Nobody ever pays a political price for targeting Iranian Americans
December 10, 2015 9:26 AM   Subscribe

In response to the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 158, a bill that bars Iraqis, Syrians, Sudanese, Iranians, and people who have traveled to those countries from participating in the visa waiver program which allows passport holders from 38 countries to travel without securing a visa.

The San Bernardino attackers are connected to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, neither of which are included in the bill.
posted by BuddhaInABucket (57 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
*golf clap*

Well done, guys. No, really, I think we all feel so much safer already.
posted by Kitteh at 9:31 AM on December 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I know I lost my keys over by my car, but the light is so much better under the streetlight here...
posted by kozad at 9:37 AM on December 10, 2015 [43 favorites]


They missed the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon too.
posted by Talez at 9:44 AM on December 10, 2015


The San Bernardino attackers are connected to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, neither of which are included in the bill.

Of course not. Why would they even focus their energy on places we know harbor terrorists when the low-hanging fruit is so much easier?

The GOP: Champions of Freedom and Safety!
posted by prepmonkey at 9:49 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why weren't Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia included?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:52 AM on December 10, 2015


Because you don't want to piss on/off your allies.

Also, it's just a bill -- Latest Action: 12/09/2015 Received in the Senate.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I was in college, and the Ayatollah took over in Iran, I listened to my dorm neighbors weeping over the shooting of their relatives. As it was a woman's college, I and all the other attendees and faculty there together mourned and seethed over the ousting of women from business, schools, and all other areas of public life in Iran. These days, my best friend is Iranian, and she and all her family are refugees from the oppressive regime there. I don't need to remind MeFites that we have seen our own incarcerated by that brutal system.

In short, this mean and stupid legislation is a poke in the eye to all the people who understandably have and will continue to want to come to the U.S. to escape the Iran and its suppression of civil liberties. I sincerely hope it has no path to passage as actual law.
posted by bearwife at 9:54 AM on December 10, 2015 [53 favorites]


Well folks they are all up for a vote this time so there is that.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:55 AM on December 10, 2015


Reminder of US's allies: America’s 25 Most Awkward Allies (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are in the top 5), and Is Israel the only U.S. ally in the Middle East? (No, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are included among the regional allies).

Missing from these lists? Iraq*, Iran, Sudan, and Syria. (*Iraq is in the top 25, but the President is friendly with former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and that article is from 2014, but it's popular with the GOP to equate Iraq with Syria).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on December 10, 2015


Worse, Senators, with Feinstein at the helm, want to require all visa waiver program participants to be somehow fingerprinted and photographed in their home countries before they can visit the US for the first time.

20 million people visit on the VWP. We're really going to have, say, Japanese businessmen go to the embassy to be fingerprinted before they can travel? Spend any time in downtown San Francisco and the economic role played by foreign tourists should be obvious. And selfishly, the retaliatory blowback against Americans will be awful. We've already seen this in places like Brazil, where Americans are pulled out of line and delayed for retaliatory fingerprinting or just the $160 shakedown you get visiting Argentina.

Visa-free travel was a fantastic 20th century accomplishment for those of us lucky enough to live in countries where it is available. It would be a real shame to see that unthinkingly dismantled so quickly.
posted by zachlipton at 10:11 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is confusing. So most non-US citizens already can't participate in the visa-waiver program. So I'm not clear why anyone should be outraged that syrians and iranians specifically can't (assuming they're ok with the fact that Mexicans and Jamaicans, and Chinese, and South Africans can't). So Syrians and Iranians would need a visa to take short trips travel to the US (Like Mexicans, Jamaicans, Chinese, and South Africans, it seems).

Secondly, looking at the list of allowed countries, Syria and Iran are already not on the list. Neither are Pakistan, Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia, btw. So it seems like what's changing here isn't that Syrians and Iranians need a visa, it's that people who are dual citizens of those countries would need visas even if their other country of citizen has a visa waiver and people who are citizens of participating countries but have visited Syria or Iran need a visa.

Yes, the Japanese businessman above would need a visa, like most other people in the world. Why am I supposed to be bothered by that but not by all the other businessmen in the world who need visas even if they haven't travelled anywhere? How is it different or worse?

I feel like I must be missing something because A) Everyone else seems bothered, and you're reasonable people so I assume there must be some reason to be bothered that I'm missing and B) Canada isn't on that list of visa waiver countries, and last I checked Canadians don't need visas, so maybe I'm misunderstanding that list somehow.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


If only I had a penguin: A big part of it is the broad brushstrokes being applied- it's a tiny minority of people who are violent extremists, but we are tarring entire nationalities of (often oppressed) people with this stigma.

