the non-vote of someone who doesn't exist.

If shockingly stupid shit like Chipotlegate continues to be part of the public discourse, I'm just voting for whoever is least trustworthy vis a vis the Red Button, though.
posted by busted_crayons at 6:53 AM on April 17, 2015




That would be good. But what about the NSA? That's the big question.
posted by JHarris at 12:23 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


“How ‘Negative Partisanship’ Has Transformed American Politics,” Jonathan Chait, New York Daily Intelligencer, 17 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 4:16 PM on April 17, 2015


Yikes. Chait strikes again. And we all know how well received Chait is here on MeFi.
posted by dis_integration at 4:24 PM on April 17, 2015


Did I miss the "Yikes" part of the article? Seemed like straight forward argument saying that voting against is becoming more prevalent than voting for, so we have to interpret favorability rating differently now.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:11 PM on April 17, 2015


I'd just like to say publicly that I don't get why people love Chipotle
posted by shakespeherian at 6:20 PM on April 17, 2015


Why do you hate America?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:33 PM on April 17, 2015


we don't hate america - america hates us
posted by pyramid termite at 6:50 PM on April 17, 2015


Is Dunkin Donuts liberal or conservative? Serious question.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:46 PM on April 17, 2015


Why do you hate America?

Prolly its bland tasteless burritos idk
posted by shakespeherian at 8:02 PM on April 17, 2015


Is Dunkin Donuts liberal or conservative? Serious question.

Well, twenty years ago, it was the place where liberal arts college students pulling all-nighters and cops coming off/on night duty would converge to sit at the counter and grunt over their coffee and doughnuts. So kind of a politics-free no man's land.

This may have been unique to the one closest to my college. And a lot about American politics has changed in the last twenty years.
posted by bardophile at 8:10 PM on April 17, 2015


DD has managed to mostly avoid politics, engaging only in the usual ethically dubious practices of capitalism you'd find at any large company. There was also this thing, but in fairness they did an actual "this was insensitive" apology for it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:20 PM on April 17, 2015


They also banned an ad because conservatives got all outraged over a "Muslim" scarf Rachael Ray was wearing.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:33 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]




Golden Eternity: is there really a story there? This guy thinks he knows what Hillary thinks, which implies that she opposes the deal, which might make some people in Congress oppose it ... It's a pretty weak story, especially since you'd need a veto-proof majority to have opposition mean anything at all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:44 AM on April 18, 2015


If she does oppose it, it's a pretty big departure from Obama's policy. I would really like to hear much more about her alternative strategy, as I would of all serious critics of the deal. But I have yet to hear a coherent alternative. Sanctions are not going to prevent a nuclear weapons as Netanyah emphasized at the UN. Millions of Iranians celebrated the prospect of a deal, which is a good indication that improving relations with the Iranian people could better lead to reforms, as opposed to war which could turn the population against the reformers.

Also, many are trying to kill the deal by kicking the can down the road to the next President: keep the existing arrangement and let the next President make a deal without "Obama baggage," is how Lindsey Graham put it. He even mentioned Hillary would make a better deal. But if Hillary's against a deal?
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2015


That was a really feeble story.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:08 AM on April 18, 2015


Dunkie's started just south of Boston, making it Yankee, which means it's probably not REAL AMERICAN in the eyes of some people.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:46 PM on April 18, 2015 [3 favorites]



I just want to put out a plea to those already throwing their hands up over lesser-of-two-evils problem in the presidential race: your vote in local and state elections in 2016 matters. A LOT

Hi guys!

I live in North Carolina, a state that was seized by Republicans in 2012. Those selfsame Republicans have since gerrymandered themselves into indefinite power while working tirelessly to dismantle most of what was great about this state and plunge us into some far right dystopia where (among many horrifying things) our once storied university system is controlled by education hating wingnut oligarchs, women's health rights have been eroded and coastal developers have legally mandated that climate change doesn't exist. Oh, and fracking.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE vote in your state and local elections.

