The Patronage and Cronyism of the "Hillary Clinton Victory Fund"
February 16, 2016 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Blogger suggests that a win For Hillary Clinton's methods on the way to the White House is a loss for participatory democracy. Alongside the quiet rollback of Obama's ban on contributions from federal lobbyists within the DNC comes what appears to be a novel tactic to maintain control of the nomination process by the Democratic establishment or HRC: the formation of fundraising agreements between HRC and state Democratic parties. The implications for participatory democracy do not seem good given that state parties with their success financially tied to HRC's success must oversee very narrow caucuses and primaries.
posted by auggy (222 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
America (insert picture here)
posted by eriko at 4:13 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


That's Donorwang!
posted by an animate objects at 4:15 PM on February 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


I miss Howard Dean. I really, really miss Howard Dean.
posted by Ruki at 4:17 PM on February 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


Go home, scriptwriters, you're drunk.
posted by corb at 4:18 PM on February 16, 2016


Ok, that wasn't a very substantial post. I appreciated his bottom-up strategy of recruiting more Dems to run for local races, and his fundraising tactics were game changers. I wasn't working full-time, so obviously couldn't give much, but I felt like my donation mattered. And yeah, that was the feel good sell, but it worked. The DNC right now is not open to choice. We must support HRC or we are literally bad people. We must fall in line. That's not the party I believe in.

Signed, a Bernie supporter who will still vote for HRC in the general, but only to prevent a GOP win.
posted by Ruki at 4:24 PM on February 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Another take on The Party Gets the Nominee The Party Wants., I suppose. More money is only going to entrench that even deeper.

The cynical among us (well, the cynical amid me) has been looking at this for the last year and assuming that the parties each had their preferred candidate shortlists made up a long, long time ago, and the imaginary horserace distractions since then have been just that. Y'all can tell me how Bush/Rubio have been virtually eliminated month after month, or that Sanders has an even-more-viable chance as much as you want, but I just can't see how the parties will ever let those things happen.

Even in the gigantic weirdness of this election cycle so far, I can't shake the impression that the actual candidates were chosen long, long ago.
posted by rokusan at 4:25 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


... and don't let's ever forget the good folks who've already bought and paid for both possible outcomes.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:30 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Blogspot blogs? Voting Green to send a message to the Democrats?

Looks like the first wave of Early Aughts nostalgia is breaking!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:31 PM on February 16, 2016 [31 favorites]


voteshaming? early aughts nostalgia is definitely here!
posted by entropicamericana at 4:36 PM on February 16, 2016 [27 favorites]


So, just to be clear, is this a thing where some of the money donated to Clinton goes to state parties in order to benefit candidates in down-ballot races? Because it kind of sounds like that is what the thing is.

Which, if it is the thing, is not really the way the thing is framed here.
posted by dersins at 4:38 PM on February 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


(Note: it is totally possible that I am misunderstanding.)
posted by dersins at 4:39 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


My philosophy is that if someone is not acting like a politician, they can't get elected. Even if they get elected, they can't get anything done if they aren't acting like a politician. And politicians are weasels one and all. The contradictory thing is that people like to get excited about platforms and character when it comes to elections (including elections for PTA President) but what works is Lyndon Baines Johnson dear God in heaven.
posted by Peach at 4:39 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

wait, wrong thread?
posted by indubitable at 4:39 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


dersins, my read of the articles is that there is not a Bernie Sanders Victory Fund, which incentivizes local parties to donate to HRC because of the kickback.
posted by Ruki at 4:50 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the love of god, don't vote third party in the general, regardless of candidate (I am of the apparently rare opinion that in the ways that matter there's not that big a difference between Clinton and Sanders anyway). A Republican in the white house will not teach democrats the lesson you want and will severely punish a lot of people in the meantime. The solution to shitty democrats is more and better democrats, not fantasies of electoral punishment via third parties that enable republican control.

Also, it's a good thing that Clinton is doing something to support down-ballot races. Is the form of that support shady and corrupt? Maybe, I can't tell from the linked articles. What's Sanders doing to support down-ballot races? Is there a better way than directly sharing money in the way described?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:57 PM on February 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


Keith Richards was and remains my candidate for president
posted by Postroad at 4:59 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think I've hit my limit for convoluted reasons to not support HRC. There are plenty of direct and valid reasons, and I don't understand why people can't focus on those.
posted by lownote at 5:07 PM on February 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


For the love of god, don't vote third party in the general, regardless of candidate

If you live in a state where it matters. Republicans have zero chance of carrying New York and the dems have zero chance of taking Wyoming. If you live somewhere that's close enough where a third party candidate is a potential spoiler then hold your nose and vote for the candidate that's the least terrible. Anywhere else vote your conscience.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:08 PM on February 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Blogger suggests that a win For Hillary Clinton's methods on the way to the White House is a loss for participatory democracy.

Someone blogged it? CASE CLOSED.

Anti-authoritarian anarcho-syndicalist anarcho-communist

oh.

Please ignore this person. Helping Trump or whoever get to the White House is not a victory for participatory democracy. It takes an incredible case of blind privilege to subscribe to that "its gotta get worse before it gets better" worldview. That usually means it has to get worse (for other people) before it gets better (for me).
posted by Justinian at 5:09 PM on February 16, 2016 [30 favorites]


> "Republicans have zero chance of carrying New York ..."

I've been wondering if this will still be true if Bloomberg runs.
posted by kyrademon at 5:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the love of god, don't vote third party in the general

I'm going to go ahead and vote third party. I'm sure all the Wall St. money will be enough to help her get votes from elsewhere.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


For the love of god, don't vote third party in the general, regardless of candidate (I am of the apparently rare opinion that in the ways that matter there's not that big a difference between Clinton and Sanders anyway). A Republican in the white house will not teach democrats the lesson you want and will severely punish a lot of people in the meantime.

I disagree with Sanders about a lot of things, but I also consider the authorization of the Iraq War to be the biggest crime that has been committed in the United States in my lifetime (and that's a lifetime of corporate scandals, mass shootings and a few large-scale terrorist bombings). I will never give my support to anyone politician who was a co-conspirator in this crime. People can talk about "liberal purity tests", but I'm of the opinion that "was not a participant in the worst crime to take place in this nation during my lifetime" is a reasonable bar to ask someone to overcome.

I will be voting for Sanders in the primary, and an as-yet undecided third-party candidate during the general.

Of course, that's pretty easy for me, as I live in California, where it is all but handed down by God that my electoral vote will be going to whomever secures the Democratic Party nomination regardless of how I vote.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [33 favorites]


What's Sanders doing to support down-ballot races?

Nothing, really. He's raised something like one thousand dollars for the party. Not one million, one thousand.

The party establishment doesn't support Clinton because of some sort of evil wall street conspiracy. They support her because she busts her ass supporting them and raising money in huge amounts for other members of the Democratic Party.

There are reasons to vote for Sanders. But one way Clinton is unarguably better is for down-ballot races. Which are vital for the future of America. Winning the Presidency while losing everything else means nothing.
posted by Justinian at 5:11 PM on February 16, 2016 [62 favorites]


Ray Buckley, longtime chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, says he offered similar deals to other Democratic candidates for president, including Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb, but received no response.

Link

Maybe this is bigger than Benghazi and Whitewater combined, but I'm guessing not so much.
posted by jpe at 5:13 PM on February 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Anybody else starting to find the almost histrionically anti-Clinton tone these days to be getting tiresome? It's like she's worse than Trump.
posted by Justinian at 5:15 PM on February 16, 2016 [50 favorites]


For not nearly the first time, I get the feeling this election that a lot of higher-ups with the Democratic Party would rather we don't have this whole primary thing. Which wouldn't be so bad if the choices were ever not between a party that stands for everything terrible and a party that I sort of tolerate.
posted by ckape at 5:16 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


The fact that Sanders isn't really a Democrat (he's been one less than a year) may also have a tiny bit to do with why so many Democratic politicians have endorsed Clinton. And yeah, he doesn't seem to be doing much to benefit the party beyond his own run. These seem like much easier explanations, but conspiracies are more fun I guess.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:17 PM on February 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Maybe this is bigger than Benghazi and Whitewater combined, but I'm guessing not so much.

Well, I've willfully forgotten everything I can about Whitewater, but wouldn't a scandal where literally anything actually happened be bigger than Benghazi?
posted by ckape at 5:18 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think I've hit my limit for convoluted reasons to not support HRC. There are plenty of direct and valid reasons, and I don't understand why people can't focus on those.

Here's a few hundred million more ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:19 PM on February 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Anybody else starting to find the almost histrionically anti-Clinton tone these days to be getting tiresome? It's like she's worse than Trump.

Ugh, I know, it was just 100,000 dead Iraqis, get over it already.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:20 PM on February 16, 2016 [40 favorites]


Didn't we already have the anti-authoritarian anarcho-syndicalist anarcho-communist parody thread of the day?
posted by octothorpe at 5:22 PM on February 16, 2016


Was lack of DNC support/fundraising the reason the Democrats lost all those congressional seats in the first place? Or was it a failure to match the enthusiasm and grass roots efforts of the slighted Right?

Because if you're looking at the down-ballot difference between a Clinton presidency and a Sanders presidency, only one of those candidates has been energizing a base.
posted by an animate objects at 5:24 PM on February 16, 2016 [29 favorites]


So none of the people here who hate Clinton voted for Kerry over Bush in 2004? Genuinely curious, since the same Iraq argument would imply that you either abstained or voted for David Cobb or something.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:25 PM on February 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Anybody else starting to find the almost histrionically anti-Clinton tone these days to be getting tiresome?

Look, the sheeple ain't woke yet, but eventually a critical mass of links and snark will get results
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:25 PM on February 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


And yeah, he doesn't seem to be doing much to benefit the party beyond his own run.

True enough, though for some folks that's a selling point. I vote for Democrats not because I am a Democrat, but because they are not Republicans. It's sort of like the difference between your friend who always drinks your last beer and someone holding you up in an alley. Neither is particularly pleasant, but there's really no question which you'd rather have happen, either.
posted by Mooski at 5:25 PM on February 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


wouldn't a scandal where literally anything actually happened be bigger than Benghazi?

Oh it's much more complex than that; Micheal Bay also has to not make it into a movie.
Eg.
- New York city being laid waste to by transforming alien invaders: not bigger than Benghazi
- Main character of The Force Awakens initially difficult to find in toy stores: bigger than Benghazi
posted by anonymisc at 5:26 PM on February 16, 2016


My philosophy is that if someone is not acting like a politician, they can't get elected. Even if they get elected, they can't get anything done if they aren't acting like a politician. And politicians are weasels one and all. The contradictory thing is that people like to get excited about platforms and character when it comes to elections (including elections for PTA President) but what works is Lyndon Baines Johnson dear God in heaven.

I always said if you want people in there who behave and think differently, change the model. It is a system that mimics war, and that is going to bring people who are war-like: it is about competition, fighting, division, hoarding, and, of course, as Sun Tzu said, deception.

And I think even if you didn't start like that, the system alters you...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:27 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


thefoxgood, no, I didn't vote for Kerry. I live in Rhode Island, so my vote didn't matter. I voted Green. For that matter, I also spent a lot of time volunteering for Lincoln Chafee's gubernatorial campaign, and he was a Republican turned Independent turned Democrat, who voted against the Iraq War. I was heavily pregnant with my daughter on 9/11 and, when Chafee was running for Governor, the US had been at war for literally my daughter's entire life. For some people, the Iraq War is a big fucking deal.
posted by Ruki at 5:35 PM on February 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


I really, really miss Howard Dean.

You don't need to miss him. He's knee deep in this bullshit. Dean, a Clinton supporter, is now working for a lobbying firm with an interest in preventing Sanders' single payer healthcare proposal from ever happening. Yep.
posted by spitbull at 5:44 PM on February 16, 2016 [33 favorites]


This election feels a lot like 1972 to me - pure clean anti-war Mcgovern against Nixon.
It was truly a campaign of the righteous vs the soiled.
Nixon won 91 to 37 in an epic landslide (electoral college 520 to 17).
LBJ was corrupt and a real politician and got some really important work done while he fought a filthy war. I hated him then, but miss him terrible now.
I just don't really give a shit anymore how the money goes, the Repubs - absolutely every single one - are national nightmares. Global nightmares.
I have never met a single conservative who thinks both parties are the same, but tons of lefties do.
Parties don't "learn", they get fixed or modified with huge effort .
How about we win one? Maybe prevent the SCOTUS from falling off a cliff for a generation?
We are political animals and always will be, it isn't ever gonna not be true.
posted by Alter Cocker at 5:47 PM on February 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


Oh and Howard Dean works alongside Newt Gingrich in the lobbying arm of the Dentons law firm.

