Home / General / If Republicans say mean things about Hillary Clinton, will she have the psychological resources to survive?

If Republicans say mean things about Hillary Clinton, will she have the psychological resources to survive?

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clinton benghazi
Those who find it useful and/or desirable to believe that Bernie Sanders holds an electability advantage in the general relative to Hillary Clinton have a wide array of strategies available to them. Some of those strategies have the advantage of being plausible, or being grounded in something in the general vicinity of empirical evidence. Other strategies are coated in a silky, luxurious sauce of rank sexism. I expect few readers will be surprised to learn which category Doug Henwood chooses.

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  • Denverite

    I do think it is possible that whomever the Democratic nominee is, s/he is susceptible to having a Dukakis-esque “I’m losing to *this* guy?!?” moment.

    Note: I wasn’t even a teenager yet, so for the life of me, I don’t remember if that was a real thing or a SNL thing.

    • Dilan Esper

      That was an SNL thing although it was in part produced by some really inaccurate polling.

      The basic shape of the race was that the economy was prosperous and Reagan, despite Iran-Contra, was still pretty popular. Certainly the Republican PARTY was very popular. So Bush was a big favorite in the election, and won by basically the expected margin based on the fundamentals.

      But Bush was a HORRIBLE candidate. He had a ton of malaprops, a lot of what he said didn’t make sense, and he was running almost purely on symbolic issues such as whether Dukakis accepted the label of “liberal” and going to flag factories to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

      Also, Bush picked a terrible Vice President nominee.

      And the pollsters did something they really shouldn’t have done, which was announce a bunch of polls taken right after the Democratic convention and before the Republican convention as if they contained useful data. So Dukakis was claimed to be “ahead” and “favored”, even though it was perfectly clear that he was the underdog. Accordingly, when Dukakis’ entirely predictable poll drop happened, it created a narrative that he had blown the election.

      SNL came in during that stretch with the absolute classic debate sketch, featuring Dana Carvey babbling and repeating his talking points a la Marco Rubio in response to a question, and then, when John Lovitz was asked for his rebuttal, he said “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!”

      It’s something like “I can see Russia from my house”, which Sarah Palin did not say, Tina Fey did, but was based on stuff actually being said in the campaign and reflected a larger narrative about Palin.

      • dr. hilarius

        a lot of what he said didn’t make sense

        A thousand points of light!

      • ColBatGuano

        and he was running almost purely on symbolic issues such as whether Dukakis accepted the label of “liberal” and going to flag factories to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

        And Willie Horton, the ACLU, all thanks to Lee Atwater. Bush Sr. is a horrible human being.

        • Dilan Esper

          Yep. Probably my finest hour as any sort of a political commentator involved this very point:

          http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/been-here-before–3

        • twbb

          To be (somewhat) fair, Al Gore first brought up the furloughed prisoner thing, though he didn’t mention Willie Horton by name. Atwater then refined it into a tool of unprincipled racist sleaze, as Atwater did best.

          • Scott Lemieux

            But that’s a huge difference. Criticizing the prison furlough program, as Gore did, was completely fair game. It was not, in fact, a good policy as executed — it’s a good idea for some prisoners but William Horton really shouldn’t have qualified for it. Criticizing the program using racist ads, though, was not.

            • twbb

              No argument here.

          • dr. hilarius

            I’m sure a wily little scumbag like Atwater never would have thought of going after Dukakis for Horton were it not for Gore.

            • LosGatosCA

              Jumper cables, anyone?

          • randy khan

            The actual Willie Horton ad didn’t come from the Bush campaign – it was from one of the first outside committees, called the Committee for the Presidency. It was an “independent” expenditure.

        • Jackson87

          I was out of the loop!

      • djw

        Right. Dukakis didn’t say it but you really have to think he wanted to.

  • dr. hilarius

    She’s survived the past quarter century, so I don’t know why she would all of a sudden have a mental breakdown over the big fat meanihead Republicans. It seems like they’ve actually gotten less wily and sophisticated in their anti-Clinton attacks. I mean, who was the latest anti-Shrillary A-Team? Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan? LOL!

  • I don’t think HRC, of all people, will be surprised to have to be running against an absolue asshole like Trump. She’s been putting up with this shit–and she knows him personally–for years. I think its much more likely that Bill and HRC will have ways to drive Trump absolutely mad. And when he gets mad he loses his shit. So far he has dominated his crowds with a patented form of sunny dictator bullshit. They see his anger as an extension of their own, his braggadocio as their standard bearer’s high self worth. But he, and they, have egos that are enormously inflated and extremely fragile. A few good shivs under his skin and he is going to explode like the Hindenburg and rain fiery, gaseous, balls of shit down all around him, even on his own supporters. Its going to get ugly and he is not going to handle it well.

    • N__B

      A few good shivs under his skin and he is going to explode like the Hindenburg and rain fiery, gaseous, balls of shit down all around him, even on his own supporters.

      You missed your calling – you should have been a Hallmark card writer.

      • ChrisTS

        +1

    • dr. hilarius

      I think this is correct. Trump strikes me as scrappy and clever, but he doesn’t seem to have the absolute mastery of his temper that Hillary displayed during the Benghazi hearings. I bet you it’s really fucking easy to push Trump’s buttons-he just seems like one of those guys, and the Clintons seem like they know exactly where to press.

      And I don’t know about the Clintons, but overconfidence is my favorite weakness to exploit, and Trump seems to be a veritable feast on that front.

      • sharculese

        People who were at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner where Obama released his birth certificate say Trump was just steaming. Obama was hitting him with jab after jab and he couldn’t do anything about it. Imagine what that will be like when he has a microphone in front of him.

        I’d lay even money that, if Clinton and Trump are the nominees, we get a moment in a debate where he tries to interrupt her when he’s not allowed to and gets scolded like a schoolboy.

        • sleepyirv

          Obama would be an absolute beast on the campaign trail against Trump. He could let loose in a way he couldn’t against Hillary, McCain, or Romney (though he did get feistier in that race the longer it went on). Trump would be incapable of forming sentences by the end of it.

          • cpinva

            “Trump would be incapable of forming sentences by the end of it.”

            mr. trump hasn’t convinced me he’s ever been capable of forming a coherent sentence, with a planned speechwriter, or on the fly. unconcscious and on the floor, may be the floor may well be the closest he comes to it.

            • PhoenixRising

              Yeah, I was trying to diagram one of his…utterances…with my kid last week. It was rough sledding.

        • ASV

          Especially true given that the general election debates are not put together like middle school cafeteria shouting matches the way the GOP primary ones are. The Commission on Presidential Debates is not perfect by any means, but none of the “debate” events so far will prepare Trump for what October will bring.

          • What makes you think Trump won’t just do whatever he wants in those debates?

            • I think he will do just what he wants. But I think it might come off badly. I’m sure HRC will prepare with a blowhard who leaves the podium to insult her and point his finger at her. It worked great for her against Lazio. I think angry, raging, or bullying Trump will work wonderfully for her in the general.

              • I think you are probably right.

              • N__B

                I’m pretty sure that HRC has one of her staff working on calm, mildly-amusing one-liners to toss at Trump when he blows hard.

              • randy khan

                I think the Lazio experience will serve her well if she’s against Trump.

              • MDrew

                My concern is that she’s going to do everything right – whether that’s bluster back or be calm and devastating – and win every exchange, and it’s just not going to matter; enough sexists will like what he’s trying to do to the most plausible female presidential candidate ever that they’ll flood the polls and that’s the ballgame.

                Of course, I think that is much less likely than that any Democratic nominee blows out Trump no matter what. Clinton in particular aided by Republican women disgusted by Trump & inspired by the idea of the first woman president (and she’s not a leftist, even!).

                • STH

                  I think there’s a limit to the sexism that voters will take, especially when it’s directed at a dignified older woman. Low-level sexism sells with Americans, but they don’t like to think of themselves as the kind of person who would support a candidate that calls a grandmother the c-word on national television. And we all know Trump is completely capable of that.

            • Peterr

              Including refuse to take part if he is peeved about something, like the choice of moderators.

              • Thirtyish

                Then Clinton would have a golden opportunity to really hammer him about being a coward (bonus points if she insinuates that it’s because he’s afraid to lose).

                • Peterr

                  That won’t keep Trump from doing just what he wants, just as Aimai said.

                  Trump will just spin it as yet another of his politically incorrect moves . . .

                • joe from Lowell

                  The thing is, that was a good move for Trump. He had nothing to gain by going to that debate, and ended up winning that spat with Fox.

                  I don’t think the notion that he keeps stumbling into smart moves through sheer dumb luck is sustainable anymore.

                • kped

                  Note that he regretted skipping that debate after he lost Iowa.

        • kped

          Don’t need people who were there to tell you, the video makes it quite clear how mad he was.

          Here’s how Hillary can easily make him explode during a debate:

          “On May 2, 2011, when Mr Trump was deciding on whether to send home Lil John or Playboy playmate Hope Dowaracyk, I was helping President Obama find and kill Osama Bin Ladin” (yes…I just wiki’d the season and the date…I’m not sure if it was against Lil John…but anytime you can say a name like that against Trump, you are winning)

        • brad

          There’s brief footage of Trump fuming in the edit of the speech on youtube.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I’m not sure we should be betting on the fact that the US is going to desert a rich white guy because he loses his temper. Jus’ sayin’.

          #SteveJobs
          #JohnMcEnroe
          #JohnMcCain
          #RahmEmanuel

          • PhoenixRising

            The US, no. Women voters?

            I’m concerned that some young women voters–who haven’t yet experienced the many forms of workplace misogyny that are perfectly legal–are going to be very surprised by how they feel after watching an angry bigot lash out at his opponent in ways that prompt the question, Do you eat with that mouth?

            Because women who haven’t finished college, of any race, are the ones who have had a boss talk to them like Trump is going to talk to Hillary…and they are going to be furious. Setting things on fire furious. I suspect it would drive turnout among women.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Women Voters haven’t exactly been rallying to the barricades to defend Hillary. And you don’t get negative ratings as high as Hillary gets without being unappealing to a lot of women. There’s lots of women who dislike Hill. She probably still wins the woman’s vote but I doubt if it’s any larger than by the margin that Obama won it– and note that Romney still won the white married woman vote. Hill might not win that segment back.

      • Barry Freed

        I think he has an actor’s mastery of his affect. He’s calm off camera. If Trump has a button to push it’s that he doesn’t like losing.

        • Peterr

          He may be calm off camera, but I’d hardly say that “he has an artist’s mastery of his affect” when the cameras are rolling.

          He mistakes stream-of-consciousness speaking with extemporaneous remarks, and is quite happy to play to the audience in the room without seeming to be aware of the rest of the audience taking in his schtick.

          If you want an analogy to actors and their mastery of the craft, Trump is the Adam Sandler of politics, not the Marlon Brando.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Adam Sandler. Still pretty popular.

            • Peterr

              Popular? Yes.

              Master of the craft of acting? Not so much.

        • dr. hilarius

          I’m struggling to think of an analogy here. Trump is basically your classic light sleeper. He looks calm and peaceful on the surface, but you snap your fingers and boom, he’s awake. I am fully confident that Hillary will be able to rile Trump, over and over, without breaking a sweat.

        • twbb

          He’s a classic, textbook DSM narcissist. They explode uncontrollably.

      • Pseudonym

        That seems plausible on its surface, but it’s hard to believe that none of his Republican rivals have managed to get under Trump’s skin yet if his temper was really that easy to trigger. Perhaps that’s only because they aren’t trying, afraid of becoming the focused target of Trump’s free media spotlight. I’ll believe overconfidence and temper are really Trump’s fatal flaws when I see them actually hurt him.

        • I suspect Trump is better off in a free-for-all than mano-a-mano. Some of his weakest debate moments have been when he gets into an extended exchange with other candidates (particularly Cruz). The Republican debates have been unusually rowdy this election, and whenever he wants he can just let other people yell at each other and pull faces.

          On stage with Clinton, he either has to be responding to a question, responding to her, or silent. I think it’d be very difficult for him.

          • Pseudonym

            I tend to agree, and I think we’ll have a better idea once the contest narrows down to three (or two) people.

          • dr. hilarius

            The state of the Republican race has really worked in Trump’s favor in this respect.

            With the number of people they’ve had in all of their debates, they were already a micrometer away from pure chaos.

            It made Trump’s bullshit less noticeable. It’s not so much what he said, it’s that he hijacked an already substance-free debate and made it even more asinine. But you don’t notice *that*, because the format was already idiotic-what else do you expect with 10 people on the stage.

            The one on one format amplifies the shenanigans. Trump’ll look like even more of a clown.

            With only one other person on the stage, he won’t be able to fade into the background for a while when he senses his schtick is starting to get old. It’ll just be him and Clinton, and she’s so disciplined in debates that she’ll make Trump look like a child.

            • ThrottleJockey

              How hard can he hammer her on Email-gate? This, of course, is simply a foil to go after her big weak point: Trust.

        • kped

          …did you watch the last debate?

          It didn’t hurt him because the base loves an angry asshole. But against Clinton in the general? Contrast her calm, competent intelligence with his idiotic bluster…he will be destroyed.

          I don’t think we’ll be so lucky though. I have a feeling Kasich drops out, his support goes to Rubio, and he starts winning enough to get the nomination. But he’s another light weight debater Clinton should have fun with.

          • Pseudonym

            Angry asshole and idiotic bluster are working for him now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re his only weapons.

            • joe from Lowell

              Exactly. Ali didn’t play rope-a-dope against Foreman for all those rounds because it was his only skill. It was the right strategy for the opponent.

              • kped

                I think you two are far overestimating the man.He’s not once shown any indication that he can or will be a better candidate then he currently is.

                • Pseudonym

                  A better candidate than the guy currently leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination despite complete opposition from the party itself?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Srsly, this. And look at his spending compared to the competition he’s beating.

                  No party support, low spending…wow, that guy really sucks at politics. I think he’s just gotten lucky.

                • kped

                  He won’t have the free TV advantage he enjoys in a 1v1 match that he has in a crowded field.

                  His weaknesses are also magnified in a 1v1 match up with an actual adult who isn’t trumpeting the same insane positions as him (which the entire Republican field does for the most part…)

                  He is not a good candidate. The Republican base is just…awful.

                • Pseudonym

                  I hope you’re right, kped.

                • joe from Lowell

                  He won’t have the free TV advantage he enjoys in a 1v1 match that he has in a crowded field.

                  I’m not saying he will.

                  How’d he magically get that free TV advantage, and keep it for months on end?

                  Clearly, by being a shitty candidate who can’t attract support.

                  Oh, wait, I know: he has achieve all that press coverage by…um…trumpeting the same positions as his opponents? That’s your theory?

                  Look, I don’t find him appealing, either. Projecting your own impressions of him onto the rest of the country, in the face of the evidence, is not a good way to understand politics.

                • kped

                  There’s nothing magic about it, he says crazy things so they cover him. I’m saying in a 1v1 match up, the other candidate will get free coverage as well, just in terms of being the only other candidate.

                  In an 8 person field, you can ignore the rest, but when it’s 1v1, you’re going to cover both, diluting his advantage there.

    • Thirtyish

      A few good shivs under his skin and he is going to explode like the Hindenburg and rain fiery, gaseous, balls of shit down all around him, even on his own supporters. Its going to get ugly and he is not going to handle it well.

      *Applies a tablespoon of oil to pan, puts pan on stove, adds popcorn kernels.*

    • Thirtyish

      Also too, Clinton is an actual politician who has spent most of her life being on the receiving end of all types of feedback, including scorching criticism. Trump…isn’t.

      • dr. hilarius

        One of them has had sycophants constantly schlobbing his knob his whole life. The other has sycophants, but has been in politics and had to put up with real shit outside of her bubble a whole lot longer.

      • Breadbaker

        Anyone who came out as she did from the impeachment debacle won’t have any trouble dealing with anything Donald Trump could throw at her. “I’ve been accused of murdering Vince Foster by better people than you.”

        • dr. hilarius

          “I’ve been accused of murdering Vince Foster by better people than you.”

          Well, not sure I would go that far. But point taken.

      • sam

        Also, do you remember the 2000 election NY senate debates? She was a shoe-in after Giuliani dropped out and that nobody-whose-name-I-can’t-even-remember was drafted to replace him, but at one point they had a debate where he tried to take her down by bullying her into signing some pledge (soft money? Negative campaigning?) right there on the stage – even walked over to her podium, and I just remember her doing this perfect WTF physical double take, and from the commentary the next day, you would have thought the guy had started jerking off on stage. He was complete toast after that.

        It’s basically the same way she’s dealt with the blowhards in congress during the 27,000 Benghazi hearings.

    • twbb

      The important thing to do with Trump is to insult him in a way that makes him look small. Don’t accuse him of being a force for evil, accuse him of being an ineffective loser.

      • Chuchundra

        How can you expect this man to competently run a country when he lost money running a casino?