Further, visa requirements are usually reciprocal. So my sister, a US citizen born in Iran and brought to the USA when she was two, would be forced to apply for a visa to go to, say, France. Whereas Joe from Indiana gets one automatically. This creates two unequal classes of citizens. I'm not even sure where I stand- I'm natural born but also hold an Iranian passport. The last time I went to Iran, it was to visit my grandmother in her nursing home. Does that make me a security risk?

Third, ISIS is the justification for this bill- ISIS, which wants to destroy heathen Iran. So why is Iran part of this bill? Why not, say, Saudi Arabia, if we want to check up on people who might be radicalized. (To be clear, I don't think it's a good idea to do this for any given country, but why not the ones that are actually the problem if we're going to do it?)

tl;dr: This agreement will also end up affecting Americans travelling abroad and those whose families will face additional hurdles to visit, and those who are dependent on tourism for their income besides.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:22 AM on December 10, 2015 [20 favorites]


Haters are missing the point: the important thing is that we feel safe.
posted by MikeKD at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of this clip. "Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace."

But hey, at least the congresscritters are doing ... something ... related to current events instead of yet another vote to repeal the ACA or de-fund Planned Parenthood. Right?
/sigh
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:33 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


As for Canada, they are not part of the visa waiver program (which has a specific set of rules for who can use it under what circumstances), but Canadians are special and have their own rules for travel the US.
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 AM on December 10, 2015


A big part of it is the broad brushstrokes being applied- it's a tiny minority of people who are violent extremists, but we are tarring entire nationalities of (often oppressed) people with this stigma.

But aren't these things also true for the majority of the world's people who are also not eligible for visa waivers (also mostly disadvantaged and marginalized groups, since the only countries currently on the list are basically rich western democracies). All those other people also have to go to all sorts of trouble to have their families visit. Is it ok in those cases? My own family has to fill in dozens of pages of notarized paper work, and have other people in fill in paper work, account for the whereabouts of every relative and family member, and provide bank account, passport, and ID for other family members, spend hundreds of dollars (in a place where people make hundreds of dollars a month) and travel to another city for several days (read:hotel) when they want to visit Canada. I understand the process is similar to visit the US though I haven't been involved in that part of it so I don't know the details.

So is the argument that that shouldn't happen (everyone should get a visa waiver? No more visas for short-term travel.) or that it should happen, just not to Syrians and Iranians? I guess it's weird to me that people are ok with the existence of this system, but somehow bothered by it being applied to Syrians and Iranians.

And btw, this is not me saying "Yes, of course syrians and Iranians shouldn't travel to the US easily" I can't even begin to describe how proud I am when I turn on the CBC every night and see all the welcoming preparations being made for the 25,000 refugees that will be arriving in Canada in the next three months or how superior (sorry!) I feel when I see how cold and unfeeling the US seems to be towards a proposed measly 10,000 refugees there.

I'm just not clear why Syrians and Iranians would somehow be more entitled to visa waivers than the billlions of people who already don't get them.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:37 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


If I only had a penguin: I agreed with your question - at first glance, I also found the bill difficult to understand. After a bit of research, the key issues seem to be that (1) the bill targets dual nationals, so someone that holds both a French and Iranian passport would be unable to enter the US without a visa; and (2) it targets anyone who has visited the specified country within the past five years. (2) is not a thing that we have routinely done in the past.

This website from an Iranian-American action group explains it in a way that was helpful to me.
posted by telepanda at 10:40 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


If I only had a penguin: Like telepanda said above- it restricts passport holders on the arbitrary criteria of their location of birth, regardless of their citizenship. It also disproportionately affects people who are natural born citizens of a country, with family in one of the blacklisted countries- they are more likely to visit those countries for all kinds of reasons, but will be ineligible for the visa waiver program if they do.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:47 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


people who have traveled to those countries

So does this mean that if an Australian has ever been to Iraq, Syrian, Sudan or Iran, they are required to get a visa to enter the US (for tourism)?
posted by jeather at 10:49 AM on December 10, 2015


BuddhaInABucket:Why not, say, Saudi Arabia, if we want to check up on people who might be radicalized.