He is an utter disappointment to anyone who thought he stood for something more than Howard Dean.
posted by spitbull at 6:01 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


For the love of god, don't vote third party in the general, regardless of candidate

I feel that for someone to say this, they must not understand the mechanics of US presidential elections in the majority of the states.
posted by ryanrs at 6:02 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Right? Lately I've been thinking we could skip the whole shebang and just ask Ohio who wins this time.
posted by spitbull at 6:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


A woman must be running for president. I can tell because stories like, "Bernie Sanders campaign refuses to raise money for down-ticket Democratic races despite running in the Democratic primary; gives bullshit reasons when asked why not" gets spun as a story where the woman is the bad guy for doing the opposite.
posted by muddgirl at 6:17 PM on February 16, 2016 [45 favorites]


Right? Lately I've been thinking we could skip the whole shebang and just ask Ohio who wins this time.

Not all of Ohio either. Specifically five counties, such as Cuyahoga, or Franklin county.
posted by the cydonian at 6:22 PM on February 16, 2016


The party establishment doesn't support Clinton because of some sort of evil wall street conspiracy. They support her because she busts her ass supporting them and raising money in huge amounts for other members of the Democratic Party.

This. People want to make this into some horrible thing, like it's just the craziest thing to support someone who has dedicated her career to supporting other members of her party. I really don't see what's wrong with that in principle.

Similarly, I don't think it's crazy for members of the Democratic Party to support a member of the Democratic Party - the only member of the Democratic Party - seeking the party's nomination for president. Sure, if you disagree with her positions, don't support her. But this whole "the DNC is biased!" line is so bizarre to me. If the leadership of the DNC believes a member of the party should receive the party's nomination, I have a hard time objecting to that.
posted by kat518 at 6:22 PM on February 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


A woman must be running for president. I can tell because stories like, "Bernie Sanders campaign refuses to raise money for down-ticket Democratic races despite running in the Democratic primary; gives bullshit reasons when asked why not" gets spun as a story where the woman is the bad guy for doing the opposite.

Uhhhh... Don't we typically wait for the primary to be over before transferring money to the DNC for down ticket races?
posted by Talez at 6:22 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't reject your assertion that misogyny is going to be rife the next 8 months on the political scene. But I always thought that down ticket races were one of those post-convention things?
posted by Talez at 6:23 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Uhhhh... Don't we typically wait for the primary to be over before transferring money to the DNC for down ticket races?

Why wait? I mean, we could give the GOP a head start for lolz but ... Why? The primaries end in May. The conventions are in August. So the GOP should just be able to smear the Democrats in the meantime?
posted by kat518 at 6:26 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


My understanding is that this is the first presidential election year where it makes sense to start these joint fundraising committees during the primaries, thanks to McCutcheon v. FEC abolishing the total limit on campaign donations. State parties and the DNC can raise money now and spend it during the general however they like.

Both Clinton and Sanders are actively calling for comprehensive campaign finance reform, which is an important reason for one of them to win.
posted by muddgirl at 6:34 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Both Clinton and Sanders are actively calling for comprehensive campaign finance reform, which is an important reason for one of them to win.

Though Clinton appears to be calling for it in the way Saint Augustine called for chastity.
posted by Mooski at 6:38 PM on February 16, 2016 [33 favorites]


I'm going to vote for whoever wins the Dem nomination. Honestly, I wish it were neither Hilary nor Bernie. But whatever...beggars on horses. This North Carolinian would also like to remind you that it's very important, maybe more important, to participate in your state elections, lest you wake up one day and find the president you want several hundred miles away in Washington, but an unfolding gerrymandered, dystopian hellscape in your state capitol.
posted by thivaia at 6:49 PM on February 16, 2016 [31 favorites]


Apropos of Dean's new life as a lobbyist, here he is at the first head-to-head Democratic primary -- the one where they vigorously debated HRC's Wall Street donors -- sitting next to Steve Elmendorf, who is currently a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs and Monsanto, and was once deputy campaign manager for Kerry in his 2004 run against Dean. Who says money can't bring people together?
posted by chortly at 6:51 PM on February 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I bumped into one account, which I can't seem to find now, that said that traditionally Sanders has been quite active fundraising for Democrats. Which only makes sense, he's been an effective Senator caucusing with Democrats for the last 20 years. So it may well be that's not happening this election, but that's apparently not indicative of how much he's contributed in the past.
posted by emmet at 6:51 PM on February 16, 2016


So the argument is that any good Democrat would virtuously refuse to take advantage of the court cases originally meant to defeat them? (Don't forget that the original name of the eponymous PAC that produced the anti-Hillary campaign film was called Citizens United Not Timid).

Obama in 2010: “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities—they should be decided by the American people.” Despite his opinions on super PACs, Obama would have been naive to turn them away in 2012, and he didn't. He also helped fund-raise for DNC super PACs in the 2014 midterms. I guess some would call this... cowardice? treachery? But I heard few complaints from the left in 2012.
posted by muddgirl at 6:51 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I made this post over in the other big debate/tactics thread, but it's a theory that fits in here as well. In essence - what if Bernie supporters are creating a real, long-term third party? And by accident?
posted by special agent conrad uno at 6:56 PM on February 16, 2016


entropicamericana: "voteshaming? early aughts nostalgia is definitely here!"

Oh, that's a good one. Criticizing someone over how they voted is now off-limits because it constitutes "voteshaming"?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:56 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


So the argument is that any good Democrat would virtuously refuse to take advantage of the court cases originally meant to defeat them?

Nope. The argument is that sitting cheek and jowl with the entities that engineered those court cases while calling for campaign finance reform seems the tiniest bit disingenuous.

I say this as someone who will happily vote for whoever gets the Democratic nomination.
posted by Mooski at 6:58 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I prefer Sanders to Clinton ideologically and think he will fight hard for a more just, egalitarian, and humane America. I think he could easily beat any of the goons the Republicans put him up against, and I'll vote for him in my state's primary and jn the general too if he makes it. However, if Clinton wins the primary then I'll vote for her with a clean conscience. She's streets better than any realistic alternative, is undeniably qualified, and I think that electing a female president would itself be an important symbolic victory. Symbols matter.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:05 PM on February 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


I'm genuinely astonished at how many people I'm seeing around here acting like electing a centrist Democrat as the United States' first woman President would be terrible because she's, just, like, so laughably awful amirite
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


I've seen no one yet mention The Wailing of the Obots as a reason to vote for Clinton over Sanders, to wit: that keening noise that's issued steadily from Metafilter and Firedoglake for the last seven years over how much Change We Can Believe In was a lie.

Seriously, if Sanders becomes president, Metafilter will be uninhabitable except as the Berners Support Group.
posted by fatbird at 7:13 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I also align more with Sanders ideologically on many issues. But I don't think his victory (if nominated) is as clear as some people seem to think it is. Bernie isn't immune from swift boat/birth certificate/Benghazi nonsense and if anyone thinks he is, they're dreaming. The only reason he hasn't gotten any of that yet is because the GOP is focusing on Hillary. If they thought Bernie had a good chance of winning, they'd turn the full force of their shithose on him, and I don't think it would be hard for them to find things to target, whether it's made-up bullshit nonsense or not.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:18 PM on February 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've seen no one yet mention The Wailing of the Obots as a reason to vote for Clinton over Sanders, to wit: that keening noise that's issued steadily from Metafilter and Firedoglake for the last seven years over how much Change We Can Believe In was a lie.

I've been very, very close to the Sanders campaign from the very beginning, and I can assure you that he's not lying. That may be the source of some weakness, and ultimately it may be his downfall, but he's not playing that game.
posted by teponaztli at 7:18 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's because centrist now means "To the right of Nixon."

The DNC has consistently moved to the right. This has won them remarkably few elections, but kept the GOP from moving to the right....I mean, has let the GOP tell the Nationlist Socialist Democratic Party to stop being so liberal.

So, yeah. I hate to paraphrase Hermann Göring. I hate that I know this quote. But. When I hear centrist, I flip off the safety on my Browning.

Because I'm tired of giving up all that we gained to be "centrist." I'm also pissed off that even mentioning an objection to Clinton makes me a sexist racist bastard. Well, I get racist, lord knows labor never did shit for anybody who wasn't white. But I consider that a thing to be fixed. Centrists consider it a reason to abandon labor.
posted by eriko at 7:24 PM on February 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


Honestly, I don't think his victory is secure, but it's certainly exciting to see things get this far. The odds of actually winning the nomination are still low, but as long as he's in the race he's definitely had an effect on the way the Democratic primary is going, and I'm really thankful for that. If I'm going to vote for Clinton in the general election, I'm much happier voting for a Clinton who campaigns for the issues that are important to me.

Someone in the last "let's jab at each other about politics" thread pointed out that there's no guarantee Clinton would actually keep her campaign promises, but honestly, even just having the primary pay lip service to some of these issues has been awesome.
posted by teponaztli at 7:24 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, just to be clear, is this a thing where some of the money donated to Clinton goes to state parties in order to benefit candidates in down-ballot races?

Sort of. As I understand it, it's a really brilliant idea, in the way that Amway and Facebook were brilliant ideas.

There are rules that limit the amounts people can donate to political candidates. Let's pretend that it's $1,000 per person per candidate, just to make things simple.

Candidate A has a lot of grassroots support, and has 500 donors pledging $50 each. She gets $25,000.

Candidate B has twenty super-donor friends who are willing to kick in $5,000 each. She would have received $100,000, but campaign laws restrict her to $20,000 because each donor can only give $1,000. But ...

Candidate B does a deal with four other candidates in four other races. Each of those candidates' super-donations goes into a pool, and is shared out among the participants. Now Candidate B can receive $1,000 from each of the super-donors in all five races - five races, $20,000 from the donors in each race, makes a total of $100,000, which is equivalent to the amount pledged by her super-donors. She now has four times as much as Candidate A, and will very likely win the nomination. The same goes for the other four candidates.

You might think, well, the party needs that money for campaigning. Money is always good, perhaps the party can use some of the money to support other candidates in other races. This is true. But,it will be much harder to win the nomination if you're not supported by the Victory Fund, so much so that a candidates' prime goal will be to picked as the Victory Fund's chosen candidate. I'm sure there will still be campaign upsets, but most successful candidates will have been chosen long before the nomination process began.

It also does an end-run around campaign finance laws that stop people buying elections, but that's comparatively trivial in the scope of things. The real problem is that it's effectively a party within the party, running on money and influence rather than policy, and its power will increase as the number of its candidates increases. Ultimately it will have enough money to direct any amount of funds to candidates facing challenges, just so it continues to control the flow of donations.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:28 PM on February 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Even as someone who supports Clinton, has donated to her, wants to see her win --- I am really glad Sanders is running. Especially in an election where most of the Republicans are competing to see who can be the craziest, most conservative candidate possible (with "poor" Jeb! occasionally saying vaguely reasonable things --- don't get me wrong, he's still awful, but he's the "let's not be overtly racist" kind of awful at least).... it's good to have more than one voice on the other side, and to have someone who is representing something different, even if I don't always agree with him.

(And should he win the nomination, I will of course vote for him, I just prefer Clinton)
posted by thefoxgod at 7:29 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


he's not playing that game

I don't think Sanders is lying... but I didn't think Obama was lying either, and I've seen nothing to suggest after the fact that his campaign was cynical at the time. But there's a system, and there's capture, and there's the reality of politics, and I don't understand how anyone can avoid the parallels between supporting Sanders today as the real deal, and almost the exact same thing happening eight years ago.

Maybe seven years of Obama, such as it is, still seems better than seven hypothetical Clinton years. But it's a little hard not to squint at the credulousness of Sanders supporters today acting like "this time it'll be different".
posted by fatbird at 7:29 PM on February 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Someone in the last "let's jab at each other about politics" thread pointed out that there's no guarantee Clinton would actually keep her campaign promises, but honestly, even just having the primary pay lip service to some of these issues has been awesome.

No one keeps their campaign promises and Bernie wouldn't either. Not because he doesn't want to but because he just couldn't, for a number of reasons. But I totally agree with you that he has been invaluable in pulling the party back to the left. That is something we have SORELY needed, and yes, it is very exciting to see it actually happening, precisely because we've needed it so badly and it has seemed for so long that the Democrats had all but abandoned their base.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:31 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


This election feels a lot like 1972 to me - pure clean anti-war Mcgovern against Nixon.

except Nixon almost got cashiered for accepting a dog as a gift but big business and wall street can give the Clintons $150 mil, not in campaign donations but pure personal income, and no one cares.

the Iraq war is just a symptom of political culture that is becoming too corrupt and stupid to survive.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:34 PM on February 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Justinian, I hope that no one ever encourages others to ignore you based on the platform on which you speak in the future. ha. You are welcome to only read things posted to your news portal of choice.

I also suspect you are familiar with the fallacy by which discounting what someone says based on the way you ("histrionically Anti-Clinton") or they ("Anti-authoritarian anarcho-syndicalist anarcho-communist") label them/themselves does not contribute to evaluating the validity of what they say. (-:
posted by auggy at 7:38 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Seriously, if Sanders becomes president, Metafilter will be uninhabitable except as the Berners Support Group.

The opposite. When he inevitably can't live up to the shining ideal in the face of real-world politics involving deals and compromise, it's going to be a hate on/defend Bernie octagon in here constantly.
posted by ctmf at 7:40 PM on February 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


I feel like that we're just days away from some Sanders supporter creating a Glenn Beck style chalkboard showing how Hillary is in the pocket of banks, the Pope, George Soros, the Bilderbergs, and Donald Trump.