        • twbb

          They need to frame it as him “running to the government when his debts came due” or “hiding behind bankruptcy rather than than fulfill his word.”

          • ThrottleJockey

            His answer, which so far has been effective, is that, “I took advantage of the laws that were open to me–and besides the only people who lost money were Wall Street banker sharks–but I’ve had my Come to Jesus! moment and I’ve seen the light and we totally need to get rid of all these loopholes that favor rich fucks like me.”

            Its played masterfully, if perplexingly, in the primaries.

            • PhoenixRising

              With the 35%. I’m afraid they are the new 27%.

              I’m not happy to be sharing my homeland with so many people who think that a crude, bigoted businessman whose accomplishment to date is not losing the entirety of the fortune he inherited would make a good chief executive. But I’m not yet convinced that his bluster will play well in a general.

            • Barry_D

              “Its played masterfully, if perplexingly, in the primaries.”

              He’s Boss Class. Laws are meant for Worker Class schmucks.

              Think authoritarians who love hierarchies.

        • Pseudonym

          He didn’t lose [much] money though. And people hope that he’ll strike the same kinds of deals with China and Mexico that he makes in business, where his “partners” put up the money and take on the risk and he (and the U.S.) reaps the rewards.

    • efgoldman

      A few good shivs under his skin and he is going to explode like the Hindenburg and rain fiery, gaseous, balls of shit down all around him

      I think that’s probably right, but how have the Bush crime family and other Republiklown ratfuckers not been able to do that already?

      • PhoenixRising

        That’s a really important question.

        1) The format was his crutch. Kasich threatening to pull this debate over if Trump/Cruz/Rubio don’t get out of the dogpile, Christie piledriving Bambi til he rebooted…the opportunity to attack Trump wasn’t seized in the fracas.

        2) They were all waiting for someone else to take the return fire. The best way to kill a dog is to ask 5 people to feed it.

        2b) Hillary can shiv him in ways that no man could, and he will be helpless to respond in the way he does to all men. The visuals are going to be really interesting, because the kinds of dominance displays that Trump excels at rely on him projecting literal big and strong–and he’s not proving anything by being bigger and stronger than this grandma who frosts her hair. It’s going to come across as pathetic and one-note.

        In the event of a Clinton/Trump debate, a LOT of women whose husbands don’t go with them into the voting booth are going to pull the lever against the boss who talked to them like that.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Did you see how he attacked Hill over how Bill treated women??? And how quickly the 2 of them backed off after he did?????

          I’d like to believe its as simple as you say, but I’m unconvinced its that straightforward. I’m pretty worried about her ability to beat him honestly.

          • PhoenixRising

            That particular attack didn’t jump out at me from his stream of attacks. HRC is almost inhumanly disciplined about knowing who she’s fighting when, but if you think she would be going after Trump at this stage but for some nasty thing he said, I guess I can’t argue because the particular nasty thing didn’t even cross my radar.

            • Yeah, why bother attacking Trump at this point?

              • tsam

                He’s just so attackable.

  • sharculese

    Man, if only we had some empirical evidence of what it’s like when Clinton and Trump get into a tete-a-tete, and which one comes away sounding rattled. Too bad that would never hap- http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/21/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-disgusting/

    • Barry Freed
    • ThrottleJockey

      Fuh real, though, I can’t wait until Trump says to Hill, “I’m going to Make America Great Again!”

      And she says back, “America is ALREADY GREAT, jackass!”

      OK, maybe she drops the “jackass” for the prime time debates, but he totally gets it in the after hours debates!

    • kped

      Will a Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton matchup give Clinton a 65-35 win with women, or a 70-30? (note, Obama won 56-44).

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    This just seems so bizarre to me. Not only has Clinton put up with decades of right-wing crap, she is also at her very best when responding to such stuff. See the Benghazi hearings. I have plenty of concerns about Clinton as a candidate, but this isn’t one of them.

    • Henwood is really awful when he’s not talking about economics.

      • Scott Lemieux

        He’s a very smart guy who doesn’t take electoral politics seriously. And whenever he writes about it, it shows.

        • Ktotwf

          He also has the benefit of being a dyed in the wool actual Leftist.

          • That doesn’t speak well for leftist analysis of politics.

            • Ktotwf

              Disliking Clinton and most DLC drones is one of the true marks of caring about Leftism beyond electoralism. This is all basic stuff, people.

              • What a left. What deep analysis.

                • Ktotwf

                  You are mocking something I called “basic stuff” for not being deep analysis? Ok then…

                • I am mocking a lack of anything deeper than hating Hillary Clinton coming from the self-identified left.

                • Ktotwf

                  Why not mock elves and other things that don’t actually exist then?

                • Grumpy

                  many analysis

                  such left

                  wow

              • Hogan

                Disliking Clinton and most DLC drones is one of the true marks of caring about Leftism beyond electoralism.

                And having something useful to say about them is one of the true marks of worthwhile commentary.

                • I thought it was electoplasm?

                • Ktotwf

                  I’ve liked a lot of what Henwood posts on Twitter and his site.

                • ChrisTS

                  Aimai: Is ‘electoralism’ even a word. Or, a thing?

                • N__B

                  Is ‘electoralism’ even a word.

                  The science of performing fellatio on a Calvinist.

                • tsam

                  And having something useful to say about them is one of the true marks of worthwhile commentary.

                  Do you mean to tell me that hyperbolic, fact free attacks aren’t useful?

              • Sly

                If disliking Clinton is a true mark of anything, that thing is “being a Republican.”

          • djw

            “It’s not surprising he says stupid shit like this–it’s because he’s a real leftist” isn’t the strategy I would have gone with if I were you.

            • Ktotwf

              “He proceeds from different assumptions because his vantage point is further Left” is actually how I would characterize my response.

              • djw

                Which “different assumptions” make it impossible for him to assess the actual strengths and weaknesses of his political opponents?

                Admission: perhaps in part because of the gap between my politics and those of the people he appeals to, I haven’t been entirely able to accurately assess Donald Trump’s political appeal. But I take that as evidence of my analytic shortcomings, not a sign of the awesomeness of my politics.

                • sharculese

                  You mean you haven’t read Marx’s extended musings on what makes politician too ‘brittle?’

              • Scott Lemieux

                “He proceeds from different assumptions because his vantage point is further Left” is actually how I would characterize my response.

                He doesn’t argue that Hillary Clinton can’t handle Republican criticism because he’s “further left.” This critique has no ideological content at all. He argues this because he has no idea what he’s talking about, and his sycophants defend him (without ever defending specific arguments on the merits) because any attack on Hillary Clinton must ipso facto be valid, no matter how transparently stupid, because her husband signed some bad legislation 20 years ago.

                • partisan

                  I’m not sure this particular comment by Henwood is so objectionable. Yes, Clinton did a good job at the Benghazi hearings. But she did have the advantage of having the evidence firmly on her side. The Democrats can’t count that will be the case with every issue, even if Trump hardly appears to be the model of the subtle and skillful debater.

                • ColBatGuano

                  He’s arguing she’s going to collapse at Trump’s clever attacks, not that there would never be an effective one. Also, why wouldn’t Clinton always have evidence on her side? Trump is not exactly a paragon of fact based arguments.

                • It seems like a gestalt thing.

                  1) Of all the reasons to be concerned about a Trump/Clintom match up, his taunting her is very odd.

                  If it’s in person, there’s no reason I know to think she’ll have eg a Rubio moment. She seems to be an impressive debater. If it’s elsewhere, it’s hard to see how a taunt is going to rattle her campaign.

                  2) The language gets a bit dodgy. “Brittle” is close to “fragile” and feels rather off given her campaigning history. Her campaigns have made errors. She has a lot of attack points. But how this adds up to her psychology is weak is…mysterious.

                  So, there are variants of 1 that are probably wrong but fine, eg you think that republicans harping on the emails will further erode her trustability and this will hurt her in the election. Of course, this is true for all the Republicana so doesn’t get at anything special about Trump. There are ways of making it about Trump that would be less problematic eg he will sound less crazy in his attacks because there is already so much out there against her that nothing seems truly crazy.

                  But the actual comment seems as if his animosity toward Clinton manifested with a somewhat sexist tinge (which isn’t that surprising given the pervasiveness of sexism; you have to work a lot to avoid it).

                  Finally, the polls seem sufficient and far more worth noting.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I’m not sure this particular comment by Henwood is so objectionable.

                  The idea that Hillary Clinton will psychologically wilt in the face of Republican attacks is, in fact, absolutely absurd and grossly sexist. The fact that you’re acting as if the BENGHAZI hearings were the first time she’s dealt with with this says it all.

          • Scott Lemieux

            He also has the benefit of being a dyed in the wool actual Leftist.

            Except that his analysis of electoral and legislative politics doesn’t have a trace of Leftism. It’s a cross between naive liberal pluralism and the kind of thing you find in mediocre middlebrow presidential biographies.

            This idea that people disagree with Henwood because he’s just too ideologically pure for them is such self-serving horseshit.

            • partisan

              The idea that Hillary Clinton will psychologically wilt in the face of Republican attacks is, in fact, absolutely absurd and grossly sexist. The fact that you’re acting as if the BENGHAZI hearings were the first time she’s dealt with with this says it all.

              Is it “absolutely” absurd? After all, Clinton’s debating skills weren’t enough for her to defeat Obama. And clearly she’s had more problems with Sanders than she’d like. Yes Trump isn’t like Obama or Sanders. But they’re not that similar to each other. And Trump has every motive to be a harder critic. And if economic growth is low or stagnant in the fall, then the facts will definitely not be on her side as they were in Benghazi. One more thing, Trump doesn’t have to convince this blog he’s a good debater. He has to convince a conventional media that believed Bush 43 acquitted himself debating Gore. Not a very high bar for him to pass.

              • Is it “absolutely” absurd?

                Yep.

                After all, Clinton’s debating skills weren’t enough for her to defeat Obama.

                That’s not what was argued. The argument is that she’d psychologically wilt. I.e., that she’s literally too fail to endure his verbal assault.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Is it “absolutely” absurd?

                Yes.

                After all, Clinton’s debating skills weren’t enough for her to defeat Obama.

                This is just a flat non-sequitur. Henwood is suggesting that Clinton would not merely lose but psychologically break down in the fact of Donald Trump’s debate taunts. The fact that Clinton lost to Obama despite out-debating him is, to put it mildly, beside the point.

                EDIT: or, what Bijan said before I wrote this.

        • joe from Lowell

          Sort of a left-wing version of Krugman, then.

          Edit: or an economics version of Juan Cole.

          • Ktotwf

            Henwood is a fine political commentator. The source of the criticism he gets from LGM is that he has more of a Marxist than Dem-boosting perspective, and the commentators here dislike him for absolutely run-of-the-mill-if-you’ve-ever-read-anyone-to-the-Left-of Paul Krugman criticism of the Clintons.

            “Not caring about electoral politics” in this case is code for “holding Bourgeois politics in contempt”.

            • Are you actually a parody of someone on the left? I’d really like to think self-identified leftists are smarter than this.

              • Ktotwf

                Do you have any mode other than “trying too hard for the condescending put down” Loomis? (And “butthurt that Sady Doyle doesn’t think you are a right on male ally”?)

                • Do you have any mode other than saying ridiculous leftier-than-thou things?

              • Thirtyish

                I’d really like to think self-identified leftists are smarter than this.

                I have a Freddie deBoer on line one.

                • postmodulator

                  Freddie figured out how to get an outside line?

                • ChrisTS

                  Gods, I know some bona fide leftists and none of these clowns speak for them.

                • dr. fancypants

                  Freddie figured out how to get an outside line?

                  I think the call is coming from inside the building.

            • joe from Lowell

              Henwood is a fine political commentator.

              So this particular floater is an exception?

              • Ktotwf

                It isn’t his best, I wouldn’t say.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Now you’re just grammar-trolling me.

                  ;-)

                • Certainly not on his fine level of writing a book giving credence to Whitewater as a legitimate scandal!

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Certainly not on his fine level of writing a book giving credence to Whitewater as a legitimate scandal!

                  Don’t forget Hillary Clinton’s HIGHLY DISTURBING practice of campaigning in DIFFERENT COUNTIES while running for the United States Senate! Or her inability to, as a freshman senator from the minority party, get George W. Bush to sign transformative left-wing legislation!

              • dr. hilarius

                Floater? No joe, this is pure gatling gun diarrhea.

            • sharculese

              Cool, I always thought what this blog needed was a lefty version of J. Otto.

              • Thirtyish

                Not enough humble bragging about living in an African country, or possessing a lot of arcane knowledge about former Soviet republics.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Shouldn’t a “lefty version of J. Otto” humble-brag about living in a Soviet republic and possess a lot of arcane knowledge about an African country?

                • postmodulator

                  In Soviet Ghana, brag humbles you!

                • djw

                  Yeah, I kind of think J Otto is a little too sui generis for this to work.

                • sparks

                  Humblebrag is one of the dishes this place serves constantly, from many hands. I wouldn’t point out Jotto as an exceptional offender in this.

              • Ktotwf

                It is definitely fun to simply explain that Henwood holds different political priors than the people commentating here and have that be spun as Leftier-Than-Thou posturing. Super fun.

                • Hogan

                  You could, of course, say what those priors are and how they lead to conclusions like “Hillary is brittle.” But handwaving can also be super fun.

                • Ktotwf

                  Ok. Marxists tend to view electoral Center-Left politics as a false alternative peddled by the dominant social class. This leads to them being more critical of politicians that people who believe in the electoral system as-it-exists deem acceptable.

                  I am not so much defending the actual content of this specific instance of what Henwood wrote, but let’s not pretend Henwood bashing isn’t constant on this blog, which is why I bring up the point at all.

                • The Henwood-bashing on this blog consists specifically and exclusively of how his rabid hatred of Hillary Clinton makes him say stupid things.

                • Ktotwf

                  Hmm, I could have sworn the book cover and book itself came in for criticism, but have yet to see much criticism of that content than impugning his motives for even daring to write such a book.

                • Hogan

                  I am not so much defending the actual content of this specific instance of what Henwood wrote

                  or indeed any specific instance of what he’s written . . .

                • Ktotwf

                  There is a lot of what he has written I would defend.

                • djw

                  Marxists tend to view electoral Center-Left politics as a false alternative peddled by the dominant social class.

                  Ah, so he says dumb things about electoral politics because his “priors” teach him electoral politics are bourgeois distraction from What Really Matters. Good effort! Vaguely plausible, even! One small problem: Henwood devoted his beautiful Marxist mind to an entire book about Clinton’s Presidential candidacy.

                • Pseudonym

                  It is definitely fun to simply explain that Henwood holds different political priors than the people commentating here…

                  Dilan? Why the nym change?

                • Ktotwf

                  Your condescending LOGIC MASTER schtick would be a lot better if you had salient points, djw. You are strawmanning so hard I am surprised you haven’t pulled a muscle.

                  Chomsky doesn’t champion electoralism either, and he still writes about the Presidency and electoral politics. The point is not and never has been that electoral politics don’t matter – the point has always been that the traditional parties, traditional politicians and traditional routes-to-power won’t deliver the change Leftists want to see. Henwood’s criticism of Clinton is entirely in line with that project.

                • djw

                  The point is not and never has been that electoral politics don’t matter

                  If it does matter, then being so disinterested in it that you can’t be bothered to see past your own political preferences to accurately assess candidates’ electoral strengths and weaknesses might not be a great strategy. No?

                  the point has always been that the traditional parties, traditional politicians and traditional routes-to-power won’t deliver the change Leftists want to see. Henwood’s criticism of Clinton is entirely in line with that project

                  No, it very clearly isn’t. It’s a straightforward claim about her personal/psychological weaknesses as a candidate, that his nothing to do with and has no logical connection with a critique of her politics or the political system in which she is embedded.

                • Ktotwf

                  Now you are switching back and forth between my description of why he dislikes her on a general level and a debate over the content of this one instance of criticism, which I have already said I don’t think was very good.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  but have yet to see much criticism of that content than impugning his motives for even daring to write such a book.

                  Of course, the only thing I’ve written about his book contained many specific substantive criticisms of his arguments and did not discuss his motives at all. But given the choice of lying and trying to defend anything Henwood writes about Hillary Clinton on the merits, I’d go with the former too.

                • Pseudonym

                  You know what might help bolster the contention that Henwood is a fine political commentator? An example.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Chomsky doesn’t champion electoralism either, and he still writes about the Presidency and electoral politics.

                  And what he writes is generally much better than what Henwood does, so I don’t see your point.

                • djw

                  Now you are switching back and forth between my description of why he dislikes her on a general level and a debate over the content of this one instance of criticism, which I have already said I don’t think was very good.

                  So, you concede that his dislike of Clinton produces terrible political analysis entirely independent of his “priors”? Why didn’t you just say to in the first place?

                • Ktotwf

                  Because most of what he writes is good. And because he could be the greatest political commentator our world has ever known and he would still draw the ire of this blog.

                • Bruce B.

