Home / General / “If you’re going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I’ll just have to stop doing stupid things.”

“If you’re going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I’ll just have to stop doing stupid things.”

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MrPLow

Mr. Shane Ryan has a reiteration of his very special arguments for intentionally throwing the 2016 elections to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz should Bernie Sanders not be the Democratic nominee. His central argument — a little of the ol’ heighten-the-contradictions isn’t so bad if you assume that the incumbent president in 2020 has a 0% chance of being re-elected — is self-evidently silly, and you require further elaboration as to why you can click the handy link above. I did, however, enjoy this response to an increasingly salient objection to this strategy:

GODDAMIT, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SUPREME COURT SEATS UP FOR GRABS. IF WE LET THAT DEFINE HOW WE VOTE, WE WOULD NEVER, EVER MAKE ANY PROGRESS IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY’RE ALL OLD! ALL OF THEM! THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OLD, AND THEY WILL ALWAYS BE OLD! YOU KNOW THIS MERRICK GARLAND DUDE THAT OBAMA NOMINATED? HE’S 63. THAT’S A “NEW” SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. THAT DUDE COULD DIE. AND SURE, WE COULD ALL DIE, AT ANY MOMENT, BUT HE’S LEGITIMATELY OLD ENOUGH TO DIE IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.

STOP TRYING TO STRONG-ARM SANDERS SUPPORTERS INTO VOTING BECAUSE SOME SUPREME COURT SEATS MAY BE UP FOR GRABS. JUST STOP. THEY ARE ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS UP FOR GRABS. YES, SOME OF THE JUSTICES MIGHT DIE. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE MIGHT HAPPEN? NONE OF THEM MAY DIE. WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WHY SHOULD THAT DICTATE OUR VOTE?

Leaving aside the fact that he treats a vacant and pivotal Supreme Court seat as a hypothetical rather than a fact, this is the kind of reasoning with which Homer Simpson has been making America laugh for more than 20 years. “If you consider one obvious horrible downside of my all-downside no-upside strategy, then we will never be able to put it into practice.” Somehow this doesn’t become more convincing when you type it in all caps. LGM has obtained an exclusive transcript from a brief period in which Ryan ran a medical advice chat:

Q: I have a peanut allergy. I was wondering how best to avoid…

SR: LOOK, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE ANY PROGRESS STOP BRINGING UP SO-CALLED “ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK”! IF YOU CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT THAT, HOW WILL YOU EVER BE ABLE TO EAT A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH?

Q: But I can’t even afford an epipen right now and…

SR: TELL BIG ALLERGY TO STOP TRYING TO STRONG-ARM YOU INTO BUYING THEIR DRUGS. GO OUT AND ORDER A PAD THAI WITH EXTRA CRUSHED PEANUTS. I HAVE AN EXCITING NEW THEORY THAT IF YOU EAT LOTS OF NUTS NOW YOUR ALLERGY WILL MAGICALLY VANISH IN 4 YEARS! TRY IT OUT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES.

—-

SR: WHERE DID YOU GO? I ALSO HAVE AN EXCITING THEORY ABOUT HOW THE RIGHT PRESIDENT COULD FORCE A REPUBLICAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO END ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND CURE CANCER IMMEDIATELY!

Moving away from this particular brand of nonsense, there is a broader point to be made here. This kind of thinking can be found everywhere in politics, but a minority of Sanders supporters seem to have the idea that politics should be the immediate boring of wet tissue paper. If Sanders does not win the nomination, it proves that trying to change politics through the primary process is futile, and so the only possible alternative is a course that has an extensive track record of failure and no practical or theoretical path of success. This also reflects, of course, a president-dominant assumption (one, again, that is found everywhere on the political spectrum) that the way parties change is through top-down leadership from a president or presidential candidate. This assumption remains common although at least on the left side it’s happened exactly zero times in American history. (Lincoln, FDR, and LBJ were all from the moderate faction of the party before assuming office.) This doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try — and 2016 presents a unique opportunity for someone perceived as being well to the left of the political spectrum to still be favored in the general. But the idea that the only possible way of moving American politics to the left is to get an optimal presidential candidate in any particular election doesn’t make any sense, and that goes double for an election in which neither Sanders’s “political revolution” nor Clinton’s pragmatist incrementalism are going to make any headway with a Republican House.

Another thing with the taking your toys and going home flounce is that it understates what Sanders has already accomplished. He was always a massive longshot to win the nomination. Clinton was one of the strongest frontrunners in the history of the contemporary primary process, and a 74-year-old white guy from a small, unrepresentative rural state isn’t the ideal candidate on paper to make a challenge from the left. And yet, he’s been more successful than anyone could imagined, and successful in a way that will make a real difference in the party. This is a long game, not a short one. Forget heighten-the-contradictions nonsense — keep up the fight for Bernie and ensure that he shows strength through June. And then think of how the political energies he’s unleashed can effect political change at every level. The 2016 Democratic primaries aren’t the end of the struggle (and wouldn’t be even if Sanders won.)

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  • wjts

    YES, SOME OF THE JUSTICES MIGHT DIE. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE MIGHT HAPPEN? NONE OF THEM MAY DIE. WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WHY SHOULD THAT DICTATE OUR VOTE?

    YES, THERE MIGHT BE A BULLET IN THE CHAMBER. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE THERE MIGHT BE? NOT A BULLET! WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WHY SHOULD THAT DICTATE WHETHER OR NOT WE PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE?

    • ChrisTS

      Heh. Except, at this point in time, we know we have quite a few very elderly, and some quite ill, Supremes.

      Jesus, I detest these assholes.

      • Marek

        OK, three bullets!

    • Hogan

      OR THE HORSE MIGHT TALK.

      • N__B

        From which end?

        • efgoldman

          From which end?

          With these guys, the ass is always more eloquent and makes a lot more sense.

  • THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SUPREME COURT SEATS UP FOR GRABS

    Or, who knows?

    NONE OF THEM MAY DIE. WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WHY SHOULD THAT DICTATE OUR VOTE?

    Shouldn’t that be PasteEATERMagazine.com?

    wjts: Damnit, you couldn’t wait three effin’ mins.?

  • erick

    The way to get a more progressive government is to move congress to the left. You do that.by finding the most conservative Democrat representing a safe district and primary them from the left, and repeat it for the 2nd most conservative, etc. you find the weakest Rep seats and put effort into getting a strong dem to run against them and so on.

    But that is all real work, nuts and bolts politics that requires getting off your ass and getting your hands dirty in the muck. Much more fun to be a leftier than thou poseur on the Internet.

    • ChrisTS

      Wait, what. WORK? Wouldn’t that mean hanging around and, you know, doing stuff over time?

      • Cleardale

        To be fair isn’t the current party head making this impossible by limiting access to party files? If I recall correctly isn’t she even effectively protecting some R seats because they happen to be aligned with her?

        • Craigo

          I also heard she’s hoarding all the tinfoil and refusing to release the video of Hillary Clinton eating a kitten.

          • Cleardale

            http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/debbie-wasserman-schultzs-opponent-tim-canova-is-denied-access-to-democrats-voter-file-7652217

            Quick example of trying to primary a candidate and move the party left. Now in that case because she is the chairperson they allowed her opponent access eventually, but no other candidates in Florida running against an incumbent are allowed access. So saying “primary them from the left” isn’t just work, it’s effectively building a new party.

            Edit screwed up the link somehow so just added it manually.

            • Craigo

              My favorite part of that editorial is when the challenger outright admits he would support the policy as an incumbent.

              But principles, you know.

              • Cleardale

                Read it again, he said no such thing.

                “Canova says he was told that if he were an incumbent, he’d appreciate the policy.”

                He was told that, not he said that.

                • Craigo

                  Ah. Then he’s stupider* than I thought**.

                  *Yes, it’s stupid to believe that anyone who files to run in a Democratic primary should have access to proprietary data, and yes, limiting this data to Democratic nominees and officeholders is a reasonable approach. But that doesn’t get Facebook likes and retweets.

                  **It’s possible that this is all just bullshit for the slacktivists to lap up, and that he knows full well why parties don’t just throw open the safe for anyone who comes asking. But it’s also possible that it’s not, and that he’s happily guzzling this bullshit himself.

                • Cleardale

                  He’s a Democrat. He wants to “primary them from the left” like the original comment said. To which your reply was, no one wants work that hard. Well he tried, and was held back by the party. His problem was worked out, because he happened to be running against the chair of the whole party in a local race. The policy of not letting Democrats have access to the Democratic National Party files, that are controlled at the local level still stands. So the party doesn’t want the party moving left.

                  You mocked people claiming they wouldn’t work hard enough to move the party left from within. Well if the party will not let them work from within, using party resources, what are their options? Completely self funded using third party sources? What then is the point of being a Democrat?

                • UserGoogol

                  The point of being a Democrat is having a D after your name in the general election. Political parties are about nominating candidates, which in a plurality voting system is very important, so people can know who to vote for to not spoil their vote. That the party then supports the eventual nominee is of course also important, (although “third party sources” are a big deal even for the most establishmenty of candidates) but for the party to support potential nominees is rather removed from the purpose of political parties, even if it would be nice.