I'm pretty much losing hope for the Democrats right now. The Progressive-Moderate schism is rapidly widening, and I'm really worried we'll end up with President Cruz and his Seven Mountains Dominionism.
posted by dw at 7:43 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


But it's a little hard not to squint at the credulousness of Sanders supporters today acting like "this time it'll be different".

You're really selling Sanders supporters short by suggesting they're all just naive. This isn't 2008. The issues weren't the same, they weren't raised in the same way, and the campaigns were run totally differently. Obama had huge Wall Street backing, hired a well-known graphic artist to design an iconic poster for him, and an enormous campaign with huge DNC backing. The Sanders campaign is being run very differently, and Sanders himself is approaching things differently.

You can make the argument that the political process necessarily forces people to make concessions, but that's a long way off from "Change We Can Believe In was a lie," isn't it? It's not like everyone forgot 2008. I's not unreasonable for people to support a candidate because they like that person's politics.
posted by teponaztli at 7:47 PM on February 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


I feel like that we're just days away from some Sanders supporter creating a Glenn Beck style chalkboard showing how Hillary is in the pocket of banks, the Pope, George Soros, the Bilderbergs, and Donald Trump.

You forgot Henry Kissinger.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 PM on February 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


You will never hear Sanders speak where he doesn't mention he needs a political revolution to get where he is going. Sanders supporters are not expecting he can do this on his own.

There are much different expectations when you go in with domination of both houses like Obama did than when you go in with neither.
-
But this whole "the DNC is biased!" line is so bizarre to me. If the leadership of the DNC believes a member of the party should receive the party's nomination, I have a hard time objecting to that.

Here's the problem, if someone did run third party there would be instant cries of, "But no! You are going to hand the election to the Republican! The primary is where you make a case to go in a different direction!"

So they kind of want to have their cake and eat it too. It's fine if you want to use internal power to steer the primary, just don't expect independents or people who don't strongly identify with the party will necessarily play along with you after that sort of contest. I view the party as corrupt, incompetent, and out of step with my views. I don't owe them any votes.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:51 PM on February 16, 2016 [25 favorites]


Thoroughly disappointed about Dean, but I still think he made a good DNC chair. However, as always, I don't think I'm a bad feminist or a bad Democrat for not being a HRC supporter right now. I can speak at length about my local politicians, right down to my Town Council and School Committee. I feel like Dems who don't support HRC are held to a higher scrutiny, and that's not fair. I vote in every election, right down to the mayoral primaries. I care about politics, a lot, and there are plenty of reasons to not support HRC, in the primaries, other than sexism.
posted by Ruki at 7:52 PM on February 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


(In fact, I think a lot of hated of Hillary from the left is much more about hating the party establishment and dynastic politics more than it's anything personal.)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:00 PM on February 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


The Progressive-Moderate schism is rapidly widening, and I'm really worried we'll end up with President Cruz and his Seven Mountains Dominionism.

That is utterly horrifying.
posted by Talez at 8:02 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I believe the accusations of sexism are coming from Clinton supporters who so enthralled with identity politics that they project their own motivation onto Sanders supporters. If this were about sexism, it's curious that the progressive wing of the party first tried to draft Warren before settling on Sanders.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 8:07 PM on February 16, 2016 [25 favorites]


I am voting for Bernie in the 2016 primaries for the same reason I voted for Nader in the 2000 general (I lived in Michigan at the time, which went to Gore anyway, for all that that mattered): I am sick of milquetoast centrism in the Democratic party.* From 2004 on I have voted Democratic in the general election, because the Bush administration provided a stark lesson that the Republicans are in fact by far the worse of two evils, and despite all the problems with the Democrats, at least voting for them is like trying to stop the hemorrhaging instead of actively promoting new wounds. With Bernie running I see an opportunity to work within the Democratic party for a lot of the same things that my young, idealistic self wanted from 2000.

If Clinton wins the nomination I'll hold my nose and vote for her. Better someone who wants to kill brown people and serve Wall Street than someone who wants to kill brown people, serve Wall Street, and outlaw abortion and gay marriage.

I wish that Elizabeth Warren was running in Bernie's stead, because she would not be seen as a carpetbagger, and people could support a fairly left-wing candidate without being accused of rampant sexism.

I remain astonished that Clinton supporters won't address, or don't seem to care about, her close relationship with Wall Street and the fact that she cites her relationship with Henry fucking Kissinger as proof that she is serious.

*If the Al Gore who made An Inconvenient Truth had shown up in 2000 and not nominated Joe Lieberman (D-Insurance Companies) as his VP candidate, Nader would have been less attractive to a lot of young idealistic fools like myself.
posted by dhens at 8:16 PM on February 16, 2016 [31 favorites]


I will admit that some Bernie supporters, if not motivated by sexism per se, do unfortunately make use of sexist arguments/tropes.
posted by dhens at 8:19 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


If we're not going to judge all HRC supporters by the words of Gloria Steinem, we shouldn't judge all Sanders supporters by Bernie Bros. Not being snarky, I have never encountered a Bernie Bro in my real life, but I'm believing the collective wisdom that they exist.
posted by Ruki at 8:34 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


You will never hear Sanders speak where he doesn't mention he needs a political revolution to get where he is going. Sanders supporters are not expecting he can do this on his own.

This is actually one of my concerns regarding Sanders' potential ability to get things done as president. His whole platform seems to be built upon the premise that his victory will usher in an era of radical leftist politics and that we will make up that Wednesday in November to a world where Republicans simply do not exist.

I don't see how any of Sanders' proposals stand a chance of becoming law when Republicans control either the House, the Senate, or both. I don't see many of Clinton's proposals having much success in that environment either but 1) she's worked with Republicans to get things done before and 2) she's actively working to support down-ballot Democrats, improving the odds that the Democrats can win back the House and/or Senate.
posted by kat518 at 8:39 PM on February 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


Participatory democracy went out the door in the Democrat Party with the advent of the super delegate. This is just the way to monetize that decision.
posted by AugustWest at 8:40 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I find the framing of this post to be unhelpfully harsh and inflammatory, more about slamming Hillary than shedding light on the issue at the center of this. (Although I've gleefully lulz-ed out at the Trump and Carson posts, which don't tend to be neutrally-framed, either. (But who would want that, eh?).)
posted by sallybrown at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Democratic party.
-
I don't see how any of Sanders' proposals stand a chance of becoming law when Republicans control either the House, the Senate, or both. I don't see many of Clinton's proposals having much success in that environment either but 1) she's worked with Republicans to get things done before and 2) she's actively working to support down-ballot Democrats, improving the odds that the Democrats can win back the House and/or Senate.

That's a reasonable answer, good post. I haven't yet heard any other good answers when it's pointed out Hillary can't pass any of her stuff either. Personally though, I disagree that she is going to be able to have enough success down ballot to get anything done. Fundraising is nice, but you only need to look to the Jeb! campaign to see it isn't enough on it's own. You need enthusiastic voters too, and I don't know how she is going to generate that for those races.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:50 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


>I don't see how any of Sanders' proposals stand a chance of becoming law when Republicans >control either the House, the Senate, or both. I don't see many of Clinton's proposals having >much success in that environment either but 1) she's worked with Republicans to get things ?>done before and 2) she's actively working to support down-ballot Democrats, improving the odds >that the Democrats can win back the House and/or Senate.


Republicans decided to obstruct Obama's entire agenda in 2008 and were rewarded in 2010 with a landslide victory in the midterms. They have absolutely zero incentive to cooperate with any of Clinton or Sander's progressive proposals and every reason not to because cooperation would just invite a Tea Party challenger. Clinton or Sanders might be able to slip some things into the budget, but in the end, its the House and the Senate who make the laws, not the President.

I'm not impressed by the comparatively small sums Clinton seems to be raising for the party, either. Democrats have poured plenty of money into Senate and House races at both the national and state level over the past 5 years, but between the failure to recruit candidates in many districts, the failure to develop a strategy to mobilize voters, and the failure to develop a consistent message to inspire voters, Democrats have largely met with failure.

Regardless of who wins the primary, Democrats need to realize this. Sadly, establishment Democrats seem more interested in attacking their grassroots in the hopes of holding on to what they have rather than expanding the Democratic base to actually govern. It's a recipe for long term failure.

For the record, I wanted to Warren to run. It's sad that it is taking an outsider (Sanders) to actually mobilize the Democrats at the grassroots level.
posted by eagles123 at 8:53 PM on February 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Anybody else starting to find the almost histrionically anti-Clinton tone these days to be getting tiresome?

Personally, I find coronations tiresome.

It takes an incredible case of blind privilege to subscribe to that "its gotta get worse before it gets better" worldview. That usually means it has to get worse (for other people) before it gets better (for me).

I don't suppose you have any evidence to support this claim, other than your own bias against people who refuse to vote for politicians who enable mass slaughter

Ugh, I know, it was just 100,000 dead Iraqis, get over it already.

This is not directed at Drinky Die's obvious sarcasm, but just a correction of the numbers... At this point the destabilization and power vacuums caused by the GWOT have directly caused at least a million deaths if not more (and rising). Either way, Clinton, and all who voted for the Iraq AUMF, are war criminals with the blood of countless innocents on their hands. Damn anyone who tries to vote shame right thinking citizens of this country for taking a stand and refusing to support the war criminals among us. If you don't want to lose elections and fuck the Supreme court then maybe you shouldn't run politicians who are directly responsible for countless easily preventable deaths. Maybe you shouldn't run politicians who promise to do more of the same type of "humanitarian intervention." Maybe you shouldn't run politicians who have Henry Kissinger as BFFs and confidants. If a political party can't meet these minimal standards then they cease to be legitimate in any way, and they don't deserve a single vote in the general election.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:57 PM on February 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


The harassment we've seen of women online through shit like Gamergate is a natural outflow of the successful negative pr used against Hillary Clinton by billionaires like Scaife and the Koch's. We should vote for her if for no other reason than to send a message to all those fuckers.
posted by humanfont at 9:01 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The harassment we've seen of women online through shit like Gamergate

What about the rape, murder, and pillage perpetrated against third world women and children as a direct result of neoliberal policies directed, supported, and enacted by Clinton and others like her? What message should we send to them? "More of the same?" "Change is hard?"
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:05 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


I know what Sanders wants to do, but I think he's insufficiently machiavellian to do it. I don't know what Clinton wants to do, but I think she is entirely machiavellian enough to do it.

Which way do I vote?
posted by zippy at 9:07 PM on February 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Bernie has "worked with Republicans to get things done before," most notably on the Veterans Choice Act

Another moment came when Sanders, who was then chair of the Veterans committee, worked with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), to overhaul the Veterans Administration. McCain praised Sanders' work on the bill in an interview with National Journal. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) even went so far as to say the bill would never have passed without Sanders' ability to bring the parties to a deal.
posted by saul wright at 9:11 PM on February 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


What's Sanders doing to support down-ballot races?

Does nobody here see this? Sanders is the Democratic party's best hope for down-ticket races.

Every time he opens his mouth he talks about how no single Presidential candidate can do this alone, and he's all about getting apathetic voters engaged and turning out. He's already bringing new Democrats to the party and will inspire huge numbers of liberals to get out and vote for him, and thus, for the down-ticket races.

A Hillary nomination, on the other hand, is not only likely to turn those nascent new progressive voters jaded (potentially losing them for decades), but will inspire record conservative and Tea Party turnout to vote against her.

For the long game, Bernie's the best choice Democrats have, even before you consider his positions. I just hope we don't blow it and nominate Hillary - we risk not only losing the presidency*, but alienating a whole generation of voters eager to make a difference.

*Polls have consistently shown Bernie does better than Hillary in general election matchups against all Republican candidates
posted by scrowdid at 9:12 PM on February 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


What's Sanders doing to support down-ballot races?

large turnout and staff? it's been really amazing to see, locally.

at least, that s what it has been so far. i suppose the rhetoric of unity in that campaign could change.
posted by eustatic at 9:13 PM on February 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Which way do I vote?

Easy. Make whichever choice contributes to making the world a little bit less Machiavellian so that more people like Sanders might flourish.
posted by Backslash at 9:17 PM on February 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


RE:"Why is everyone picking on Clinton" template,

She's on home turf. This race has been hers to lose. Nobody disagrees with that. So if you think we shouldn't present a rigorous criticism of her platform and campaign you might as well just shame us for being ok with anyone besides her entering the race at all.
posted by an animate objects at 9:17 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


The most infuriating of the claims for Sanders is that we need a revolution, and that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for a cynical, doomed politics, and a vote for lower ambition.
...
As Rebecca Traister and Governor Madeline Kunin so effectively outline, it is not possible for women to be seen as revolutionary and still be seen as effective leaders.

 Yes, I’ve read most of the critiques of her, and, yes, I’m aware of her record and her complex, often vexing history.  Why This Socialist Feminist Is For Hillary

Presidents almost always face serious constraints on their agendas, with a handful of exceptions built around landslides driven by crises or events. No candidate now running will transform the system in 2016. But some candidates would have an easier time governing through the dysfunction.