Nineteen out of twenty-one 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and nothing was done. I doubt that will change.
posted by dr_dank at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


In the last 5 years, yes.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2015


OK, that all makes sense. I wasn't trying to be obtuse and I appreciate the info. I think also, that I had the ridiculous implicit idea "how many people actually visit Iran or Syria anyway," which once I say it out loud is pretty dumb, I know. Also, i don't think I caught on that it was about *ever* having been there. I it would make a little sense if it were in the past 3 years or something.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:54 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't think you were being obtuse- this bill snuck in last minute and is hard to understand for lots of people, even within the communities affected.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:56 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nice of Trump to help give them cover for this.
posted by me3dia at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Where is the swift Congressional response to that other act of terrorism from religious extremists that happened in the last 2 weeks?
posted by indubitable at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Where is the swift Congressional response to that other act of terrorism from religious extremists that happened in the last 2 weeks?

Fear not, citizen. State governments are busy closing abortion clinics so that no person need live in fear!
posted by Talez at 11:42 AM on December 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


This kind of thing has knock-on effects as well. It used to be I could show up in Japan and as long as I had an exiting plane ticket they would let me in and stamp my passport. Then the US started to take finger prints and retina scans of Japanese people going to the US. Now when I go to Japan they take at least one of my finger prints or retina scans (It could be both, but it is at least one, my memory is not clear on this) even though I am a Canadian and don't need to be involved in this tit-for-tat between the US and Japan. I'm pretty sure my own government doesn't have my finger prints or retina scan so why am I giving these things to foreign governments?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:43 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't worry too much about this - I doubt it can get 60 in the Senate. Like, it's shitty as a zeitgeist marker, but probably not too much real impact.
posted by corb at 11:49 AM on December 10, 2015


It got 407 in the house -- why can't it get 60 or even the 67 needed to override a veto in the Senate?
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]




Hopefully, because senate terms are 6 years and not 2, so presumably senators are a bit less likely to chase the fickle winds of (perceived) public opinion. However, given the support of the bill by Democrats, I suspect it's entirely possible it will pass the Senate as well.
posted by axiom at 12:36 PM on December 10, 2015


It got 407 in the house -- why can't it get 60 or even the 67 needed to override a veto in the Senate?

Because the house, by virtue of the system that selects it, is a wretched hive of scum and villainy? Can you think of a pointless, idiotic, or dangerous idea that, dressed up in the right bit of nationalistic pride or plain old pandering to fear, wouldn't get at least 350?
posted by Vetinari at 12:37 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can you think of a pointless, idiotic, or dangerous idea that, dressed up in the right bit of nationalistic pride or plain old pandering to fear, wouldn't get at least 350?

No, but that seems orthogonal to the question of whether the prospect of it getting a 2/3 vote in the Senate is "nothing to worry about". Just because the House is terrible doesn't mean the Senate isn't also pretty terrible. ~95% of the house voted for this piece of shit. 67% of the Senate has to vote for it for there to be cause for concern. Is it far-fetched that the Senate is about 70% as scummy and villainous as the House, and if you say no, have you looked at the composition of the Senate lately?
posted by tonycpsu at 12:49 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering if the bill was changed before it was passed or if something else fishy is going on?

This website from an Iranian-American action group explains it in a way that was helpful to me.

That page says that the relevant restrictions were applied by section 3 of the bill but in the OP link to congress.gov the text of the bill appears to only have two sections. The NIAC Action FAQ page, which is dated on the 8th, states that the bill isn't up on congress.gov yet and links to a PDF dated from Wednesday of last week, 24 hours after the shooting, that is 20 pages long and appears to be completely different from the text currently on congress.gov.
posted by XMLicious at 12:59 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


It means the cowards and zealots are getting ready to act out in even worse ways, that will guarantee more blowback requiring more defense expenditures.

What are the real assholes doing? Are Cheney and Rumsfeld in and out of Dubai, consorting and carrying on a private war in the ME? Something that is general knowledge among the elite? Are we carrying on a secret war under the radar of the Executive Branch?

I think there is some major event underway designed to propel us into full scale combat. I shudder to think what it will be. I am still hearing reports the Iraqis still think Daesh is the US.
posted by Oyéah at 1:04 PM on December 10, 2015


Note that the OP link to the Guardian contains the word "blog" in its URL and at the bottom says The Tehran Bureau is an independent media organisation, hosted by the Guardian.
posted by XMLicious at 1:13 PM on December 10, 2015


Worse, Senators, with Feinstein at the helm, want to require all visa waiver program participants to be somehow fingerprinted and photographed in their home countries before they can visit the US for the first time.

Ahahahahahahaha. My (U.S. Government) office is in the middle of a protracted interagency negotiation to improve our biometrics processing just for people already in the U.S. who have a scheduled court date for an asylum hearing, which in our greater metro area affects just a few hundred people a month... so sure, let's throw the tourism industries and governments of 38 other countries in the mix and see how smoothly that goes.
posted by psoas at 1:21 PM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


have you looked at the composition of the Senate lately?