                  Plus, candidates not having access to voter databases isn’t exactly the end of the world. It allows you to do certain kinds of campaigning more efficiently, but people didn’t always need this new-fangled data driven campaigning.

                • Perhaps it is pointed out somewhere but proprietary voting data is very, very, important and valuable and if it were given out freely to ayone who wanted it the Republicans would very soon be putting up their own candidates to steal it. I would be very, very, leery of offering the private information of democrats/voters to anyone who simply declared they were intending to run. And there are huge privacy issues involved. Ever gone door to door with the new voter info? Its *very* detailed. And it alarms people, actually, when you reveal to them how much you know about everyone who lives in the house and their voting and donating habits.

                • Cassiodorus

                  Agreed. Most people aren’t aware of the level of detailed information parties and campaigns possess. The big freakout over those Cruz mailers earlier this year is a great example.

                • witlesschum

                  At least in Michigan, you can get voter data by FOIA from the state, which I presume is where the Dems get it.

                  Making the Republicans do a little extra legwork if they want seems like a thin reed to justify not helping people who want to run as Democrats.

                  All that said, the idea that lefties should be disheartened and justify giving up by this sort of tepid official opposition is pretty hard to take seriously. I don’t expect people to like me or help me. I’m a leftist, after all.

                • Hogan

                  At least in Michigan, you can get voter data by FOIA from the state, which I presume is where the Dems get it.

                  The Dems get information from these folks, which is greatly enhanced compared to what you can get at the county board of elections. And is not free.

                • Arouet

                  The information in those databases is not just voter information. It’s information gleaned from a variety of data clearinghouse sources, etc., and is absolutely not freely available. Releasing it to any old yahoo would be tantamount to giving Republicans, for free, resources that the Democratic party has paid for dearly.

                • witlesschum

                  Ah, thanks.

                  I suppose there’s not much of a way to make a rule that distinguishes between any old yahoo and a Democrat who wants to run in a primary which doesn’t require a judgement call by party officials. I guess the best we can do is try to shame them if they refuse to share data with a real, honest to goodness Democratic candidate.

              • sharonT

                Tim Canova filed to run as a democrat, so yes, like any democrat filing to run in the primary, he can have access to the files. The Florida Democratic Party wasn’t as queasy about opening access to voter files when registered Republican Patrick Murphy ran as a Democrat for Allen West’s seat. Then again, Murphy’s father wrote a fat check to the party, so that makes everything OK.

                There are a number of groups in the left, DFA and Blue America, are two that have been fielding and fund raising for candidates in Democratic races up and down the ballot. So the assumption that “The Left” are just a bunch of keyboard commandos is just off. The campaign committees have shed the tradition of neutrality in primary races and putting a thumb on the scales. That thumb is usually employed on behalf of the more conservative candidate, even if that candidate doesn’t reflect the district’s political cast.

                • jeer9

                  That thumb is usually employed on behalf of the more conservative candidate, even if that candidate doesn’t reflect the district’s political cast.

                  Someone’s paying attention.

        • Docrailgun

          Luckily, the current party head was allowing a campaign for someone who isn’t even a Democrat to have access to the party files.

        • ChrisTS

          ??

    • DAS

      This is pretty much how the Club for Growth was able to push the GOP to the right, wasn’t it? If the push the party to the right with an organized primary strategy is good enough for the GOP “base”, why isn’t the parallel strategy good enough for us?

      In response to Cleardale’s point: did the GOP provide access to party files to Club for Growth candidates? If not, then really limited access to party files is not a critical impediment to effective primarying to push the party away from the center. If the GOP did provide such access, what about Aimai’s point? Did Democrats use GOP proprietary data? Or do we just anticipate that the GOP will play dirtier than Democrats did, which is a fair enough assumption.

      There are, of course, independent of the party files issue, differences between what Club for Growth was able to accomplish with the GOP and what any similar Democratic group would do. For instance, I remember when there were progressive 501(c) organizations trying to do to the Democrats what Club for Growth did for the GOP: the response was a freak-out from “even the liberal media” about 501(c) organizations even as said media legitimized Stephen Moore as a mover-and-shaker and hardly ever mentioned how Club for Growth was set up. Also, Club for Growth and its successor organizations had money behind them in ways in which progressives do not (George Soros alone can only fund so much).

    • Ronan

      Spare us the Puritanism . When the leisure class take Over you Stakhanovs will be first on the couch watching judge Judy

    • Problem is the DNC won’t support you- they are happy with things just as they are.

      OF COURSE Hillary Clinton is a trillion times better than ANY repug. I shall vote for her if she’s the nominee, and I’m sure Bernie would too.

      But we have to start fighting the DNC, they are waay too Wall Street oriented. I’ll keep supporting Bernie no matter what.

  • efgoldman

    The common thread among the Berniebros (and by that, I mean the obnoxious ones, not people who vote for him in good conscience) is they either don’t know or don’t care, or both, that there are fucking RULES TO THE GAME!
    When they played baseball or softball, did they whine when they were called out on three strikes instead of four or five?
    I suppose it’s on balance a good thing that Sanders is drawing new, young people into the process. But between naivete, lack of institutional knowledge, and green lanternism, man are they a pain in the ass.

    • Pseudonym

      To be fair, given 2008 (particularly Michigan and Florida), Clinton isn’t in a strong position to complain.

      • efgoldman

        Clinton isn’t in a strong position to complain.

        It isn’t HRC who’s complaining, it’s the Berniebros, and I’m complaining about them, because I can’t stand that shit and never could.
        Hell, when I was in school, I wanted to throw something at the kids who asked the teacher to grade on a curve, even if my grade would have been better.

        • Pseudonym

          I mean that Clinton isn’t in a strong position to complain about Sanders supporters wanting to change the rules retroactively because her campaign tried to do the same thing in 2008.

      • ChrisTS

        Could you explain/expand on this?

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          I think he’s referring to the flailing of the HRC campaign/her supporters for long after it should’ve been clear that she wasn’t going to win the nomination.

          Although, in her defense, she was never as far behind as Bernie is now.

          • Cassiodorus

            I was Obama supporter during the primary and did field work for the campaign, but I never viewed Clinton’s position during that race as unreasonable. A plurality of 2008 primary voters voted for Clinton. Compare to this cycle, where Sanders is running far behind Clinton on that measure.

            • Scott Lemieux

              never viewed Clinton’s position during that race as unreasonable.

              If you’re referring to her retroactively claiming that Michigan and Florida were real elections, sorry, but that was massively unreasonable.

              • Cassiodorus

                I meant carrying on the fight as long as possible. Sanders is mathematically eliminated at this point, as a practical matter.

          • efgoldman

            I think he’s referring to the flailing of the HRC campaign

            Damn, it’s hard to be coherent on your way to bed; no I wasn’t talking about 2008 at all. That’s dne and gone and history (and I was very much an Obama supporter).
            No, I was talking strictly about this cycle, and the intartoobz warrior Berniebros who are telling us that HRC is somehow cheating by getting more votes, even as Sanders is sweeping small caucus states, and that the superdelegates should vote for Sanders anyway because of his goodness and purity and because it’s what they want. No, kiddies, at this point in history it’s not how the system works. There are ways to change it, and they involve lots of commitment, and time, and hard work, and whining on the toobz isn’t gonna’ do it.

            • brewmn

              I engaged with some of those commenters on that comment thread, and their entire argument seems to be, “if you want me to vote in the general, then you need to nominate Bernie.”

              I swear, the level of lunkheadedness on display there rivals that of your typical rightwing blog or local newspaper comments section.

            • ChrisTS

              Got it. Thanks.

        • Pseudonym

          In 2008 the DNC originally decided (pre-primary) not to seat the delegates from Michigan or Florida because the state parties moved the primary dates up too far, violating the national party’s rules. After the votes and later in the primary, the Clinton campaign started arguing that those delegates should be counted, though Obama wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan.

          • You know–I was an Obama supporter by then but after the 2000 election I admired someone who was willing to do whatever it took to win. And I think that was a very, very, murky situation since it was, definitionally, sui generis. I have no problem with Bernie going after the superdelegates either. I want the next democratic president to show the instincts of a street fighter and to want to win, no holds barred. Because that (and a shitload of diplomatic and manipulative smarts) is what is going to be required.

            • Pseudonym

              Superdelegates are an embarrassment all around. Their incentive is to come out endorsing the front-runner early in the hope that they’ll be rewarded with patronage, but there’s no reason for them not to switch allegiances when the tides change. Nothing wrong with Bernie going after them, but some of the arguments I’ve seen Sanders supporters use in that effort have been pretty sad, just like some Clinton supporters’ in the last election.

              On the other hand, I’m sure the GOP wishes they had a larger slate of “superdelegates” (unpledged delegates) at their disposal right now.

    • brad

      I think most of the Berniebros are really just Ron Paul fanboys with no one else to prop up as the emblem of their superior intellects this time around. I wouldn’t even blame the naive youth so much as the Freddie’s BONERS types who just want the excuse to bathe in their own genius.