Also, if you can't tell the difference between Rs and Ds anymore, then you haven't been living in a state controlled by extremist Republicans. Because, let me tell you: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
posted by thivaia at 6:04 PM on April 18, 2015 [16 favorites]


Saban hints: Clinton opposes the Iran deal

"And in any case, everything that she thinks and everything she has done and will do will always be for the good of Israel."

Could this have been any creepier of a sentence?
posted by Justinian at 8:19 PM on April 18, 2015


Not unless we wipe the server.
posted by clavdivs at 8:21 PM on April 18, 2015


Could this have been any creepier of a sentence?

I think the story is nonsense, as I said before, but in any case: Obama's coterie said the same things before his nomination.

Watch and wait for people saying that she'd definitely close Guantanamo and that she's a civil libertarian with great empathy for ordinary people.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2015


This again? Obama tried to choose gitmo, Congress wouldn't allow it. Literally the first or second order he signed, minutes after taking the oath.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:54 AM on April 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great, now Maureen Dowd thinks it's appropriate to police the proper ratio of Hillary's femininity to masculinity.
posted by octothorpe at 6:59 AM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


She wouldn't be Maureen Dowd if she weren't awful!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:05 AM on April 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


She wouldn't be Maureen Dowd if she weren't awful!

I find her writing to be entirely repellent and not worth reading at all; I suspect she is employed entirely because she brings readers and attention through her awfulness in a sort of op-ed clickbait.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:25 AM on April 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


This again? Obama tried to choose gitmo, Congress wouldn't allow it. Literally the first or second order he signed, minutes after taking the oath.

We've been over it in this thread already, even. Facts have nothing to do with it.
posted by kafziel at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because, let me tell you: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

Counterpoint: "Voting Does Not Make a Difference", W.E.B. Du Bois, 1956
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:38 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I live in North Carolina, a state that was seized by Republicans in 2012....

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.


Michigan is a right-to-work state now. That's all you need to know about whether there's a real difference between Rs and Ds.
posted by Etrigan at 2:03 PM on April 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


It seems that the wingers are already spinning the yarn that they used for GW about Jeb: He's not a REAL conservative. He's hardly any different from Hillary, even. I guess they figure that if they say it enough they can get the crossover vote again. I'd like to say that they will fail utterly, but people had already forgotten what a disaster GW turned out to be by 2010, so I have little hope that it won't work this time.
posted by wierdo at 5:03 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, it amazes me how people, even on the left, can't be persuaded by fact, even when it is pointed out to them repeatedly. Nothing gets through to the extremists. I think that sucks since I'd like to be able to rely on the (US perspective) far left to move the Overton Window back out of crazy town.
posted by wierdo at 5:09 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Guam is a right-to-work now. there's a real difference between Rs and Ds.
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 PM on April 19, 2015


It seems that the wingers are already spinning the yarn that they used for GW about Jeb: He's not a REAL conservative.

Well, yeah. The big thing Republicans hated about Bush was that he was "soft on immigration." (Read: Insufficiently bigoted against Latinos.) Why was he "soft on immigration"? Well, that probably has a lot to do with Jeb's wife.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:24 AM on April 20, 2015


"On Monday, at a fund-raising event in Manhattan for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker was the Republican Party’s best hope for recapturing the White House." (NYT)
Are they trying to get more Democrats to the polls? Because that's how you get more Democrats to the polls.
posted by argonauta at 4:58 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Scott Walker seriously scares me. He's deeply awful, but I think that many Americans don't think that crushing unions is necessarily a bad thing, and the Republicans will do a good job running him as a salt-of-the-earth type running against the liberal elitist establishment. He will also have infinite amounts of money. I think he could very well get the Republican nomination, and I think if he does he could win. And that's the kind of thing that keeps me up nights.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:12 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Winter is coming.
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:32 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Scott Walker seriously scares me.

Ditto. I should have written "that's how you get more Democrats to the polls... (please??)"
posted by argonauta at 5:36 PM on April 20, 2015


While Walker may be the R most likely to succeed, he also (like Christie) has enough skeletons in his closet to stage that battle scene from Jason and the Argonauts. It's not the union-busting that's the problem for him, it's the outright graft and corruption and petty vindictiveness.