                  What is it about different political priors that excuses demonstrating ignorance of widely publicized information across multiple decades?

                • Scott Lemieux

                  And because he could be the greatest political commentator our world has ever known and he would still draw the ire of this blog.

                  Based on what?

                • It is definitely fun to simply explain that Henwood holds different political priors than the people commentating

                  Ok, I thought this “priors” nonsense and “leftists are different so their stupid stuff is t stupid” argument was a Dilan invention. Did you pick this up from him or are they tropes with wider currency?

                  (Per usual, your intellectual history or premises don’t immunise you from critique. Different premises don’t necessarily mean different conclusions. And, of course, as everyone has said, just because you have some different beliefs doesn’t mean they are pertinent to every dispute.)

              • ChrisTS

                Give Ktotwf some credit: he comes nowhere close to Freddie’s masterful combination of whining and grotesque verbosity.

                • sharculese

                  He’s yet to master the verbosity, but he’s ratcheting it up there on the whining.

                • ChrisTS

                  Oh, Sharc, you’re just so mean. :-)

                • dr. hilarius

                  Sharc, I’m gonna have to deduct 1000 Esper Points for that bit of snark.

            • djw

              So, to be clear, an inability to assess the actual strengths and weaknesses of your political opponents is a sign of a Marxist, pure and true?

              • joe from Lowell

                Between the spontaneous demonstrations by the workers and the withering away of the state…I can actually buy that.

              • Ktotwf

                When did I say he was a “pure and true” Marxist? Why are you all so bad at this snark thing?

                • djw

                  I’m just waiting to see how long it takes you to figure out you accidently jumped in with a line of argument (“he says stupid, wrong things because he’s the right kind of leftist”) that’s so clearly a statement against interest. It’s hard to tell, but I think it might be starting to sink in.

              • ChrisTS

                Christ, Marx and Engels are rolling in their graves.

                • John Revolta

                  See, this is where that Oxford comma could really come in handy

                • ChrisTS

                  John: Heh but this is not a place for the Oxford comma.

                  “Christ, Marx, and Engels are rolling in their graves”?

                • joe from Lowell

                  See, this is where that Oxford comma could really come in handy

                  Blasphemer!

                • John Revolta

                  Their truth goes marching on!!

                • The Dark God of Time

                  And the Derp goes marching on.

            • slothrop

              I don’t like the little sexism; but, he’s right that Trump will skewer her with her own record, in particular, HRC finance-backing problems, the Iraq war, etc.

              • joe from Lowell

                He doesn’t even say that Trump can use those issues against her, though. Just that Trump will be able to get under her skin and goad her into bad responses.

              • kped

                So…you think Trump is going to run to Hillary’s left? That’s…a bizarre thing to think.

                • slothrop

                  Sure. On issues like Wall Street, Iraq. He taps into a seething anger that cuts across the electorate.

                  But, we are talking about two congenital liars, here.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Trump is already running on the argument that he isn’t beholden to funders, like the ones dumping money into his opponents’ superPACs.

                  If he were to use that argument against Hillary Clinton, I’m not sure if it would count as running “to her left,” exactly.

                • brad

                  So Hillary calmly reminds Donald that there’s tape showing he was in favor of invading Iraq before he realized what a mistake it was, based on lies.
                  Just like her.

                  Next question, Brian.

                  Oh, and Donald owns how many buildings on Wall St?

                • kped

                  Exactly Brad. I can’t believe that there are actual readers of this blog (maybe I hold the commentators in too high esteem…)who don’t see how comically easy it is for Hillary to parry that Iraq war claim…if Donald even made it against her.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Trump’s little oopsie with his Iraq War support certainly takes that off the table.

                  But while “Donald Trump is rich, so he can’t go after opponents’s funders” should, in a fair world, work, it doesn’t. People really should be able to work through the logic “If I don’t want a billionaire to be the power behind the throne, I shouldn’t want one to be on the throne,” but there are a whole lot who don’t. “He can’t be bought! He isn’t in debt to anyone!” actually is a depressingly-effective argument for a depressingly-large number of people. My Obama-loving roofer was pitching me on that a couple weeks ago. This is a guy who delivered the line “I love Obama! Gas prices are cheap, bin Laden’s dead, and everyone I know has work,” with the confident gleam of a man who had won more than one argument with it. And he is now asking me if I want a Trump sign.

                  Salt of the earth, soul of the whatever. And there are a lot more of him than there are of us.

                  It shouldn’t be this way, but you’re sticking your head in the sand if you don’t think it is. Low-information voters eat that crap up.

                • MDrew

                  I don’t think the oopsie takes Iraq off the table, joe. I’m surprised you do.

                  If there’s something stronger than a very halting “I guess” in September ’02 that comes out, that could do it. But that alone won’t. A lot of people hadn’t figured out what they thought by September ’02. They’ll not want to be told they weren’t able to get themselves on the right side by March – because they feel they did.

            • Scott Lemieux

              “Not caring about electoral politics” in this case is code for “holding Bourgeois politics the intelligence of his fans in contempt, for good reason”.

              FIFY.

              • Ktotwf

                Does Doug Henwood have “fans”?

                • Hogan

                  He certainly has resolutely unspecific defenders.

                • Ktotwf

                  Let me trawl through his web page and tweets for things I would defend then.

                • Hogan

                  Let me trawl through his web page and tweets for things I would defend then.

                  ‘Kay. Should I wait up?

                • CD

                  I’m a fan of most of his work. I also agree this bit about HRC’s brittleness is not persuasive.

                • Barry Freed

                  He’s been doing one of the best left-wing radio shows focusing on political and economic issues for about 2 decades now. In the 90s and early 00s his LBO-Talk listserv was one of the most interesting and diverse places on the internet to find intelligent discussions of such topics though things have definitely moved on quite some time ago. And then there’s his Wall Street book. Is that specific enough? (Not gonna defend his Hillary book though even though I’m not a fan of hers as I have not read it).

                • Hogan

                  No one is questioning the quality of his writing on economics. (I bought Wall Street in hardcover at a time when I wasn’t buying much of anything in hardcover.) But I keep hearing that his political commentary is generally excellent, and I’ve just about given up waiting for a citation.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  No one is questioning the quality of his writing on economics. (I bought Wall Street in hardcover at a time when I wasn’t buying much of anything in hardcover.) But I keep hearing that his political commentary is generally excellent, and I’ve just about given up waiting for a citation.

                  Right. He’s good on economics. His podcast can be very good. His writing on electoral and legislative politics is risibly hackish and inept. You’ll be waiting for a counterexample on the latter point forever.

            • Wait, saying that HRC is thin skinned is a leftist critique?

              • Hogan

                Yes. Because priors.

    • sharculese

      I would go so far as to say this is one of the things I’m most optimistic about regarding her as a candidate. It’s likely that whoever she’s up against is going to think he can get away with being a smarmy asshole to her, and I think if there’s one thing Hillary Clinton has an immunity it’s smarm.

    • petesh

      I agree. Trump may find himself in the reverse of the Adlai Stevenson voter pattern — he gets all the really dumb, bigoted, misogynist ones but (alas for him) he needs a majority. The ‘Mercan people have let me down often enough, but on this I think Obama is correct. Hillary (if she is the nominee) will laugh him off the stage, puce with fury and gnashing his teeth.

      • efgoldman

        Hillary (if she is the nominee) will laugh him off the stage, puce with fury and gnashing his teeth.

        Puce? I think more Thulian pink.

      • Rob in CT

        There’s definitely a universe in which she will crush him. He will be driven before her and we will be able to listen to the lamentations of his men. It will be beautiful.

        I hope that’s our universe.

    • djw

      Right? I mean it’s pretty obviously her single greatest strength as a candidate.

      • joe from Lowell

        I’d say her biggest strength as a candidate is her skill as a debater.

        Heywood also brings that up as a reason to worry, in his last paragraph.

        • ChrisTS

          Wait, what? Debating chops are now a disadvantage? (No, I’m not getting out of the boat.)

          • joe from Lowell

            No, the opposite. We’re supposed to worry about her performance in debates agains Trump. They will hurt the earth.

            • Bruce B.

              I’m hard pressed to think of anyone else on the national stage with her history of doing well in such exchanges. If she’s got any peers at it, they’re probably people of color; not a lot of white people get target the way she has for almost 25 years now.

            • efgoldman

              They will hurt the earth.

              I’m pretty sure they’ll hurt my head.

      • Ktotwf

        I thought her single greatest strength as a candidate was a unified party behind her and the boatloads of cash that goes with it?

        • Pseudonym

          I think it might be more relevant to measure the cash in units of, say, Koch brothers rather than boatloads.

        • Malaclypse

          Her chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Her two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Her *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Her *four*…no… *Amongst* her weapons…. Amongst her weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

          • The Dark God of Time

            “Not the comfy chair!!!!”

    • DrDick

      Agree completely with this, and I am a Sanders supporter. I do think, however, it is rather unfair to tar the candidates with things said by “supporters” who are not directly associated with the candidate. Sanders is no more responsible for this or Friedman’s analysis of his economic proposals, than Clinton is for the comments by Albright and Steinem. At least Sanders has called out the so called “Bernie Bros” for their boorishness. Cannot say the same for Clinton.

      • Dr. Waffle

        Kinda like how he called out Killer Mike for his “don’t vote with your uterus” comments, right? Oh wait . . .

        • Ktotwf

          That isn’t even slightly what he said, you shameless hack.

          • Thirtyish

            Well, I’m convinced!

            • Ktotwf

              I assume you can use Google?

          • Dr. Waffle

            You’re right; saying “a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be President” is so much more enlightened and inoffensive.

            • Ktotwf

              It is, when the larger point (and it is obvious if you read the quote in its entirety) was and is “A female president does not necessarily advocate socially just positions.”

              • ChrisTS

                I really don’t get the optics of a social justice warrior who voted for Herman Cain (sp?)

              • Dr. Waffle

                Which applies to Hillary . . . how, exactly?

                • Ktotwf

                  Do I really have to spell this out for you?

                • Dr. Waffle

                  Yes. Please explain how Hillary, whose voting record matched Bernie’s 93% of the time during her years in the Senate, is actually a stealth conservative who has no interest in social justice.

                • Ktotwf

                  One doesn’t need to prove (or even believe) that Clinton is a “stealth conservative” to believe that her Presidency would not be as socially oriented as Sanders’. How many times are you gonna try to move those goalposts?

                • Malaclypse

                  Do I really have to spell this out for you?

                  Since you have clearly forgotten the first rule of holes, please do.

                • kped

                  Depends on how you define “socially oriented”. I find Hillary’s campaign far more interested in a lot of different social problems than Bernie’s. Mr Sanders ties all his social stuff into 2 points – breaking up the banks (not the least bit socially oriented), and campaign finance reform…

                  …neither of those things will in any way “better” the lives of any of his supporters.

                • joe from Lowell
                • kped

                  He needs to do a better job talking about those points in public then! I’ve watched the debates and speeches, he is leaving those points on his website, but not really using them enough in public.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Sanders is the only candidate who brings up issues of race unprompted in the debates.

                  In terms of “more,” he would need to bring up something else less. That seems a strategic-messaging decision requiring a cost-benefit analysis. Maybe you’re right and he should.

                  I don’t feel like I’m in a position to give useful messaging advice to the guy whose strategic messaging brought him from Kucinichville to near-parity with the most strongly-situated candidate in the history of American party primaries.

                • kped

                  you know…Hillary did bring up issues of race unprompted in the debates too, especially in that really great closing statement last debate. And she brings it up unprompted everywhere she goes.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, good, he’s pulled her to the left again.

                  The difference between them on that was really stark in the first round of debates. She was clearly playing by the old rules, and he was clearly making a deliberate effort to show off his eagerness to go there.

        • joe from Lowell

          Public opinion about the primary is not going to be influenced to even the slightest degree by your comments on lawyersgunsandmoneyblog.

          Would everybody who doesn’t realize this kindly fuck off and let us discuss politics without having to wade through your awkward, forced sales pitches?

          • EliHawk

            Bernie Sanders is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

            • N__B

              It’s the Brooklyn accent. It has that effect.

              • ChrisTS

                The science of performing fellatio on a Calvinist

                .

                That was brilliant, Big Bear. (Didn’t see how to reply to it above.)

            • joe from Lowell

              Bernie Sanders is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

              Well, yeah; why do you think he’s so popular in Vermont?

      • brewmn

        I do think, however, it is rather unfair to tar the candidates with things said by “supporters” who are not directly associated with the candidate.

        Is anyone anywhere in this thread doing this?

      • I distinguish very strongly between Sanders and (some) of his supporters. I think Sanders is great. A great human being with lots of great qualities I’d like to see in a President. My only problem with his supporters is that the things they think they like about Sanders are the obverse of the things they think they have to hate about Clinton in order to vote against her and get other voters to vote against her. They aren’t. Sanders can be a great guy without HRC being an awful person. He can be anti corporatist without her being the living embodiement of corporate evil. She has done a shitload of important stuff politically, and as a woman, that I honor her for. I like her as a candidate. I object to the online treatment that HRC voters get from the Bernie guys that represent her as a candidate of greater than ordinary evil and assume that we are either stupid, or evil, or both because we are supporting her.

        • postmodulator

          As I’ve said before, if Sanders doesn’t hate HRC, and has said so, why do his supporters feel compelled to do so?

          • ChrisTS

            Well said, both of you.

            So, here is a thought: whoever Bernie Sanders is, he somehow is attracting some serious assholes. Racist or just racially unaware, sexist or just ignorant, mean and foul-mouthed punks (of whatever age).

            And, somewhat more on Bernie’s doorstep, he has hired some jerks. Ted Devane, or whatever his name is, tweeted that he/they were pleased to see women becoming involved in politics and wanted to encourage us.

            I’m 63 f*ing years old and have been involved in politics since before I could vote. I do not need the encouragement of this little pos. I do not need to see/hear these people say that Dolores Huerta is lying or mistaken about what she experienced at the caucus. I absolutely do not need to hear or see these white [fill in blank] dissing John Lewis, of all people.

            Woops. Sorry, went off the rails, there. I am trying to be rational and not lay this crap on Sanders, but it is increasingly difficult. Again, apologies.

            • Thirtyish

              I don’t think you should apologize.

              I don’t think any of this is Sanders’ fault per se; by all accounts he seems to be a tremendously decent guy, although I do question how sincerely he actually wants to be POTUS (I think that he and Trump both never imagined they’d make it this far). A very large number of people support his run, and most of them are decent people who have been paying some attention to politics for some time and are sick of the status quo. Then you have a bunch of college kids ardently supporting him, some of whom may have some political knowledge, but many of whom–I suspect–don’t particularly. There is nothing wrong with that, per se, as political movements like this can be very exciting and energizing. But among Bernie’s most ardent supporters are some truly nasty pieces of work; I think at best they’re arrogant and vastly overrate the value of their political perspective, and at worst they’re straight-up misogynistic assholes who refuse to recognize their privilege. I don’t think it’s necessarily something about Bernie himself that has attracted this cohort (although I do question whether Elizabeth Warren, were she to have run, would see such supporters) so much as a loathing of HRC that is ostensibly rationalized as a hatred of the Democratic/Washington machine, but which has other origins and ramifications in my opinion.

              • ChrisTS

                Phew. Thanks. You said what I wanted to say. It’s just, if I read one more c-word aimed at HRC in my Twitter TL, I think I might explode.

                • N__B

                  My advice: rant more.

                • ChrisTS

                  Oh, Big Bear, you are a terror. :-)

                • N__B

                  When I was in my 20s, I decided that if I was going to lead a life of desperation, it would damned well be noisy desperation.

            • Ktotwf

              Huerta WAS either lying or mistaken, and IS an avid Clinton supporter (I mean, watch the video. None of what she said happened happened)

              Furthermore, This is a rhetorically unfair move – Clinton supporters accuse the Bernie Bros of some noxious deed, and then when the Bros defend themselves this is taken as further evidence of their nefariousness.

              • ChrisTS

                Jesus. She heard what she heard. Good god.

                ETA: Sorry, again. I came in here to calm down and enjoy some rational, informed (and funny) discussion, and I’m confronted with a BernieBro claiming that DOLORES HUERTA is a shill for Hillary.

                There might not be enough vodka for this.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Dolores Huerta slimed Obama in 2008 when she was shilling for Hillary.

                  Is there ever a point where the question of whether the charge is true comes into it for you?

                • kped

                  What did she “slime” him with? Honest question, my Google skills come up with her saying he wasn’t as responsive to Latino concerns calling him a “Johnny come lately to the cause”. I also see she thought “Yes We Can” was a rip off of her organization (UFW) slogan “Si Se Puede”.