      • FMguru

        Yeah, I don’t think the BernieBros are new, young people being drawn into politics for the first time. Most appear to be the same characters who have spent the last seven years yelling about DRONNNEEEZZZ and explaining how proud they are to have voted for Nader in 2000.

      • DilbertSucks
      • twbb

        I think many of them actually are OWS types, many of whom are getting interested in actual non-protest politics for the first time, and who are shocked that politics actually involves politics.

        • I think that the split is, of course, younger/older voters. For many people every four years is literally like being born into politics. You suddenly wake up–you’ve left home, your friend group is almost entirely people your age and you no longer live under the thumb of your parents and family. You hear about politics in a totally new way. You hear about politicians through totally new channels. And you realize that there is this entirely new world around you of issues and politicians and money and tv spots and meetings. Some people get really into it–and other people are into it for a season.

          Interestingly enough (not surprisingly actually) a ton of people over at Balloon Juice this morning were remembering their first vote–for JOHN ANDERSON. This is memorable to me because he was my first vote too. I was in the cohort that had lived, as a child, through JFK, LBJ and Nixon and the protest vote for John Anderson was my first primary vote (I voted for Carter in the general).

          Which is by way of saying that though I have cast other votes from the left since I have never forgotten that the President I excoriated as too southern, mawkish, religious, etc… has gone on to be one of th emost admired and effective people in the history of the world. And I have learned to be a lot more suspicious of purity policing and repubican ratfucking.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Right. Younger people supporting Bernie Sanders is an interesting phenomenon that bodes well for the future of progressive politics. The middle-aged and older people supporting Bernie Sanders are by and large the same people who have been kvetching about Democratic machers being not left enough for them for decades. And then they use the passion of the youth vote as a sort of reflected glory on their own beliefs, with which they presume they’re aligned.

            • twbb

              Really? I am of the totally opposite opinion; younger voters supporting the leftier candidate seems typical. Older voters supporting a progressive candidate is refreshing and does make me optimistic.

              • FlipYrWhig

                You’re right that younger people leaning liberal isn’t surprising; I suppose it’s the massiveness of the margin for Bernie that surprises me. But among the non-young supporting Bernie, I think it’s largely the same third or so of Democratic voters who consider themselves more left than the mainstream of the party and tend towards the chronically dissatisfied anyway. I think the percentage of people who when polled say that Obama hasn’t been liberal enough is a pretty reliable proxy for the Sanders vote; to that, add people who are 25 or younger or thereabouts.

                • sapient

                  I like the way you put this:

                  “who consider themselves more left than the mainstream of the party and tend towards the chronically dissatisfied anyway.”

                  Because there are a lot of people who “consider themselves more left”, but I don’t believe are more left than a lot of Democrats who vote for mainstream Democrats. The fact that they are “chronically dissatisfied” is more to the point.

                  There are some issues that arise in this country that aren’t such that a “leftish” person would believe this, and a “rightish” person would believe that.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Soullite comes to mind immediately.

          • Cheerful

            I remember wanting to vote for Anderson but then at the last minute worried that Carter might lose, so voting for him and then afterwards wishing somebody had told me that Carter was going to lose by so much so I could have voted for the person I really want to.

            But yeah no real regrets about Carter. I just wish he’d run a better campaign.

            Years later I was in the D.C. metro and recognized Anderson carrying a suitcase, trying to figure out how to get to the airport, as he was unused to the system. He told me he was headed to an important conference of progressive leaders or something like that. And that was the last I ever heard of him.

          • efgoldman

            the protest vote for John Anderson was my first primary vote

            It was another protest vote, for Barbara Ackermann in 1978, that that taught me the negative value of protest votes, Ed King, “Reagan’s Favorite Democrat,” won the primary and the general, and was a disaster for four years. Left to his own devices he would have literally let the T go out of business, paved over half of East Boston for runways and parking lots, and most probably restarted the inner belt highway.

          • brewmn

            I voted for John Anderson in my very first election too. To atone, I for Walter Mondale canvassed throughout Central Illinois in 1984.

            Some of us learn from our mistakes. The Full Nader contingent of BernieBros seems immune.

            • efgoldman

              Some of us learn from our mistakes.

              That sort of suggests that other people, including people new to the system, should learn from our mistakes, but I don’t think that’s what you meant.
              Unfortunately, very few people have the intellectual and historical curiosity actually to go back and study the history of protests votes, nor would I expect them to.

    • cpinva

      “When they played baseball or softball, did they whine when they were called out on three strikes instead of four or five?”

      yes, yes they did, and so did their parents. the commenters on that piece are pretty good typists, for 5 year-olds. unfortunately, just being a good typist doesn’t mean that what you type makes any sense. I swear, I fully expected one of them to say he was taking his/her ball and going home, and they came pretty close.

    • The common thread among the Berniebros (and by that, I mean the obnoxious ones, not people who vote for him in good conscience) is they either don’t know or don’t care, or both, that there are fucking RULES TO THE GAME!
      When they played baseball or softball, did they whine when they were called out on three strikes instead of four or five?

      Is this how you feel about the 2000 election, and the Electoral College? How about the Constitutional rule that gave the Supreme Court the final say?

      Stop complaining about the rules! Um, no, I won’t. Sorry.

      • efgoldman

        Stop complaining about the rules! Um, no, I won’t. Sorry.

        But I know enough about you to know that you know the work that’s involved to change them, and are willing to undertake it. You’re not just some kid whining on the toobz and then going out to the club.

        • Thumpa-thumpa-thump-thumpa…

          Do these leather pants make my gut look big?

      • Brien Jackson

        This doesn’t make any sense. A) Even if the electoral college should be abolished, it wouldn’t mean that you could pass such a measure in December and change the results of the previous month’s Presidential election. B) Yes I support the concept of judicial review, even if Republican majorities will use it for bad ends. C) Missing here is an argument that there’s something wrong with the Democrats’ delegate allocation rules.

        • A) So what?

          B) So what?

          C) I thought we’d first get the question of whether we were, or were not, allowed to complain about rules out of the way.

          ETA – on further thought, A) deserved a lot worse than “so what?” We’re not supposed to even complain about something we think is wrong if we don’t have an implementable five-point plan to solve the problem by December? When did that become a standard of political discourse?

          • Brien Jackson

            The relevant point of A is that saying “we should of the electoral college” didn’t mean “we should abolish the electoral college in December 2000 AND RETROACTIVELY declare Gore the winner.” In any case, perhaps it would be helpful if you actually articulated a problem with the primary election rules before you start making analogies? Seems like that would help suss out the point.

            • I don’t think the point is remotely difficult to suss out.

              Here, I’ll state it again:

              We’re not supposed to even complain about something we think is wrong if we don’t have an implementable five-point plan to solve the problem by December? When did that become a standard of political discourse?

              There it is. Did you get it that time? That is the point you purport to have so much trouble sussing out. I really don’t see your problem.

              No, Brien, I don not need to come up with an alternate set of procedures in order to make this point. In fact, “But you haven’t told us the comprehensive alternative!” is one of the most common ways to shut down discourse about any number of problems. It’s a stupid, destructive, dishonest argumentative technique that exists solely for the purpose of tiling to playing field in favor of the side that benefits from the status quo. And that remains true, whether you feel like leaping to the defense of the status quo on this or any other issue.

              Would you ever, in any other context, make such a demand of someone who identifies a problem, much less who merely asserts the abstract right to speak out against a problem without having crafted solution already?

              You’ve certainly never done so before, but all of a sudden, you’re going to the mat for the principle. Gee, it’s so difficult to understand what your motive could be, Mr. Guilty Conscience.

              • Brien Jackson

                Holy shit you’re tedious. Fine, I’ll take you at your word that you can’t articulate a problem with the rules (I didn’t ask you to come up with an alternative procedure, merely an actual complaint about the current rules) and that any such kvetching is just because your guy is losing under the current set. Troll away my man, troll away.

                • You’re going to take me at my word, despite my never saying anything.

                  Uh huh, I’m the troll here.

                  (I didn’t ask you to come up with an alternative procedure, merely an actual complaint about the current rules)

                  And I said no, because I’m making a point beyond any particular criticism of any particular rule. You really have no excuse to pretend not to get this anymore.

                  and that any such kvetching is just because your guy is losing under the current set.

                  Fuck you, you empty little shell of a hack. Nice projection.

                  I say what I have to say because it’s what I believe.

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2016/03/if-youre-going-to-get-mad-at-me-every-time-i-do-something-stupid-then-i-guess-ill-just-have-to-stop-doing-stupid-things/comment-page-1#comment-1935606

                  You don’t ever get to accuse me of that, you hollow former person.

                • Brien Jackson

                  I bet you’re a real hit at parties.

                • You got me; I’m a huge nerd who wears my heart on my sleeve. Sometimes I can’t shut my mouth when it would be in my own interest to do so.

                  What a loser, right?