All of those things people have been trying to gin up about the Clintons since about 1870, well for Walker those things really exist. It seems rather unlikely that he could survive the scrutiny of an entire campaign cycle without something really bad coming out.

Meanwhile, Hillary has already weathered that scrutiny several times, despite the best efforts of well-funded armies intent on bringing her down.

(Could someone just please remind her this time that the Democratic primary isn't winner take all by state?)
posted by localroger at 6:08 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]




Lindsey Graham is thinking about running? Is it my birthday?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:55 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


If he can do that on a glass of Riesling, let's buy him a bottle of Scotch and see what happens.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:59 PM on April 20, 2015


Lindsey Graham is thinking about running? Is it my birthday?

*Jon Stewart rethinks resignation*
posted by Sys Rq at 7:01 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham's "Children of the Corn" tour, 2016.
posted by clavdivs at 8:00 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hillary Clinton's Big Benefactor Has Trade Links with Iran
Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, 54, has courted the Clintons for at least nine years – in the United States, the Alps and Ukraine.

Earlier this year, he was confirmed as the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation, whose aims include the creation of “economic opportunity and growth”. He also has links to the Tony Blair Foundation and represented its biggest single donor in 2013.

[...]

Pinchuk became particularly friendly with Bill Clinton. In 2010, he invited the former president to his 50th birthday party in the French ski resort of Courchevel. In return, Pinchuk attended Clinton’s 65th in 2011, and was a guest at the inauguration of Clinton’s Presidential Library. The Clintons spoke at Pinchuk’s Yalta European Strategy conference, which seeks integration between Ukraine and Europe.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:18 AM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's quite depressing that the editors of Newsweek think that the key word there is Iran. The story really ought to be "Hillary Clinton received large donations and personal invitations from a Russian Ukrainian oligarch, whose company was potentially subject to US sanctions imposed by her department."
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:39 AM on April 21, 2015


A Newcomer to Populism? Hillary Clinton Campaign Begs to Differ
Economists in the Clinton administration referred to the first lady and her aides as “the Bolsheviks.”

[...]

Robert B. Reich, a secretary of labor during the Clinton administration who has advised Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said the comparison with Ms. Warren “personalizes it far too much.”

“This is a broad-based movement to take back our democracy and make the economy work for everybody instead of a small group at the top,” he said.

[...]

In the years Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state and since she left the State Department in early 2013, she has become more associated with the centrist policies of the Bill Clinton years than with policies of raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing government services that have become widely adopted on the left.

“This perception comes because she wasn’t involved in the discussion for so long,” Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist, said of Mrs. Clinton. Because, she added, in the White House “she had this reputation as being the very left-wing, liberal, Elizabeth Warren type.”
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:50 AM on April 21, 2015


Economists in the Clinton administration referred to the first lady and her aides as “the Bolsheviks.”

LOL

What planet are these people on?
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Free trade, jobs, the American dream. More trade.

-Bill Clinton
posted by clavdivs at 9:42 PM on April 21, 2015


Carly Fiorina's running now.
posted by octothorpe at 2:04 PM on April 22, 2015


top donors hillary clinton 1999-2014

University of California?
posted by bukvich at 3:01 PM on April 22, 2015


top donors hillary clinton 1999-2014

University of California?


The UC system has more than 150,000 employees. Not particularly surprising that the most visible Democrat on the national stage for the last fifteen years attracted a fair amount of their money.
posted by Etrigan at 3:26 PM on April 22, 2015


All of those things are not donations from the companies but primarily donations from people who work at those places, and people who are married to those people. In the case of UC, entirely donations from individuals. This is also why you can find weirder things like donations that are "from" US government agencies.