Sanders might be our best candidate, but don’t buy into his masterful pandering about starting a political revolution

Left-Leaning Economists Question Cost of Bernie Sanders’s Plans

Citing her lackluster support among young voters, campaign consultants to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner who has served as both a U.S. senator and secretary of state, reportedly instructed the candidate this week to be more inspiring.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:50 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Bernie has "worked with Republicans to get things done before," most notably on the Veterans Choice Act

Look, this was me. My dad now follows Bernie Sanders on social media, and I absolutely know it's because I shared links about Bernie's work for veterans. I didn't engage my parents in debate, I just posted things relevant to their interests. He started reposting things, and now here we are. That's one less vote for Trump. (My mom is still going to vote Republican, but not Trump, so yay?)
posted by Ruki at 10:09 PM on February 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Anybody else starting to find the almost histrionically anti-Clinton tone these days to be getting tiresome?

If by "these days" you mean the last twenty years, then yes.
posted by drinkyclown at 10:11 PM on February 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


>The most infuriating of the claims for Sanders is that we need a revolution, and that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for a cynical, doomed politics, and a vote for lower ambition.
...
>As Rebecca Traister and Governor Madeline Kunin so effectively outline, it is not possible for >women to be seen as revolutionary and still be seen as effective leaders.

>Yes, I’ve read most of the critiques of her, and, yes, I’m aware of her record and her complex, >often vexing history.  Why This Socialist Feminist Is For Hillary

>Presidents almost always face serious constraints on their agendas, with a handful of ?>exceptions built around landslides driven by crises or events. No candidate now running will >transform the system in 2016. But some candidates would have an easier time governing >through the dysfunction.

>Sanders might be our best candidate, but don’t buy into his masterful pandering about starting >a political revolution

>Left-Leaning Economists Question Cost of Bernie Sanders’s Plans

>Citing her lackluster support among young voters, campaign consultants to Hillary Clinton, the >Democratic presidential frontrunner who has served as both a U.S. senator and secretary of >state, reportedly instructed the candidate this week to be more inspiring.

President Obama hasn't gotten a single progressive bill past congress since the Republicans took control in 2010. As I said above, Republicans have absolutely no incentive to work with a Democratic President on progressive proposals, and every incentive to block those proposals or face a primary challenge. It will take a dramatic political realignment involving Democrats doing better in areas that are currently safely Republican to change this state of affairs. Sanders is just being honest when he says that it will take a "political revolution" to accomplish his goals. The same would be true of any Democrat. That is not pandering. What is pandering is claiming that Clinton is somehow going to use a jedi mind trick to get any of her proposals past Congress.

The sad thing is Clinton's proposals would be beneficial if they were enacted. Just because I like Sander's ideas better doesn't mean I dislike Clinton's ideas. Still, Clinton's progressive ideas have exactly the same chance of passing the Republican congress as Sander's plans: zero. Either way, Democrats have to recognize this fact and fight to expand their base.
posted by eagles123 at 10:20 PM on February 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


Well, if Clinton is setting up shared funds with the local races and Sanders isn't, then clearly the best thing for the downticket races is for Clinton to lose the nomination, then all of that money goes to the more local stuff where the money can do good, rather than sticking around at the presidential level which is oversaturated with money anyway.

I'll show myself out.
posted by ckape at 10:33 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately a political revolution isn't going to happen regardless of how much people want it.

The reality is that the political landscape is structured around two parties that make incremental changes rather than political revolutions. Even the two periods where progressive policies had overwhelming support (New Deal and Great Society) were somewhat limited in their policies and both has extended periods where conservatives have tried to undo those efforts through incremental changes as the political equilibrium has shifted.

Republicans have a substantial structural advantage in regards to the house (and to a lesser degree the Senate) based upon the apportionment of representation and the overwhelming control that Republicans have at the state level (which has allowed them to gerrymander the fuck out of the House). Combined with their dark money advantages and the fact that fundamentally gridlock actually serves their purposes because it reinforces the status quo and I don't see how a political revolution is going to happen soon.

I don't think Sanders is lying because he's admitting that his policies need a massive change in our political landscape to be political possible. I don't think Clinton is lying when she and her proxies say that his approach is destined for failure because there is no real indication that there is the sort of support necessary to push his policy objectives through the House and Senate.

The unfortunate reality is that the Republicans have found a successful strategy of non-governance where they simply block all progress and then manufacture crisis points in order to win concessions and to date their strategy hasn't backfired at all at the electoral level. In terms of being able to articulate this point it seems that Obama has been completely unsuccessful in making a case against the Republicans and he's a much more talented orator than either Sanders or Clinton so I doubt that the logjam is getting fixed anytime soon.

Yes Sanders showed more courage than Clinton in rejecting the call to war in Iraq and for some people that is the defining difference. For other people the apparent willingness of Clinton to adopt the strategies of Republicans in regards to dark money is a strike against her.

I honestly don't think either one is a particularly charismatic leader but increasingly I'm getting to the point where I don't really care who wins the nomination as long as either one can convincingly win in November. Realistically I think that neither one is going to have particularly great coattails for down-ballot races. Structurally speaking it seems like Clinton is going to be hard to beat especially if she can maintain her leads in SC and NV (If she wins in both states that will effectively negate the narrative coming out of NH and reinforce the idea that Bernie can only win with White Liberal voters). I think Bernie still has an outside chance but it's going to require a level of campaigning at least on par with Obama 08 and honestly I don't see that same intensity or breadth of support. Still I think you have to at least give him a outside chance of succeeding.

Personally I'm still hoping for a third party Trump run because that would fuck up all sorts of things and make a matchup with Cruz much less of a nail biter regardless of the Democratic candidate.

The disaster scenario of course is that Sanders gets the nomination and Bloomberg enters the race as a third party spoiler because Bloomberg would almost certainly get enough centrist and independent voters to keep Sanders from winning in the general. Personally I think the Bloomberg trial balloon is fairly unlikely but it's really intended to sap Sanders support.
posted by vuron at 10:57 PM on February 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


[Comment deleted. Let's skip the attacks and overheated flame-bait threats toward people who may decide to vote differently than you.]
posted by taz at 11:08 PM on February 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


it's curious that the progressive wing of the party first tried to draft Warren before settling on Sanders.
I still believe this was the biggest threat to a Clinton presidency outside of any charges from the emails thing.

Trump vs Clinton is not even a contest which is why I think Obama just riled up enough of Trump's more foamy-mouthed supporters to strengthen the chances of that happening.

Also, the BBC picture editor hits another one straight out of the park.
posted by fullerine at 12:02 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lord knows labor never did shit for anybody who wasn't white.

That seems rather ignorant of history. After all, Martin Luther King was in Memphis, where he gave his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech and gave up his life, in support of a labor strike. Union labor leaders helped organize the Rosa Parks bus boycott in Montgomery.

There is a long, mixed history of race and labor unions. The craft unions of the AFL in the 20s and 30s were particularly segregationist. On the other hand, the CIO led the way in job integration in the 30s and 40s, including over 80,000 black steelworkers, long before the rest of society. Company bosses often exploited and exacerbated racial animus, using black workers to break strikes at primarily white factories and white workers to break strikes at primarily black factories. But after WWII most factory unions were integrated, even though the building trades remained recalcitrant. Today, both black and white union members lead better lives due to their solidarity.
posted by JackFlash at 12:05 AM on February 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


So, if we are mad at Clinton for voting for Iraq, are we also mad at Bernie for voting to fund it every time a bill has come up?
posted by schroedinger at 12:58 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Polls have consistently shown Bernie does better than Hillary in general election matchups against all Republican candidates

scrowdid: cite please
posted by iffthen at 1:22 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, if we are mad at Clinton for voting for Iraq, are we also mad at Bernie for voting to fund it every time a bill has come up?

That is factually incorrect. He voted in favor of four defense authorization funds and against six. His explanation is that he voted for those four because they all contained amendments directing funds towards veterans, either through the VA or through the GI Bill. Whether or not you accept that explanation as valid, it is entirely wrong to claim that he has voted to fund it "every time it has come up."
posted by teponaztli at 1:25 AM on February 17, 2016 [16 favorites]


So he's only responsible for 40% of the dead Iraqis.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there an easy way to check votes on various bills? I have found tedious ways but surely there must be a place to click on a Senate or House bill and see how every member voted on that piece of legislation.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 AM on February 17, 2016


So he's only responsible for 40% of the dead Iraqis.

this is such a funny concern trolling of Sanders: you start out with "Sanders is too pure to win" and then turn around and criticize him for not being pure enough...
posted by ennui.bz at 2:00 AM on February 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


Here's the Real Clear Politics general election matchups. Sanders tends to have a 2-3 point advantage over Clinton in general election matchups (curiously they're tied where Carson's concerned). It's not much, but when races are close it could make the difference - Rubio beats Clinton by 4.2 percent but Sanders keeps it within 1 percent. I'd much prefer having that extra buffer.
posted by scrowdid at 2:36 AM on February 17, 2016


General election match-ups this far out when 2 candidates (Trump and Clinton) have vastly higher name recognition are really sketchy to rely on. There simply isn't enough polling data yet and what there is tends to model Clinton vs generic Republican or Trump vs generic Democratic candidate.

Sanders and some of the Republicans are well known among politically interested voters but for a lot of voters the campaign has been background noise.
posted by vuron at 2:44 AM on February 17, 2016


Bernie hasn't been trashed by the GOP hate machine yet. That buffer is an illusion.
posted by humanfont at 2:48 AM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


has any of the GOP gone after Sanders yet, significantly?
posted by angrycat at 3:47 AM on February 17, 2016


No, they prefer to go after Clinton, who seems more of a threat to them. They believe Sanders would be easy.
posted by Peach at 3:55 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


this is such a funny concern trolling of Sanders: you start out with "Sanders is too pure to win" and then turn around and criticize him for not being pure enough...

I'm not actually criticizing Sanders there, I'm pointing out the inherent cognitive dissonance of people who hold Clinton to a different standard than Sanders. One really can't simultaneously blame Clinton for being a murderous monster sharing in the responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis while holding Sanders blameless when he has repeatedly voted to support that same endeavor, even if he wasn't (to his credit) supportive of it in the first place.

If he gets credit for his original vote, and he should, he also gets the blame for his later votes.
posted by Justinian at 4:00 AM on February 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


No, they prefer to go after Clinton, who seems more of a threat to them. They believe Sanders would be easy.

I don't know about "easy". "Easier than Clinton", yes. A lot of people on Metafilter think the Republicans are wrong. I hope they are right if Sanders gets the nom but a lot of very smart people think they are not.
posted by Justinian at 4:03 AM on February 17, 2016


You will never hear Sanders speak where he doesn't mention he needs a political revolution to get where he is going. Sanders supporters are not expecting he can do this on his own.

I was having trouble articulating to myself exactly why that even though I agree with him, I'm still hesitant about supporting him and you've nailed it for me. My fear is, what does Sanders expect to do when that revolution doesn't happen?
posted by octothorpe at 4:13 AM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, as much as I love Bernie I have this sinking feeling that his supporters think most Americans give as much of a shit about the future of this country as they do. Revolutions are easy when you have millions of people passionately worked up enough to see them through.

Unfortunately, we live in America. The majority of voters of all stripes mostly cares what's on TV tonight, whether they'll be approved for disability benefits, whether the store is out of Mountain Dew this week, what Kim and Kanye are up to this afternoon, and SQUIRREL! . . . I mean what was that about healthcare and my job being sent to Mexico? Revolutions are hard. They take work and sacrifice. An American national politician hasn't talked about collective effort or sacrifice since Obama ran in 2008, and even then that part of his message went right over people's heads and it quickly became "he can't get anything done, waaah, he promised CHANGE and now look Guantanamo is still open and there's still war everywhere . . . ."

Yeah, exactly. Millions who voted for Obama said "ok that's done, first black president healthcare whatevs," and changed the channel until the next election on the day after his inaugural.

Bernie is explaining that this is exactly how the oligarchy wants us to behave, bread and circuses and distractions galore. He is explaining that revolutions are hard work and entail collective sacrifice. But I am very much unconvinced that even many of his hardcore supporters grasp the point fully (especially those who proclaim themselves "disappointed" in Obama, see my prior comment here about how wrong I think the "Obama supporters were naive idealists who got fooled" narrative is), and I am damn sure the majority of voters he will need to win, while they might be convinced to support him out of anger at the oligarchy he describes so well, don't have the fortitude to march behind him for four or eight years of struggle.

TLDR: we're fucked. Good luck kids. I can see why you like Bernie -- and me too. But you'd best explain to your friends that voting by itself is the bare minimum exercise of democratic power. No amount of "cultural" change will loosen the grip of disaster capitalist oligarchs around your neck, citizen.

The biggest problem we have is apathy, which means enough of us are still too comfortable to feel any urgency for change and/or distracted enough by the constant bombardment of trivial cultural effluvia (including the horse race bullshit the media calls covering "politics") not to be able to focus and think about the bigger picture.

