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December 15, 2015 11:19 AM   Subscribe

 
It seems to me that Bernie is truly attempting to engage with issues in a way no other candidate is. Regardless of your feeling on his solutions, the problems are real, and platitudes will not solve anything. Watching him talk to someone (Michael Render) who is steeped in socio-political justice about issues they both care deeply about is important, regardless of your views.
posted by petrilli at 11:29 AM on December 15, 2015 [32 favorites]


Sanders/Render 2016
posted by The Michael The at 11:44 AM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Rebel Without A Pause - "Killer Mike and the return of the politically engaged rapper."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:47 AM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'd vote for Bernie Sanders/Killer Mike, but in my heart what I really want is an Angela Davis/Janelle Monáe ticket.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:53 AM on December 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


This is such a stunning (and sobering) contrast to the psychotic pep rally rabid dog bonfires happening on the (R) side of the race.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:56 AM on December 15, 2015 [24 favorites]


This is such a stunning (and sobering) contrast to the psychotic pep rally rabid dog bonfires happening on the (R) side of the race.

I sympathize with this view, but I also think that if a GOP candidate did give a good interview on these topics MetaFilter would (unfortunately) be one of the last places I’d hear about it.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:02 PM on December 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Honestly, I'd love to read more pieces about decent Republicans, but I suspect that the problem in this case is that the Republican Party as an institution is structured to prevent decency outbreaks — the institution itself strongly prioritize strong property rights and a desire to maintain perceived purity in the face of perceived contagion, rather than decency as such, and the people in it tend to cleave to this worldview.

I think the whole "there are reasonable people on both sides" thing is an artifact of an earlier era of American politics, the time period after the white supremacists had started decamping from the Democratic Party, but before the Southern Strategy made the Republican Party a comfortable place for them. Our parties are organized along ideological lines now. This means that you can fairly safely read off the values of politically aware people by looking at what party they align with. This isn't a bad thing — whatever mark we as individuals make on the world is made through working in and through organizations (companies, parties, families, clubs), and of course those organizations in turn make a mark on us.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:15 PM on December 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


Well, this is an hour-long interview, not a rally speech or televised "debate". It's not really fair to compare this to Trump screaming into a microphone somewhere or a soundbite distributed by a PR team. Sanders also doesn't shine as much in those situations, and tends to come off as somewhat platitudinous.

Cruz, for instance, as much as I disagree with him, is an extremely accomplished debater and attorney. I imagine he could do well in this style of interview.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:28 PM on December 15, 2015


Excellent use of the term 'bomb-shit' Mr. Sanders.
posted by mannequito at 12:29 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Worth saying that it's an anomaly that Bernie is running as a Democrat to begin with - He's fundamentally a third party candidate who happens to be running as a Democrat, and I think that has much to do with what makes him so "different." You wouldn't see this from a traditional party Democrat either. I'm glad to see it happen, personally, because I think it's giving the Democratic party a well needed kick in the ass... I have more hope that the party can be fundamentally reformed this way than I do for a third party candidate gaining any traction on the national stage - at least with the way things are presently set up in this country. (To put it in perspective, I've just moved to Washington state, and this is the first time in my life I'll be able to vote in a primary if I'm registered as an independent, as opposed to having to register as one of the two major parties)
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:33 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I agree, I'd be interested in watching/listening to decent Republicans have a serious conversation about policy. But I mean, have you seen their debates? My parents are more or less only Democrats by default (basically because they assume all Republicans are flaming racists at this point), and they've characterized the Republicans' debates as being like an elementary school playground. There's also the fact that leading Republican candidates are apparently over twice as likely to lie than their Democratic counterparts. So where's the foundation for this kind of serious, honest (and if not honest, at least not actively disingenuous) discussion of policy and politics? What kind of discourse can we expect from Republicans when over half of their statements are based in actual falsehood?
posted by yasaman at 12:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


@MysticMCJ

I do hope you realize that that the Democrats in Washington are doing a caucus this year. If you want to vote in the primary, you have to actually physically show up.

Washington 2016 Precinct Caucuses

I am only posting this because you said "vote in the primary" not "vote in the caucus." As a fellow Washingtonian who also supports Sanders primarily because he isn't himself a Democrat, I thought this information might be worthwhile to know. To be clear, the rules for the caucus say:

Anybody can participate, although voting is limited to registered voters who consider themselves Democrats and to persons seventeen years of age who will be eligible to vote on or before November 8 , 2016. Those who wish to participate but who are not currently registered to vote may register to vote at the caucus and then participate on the same day. You must also publicly declare your Democratic Party preference and have that preference publicly recorded.

2016 Caucus and Convention Guide

I changed my party affiliation earlier this year due to this. I am unsure if it is too late now to do so. Anyway, I hope this helps, we need as many people there as possible!

(As an offhand, fuck the way the Democrats have done everything possible to block Sanders from making headway this year. They're as bad as the fucking Republicans in undermining the whole idea of "democracy," by shutting out people they don't like.)

posted by deadaluspark at 12:47 PM on December 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


Cruz, for instance, as much as I disagree with him, is an extremely accomplished debater and attorney. I imagine he could do well in this style of interview.

Sorry, but here you go!
posted by peeedro at 12:50 PM on December 15, 2015


Thank you, Deadaluspark - I'm glad you told me before I made too many more assumptions. I was aware that you could declare on the same day, but not all of the specifics - When I was reading up on things here, I understood it a bit differently than you explained it. Caucus dates going on the calendar now. I'm a bit new to the area, but I'd love to be more involved - MeMail headed your way.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cruz will hopefully fall apart when people notice his plan for a nationwide 19% sales tax.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:16 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The other night I heard an otherwise intelligent commentator compare Sanders to Donald Trump in that their platforms are supposedly both "primal screams" and that neither has a real shot at the nomination.