Opensecrets, where that jpg came from, is more honest and straightforward than a lot of similar things, since they put "The organizations themselves did not donate" in red and only medium print instead of the usual fine print.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:17 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe, could it be the case that those companies encourage and facilitate their employees' donations in the knowledge that this may pay off for them later?
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:21 PM on April 22, 2015


Joe in Australia, did I misread and the article said it was Hillary that was being chummy with Pinchuk or are you saying that Bill and Hillary are the same person?
posted by wierdo at 4:37 PM on April 22, 2015


Wierdo, if I knew that a politician's spouse was receiving millions of dollars from a donor I would be very concerned about a potential conflict of interest.

But that's a moot point: the article says "the Clintons spoke at Pinchuk’s Yalta European Strategy conference". It doesn't say how much she was paid for the talk, but I understand that she is typically paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. It also says that Pinchuk is "the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation". Its full title is The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and according to Wikipedia Pinchuk is in the "$1,000,000 to $5,000,000" donor bracket.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:59 PM on April 22, 2015


could it be the case that those companies encourage and facilitate their employees' donations in the knowledge that this may pay off for them later?

Could be at some scale. But especially for the last few election cycles, you're seeing a lot more individual donations, and almost everyone who makes an individual donation works somewhere. You can get a much better sense of where actual companies are donating by looking at donations from their PACs. Well, until dark money asploded anyway.

In this case, it isn't immediately obvious why the University of California would care which Democrat represents NY in the US Senate.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:20 PM on April 22, 2015


The University of California is actually a big organization including several universities. It probably has more to do with the size of the institution and the general fact that people working in education in California lean more Democratic.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:37 PM on April 22, 2015


How do the PACs know where their donors work, unless the donors' employers are facilitating it somehow? Are political donations monitored that closely?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:06 PM on April 22, 2015


US campaign finance laws require individual donors disclose their occupation and employer in addition to their name and home address on donations over $200.
posted by jamaro at 9:14 PM on April 22, 2015


Wow. I had no idea.There's apparently a similar law in Australia, but the limit is $12,400.

I didn't know about that law either, obvs.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:20 PM on April 22, 2015


Apparently it's Duck Rabbit Hillary season: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:01 PM on April 23, 2015




If this election is too far away, the UK one is only 12 days from voting time; thread here.
posted by Wordshore at 3:47 PM on April 25, 2015






Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover
It seems there is concern among some folks that this so-called training maneuver is just a cover story. What's really going on? President Obama is about to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law.

Let's walk over by the fence where nobody can hear us, and I'll tell you the story.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:52 PM on May 3, 2015


Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover

The really craven thing about this is that state National Guard bureaus get briefed on Regular Army exercises happening in their states as a matter of course, and those NG bureaus naturally inform their Governors (and other public safety officials, e.g. state police) of them routinely. So not only is Abbott visibly pandering to Tea Partiers, but he's doing it unnecessarily and taking someone else's credit for having done it.
posted by Etrigan at 4:37 PM on May 3, 2015


This is the Texas State Guard, not the Texas National Guard. They're not federal. And they're not just being briefed, they're being deployed to observe.
posted by kafziel at 5:16 PM on May 3, 2015


Oh, shit, you're right. I always forget about that fucking thing.
posted by Etrigan at 5:22 PM on May 3, 2015


Reason Magazine writes what might be the worst article about Hillary so far this season.
posted by octothorpe at 5:29 PM on May 3, 2015


You know, at one point, Reason would have some pretty decent material. Man, have they fallen off a cliff.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:26 AM on May 4, 2015


They were running pro-GamerGate articles all last year, so yes.
posted by Artw at 6:29 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


In other '16 clown car news, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson have all declared. I wonder if at this point the plan is to so atomize the Republican field that Jeb wins on the strength of his family's votes alone.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:39 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


carlyfiorina.org

May not be what you expect

There is a bonus page
posted by edgeways at 4:20 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


But you know... she knows how businesses work!
posted by edgeways at 4:21 AM on May 5, 2015






You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for "renovation." That's what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.

Oh no! Then what could all these new Zellers-cum-Target-cum-vacant stores in Canada be for???

Hurry! We've got to wall up the border!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:42 AM on May 5, 2015




Well I'm glad that's cleared up.
posted by octothorpe at 10:54 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


That "Jade Helm" story has been a source of amusement for me for a few days now.