                  But I’m not seeing much in the way of “sliming”. Hell, he gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

                • joe from Lowell

                  DOLORES HUERTA: Yeah. There was a big issue, if you will recall, where we had a woman who — in Chicago, Elvira Arellano, who refused to be deported, and she was undocumented. She was in sanctuary for twelve months, for an entire year, right there in Chicago, where Obama lives. The people who did that campaign, these were the same ones that organized the big marches in Chicago, went to see Obama to get some support for Elvira Arellano. He not only refused to help them, but he didn’t even bother to go see Elvira. I went from California four times to be there with her. We had a large delegation from Mexico from all the political parties that went to see Elvira. Five ambassadors, they all flew to Washington, D.C. to plead on her behalf. Obama never, never lifted a finger to help her, as he never did when we had two Latinos that had been unjustly incarcerated for a murder that they did not commit. Again, a big campaign to free these two young men from prison. They were ultimately freed. But when they went to see Senator Obama, he refused to help them.

                  I know, I know, “Well, that’s not really so bad…Sliming is a strong word…”

                  Hell, he gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012

                  .Yeah, Obama is a classy guy. He appointed Hillary to cabinet after what she did in 2008, for instance. I think he really is all about healing breaches.

                • kped

                  Ummmm….maybe we have different definitions of “sliming”. She listed an occasion where a group of Hispanics asked for his help as a State Senator, and he refused them help…

                  …and? Is telling of an event now sliming? I’m serious, what there is so awful? “we needed help, we asked him when he was a senator, he didn’t help”.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Yeah, yeah “Hey, that’s not sliming sliming. I’d give it like a 3, not like a 7.”

                  I get it. I also don’t think that counting the precise number of angels required to fall off the pin before declaring it slimy is really the point here.

                  We’re talking about whether this longtime Clinton surrogate who goes after people with nasty charges and implications when they run against Hillary Clinton is too much of a plaster saint to be criticized when she shits the bed the way she did last night. She’s not.

                  Fine, pick a different verb.

                • kped

                  Ummm…I’m giving it a 0 out of 10. Please, explain how describing an event that happened is sliming him? Are you saying that describing their shared history is out of bounds?

                  I’m really asking, because I’m confused what your issue with this statement.

                  I’m not saying “that’s not sliming sliming”. I’m saying that’s not sliming. Full stop.

                • kped

                  Just to be clear, I think sliming the candidate is when you go around spreading untruths and general BS. Like Bush & Co spreading rumours about McCain in South Carolina.

                  I don’t think bringing up things that actually happened is sliming. It’s going over history. And this thing is really tame. She’s a Latina, and she said that when they asked for his help in a an immigration case, he didn’t. That’s…nothing. You seem overly sensitive about that, not sure why.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Whatever you do, don’t stop talking about how you think the word “slimming” should or shouldn’t be used, or allow the discussion to revert back to the topic of whether she is so pure and above politics as to make criticism of her accusations last night inappropriate.

                  Heaven forfend. I know, let’s talk about word choice some more.

                • kped

                  You brought it up. You said she slimed him. I asked for the example, and your example, quite frankly, was pathetic. There is nothing stopping you from debating other points with other people. I was just interested in this single point. And frankly, you shot your argument in the foot with it. If this was supposed to prove what a partisan hack she was…you failed at that.

                  She’s certainly not above criticism…but your example to try to paint her as some partisan hack was really weak.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I brought up a point about her past behavior as a negative messaging campaign surrogate for Hillary Clinton, and whether she deserves the plaster saint HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE HER treatment.

                  The next word you write about that, instead of word choice I renounced with “pick a different verb” five exchanges ago, will be your first.

                  Assuming you ever drop the semantic deflection and answer the point. Which you clearly won’t. Because it’s so weak. Yeah, that’s it.

                • kped

                  It won’t be my first, read my last comment. I said she’s certainly not above criticism. Just yours was weak. I stand by that.

                  You’re not having a good couple of days, are you?

                • joe from Lowell

                  And frankly, you shot your argument in the foot with (the word “sliming.”) If this was supposed to prove what a partisan hack she was…you failed at that.

                  Oh, FFS. kped, you’re supposed to be denying that you’re obsessing over the word choice as a way of dismissing the point (about her being a legitimate target of criticism) without actually addressing it.

                • joe from Lowell

                  You’re not having a good couple of days, are you?

                  Juvenile.

                • kped

                  Oh, come now, you can’t deny me the opportunity to hit you back with that pathetic one liner you used on me. Was it the height of maturity when you used it last?

                • Dr. Waffle

                  See, when joe insults and/or obfuscates, it’s okay, because reasons. When he receives the same treatment in return, it’s “juvenile.” It’s the “heads I win, tails you lose” style of argumentation.

                • CD

                  Huh? Not only was Huerta’s statement re Elvira Arellano NOT sliming, it was praiseworthy.

                  Holding politicians’ feet to the damn fire is what activists do, and should do. And I say that as a 2008 BHO supporter and contributor.

                  You really are not making the Sanders people look good here.

                • kped

                  It’s funny, because he literally debated just like this with me a week ago, and used that exact line “you’re not having a good week”. I think he thought i was heartbroken that Hillary lost the primary that everyone expected her to lose since September. I wasn’t.

                  And honestly, I wasn’t even trying to bother him here. I was legit asking the question because I was interested. The only reason the debate kept going was because he kept trying to claim what she did in 2008 was a bad thing to even a slight degree. It wasn’t.

                  It was entirely in bounds criticism, holding him accountable for his past actions (you know…like Hillary was for her Iraq war vote then.) If that is out of bounds, if that is sliming, then you literally cannot hold people accountable for their actions.

                • joe from Lowell

                  CD,

                  Huh? Not only was Huerta’s statement re Elvira Arellano NOT sliming, it was praiseworthy.

                  Holding politicians’ feet to the damn fire is what activists do, and should do. And I say that as a 2008 BHO supporter and contributor.

                  Although someone has done her best to deflect from the point, the conversation you jumped into was about whether the shell-shocked OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU CRITICIZE THIS LEGEND?!? response from TS was appropriate, or whether Heurta was a campaign surrogate spinning for her preferred candidate, and fair game like anyone else who throws elbows on behalf of a campaign. No, this was not some activist holding a politician’s feet to the fire to promote her issues. This was a Clinton surrogate using those issues to go after her opponent during a campaign. Pointing out that she went after Barack Obama as a Hillary surrogate, during the 2008 campaign, with negative attacks answers that question pretty definitively. It answers it, even if you liked the attack and considered it fair. The continuing deflection to “But she was right when she went after Hillary’s opponent on behalf of her in 2008” is relevant to my word choice, but not actually to the topic of my statement.

                  kped,

                  I loom way too large in your mind. Throwing that line out was not “holding me accountable.” That’s some pretty language for “indulging an old grudge against an internet commenter.” Juvenile.

                • joe from Lowell

                  The only reason the debate kept going was because he kept trying to claim what she did in 2008 was a bad thing to even a slight degree.

                  ORLY? Let’s go to the tape:

                  We’re talking about whether this longtime Clinton surrogate who goes after people with nasty charges and implications when they run against Hillary Clinton is too much of a plaster saint to be criticized when she shits the bed the way she did last night. She’s not.

                  Fine, pick a different verb.

                  Please, explain how describing an event that happened is sliming him? Are you saying that describing their shared history is out of bounds?

                  Uh, yeah. I kept insisting on talking about the appropriateness of “sliming.” Uh huh, that was me.

                • kped

                  Ha, seems you haven’t yet calmed down from your earlier meltdown, don’t worry, we all have our bad days.

                  And no sir, you don’t loom large at all, it was just such an obvious rejoinder that I had to make it. That you find your own words juvenile isn’t a surprise, I found your insult juvenile as well. So in the end, we come to an agreement :)

                  (not sure why you said “holding you accountable”…Just having fun with your own words. You should try growing a thicker skin though, this whole comment thread hasn’t been your best moment…don’t worry, Bernie will win 2 or 3 states on Super Tuesday, maybe that’ll lift your spirits!)

                  OK, I’ll stop…this is getting to be like shooting fish in a barrell, or as Republicans call it…fishing.

                • kped

                  Maybe if I talk slow you’ll figure things out:

                  No one is denying she is a Clinton surrogate. So your “fine, pick a different verb” is beside the point. You’re point, if I can speak for you, is that her prior statements as a Clinton surrogate in regards to candidate Obama show that she is willing to play dirty and doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Correct?

                  But the example you chose, by any verb you use, hardly shows that. She in no way was out of bounds with what she said about then candidate Obama, and it in no way shows her to be a dirty player like you are saying.

                • petesh

                  Joe, I suggest that the word “surrogate” in common political usage refers specifically to someone deputizing for the principal, typically to get some thinking onto the record while maintaining some degree of deniability. I certainly do not regard any Sanders supporters as surrogates, unless they are speaking for the campaign. To call Huerta a “surrogate” for Clinton is absurd. It almost resembles calling HA HA Goodman a surrogate for Sanders, which I am sure you agree would be ridiculous.

                  I heard Heurta not long ago at her birthday party, which I hasten to add was a fundraiser for her Foundation, which does a lot of good work (she takes no salary); actually, one of her birthday parties, she’s no fool, it’s a joke. She was actively encouraging engagement in the political process, especially to young people, and explicitly not telling them who to vote for. She’d take her chances, she just wanted them involved.

                  She has been prominently supportive of Clinton for years, true, but why was there no translation service available? She volunteered. People implied she would be untruthful. You know, I can’t blame her for getting pissed and publishing that tweet, but I doubt she lied. She may have been mistaken, the chant may have been interpreted or misidentified, but, c’mon, why was translation not available? I gotta say I’m going with Huerta on this one.

                • Nick056

                  Chris –

                  She said she heard something. There’s video and contrary accounts such that Snopes said her claim was false.

                  I’m not sure what you mean by “she heard what she heard.” Nobody is obligated to be credulous toward her. But my main concern here isn’t Huerta. It’s that this episode echoes Clinton’s own biggest liability: her propensity for exaggerated BS. (Remember “under sniper fire?”) I don’t think anybody should be looking at Clinton or her campaign with an attitude of, hey, let them make make very strong claims implicating their opponents in racism, or burnishing their own heroism — and let’s not investigate too deeply. They heard what they heard. They’re honorable people. Truly, the public will view the Clintons, their surrogates, and their adherents as above reproach in the area of bearing honest witness.

                  Nope. The better course is this one:

                  Hold your hand, my lord!
                  I have served you ever since I was a child.
                  But better service have I never done you
                  Than now to bid you hold.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Ha, seems you haven’t yet calmed down from your earlier meltdown, don’t worry, we all have our bad days.

                  I generally find that people who lead off their comments like this are projecting.

                  If you’re actually calmer and smoother and looking better than the person you’re talking to, you just say what you have to say. Like, for instance, quoting previous comments and letting them speak for themselves. If you’re actually “shooting fish in a barrel,” you don’t have to tell people you’re shooting fish in a barrel. (Edit: OMG, I had skimmed the comment before, and didn’t realize you had actually written “This is getting to be like shooting fish in a barrel.” Ha!)

                  Oh, btw, the reason I wrote “holding me accountable” is because you told us: It was entirely in bounds criticism, holding him accountable for his past actions (you know…like Hillary was for her Iraq war vote then.)

                  The whole “so angry I forgot what I wrote in my last comment” thing is also a pretty good sign of someone who’s not perhaps at their intellectual and emotional peak.

                • joe from Lowell

                  You’re point, if I can speak for you, is that her prior statements as a Clinton surrogate in regards to candidate Obama show that she is willing to play dirty and doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Correct?

                  No, and I’ve explained this far too many times to you to bother again. You can play the “You can’t make me say it on the internet” game. That’s nice.

                • kped

                  You know at this point you are arguing with yourself, trying to salvage…something. Not sure what.

                  “holding him accountable”, in the context of that sentence, is clearly about Huerta holding Obama accountable. If you want to quote, quote it all. We can all read. Here, i’ll use your favorite technique (but in an honest way, so actually the opposite of what you are doing here…)

                  It was entirely in bounds criticism, holding him accountable for his past actions (you know…like Hillary was for her Iraq war vote then.) If that is out of bounds, if that is sliming, then you literally cannot hold people accountable for their actions.

                  See, how I mention the sliming thing again? It’s because I”m speaking of Huerta. Not you. Deflate the ego a little bit.

                  The whole “so angry I forgot what I wrote in my last comment” thing is also a pretty good sign of someone who’s not perhaps at their intellectual and emotional peak.

                  So…that line, not your best moment given you needed to misquote me, eh champ? I remember my words well, which is why I found you saying that to be so bizarre.

                  It’s best to let the shovel down now.

                  (also, if that above isn’t your point, then you have none. “She isn’t above criticism, look at her slime Obama.” The second part naturally follows the first. To now say that it isn’t your point is absurd and strains reason.)

                • joe from Lowell

                  “holding him accountable”, in the context of that sentence, is clearly about Huerta holding Obama accountable.

                  Ahem:

                  kped says:
                  February 21, 2016 at 9:53 pm
                  It’s funny, because he literally debated just like this with me a week ago, and used that exact line “you’re not having a good week”. I think he thought i was heartbroken that Hillary lost the primary that everyone expected her to lose since September. I wasn’t.

                  And honestly, I wasn’t even trying to bother him here. I was legit asking the question because I was interested. The only reason the debate kept going was because he kept trying to claim what she did in 2008 was a bad thing to even a slight degree. It wasn’t.

                  It was entirely in bounds criticism, holding him accountable for his past actions (you know…like Hillary was for her Iraq war vote then.) If that is out of bounds, if that is sliming, then you literally cannot hold people accountable for their actions.

                  I don’t think you’re at your best, and should probably just stop. You can’t even keep the conversation straight anymore.

                  So…that line, not your best moment given you needed to misquote me, eh champ? I remember my words well, which is why I found you saying that to be so bizarre.

                  I think you should really just stop now. I have no doubt you’re having a really strong feeling that you have to come back with something. It’s probably not going to turn out any better, though.

                  Or, “Oh, right, that one. My bad, I got confused.” That could be a good move. A bit emotionally-unsatisfying, though. The sort of thing that would take a cool head.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Actually, that’s so garbled it’s as if you changed your topic midway through your paragraph.

                • ChrisTS

                  joe: I usually avoided getting into it with you, but if you are now suggesting that I care nothing for facts or honesty, you can go fuck yourself.

              • kped

                Lol, it’s hilarious that you are still doing it! That paragraph is clearly talking about Huerta. Nowhere did you “slime” anyone, so to make it about you is just you stretching to…I don’t even know what you are trying to do anymore honestly. Win? An internet debate? This desperately? I know you are fighting a lot of battles here, so you feel besieged on all sides, especially after your guy lost, but it’s best to let it go by now.

                Or, “Oh, right, that one. My bad, I got confused.” That could be a good move. A bit emotionally-unsatisfying, though. The sort of thing that would take a cool head.

                You’re projecting again! That’s fine though, like I said, it’s been a bad couple of days for you. Take some breaths, it will all be OK in the end.

                Again, you just quoted it, so read it again:

                The only reason the debate kept going was because he kept trying to claim what she did in 2008 was a bad thing to even a slight degree. It wasn’t.

                It was entirely in bounds criticism, holding him accountable for his past actions (you know…like Hillary was for her Iraq war vote then.) If that is out of bounds, if that is sliming, then you literally cannot hold people accountable for their actions.

                See the part where I turn it back to Huerta? Maybe if I isolate further for you:

                The only reason the debate kept going was because he kept trying to claim what she did in 2008 was a bad thing to even a slight degree. It wasn’t.

                See the pivot to “what she did”? Everything else follows that. If you can’t be bothered to read, or that you want to read everything as being ABOUT YOU, then i guess that’s your choice, but that ego is unbecoming.

            • dr. hilarius

              I don’t know that it’s the Bernie Sanders qua Bernie Sanders that has attracted these serious assholes. I think it’s his status as Clinton’s only real competition for the nomination this cycle.

              But then I guess to some extent the furthest left candidate will always attract the worst of the leftier-than-thous and straight white male leftists (you know the type).

              • ChrisTS

                This does make sense.

              • Roberta

                Angus Johnston at Studentactivism.net has suggested it is due to Bernie Sanders still being an “underdog” candidate and Hillary being a fairly confident frontrunner. He contrasts it to ’08, where Hillary’s supporters were aggressive and harassing to Barack Obama supporters, in ways that were frequently racist and/or sexist (their sexism often came out with respect to Michelle Obama, as well as sometimes implying Barack was effeminate). In that election, while Hillary was the frontrunner, she was less established than she is now, Obama was a bigger threat than Bernie, and so she still had a bit of an “underdog” feel to her campaign. This led her supporters to have more of a siege mentality than now.

                (I still am unconvinced that Bernie has more asshole supporters at all, as opposed to more Twitter-savvy asshole supporters, but leaving that aside for now).

                • Roberta

                  I also don’t think those of Bernie’s supporters who are assholes require any more explanation than the fact that people will generally attack their disfavored candidates based on race, gender, etc. Hillary’s supporters did when she was running against a black man. Now she’s running against a white Jewish guy, and blatantly anti-Semitic slurs have too little currency in mainstream America to really make good use of. Her supporters have much less opportunity to make use of bigoted slurs than her opponents do.