It is that kind of thinking that keeps the Clintons and the Bushes in charge. F that. Sanders 2016 all the way.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:25 PM on December 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


They're similar in that they're both outside of the liberal market capitalist consensus. The difference is that Trump is a fascist and Sanders is a social democrat. Fascists tend to be willfully stupid people with willfully stupid, evil ideas about the world, while social democrats tend to be decent (if often goofy and nebbishy) people with decent ideas about the world. They're united in that they espouse ideologies that are unacceptable in mainstream public discourse; it's just that Trump's ideas are unacceptable in mainstream public discourse because Trump's ideas are awful, while Sanders's ideas are unacceptable in mainstream public discourse because mainstream public discourse is awful.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2015 [54 favorites]


I'm not as big a Sanders fan as others around here but I was hoping that he'd shake some things up during this election cycle but if you watch the news, you'd barely know that he was even running even though he often polls higher than Mr. Trump.
posted by octothorpe at 1:48 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Sangermaine, please skip this rather than showing up just to pick a fight.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:01 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would love for Sanders to get elected but, really, unless clones of him also replace enough legislators in both houses, he's basically only going to be able to vote for supremes, handle foreign policy, and veto all the ridiculous stuff coming out of the legislature. While those are all important jobs, it seems like a titanic waste of leadership and vision on the domestic front.

The only way for a Sanders win to make any real impact domestically needed to happen in the last few years. Groundwork needed to be laid to oust Republicans from state and federal legislatures, and instead, it's been the Republicans doing that to Dems. So, now all Dems can do is elect a candidate that's little more than what's attached to a finger in a dam.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 2:12 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Alternately, if Sanders does win, maybe it indicates enough of a sea change in the attitudes of the populace that something has to happen. Maybe.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:32 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would risk imprisonment for voter fraud in order to vote multiple times for a Sanders/Killer Mike ticket in 2016.

"Hans, are we the baddies?"
posted by humboldt32 at 2:33 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


nah, we're just a bunch of zany commies.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I sympathize with this view, but I also think that if a GOP candidate did give a good interview on these topics MetaFilter would (unfortunately) be one of the last places I’d hear about it.

That...is gibberish. Metafilter would be the first place you heard about it.
posted by nzero at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Because we would all be so dumbfounded.
posted by nzero at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Yes, but it would require someone on MetaFilter to have been willing to sit through a long interview with a GOP candidate.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:27 PM on December 15, 2015


Yes, but it would require someone on MetaFilter to have been willing to sit through a long interview with a GOP candidate.

I sat through both of the Republican debates.
I did not hate watch it. I watched it to educate myself about the Republican views. I learned that I find their use of the mass media machine to be abhorrent and distasteful, and that many of the media outlets that those debates were broadcast on used some very interesting and disgusting visual effects to make watching them with a clear eyed view very difficult.

I watched the Democratic debates as well. Again, the use of the mass media machine was so similar (though I blame that more on the media machine than the Democrats). But of the two parties, I saw exactly how one relied upon misdirection and total emotional manipulation, in fact, thrived upon that display of pure unreasoning, to further their agenda, while the other, at least to a certain degree that it was able to, tried to actually discuss policy.

Do not assume that Metafilter is some super-echo chamber of a different stripe, so similar to LGF or Red State that the opinions of the people here are automatically invalid.
posted by daq at 3:33 PM on December 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


to no small extent it comes down to Stephen Colbert's famous "reality has a well-known liberal bias," really
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:36 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sanders isn't at all electable. His views are out of the mainstream for democrats, let alone the necessary swing state voters. The Republicans will have unlimited funds... some ads about taxes that wouldn't even need to be misleading will be all it would take to destroy Sanders. If he does enough harm to Hillary's campaign, we will soon have near complete GOP control of the government. And an aging Supreme Court. Have people forgotten about what Ralph Nader caused so soon? They will follow an idealistic left wing mirage into a right wing disaster.
posted by knoyers at 3:36 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sanders isn't at all electable.

Exactly what people said when he was elected mayor of Burlington, and exactly what people said when he was elected Senator.
posted by Foosnark at 3:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [23 favorites]


They will follow an idealistic left wing mirage into a right wing disaster.

Yeah all us idealists hoping for living wages, basic healthcare, and an end to a constant stream of public mass murders. Fuck us right?
posted by cmoj at 3:42 PM on December 15, 2015 [31 favorites]


Neither of which necessarily translate to electability on a national level. Which is a shame.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:42 PM on December 15, 2015


I sympathize with this view, but I also think that if a GOP candidate did give a good interview on these topics MetaFilter would (unfortunately) be one of the last places I’d hear about it.

The problem is that there isn't a Republican running who isn't a bald-faced liar. I watched an interview with Fiorina the other day in which she STILL touts the "baby parts" bullshit that has been proven to be BS. PROVEN. Just watch the damn videos and you can see that it's BS.

But Republicans would rather just nod their heads than fact-check by watching the videos. She even claimed the videos "weren't edited". Mind-boggling!

And when she's taken to task for it, she just says, "Well, that's your opinion." No! It's not an opinion. It's a fact.

Then, she twists other facts and makes them work for her by leaving out the parts that work against her: "Weeks ago Planned Parenthood sent out a press release saying they were no longer going to make money from baby parts! That's an admission that I was right!" Even though, she MUST KNOW that what PP did was say, "Well, we used to charge for fetal tissue in order to break even: costs for storage, transportation, etc. But we never profited on that. In order to make it absolutely one hundred percent that no one can twist this... we're just gonna swallow that money and not charge at all." And of course Carly simply rejigs it to back up her bullshit lies.

This is not only the problem with Republican candidates -- it's the problem with Republican voters. They believe what their candidates are saying without bothering to take 5 fucking minutes to check.

I'm a Canadian. I love Los Angeles and want to live there. But not until Bernie Sanders started campaigning have I ever thought "I wish I was American so I could vote for that candidate." Killer Mike did a great job with this series.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:43 PM on December 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hell, just look at the title of the video I linked to. Fiorina destroys Cuomo! What? The fuck?!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:48 PM on December 15, 2015


I sat through both of the Republican debates.
I did not hate watch it. I watched it to educate myself about the Republican views. I learned that I find their use of the mass media machine to be abhorrent and distasteful, and that many of the media outlets that those debates were broadcast on used some very interesting and disgusting visual effects to make watching them with a clear eyed view very difficult.


Oh, I’m not saying that people don’t watch the debates. I’m more saying that I assume that people don’t watch long-form interviews with the candidates. If they do, great, and bad on me for assuming otherwise.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:53 PM on December 15, 2015


Yeah, the assumption that every organization is in some way decent is like question begging in the technical sense — we debate in public in order to figure out what ideas and organizations have merit.