I'm voting Bernie in the primary (NY, it doesn't matter one way or the other, if you live here you see Democrats as pretty much absolutely as corrupt as Republicans, with just slightly less offensive ways of speaking).* I'll vote for whoever wins the D nomination in the general. But I don't believe for a minute that voting constitutes a "revolutionary" act or ever could.

* Chuck Schumer might as well be Mitch McConnell in my opinion.
posted by spitbull at 5:22 AM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


I sincerely hope Sanders supporters (of whom I am one) are not getting their hopes up about him getting the nom. Because he doesn't even have to wait for the GOP to turn their attentions to him: our media-conglomerate gatekeepers are just waiting for the opportunity to Dean-Scream him halfway to Pluto.

It won't take much of anything. Maybe he half-trips on the way up a short set of steps. Maybe he drops something and picks it up in what can be construed as a slightly laborious fashion. Maybe he just emits a slightly dorky guffaw. That'll be it. No news producer in this country will refrain from running that clip into the ground, because their parent companies can abide no one in the White House less than Bernie. If nothing else does it, this will hand Clinton the nomination.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:46 AM on February 17, 2016


I'm supporting Sanders in the primary. I don't hate Clinton. I'll support the Democratic nominee in the general as I live in a purple state.

After the primary, I'm going to focus on supporting my state House Democratic candidate (I live in a purple state House district too).

The effects of wealth concentration on our democracy are systemic and require engaged work well beyond any individual presidential candidate (which is emphatically not to say that the presidential race is unimportant). The groundswell of small, individual donors to the Sanders campaign and the energy of supporters gives me hope, and I'll continue to help with increasing engagement and expanding Democratic turnout where I can.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:49 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's not 1972, we're mostly not hippies, the voters today aren't the voters of 1972, and older voters of 2008 have died off in sufficient numbers to change the electorate. Sanders can win but it won't be easy.

I believe that if Sanders doesn't win the presidency, he'll still work tirelessly to bring about a political revolution(*). He has the supporters and funding relationships, and is building the data infrastructure from what I have read. If his people can maintain enthusiasm, we could be seeing in this campaign the early development of the progressive politicians of 2040. However, if he loses and doesn't push for grassroots political change, I fear that the spark of political engagement in his supporters will rapidly wither. But the momentum is there now and he has repeatedly expressed a long-term perspective, so my hopes are pinned to this harnessed political energy.

Don't underestimate me - May 26, 2015, when he was 50 points down.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

That Mead quote certainly has seemed to work for the Republicans over the past few decades, starting with the evangelical alignment towards Reagan when disco was dying. If Sanders can forge a strong vision for the progressive future, perhaps it could rally hitherto fractious Democrats to a set of priorities that rival the past few decades. I know we're supposed to complain separately at our televisions and leave our political participation to the professionals (thanks media companies and political elites!), but it seems we're near peak apathy. That apathy is de facto normalized every time someone says that we can't win because McGovern lost (with a vastly different electorate, and with a running mate who revealed his history of electroshock therapy and depression 2 weeks after getting named).

You certainly don't hear the Republicans arguing against their candidates because Goldwater lost in '64!

(*) from wikipedia: A political revolution, in the Trotskyist theory, is an upheaval in which the government is replaced, or the form of government altered, but in which property relations are predominantly left intact. Is this the meaning of political revolution that Sanders intends?
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 6:01 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bernie hasn't been trashed by the GOP hate machine yet. That buffer is an illusion.

Yes. Is anyone in doubt that the RNC et al. would prefer Sanders to be nominated because they think (rightly or not) it would be a cake-walk for any of their potential nominees to defeat him? That they fear the Clinton Political Machine? (Look at how all the savage political and legal attacks over the decades have failed to permanently topple either Clinton.) But should Sanders be nominated, or should it become clear after major primaries have been held that he is going to be nominated, there will be an onslaught of dog-whistle-anti-Semitism, socialist fear mongering, and lefty Vermont 60s activism hippy mockery like we have never seen before, which the mainstream media will eagerly re-broadcast to everyone in the country with cable tv or FOX/CNN in their twitter feed.

But I think it's a moot point. As much as I like many of Sanders' positions, realistically I think his campaign will begin to fall dramatically behind Clinton once the larger and more broadly-representative state primaries start taking place.
posted by aught at 6:21 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


But should Sanders be nominated, or should it become clear after major primaries have been held that he is going to be nominated, there will be an onslaught of dog-whistle-anti-Semitism, socialist fear mongering, and lefty Vermont 60s activism hippy mockery

I keep hearing this, but is there a person alive who wouldn't be subjected to the very worst the RNC and the wing-nuts can dream up? At least with Bernie he's relatively clean so they can't go pointing to any financial improprieties, imagined or not, and with Bernie we know exactly what they will go for so we can prepare. It's not like the anti-semite vote is on the fence abiut Bernie.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:47 AM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


fatbird: I've seen no one yet mention The Wailing of the Obots as a reason to vote for Clinton over Sanders, to wit: that keening noise that's issued steadily from Metafilter and Firedoglake for the last seven years over how much Change We Can Believe In was a lie.

That's a ridiculously wide brush you're using if you can hit MeFi and FDL in one swipe.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:48 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm more more worried about ads showing Clinton talking about compromising on abortion or, Jesus, super-predators. That's the kind of thing that could cost the Dems votes.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:50 AM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


But should Sanders be nominated, or should it become clear after major primaries have been held that he is going to be nominated, there will be an onslaught of dog-whistle-anti-Semitism, socialist fear mongering, and lefty Vermont 60s activism hippy mockery

Also attacks on his age (he would be the oldest president ever elected, by a wide margin), and probably, by proxy, attacks on his health. Evidence non-withstanding, there would be attacks on his expansion of government ('wasting money, driving up debt'); attacks on his raising taxes (self-explanatory); attacks on his healthcare plan ('you'll lose your current coverage; companies can't afford it'); attacks on his minimum wage plan ('kills jobs'); and, in all likelihood, attacks on his foreign policy ('or lack thereof').

If I were a betting man, I'd also bet that he gets attacked as an establishment candidate: 'this guys been in the Senate for decades; he's Washington through-and-through; he claims to be an Independent but runs as a Democrat. But I, Trump, am a true outsider etc etc etc.' I'd also bet he gets attacked over something as completely inane as Obama's birth certificate was -- remember that Trump was all over that, too.

It's not like the anti-semite vote is on the fence about Bernie.


It's less who they'd vote for than it is whether they vote at all; my odds are more on efforts to mobilize the evangelical base of the Republican party to get out to vote and 'put a Christian back in the White House' (because SECRET MUSLIM PRESIDENT, remember); or something along those lines. You can definitely make a cogent case that Clinton might also mobilize a lot of the Republican base -- particularly the older members -- to get out to vote when they might otherwise not. But those are, again, people who by and large aren't voting Democratic if they're voting at all; advertising is as much about getting people out and to the polls as anything else.
posted by cjelli at 7:21 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's really easy to say you won't vote for Clinton when you're white a/o male a/o straight. The horrors that a Republican WH+Congress would visit on everyone else are terrifying. Moral stands are easy to take when you are insulated from the consequences of your choices.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


Who is really saying they won't vote for Clinton if Bernie isn't nominated? I mean, numbers wise? Is it millions?
posted by ian1977 at 7:40 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


advertising is as much about getting people out and to the polls as anything else.

Yes. Turnout is my number one reason for preferring Bernie. He's simply going to bring more Democrats and independents - and even Republicans - out to vote for him. Hillary will dampen excitement and turnout among Democrats and independents and galvanize Republicans - and a considerable subset of independents - into the ballot box to vote against her. Just apply a little game theory to the electorate and Bernie emerges as the best shot to win the presidency.
posted by scrowdid at 7:40 AM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Almost as easy as it is for a Canadian, eh?
posted by spitbull at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Almost six years later, most Clinton aides can still rattle off the names of traitors and the favors that had been done for them, then provide details of just how each of the guilty had gone on to betray the Clintons—as if it all had happened just a few hours before.

I thought the idea of a 'Clinton hit list' was a right-wing fantasy until I saw that 2014 politico article. Is this standard procedure? Is the article unfairly biased?
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 7:47 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


A bit of a digression re: labor and civil rights, but . . .

Eriko, JackFlash is absolutely right.

A great example of this is the Highlander Folk School. The Wikipedia is not super informative about its earlier years, but the Highlander Folk School worked with MLK, trained Rosa Parks, trained the Freedom Riders, and was involved with organizing labor and progressive civil rights since the 30's (even inspiring Seeger's We Shall Overcome). It originally focused on labor rights for poor whites in the Appalachian foothills, but over the years its staff and founder realized that such rights went hand-in-hand with the growing civil rights movement.

So don't be too quick to cast all labor as racist by default!
posted by auggy at 8:06 AM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Almost as easy as it is for a Canadian, eh?

The rest of the world is greatly affected by who the US president is. They just don't get to vote.
posted by Talez at 8:20 AM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


The "but he was 50 points down" and "he beats the GOP straight up" lines of arguing leave aside that Hillary has been with us since 1992. How long? She spoke at a campaign rally on my college campus. In 1992. None of us in Colorado knew who Bernie Sanders was. (Colorado did go for Jerry Brown in the primary, though.)

Hillary is a known quantity and a name brand. Sanders still isn't.

Anecdotes aren't data, but here's a story:
When I was back in OK for the holidays, I had a running bet about who my far-right family members would support. I had Trump and Cruz down for them. Their response? "None of them. They're all terrible. Just not Hillary."

Attacking Hillary is the easy thing (and cheap) thing to do. That she's still a viable candidate at this point is kinda shocking. Sanders has just been hammered as a "socialist," but Fox News isn't spending hours tearing apart Sanderscare... yet.

I don't play the game of Sanders v. Hillary in regards to who is a better candidate to beat the inevitable GOP dumpster fire of a nominee. There are too many factors and too many cards yet to be played, and given the sputtering economy we could be staring at a recession come November. Hillary is the easiest to predict. Sanders has the widest range between success and failure -- he could McGovern, he could Reagan. We don't know.

Right now Sanders isn't the frontrunner. If he wins Super Tuesday, things will change in a hurry and the Fox News narrative will swing around fast. And then we'll see if he can endure what's to come. It happened with Obama in '08, and it wasn't just Hillary's people firing the cannons. The other factor helping him is that the GOP billionaires still haven't coalesced around a candidate they like.

Can he win? Of course he can win. Better shot that Hillary? Probably not, unless the deciding factor this time out happens to be a constituency that he's tapping into. But it's easier for me to plot the Hillary curve than the Sanders curve. I know what she taps into. I don't know what he could tap into yet.
posted by dw at 8:25 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die: "(In fact, I think a lot of hated of Hillary from the left is much more about hating the party establishment and dynastic politics more than it's anything personal.)"

Yeah. I've been having a tough time coming to terms between my feelings about Hillary (decent politician, great Secretary of State, but Iraq) and my feelings about the DNC (utter disdain and contempt).

The two are hopelessly entangled, and I'm not even sure that's Hillary's fault. Had the DNC decided not to play kingmaker, Hillary might have been forced to do actual campaigning, somebody might have quietly whispered into her ear that she might want to stop having lunch with Henry Kissinger, and the party might have suggested some alternative candidates who opposed the war and had broad appeal.

The sad part is that a Hillary loss won't even come across as a referendum on the DNC (and this has especially tragic consequences for lower elections)

Instead, the party that thought it could sail to victory in 2000, 2004, and nominate Hillary in 2008 is evidently reading from the same exact playbook, and refuses to learn any lessons.

At this point, my only concern about a Sanders nomination is that he won't have the full support or enthusiasm of the DNC.
posted by schmod at 8:36 AM on February 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


dw: "I know what she taps into. I don't know what he could tap into yet."

Oddly enough, Donald Trump is positioning himself more and more as a Racist Bernie Sanders.

That might actually sway some voters.
posted by schmod at 8:37 AM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Liberal blogging legend and ex-financial journalist Billmon1 had some really interesting thoughts about the presidential vs. legislative wings of the Democratic party and why the party continues to de-prioritize downballot races. Responding to a tweet about how the Democratic party isn't even running a Senate candidate in Georgia, Billmon explained how the Presidential wing of the party is better off in certain ways with a weak grassroots and therefore a weak legislative wing. I find it hard to argue with his conclusions about how the party treats its grassroots and how it seems to concern troll a lot about downticket races while failing to actually recruit or support good candidates for those positions.

I always find it interesting that there's so much blame put on the grassroots for downticket races when the DNC/DSCC/DCCC do more to affect that situation than anyone. There's so much gnashing of teeth in these threads about Congress and state legislature races (with good reason!), and a lot of blaming people who only vote in Presidential elections, but almost no reflection on how the party has failed on those issues and failed to turn out those voters. Ultimately it's the party's responsibility to motivate and turn out its base, and blaming & shaming voters for their failure is just pointless. I would love it if people felt more civic duty to vote in midterms, but they simply don't.