              • brad

                It’s not even necessarily the furthest left as perceived to be furthest outside “the system”.
                I say this because so many of the assholes who are why the term Berniebro exists seem to be indistinguishable to me from the Ron Paul revolution of old.
                And, fwiw, to be that kind of manchild at, say, 18, is prickish but not necessarily fatal. In some senses they’re not worth giving a shit about. But I damn sure wouldn’t say that to any Hillary supporter who has felt harassed.

            • djw

              Clinton is as close as anyone has come to being the first woman elected president, and Bernie Sanders is (at this time) her immediate obstacle. That his campaign was going to attract a fair amount of sexism was pretty much inevitable, I think.

              (ETA: In case it’s not clear, I mean this comment to be entirely meta, not a comment on his culpability and or blamelessness in this outcome.)

              • ChrisTS

                Also, a sensible point. But, how do we explain the racism/indifference to matters of race? I mean, she’s as white as he is.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Because the BernieBro subset, or whatever you want to call them, are angry white dudes (think Sirota, Stoller, Goodman) who won’t except that ideological progressive dudes like them aren’t THE BASE of the Democratic Party and non-white people are. Wash, rinse, repeat.

                • BLM targeted Sanders — for reasons I think are good, and not as an implicit endorsement of Clinton — and the substantial portion of white liberals/leftists who are annoyed when black people don’t subordinate their issues to liberal/leftist politics freaked out about it. I have absolutely no doubt that if BLM had picked Clinton instead, we would be hearing plenty of ignorant bullshit about race from her supporters.

                  And I don’t need to imagine — I saw it in 2008. Fucked up racism from Clinton supporters, fucked up sexism from Obama supporters.

                • Ktotwf

                  Shit, I remember a LOT less fucked up sexism from Obama supporters than fucked up racism and Islamophobia direct from the mouths of the Clintons themselves.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I don’t think BLM ever actually targeted Sanders.

                  They interrupted a multi-candidate panel at Netroots Nations when Bernie Sanders was a fringe also-ran. Then, some time later, three entirely different people in Seattle used the presence of a presidential candidate to try to get some press.

                  I can see how people could have jumped to the conclusion that the two were connected – the human mind is good at seeing patterns, even when they aren’t there – but there was zip zilch nada after that, and they started going after Clinton, too. The national group seemed a little put out that people drew the conclusion they were demonstrating favoritism in the primary, since it was stepping on their message.

                • @joe: Then substitute “was perceived as targeting” for “targeted”. I agree that is more accurate, and I certainly don’t think BLM intended to or ever did take a position in the primary.

                  I don’t agree that Sanders was a “fringe also-ran” at the time. His media coverage was minimal (which I think helped the perception that he was being particularly criticized by black activists) but I remember serious discussion about how he and O’Malley responded. More importantly, Clinton wasn’t at that panel.

                • joe from Lowell

                  That “We’re not going to throw our sister under the bus” press release after the Seattle debacle was a thing of subtle beauty. That national group knows its business.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Sanders was running at 12-something percent, behind not-even-rumored-to-be-running Joe Biden when the BLM activists shut down that immigration panel. Total Kucinichville.

                  but I remember serious discussion about how he and O’Malley responded.

                  One could say that was what put him on the map.

                  More importantly, Clinton wasn’t at that panel.

                  Yes, that was also a detail that caused people to perceive a pattern.

              • slothrop

                Margaret Thatcher was a woman too.

                • tsam

                  I’ll take non sequiturs for platypus

        • Roberta

          My only problem with his supporters is that the things they think they like about Sanders are the obverse of the things they think they have to hate about Clinton in order to vote against her and get other voters to vote against her.

          Agreed.

        • The Dark God of Time

          John Fugelsang – Verified account ‏@JohnFugelsang

          I view Jesus the way I view Elvis – I love the guy, but lots of the fan clubs scare me.

  • sharculese

    O/T: Are we assuming Trump knows what he’s saying here? I’m pretty sure he is, but wouldn’t be shocked if he isn’t:

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he knows nothing about the white supremacist groups that have supported him and some of which the real estate mogul himself has retweeted on Twitter.

    CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper asked Trump how he expected to win the general election with the groups’ support.

    “Well, that, I know nothing about,” Trump said. “I mean, I don’t know about retweeting. I mean, you retweet somebody, and turns out to be a white supremacist. I know nothing about these groups that are supporting me.”

    edit: link – http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-know-nothing-white-supremacist-groups

    • Did he say it with a comedy German accent?

    • ThrottleJockey

      Whether or not he’s tried to incorporate them into his coalition, he could do anything–including say, “George W lied, people died”, or just shoot a guy on 5th Avenue in broad daylight–that anyone who calls themselves a Republican would care about.

      Whatever he does, including publicly accepting the nomination of the Greater South KKK to be Grand Wizard Super Duper Dragon, he’s going to get at least 45% of the electorate. Whether or not he can convince the middle to vote for him I’m not sure. He was on TV this morning DEFENDING Planned Parenthood. So, a lot of otherwise common sensical people might think he’s “not really” crazy, he just “pretends” to be crazy.

  • Dr. Waffle

    Doug Henwood: Lord of the Bernie Bros

    • DrDick

      Can we just lose that condescending and inaccurate phrase? Let’s just pretend that much more prominent Clinton supporters did not suggest that young women supporting Sanders were just chasing after boys or that there was a special place in Hell reserved for them, shall we?

      • Dr. Waffle

        As soon as Sanders supporters stop hounding John Lewis and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

        • Ktotwf

          Oh shut up. The John Lewis thing was set up from the beginning.

          First he makes a statement obviously meant to denigrate Bernie Sanders’ civil rights record. (BTW, why aren’t the people who got the vapors over Swiftboating upset at something so cynical as an organized effort to actually undermine Sanders’ good civil rights activism? You don’t have to fellate him for marching with King, but he genuinely cared and was involved at a time that Hillary was shilling for fucking Goldwater.)

          Within what felt like seconds after he said it, Daou and the usual Hillary boosting suspects were on social media wringing their hands about the HORRIBLE hatred being directed at John Lewis, which, for the record, I did not see. I saw more posts complaining about anti-Lewis backlash than actual anti-Lewis backlash, and what anti-Lewis backlash I saw was from young blacks and was not vitriolic in nature.

          Then, a couple days later, Lewis goes on saying, “I didn’t mean to denigrate Sanders’ civil rights record!” It was the perfect media tuned two-step, cynical as anything I’ve ever seen. And the people who wanted to believe in BernieBros ate it up.

          • Dr. Waffle

            I keep waiting for someone to list Bernie’s contributions to the CRM, either in the 1960s or in subsequent decades. It’s wonderful that he participated in marches and sit-ins, but the notion that he was a major player in the movement, or that he’s been a leading civil rights advocate since, is utterly false.

            In short: Lewis wasn’t “denigrating” Bernie’s record; he was merely stating the truth. Sanders wasn’t an important enough player in the CRM to warrant his attention.

            • joe from Lowell

              Public opinion about the primary is not going to be influenced to even the slightest degree by your comments on lawyersgunsandmoneyblog.

              Would everybody who doesn’t realize this kindly fuck off and let us discuss politics without having to wade through your awkward, forced sales pitches?

              • Copying and pasting comments that insult commenters multiple times in the same thread is not going to endear you to the front pagers.

                • joe from Lowell

                  My fondest wish.

                  Are you happy with people jacking threads to flog campaign talking points?

                • It is vastly superior to copied and pasted comments, yes.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Wow

                • postmodulator

                  Gosh, Joe. Your careful, multi-year campaign to endear yourself to the front pagers lies in ruins.

                • joe from Lowell

                  You have to admit, though: annoyance at the use of threads to write comment after comment that doesn’t represent the commenter’s unique thoughts in each instance, but are actually being done as some sort of strategy to influence the discourse, is mostly justified by which Microsoft Office tools are used.

                • dr. hilarius

                  I have to say though, a jfL vs. Erik flame war is one of my secret LGM dreams.

                  The “fuck off” might have been over the line, but the rest of the comment, even if repetitive, bears mentioning. If someone is going to repeat the same talking point, is it really so uncalled for to reply with the same rejoinder?

                • Brien Jackson

                  Yes Joe, everyone who has favorable opinions of Hillary Clinton on lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com is trying to change mass public opinion and not discussing politics as a means of personal enjoyment/wasting time.

                  You should really get in on this, by the way, you wouldn’t believe how much Wall Street gave Hillary to pay us for this work!

                • joe from Lowell

                  Yes Joe, everyone who has favorable opinions of Hillary Clinton

                  Christ, you are a hack these days.

                  I don’t think you’re paid, Brien. I think you’re the Red State Strike Force.

                • Brien Jackson

                  This is funny because I wouldn’t have done something like that when I was getting paychecks (nor, for that matter, would anyone actually allocate funds for it but whatevs). The idea that I’d bother with it now (and only on one not especially large blog at that!) that I’m out of the industry entirely is incredibly funny, especially given how many posts you accumulate relative to pretty much every other regular poster here.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Telling me you’re not being paid in response to being compared to the Red State Strike Force is every bit as effective as saying that I’m singling you out for the number of your comments.

              • Dr. Waffle

                True. Perhaps you should stop commenting, then.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I admire your restraint in passing up the rubber-glue analogy.

              • Dr. Waffle

                Dammit, that last comment was in response to Joe, not Erik.

              • Thirtyish

                Let’s dispense with this notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing!

                • joe from Lowell

                  Let’s dispense with this notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

                  (Don’t worry, Loomis. I typed it out!)

                • Pseudonym

                  It’s “let’s dispel with this fiction”, people. The ungrammatical nature of the 25-second memorized talking point refudiating this notion is a critical part of the Rubio magic and should never be misunderestimated.

              • EliHawk

                Bernie Sanders is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

            • Ktotwf

              I don’t think anyone seriously believed that Sanders, a man in his early twenties, was a “civil rights leader.” He, personally, has not been flogging his civil rights history. It was just a piece of his life story that put him in a good light, and the Clinton campaign wanted to muddy it up. That is what it was, and that is what they absolutely did.

              • joe from Lowell

                I don’t think anyone seriously believed that Sanders, a man in his early twenties, was a “civil rights leader.”

                Well, except the courts in Chicago, where he was fined for being one of the leaders of the protest at which he arrested.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  That’s great. Truly, it is. That doesn’t preclude him from being slightly tone deaf on civil rights in 2016.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Thank you for making sure that a reply correcting factual assertion, which does not further your preferred campaign narrative, wasn’t allowed to stand without an irrelevant rebuttal that does further that narrative.

                  It’s good to know there are some things you can count on in this world.

                • Ktotwf

                  Never in a million years would it occur to Dr. Waffle to think “Holy shit, that really was a shitty underhanded thing to do in denigrating decent work by a youthful Sanders for cheap political advantage here and now.”

                • Dr. Waffle

                  @joe

                  Thank you for making the assertion that Bernie Sanders was a “civil rights leader” because a court in Chicago labeled him as such (once). Next up: joe explains how David Horowitz was a transformative figure in the Black Power movement.

                  @Ktotwf

                  Apparently “denigrating” means “stating the truth” in pseudo-leftist land.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I don’t think anyone seriously believed that Sanders, a man in his early twenties, was a “civil rights leader.”

                  Well, except the courts in Chicago, where he was fined for being one of the leaders of the protest at which he arrested.

                  Thank you for making the assertion that Bernie Sanders was a “civil rights leader” because a court in Chicago labeled him as such (once).

                  Submitted without comment.

              • Dr. Waffle

                Cool. So was Bernie Sanders a civil rights leader or not?

                • joe from Lowell

                  I’d call him more of an organizer and activist.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  Agreed. Which, again, is great. No one was disputing the fact he was involved with the CRM; the only thing that was in question was his prominence, as well as his civil rights record in the intervening decades. I don’t necessarily think he’s bad on racial justice; it just seems to take a backseat to issues of class and economics, which is somewhat disappointing for reasons Ta-Nehisi Coates and others have enumerated over the last few weeks.

            • dr. hilarius

              I think Keith Ellison had the best response to John Lewis’ dig at Sanders “He didn’t see Bernie Sanders because Bernie Sanders was doing fair and open housing in Chicago — that’s why he didn’t see him. No matter how good your eyesight is — if you are standing in Alabama, you can’t see people in Chicago,” Ellison told CNN. “That doesn’t mean he wasn’t absolutely there, fighting for justice, fighting for open housing.”

              • postmodulator

                Ellison’s a sharp guy. I think it’s sort of a shame that his faith is probably a de facto disqualifier for going much further than the House.

                • dr. hilarius

                  Although, he does have a very ‘Murrican name. I would support him in a NY minute.

            • DrDick

              Sanders wasn’t an important enough player in the CRM to warrant his attention.

              Nor were the Clintons for FSM’s sake. This is just getting ridiculous. Yes there are Sanders supporters who have said stupid shit, but there are just as many Clinton supporters who have done so, including several in this thread. Both candidates are accomplished political figures who are well qualified to be president and would be better than any conceivable Republican. Neither is responsible for stupid shit said by their supporters. For the record, Lewis’s comments actually are false and he has since walked them back. Ta-Nehisi Coates has publicly said that he supports Sanders, though is not endorsing him. Killer Mike’s comments, while poorly worded are completely uncontroversial. Simply being a woman is not a good reason to vote for someone. Would you vote for Phyllis Schafly, Michele Bachmann, or Sarah Palin?

              • Dr. Waffle

                I mean, I agree? I voted for Sanders in the NH primary. I don’t need anyone to explain his many virtues to me.

                And Killer Mike’s comments weren’t just poorly worded; they were completely idiotic. Putting aside the fact that there’s a massive qualitative difference between Hillary and her GOP counterparts, the fact that a woman has a serious chance to win the Presidency is a BFD, and an entirely logical reason to prefer her over Bernie.

                • Roberta

                  the fact that a woman has a serious chance to win the Presidency is a BFD, and an entirely logical reason to prefer her over Bernie.

                  By itself, it’s not. I have no respect for anyone who’d vote for Sarah Palin because she’s a woman, and I doubt you’d disagree.

                  The fact that Hillary is a progressive woman is a logical reason to prefer her over Bernie, but not the mere fact that she’s a woman. And even her being a progressive woman doesn’t mean any woman or feminist must prefer her to Bernie.

                • DrDick

                  I would not call it logical, but it is at least defensible and I can understand why people would do so. What is not defensible is the continual sliming of the other candidate’s supporters (and I would include Ktotwf in this). Most of the people who support both candidates are not assholes and it is unfair to tar the candidates because a minority are. I must say, however, that I encounter more personal attacks, both on the candidate and their supporters, from Clinton supporters (and references to “Bernie Bros” is just that). I am not inferring that is typical, just my experience.

                • MDrew

                  the fact that a woman has a serious chance to win the Presidency is a BFD, and an entirely logical reason to prefer her over Bernie.

                  So now I realize I might have been confused this whole time.

                  Was the problem with the statement that Killer Mike quoted that it suggested that people were suggesting that having a uterus is a qualification for the presidency, or that it denied that it is?

              • joe from Lowell

                Nor were the Clintons for FSM’s sake.

                I didn’t mean I met them back then. Why would anyone think I was talking about the civil rights movement when I said I’d met them, immediately after I’d just discussed not meeting Bernie Sanders back then?

                That was just sad, man.

          • wjts

            …but he genuinely cared and was involved at a time that Hillary was shilling for fucking Goldwater.

            A 17-year-old girl raised by conservative parents in the Chicago suburbs during the 1950s supported GOLDWATER? This is as shocking as it is relevant, perhaps even more so!

            • Ktotwf

              Ok, yeah. Have it both ways. Whatever.

              • wjts

                Huh?

              • djw

                OK, I’ll bite. “Having it both ways” would imply that people are A) arguing that teenage Bernie Sanders had odious political views, and B) implying without actually claiming those views should be held against him today. Who, exactly, is doing that?

                • Ktotwf

                  Having it both ways is putting effort into changing public opinion about what Sanders was doing at the time (conceding that it matters on some level), while brushing off what Clinton was doing as utterly irrelevant.

                • wjts

                  It’s certainly true that these comment threads are littered with my efforts to change public opinion about Sanders’ college civil rights activism!

                • djw

                  I actually agree with team-Sanders that Lewis’ statement regarding Sanders’ role in civil rights wasn’t fair to Sanders, and was far from Lewis’s finest moment. (The notion that is was some sort of deliberate trap is, of course, paranoid nonsense.) But insofar as Lewis was criticizing Sanders, he was (again, to my mind quite possibly unfairly) critizing 2016 Sanders for exaggerating his civil rights activism, not criticizing 1968 Sanders for anything.

                • Ktotwf

                  But Bernie has barely said anything about his civil rights record. It was DLC people getting pissy about his fans spreading pictures of him during the events that sparked the Lewis smear.