“Hero Gov. Greg Abbott Will Stop Obama From Doing Martial Law And ISIS To Poor Texans,” Evan Hurst, The Wonkette, 29 April 2015

“The Trials Of Aqua Buddha: The Crackpot Problem,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 01 May 2015

“Jade Helm: The Insanity that Ate Texas,” Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station, 02 May 2015

To bring it back to the topic, I'll not link to the places that posit, "long-standing ties between Hillary Clinton, Wal-Mart and the Red Chinese Secret Police," but suffice it to say, they're out there.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:40 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really *really* want to see the Democrats pick this up and use it to hammer the crackpots as hating the US military, to think that our men and women in uniform are so vile and disloyal that they would turn on the people and constitution of their country that they have sworn to defend.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:55 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


But that would require the Democrats to make use of a strategic rhetorical advantage. Haven't seen them doing that for at least a couple of decades now.
posted by bardophile at 4:56 PM on May 5, 2015 [8 favorites]




That Stonekettle Station link is gold. Love this:
Sure, just for the sake of argument, let’s say Obama really is planning on herding Texans into FEMA death camps disguised as Wal-Marts.

Why would he need the army?

Think about it. Why would you need some secret plot to get Texans into a Wal-Mart?

Announce a Veterans Day sale with 50% off all ammunition, Duck Dynasty camouflage, and frozen chicken nuggets, unlock the doors, and step the hell out of the way before you get trampled.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:58 PM on May 5, 2015 [6 favorites]




The GOP's War on Science Gets Worse - "Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, approved a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from NASA's earth-science budget... The vote on the NASA bill came just a week after the same House committee approved major funding cuts to the National Science Foundation's geosciences program, as well as cuts to Department of Energy programs that support research into new energy sources."

Why Elizabeth Warren Makes Bankers So Uneasy, and So Quiet - "The rollback of financial regulation is stalled. Income inequality is a campaign issue. Americans are still angry about the financial crisis. Things aren't shaping up the way the big banks expected, and an important reason is one laser-focused senator from Massachusetts... Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, is openly courting her."
posted by kliuless at 1:12 PM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Pleased by her unexpectedly robust immigration support.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:31 PM on May 6, 2015


Scott Walker grew up in Iowa and speaks Iowa Republican as a first language. I think he definitely could win Iowa. But Iowa Republicans often don't predict the eventual winner, and I don't think he necessarily has the same advantages elsewhere.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:38 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


But Iowa Republicans often don't predict the eventual winner...

In fact, they have done so twice in the last 7 competitive primaries -- Ford in 1976 and Bush in 2000. In neither of those cases was the primary race actually competitive, as Iowa Republicans ended up picking the incumbent President and the guy who eventually got 85 percent of the delegates at the nominating convention.
posted by Etrigan at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Poll: Obama More Popular Than Any of the Top 2016 Candidates

Kind of surprising. Where was this popularity in 2014 when we needed it?
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:01 PM on May 6, 2015




Cruz sympathizes with ‘Jade Helm 15’ conspiracy theorists
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Saturday that he’d been hearing concerns about Jade Helm 15, a domestic military training exercise that has become a fount of conspiracy theories, and that he wanted questions about it to be answered.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise,” Cruz, a Texas senator, told Bloomberg at the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention. “We are assured it is a military training exercise. ..."
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:52 AM on May 7, 2015


Where was this popularity in 2014 when we needed it?

Popularity doesn't get people out their front door and down to the polling station.
posted by Etrigan at 10:29 AM on May 7, 2015


Obama wasn't running in 2014 so his popularity wasn't really relevant.
posted by octothorpe at 10:36 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Obama set the agenda for the Democrats in congress in a big way. The GOP ran against Obama and the Democrats distanced themselves from him. I don't think the GOP's strategy would have worked as well, and Democrats could have benefited more from Obama's support and defending his (and their own) agenda rather than running away from it.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:00 PM on May 7, 2015




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