Moreover, Metafilter is decidedly not an echo chamber: we have liberals, libertarians (in technocratic and non-technocratic flavors), socialists of various stripes, anarchists of various stripes, a few confused conservatives, and also the occasional total lunatic.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:54 PM on December 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


Again, the use of the mass media machine was so similar (though I blame that more on the media machine than the Democrats)

I laughed at the absurdity of this and then got sad.

The Democrats are just as complicit as the mass media and the Republicans.

The Clintons, especially, have always run a shady media game. You really should watch Spin, and really consider how much effort Hillary is putting in to control the narrative through the media. The Clintons were deep in the media game in the early 90's, you really think that has changed somehow? You might also be surprised to realize the current chair of the DNC was Hillary's campaign manager in 2008. Conflict of interest? No, of course not! They're the Democrats, that means they're the good guys, right? Not the big scary Republicans!

As much as a leftie I am, stop with this partisanship, please, people. Both modern parties effectively exist at this point to keep themselves existing. They are not here to do anything for you or me. Sanders is a fluke in the Democratic field because they suck as much corporate cock as Republicans do. To quote Ralph Nader (not verbatim by any stretch):

The main difference between Democrats and Republicans is the velocity at which their knees hit the floor for monied interests.
posted by deadaluspark at 3:57 PM on December 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Sanders isn't at all electable.

Exactly what people said when he was elected mayor of Burlington, and exactly what people said when he was elected Senator.

538’s running endorsement primary has consistently kept things pretty grim for Sanders (and Trump), but who knows? And good on him for fighting the fight.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:57 PM on December 15, 2015


and also the occasional total lunatic.

You rang?
posted by deadaluspark at 3:57 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


It is possible to believe simultaneously that Sanders:

(a) has little chance of winning, or if he wins he has little chance of accomplishing his socialist vision, because the political frameworks aren't currently designed to support such changes, and

(b) is doing good work reaching previously-untouched communities and arenas (like middle-class DNC voters and parts of the African-American community) with the ideas of socialism, encouraging political activism beyond the American-Idol-esque presidential races, and starting to address the very-same-lack-of-political-organization-we-were-just-bemoaning in order to support any future for socialism in the United States.

I guess I don't get the useless pessimism. If you think socialism is worth the effort, and are at all familiar with how socialism has gained footholds anywhere in the world, supporting Bernie would seem to make sense and be viewed as an obvious helpful step down a long path towards the goal of social power. If you are into racehorse Beltwayisms and catty liberal empire inanities, that's fair, but then why care about Sanders successes or failures? By your logic, he can't win. Feel free to ignore us.
posted by Snowden at 4:00 PM on December 15, 2015 [34 favorites]


Oh and also, though, the Republican party is in a real weird place right now, and would be even if it weren't for the Trump gang. Ever since Obama's first election the Republicans have been sliding toward the right by a process wherein:
  1. A schismatic group (typically Tea Party-identified) breaks to the right of the rest of the Republican electeds, daring them to follow
  2. The mainstream party makes noises about not following, but eventually breaks down and follows the schismatics to the right. This makes the schismatic position the new mainstream.
  3. (sometimes this shift is marked by the resignation of a mainstream Republican leader)
  4. A schismatic group (typically Tea Party-identified) breaks to the right of the new mainstream position, daring the rest of the party to follow...
So after eight or so years of these episodic shifts to the right, we're in a situation where the Republican Party base is falling in love with Trump, forcing the mainstream institutionalized party to form up aroundTed Cruz of all people. Cruz has the white fundamentalist evangelical Protestant churches as his base — this is the group that used to be on the rightmost fringe of the party, but are now the leftmost available base of support for viable national-level Republicans.

Pretending that this is going to result in interesting viable policy solutions or whatever is silly — it's not the 1970s, we don't just differ on policy details anymore. We differ on moral codes and value systems.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:06 PM on December 15, 2015 [32 favorites]


I watched an interview with Fiorina the other day in which she STILL touts the "baby parts" bullshit that has been proven to be BS. PROVEN. Just watch the damn videos and you can see that it's BS.

Fiorina still claims she has business experience by which she means she ran HP into the ground and kept going until she hit the septic tank.
posted by GuyZero at 4:21 PM on December 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I could have sworn the Establishment was also telling me about 8 years ago that Clinton was a guaranteed winner, and this crazy half-black/half-white guy didn't stand a chance, but hey, he's good for morale, so let's just tolerate him.

Or, in Seattle, the fact that a declared Socialist won with a 10%+ margin with a LOT of money aligned against her.

If you decide that the status quo is all you can ever have, it's all you ever will have. It will be the anchor around your neck.
posted by petrilli at 4:26 PM on December 15, 2015 [38 favorites]


Obama was an Exciting Possible Future Party Superstar from the get-go, IIRC. He just peaked a little sooner than most folks expected.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:34 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


As an aside, I love the notion that electing the first woman president of the US is a vote for the “status quo”. What a world! I mean, I realize you’re no doubt referring to your impressions of her policies (propagated by, uh, that same half-black, half-white guy) but still…
posted by Going To Maine at 4:35 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


The world has changed, is what I’m trying to say.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:36 PM on December 15, 2015


used to be on the rightmost fringe of the party, but are now the leftmost available base of support for viable national-level Republicans

And that's on top of the Overton window in the USA being severely right-wing (globally speaking) to begin with.

Regardless of the outcome, Sanders is valuable if only to help widen the Overton window in the US enough to maybe start encompassing some of the moderate/middle (globally speaking).
posted by anonymisc at 4:48 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sanders isn't at all electable.

He will be if he manages to secure that D next to his name.
posted by Automocar at 6:07 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there anywhere that someone outside the USA can stream tonight's debate?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:15 PM on December 15, 2015


I misread that as scream tonight's debate

seemed appropriate though
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:20 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every last one of the people on stage is saying things significantly stranger and more extreme than anything I have ever posted to metafilter, and I go out of my way to be weird and outré here.

Was it like this during the Cold War? Was Reagan like "kill the bad guys! Jimmy Carter won't kill the bad guys with the big bombs because Jimmy Carter politically correct and Jimmy Carter no listen to bad guy conversation because politically correct, Jimmy Carter no torture bad guy families because politically correct. In closing, kill the bad guys STRONG KILL America kill kill" during debates? Did the republicans always spout this Palin-style contextless gibberish about bad guy killing, just I didn't notice until I was a grownup?