                • Brien Jackson

                  Let us not forget, this exchange started when Joe inserted himself into a discussion about people complaining that the rules were unfair because their guy isn’t winning, made a nonsensical comparison to the 2000 election and then…couldn’t come up with any reason to complain about the rules. This translates to Joe “wearing his heart on his sleeve” and not being an asshole of an internet troll.

                • liberalrob

                  It can’t be doing your blood pressure any good, joe…

                • q-tip

                  I’m gonna go meta for a sec and say that as a medium-time listener reader, seeing JfL use his particular skill set in service of Bernie Sanders is a) weird b) awesome c) hilarious.

                  That’s on a totally meta-level, joe – and with all love and respect.

              • liberalrob

                Would you ever, in any other context, make such a demand of someone who identifies a problem, much less who merely asserts the abstract right to speak out against a problem without having crafted solution already?

                I have to say I’m impressed with the mental agility required to be able to demand the right to speak “abstractly” on this topic and yet demand chapter and verse citations of proof (which are especially problematic on this site, what with the one-link-per-post-or-you-get-moderated thing) on others.

                • Brien Jackson

                  It’s especially amusing since no one ever asked for anything other than identifying a problem that could be compared to the 2000 election.

                • Well, rob, it’s almost as if different arguments are different, and an argument based on a factual claim has a different requirement for evidentiary proof than an argument about abstract principles.

                  Apparently, you find the awareness that arguments are different to demonstrate some remarkable mental agility. Congratulations?

    • It is quite true we Bernie supporters are crabby and obnoxious when he loses… but so are the Hillary supporters when she loses! The angry, I mean obnoxious, comments in various blogs are eerily similar to those of Sander’s fans when he bombed in the South.

  • Cheerful

    Some of the comments just make the head hurt. As one said, how can we blame the 3 million Nader voters in 2000 when there were 40 or 50 or some such million Bush voters?

    The overriding point of most of the comments is the importance of absolving themselves from blame. Those who didn’t vote for Bernie in the primary – they are the ones to blame for Trump, not those who failed to vote for whoever runs against Trump in the general.

    And then there was the one who pointed out how Republicans don’t get along with Trump either, so he would be just as frustrated in office as any Democrat, as I am sure he will veto their multi-trillion dollar tax cut because it does not match the details of his multi trillion dollar tax cut.

    And then there were the ones looking forward to the revolution that will occur if Trump is elected… oh mon dieu.

    • Scott Lemieux

      how can we blame the 3 million Nader voters in 2000 when there were 40 or 50 or some such million Bush voters?

      Yeah, this is a perennial from Nader apologists here too. It’s exactly as mysterious as wondering why Seahawks fans criticize Darrell Bevell and Pete Carroll for blowing the Super Bowl rather than attacking Malcolm Butler and Bill Belichick for outplaying them. To state the obvious, it’s a waste of time trying to persuade people who are acting in their interests to stop acting in their interests.

      • cpinva

        “To state the obvious, it’s a waste of time trying to persuade people who are acting in their interests to stop acting in their interests.”

        I remain unpersuaded that that group even knows what their interests are, so they can vote against them. some of those comments were just unbelievably childish.

        • liberalrob

          “This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.” -Charlie Pierce

      • Jay B

        To me, it’s the 3 million people who voted on “principle” in service to, by any basic standard, a malignant catastrophe — which was abundantly clear even at the time. How did it all work out for those liberal-left principles in the final analysis of the Bush years? It was goddamn hell on Earth and we’re still living with the ashes.

    • As one said, how can we blame the 3 million Nader voters in 2000 when there were 40 or 50 or some such million Bush voters?

      I blame both? It isn’t hard.

      But the Bush voters generally don’t also believe that Gore would be preferable to Bush. Nader voters generally did. But they effectively chose Bush over Gore. That’s very dumb.

      And really, helping a *party* lose is a good way to marginalise yourself, rather than to win influence (in our kind of system). So it frustrated all their stated goals.

      • Brien Jackson

        The last graf is important too: If there actually was a concerted effort by Sanders supporters to throw the election to the Republicans, residual anger among other Democrats would set back their next campaign. Despite what a lot of internet lefties think, hostage taking is not, in fact, a good way to make friends and influence people.

        • But these people–the kinds of people who won’t get out of bed to vote for the candidate because its not their candidate–don’t really think long term. They refuse to align themselves with a team, such as team democrat, because thats all icky, corrupt, politics. Just read Matt Taibbi’s essay on it! There’s no infrastructure, there’s no duty to build connections. You are either corrupted by the process or clean. And everyone who has been in politics for very long is corrupt. Look at the way the Bernie people slagged John Lewis and Delores Huerta? That didn’t come out of nowhere. It comes out of a snese that the newest thing is the purest thing and the very process of political compromise and longevity is corrupt.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Taibbi has a piece from 2006 or so about the rotten Congress where he shadows Bernie Sanders and the two of them just shake their heads about how awful it all is. I found it highly revealing of the Sanders mentality. I get the impatience with glad-handing and bullshit in Congress, but another name for glad-handing and bullshit is “working.”

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              I wonder if to some extent Sanders wasn’t telling Taibbi what he wanted to hear- my understanding is Sanders can play the bullshit game well enough when he wants to get something done. He’d better be able to- otherwise Jimmy Carter mark 2

            • DiTurno

              This might be nutpicking, but at Washington Monthly yesterday, a Sanders supporter actually attacked the proposal to raise CA’s minimum wage to $15 as “deal-making.”

              Yeah, it’s icky when politicians make deals to pass laws that will dramatically improve the lives of tens of thousands of people.

              • keta

                I see these childish Sanders supporters as perfectly emulating Congressional Republicans of the past seven-plus years.

                They all want their own way, always; they refuse to recognize the political process as it exists and the ways it is possible to effect change; and they’ve all decided that being pouty, grandstanding fucksticks-in-the-works is a sensible path to achieve their ends.

                The continuing regression into childishness in America is a scary fucking thing to witness.

                • DiTurno

                  I agree, Keta. I like some things about Bernie, and I believe in Democratic solidarity, so I (usually) try not to point out that believing Bernie will change “the system” is really no different from thinking the same thing about Trump.

                  I think every voter should be required to watch “I’m Just A Bill” from Schoolhouse Rock.

                • Origami Isopod

                  I see these childish Sanders supporters as perfectly emulating Congressional Republicans of the past seven-plus years.

                  No wonder the one-time Paulbots are Feeling The Bern.

                • efgoldman

                  They all want their own way, always; they refuse to recognize the political process as it exists

                  I wonder (unfortunately) if “exists” should be “existed.”

                • mongolia

                  One thing I haven’t seen stressed enough this cycle is that the right’s analogue to Bernie isn’t Trump, it’s Cruz. Which in my view encapsulates perfectly why the “Sanders or Bust” type “movements” seems to mirror the Teahadi’s purity concern trolling, since they’re roughly the same thing. Difference obviously results, with the version on the right obsessed with strange paleoconservative conceptions of a libertarian Christian nation at founding, and that the reason we’ve moved away from that is even the most basic forms of compromise with those dastardly “Liberal Democrats”, while the left wing version basically assumes a combination of any sort of compromise that isn’t sufficiently “pure” (i.e. PPACA v. single payer) isn’t worth having, and that anyone accepting these sorts of “impure” pieces of legislation is complicit in the failings of the U.S. political system, as opposed to trying to do the best they can with the crappy system we’ve got. This also explains why both have vocal and followings of base support (and do extremely well in caucuses), and have almost literally no support from their Senate colleagues, i.e. the people they’ve had to work with to actually get anything done.

            • Bernie Sanders didn’t pass more amendments than anyone else in Congress between January 1995 and January 2007 by turning his nose up at sausage-making.

              • FlipYrWhig

                Valid point, but there’s a lot of contempt in those particular sausages.

                • Mmmmmm…contemptausages.

                • Hogan

                  I don’t like the way that andouille is looking at me.

                • Oh, what’s the use. This “amendment king” thing is a perfect example of the problem. When Bernie makes compromises or bargains to get one thing he wants, and trades away other things that are important to other people, its ok because his heart isn’t in it (resisted voting for the Crime Bill until X thing happened) or because his intentions were good. When other people vote for the same bill because they are also trying to get something done, they are still considered part of the problem, or evil, or badly intentioned because they are presumed to have voted for the good parts reluctantly and the bad parts eagerly.

                  Bernie only ever does the wrong thing for the right reasons. And HRC only ever does the right thing for the wrong reasons. This is straight up evangelical thinking and it gave us the entire discussion of Torture, during the early Bush years, as “something we did do, but something we didn’t want to do, that wasn’t reflective of who we are.”

                  Bernie is a politician. He negotiates, he bargains, he gives stuff away, he sided with the NRA over and over again in order to stay in power. Sure, he did it to do good stuff or whatever. But he did it. To me that is neither a badge of honor nor disgrace. But I’m dumbfounded that the Bernie people can hold two such contradictory visions of both their candidate and of politics in their heads at the same time. Well, I’m not really. Its totally natural. You like your candidate and so everything he does is good. You dislike the other candidate so everything she does is bad, or from bad motives.