Worse, the DNC discourages and blocks access to the grassroots so that they can't even do some of this stuff themselves (for example, these five Ferguson organizers are being denied access to the Democratic Party's VAN to prevent them from primary challenging incumbents). Party leaders "yelled and carried on" fighting against Dean's 50 state strategy (which was at least an attempt to expand and reactivate the party base, even if I may not love some of the blue dog democrats who came with it). They see the grassroots as a threat to the presidential wing, not as a voting base for achieving legislative change.

I mean, you can even see this dynamic in the way that Wasserman Schultz decided not to hold very few debates and hide them on Saturday nights and things like that - it was intended to protect Clinton and the presidential wing, not to expand the party, expand the Overton window, or take advantage our three hours of free advertising for liberal policies and values (as the Republicans have been doing all year with their debates). It's exactly this elevation of their personal goals over the broader party's goals that causes some of these downticket problems in the first place - we should have had many more debates with as much public attention as we could to build the party.

In any event, the Sanders groundswell makes a lot more sense to me when I see it as a grassroots revolt against the Presidential wing of a party that seems to have made itself very comfortable in DC while neglecting to even attempt to make progress on legislative races (the DNC's record has been absolutely awful since Wasserman Schultz took over).
posted by dialetheia at 8:54 AM on February 17, 2016 [36 favorites]


Coming from somewhere that the DNC has abandonded, I think you nailed it dialetheia.

I really think that the political revolution that Sanders talks about would first be realized as a revolution against the DNC.
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:06 AM on February 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


One thing Sanders has to answer for was his handling of the Veterans Administration scandal while he was Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Sanders held up the VA as a shining ideological example of not just single-payer, but also government run healthcare. And it was in the 1990s under Clinton, but it withered under Bush and was neglected by Obama.

Ideological purity caused Sanders to regard the complaints that came pouring in about delayed treatment as just typical partisan sniping and he made some embarrassing public dismissals of legitimate complainants.

It's a dangerous trait of revolutionaries to allow their dedication to the revolution and paranoia about the opposition to blind them from seeing and addressing the atrocities committed in the name of revolution. It is a problem demonstrated in Russia and China and Cuba and South America. The VA scandal is just one example but worth keeping an eye on regarding Sanders.
posted by JackFlash at 9:48 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here's the Real Clear Politics general election matchups.

Why do people keep citing hypothetical national head-to-head polls as if they are in any way indicative of anything to do with how presidential elections actually work? Protip: the electoral college exists.
posted by dersins at 9:50 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Protip: Though losing the popular vote but winning the College happens, it's not all that common. Being up in national polls is a good sign you are competitive.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:58 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Protip: Though losing the popular vote but winning the College happens, it's not all that common.

But when it does happen it can be disastrous. Gore beat Bush in the popular vote by over 500,000 nationally.
posted by JackFlash at 10:08 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


In any event, the Sanders groundswell makes a lot more sense to me when I see it as a grassroots revolt against the Presidential wing of a party that seems to have made itself very comfortable in DC while neglecting to even attempt to make progress on legislative races (the DNC's record has been absolutely awful since Wasserman Schultz took over).

1968 was a very, very traumatic experience for the DNC, and it seems like that's the ghost they're most afraid of. '68 was the year the Democrats ceased being the "Jefferson-Jackson" party and started its long slouch towards the minority party.

I don't know what it'll take for the Dems to overcome the trauma of 1968. It needs internal renewal. As much as the Sanders fans want to hang Wasserman Schultz, she's not the problem. She's just the voice of the problem.
posted by dw at 10:28 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, but there was a hell of a lot more happening with the Democratic Party in 1968 than just grassroots squabbling - Democrats had just famously "lost the South for a generation" by enacting civil rights legislation and enraged young people by drafting them into an unjust war in Vietnam. Certainly there are generational conflicts today, but I think it's silly for Democrats to continue to fear the grassroots just because of a wholly different situation in 1968 (or 1972, for that matter). I don't doubt that you're right about DNC's motivations, I just think it's a dumb reason for what should be a bottom-up party to continue to insist on top-down control at all costs.
posted by dialetheia at 11:44 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think one of the successes of the republican party's evangelical and fiscal extreme elements has been to organize not just a 50 state plan but a million town (give or take) plan. The incredibly middle of the road small town I grew up in, the tea party elements took over the local republican party and have gotten a series of simultaneously inept and corrupt newbies elected to major offices.

I am 95% sure they don't represent the desires of the town, but they win anyway. I am also 95% sure they manage to get elected because of very clued outside organizational and financial support, because once they're in, they couldn't organize a potluck much less an election.

Sanders is a candidate who can excite and mobilize people at the local level, as evidenced by his campaign and his history. Clinton is demonstrating the opposite. I don't think she's incapable of local mobilization, buy her focus is on the national level. The DNC quashing a challenger who can actually rally people in large numbers may win the presidency, but Sanders actually has a shot with disaffected Republicans. I can see my hometown middle of the road republicans, who would never vote for either Clinton or Trump, be excited about Sanders.
posted by zippy at 12:03 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's a dangerous trait of revolutionaries to allow their dedication to the revolution and paranoia about the opposition to blind them from seeing and addressing the atrocities committed in the name of revolution. It is a problem demonstrated in Russia and China and Cuba and South America. The VA scandal is just one example but worth keeping an eye on regarding Sanders.

boilerplate social-democratic reformism makes you josef fidel zedong chavez now
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:18 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I for one would vote for Josef Fidel Zedong Chavez.

Er, unless we could get Nikita Fidel Zedong Chavez to run instead. He's a bit mellower.
posted by jackbishop at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2016


You say that now, Rustic Etruscan, but you'll change your tune when the Minnesota Nice purges start. Try speaking up, and they'll pause a moment and then say, "Well, that's different."
posted by The Gaffer at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who is really saying they won't vote for Clinton if Bernie isn't nominated? I mean, numbers wise? Is it millions?

I assume the commented you're quoting was referring to people on Metafilter saying that, where it is quite a common sentiment. It doesn't appear to be nearly so common out in the big blue room thankfully.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2016


To whatever extent that there are voters who would vote for Sanders but not Clinton, it indicates that he can reach voters he can't - not that his voters are morally inferior to hers.
posted by dialetheia at 1:06 PM on February 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


What dialethia said. I don't think a significant number of democrats would vote against Clinton, the risk is more that they would say "meh" and stay home. Sanders excites voters.

On the Republican side, I can see some, say 5-10% percent of voters defecting for Sanders in the general, but not Clinton, because of the decades of mudslinging she's received, plus her husband is serious baggage because of his workplace affair. That alone is toxic for republican voters.
posted by zippy at 1:12 PM on February 17, 2016


US Today has this editorial today saying Jesus would vote for Sanders, so, you know, there you go.
posted by angrycat at 1:15 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do you mean this one from a professor of religion at Boston University? WWJD? Vote for Bernie, maybe: "I cannot shake the suspicion that Sanders is the most Christian candidate in the 2016 race." I thought that was actually a fairly interesting analysis not just of Sanders' moral vocabulary, but also the extent to which the Republicans have given up that rhetoric this election cycle. I found it fairly refreshing to finally see people talking about religion in politics as it relates to poverty and climate change, not just abortion and gay marriage.
posted by dialetheia at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


it's vote shaming from CHRIST
posted by angrycat at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2016




Thumb on the scale for HRC. I'm not surprised, but it's not in my top-10 concerns with her.

I entered the year a huge Bernie supporter. I've cooled on him as its become very clear to me that he's not being honest about his plans' costs and impacts. (See Krugman's blog posts from the last two weeks for more.) I guess I feel in general like things are much more complicated than Bernie is setting out.

Still leaning Bernie. But I'm not sure anymore.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:38 PM on February 17, 2016


On the Republican side, I can see some, say 5-10% percent of voters defecting for Sanders in the general

I don't see this, at least not at this point. Partly because Sanders is not the frontrunner and is not being attacked right now, but also partly because support for Sanders is mixed up with opposition to Hillary Clinton. In other words, it's as much a referendum on Hillary Clinton and The Clintons as it is a genuine preference for Sanders.

If Sanders wins the nomination, then that anti-Clinton fuel is removed. And then I think it gives a more accurate picture of what his base of support is.
posted by FJT at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump's support is collapsing after the last debate where he went after Bush, according to NBC's latest polls.
posted by Justinian at 2:05 PM on February 17, 2016


If there's one thing Republicans hate, it's facts.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:11 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sanders campaign defends Killer Mike using 'uterus' quote about Clinton.

It's worth checking out Killer Mike's whole speech, which was quite powerful. He was taken out of context rather badly. He quoted noted feminist and anti-racism activist Jane Elliott replying to the Steinem/Albright comments by arguing that "a uterus doesn't qualify you to be president - you have to have the social justice policy, too." I heard many similar comments from feminists after Albright and Steinem made those comments. I didn't find it offensive, though I'm sure many people still disagree. I'm certain that he wishes he'd used better wording at this point, though.
posted by dialetheia at 2:19 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


boilerplate social-democratic reformism makes you josef fidel zedong chavez now

Thank you for illustrating the very issue I was bringing up -- that revolutionary zeal can lead to blindness toward real problems.

The question you have to ask youself is how Sanders could have screwed up so badly on one of his signatures issues, government run healthcare at the VA. Obviously he cares about it very much because it illustrates the advantages of universal healthcare. So how could he have failed to properly address the valid complaints of some veterans who were denied care. There are two characteristics that other revolutionaries have stumbled over, no matter their good intentions:

1. A revolutionary symbol like the VA health system must be vigorously defended from criticism.
2. Any criticism is assumed to be reactionary and therefore invalid.

Sanders has admitted as much saying that he at first dismissed the complaints as typical Republican sniping, until the scandal blew up. You have to be cautious and always vigilant about getting swept up in your own propaganda if you don't want to be embarrassed by reality.
posted by JackFlash at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yep, Trump could say all sorts of bullshit without any effect on his polls, but the minute he told the truth...
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump's support is collapsing after the last debate where he went after Bush, according to NBC's latest polls.

So some of my Republican friends have signed me up for mailing lists, so I get fascinating insight into how these things are going. And the email I got today from the Weekly Standard was AMAZEBALLS.
"There is plenty of room for candidates who think the Iraq War was a mistake...But what you can't do is take the MoveOn.org, Code Pink, Michael Moore, maximalist position that President Bush knowingly "lied" to the world in order to foment the war.
My absolute fucking favorite was this gem, though.
"Now, every political movement has partisan zealots and conspiracy-theorist cranks. And sometimes a politician has to pander to them. (emphasis mine) But on Saturday, Trump was pandering to the guys on the other side.
Like, the problem isn't that he's saying crazy things! The problem is he's saying the wrong crazy things!
posted by corb at 2:32 PM on February 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


1. A revolutionary symbol like the VA health system must be vigorously defended from criticism.

That is a 100% fair criticism, and is definitely the sort of approach that can lead to problems. However, it really does depend on where that criticism comes from, and you touch on that a bit:

2. Any criticism is assumed to be reactionary and therefore invalid.

That's an incredibly easy trap to fall into in the current political climate, though. We need look no further than what's happening regarding appointing a replacement for Scalia to see this. While I think it's good to keep this trap in mind, it's incredibly easy to miss the tiny signal amongst the noise that saturates the entire environment. Were there any voices that were crossing over the partisan lines on this issue? I honestly don't know enough on this one... but especially right now, when the party in power has made it an explicit point to counter anything that Obama is involved with, and really, almost anything that has the word "Democrat" associated with it, there is a reasonable assumption of bad faith on any objection or criticism. How do you find the grains of truth in such a vast desert of partisan attacks? It's not so much a defense of him as it is a legitimate question for anyone who would take office in the present environment...

Sanders has admitted as much saying that he at first dismissed the complaints as typical Republican sniping, until the scandal blew up.

And I think that's part of the answer to my questions. It's that honesty and ability to learn that I appreciate - many politicians would make a completely different defense, one not quite so honest. I think admitting that you were wrong about something in the past goes incredibly far. Of course, some see that as a weakness - but to me, that's a sign of strength.

The other part of the question remains unanswered, though - which is hearing more about how he (or any other candidate) would be receptive to complaints like this in the midst of such partisan ship, and able to deal with something similar BEFORE it became a scandal. It's a legitimate question that we should be asking anyone who would lead the executive branch.

Your points are 100% valid, but I think they are equally so for any candidate here, as opposed to just being associated with a revolutionary campaign... The partisan divide really drives a revolutionary-like approach to defending anything that may be in place that should be defended, because almost anything associated by one side will be viciously attacked by the other as being an abomination in the first place.
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:07 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've cooled on him as its become very clear to me that he's not being honest about his plans' costs and impacts.

Financial Times Alphaville has some pushback on that NYT piece about "left-leaning economists" criticizing Sanders' plan: Sanders vs. the CEA. Dean Baker also had a response on his blog for the Center of Economic Policy and Research.
posted by dialetheia at 3:11 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oops, meant to add this too - NYT Editorial Board: Hillary Clinton should just say yes to a $15 minimum wage
posted by dialetheia at 3:14 PM on February 17, 2016


Sanders has admitted as much saying that he at first dismissed the complaints as typical Republican sniping, until the scandal blew up.