(In a certain sense Jeb Bush annoys me the most — all pretending to be the Serious Republican's Choice as if he hasn't also on a regular basis incited violence against Muslims.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:47 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
posted by valkane at 7:19 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


(In a certain sense Jeb Bush annoys me the most — all pretending to be the Serious Republican's Choice as if he hasn't also on a regular basis incited violence against Muslims.)

What incitements to violence are we talking about? There’s the “only admit Christian refugees” thing, which is surely serious - but hardly seems like a “regular” occurrence.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:43 PM on December 15, 2015


The "Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism" stuff that even Bush has been spouting for the last couple of months — the entire"Islam == jihad == ISIS == all terrorism" frame that all of the candidates have embraced, that absolutely encourages their supporters to fear and loathe their Muslim neighbors. It's unforgivable, especially coupled with Bush's "we know who we should keep out by looking at their last names" crap. It's not reasonable to defend any of that talk, even to the extent that Bush does, and it's not reasonable to pretend that what's going on on that debate stage is in any way like anything that has happened at any of the Democratic Party debates, or in this interview with Sanders.

Bush is trying to have it both ways — he's trying to carry on the old game of saying deeply dangerous things that the crazies will like, but without meaning them, but he's doing this while also criticizing the other candidates for saying deeply dangerous things that the crazies will like and also maybe meaning them.

I'm sorry I said he seemed the most annoying — obviously, Trump and Cruz are the ones who say the most terrifying things the most often, and who appear to mean it the most, but we can't pretend that the ones who merely mouth the shibboleths about the United States being at war with Islam aren't also beyond the pale.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:21 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just once, I'd like to hear someone talk about Clinton without the point being how she's more electable. Because I get it, Sanders is an old cranky Jewish guy, and she's a Beltway insider with tons of money backing her. But for the sake of argument, I'd just like to hear about something, anything about her that is preferable to Sanders beyond electability. Her stance on, what, gun control? Her experience in foreign affairs, maybe?

We constantly complain about how much the system sucks, and how Beltway politics is ruining the nation, and then we all play the exact same CNN-roundtable game everyone else is playing, where the most important thing is the "electability" of candidates and whether they can win in the Bible Belt.

I'm from the DC area, and I used to know a guy who did policy for someone, a senator, I think. One time he said to me "I don't care what his politics are, I just want my guy to win." And that's why I'm so put off by the constant talk about electability, because it's like everyone wants to have that same insider attitude without even being the insiders. I'm sure the Trump supporters don't give a thought to his electability; at least they're giving themselves the latitude to support someone because they like him.

I'm a fan of Sanders. I like his politics. I think I will cast my vote for Sanders.
posted by teponaztli at 8:22 PM on December 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


It's not about whether Sanders or Clinton gets into the Oval Office, as I see it. It's about who is electable in the general, and that's not Sanders. So if he does get the nom, there's a Republican sitting at the Resolute Desk and happily nominating dinosaurs to the Supreme Court. That's what it boils down to, I think.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:55 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can it be about who gets to the Oval Office for, like, five minutes, though? Just to shift gears for a little bit?

Because right now, all Clinton seems to have going for her is frightening predictions about how the Republicans will win and ruin this country if she doesn't win the nomination, and that doesn't exactly give me confidence about the general election, either. I mean, Kerry's platform in 2004 was basically "vote for me or you'll get Bush again," and man did he suck as a candidate (and I met the guy, and he even pandered really badly on, like, a one-on-one level).

Can we talk for a little bit about Democratic candidates that are strong on their own, instead of the fact that the Republicans are worse? Because we already knew that. Do you see why it is not exactly inspiring that much confidence in me if it sounds like we're just trying to keep our heads above the water?
posted by teponaztli at 9:23 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


fffm, why do you think that Sanders is not electable in the general? Head-to-head polling doesn't seem that much more favorable to Clinton than to Sanders, and head-to-head races against the plausible Republican candidates all seem pretty close to me.

Clinton vs. Trump goes to Clinton by 5.8
Sanders vs. Trump is a statistical tie

Clinton vs. Cruz goes to Clinton by 3.2
Sanders vs. Cruz goes to Sanders by 5.6

Clinton vs. Rubio goes to Rubio by 1.5
Sanders vs. Rubio goes to Rubio by 0.7

I don't think Sanders can win the Democratic nomination. But if he did win the nomination, I'm not sure he would be a worse candidate in the general. Am I missing something here?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:28 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


The factor is money. Obama spent approximately $2bn to get elected twice. Sanders isn't even remotely close to those numbers and won't be, because (and good for him!) he won't take the corporate donations AFAIK. SuperPACs don't seem to sway the presidential election much, but the actual warchest of the candidate does.

Don't get me wrong, it would be amazing to look south of the border and see an actual socialist running the place. Not to mention that he's Jewish--watching some right wing heads explode when he makes Hanukkah a big thing in the White House (for example; I have no idea how observant he is) would be one delight among many. (Is there a mezuzah at entrances to the WH?)

And it's just not going to happen. So the choice really is behind whether Roe v. Wade, amongst other very important cases, and decisions yet to be even thought of, gets upheld by a Clinton appointee or gutted by Trump or Cruz.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:31 PM on December 15, 2015


Can it be about who gets to the Oval Office for, like, five minutes, though? Just to shift gears for a little bit?