                • When other people vote for the same bill because they are also trying to get something done, they are still considered part of the problem, or evil, or badly intentioned because they are presumed to have voted for the good parts reluctantly and the bad parts eagerly.

                  Presumed?

                  The White House and Joe Biden wrote the bill. They decided to put the crime-control elements in there. They then lobbied for that bill, cut deals to get support for it, and went out and lauded it after it passed. They then wrote and supported the Anti-Terrorism and Death Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which Sanders and other liberals voted against. But it’s an unfair “presumption” to conclude that the centrists actually supported those policies, while the liberals opposed them.

                  I’m sorry you’re so weak on the history, Aimai. Not everyone is. Some of us have actually educated ourselves about who did what during that period.

                  Your little rant about who’s biased is a remarkable bit of projection.

                • Here’s what Sanders was saying about the crime bill in 1994.

                  Here’s the vote on the conference report for the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. It passed, despite the votes of 86 Democrats and 1 Independent (guess who!) and Bill Clinton signed it.

                  It is not bias, it is not unfair picking on you and your candidate, to know this history.

                  Just noting that two figures are politicians isn’t good enough. Sometimes, as with various stripes of Democrats and 1990s “tough on crime” policy, some of them are considerably, demonstrably better than others. We should laud them for this, not disappear that history down the memory hole for the sake of a momentary partisan convenience.

                • Not everything is about lauding people. I’m not really interested in bragging rights for my candidate. Bernie’s a good guy. He’s not the greatest guy ever and he has made mistakes like anyone else. And he will make bigger mistakes when he has (if he has) a bigger job to do. I don’t–and many people don’t–feel that the Crime bill is dispositive one way or another w/r/t Hillary Clinton v. Bernie. As you noted below you aren’t even taaaaaaaalking about caaaaaandidates like Hillary, since she didn’t vote for the bill, so how does it factor into your calculations about Bernie over Hillary anyhow?

                • I don’t–and many people don’t–feel that the Crime bill is dispositive one way or another w/r/t Hillary Clinton v. Bernie. As you noted below you aren’t even taaaaaaaalking about caaaaaandidates like Hillary, since she didn’t vote for the bill, so how does it factor into your calculations about Bernie over Hillary anyhow?

                  Because it speaks quite well of Bernie that he was so far ahead of the entire Democratic establishment. Sometimes, it actually is about lauding people. Remember back when you could make affirmative cases for a candidate on the merits of what they’ve done? I still get to do that.

                  Since you insist on dragging Hillary Clinton into it, fine: Hillary Clintno’s obnoxious supporters should knock off their amoral, disgusting efforts to erase Bernie Sanders’ laudable record. They do it over and over again.

          • kped

            I used to like Taibi a lot…but after reading a long profile of his time in Russia, and seeing his constant sexist insults of Clinton (seriously, you’re going to compare her to a cackling witch every time she laughs? That’s OK?), I’ve about given up on him.

            And he still writes as if the young mostly white Bernie supporters are the “base” and the only people the Dem establishment should be listening to. It’s such a huge blind spot for the other parts of the Democratic coalition who are in fact not enamored by Sanders. But they don’t count in Taibi world.

            • Origami Isopod

              Taibbi is a nasty piece of dudebro work. He’s done some good pieces on Wall Street, and I appreciate that he’s done them, but he’s not someone I choose to read.

              • kped

                And like all dudebros, totally unable to take what he dishes out. When he was interviewed about his time in Russia, he nearly fought the interviewer in a cafe because the guy didn’t like his book or something childish. It’s amazing how thin skinned some people are, even more so when they make their living on the highest of high horses lobbing grenades at every target.

              • kped

                Even his Wall Street stuff leaves a lot to be desired. He was on the “OMG QE will doom ussssss!” wagon for many years, while legit economists like Krugman and Delong actually explained what was going on and what the results would be…

                …let’s just say the real economists got that one right, while the guys in Taibi’s camp looked like hack conspiracy theorists.

            • Yes, I like Taibbi’s writing now he’s back in the US but I read that profile, and another one somewhere, and the guy is really, really, really, a creepy misogynist and willingly sought sex with teenage girls in the Russia in a way that is pretty much no different from abusive sex tourism and borderline sex abuse of minors.

            • I never liked Taibbi.

              He’s a very good reporter and brings ups important facts, but when he switches from reporting facts to telling us what they mean, his analysis is always, invariably, “See? This proves that I was right all along!”

    • To be it didn’t matter who won the 2000 election.

      I mean, both parties are the same, amiright?

      Remember “Gush and Bore”?

      Please excuse me. I know it’s early but just remembering that made we want to start drinking.

      • N__B

        Remember “Gush and Bore”?

        Remember “the end of history”? Good times, good times…where’s my bottle…

      • Hogan

        Must be 10 am somewhere.

  • Nobdy

    Also he can’t tell the difference between the life expectancy of an 83 year old and a 63 year old. He’s like a toddler. “Old is old! Once you hit 45 you’re basically dead anyway.!”

    I know that the Insane Clown Posse gets quoted to the point of cliche around LGM, but to paraphrase the barkers of the Dark Carnival, “$#%÷ing actuarial tables, how do they work?”

    P.S. And I don’t want to talk to no actuary, y’all muckerfudgers always calculatin’, which don’t make me merry.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    In other words… he doesn’t understand:

    1. The justices are of different ages and have different risks of dying. Sure, Elena Kagan could be the next one to die, but it’s rather unlikely.

    2. Given that, the opportunity to shift the median vote on the court is not always equally at stake.

    3. Since Scalia is already fucking dead, we [i]know[/i] that the median vote will be shifted if Democrats hold the White House and regain the Senate. So, let’s put the chance at 100-fucking-%.

    A minor point he doesn’t get, additionally, is
    4. Merrick Garland will most likely not be confirmed to the court, and whoever does get confirmed will most likely be significantly younger than him.

    • Scott Lemieux

      4. Merrick Garland will most likely not be confirmed to the court, and whoever does get confirmed will most likely be significantly younger than him.

      Well, yes, but then you’d have to acknowledge that there will be a crucial Supreme Court vacancy for the next president to fill, and then Paste would have wasted an entire year’s all caps rant budget for nothing.

      • kped

        I argued with one of the Salon clones on Twitter about this (and Mr Ryan also posts these same articles on Salon, hide your surprise!), and they assured me that Republicans would be forced somehow to confirm whomever Obama nominated….for reasons…

        It’s all so very stupid.

      • Ahuitzotl

        oh dont be ridiculous – Paste has a huuuge budget for all caps rants, surely: think of all the money they save on writer quality, after all

    • Schadenboner

      3. Since Scalia is already fucking dead, we know that the median vote will be shifted if Democrats hold the White House and regain the Senate. So, let’s put the chance at 100-fucking-%.

      Either this or we’ll find out what it’s like to live in a country with several mutually contradictory yet equally valid/legal/precidential constitutional interpretations and no way to decide between them.

      (Removed DHCP thing because you could have competing/overlapping DHCP servers (courts of appeal) running on separate vlans (federal districts), as long as they can’t broadcast outside the vlan, although there’s very little obvious reason that you would want this, for a system of constitutional interpretation or for an IP schema.)

      • BubbaDave

        (Removed DHCP thing because you could have competing/overlapping DHCP servers (courts of appeal) running on separate vlans (federal districts), as long as they can’t broadcast outside the vlan, although there’s very little obvious reason that you would want this, for a system of constitutional interpretation or for an IP schema.)

        I missed the perfect opportunity to leverage my IT nerdery in service of political nerdery. I’m going to go have a good cry now.

    • Thrax

      Merrick Garland will most likely not be confirmed to the court

      For further evidence that he will not be confirmed by the current Senate in a lame-duck session, we have this:

      http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/kansas-republican-faces-fierce-far-right-backlash#break

      …a hysterically over-the-top reaction to Moran’s suggestion that a hearing be held, even though Moran made it clear that he would vote against Garland. (And presumably would vote against cloture.) Note that the right-wing forces denouncing Moran aren’t even Kansas-based–these are national right-wing pressure groups. It strikes me as incredibly unlikely that there are 14 GOP senators willing to buck this kind of pressure not only to do what Moran did–say that a hearing should be held–but to go much further and vote to confirm. Maybe some of the ones that lose in November might do so if they don’t care about their future in the GOP (e.g., Kirk), but there aren’t going to be 14 of those.

      • We could take a lesson from the far right when it comes to pressuring our Senators. If the bernie voters become engaged in massive numbers and are willing, once we have a President, to fight this hard to primary Senators from the left, we would be in great shape going into either a Clinton or a Sanders presidency.

  • JMP

    “this is the kind of reasoning with which Homer Simpson has been making America laugh for more than 20 years”

    Well, it’s the kind of reasoning with which Homer Simpson made America laugh for eleven years, the last two of which were fairly uneven; but as for what came later – well I for one like to pretend that the show ended after the year 2000 rather than become a travesty of a shell of its’ former self.

    • There’s something amusing about people using Simpsons purity trolling in a thread about political purity trolling.