                • Ktotwf

                  “The notion that is was some sort of deliberate trap is, of course, paranoid nonsense.”

                  Yes, believing that the Democrats have basic knowledge of how to run a believable smear with plausible deniability is tin foil hat stuff.

                • sharculese

                  Noted DLC stooge John Lewis? Is this really the road we’re going down?

                • MDrew

                  The notion that is was some sort of deliberate trap is, of course, paranoid nonsense.

                  So you’re saying it’s paranoid nonsense to think that Lewis knew (and the Clintons knew) it would be a) an attack b) that would put Sanders in a position where almost any response would only compound the damage and potentially significantly complicate Sanders’ efforts to reach out to black and minority voters?

                  It’s not a whacko conspiracy theory to think that John Lewis is good at politics. Including when he is executing political maneuvers that we would judge as not constituting his finest moments in politics. (Not that that says much, since his fine moments are so over-the-top fantastic. Maybe we cold agree this in fact in the worst 50% of his moments as a political figure.)

              • ChrisTS

                Also: she worked for Eugene McCarthy in the ’68 campaign.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Then went to the Republican National Convention for Nelson Rockefeller.

                  Odd story. Goldwater, McCarthy, Rockefeller, McGovern.

                • Ktotwf

                  She became a hippie. We all get it.

                • Pseudonym

                  Ha! I always suspected she was a McCarthyite!

                • joe from Lowell

                  Are you now or have you ever been a squeaky-clean liberal reformer?

                • Thom

                  Which suggests that her main motivation at the time was opposition to the war., as was common for people in that age group.

                • CD

                  main motivation at the time was opposition to the war.

                  exactly. As someone who dimly remembers the era her post-68 progression makes total sense.

            • dr. hilarius

              Yeah, I was a young Republican myself-it wasn’t until I went to college and got away from my super conservative family that I was able to pull my head out of my ass. You are still developing intellectually and morally as a teen (the frontal lobe isn’t fully developed for several more years!). If Clinton had campaigned for Goldwater at 27, that would be a completely different story.

              The criticism of Hillary for supporting Goldwater at 17 is positively moronic. It reeks of desperation. If you can’t do better than that, you’ve lost.

              • Thirtyish

                Actually, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if Ktotwf is 17 himself.

              • ChrisTS

                In fact, she ‘turned’ on her parents’ politics pretty damn quickly.

                • Ktotwf

                  Right after she went to the 68 Republican convention as a leader of the Wellesley Young Republicans

                • Who gives a shit what her politics were like in 1968?

                • wjts

                  Why we should put more weight on the one time she attended the Republican National Convention as a college student than on the six or so times she attended the Democratic National Convention as a fully-grown woman is, I must confess, not entirely clear to me.

                • dr. hilarius

                  I don’t know the precise timeline of her shift in beliefs (it truly is not that important to me, and I would not even be thinking about it if this Goldwater business didn’t keep coming up). Presumably Hillary Clinton was still in high school and living with her parents during the Goldwater campaign? That makes the criticism even sillier.

                • Ktotwf

                  “Who gives a shit what her politics were like in 1968?”

                  Someone gives a whole lot of a shit about undermining what Sanders was up to at the time.

                • EliHawk

                  Look, there is nothing more important in this campaign than what people were doing in the 60s. We should all come together to support the candidate who most strongly supported the Civil Rights movement. In the early 60s, he headed to Mississippi during Freedom Summer. Forget getting arrested and fined; he could have been killed. That’s right: It’s time for Lieberman 2016.

                • kped

                  I can feel the Lieb-mentum! It’s his time!

                • Thom

                  Ktofwf, it was going to the Republcan convention that turned her against the Republican Party. By the following cycle, she was actively campaigning for McGovern.

            • ChrisTS

              Also because she believed (I think correctly) that he was pro-choice.

            • DrDick

              That really is a dumb thing to say and I am a Sanders supporter. I disagree with Clinton based on her current and recent past policy proposals, not who she was 40-50 years ago.

          • joe from Lowell

            Public opinion about the primary is not going to be influenced to even the slightest degree by your comments on lawyersgunsandmoneyblog.

            Would everybody who doesn’t realize this kindly fuck off and let us discuss politics without having to wade through your awkward, forced sales pitches?

            • EliHawk

              Bernie Sanders is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

              • joe from Lowell

                Lol!

                Bro, when I say “Bro,” Bro, I want you totally know, Bro, that I don’t intend it as any kind of campaign advocacy at all, Bro.

                I’m joe from Lowell, Bro, and I neither cut nor pasted this message, Bro.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  I’m joe from Lowell

                  ITYM “I’m Bro from Lowell”.

                • joe from Lowell

                  &#$%! I hate it when I leave money lying on the table.

                • tsam

                  Better luck next time, Brosef Stalin.

                • Ktotwf

                  I prefer Enver Broxha

                • joe from Lowell

                  I’d say you left some change on the felt yourself there, Bro Chi Minh.

                • Ktotwf

                  Chill out Vyacheslav Brolotov

      • Thirtyish

        Ktotwf is a shining illustration of why I personally won’t dispense with the term “Bernie Bro.” I like Bernie, and I agree that most of his passionate supporters are not as stupid as our friend here. But the ones that are have really earned the label.

        • Ktotwf

          Is there anything I could have done other than ritual self-mortification to earn your approval, thirtyish?

          • ChrisTS

            Look, I think we are and have been giving you a hard time. But, perhaps if you presented some well-reasoned arguments or didn’t come off as thinking everyone else here is a bought out or stupid bunny, you would get a better hearing.

            • Ktotwf

              I don’t think people are bought out or stupid. I never try to make things personal unless someone is being really shitty with me.

              People just have a tendency to take the semi-objective description of certain things as “further to the Left” as meaning “morally better.” I am not deBoer. I don’t think everyone who disagrees with me is a moral monster.

              • People just have a tendency to take the semi-objective description of certain things as “further to the Left” as meaning “morally better.”

                AFAICT, this isn’t the source of s lot of reactions to the “priors” stuff. For me, in general, such arguments tend to be historically wrong as well as non sequiturs (as many people point out, this critique of HRC involves no ideology or even structural critique). In general, it comes close to saying “You don’t understand or are unaware that people who oppose HRC have the prior of opposing HRC! So you just don’t ‘get’ where they’re coming from.”

            • DrDick

              As a vocal Sanders supporter, I support this statement.

      • Why does it matter what Steinem said, or Albright? Why are they not entitled to their opinions about a gender and generational split? How does it offend you? Why is it your business?

        • joe from Lowell

          I mean, they’re not even bloggers. I don’t understand why their embarrassing statements about the contest are even worth noticing.

          • postmodulator

            I initially suspected Steinem was acting as a Clinton surrogate, but I have been convinced that that was not the case.

            I was mostly bothered by what Steinem said because I think she’s cool as shit and I can’t believe what a tone-deaf, idiotic own-goal that was. Was her goal to undo her life’s work?

            • joe from Lowell

              I can’t decide if Sanders’ decision to honor her at the debate after that was classy, slick, or both.

            • ChrisTS

              I buy the previously floated “I’m with Bill Maher, I’m excited, and I’m channeling his assholishness” explanation.

              As for Albright? She has been using this line *forever.*

              • postmodulator

                Yeah, that’s why I wasn’t bothered by Albright’s saying that at all.

              • MDrew

                You kinda want to watch whom you’re using it on, though. Like, not the people whose votes you’re trying to get (for your friend).

            • TopsyJane

              “I was mostly bothered by what Steinem said because I think she’s cool as shit and I can’t believe what a tone-deaf, idiotic own-goal that was. Was her goal to undo her life’s work?”

              She hasn’t undone anything of the sort. Maher was baiting her and unfortunately it worked. She actually praised today’s young feminists just prior to her now-infamous remark, saying that they were much more active and more feminist than in her own younger days. Clinton herself has been saying the correct things, saying that she admires the enthusiasm of younger women and hopes to earn their votes.

          • MDrew

            Do you even tweet, bro?

        • dr. hilarius

          I guess I don’t see how criticizing someone’s public comment means that one thinks they’re not entitled to their own opinion? I’m criticizing you right now, but I certainly think you’re entitled to your opinion-I don’t see what those two things have to do with each other. And it is rather silly to ask why a public comment is someone’s business.

          I personally thought that Albright’s comment was pretty gratuitously nasty, but she did apologize for it, so I won’t fixate on it. I do think that their comments to shed some light on what I think is a very interesting generational gender divide, and maybe even a divide between waves of feminism.

          Perhaps part of it is that the concept of intersectionality is one that was really developed and popularized after the second wave feminists came of age? I don’t know, I thought it was interesting.

        • Pseudonym

          I think a public statement by a public figure is fair game for anyone else to comment on. Like most of these discussions though it’s not particularly relevant to the primary campaign or candidates, and the way these discussions of the candidates constantly get hijacked into debates over these minutiae is tedious.

        • Roberta

          It matters what they said because they’re both prominent individuals. They’re entitled to any inaccurate, bigoted, insulting opinion they want. It offends me because it’s inaccurate, bigoted, and insulting to imply young women support Bernie because the “boys” do, or to imply we must vote for anyone based on their gender. It’s my business because it affects me when any public figures, especially feminists, make stupid sexist public comments about why I vote how I do. I’d think that’s everyone’s business.

          • TopsyJane

            They’re entitled to any inaccurate, bigoted, insulting opinion they want.

            I don’t know what Albright said that was bigoted or insulting. Steinem made an ill-advised joke right after saying good words about today’s young feminists, and she has apologized — far more graciously than the way you’re writing about her now.

            • Nick056

              This comment is kind of great because you acknowledge that Steinem apologized, but don’t mention that Albright did as well — and that it was an apology wherein she herself explained why her regrettable comments were unintentionally but very truly insulting.

              So if you want to know why Albright was insulting … Read Albright.

              • TopsyJane

                I did read Albright. She was not insulting and had no intent to insult. As others have noted, it’s an old line of hers. The context was wrong, but she meant no harm.

                The line itself refers to the rivalizing and lack of communitarian spirit that has often manifested itself in relations among women in male-dominated societies. Very often women have not helped each other, competing for the attention of men who have the power. Divide and conquer. An old story that hasn’t gone away.

                I get that no one likes to be told how to vote, or to think that someone is telling them how to vote. But some of the things that commenters (female) were said online about Steinem and Albright were far worse than anything they said.

        • DrDick

          Why does it matter what some Sanders supporters said? Why are they not entitled to their opinions on these topics? How does it offend you? Why is it your business?

          It does not matter what some random supporters of either candidate have said. The only thing that matters is what the candidates and there official campaigns say. That would actually be my point here, yet Clinton supporters only seem to see it working one way and get incensed if you bring it up.

      • wjts

        Can we just lose that condescending and inaccurate phrase?

        I’ll grant you condescending, but not inaccurate.

        • Dr. Waffle

          But Henwood, Greenwald, and DeBoer have assured me that Bernie Bros don’t exist! Clinton shills definitely are real, though. Or something.

          • joe from Lowell

            Clinton shills definitely are real, though. Or something.

            Now that you made sure to type that, the notion looks completely ridiculous.

            OK, fine, I can’t shame you into stopping. Can you at least do it a little better?

            • Dr. Waffle

              I’m patiently waiting for someone to provide evidence of Hillary supporters using sexist language to attack Bernie and his followers.

              • joe from Lowell

                Oh, is that what “shill” means?

                • Dr. Waffle

                  Yes. You have to admit that Bernie’s most passionate followers are much more inclined to employ abusive and derogatory language than Clinton’s. I haven’t read or heard many of the latter calling Bernie a cunt or whore.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I’m patiently waiting for someone to provide evidence of Hillary supporters using sexist language to attack Bernie and his followers.

                  Oh, is that what “shill” means?

                  Yes.

                  OH NO! Now I have no choice but to get into one of those “you can’t make me say it!” internet exchanges about you being easily demonstrably wrong about the definition of “shill,” and everyone will be totally distracted!

                  What a brilliant maneuver, because I just couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity to have an argument where you are very obviously wrong. You have cleverly trapped me in a position where the topic of whether you are awkwardly shilling campaign talking points will be completely forgotten.

                  FFS, stop. You’re not even good at this.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  *yawn*

                • joe from Lowell

                  He must have died while carving it.

                  Oh come on!

                  Well, that’s what it says.

                  Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t have bothered to carve ‘Aaaauuuggghhhh’. He’d just say it.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  Right, I keep forgetting “shill” means “someone who supports a candidate other than joe’s preferred progressive savior.” Bernie Bros, if they even exist, aren’t shills, because Bernie is the One True Progressive, and anyone who supports him is, by extension, a True Progressive. Any irrational and repellant behavior on their part is either a.) irrelevant or b.) justified, because it’s in the service of the Revolution.

                  Meanwhile, Dolores Huerta and John Lewis are definitely shills, because they don’t worship the ground that Bernie Sanders (or Barack Obama, for that matter) walks on.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Uh huh. You poor thing.

                  progressive savior….Bernie Bros…Bernie is the One True Progressive…Dolores Huerta and John Lewis… worship the ground that Bernie Sanders…walks on.

                  Dr. Waffle makes the people who flog Russian armaments in the threads of Farley’s National Interest columns look like beatnik poets.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  And you make Freddie DeBoer look like a fount of rationality by comparison.

                  P.S. What’s the correct meaning of “sliming,” again? You never did get around to providing kped with a coherent explanation as to how Muerta’s comments qualify, other than “because I said so.”

                • joe from Lowell
                • Dr. Waffle

                  The semantic deflection, i.e. your preferred debating tactic. It seems as though your concern with the precise definitions of words becomes negotiable as soon as you’re challenged on similar grounds. Interesting.

                • joe from Lowell
                • DrDick

                  You have to admit that Bernie’s most passionate followers are much more inclined to employ abusive and derogatory language than Clinton’s.

                  No I do not. I have not heard any of that from the passionate Sanders supporters I know, and I am one, do that. I have heard reports of it and seen a couple of pieces by media figures leaning that way, but that is all. Most of the abusive language I have seen comes from Clinton supporters. Again, I am not saying it is typical, just my experience.

                • Dr. Waffle

                  shorter joe: “Evasiveness and insults for me, but not for thee.”

                • joe from Lowell

                  Can you link to a comment you have ever written on this blog that wasn’t a sales pitch or a personal insult at the guy who called you out as a shill?

                  There are some interesting discussions about things other than Hillary Clinton’s talking points all over the thread. Where are you?

                  Where have you ever been?

                • Dr. Waffle

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2014/12/state-obvious

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2015/11/gun-rights-are-white-rights

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2014/12/teddy-bear-martin-luther-king-pathologies-winger-thought

                  Please proceed, governor. Also: I find it rich that the dude who’s posting direct links to Bernie Sanders’ website has the gall to criticize other commenters for bringing up “talking points” (i.e. things that have happened). I’d also like to see those “interesting conversations” you’ve been having elsewhere on this thread; it seems as though your two recurring themes are “Bernie is the best!” and “Bernie is perfect!”

                • gmack

                  No I do not. I have not heard any of that from the passionate Sanders supporters I know, and I am one, do that. I have heard reports of it and seen a couple of pieces by media figures leaning that way, but that is all. Most of the abusive language I have seen comes from Clinton supporters. Again, I am not saying it is typical, just my experience.

                  Fair enough. However, one of my Sanders-supporting friends fairly regularly refers to Hillary Clinton as a “bitch,” and a number of his Facebook friends regularly praise and/or use similar descriptors. On the other hand, a number of Clinton supporters often say stupid/nasty things about Sanders-supporters too, often completely misunderstanding the reasons why Sanders is gaining so much support from younger voters.

                  So let us put it this way: There are vocal minorities supporting both candidates who have gone completely off the deep end in their attitudes toward their candidates and toward their opponents. And this is one of the reasons why this primary season is fucking stupid and irritating, and (like Erik so eloquently put it) makes me want to melt my face off with acid.

                  Having said that, please carry on.

          • Ronan

            As a meaningful phenomenon, It’s made up. Of course his campaign has attracted some assholes (as do all) but “Bernie bros” is an obvious tactic used to deligimise his campaign through guilt by association to some dumb, straight out of central casting , make believe demographic . The fact that you believe it and think it a useful analytical category says a lot.

            • Ktotwf

              Them main pagers will get you, bro.

            • Thirtyish

              Ronan:

              but “Bernie bros” is an obvious tactic used to deligimise his campaign through guilt by association to some dumb, straight out of central casting , make believe demographic

              Ktotwf, in direct response:

              Them main pagers will get you, bro.

              I’ll let the above speak for itself.

              • DrDick

                One actual example hardly proves the premise.