Sure? I think Clinton would legitimately govern the country more effectively and to better ends than Bernie Sanders. I’m not really going to debate the point right now, but I’d like to suggest that we exist and there are a number of us.

~~~~~BOOOOOOOOggiiiinns~~~~~
posted by Going To Maine at 9:42 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every last one of the people on stage is saying things significantly stranger and more extreme than anything I have ever posted to metafilter, and I go out of my way to be weird and outré here.

For what it's worth, I take everything you say at face value and would buy your book for all my friends and relatives.
posted by WCWedin at 10:03 PM on December 15, 2015


Sanders isn't at all electable.

Yeah, okay, let's just take that a face value, as a thought exercise. Furthermore lets say that the financial backers of democrat candidates don't like him. And lets say that the democrat party leadership ('establishment') doesn't like him.

But, what happens if the Republicans select a candidate that 'Isn't electable'. I mean, obviously, with two unelectable candidates one of them must win. And looking at the slate of candidates the Republicans have to offer right now, none of them looks strong to me in a national election. Furthermore, I don't think the 'republican establishment' likes any of the (leading) candidates out there.

Personally I see Clinton as a candidate of fear (we're afraid what will happen if a democrat doesn't get elected), and I see Sanders as a candidate of hope (what happens if an actual progressive and socialist gets elected to president).
posted by el io at 10:40 PM on December 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think Clinton would legitimately govern the country more effectively and to better ends than Bernie Sanders. I’m not really going to debate the point right now

Heck, I don't even want a debate. I'm just happy to hear anything other than "vote for Sanders if you want to see a president Trump/Cruz/Hitler."
posted by teponaztli at 10:41 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Vote Truztler 2016
posted by teponaztli at 10:42 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


democrat party leadership ('establishment') doesn't like him.

Democratic party, please. Democrat party is an uncool epithet.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:52 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I myself am backing Sanders for the Democratic nominee position...I'll vote for him in the primary, and I'm kicking his campaign some cash. If and when the nomination goes to Clinton instead, I will happily vote for her in the general election.

I would suspect, although I'm of course not able to be certain, that most Sanders supporters will do the same. This is not a Ralph Nader situation, because Sanders is running as an independent. So as near as I can tell, supporting Sanders at this point does nothing to harm Clinton if, as seems likely, she gets the nod. And having Bernie in the race may in fact serve to pull Clinton leftwards. One can hope.

On the other hand, if the long shot comes in and Sanders becomes the Democratic nominee, I would caution against any assumption that he can't win the general. His odds would depend a lot on who the opposition is, and how much having a genuine liberal in the race would stimulate normally disenfranchised voters.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:03 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


"So the choice really is behind whether Roe v. Wade, amongst other very important cases, and decisions yet to be even thought of, gets upheld by a Clinton appointee or gutted by Trump or Cruz."

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering


Eponysterical?
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:25 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Personally I see Clinton as a candidate of fear (we're afraid what will happen if a democrat doesn't get elected), and I see Sanders as a candidate of hope (what happens if an actual progressive and socialist gets elected to president).

Well, that's one way to look at it. And in some ways I see Clinton as a safer candidate and Sanders as a riskier candidate. Both because we're approaching a weird and uncertain election year and also because I don't really want to play roulette with issues that affect people like abortion, immigration, and climate change.
posted by FJT at 11:33 PM on December 15, 2015


Democratic party, please. Democrat party is an uncool epithet.

I had no idea. I'm not sure I would have taken that assertion at face value had you not provided a link. I'll make an effort to not use that phrase again.
posted by el io at 11:57 PM on December 15, 2015


Can I point out that the linked interview is actually really good? Despite how I've been running my mouth in this thread, I hadn't gotten a chance to watch them until just now. I don't agree with everything that Sanders says, or everything that Killer Mike says, but, well, I nevertheless really hope that lots of people watch the interview.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:08 AM on December 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Sanders isn't sui generis among Dems--the mainstream of Dem voters and the left of the Dem Party align with him on both foreign and domestic policy.

I am really worried that 20-somethings won't vote for HC in the general. It feels like 2000 again. Remember: they're fundamentally the same party, ha-ha--lockbox/strategery, it doesn't really matter who wins, it's all a big joke, both sides do it. This time: Clinton-Bush, either way you're voting for a political dynasty, so it doesn't matter whom you vote for. (Ignore the fact that only one of them is a dynasty! ). Hillary is basically a Republican anyway. Etc. I got so tired of this line (and the Hillary bashing more generally (mind you, I'm not a huge HC fan and am a huge Bernie fan)) that I stopped doing campaign stuff for Bernie.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:16 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, whomever the Dems nominate will win. There are too many cosmopolitan millenials turning 18 daily and too many hateful white nativist types dying daily for this GOP to win nationwide in 16. So let's nominate Sanders!
posted by persona au gratin at 12:19 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like, I respect (if don't quite understand) the attempt to be open-minded about the Republican party and the potential for something good to come of it, but, well, I've watched the Republican Party debate tonight and I've watched Killer Mike talk with Sanders. The Killer Mike/Sanders talk was entirely about fixing actual things in actual lives of actual people — wages, health care, education, and genuine safety — while the Republican Party presidential candidates absolutely could not stop barking about killing "bad guys" — always "bad guys," always the most childish, stupid, thought-destructive, competence-destructive language possible — and about how we must be afraid of everyone and everything and about how due to the scourge of "political correctness" Barack Obama has to do bad things like surveilling everyone, and that, unburdened by political correctness, [insert literally any Republican candidate's name here] will boldly surveille just the Muslims and the Black Lives Matter activists.

Listen to Mike and Sanders for five minutes. Then listen to the Republican Party debate for five minutes. It's night and day. It is not reasonable to pretend like it's sane to be open-minded to Republican ideas and expect anything to come of it.

W/r/t getting legitimately hype for Sanders, maybe the newfound ascendancy of social media over mass media will be enough for Sanders to stick around in the race longer than Dean did, but well, I'm basically incapable of getting attached to Sanders due to emotional scars I've still got from the Dean campaign. Thanks to 2004, I've come to see center-left presidential candidates from Vermont as being basically like feeder rats; sure, they're smart, sure, they have funny little faces, but don't get too attached to them.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:21 AM on December 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Tip: I think Bernie has support that Dean didn't have at this point in 04. It's just anecdotal, but this feels different to me.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:25 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was a college student in 04 and also spent too much time in the lefty blogosphere, so I didn't have much of a sense of whether or not my very excited-about-Dean bubble reflected external reality in any way. This time around I'm in a political environment wherein strong support for Sanders is the rightmost socially acceptable political position, so I again have trouble telling how much of what I see around me reflects America and how much is just my bubble.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:32 AM on December 16, 2015