      • N__B

        If someone disagrees with the definition of purity trolling, we may get to see purity trolling purity trolling. Briefly, before a black hole opens and swallows the earth.

        • LosGatosCA

          I’m thinking that the folks in the fourth round of the ninth circle will be saying this when Dick Cheney arrives:

          So he shot some old guy in the face. A war criminal? He wasn’t even the guy actually giving the orders. Christ, Rasputin is only in round two. Semi-responsible for killing a few hundred thousand people and displacing millions? Hitler and Stalin did that in a bad month.

          There goes the. neighborhood

        • Ahuitzotl

          Briefly, before a black hole opens and swallows the earth

          Some say this has already happened :p

  • Cheerful

    There’s an oddly self pitying tone to Mr. Ryan’s point. Well I guess not all that odd given the source:

    Now, I fully admit that this is a theory. I hope it’s informed, but I know it’s uncertain. Donald Trump could abolish elections and burn the country to the ground, or Ted Cruz could install cameras in every home and turn American into a nightmarish version of 1984. I’m not asking you to believe in my theory. If you believe that it’s idiotic or naive—as many will—then go ahead and obliterate me. What I am asking you to believe is that I believe it. That’s a critical distinction here, because while I can accept counter-arguments, I won’t accept the disingenuous notion that my opposition to Hillary Clinton is based on willful privilege, and a blithe indifference toward the suffering of other Americans.

    It cannot be possible that his indifference to suffering is blithe, or his exercise of privilege is willful, because he really believes in his theory about how it will all work out for the best with Trump or Cruz in charge. So don’t all you small minded people accuse him otherwise.

    And I note the falsity of political metaphor or perhaps the extent to which the virtual becomes real for some people. Strong criticism is not the same as “obliteration” or strong arming. Strong arming is when you’re in a crowd and a large guy grabs your arm and forces you places you don’t want to go. Like Trump’s people do. As for obliteration. Well actual examples of obliteration, sometimes practiced as carpet bombing,aren’t hard to find.

    • Hogan

      Bill James calls it the John McEnroe defense: “This doesn’t count as acting like an asshole because I really believe that ball was out.”

    • rea

      What I am asking you to believe is that I believe it.

      No, man–you can’t possibly be that stupid.

      • It really stings when your voting choice, if you are a spoiler, makes you objectively pro-Trump.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Premature anti-Trumpist!!!

          • N__B

            “Premature anti-Trumpist!!!,” Tom ejaculated.

            • Where, oh where, is the “ewww” button.**

              Also–has anyone here seen GATZ? the staged reading of the Great Gatsby? It takes about nine hours but it is absolutely riveting. And N_B’s comment reminds me that of course Tom Buchanan would be a natural Trump voter?

              “Civilisation is going to pieces” “If we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged”

              Can’t find the better ones, but this quote will do.

              • Hogan

                “And what’s more, I love Ivana Marla Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.”

                • Yeah, I saw that one too. Its so perfect! Oh, btw, Hogan, I know you guys frequently dart off for the day. I highly recommend a wonderful play that I just saw in New York. It was so wonderful I wanted to sit through it twice. It is called “Familiar” and it was just written up a couple of weeks ago in the New Yorker. Just a marvellous play. The audience was totally with the actors the whole way.

                • Hogan

                  Thanks for the tip, Aimai. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get up there before it closes, but it looks like something the Wilma Theater (where we get season tickets) might do in a couple of years.

                  ETA: And Michonne writes plays! How much ass does that kick?

            • wjts

              I believe the correct formulation is “Tom ejaculated immediately”.

        • cleek

          the very telling part is when they skip the “objective” stuff and go straight to “Trump is actually to the left of Hillary on many important issues!”

          that person is either:
          a) a Trump supporter trolling
          b) an actual single-issue voter (and that issue is usually TPP/trade)
          c) committed to hating a caricature of Clinton out of over-zealous love of Sanders

    • Murc

      I’m gonna be honest. This seems like a reasonable ask on his part.

      Something that I hate when people do it to me, and I mean hate, with a white-hot passion, is the assumption of bad faith on my part. I really loathe having to prove that no, really, I actually believe something, sometimes over the course of an exhaustive argument, before I can even begin to discuss the actual, you know, substance of my views.

      It thus doesn’t seem unreasonable for Mr. Ryan to demand the same thing. I confess to knowing not much about him. For all I know, he has a track record of extreme mendacity and thus has forfeited the right of people assuming he’s not being disingenuous. But generally speaking he is asking for something I demand for myself, so I have no problem granting it.

      Especially since clobbering him on the actual substance of his views is pretty easy to begin with.

      • Hogan

        I think my problem is the notion that really really believing it excludes the possibility of “willful privilege, and a blithe indifference toward the suffering of other Americans.” Especially since he’s loading the dice there with “willful” and “blithe.” (Much like the “It’s racist only if it’s conscious and intentional” argument.)

        • djw

          Right. That’s very often how privilege works; in enables sincere yet reckless beliefs (or actions).

          • Murc

            That’s a very different thing than being disingenuous or not actually caring about the consequences of your actions, though. Having sincere yet reckless beliefs simply makes you… wrong.

            And there’s a difference between “wrong” and “dishonest and callous.”

            • Origami Isopod

              Nah. You can be sincerely callous.

            • I think you can be wrong and honestly callous–the problem he is having is that its been pointed out to him so on top of being potentially wrong he is discovering that to maintain his wrongness he also has to become increasingly thick skinned. He’s asking everyone else to spot him his belief that his issues/ideas/choices in the election can be innocent of any harm that results because his intentions were pure, or at any rate his intentions were so solipsitic that he was unaware of their effect on another vulnerable but quite wellknown population. Its ok not to know how your vote is going to effect some little known lichen in the far corner of the world. Its not ok to pretend not to know how your vote is going to effect the men and women, minorities, LGBTQ, people around you right now, who are trying to tell you.

            • LosGatosCA

              evil or stupid?

              No partial credit for advocating for evil just because you are stupid.

            • TroubleMaker13

              And there’s a difference between “wrong” and “dishonest and callous.”

              Yeah, but that difference evaporates pretty quickly when the subject responds to any and all reasoned critique by sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling “LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”.

        • so-in-so

          It’s like my pet peeve, “just sayin'”. No matter how stupid, insulting, racist or whatever my comment is, you can’t criticize it because I said “just sayin'” afterwards.

          Its my opinion, or I “really believe” it, so don’t you dare tell me it is stupid or nonsensical (because that would hurt MY feelings). Really? well, that idea is stupid – too.

      • witlesschum

        I put the burden elsewhere. I think it just functionally has to be on the speaker who’s trying to convince people of something to convince the listener of his or her good faith. And if you, like this guy, know you’re arguing something fairly outre, then that goes double. You don’t know if I’m saying a thing in good faith, after all, and since I know that you can’t know, I should at least try my best to demonstrate it. To just demand good faith up front seems like imposing to me.

        If I’m trying to persuade you of something, I should persuade you of that first of all. Demanding an assumption of good faith just isn’t how it works, to my mind. And this dude’s statement seems like working the refs for a foul call, rather than just trying to score a basket.

        • Murc

          I don’t think I could live life assuming that everyone speaking to me is speaking in bad faith until proven otherwise. That seems borderline nihilistic. It’s a lot more cynical than I’d care to be, at any rate.

          • witlesschum

            Nor would I. But I also don’t think the idea that anyone should go around assuming bad faith follows from saying it’s on the person speaking to demonstrate good faith. Besides what I already said about it being inherent to convincing people of something, I think it’s just fairer to do that work yourself, rather than demanding the other person does it.

            In most interactions, it’s not a thing, but in ones where some show of good faith might be helpful or needed, I think the person who needs it should go out of their way to get it, not just demand it like the quote above.

          • Brien Jackson

            I don’t get what bad faith has to do with anything. Sincerely meant or not, it’s still the case that the author exists in a very privileged state to think that filling Scalia’s replacement won’t have massive consequences, and he’s entirely dismissive of anyone arguing with him on the merits, even people who will be directly impacted as such, which sure sounds like blithe dismissal to me.

            • so-in-so

              But he sincerely believes it, so we mustn’t complain…

          • Ahuitzotl

            idk about everyone speaking to me, but I assume that everyone speaking in a public forum, is speaking strategically – which is not necessarily in bad faith, but often is. Depending on the fora, often gets bumped up to generally

    • Scott Lemieux

      And the key problem here is that it’s just completely non-responsive to the privilege critique. I have no doubt that he believes playing heighten-the-contradictions will be better for the country. It doesn’t change the point that he’s not the class of person who will be getting screwed if his dumb theory is wrong.

      • Murc

        Is there a way to respond to that critique? Substantively, I mean?

        Because it’s a critique that applies to tons of people. Bernie Sanders will not get screwed if his political and policy theories are wrong. Neither will Hillary or Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. How do you respond to that beyond “Yes, you’re correct; if I’m wrong I won’t be screwed in the slightest. But I don’t think I’m wrong.”