              • Ronan

                I object to all terrorists, whether they are Isis, basque separatists, or the Hillary Clinton faction

            • jben

              I don’t entirely agree. “Bernie Bro” seems to be to be a good descriptor of a certain (small) subset of vocal Sanders supporters on social media. When I use the term, I’m referring to the various people on twitter who for eg, swarm people who post even the most mild criticisms of Sanders and imply that they are shills for Hillary, or the “establishment”, as well as those like HA Goodman who post truly moronic opinions on how Hillary is just like Trump. These people give no impression of having actually heard of Bernie before last summer, and often appear to be animated more by an intense hatred of Hilary Clinton then a fondness for Bernie. Hell, some of these guys have openly stated that they will under no circumstances support Hillary Clinton-no matter who her opponent in the general is. I myself am not terribly fond of Clinton’s more “moderate” politics, but to pretend that she is somehow this immensely, uniquely corrupt monster is frankly insane. It is also crazy to pretend that from a left-liberal perspective she is not far better than anyone who could conceivably win the GOP nomination.

              That said, “Bernie Bro” is frequently overused and flung about with abandon by some Hillary supporters. Sometimes it is used as if these guys made up all, or even a majority of Sanders supporters-which is obviously untrue. And the attention to the worst Sanders supporters also overlooks the fact that Hillary also has some remarkably intemperate and foolish supporters, both online and off-line. In this, it is similar to the word “neoliberal” which can describe an actual category of political opinion wrt to markets and the economy, but is also used by some people as a sneer word to describe anything that is too “pro-market” or insufficiently left wing.

              While “Bernie Bro” is certainly overused, I don’t accept that it is completely meaningless.

              • kped

                I agree with everything you said.

                • Scott Lemieux
                • DrDick

                  cf. also Amanda Hess.

                  More reasons, as if I needed any, to avoid Twitter. Perhaps because I have more sense than to subject myself to that level of inanity and am rather selective about who I let see me on Facebook, I have never encountered that (except our notable exception in this thread). What I have encountered here and on other, largely academic, blogs is hordes of Clinton supporters trashing Sanders supporters as irrational dreamers, sexist pigs, and the like.

                  If you support Clinton, that is your choice and it is not irrational. I do not agree with you, but I do not think it makes you a bad person. Just do not attack me because I disagree with you.

                • That Hess article is v. good.

                  I think it’s unfortunate that “berniebro” is so catchy.

              • DrDick

                I would completely agree with this, which was my original point that got me trashed.

  • bobbo1

    A Clinton Trump debate is one I might actually watch, if only for entertainment value. I’m sure Hills would make a fool of him. Unfortunately I don’t think general election debates move the needle much.

    • LosGatosCA

      If by ‘much’ you mean ‘not at all’ or ‘they are completely irrelevant’ then you are correct.

      Most of the memorable (to me) debate gaffes are by Republicans in elections they won.

      The exception (for me) was Bush looking at his watch. But I believe he had already lost when he puked in the Japanese PM’s lap.

      • joe from Lowell

        Win/loss isn’t the best measure, though. The 2004 debates turned what was shaping up to be a comfortable Bush win into a nail-biter, even though he ended up pulling it out in Ohio.

        I think of debates as being like VP selections: they can get you a couple of good media cycles at best, but can only have a significant effect if there is a complete catastrophe, like Palin or Bush-Kery.

        • postmodulator

          even though he ended up pulling it out in Ohio.

          Yeah, that’s what he did in Ohio.

          • joe from Lowell

            Why do you think they call it a swing state?

            It was less than three years after 9/11. People were still responding favorably to that sort of thing.

            • postmodulator

              I’m bitter about the cheating. Or to be as absolutely charitable as they deserve, the cutesy games they played with things like voting machine distribution. But I never cared much about the distinction.

              • joe from Lowell

                Dude, you are totaling stepping on my dick joke.

                • postmodulator

                  Careful. Dick jokes won’t win you the approval of the front-pagers.

                • dr. hilarius

                  The comment/username synergy are great

      • bobbo1

        Yes that’s what I meant

  • Karen24

    Of all the problems HRC might have as a candidate, being hurt by people saying mean things about her is NOT one. Jeez, has this guy been asleep since, oh, 1990?

  • Trump is George Wallace with a little bit of Perot thrown in; Cruz is Nixon merged with Joe McCarthy; Rubio is a better looking, slightly more charismatic Dan Quayle; and Carson is the answer to the question nobody ever asked, “What if Michele Bachmann was a black male brain surgeon?”

    • ChrisTS

      OMG. Where would you like your intertubez delivered, Oh Great One?

    • EliHawk

      “What if Michele Bachmann was a black male brain surgeon?”

      Man, that 2016 reboot of All of Me got strange fast.

    • Origami Isopod

      Carson doesn’t have that thousand-yard stare down pat. Deer-in-the-headlights isn’t remotely the same thing.

      • dr. hilarius

        When Carson zones out he kind of looks like he’s actually thinking, as though someone just shouted “Dr. Carson, elderly woman presents with traumatic acute subdural hematoma, what do we do!” Rubio looks like he’s about to choke to death on his own drool.

    • djw

      Rubio is a better looking, slightly more charismatic Dan Quayle

      who thinks he’s Ronald Reagan

      • dr. hilarius

        Rubio is a better looking, slightly more charismatic Dan Quayle

        who thinks he’s Ronald Reagan

        OK, now we’re beyond the realm of plausibility.

      • Ktotwf

        If Rubio had better smarmy story telling ability he could be a plausible New Reagan

        • kped

          Reagan was cooler though. Rubio has a machine gun fire “ihavetosaythisreallyquickbeforeiforgetit” delivery. Very junior high speech delivery. And he looks like a moist sponge.

          Reagan’s years of acting helped him come off naturally. It’s how he spun those folksy yarns despite being a rich California actor.

          Really, the closest to Reagan was W Bush. Right down to the fake folksy shtick. The Connecticut Blue Blood came off as a legit brush clearing Texan! And people bought it!

          Rubio hasn’t even mastered coming off as a human yet. Reagan he ain’t.

    • tsam

      Nice. Put this guy on the front page

    • kped

      You are wrong about the Carson = Bachmann. Bachmann had a bit of fire…you will need to convince me that Carson has been awake at anytime in this primary.

      Or, you can amend it to “What if Michele Bachman was a black male brain surgeon…who was asleep at all times?” Then I’d sign on!

  • N__B

    I’m very tired and working on a buzz. Can someone explain this entire comment section to me? Because it makes no sense.

    • Thirtyish

      Some nuggets of interesting commentary interspersed between Ktotwf being his usual Ktotwf-self, JfL alternating between offering some fairly sensible political dialogue and trying to pick fights with people, and then a little musing about Ben Carson toward the end.

      • Anna in PDX

        Gee, wish I had started at the bottom. Would have saved me a lot of time

        • NonyNony

          +1. I will be so glad when the Dem primaries are over.

          • joe from Lowell

            Tell me about it.

            This isn’t your list of sales leads, assholes!

    • Ktotwf

      Long story short: Don’t try to defend sanctioned LGM targets in the comment section.

      • I’ve pared down that entire thread and identified the following relevant claims:

        LGM frontpagers: This thing Henwood wrote is bad.
        LGM frontpagers: But other stuff he’s written is good.
        Ktotwf: Other stuff Henwood has written is good.
        Ktotwf: But this thing he wrote “isn’t his best.”

        • Lee Rudolph

          LGM has always been at war with Doug Henwood.

          • Ktotwf

            Was it Henwood that said that LGM was a party hack blog, or was that someone else?

            • brad

              Freddie’s Boners called us all objectively despicable.

              Here’s to hoping you have it in you to grow to be embarrassed one day by how simplistic and limited your perspective is in this election.

              • Ktotwf

                I’d like to believe that you have it in you to one day regret following me around the comments sections posting your sanctimonious condescension at me.

                • brad

                  You have a particularly troll like tic of conflating any response, or any post, ever by a front pager on someone or something, with obsession. It doesn’t work even as rhetoric, sorry.

                  When you make a spectacle of yourself people will stop and comment.

                • Ktotwf

                  Brad, you decided I was a sad Bernie Bro troll like two weeks ago and have been faux-disappointed in me ever since.

                • brad

                  No, I think in the end you’re trolling yourself.

                  It’s not easy pulling your head out of your own ass. For many of us it’s a life long process of incremental gain and loss. But first you have to recognize it’s wedged up there.

              • Pseudonym

                Heh. Freddie [BONERS] and Erik Loomis now share the distinction of being blocked by Sady Doyle.

                • Sady Doyle blocking me for a single snarky remark about Henry Kissinger to me really sums up what is so terrible about this primary season.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  Loomis’s comment is true if you add some punctuation.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Sady Doyle blocking me for a single snarky remark about Henry Kissinger to me really sums up what is so terrible about this primary season.

                  OTOH, the angry comments about how totally right she was to do that, you jerk, sum up what is terrible about the left blogosphere year in and year out.

      • sharculese

        Does it make you feel important to pretend to be a victim?

        • Ktotwf

          There is no victim in this scenario…

      • Scott Lemieux

        Long story short: Don’t try to defend sanctioned LGM targets anyone with non-sequiturs and untruths in the comment section

        FIFY.

        • Ktotwf

          Excellent demonstration of just what I was saying.

          • Scott Lemieux

            I’m sure you’ll get around to linking the LGM posts that impugn Henwood’s motives without criticizing his substantive arguments any minute now.

            Projection is a hell of a drug.

            • wjts

              The lack of any front-pagers denouncing Clinton as a right-deviationist and/or the hackiest neoliberal DLC stooge who ever triangulated is all the proof that’s necessary.

              • Malaclypse

                The preferred nomenclature is capitalist-roader.

                You should think long and hard about why you made this error, Comrade.

    • tsam

      DON’T make eye contact with this thread. It will bite your face.

      • N__B

        People are so busy being mean :^( that my sparkling fellatio joke has gone unnoticed.

        UNNOTICED!

        • Lee Rudolph

          The trouble with sparkling fellatio is that unless you remove the cork just right, you end up making a mess all over the place.

          • N__B

            I want to know how you got the cork in.

            • Lee Rudolph

              Reverse cork screw, naturally.

              • N__B

                It’s not often that I see an unassisted triple-entendre. Congrats, hit the showers.

              • keta

                Nothing natural about it, Lee. It took takes years to perfect, apparently, so I’ve been told, by a Canadian.

  • random

    Seriously is this not the most epic primary season ever???

    Much love to all LGM posters and commenters, this place is awesome.

    -random

    • kped

      I think people forget Obama/Clinton from 2008. That primary went down to the very end, and it was far more spirited than this one. Accusations of racism, sexism, all the ism’s were in force…well, i guess this one has that too…but that one was still more heated because more people were involved (basing that on the fact that vote totals are down so far this primary season).

      • random

        I remember it, it just wasn’t nearly as entertaining for me as this has been. But also there’s the GOP side as well.

        • kped

          Well, you have a point with the GOP side. It’s been brilliant. I mean…it gave us Rubiobot and Trump. Plus a guys college roommates coming out to tell everyone that yup, he’s as big of a dick as you think he is.

          And it featured my favorite moment: A black man, running for President as a Republican, trying to fight off the vicious smear that…he didn’t try to kill his best friend and mother as a teen. How can that moment be topped????? “He’s a liar, he didn’t try to stab his friend or hit his mom with a hammer” “I so did try to kill them both, honest!!!”

        • MDrew

          Couldn’t be because your candidate is going to (was always going to) win, could it?

      • PJ

        It’s sort of galling how easily people forgot about John Edwards. The Populist candidate. Who was pulling BO and HRC to the left. Who Cared Deeply about the poor and working class.

        • JMV Pyro

          Never did get how so many people were suckered in by that.

  • PJ

    Jesus, stop. I read LGM to get a break from all this mess.

    • MDrew

      That’s just weird.

  • keta

    This joint needs something serious to discuss.

    Anti-government attorney Kory Langhofer argued over the weekend that the Supreme Court could continue to decide cases 5-4 in favor of conservatives after the death of Antonin Scalia because the deceased justice could effectively cast votes from the grave.

    I think Langhofer is German for “safety coffin.”

    • Thirtyish

      Incredibly, the fact that he spells his name with a K is the least of this guy’s lunacies.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      wooden stakes. the only way to be sure

    • Roberta

      I always did think Scalia was a vampire.

      • Ktotwf

        How many people a day was he sucking dry then?

        • Ktotwf

          As a vampire. Let’s be clear

          • Hogan

            Something something rammed down our throats something.

    • Warren Terra

      I swear, McReynolds is kicking himself at the seventy years of missed opportunities. He could have been casting votes all this time.

      Note also that this solves all those Original Intent questions, now that 112 present and past Justices will be weighing in.

      But: I say all 112 present and past Justices – but some of them resigned rather than dying in office. Wouldn’t it be awfully unfair if Scalia gets to keep voting and O’Connor doesn’t?

  • Fish Pimp

    Trump will get to the left of Hillary Clinton on both trade and the Iraq War. He’s going after the Reagan Democrats in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. It’s pretty clear how he intends to flip the electoral map. He just walked into Bush Country and smacked the Bushes in the mouth on Iraq and walked away with every single delegate. He’s been absolutely brilliant.

    There is a lot of confidence that Clinton will destroy Trump in a debate. Donald Trump is not Rick Lazio. Rick Lazio could never get away with the shit Trump is doing and saying. Trump called Bill a sexual predator and he hid for a month. This election will be played with reality show rules of scoring. The press still hasn’t figured that out.

    • joe from Lowell

      Trump will get to the left of Hillary Clinton on both trade and the Iraq War.

      This is not a bad argument.

      Kindly note the difference between Fish Pimp’s argument here, and Henwood writing about “brittle” Hillary making herself look bad by flying off the handle if Donald Trump needles her.

      • Fish Pimp

        I think the question to ask about Hillary is where she gets additional votes. The kids and independents seem repulsed by her. It is delusional to think that she steals right wing votes from somewhere. How does she break 50% support? Bill never broke 50%. He got 49.2% in 1996.

        The only person with higher unfavorables than Clinton is Trump. So a Trump-Clinton matchup would probably be the dirtiest, nastiest, most negative campaign in the last 100 years. Each candidate trying to drive the turnout for the other down.

        Where does Hillary draw the votes to get above 50%?

        • joe from Lowell

          “We’re making history!” can plaster over a whole lot of ideological distance.

          I expect there to be a whole lot of normally-Republican-leaning women, especially in the lower half of the Mississippi River Valley, who are going to lie to their husbands about whom they voted.

          • random

            Yeah and also Hillary/Bernie will be hardcore stumping for Bernie/Hillary.

            However the primary shakes out, it’s clear that the Democratic nominee will go into this with a unified coalition of moderate and liberal voters and a functioning political party to back them up. Trump doesn’t really have any of that.

          • Fish Pimp

            “We’re making history!”

            These voters are all with Clinton already. I think what you’re saying is true but it’s out there on the margin. Tough to call it a winning strategy and it would be a big gamble to rely on it.

            • joe from Lowell

              Our options are a Jewish socialist who’s never won an election outside Vermont and a frontrunner whose favorable/unfavorable chart looks like this.

              Do you see any non-gamble options I’m missing?

              • Fish Pimp

                I think the empirical evidence djw points to suggests that Bernie can win greater than 50% of the vote against Trump. He does so in two separate polls while Clinton fails to do so in any.

                As a quasi-incumbent, can we expect the undecideds to break against her? That’s the rule right?

              • MDrew

                Our options are a Jewish socialist who’s never won an election outside Vermont and a frontrunner whose favorable/unfavorable chart looks like this.

                Do you see any non-gamble options I’m missing?

                Yep. SIgh. The Democratic Party should have made better choices.

                Oh well.

            • random

              Not when it comes to how the media covers the election, no. She gets the media narrative, due to being the first woman Presidential candidate running against a super-racist white male.

              • Fish Pimp

                But he’s been the tephlon Don so far. Why is that going to change? His numbers go up when the media narrative is bad for him.

                • twbb

                  There is a ceiling for Trump’s level of support, more than any other major party presidential debate in history. He will eventually run out of paranoid racists.

          • twbb

            Absolutely on point. Trump is going to remind a lot of women of every stone age, pompous buffoon whose leered at them at work. And if Hillary wins the primary, he’s going to put them off more.

            • Thirtyish

              Trump certainly has no serious plan to broaden his appeal to any demographic other than the one he already has a lock on.

              • N__B

                He’s gonna have Melania give a speech or two. ‘Cause chix dig that.

              • JMV Pyro

                How many people making this “Trump will lead the working class to crush the opposition” argument are considering the fact that the “working class” isn’t composed of just white people?

                Black men got screwed by NAFTA too and I don’t see them pulling for Trump.

                • twbb

                  Black men have historically been screwed over not only by NAFTA but also by illegal immigration. The implicit appeals to white supremacy will turn off a lot of black voters I think but I would not be surprised if he got a non-trivial number who are frustrated with the immigration positions of the Democratic party.

                • JMV Pyro

                  With how Trump’s been treating African Americans this cycle? Can’t see it being significant enough to shift anything.