also I really like that line about feeder rats okay?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:34 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tip: I think Bernie has support that Dean didn't have at this point in 04. It's just anecdotal, but this feels different to me.

Not to overhype 538, but in their scoring of the "invisible primary" of endorsements by Democrats, Sanders has 2 points and Clinton has more than 450. That's not a guaranteed lock, but you might want to keep your feelings in check.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 AM on December 16, 2015


Also, whomever the Dems nominate will win.

I'm not so sure. The Democrats are the incumbent party. We still have almost a year before the election, a lot can still happen (Paris and San Bernardino shifted the top issue from economics to national security). Similarly, Obama's approval could go up or down and that will affect whoever the eventual nominee is.
posted by FJT at 1:17 AM on December 16, 2015


To be clear, I don't think Bernie will get the nomination. But e.g. Dean wasn't packing stadiums 18 months before the general.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:30 AM on December 16, 2015


I was also a college student (well, I was college-age, anyway) in 2004, and I was really bitter about Dean because I liked him and couldn't believe that a yell actually managed to sour things so much.

I am really worried that 20-somethings won't vote for HC in the general. It feels like 2000 again. Remember: they're fundamentally the same party, ha-ha--lockbox/strategery, it doesn't really matter who wins, it's all a big joke, both sides do it.

It's anecdotal, but I really haven't seen any of that. I'm technically a 20-something (for about another month), and I haven't talked to a single Bernie supporter who said they wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general election.
posted by teponaztli at 1:38 AM on December 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Bernie isn't going to do anything like the Dean scream. We've already seen the full extent of his Angry Uncle Bernie persona, people like it or they don't.


Well, this is an hour-long interview, not a rally speech or televised "debate". It's not really fair to compare this to Trump screaming into a microphone somewhere or a soundbite distributed by a PR team. Sanders also doesn't shine as much in those situations, and tends to come off as somewhat platitudinous.

How 'bout this from his appearance at Liberty College?

I'm in CA, so while I'll vote for him in the primary it probably won't matter.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:28 AM on December 16, 2015


There are interesting parallels here with the UK.

During the Labour leadership election the main issue was that Jeremy Corbyn (Veteren left winger and out in cold as far as party machinery goes) would be unelectable.
The other three candidates (Right wing Liz Kendall, Right of Centre Yvette Cooper and whatever anyone wanted him to be Andy Burnham) all ran on the platform of electibility. Corbyn, they said, was not electable.
He won the Leadership with a landslide across all sectors of the party.
Of course now he is Leader of the Opposition and has an uphill fight getting hold of the controls to the party and fighting a massively opposed press.

This is really similar. The right basically saying of any truly left wing candidate that people won't vote. But the Overton window is shifting globally, albeit slowly and with a lot of effort.
There are old school left wing parties grabbing unexpected power all over the place. As far as I'm concerned the job is to keep that window shifting so that we can get back to a place where a moderate social democrat position is the middle ground like it should be and not considered somehow extremist.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:41 AM on December 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Remember when BLM was protesting Bernie rallies and all the Hillary cheerleaders were like SEE HE CANT INSPIRE THE BASE! So he met with important people, realigned his speeches and made social justice more of a focus. Now it's HE'S TOO FRINGE TO BE ELECTED. LETS ALL WATCH THE REPUBLICAN SIDESHOW WHOO SCARY! Poppycock.

Make no mistake. Don't be distracted. This is the real election. Which values do you care about? Which of the two candidates will enact policies that matter to you? Please watch these videos.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:50 AM on December 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Not that I'm a Bernie Stan (Berniestan, is that a thing?) either. I'm definitely to the right of him on some things. I just think the Democrats are pissing themselves at having to make an actual descision again in a primary and it's silly. Stop making choices based on what you think other people will think about them, it's not middle school.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:54 AM on December 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I haven't talked to a single Bernie supporter who said they wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general election.

I am currently leaning that way, but am not committed yet. If Bernie doesn't get the nomination, the first thing I'm going to do is to see what the Socialist Party and Green Party have to say. Clinton is my last resort.

I voted for Jill Stein in 2012. I decided then that I was tired of voting from fear of the boogeyman instead of voting for what I actually want, and her platform was so much better than Obama's. It always seems to be "the wrong time" and there's always "too much at stake" and... screw that. I want an actual progressive activist for a president.

However. Jill's been kind of petulant about Bernie's run on the D ticket. And she continues to play the "Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same" card when that's clearly not the case. Clinton is too conservative for my tastes, but she is competent, won't totally embarrass the nation, and would probably maintain the status quo (as dissatisfying as that is). The GOP field, meanwhile, is a bunch of shit-talking tantrum-throwing hatemongers with barely a shred of sanity, better suited to Jerry Springer than the national political stage.

Hilary is like Bubs, where the GOP is like Strong Mad, the King of Town and the Poopsmith. (Maybe Bernie is Eh Steve? This metaphor isn't really working anymore.)
posted by Foosnark at 6:33 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't talked to a single Bernie supporter who said they wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general election.

Oh, I have. Oddly they all seem to be men.
posted by octothorpe at 7:06 AM on December 16, 2015


Funny that, Octothorpe.

I love biking around town here in Portland. I see more signs for Bernie than I do for any other political candidate - here, I can understand that.

But the real kicker is my friend parents, who were Trump supporters until my friend talked about Bernie. Now they seem to be unsure of how to vote?

Bernie's platform is inclusive! It addresses some issues the Republican base wants fixed (jobs/income for the lower classes), and addresses the issues the Lefties want to see changed as well - foreign policy, wealth inequality, and political stagnation.

Whether that platform would be a reality or not, I'm happy to vote for him to find out. Even if that vote is a throwaway.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:57 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm currently leaning that way, but am not committed yet. If Bernie doesn't get the nomination, the first thing I'm going to do is to see what the Socialist Party and Green Party have to say. Clinton is my last resort.

Not to be overly cynical, but unless you live in a swing state you shouldn't take any guff from people trying to keep you from voting your conscience in the general. So please do vote for a third party in the general unless you think it's going to cost your major party of choice the election.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:07 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I might vote for Bernie in the primary but our election is so late that I doubt that it will be very meaningful by then. On the other hand, PA is close enough to being a swing state that I'd never vote for anyone but a Democrat in the general.
posted by octothorpe at 8:14 AM on December 16, 2015


Oh, I have. Oddly they all seem to be men.


I'm a man and depending on who the other (non-Republican) candidates are, I wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general. But that has everything to do with my leftward shift over the past 8 years--I voted for Obama in 2008 and not in 2012 (voted Green.) I also voted for Teachout in the NYS primary election in 2014. So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Automocar at 8:38 AM on December 16, 2015