        • Brien Jackson

          Well, I mean, you kind of have to start by extending a huge amount of deference to, say, women when they tell you that a Republican administration will be terrible for them. it is, in fact, quite privileged when white dudes refuse to listen to women and people of color when they tell them what’s in their own interests.

  • alex284

    I find it interesting that we could go from the KKK targeting Jews, the right making fun of FDR by making his name sound Jewish, JFK having to give a speech about how he wouldn’t be beholden to the Pope just because he came from the wrong branch of Christianity, and Nixon’s extreme anti-semitism, to this:

    and a 74-year-old white guy from a small, unrepresentative rural state isn’t the ideal candidate on paper to make a challenge from the left

    Being Jewish went from barring someone from being president to being so utterly banal that who cares about electing the first Jewish president without the US ever, you know, actually electing a Jewish president in between. All in a few decades.

    Not disagreeing, I think there is some truth to that statement, it’s more just interesting to note how things have changed.

    Or maybe not and if he were a stronger candidate for other reasons people would have paid more attention to the possible historic first that his candidacy represented in the same way they noted Obama’s and Clinton’s. I just doubt it.

    • JohnT

      We’ll see. Clinton has never been really squeezed by Bernie, and hasn’t had to go to the mattresses, and equally I don’t think she’d ever deliberately use anti-Semitic dog whistles.

      Trump and Cruz on the other hand would be fighting her for the votes of old white voters, not young ones, and I think they’d blow that dog whistle so hard all our ears would bleed. That will give us all plenty of opportunity to find out whether enough Americans are anti- anti-Semitic

    • Thom

      If he becomes the nominee, the media at least will make a very big deal of his Jewishness. Whether it is actually an issue with anyone who might consider voting for a Democrat, I don’t know.

    • It’s interesting, because I remember when Gore chose Lieberman as his running mate, the media made a huge deal out of his being the first Jew with a path to the presidency. Certainly the Israeli press made a much bigger deal out of it than they’ve been making of Sanders.

      • N__B

        Lieberman makes a point of presenting as Jewish in public, which Sanders does not. Given his anglo name, I suspect there are a fair number of people who don’t realize he’s Jewish. I personally don’t know if he’s religious at all, because I’ve never heard him discuss the topic.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          somewhere (not here) I read speculation that Sanders might be our most openly irreligious major Presidential candidate

          • Hogan

            “I don’t know why people are complaining–Jack is such a bad Catholic.”
            –Jacqueline Kennedy

          • alex284

            Trump would have had a good chance at that title since I doubt he’s religious and I don’t think most of his supporters care. But he’s decided to pretend that he goes to church each week and that he collects bibles because he’s just that christian. Oh well.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Speaking of “presenting as Jewish in public”, a couple of days ago I learned from one of my fellow residents (aged 93) at the Old Fogies’ Home that she had once tried, unsuccessfully, to make a match between one of her daughters and Sandy Koufax.

          • N__B

            unsuccessfully

            Her daughter couldn’t hit his curve?

            • CJColucci

              Who could? Except maybe Bob Uecker.

      • Am I the only one who thinks that 1) Sanders will get his shitload of antisemitism in the general and 2) he will get it from the right as a matter of course, the old fashioned kind and from the left if he wobbles at all from a strong anti-Israel and anti-other-Jews in American politics situations? There is an strong anti-semitism on the left that is anti-israel/pro palestinian and it comes out in attacks on particular jews in politics (who may be awful people, by the way) such as Chuck Schumer or DWS. I, like Bernie, am a secular Jew. I have zero use for Israel and do not support (and never have) supported pro-Israel US policies. However I think Bernie and his supporters are kidding themselves if they think that there isn’t a shit ton of old fashioned anti semistism in the Democratic party or if they think that being ostensibly anti israel doesn’t merely affirm that and redirect that towards other Jews. Anti semitism, as gamergate should have shown us with the atttacks on Anita Sarkeesian which are just reformulated pictures of evil jews from Nazi propaganda, is a free floating thing at this point, very easily combined with lots of other attitudes towards (for example) big banks and oligarchy.

        • N__B

          Sarkeesian is a fascinating case, seeing as how she’s not Jewish. The anti-semites are so intent on their hatred that it doesn’t seem to matter who their target is.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Classically, restrictive covenants often treated Jews and Armenians alike; I think that for many purposes they’re equivalent.

            • N__B

              Huh. I guess my day’s over, now that I’ve learned something new.

              • Women are the jews of the world, in the MRA/gamergater mythology. They are owners of capital assets (the pussy) that refuse to submit to the worker’s demands.

        • witlesschum

          As much as the cry wolf effect from Israel’s fan club does make me want to dismiss things like this, I do remember meeting antisemites upon going to college in the mid-1990s. A few people from the rich Detroit burbs didn’t like Jews and the attitude was seemingly non-shocking to encounter to for the other people from around there who didn’t share it. Whether any of those guys are voting Democrat, I don’t know.

          • Origami Isopod

            There’s plenty of antisemitism around on the left, and just as the Likudnik types use it as an excuse, so do some lefties use Zionism as an excuse to be antisemitic.

          • There’s plenty of genteel, cultural, antisemitism around that has nothing to do with Israel (if anything, Israel and notions of Jewish Machismo probably submerged or altered the kind of anti semitism that is based on authoritarian rejection of weakness/feminity/gayness).

            We have lovely, lovely, friends who were at our child’s birthday party years ago and they were telling the (very funny) story of how awful their neighbors were and the husband wound up his story by saying happilly that they would get their revenge on the awful neighbors by “selling the house to a Jewish Lawyer!” It was so natural for him, something he must have thought so normal, that it didn’t even occur to them that they were saying it in the house of Jews although they certainly knew that we were.

        • Arouet

          Quite possibly. However, we’ll almost certainly never know.

      • alex284

        Part of the issue is probably that the press has generally been ignoring Sanders entirely, except when it needs a Democratic equivalent of Trump. Lieberman, on the other hand, was the Democratic equivalent of McCain and the media loved him before he was Gore’s VP pick.

        Again, like I said, if Sanders were on a path to win the primary, maybe this would all be different. But that’s not the feeling I’m getting since I remember people talking about Obama’s historic first well before it was sure that he would get the nomination.

  • alex284

    About Berners not wanting to vote Clinton in the general, though, I’ll just remind everyone about how Clinton supporters were never going to vote for Obama in the general because he was going to destroy the party. They even came up with a name for themselves, those folks.

    I doubt many of them followed through. But part of the stupid of Democratic presidential primaries, apparently, includes a ritual of saying that you’ll never vote for the other candidate when it becomes clear that they’re going to win but before they’re actually declared the winner at the convention. Clinton’s PUMAs in 2008 were going to vote for McCain, Bernie’s supporters in 2016 are apparently all going to vote third party or something. Then they cool down, realize that the candidate they demonized for several months isn’t as bad as the GOP candidate currently being demonized, and they’re back.

    So I disagree with the “how can he be so privileged” comments here because I think it’s more “how can he be so dumb and angry?” Like, demonizing Trump makes sense because he actually is a demon who will do horrible things. But why do Democratic primary races have to present the differences between candidates as if they’re as deep as the differences between Dems and the GOP?

    • Cheerful

      I agree, the power of personal grievance can be strong in its time, but most often temporary. I knew an accomplished woman lawyer in 2008, in her 50’s with a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt in her office, who came back from the Washington state caucuses that year spitting in fury at the young smug, patronizing Obamanians at her site that year who pushed around the older Clinton supporters and demonstrated no understanding of history or reality and were generally rude. You could not mention “Obama” around the office for weeks afterwards without generating yelling.

      Inauguration Day, she organized the setting up chairs in the break room, and told the staff to take an hour off, so everyone could watch his speech.

      • Exactly. They throw a great convention, we see some great speeches that remind us of who we are as Democrats, the balloons fall, and it’s all good.

        Both the threats of not voting for the nominee, and the claims that the other candidate’s supporters won’t vote for the nominee, are expressions of an ephemeral rancor.

      • alex284

        I knew 2 PUMAs in 2008. One was emailing really stupid anti-Obama stuff during the primary (like about his CLOSE TIES with the CHICAGO MAFIA) and turned into a strong Obama supporter right after the convention. The other said he would vote McCain for a while (I don’t remember exactly when) and has since been a strong supporter of Obama.

        Obviously, I don’t know how either of them voted, but I suspect they both came around.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      About Berners not wanting to vote Clinton in the general, though, I’ll just remind everyone about how Clinton supporters were never going to vote for Obama in the general because he was going to destroy the party. They even came up with a name for themselves, those folks.

      Well at least this is the right analogy.

      Just as there never were many actual “PUMAs” (i.e. Clinton voters who would refuse to vote for Obama) in 2008, I’m unconvinced that there are many Bernie-or-Busters in 2016.

      The more interesting question is why we spend so much energy converting a handful of idiots into an imaginary broader social phenomenon, while in the process giving them more space to air their idiocy.