Honestly I have to say this is pretty fucking damning. Veterans were (and are) killing themselves on the steps of the VA to protest their shitty care. The idea that it was all just Republican hackery is kind of ridiculously offensive.
posted by corb at 3:15 PM on February 17, 2016


I'd be curious to read more about the VA, I'm mostly going off of the comments from JackFlash there. It does sound like there could be more to it than is immediately apparent.
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:17 PM on February 17, 2016


You have to be cautious and always vigilant about getting swept up in your own propaganda if you don't want to be embarrassed by reality.

Yes, I agree. The VA office failed badly, and Sanders shouldn't have dismissed criticism of its failures.

The failure to see the problems with one's own ideology isn't exclusive to left-wing revolutionaries, but is an important part of what defines ideology in the first place. Despite his rhetoric, Sanders is mildly left-wing, not a revolutionary. That was the extent of my objection.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Honestly I have to say this is pretty fucking damning. Veterans were (and are) killing themselves on the steps of the VA to protest their shitty care. The idea that it was all just Republican hackery is kind of ridiculously offensive.

The truth of the matter is that it is mostly Republican hackery, which is why it was easy for Sanders to fall into the trap of dismissing it. Veterans get the best healthcare in the U.S. bar none. All of the independent surveys indicate that veterans rate their level of care better than private insurance clients. But Republicans hate the VA because its success makes private insurance look bad.

The problems in the scandal were limited to a few VA hospitals that were overcrowded by retiring military -- namely Phoenix, Austin and Columbia. Hospital directors were gaming the system to keep up with their required performance goals.

This was a result underfunding due to the Republican wars in the Middle East and a Republican "Support the Troops" ethic that only goes as far as putting a magnetic yellow ribbon on their bumper. Republicans tried to limit veteran spending at the same time costs from the returning war vets was going up 200%.

Even so, for the most part veteran health care has been excellent. The major shortfall has been mental health coverage which Obama has been pushing valiantly to fix.
posted by JackFlash at 3:42 PM on February 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Sanders had a bill in Feb 2014 to fix the VHA backlog, but it 'collapsed' when Republicans wouldn't support it and go past a VA spending cap that they had worked out with the Obama administration in Dec 2013. It would have cost $20 billion over 10 years.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 3:50 PM on February 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


And I think that's part of the answer to my questions. It's that honesty and ability to learn that I appreciate - many politicians would make a completely different defense, one not quite so honest. I think admitting that you were wrong about something in the past goes incredibly far. Of course, some see that as a weakness - but to me, that's a sign of strength.

I'll just leave this here
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:16 PM on February 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not actually criticizing Sanders there, I'm pointing out the inherent cognitive dissonance of people who hold Clinton to a different standard than Sanders. One really can't simultaneously blame Clinton for being a murderous monster sharing in the responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis while holding Sanders blameless when he has repeatedly voted to support that same endeavor, even if he wasn't (to his credit) supportive of it in the first place.

If he gets credit for his original vote, and he should, he also gets the blame for his later votes.


Who's holding Sanders blameless? I think you have constructed a straw man of what you would like to think our opinions of him are. No American is blameless. In fact foreign policy is one area where progressives will have to hold his feet to the fire, because reigning in the military industrial complex will make regulating wall street and breaking up the big banks look like a walk in the park. In fact, I don't think I've heard Sanders mention any cutting at the pentagon...I could be wrong about that.

Either way, one can most certainly hold Clinton up as a murderous monster, as she most certainly is, because she owns humanitarian intervention. She advocates for it. Sanders does not. Listen you can try and equate Sanders doing the job he was elected to do...i.e. fund the government and pass bills...with voting to attack a country that had never attacked us. That's fine. I just don't find your moral calculus convincing in the least. Yes, you are correct that Sander's hands are not entirely clean in this regard, but no American's hands are at this late date.

What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.


If Sanders is elected he will have atrocities built in to the office the moment he lays his hand on the bible to take the oath. The moral question isn't what happened after the AUMF vote, that was a foregone conclusion, but rather who stood up to be counted among the war mongers and executioners. Sanders votes made no difference and it would have passed either way, but being a politician he had to make compromises to get the funding he wanted for what he wanted. Again we see that when a Socialist is running for President the "perfect is the enemy of the good" incantation loses its power and doesn't apply for some reason.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:19 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm on the move, so can't provide a hilarious bucket of cites on how very, very many VA hospitals were engaging in scandal-worthy material - really I think you'd be hard pressed to find a VA hospital that wasn't at least fudging their wait times - but suffice it to say that measuring veteran's satisfaction with VA compared to civilians with private insurance is not a good measure. You are comparing apples to oranges in a vain attempt to cheerlead for the VA. It's not just Republicans claiming the VA needs fixing - it's every nonpartisan veterans organization, including left-leaning IAVA.
posted by corb at 4:26 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll just leave this here

And (if you are a Hillary Supporter) hope that people read the headline and close the tab, because context matters and as late as 2008 she was defending the vote. It wasn't until Obama flanked her to the left that, guess what, she changed her tune. Now she's running against Sanders, what do you expect her to say? A better question would be what her opinion of the Libya intervention is, and how that affected Mali and the Central African Republic.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:26 PM on February 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


One report said that S.1982 (Sanders' VHA bill) t was projected to cost $30 billion over 10 years, still a pittance. The roll call vote shows Cruz and Rubio voted against it, and that it lost by a 4 vote margin.

Sanders' former party, Liberty Union, took him to task in the late 90s for becoming an 'ardent imperialist', if you want evidence that he's not ideologically pure. The screed at that link happens to include basically everything negative I've read about him anywhere - the 1994 crime bill, the TX-VT-ME agreement to store low-level radioactive waste ("such as scrap metal and workers' gloves" at a facility in Texas, and his votes on Iraq(*) and Yugoslavia. These are concerning, but barely a wrinkle on my brow compared to most politicians in office as long as he has been.

(*) Not the Gulf War of 1991, but the sanctions and bombing that the US pursued against Iraq from 1992 onward. Did we ever actually stop bombing in Iraq between the first and second Gulf wars?
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 4:33 PM on February 17, 2016


And (if you are a Hillary Supporter) hope that people read the headline and close the tab

No I was fully 100% aware that Hillary's about-face would be considered craven and calculated and inadequate because reasons
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:41 PM on February 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Did we ever actually stop bombing in Iraq between the first and second Gulf wars?

For the most part, but there was that one time when on the eve of his House impeachment vote Bill Clinton ordered a four day air campaign without U.N. Security Council approval. Wagging the dog so to speak.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:46 PM on February 17, 2016


The problem that I have with Secretary Clinton and her Iraq War vote is that, even if she is sincere in her regret over her vote, it isn't reflected in her larger pattern of behavior. It's more like, "I'm still in favor of bombing poor people to solve all our problems, but this one time it was a bad idea". She has been a foreign policy interventionist long since the Iraq vote, she still holds up Kissinger's name with pride, she still advocates an aggressive, interventionist stance. There's no indication that she won't get us into another Iraq as soon as the chance presents itself.
posted by indubitable at 4:49 PM on February 17, 2016 [16 favorites]


because reasons

It's a pretty well documented pattern of behavior with Clinton.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:49 PM on February 17, 2016


AElfwine Evenstar, I remember in the late 1990s finding out that the US was bombing southern Iraq regularly, though I can't find the sources now and I can't speak to their bias. In an article on a February 2001 attack on Baghdad, the background provided includes the following: US and British warplanes have been patrolling no-fly zones in the north and south of the Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. The allies say the planes never target civilians, but Iraq often reports civilian casualties.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 5:00 PM on February 17, 2016


I remember in the late 1990s finding out that the US was bombing southern Iraq regularly, though I can't find the sources now

I'm sure there was "low intensity" bombardment all throughout the enforcement of the no-fly zone, but good luck finding any American MSM outlets reporting on it. You might have better luck searching British and/or European press outlets.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:10 PM on February 17, 2016


The problem that I have with Secretary Clinton and her Iraq War vote is that, even if she is sincere in her regret over her vote, it isn't reflected in her larger pattern of behavior.

Precisely. The way she criticized Obama for not being more aggressive in arming Syrian rebels is especially worrying.
posted by dialetheia at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


you know i'm doing this belated Gilmore Girls binge where Rory is all excited about how she's going to write her Harvard essay about Hillary Clinton and how rad she is and then gets shamed by some Ivy League rep laughing about the huge number of Hillary Clinton hagiographies they have to wade through during admission season.

Man, it's just a plot point that would so not fly today. I offer this observance not to celebrate Clinton or denigrate Bernie, but I do remember when Clinton was a role model.
posted by angrycat at 5:15 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


I venture that it will fly again - that as Sanders recalls FDR's New Deal, some future time will recall HRC's second-wave feminist neoliberalism as inspirational for their conditions.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 5:22 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Seth Ackerman had a good piece on the practicality of Sanders' health care plan: Meet the new Harry and Louise
posted by dialetheia at 11:40 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sanders has recently identified one of his major Foreign Policy advisors is Lawrence Korb. Korb was supportive of Obama's campaign in Libya. If you expect Sanders to have a markedly different foreign policy that Clinton or Obama; you will be disappointed.
posted by humanfont at 5:26 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Bernie Bubble: There’s an important variable in the Sanders campaign’s unlikely rise: how ideologies cluster on the social Web.
Just as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News fed a rabid, ideological conservatism that yielded the Tea Party and the Freedom Caucus and now culminates in Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the left has created its own bubbles that encourage a more severe distrust of the status quo—a sharp turnaround from the Democrats’ moderate 1990s and even the cautiously progressive Obama era.

In the social-media era, these bubbles and the media that feed content into them can create feedback loops in which ideology takes a far stronger, and stricter, role than it had previously. Stories from high-volume publications like the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and the Guardian often spread virally based on their resonance with a specific set of left-leaning or outright leftist political values. And the most viral of these are often less about the nuts and bolts of politics than they are about visceral social issues, with examinations of privilege and the patriarchy infusing coverage of everything from mass shootings and police brutality to video games to Halloween costumes. In 2016, leftist politics—and leftist media—feels larger and more austere and purist. And its permitted bounds of disagreement feel narrower.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:37 AM on February 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Man, it's just a plot point that would so not fly today. I offer this observance not to celebrate Clinton or denigrate Bernie, but I do remember when Clinton was a role model.

She will be again after the campaign, whether because she's a President or because she's just not in campaign mode (which really brings out the worst in her).
posted by Etrigan at 6:29 AM on February 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


because reasons

Right, because it's never Hillary, is it?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:36 AM on February 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Since we're on the topic of people being remembered for stuff. I will say, I am a little surprised at how much love FDR is getting and yet nary a mention of how he didn't do anything to stop Mexican Repatriation or his policy on Japanese internment. I think both of those have some relevance in this year's election.
posted by FJT at 9:30 AM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Iraq was going to happen with or without Hillary's vote. What did Sanders' no vote accomplish? It also didn't stop him from voting for the NDAA and multiple defense appropriations bills that kept the war going. He also voted for the over broad AUMF against Al Qaeda in 2001. The very law that provides the legal basis for the so called war on terror.
posted by humanfont at 10:30 AM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


What did Sanders' no vote accomplish?

Made him a viable Presidential candidate by displaying he has much better foriegn policy judgement than the rest of our government.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:43 AM on February 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Iraq was going to happen with or without Hillary's vote. What did Sanders' no vote accomplish?

So in your view, Clinton isn't responsible for her affirmative vote on the war (even though we had a majority in the Senate and actually could have blocked it if we'd had the nerve), but Sanders is responsible for not stopping it singlehandedly somehow? Sure. I'm also not convinced that just because Sanders has one foreign policy guy who favored intervention in Libya, he could be considered equivalently hawkish to Clinton, who personally lobbied Obama to go harder at our disastrous intervention there and even took credit for convincing him in many of her emails. Given those data points, I still much prefer my chances with Sanders.

Re: FDR, I think people have mostly stuck to talking about his domestic economic policies and comparing the scope of what Sanders wants to the New Deal, not giving blanket-approval of everything he ever stood for - but maybe I missed something.
posted by dialetheia at 10:45 AM on February 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Iraq was going to happen with or without Hillary's vote. What did Sanders' no vote accomplish? It also didn't stop him from voting for the NDAA and multiple defense appropriations bills that kept the war going. He also voted for the over broad AUMF against Al Qaeda in 2001. The very law that provides the legal basis for the so called war on terror.

Those are only good reasons not to vote for Sanders as long as they're also good reasons not to vote for Clinton. I think they're good reasons not to vote for Sanders or Clinton, but if you don't hold Clinton responsible for her Iraq and War on Terror votes, then holding Sanders responsible for his Iraq and War on Terror votes implies a nonsensical double standard.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:58 AM on February 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Clinton's constituency was New York, Sanders Vermont. Clinton surely voted the will of the voters of who put her in office, with incorrect information from the Executive Office. Obama also repeatedly slammed her on her vote, then appointed her Secretary of State. Clinton unified the Democratic Party behind him for the 2008 win. Obama didn't exactly keep every promise he made while on the campaign trail, but he's moved the common good significantly forward, in light of such a hostile Congress.