Honestly, not very closely. Mainly as a sanity preservation mechanism.
posted by Vetinari at 1:48 PM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is one of the reasons why I'm planning on voting for Trump.

Is he a fascist? Probably, but unlike the rest of the candidates, at least he's honest about it. At the end of the day, I'd rather have a giant, monstrous and monolithic wall surrounding us then the structures the candidates we believed in are building.

When you look at a wall like Germany's, or the West Bank's, or China, you know what you're facing. It's a physical reminder of the state. It's better than a byzantine network of legal and technical rules that have the same or more severe effect but give the appearance of hope.

It's ugly, but I'd rather support the honest fascist than the reluctant or hidden ones. You know what you're getting with them. I say, let's really embrace the paranoid style and go all in.
posted by formless at 2:30 PM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


You must be quite sure you won't be among the first groups of people up against the wall, then. Have you informed any of your friends who might be in those groups of your plan to heighten the contradictions at their expense?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:41 PM on December 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Or we could, you know, reject fascism.

I'd also argue that physical structures like the NSA HQ in Fort Meade or GCHQ in Gloucestershire serve similar purposes to the ones you mention. They just make worse tourist attractions and we've all stopped caring.
posted by zachlipton at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2015


Someone please help me; is formless being sarcastic? I honestly can't tell anymore.
posted by Justinian at 3:01 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


My Father Coughlin meter says formless satire.
posted by clavdivs at 5:45 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was going to ask a question here about the implementation of this, but rewrote it about six times and then gave up, because pretty much everything about the context it exists in is farcical so it's practically impossible to even talk about it in a way that makes sense.
posted by threeants at 7:46 PM on December 10, 2015


I imagine Laurel and Hardy selling adult novelties.
posted by clavdivs at 8:07 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree with formless in that Trump is being honest about stuff that's already happening (we don't need him to ban all Muslims when we've practically been doing this since at least 9/11) but that doesn't mean you VOTE FOR THE GUY, yeesh.

You still have to apply for something on a visa waiver, you can't just show up. Visas are stupid overall but this is an extra layer of stupid.

Also if they start adding "ever visited Saudi Arabia on any passport" you will get TONS of Muslims pissed off because they took part in the Haj.
posted by divabat at 8:41 PM on December 10, 2015


Yes, the Japanese businessman above would need a visa, like most other people in the world. Why am I supposed to be bothered by that but not by all the other businessmen in the world who need visas even if they haven't travelled anywhere? How is it different or worse?

Read the thread from a short while back about the bands not touring in the United States anymore because it is just too much of a PITA. Bureaucratic obstacles accumulate and have consequences.

Also it will be worse for Americans when the other countries decide that the VISA requirements should be reciprocal. Not quite as bad though because most other countries have relatively sensible efficient modern bureaucracies for dealing with this sort of thing.
posted by srboisvert at 6:44 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's obviously too late to do it retroactively, but if the US will start hassling people for having visited certain countries, those countries will just stop stamping passports. Cuba already does this. They generally don't stamp your passport and if they do, they always ask permission first. I'm pretty sure they never stamp American passports if those Americans are travelling for tourism.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:01 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


So really, if this passes, the change is that the countries listed that are not currently part of the visa waiver program will never be allowed to be added. Even if it passes the only effect will to tell the whole world once again that we're racist.

I don't mean to Godwin the thread but it really feels like we're just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from asking certain groups of people to sew a crescent moon and star on their clothing, just to be safe.
posted by VTX at 8:22 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just to reiterate - if I'm not mistaken, all of the stuff described in the text of the OP is based on an earlier, much-longer and differently-named draft of the bill like the one in telepanda's link rather than the actual bill that was passed by the House and is posted on congress.gov.

The NIAC-provided version of the bill is 20 pages long; the congress.gov version is 7 pages. The NIAC version mentions embedding computer chips in passports, which the congress.gov version doesn't. The NIAC version specifically names Iraq, Syria, and the particular sections of the Export Administration Act, Arms Export Control Act, and Foreign Assistance Act which are mentioned on the State Department's page concerning the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. In the congress.gov version no specific countries are mentioned and none of those statute names appear.

The short title of the NIAC version is "Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015" but the one on congress.gov is just the "Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015", both in the text of the bill and as the title of the index web page linked to in the OP.