                • kped

                  Shouldn’t we see that in the primary then? Yet in a state with a lot of black people, the Republican vote is 98% lily white.

                  This notion that Donald “The first black President is from Africa and he is probably dumb because he wont give me his college transcripts” will peal off even 1% of the vote is absurd.

                • twbb

                  He did not do well with black voters in South Carolina during a primary; no way of knowing now how it will play out elsewhere. I don’t find it realistic that he would get less than 1%; that’s significantly less than McCain and Romney each got while running against a black presidential candidate.

          • MDrew

            This re Republican women.

            (Said something similar above, as I went through the thread adding my thoughts; I figured joe would be thinking similarly.)

        • kped

          Where does Trump? Are you really trying to claim that he’ll siphon some left votes? That is beyond absurd.

          • Fish Pimp

            Like I said, Trump has a clear strategy of targeting the Reagan Democrats. He’ll go after the rust belt workers who own guns and lost their jobs to NAFTA. He’ll try to flip Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

            • random

              LOL @ “Reagan Democrats”.

              Also at the prospects for a hyper-racist Republican billionaire trying to play populist in a general election. Did you not see what happened to Romney?

              • Fish Pimp

                I agree that Bloomberg could never pull this off. It’s all about the way he says things and not what he actually says.

                How the hell did Mr. Two Corinthians win evangelicals in South Carolina? WTF? Was he saved by the Pope?

                • kped

                  Racism. He was saved by “ban Muslims from the country”.

                • Thirtyish

                  Because many of those evangelicals don’t know a whole lot more about the Bible than he does. Their religion is one of ideology more than it is theology.

                  Also at the prospects for a hyper-racist Republican billionaire trying to play populist in a general election. Did you not see what happened to Romney?

                  But Rmoney was elitist in ways that Trump isn’t. Trump is crude, unsophisticated, and comes off as much more of a blue-collar kind of guy than “Mitt” could have even if he lost all his fortune and resorted to begging in the street.

              • Fish Pimp

                Oh, also, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin all have Republican governors. So does Florida.

                • kped

                  So? Mass has had them too. So has California. And New Jersey. That doesn’t mean those states are up for grabs.

                  Well, Ohio and Florida are still very much in play. Michigan? Obama won it by 10 last time.
                  Are you going to say that their Republican governor will be a positive?? Not on your life. You can book that one. Wisconsin, even with Paul Ryan on the ticket, went 53% to Obama.

                  Honestly, looking at Obama’s win, the only two that I can see realistically flipping are Ohio and Florida…and even then, Hillary wins. And those are still very winnable for the Dems.

                • Fish Pimp

                  Kerry beat W by only 3.5 pts in Michigan in 2004. I think these mid-western states will be much closer than anyone expects.

                • kped

                  So…in an election that Democrats LOST, their candidate still won be a decent margin? And now, with an unpopular Republican governor whose policies will be in the news for the rest of the year…Republicans have a shot?

                  I’ll grant Ohio, it’s always tough. But Michigan????

                • EliHawk

                  Your results:

                  2000: US: D +0.5 MI: D +5.13 (D+4.6 relative to national result)
                  2004: US: R +2.4 MI: D +3.42 (D +5)
                  2008: US: D +7.2 MI: D +16.4 (D+9.2)
                  2012: US: D +3.9 MI: D +9.5 (D+5.6)

                  So, setting aside the 2008 blowout (Where McCain’s campaign made a big deal of abandoning the state, probably leading to some blowback), Michigan has pretty consistently run 5 or so points ahead of the national Dem margin. for the last 4 elections. In 2012, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hamsphire, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all had smaller Dem margins. If Trump is making in roads in the Great Lakes state, it doesn’t matter, because the Dems already lost the election big time.

                  Also, Governors elected on local issues in smaller, older, whiter, midterm electorates don’t mean shit in Presidential years. In 2010 Dems lost every single rust belt Governorship outside of Illinois and Minnesota. They still won all of PA, OH, MI, WI, and IA two years later.

                • Fish Pimp

                  Trump gets to 275 with
                  Ohio, Florida, North Carolina New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan

                  He can lose
                  Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana

                • kped

                  So..you’re clinging to the “he has a shot at Michigan” thing, eh?

                  And Wisconsin is also not in play this cycle given the past few. “but Scott Walker” isn’t really a thing to argue, because then you could say he’ll win New Jersey because Chris Christie. It’s a dumb argument.

                • brugroffil

                  So does Illinois, but I don’t see how that’s relevant to the 2016 Presidential election.

            • kped

              Who the hell are the Reagan democrats?

              Have people been asleep the past couple of decades?

              Hey, i know, maybe he also has a chance of winning California like Reagan and Pappy Bush did too!

            • JMV Pyro

              Republicans have been targeting that demographic for years. Romney won nearly 60% of white men in 2012 and their share of the electorate has only decreased since. He would either need a truly unprecedented amount of that demographic to vote his way or an appeal to people outside that demographic if he wants to win.

              If PoCs don’t turn out in November but whites do, maybe he could break through, but do you really think that African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Muslim Americans (hello Michigan) won’t get riled up to vote against a guy who is running what amounts to a white nationalist campaign? The Rust Belt ain’t exactly a sea of mayonnaise anymore, especially in the more populated areas that decide the elections to begin with.

              I can see Trump winning the nomination of the predominantly white Republican Party. I cannot see him winning a general election with a much more diverse electorate he has pissed off and who have rallied against him out of survival instinct.

              • kped

                The fact that seemingly intelligent posters here are confusing the 98% white Republican primary voters with the general electorate is kind of shocking to me…

                • JMV Pyro

                  Racial privilege coding goes along way.

                  Already pointed this out above, but it bears repeating: the “working class” that got screwed by NAFTA and other aspects of globalization in the United States is not and was never a solid mass of white people.

                  The reason why this tends to get ignored is an exercise left to the reader.

              • Fish Pimp

                Muslim Americans (hello Michigan)

                That’s a good point about Michigan. I would expect the Muslim participation to increase but I would also expect the AA participation to regress to the mean.

                • kped

                  …I’m pretty sure the AA population will be at the polls given the poisoning of a majority AA city due to the Republican governors negligence. Maybe you heard of that…

                  Michigan ain’t in play.

                • Fish Pimp

                  The cynic in me can see Flint being evacuated due to health concerns on the weekend before the election.

                • brugroffil

                  I’m really failing to see how an evacuation of a black community due to major health issues caused by Republican fuck-ups would negatively impact black voter turnout.

        • junker

          This is worth repeating, again: there is no large enthusiasm gap between Sanders and Clinton. One example: https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/02/20/happy-nice-thoughts-early-nv-caucus-results-open-thread/

          The idea that there is widespread distaste for Clinton is entirely a thing of the internet. Clinton may lose the youth vote in the primary but there is no reason to think that this will carry over to the general.

          • kped

            Another invention of the internet is that primary voters will vote the same way in the general. So you have stories like “Obama is losing Ohio to Clinton, how can he win the election”.

            The next person who legit claims “If you can’t win X in the primary, they won’t vote for you in the general” should be shunned by society.

    • Ktotwf

      There are no rules anymore! It is Thunderdome.

      • Hogan

        Two men enter! Sorry, Hillary.

    • random

      This sounds like a massive losing strategy for Trump rather than something I should be worried about.

      • Fish Pimp

        Keep trying it. That phrase is bound to be right one of these days.

        • random

          That line doesn’t work on me, I’ve been predicting Trump’s primary success since forever.

          He’s toast once he hits the general and the Electoral College. He’s already blown any real chance at being President, but going all ‘reality show’ is definitely not going to win him any new friends.

          • Fish Pimp

            Sounds just like the people who said that big rallies wouldn’t translate into numbers at the polls. The record breaking turnout numbers for the Republicans should be sobering.

            • random

              I was already sober about this. If Trump wins the nomination the Democrats don’t have any turnout problems at all.

    • brad

      Trump can say he was against invading Iraq all he wants, but the scant public record shows him doing the exact opposite.
      Trump can play to his audience’s perceived rules all he wants.
      That ain’t the electorate.

    • Pseudonym

      Trade might actually matter in this election in ways that I can’t foresee. I have a hard time believing Clinton’s Iraq war vote will. And on foreign policy the gap appears more between Clinton’s interventionism and Trump’s isolationism than anything that cleanly fits on a left/right axis.

    • Trump will get to the left of Hillary Clinton on… the Iraq War

      You are describing a portion of an electorate, in 2016, that:

      * Cares about the Iraq War enough for it to determine their vote;
      * Desires a candidate who was more dovish on the Iraq War than Clinton;
      * Would be willing to accept Trump’s positions on other issues;
      * Would be willing to accept Trump’s self-described “militarism” and frequent promises to engage in aggressive foreign policy;
      * Would be willing to ignore the fact (or would be ignorant of the fact) that Trump actually spoke in favor of the war before it started.

      You, me, and those voters could all fit in a phone booth with enough room to play cards, and I’m fat as Chris Christie.

      • Fish Pimp

        I think Trump wants to establish two facts about his foreign policy

        1) He has better judgement in deciding when to use force
        2) He’s the toughest and will go the farthest

        He has to blunt her experience advantage.

        I expect the commercials will be something like “From the creative minds that brought you Black Hawk Down, The Hurt Locker and 13 Hours comes America’s next great foreign adventure film… “

    • FFFFFFIIII

      You seem to think that a GE involving Trump would be about policy, which is absurd. It’s going to be about “All Mexicans are rapists”, retweeting Neo-Nazis, white supremacist robocalls, using eminent domain to grab grandma’s house to build a limousine parking lot, four bankruptcies and three marriages. The Daisy commercial will get a second viewing. In your heart, you know he might.

      By the time November 8 rolls around, the public is going to be so terrified of a Trump presidency that Bozo the Clown would beat him if he was the Dem nominee.

    • Thom

      He will probably try to get to HRC’s left on the Iraq war, and of course he has no problem with lying. But he was also for that war at the beginning.

  • jben

    Jesus Christ.

    What is it about the Democratic Primary that causes these kinds of ridiculous flame wars and 300 comment threads? What is it that causes so many sane, reasonable people to suddenly become absolute maniacs?

    • N__B

      I blame the mary-gee-wana.

      • The Dark God of Time

        Bong hits for Jesus Bernie!

    • tsam

      Thanks, Obama

  • PJ

    You get a lot of people who normally don’t pay attention suddenly caring about stuff they never cared about before?

    In any case, regardless of which Democrat wins (I hope), it’s the least of the party’s problems.

    2010 was a terrible, not least because all of the people who appeared to care deeply about who was the Dem nominee in 2008 pretty much checked out. Since we can’t even agree about why that happens, how are we supposed to produce solutions?

  • Denverite

    Just arrived in Casper from Denver. Did I miss anything?

    • Thirtyish

      No.

    • DrDick

      Nothing worth bothering with.

    • Warren Terra

      It’s a Bernie/Hillary post. As always, more heat than light, plenty of invective. A few good jokes, but less than in comments to other sorts of posts.

  • The head to head polls about the election trouble me. I’m really not sure how to interpret them and I find myself strongly tempted by all sorts of versions of the pundit’s fallacy. Partly, I think we don’t have a good common definition of “electable” particularly when we’ve hit this configuration. I mean, let’s say that Trump loses the primary (surprisingly), would this be because he’s unable to win the primary or just lost? It’s hard to see at this point that it’s impossible or wildly unlikely for him to win the primary. He still theoretically could lose it, but unless that comes from a revolt from his current supporters, I don’t see what that tells us.

    So, Bernie. Yes, his profile is unlike any we’ve seen before in a prez candidate. Yes “socialist” isn’t a plus with much of the electorate. How that outweighs head to head polling at this stage eludes me. You could argue that that polling is pre real attacks against him by republicans. But we’d probably want some data about the current polled people so nail thts down a little more.

    I’m very confused by people who prefer Cruz to Clintom but Sanders to Cruz. What? That’s not policy driving things. Maybe outsider ness?

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      “maybe outsider ness?”

      yeah, I think so. it’s probably been said somewhere else in the thread (is there anything that *hasn’t* been said three or four times over?) but there are a lot of people who want the system shook up- and they might prefer Sanders’s goals, but they’d take Cruz if that means *something* will happen

      • MDrew

        Really liking outsiderness could get you there (you gotta really want it in the case of Cruz), but tbh the quickest and most obvious way to Sanders>Cruz>Clinton is intense dislike of Clinton.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          (laughing) what-ever

          • MDrew

            ??

            Isn’t it?

    • MDrew

      You could argue that that polling is pre real attacks against him by republicans.

      That really needs to be the argument to get to Clinton being more electable. But the thing is, that;s only an argument about why Sanders’ h2h numbers will fall back. It’s not an argument about why hers will improve, and therefore not an argument not to be perplexed/concerned about hers.

      The only thing that really bothers me is when people manage to be smug about Clinton’s (or for that matter Sanders’) superior electability (ie., not at all you). There are a few arguments to be made either way, but the simple reality is that nothing is clear right now.

  • Brien Jackson

    This, for what it’s worth, is what we’re talking about when we talk about Bernie Bros:

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/701623210752737285

    This is the same Stoller/Sirota/Hamshr set who simply resent that they aren’t actually THE BASE and aren’t concerned with much of anything beyond TOPPLING THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT solely so that they can be the left’s Limbaughs and Hannitys. Fuck ’em.

    • Yeah, my understanding is that unpleasant Bernie support of a particular sort is just brogressives being brogressive, not a phenomenon induced by Sanders or the Sanders campaign. This is why “Berniebros” is unfortunate because it suggests that the phenomenon has something to do with Bernie rather than the standard mishmash of supposedly more leftist people latching on to Bernie because 1) he is genuinely more left, if slightly so, than HRC, 2) he says “socialist” which feeds into the fantasy/analysis that left politics will play well in elections if pursued aggressively, and 3) he has focused on economics/class which is their focus. (Probably a little delusion about foreign policy coupled with a genuine dislike of HRCs.)

      Paul-curiosity wasn’t something strongly induced by any Paul. They didn’t court lefty folks in any meaningful way. They had some idiosyncratic largely nominal polices which surface aligned with high priorities of a subgroup of progressives and they blew it out of proportion in a rather silly and annoying way.

    • djw

      The cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously going with “LET’S BLOW SHIT UP FUCK THE ESTABLISHMENT REVOLUTION” and “We are the base” is just breathtaking (to say nothing of the narcissism).

      • MDrew

        Actually, resenting not being the base, which is what the accusation was, is perfectly consistent LET’S BLOW SHIT UP FUCK THE ESTABLISHMENT REVOLUTION.

        I’m not sure if Stoller et al think they’re the base or know they’re not and resent it.

    • MDrew

      Really? That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about Bernie Bros?

      Pointing out that at the last minute, at the campaign’s behest, (formally neutral) Harry Reid mobilized a (formally neutral) union to come out and attempt to help Clinton win, and wrongly asserting that it succeeded in doing so? Really?

      So Bernie Broism is exemplified by repeating a widely reported story and making a false inference about whether the reported political maneuver tipped the result? That’s about the most commonplace type of faulty-because-partisan kind of exaggeration that goes on in every single political contest ever, everywhere, but that’s exactly what we’re talking about when we talk about Bernie Bros?

      Really? That’s BernieBroism? That’s what we’re talking about?

  • Rob in CT

    Something occurs to me re: a potential Trump-Clinton matchup.

    One reason to worry about Hillary’s chances in the general is her high unfavorables in polls (52%). But… hasn’t Trump had consistently higher unfavorables (60%)? Even if you assume GOP voters rally ’round Trump, those should kill him with others – sure, he might get some non/occasional-voters to show up, but some of them will show up to vote against him.

    It appears Clinton + all her baggage (earned and unearned) is more likeable than Trump. Add in that she’s more knowledgeable, she’s an actual statesperson instead of a blustering buffoon… I worry as much as anybody about what the low-info undecided voter might do, but that matchup (should it happen) should work out fine (absent a nasty recession starting soon, I guess?).

    • Cheerful

      I have been delighted to see a couple of places, Red State & Patterico, indications that some RWNJ’s will refuse to vote for Trump, even if nomninee, apparently because he is insufficiently antiabortion. One can only hope there is more than a few of such.

      • I think that’s about as meaningful as the people loudly proclaiming that it’s Bernie or nothing. Not significant enough to swing the election. Trump would lose more indies than conservative Republicans.

        • Rob in CT

          Agreed: it’s the mushy middle I’d expect to have a problem with Trump. Committed Republicans will most likely rationalize a vote for him.

          The argument against Clinton is that she doesn’t excite people. And this is probably true. But excitement can cut two ways.

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  • Cheap Wino

    Did Henwood really use the word “cleavage” in his post? I can’t be the only person who gave a WTF at that. That’s appalling.

    I only made it through to the JfL gets in an argument part before I quit reading though so apologies if this has already been discussed.

    • Yes he did.

      With “brittle” it sure sounds like a dog whistle. I don’t think it was conscious, though.

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