I find it insulting you insinuate my not doing so will be because of sexism and not because my political views sit pretty far to the left of Clinton and most of the current establishment Democratic party.

Kudos to you for having a history of leftism on which you can fall back, but I think that given the state of sexism in the world today this kind of falls into #NotAllMen territory. Sucks to be a dude.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am a man, a Sanders supporter, and have no plans to vote for anyone but Clinton should she get the nom. I will do so because the good is not the enemy of the perfect, and I vividly remember 2000, being surrounded by Naderites, and having heard all these arguments - I've read this book before, and am still haunted by the ending.


That being said, I will vote in my state's dem primary because that's how you avoid this tension in the first place
posted by eclectist at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


To be clear, I don't think Bernie will get the nomination. But e.g. Dean wasn't packing stadiums 18 months before the general.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:30 AM on December 16 [+] [!]


Dean was packing stadiums 18 months before the general, though — if you go digging around on the ancient interwebs, you can still find news stories about his big rallies from the summer of 2003. Apologies for not finding a rally set actually in a stadium; I just remember this particular article because going to the rally they talk about in it was one of Lil Baby You Can't Tip a Buick's happiest political experiences.

As for the Dean Scream: Dean was actually out of it before the media assassination surrounding the scream — recall that the Dean Scream speech happened immediately after he had finished a surprise third in Iowa. This was due to deep tactical problems with the design of his campaign as a whole — he had absolutely no idea how to convert his broad base of Internet support into convention delegates. This wasn't Dean's fault — he was running the first Internet-first national level campaign ever, at a time when mass media was still clearly much more influential than the Internet. He was sort of the Estes Kefauver of the early 21st century — Kefauver attempted to run a television-centric campaign in 1956, which wasn't successful because television wasn't yet powerful enough. When JFK did the same thing four years later, he won.

I love the caption on that Time Magazine cover — it doesn't come through clear in this jpg, but it reads "Was Truman treed on a TV aerial?"

I hope Sanders does better than Dean did. I think, though, if he had a chance to pull off the metaphorical coup (or the, ahem, revolution) required to take the nomination, he would have already started moving up in the polls. Most especially his relative lack of support from the Black community is deadly to his long-term prospects, and, well, Black people are right to distrust white guy socialists, due to the white guy socialist tendency (which Sanders has, but which he's trying to moderate) to filter every problem through the lens of class alone.

As for the "I'll vote for X but not Y and if Z happens I'll vote for Q" talk, it's fun, but I'm choosing not to engage in it for a few reasons.
  • Voting in national elections is not a particularly meaningful form of political activity. I'm not saying this as a "don't vote!" guy — VOTE, please vote, vote vote vote like a baby stoat, vote for literally anyone who isn't a Republican, it's your duty to vote, it's fun to vote, pull a sickie from work to vote and then go out for mimosas after,1 and please do not listen to the people who tell you not to vote. The thing is, though, the everyday people who make a difference in elections aren't the people who just vote. The people who make a difference are the people who organize.
  • Voting in national elections is not an expression of your innermost soul; it is a tactic in a political fight. Voting a particular way to maintain your sense of personal purity requires misjudging the situation. Voting isn't about you or your soul. It's about power.
  • National level electoral politics are not the most useful lever for change — if you want to make a difference, get involved in local stuff. If you're in Oakland, Berkeley, or Seattle, I can point you toward campaigns and projects that could use your help. There's other mefites who could probably do the same for people in other areas (Frowner in Minneapolis? rtha and gingerbeer in San Francisco? Eyebrows McGee in Peoria, maybe?). If/when Sanders leaves the race, instead of soul-searching about whether or not you can hold your nose to vote for Clinton, you should instead take the time and energy you've been devoting to Sanders and use it to support a local campaign. You'll do some good things, you'll meet some cool people, you'll drink some tasty mimosas. And that is what democracy looks like.

1: Can I throw this out there as a metafilter meetup idea? Boozy mefite brunches across America on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh, I have. Oddly they all seem to be men.

Hey now, I'm sure there's women out there who value their ideological purity over their reproductive rights, that's totally a hypothetical person that could exist
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:09 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey now, I'm sure there's women out there who value their ideological purity over their reproductive rights, that's totally a hypothetical person that could exist

You joke, but
I’d obviously be pleased to see a politically decent woman president, and if Hillary gets the nomination, I’ll happily cast my protest ballot for Jill Stein from the safety of my blue state. (Truth be told, as a Cold War social democrat, Bernie’s already my “compromise” candidate anyway.) Obama’s presidency has not yielded much in the way of material gains for black people in America, and it’s hard to imagine what a symbolic feminist victory like a female president would guarantee for all but the most privileged of women.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


from the safety of my blue state

well
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Voting isn't about you or your soul. It's about power..

Voting : Power :: Playing lotto : Money
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:39 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I find it insulting you insinuate my not doing so will be because of sexism and not because my political views sit pretty far to the left of Clinton and most of the current establishment Democratic party.

Well, I interpreted it a little differently. As a man, you have less to lose no matter who ends up being president, so you can base decisions more on political belief rather than the consequences of potentially losing. It's not your reproductive rights under assault, no matter who is president. And it's also a possible explanation of why minorities support Clinton more than Sanders. For white people, they're going to stay in the country and not be accused of disloyalty no matter who is president.
posted by FJT at 10:40 AM on December 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


> Voting : Power :: Playing lotto : Money
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:39 AM on December 16 [+] [!]

Nah. Voting is minimal political activity, but it still means something — if you doubt that, look at what unelected emergency managers in Michigan have done to Flint and Detroit. The fact that power formally resides in the electorate is important, even if it's only formal, and abandoning that formal power doesn't do us any good. Don't think of it as a lotto ticket, think of it as a necessary but not sufficient condition for democracy.

Don't think of an election as an opportunity to express your will through your vote. Think of an election as an opportunity to have fruitful political conversations with your friends and neighbors about how to win a better position for yourselves. The point of regular elections isn't the elections themselves, it's the opportunity to organize that elections make room for. You don't "win" an election when your candidate wins. You win an election when you come out of it with a bunch of new friends who all want to work together to change things.

Like basically I'll buy the "don't vote it just legitimates the system" argument, or the "one vote doesn't matter so don't bother to vote" argument, only from people who have personally set up militant revolutionary worker's councils that are actively in the process of seizing all power from the bourgeois state. Until we've got those, please vote.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I used to one of those "OMG YOU DON'T VOTE" people but now I'm like, "vote in national races if you want; I don't really care."