I was working in New Jersey, making international flights out of the Newark airport when 9/11 took place. I remarked to my office that perhaps the Iraquis had no weapons of mass destruction, and was the office pariah for months.

We should have listened to Hans Blix!
posted by effluvia at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Re: her continuing advocacy for greater interventionism, in 2014 she was criticizing Obama publicly for not being interventionist enough and arguing that we need to be the "guarantors of worldwide stability":

"In the same interview, Clinton distanced herself from President Obama's foreign policy, suggesting that he has not made it clear how D.C. "intend[s] to lead and manage" international affairs. Clinton advocated a more interventionist approach, arguing that, "We have to go back out and sell ourselves" as guarantors of worldwide stability. Currently, the U.S. military has as many as 900 bases worldwide, and has ground troops or drones active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen."
posted by dialetheia at 11:37 AM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


We should have listened to Hans Blix!

Yes, I agree.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:38 AM on February 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


FDR, I think people have mostly stuck to talking about his domestic economic policies and comparing the scope of what Sanders wants to the New Deal

Okay, I can see that. But, I want to bring up that I don't think we can always silo one set of policies as "domestic economics" and the other as "racist", because at the time economics was cited as a reason/motivation for such policies. Mexican/Mexican American repatriation was started during the Great Depression because it was thought it would alleviate unemployment for "real" Americans (and just to clarify, Roosevelt didn't start the policy, it just occurred during his administration). Part of the motivation for Japanese internment was that white farmers didn't want to compete with Japanese-American farmers.

As someone that looks foreign in the US, I think it makes sense for me to be a little bit nervous and uncomfortable any time populism is on the rise.
posted by FJT at 11:51 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I want to bring up that I don't think we can always silo one set of policies as "domestic economics" and the other as "racist", because at the time economics was cited as a reason/motivation for such policies.

Similarly, I thought it was an odd choice that Sanders name-checked Churchill in the February 12th debate, when asked about leaders who would influence their foreign policy decisions:
Winston Churchill's politics were not my politics. He was kind of a conservative guy in many respects. But nobody can deny that as a wartime leader, he rallied the British people when they stood virtually alone against the Nazi juggernaut and rallied them and eventually won an extraordinary victory.
There is so much covered in 'not my politics' that it's hard to silo not merely his wartime policy, but merely his wartime rhetoric; Churchill's call to 'fight them on the beaches' sends a chill down my spine -- it's wonderful rhetoric. But the paragraphs right before 'we shall fight them on the beaches' praise the kind of intrusions into personal liberty that Sanders' supports generally object to:
We have found it necessary to take measures of increasing stringency, not only against enemy aliens and suspicious characters of other nationalities, but also against British subjects who may become a danger or a nuisance should the war be transported to the United Kingdom. I know there are a great many people affected by the orders which we have made who are the passionate enemies of Nazi Germany. I am very sorry for them, but we cannot, at the present time and under the present stress, draw all the distinctions which we should like to do...Parliament has given us the powers to put down Fifth Column activities with a strong hand, and we shall use those powers subject to the supervision and correction of the House, without the slightest hesitation until we are satisfied, and more than satisfied, that this malignancy in our midst has been effectively stamped out.
That's leaving aside Churchill's thoughts on bombing (pro), colonialism (pro), imperialism (pro), and so on.

That's not to say that Sanders was wrong to praise Churchill's rhetoric and leadership in the face of an existential threat (far from it), nor to suggest that he supports Churchill's politics (which he explicitly said he did not), but it was definitely a surprising choice.
posted by cjelli at 12:20 PM on February 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Question: how do expect someone more ideological and further left of Obama to get anything done with Congress?
posted by schroedinger at 10:06 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the general opinion is that a tag team of Jesus Christ with VP Martin Luther King Jr. could not get anywhere with this Congress even if all they wanted was an unofficial symbolic proclamation of approval for Mom and Apple Pie. The question is which candidate will most help shift the balance of power in that Congress. You can make a case for either of them on that.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:18 PM on February 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Question: how do expect someone more ideological and further left of Obama to get anything done with Congress?

It's a basic fact of life that people are more willing to cooperate with people whom they trust. Sanders is enormously more trustworthy than anyone else in the current race on either side. It's not a basic fact to suggest that this trust will earn him meaningful concessions from the right or left, but god damn if it doesn't make sense to take that risk over the inevitability of gridlock with a shapeshifting Clinton carrying 20 years of political antagonism with her onto the field and starting from her own 10 yard line because she felt like it made sense to concede a little extra to avoid confrontation.
posted by an animate objects at 10:28 PM on February 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm also pissed off that even mentioning an objection to Clinton makes me a sexist racist bastard.

I know this came a long time ago in the discussion, but I wanted to come back to it, because I keep hearing this comment in other places as well, and it doesn’t describe any of the Hillary Clinton supporters I know/read.

For the record, I came into the primary leaning Sanders. But his campaign (and many of his supporters, many many more than just the Bernie-bros) has continued to be so tone deaf about the ways in which they are attempting to criticize Clinton that I find myself feeling defensive on her behalf, and on behalf of all women who are implicated in their use of these rhetorical strategies.

To be clear: criticize Hillary Clinton all you want, please. I have done so myself, which is why I was originally leaning Sanders. But please make sure you are criticizing her for things she has actually done, in the context of the world we actually live in.

The main problem for me is not Sanders’ campaign/supporters saying “don’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman” (although there are plenty of people saying this, who should definitely shut up!)

The two biggest problems are these:

1. They really need to stop conflating Hillary with Bill’s presidency. As others have pointed out, coverture doesn’t actually exist anymore. Holding her accountable for policies enacted by her spouse is sexist, because it implies that she is not an individual. The fact that she supported her husband’s policy decisions while she was First Lady means basically nothing, because that is part of the FLOTUS job description. I mean, I don’t personally hold Laura Bush responsible for the Iraq War, because LAURA BUSH WAS NEVER PRESIDENT. The FLOTUS does not get a boudoir veto for major policy decisions.

Call Clinton out for her own record, her own votes, her own history.

I have a friend whose husband sometimes says stupid, offensive things. When he says those things, I don’t turn to her and say “man, you really messed up. How could you let that happen???” The sooner this belief that women are magically responsible for their husbands’ actions dies in a fire, the better.

His Twitter account keeps referring to “The Clinton Administration” as if Hillary Clinton had a place of actual power inside of it. NO. STOP THIS.

2. The implication that Hillary is not progressive enough always magically revolves around fiscal definitions of progressive, and equally magically leaves out any discussion of gender issues. I am very grateful that Sanders has moved the Overton window on a lot of economic issues. But there is also an Overton window for gender discussions.

The ability for women to control their own reproductive health is not a default, it is not a given, and our current policies are always under attack. Sanders often responds to these issues with a sort of “oh, of course” attitude (like "oh, of course I'm pro-choice")— but Clinton’s focus on them is forcing him to be more intentional about how he discusses them, and I’m glad for that. Progressivism that pretends our culture’s problems are gender-neutral makes me nervous. When Sanders or his supporters damn Clinton as “basically a Republican” or “just a pandering centrist”, this is a convenient elision of Clinton’s unwavering focus on gender equality, and a mischaracterization of just how toxic actual Republican policies are when it comes to anything that has to do with women.

Look, I might still vote for Sanders in the primary! I’m not in a state where it matters. But the idea that it is “sexist to criticize Clinton” is one that I am always hearing-- and yet the people being called sexist for criticizing Clinton are usually the ones who are criticizing her in a sexist way, from what I’ve seen. (I’m talking pundits, not anyone here).

Oh, and it isn’t as big for me as 1 and 2, but I could do without all the dismissive “eh, a woman president, is it really that big a deal?” commentary. Republicans tried that with Obama (“does his race really matter????”), and all it did was show that a lot of people don’t understand how much representation matters. I agree that it shouldn’t be the only reason to vote for someone. But I also think it is really tone-deaf for so many white, male, media dudes to imply that it shouldn’t mean something.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:30 AM on February 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is difficult to square with the modern Republican party that jettisoned anyone espousing such ideas, but there used to be Republicans that were pro-choice. Even in 2008, a year before he switched to Democrat, Arlen Specter got a 100% rating from NARAL. Shall we ignore that there were historical Republicans who were pro-choice and pretend the Republican party has always been as it is now? If we don't, what language would best differentiate the Republican party before 1980 from the current incarnation?

Moretz, who first became a Hillary supporter in 2008 when she was 11 years old due to her mother’s influence, said in an interview that she has “no understanding” of why Sanders is beating Clinton among women her age.

"I think that there’s a lot of young women who are terrified of being feminists".


I agree that there are Sanders supporters with "tone-deaf" attacks. Can it be said that there are Clinton supporters with "tone-deaf" attacks as well? If not, why not? And how can we find a path to reconciliation of these factions? It doesn't seem to help the left or the centrist Democrats to continue this infighting until the point that half the eventual candidate's potential supporters are disgusted.

What made me really like her in the 90s was that she passionately advocated on important issues, while I saw other First Ladies find a niche that wasn't politically sensitive - in effect, she politicized the role in my view. This is mostly a good thing and I think she should own it, even if my historical perspective has shifted to a less favorable view of her past statements. If Clinton's experience as First Lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the US should be included when talking about her experience relevant to the office, why shouldn't it be included when talking about her record?

My partner, whenever I soften on Clinton, reminds me that Hillary protected Bill from his sexual harassment abuse victims. "How is that feminist?" she regularly asks me. It's the feminist women in my life that keep pushing me further to support Sanders and to not whitewash Clinton's record.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 10:08 AM on February 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


They really need to stop conflating Hillary with Bill’s presidency.

If by "They", you mean "Bill and Hillary", then sure -- "two for the price of one" was something that they said.
posted by Etrigan at 10:19 AM on February 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Question: how do expect someone more ideological and further left of Obama to get anything done with Congress?

Answer: One way is by midterm elections.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 6:15 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Question: how do expect someone more ideological and further left of Obama to get anything done with Congress?

I posted this in one of the other threads:

What Bernie Sanders Got Done in Washington: A Legislative Inventory

Before the people of Vermont elected him to the Senate in 2006, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi dubbed Sanders the “amendment king” of the House of Representatives noting:

“Since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, no other lawmaker – not Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi – has passed more roll-call amendments (amendments that actually went to a vote on the floor) than Bernie Sanders. He accomplishes this on the one hand by being relentlessly active, and on the other by using his status as an Independent to form left-right coalitions.”
posted by Room 641-A at 6:58 AM on February 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


and on the other by using his status as an Independent to form left-right coalitions.

Right: 'He used his non-Democratic status to help get bills passed!' And now he's a Democrat, running to be a Democratic president, running explicitly against the Republican platform.
posted by cjelli at 10:29 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


And do you know who else was a Democrat?
posted by entropicamericana at 12:21 PM on February 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


If by "They", you mean "Bill and Hillary", then sure -- "two for the price of one" was something that they said.

Well, it was something that Bill Clinton, a not-particularly-well-known governor of a small southern state, said while campaigning against an incumbent president.

25 years ago.
posted by dersins at 1:26 PM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


And she campaigned on her service as First Lady 16 years ago, then eight years ago, and consistently talks about how the things she did as First Lady add to her experience.

No, she can't be blamed for everything that happened in America and the world between 1993 and 2000, but she was a more active (and activist) First Lady than anyone since Eleanor Roosevelt. Comparing her to Laura Bush is like saying that Dick Cheney didn't do much as VP because Truman didn't know about the Manhattan Project until after FDR died.
posted by Etrigan at 3:44 PM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have no response to that because I am genuinely unable to parse that analogy enough to determine whether I believe it to be relevant.
posted by dersins at 3:50 PM on February 20, 2016


If she or her supporters cite her experience as FLOTUS as a qualification, then criticizing it is fair game. I'm not sure what is difficult about the concept.
posted by entropicamericana at 4:13 PM on February 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


whether because she's a President or because she's just not in campaign mode (which really brings out the worst in her)

The Price of Power: Power Seeking and Backlash against Female Politicians

"The study aims to determine whether women political candidates who are seen to be seeking a political office as a means to gain power will be penalized for their seeming lack of communality. More specifically, the authors suggest that women’s power-seeking will evoke emotional reactions of contempt and disgust and therefore voters will be less likely to support their candidacy."
posted by stoneandstar at 5:11 PM on February 27, 2016 [1 favorite]




They really need to stop conflating Hillary with Bill’s presidency

Disagree. Clinton's vast political experience is central to her pitch to the nation, and her time as FLOTUS is a big part of that story. Given that, she shouldn't be allowed to skate on accountability for positions she took then.
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:30 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


That'll teach women to think they are allowed to run for office on their own merits. Silly women.
posted by caryatid at 12:45 AM on March 1, 2016


That'll teach women to think they are allowed to run for office on their own merits. Silly women.

It's okay for Bill's administration to be a big bullet point on Hillary's C.V., but the policies she stumped for at that time should be off limits to criticism? That's ridiculous. To point this out has zero to do with sexism.
posted by Lyme Drop at 1:03 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


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