The only thing that doesn't fit with my understanding here is that the "Beheading the Blacksmith of Balkh" opinion piece linked to in the OP and written by this "Tehran Bureau" organization two days after the House vote is still currently appearing on the front page of the Guardian web site at the moment. That opinion piece refers to the bill by the "Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act" name.
posted by XMLicious at 8:46 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


(And all of that isn't to say that the version of HR 158 actually passed isn't bad—in particular it appears to be spamming the word "terrorism" into existing laws in a bunch of places—but I think we may be working with a flawed understanding of what has happened here.)
posted by XMLicious at 8:53 AM on December 11, 2015


This is one of the reasons why I'm planning on voting for Trump.

I'm getting really tired of the edgy, ironic, whatever self-deprecating trend of leftish and almost always straight white people going "lets just run this in to the ground as fast as possible and then we'll get a revolution and it'll all be fixed already". Or even the nihilistic "lets just burn it all down".

It hits the same eye rolly high school post bong rip rant "depth" with me as voluntary extinction. There's overlap in the groups, too, from what i've seen.

Do you not have a duty to at least choose the least-bad path? Someone who wont openly promote garbage is still a step above someone who does, even if they still ostensibly support some of the same garbage ideals. It at least leaves room for a conversation about non-garbage, rather than moving the overton window to mostly trash.

And above and beyond that, ignoring the hurr durr NSA police state stuff, he is directly for policies that will make life instantly harder for women and minorities. And this is part of the reason it always makes it painfully obvious the person shitposting about this sort of thing is a white male. I've yet to hear anyone who wasn't take this sort of so brave stance.
posted by emptythought at 3:22 PM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


The serious reason for voting Trump that I've heard promulgated by my lefty friends is that since both the Republican establishment and the Democrats hate Trump, that he won't be able to get anything done and will be effectively a useless placeholder president, as opposed to Hillary who's got a Democratic machine and will probably be bombing somebody on Day 10.
posted by corb at 5:45 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would appear that your "lefty" friends are only to the left on foreign policy, and also don't understand how the American system of government works with respect to the one issue they claim to care about.

If you want to say that an ineffective do-nothing President can mitigate the damage done with domestic policy, then I still think that's very wrong, but at least there's a logic to it where Congress would get together enough votes to get important things like debt ceiling raises and budgets through. Of course for this logic to work, you have to ignore the very distinct possibility that the establishment buries their hatred for Trump in order to push parts of their agenda through, and because there's very little evidence that Trump is that far off the reservation with most policy that matters to establishment Republicans. You'd also have to ignore the many, many domestic issues on which Hillary (or Bernie, or whoever) is far to the left of Trump. At that point, point, you're doing so much exclusion of inconvenient facts that there's nothing left of the original argument.

And as we know, Congress in recent decade has done very little to stop Presidents from bombing people, no matter what party they how much they personally like them, or what party they represent, and it's not like Trump has been shy about his love of "bombing the shit out" the Middle East. Who's going to stop him?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:45 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


since both the Republican establishment and the Democrats hate Trump, that he won't be able to get anything done

I don't believe Trump has anything more than a chance in hell of getting out of the primary, but: a president's job is not just to work with Congress to get legislation enacted. It is also to run a big-ass bureaucracy, which has a fair amount of discretion in terms of how to execute the laws already on the books. (F'rinstance, I know people who worked for the EPA who felt they were forced to sit on their hands from 2001 to 2009. I now work for an agency that--if not for a surprise judicial intervention--this year would have implemented a sweeping change in the way millions of people are treated by the government.)

Some of it depends on the appointees running the Federal departments--from the Secretary level on down--and the priorities they bring to the job; some of it depends on how OIRA (the most important office that almost nobody has heard of) is instructed to approach its job serving as the hand of Caesar (i.e., giving the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to new or revised regulation); and some of it depends on executive actions being implemented without the courts getting het up about it (see above). All of these governing powers are largely outside the practical bounds of what Congress can affect, once the Senate has approved certain high-level administrators.
posted by psoas at 3:07 PM on December 14, 2015


I don't believe Trump has anything more than a chance in hell of getting out of the primary

He is at 41% in national primary polls. His nearest competitor is at like 14%. I don't think he's a lock by any means but what, exactly, would convince you he has more than a chance in hell?

I feel like Trump could be 10 delegates away from locking up the nomination while polling at 55% and the conventional wisdom would still be "he's a fad! He can't actually win!".
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on December 14, 2015


He is at 41% in national primary polls. His nearest competitor is at like 14%. I don't think he's a lock by any means but what, exactly, would convince you he has more than a chance in hell?

I'll be convinced if people start voting for him and he starts winning delegates, not just eyeballs. So far he's been a self-funded sideshow that appeals to 6 to 8 percent of the overall electorate, if the polls are accurate.
posted by psoas at 4:41 PM on December 14, 2015


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