Where I really get upset is when people complain their vote doesn't matter, and don't vote in local elections, where your vote really does matter (I vividly remember an election I voted in that was decided by less than 20 votes), and what's more, getting your preferred ideology into office is a hell of a lot easier on the small scale, AND these are some of the people that are going to be running for state legislatures and Congress someday.
posted by Automocar at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, please. Vote in local elections. Vote for council people, school board members, county executives, judges, controllers, recorders of deeds, prothonotaries, etc. It's not all that uncommon for those kind of elections to come down to a few or even one vote. And those are people who can make real local change. Also great local progressive politicians can eventually become state or national leaders.
posted by octothorpe at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


and what's more, if you volunteer seriously on local campaigns, you might end up gradually becoming one of those local leaders yourself.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2015


I'm signed up for absentee ballots here in California, which really helps with trying to figure out the local races. I can actually sit with the ballot, go online, research the candidates, and try to make an educated decision rather than making a random guess like most people are forced to do at a polling place. Just because there's a D next to their name doesn't mean they aren't pushing charter schools or some other noxious idea. Plus the election board sends me every single ballot, so my participation in those races is significantly higher than it used to be. I couldn't always make it (or was often even aware of) the random non-regular elections that may be for one school district position or whatever, but I can check my mail. Since it's California though, I don't always vote for the presidential candidates. Downballot sure, but not the top. California will go Democratic no matter what I choose to do. So I use those times to support one of the third parties and feel no bit of guilt about it.
posted by downtohisturtles at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


and what's more, if you volunteer seriously on local campaigns, you might end up gradually becoming one of those local leaders yourself.

That feels like a threat.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


> kill the bad guys STRONG KILL America kill kill
Axe Cop for president
posted by morganw at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aside from the space travel stuff and the giving of money to the poor, that Axe Cop platform would have fit in perfectly at the debate last night.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:05 PM on December 16, 2015


If you aren't registered to vote (or wish to change your party affiliation so you can vote in the primary), here's a list of states which offer online voter registration.

I just changed my affiliation from Independent to Democrat. I will likely vote for Sanders. This will be my first time participating in a party primary.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:14 PM on December 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I registered Democrat for the first time this year, so I could vote for Bernie.

I don't despise Hillary. I like Hillary. I think she's gonna win the primary, and become the president, and I think her ability to find the precise points between her ideals and the political reality which'll get her the 51%/61%/whatever of the vote needed to make progress will push the country further left than it is now, even if I simultaneously think the compromises will feel disappointing compared to the ideals and that Hillary's leftmost ideals are still far to the right of where I'd want them to be. I think she'll kick some ass and take some names.

But, dear God, Bernie is fantastic. I don't think he wins this year, I don't think he runs again. But I'm throwing my support at him, in the hope that, four or eight years from now, the notion of a socialist running for president isn't all that crazy anymore.

All the stories of America in upheaval are focused on the right, because the right has tons of cash, it has a media machine in place that blows the left away, and it comes a lot closer to neoliberalism even at its nuttiest than the far left does at its most moderate. I think, however, that the left is undergoing an upheaval of its own. It's a quieter one, it's inevitably going to show itself more in cultural touchstones like this than in our traditional media outlets, but I think it's there. And I'm optimistic about the notion that, if this country comes to a far left/far right tug-of-war, it'll turn out the people who'll pull left have been there all along—they're just a lot quieter than the members of the rabid right.

This is a fantastic interview and I'll be sharing it with anybody I can.
posted by rorgy at 3:04 AM on December 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


> This is such a stunning (and sobering) contrast to the psychotic pep rally rabid dog bonfires happening on the (R) side of the race.

> I sympathize with this view, but I also think that if a GOP candidate did give a good interview on these topics MetaFilter would (unfortunately) be one of the last places I’d hear about it.

Politicians argue with passion to fire up their base, and frames of reference are pretty set for liberals (fairness) and conservatives (patriotism). Which is to say, the GOP doesn't bark like the Dems (or socialists), so you're not likely to hear an interview that resonates with you, unless a GOP candidate made a point of arguing their points of view from a frame that makes sense to you.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the stories of America in upheaval are focused on the right, because the right has tons of cash, it has a media machine in place that blows the left away, and it comes a lot closer to neoliberalism even at its nuttiest than the far left does at its most moderate. I think, however, that the left is undergoing an upheaval of its own. It's a quieter one, it's inevitably going to show itself more in cultural touchstones like this than in our traditional media outlets, but I think it's there. And I'm optimistic about the notion that, if this country comes to a far left/far right tug-of-war, it'll turn out the people who'll pull left have been there all along—they're just a lot quieter than the members of the rabid right.

watch robert reich interview joseph stiglitz (speaking of 'old cranky jewish guys' ;) about the implementation/imposition of neoliberal policies under bob rubin and bill clinton and then if you're looking for an upheaval, reich is helping lead a groundswell in the hopes of uniting the disaffected left and right -- or at least those who see crony capitalism and corporate welfare undermining democracy -- by attacking three foundational myths of neoliberalism:
  1. that 'free' markets exist independently of gov't; if indeed they aren't separate, then is the deck stacked and the game rigged, and who is writing the rules?
  2. that we are paid what we're 'worth'; does a hedge fund manager who makes a billion a year, 'deserve' it? or, more generally, is the market then fair and just?
  3. that 'redistribution' and attendant levels of taxation are the biggest economic issues dividing liberals and conservatives; without taking into account all the initial predistribution, how can there be any talk of equality of opportunity?
ostensibly reich is trying to 'save capitalism' but, listening to him, it sounds more like he's trying to save democracy (to rehabilitate capitalism) by reclaiming some middle ground from corporate interests (for their own good!). maybe it's a long shot, but it's hard to argue with the strategy of peeling off sensible, business-minded people* alarmed by being stuck to the rolling ball of wingnut republicanism -- unreconstructed racists and sexists still need to be tackled head on -- and a technocratic elite that may have finally realized it's taken the working class for granted for too long (but not too late?)

reich is offering an olive branch in the face of rising populism (perhaps louder on the right) of fairer, more accountable and better (for the many) gov't -- a liberal frame -- in order to save the republic (and its traditions of capitalism and democracy) from violent fundamentalist extremism, which could potentially resonate and appeal to some subset of patriotic 'jon huntsman' conservatives (if there are any?)

anyway, this is all to say reich for sec treas in a sanders/warren administration :P (and stiglitz for director of the NEC!)

---
*re: "decent Republicans," here's a good interview with jon huntsman
posted by kliuless at 8:32 AM on December 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


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