      I think it’s a combination of a number of factors:

      1) The popularity of stab-in-the-back narratives to explain electoral / policy defeats. You see versions of this on both the left and the right. And of course, the H.A. Goodmans of the world are promoting their own version of this narrative (i.e. we elect Democrats and they betray us).

      2) An understandable desire to circle the wagons around a winning primary candidate that unfortunately leads to the suggestion that the supporters of the losing candidate are all traitors-in-waiting, who need to express their loyalty to the winning candidate immediately, lest they appear to be among the idiot, traitorous dead-enders who will refuse to vote for anybody but their losing primary candidate.

      3) Political drama is always exciting.

      This has been an overwhelmingly issue-oriented Democratic primary, especially compared to the Republican primary. Of course, each campaign has had its better and worse moments. And some of the more zealous supporters of both Clinton and Sanders have, on occasion, said idiotic things about the other candidate and his or her supporters. In general, I’d rather draw attention to the substantive differences between Clinton and Sanders and ignore the idiots in both camps.

      Thus, my feeling is that the Goodmans and Ryans of the world are best ignored. They certainly don’t need more attention tossed their way. But there’s nothing too terribly wrong with pointing out that idiots are being idiotic. The problems arise when one suggests that Goodman or Ryan speak for a large group of voters or that the handful of voters they do speak for are in anyway representative of the nearly half of Democratic voters who prefer Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton.

      • alex284

        Well at least this is the right analogy.

        Krugman, on his blog a month ago, compared Sanders’s campaign to Nader’s, and I’ve seen it pop up a few other places.

        Let it not be said that Sanders’ supporters have a monopoly on stupidity in this primary.

    • Arouet

      I basically agree with you, and was an Obama supporter in ’08, but I will note that considering a vote for McCain over Obama vs. a vote for Trump over Clinton hardly deserve the same level of moral opprobrium. It’s still very bad, but not “we might end up in a fascist dictatorship” bad.

      • alex284

        I think they have a right to be disappointed and to express that disappointment in stupid ways on the internet. If a substantial number of Dems is saying the same thing after the convention, then I’ll join in the moral opprobrium.

        • Arouet

          Well of course that’s true, so long as expressing that disappointment doesn’t take the form of encouraging others not to vote for the Democratic candidate in the general. Because especially for people with any kind of following, it’s hard to walk back those sentiments individually to everyone who might not get the memo that they’re not to be taken seriously.

          Not accusing you or anyone else here of such, but certain columnists such as the one referenced above….

    • Origami Isopod

      So I disagree with the “how can he be so privileged” comments here because I think it’s more “how can he be so dumb and angry?”

      It’s an and/both thing.

      • alex284

        And I was disagreeing with one.

        Unless someone has polling data with good demographic break-outs on bernie-or-busters, I’m going to remain skeptical. There is so much “Anyone who disagrees with me is just too privileged to understand Real America” in American politics (from both the left and the right) that it can’t all possibly be true and ends up just being toxic.

        And, no, a survey of a couple Salon writers (n=3 or whatever) doesn’t count.

  • N__B

    No matter how many times I read this

    STOP TRYING TO STRONG-ARM SANDERS SUPPORTERS INTO VOTING BECAUSE SOME SUPREME COURT SEATS MAY BE UP FOR GRABS. JUST STOP. THEY ARE ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS UP FOR GRABS. YES, SOME OF THE JUSTICES MIGHT DIE. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE MIGHT HAPPEN? NONE OF THEM MAY DIE. WE HAVE NO IDEA, SO WHY SHOULD THAT DICTATE OUR VOTE?

    the meaning comes across as “I think Sanders is less likely to win than Clinton but I like him more.” That’s fine, if that’s how you feel, but it’s not a convincing argument as to why someone else should vote Sanders or why someone else shouldn’t try to convince you to vote Clinton. I mean, at least the commenters at dkos think Sanders is ahead when they make their arguments.

    • Matt McIrvin

      It’s worse than that, because it’s not an argument for voting for anyone in the primary; it’s specifically an argument for letting Donald Trump win the general election if Sanders is not nominated.

      • N__B

        Yeah…I was too tired to plumb the depths of that when I commented.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Ha! Just go ahead and try to plumb depths after someone has eaten all the lead pipes.

  • Brien Jackson

    I’ve said it before, but beyond the young political newcomers, who in my experience generally don’t represent this subset of Bernie supporter at all (even if youth what you have here is the Sirota/Stoller crowd running headfirst into the undeniable reality that they aren’t THE BASE of the Democratic Party at all, that their views aren’t that widely shared among Democratic voters, and that they’re never going to be the left equivalent of the conservative media and get the money and influence that comes with it. It’s only going to get worse once Clinton secures a majority of elected delegates.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Yup, this.

    • Matt McIrvin

      I console myself with the thought that if this lot really is who we’re dealing with here, they won’t be particularly consequential in the election, unless this is a photo-finish freakshow on the level of 2000 (and most indications are that it won’t be; either the Republicans are stuck with a nominee so loathsome that even someone with as large a hate-fandom as Hillary Clinton can beat him running away, or they install somebody else against the wishes of their own voters, causing an internal revolt dwarfing anything a die-hard Berniebro could manage).

      Bernie Sanders’ supporters are above 40% nationwide among Democrats. There is no way all these people are H. A. Goodmans in the making. They’re just not.

      H. A. Goodman apparently was declaiming that he was going to vote for Rand Paul until Sanders came along.

    • Meh. The PUMAs weren’t drawn from political neophytes, either, and they melted away almost entirely after the 2008 primary wound down, defying the expectation of some that they would be a problem.

    • The thing is that I’m a potential Bernie voter–I almost voted for him in MA. It was basically a coin toss, for me. I like both of them. I think they both have great things to offer. In th eend, on balance, I preferred HRc and felt that hte particular strengths she has to offer as President outweighed the cool things Bernie was saying, or how cool it would be for me personally to, essentially, see someone like my grandfathers become President. If the majority of Bernie voters aren’t, basically, Democrats choosing between two nominees of their own party in a totally conventional race then we are doomed. Because if they were somehow all to be actual independents and novices they wouldn’t have the sitzfleisch to last out the battle against Trump.

      • Pseudonym

        If I had to choose a candidate based on whose supporters turned me off the least I’d vote for Dr. Jill Stein. (Only because I haven’t actually encountered any of her supporters.)

  • sleepyirv

    Now, I fully admit that this is a theory. I hope it’s informed, but I know it’s uncertain. Donald Trump could abolish elections and burn the country to the ground, or Ted Cruz could install cameras in every home and turn American into a nightmarish version of 1984. I’m not asking you to believe in my theory. If you believe that it’s idiotic or naive—as many will—then go ahead and obliterate me. What I am asking you to believe is that I believe it. That’s a critical distinction here, because while I can accept counter-arguments, I won’t accept the disingenuous notion that my opposition to Hillary Clinton is based on willful privilege, and a blithe indifference toward the suffering of other Americans.

    “Sure, I weigh the dangers of a Cruz/Trump Presidency differently than a Black or Latino voter, but it’s no way because the worst case scenario means actual consequences for them and mild inconvenience for me. Perish, PERISH the thought!”

    • I think that “Ted Cruz Nightmare Scenario” is really funny because n one I know thinks that the worst thing about Ted Cruz is that he might have the wrong attidutes about NSA and snooping on citizens. Its that he has hellish attitudes towards women, autonomy, health care, immigrants, the imprisoned, the separation of church and state and etc…etc..etc…Its such a “tell” that this person doesn’t take seriously the issues that are actually facing men and women under the rule of the Republicans.

      • N__B

        Cruz’s suggestion on how to deal with “terrorists” is, pretty much, to enact the Nuremberg Laws. So, yeah, the NSA shit matters but is nowhere near the top of the list.

      • Matt McIrvin

        My experience of modern not-a-dime’s-worth-of-difference folk is that they have a strong tendency to regard everything other than military and security policy as unimportant, and they also have a strongly selective view of that, focused on whatever specific thing will allow them to maintain that Democrats are as bad as or worse than Republicans. I think it’s valuable to keep up pressure on Democrats to be better than they are, but not to the extent that you forget what the stakes are when there actually is an election.

        • cleek

          this year, it seems to be trade (represented by TPP) that has all the armchair anarchists in a frenzy.

      • witlesschum

        Yeah, if your “Supreme Court? That old thing?” arguments don’t deal directly with the things a Republican court would get rid of given the chance (abortion, gay rights, equality between the sexes generally, union rights, the ACA, the rest of the Voting Rights Act, who knows?), then it’s fallacious bullshit.

      • When I think about Cruz maybe getting elected, it’s almost enough to make me wish Perot had won so we could have had a national reaction of revulsion and moved on, instead of letting things build until it was entrenched.

  • Manny Kant

    That goes double for an election in which neither Sanders’s “political revolution” nor Clinton’s pragmatist incrementalism are going to make any headway with a Republican House.

    Well…at the moment Trump appears to be such a disaster that he might even put the House in play.

  • Gregor Sansa

    Can we have a conversation about how Sanders had a really good day on Saturday, and his chances of actually winning have come back up from “not bloody likely” to “not very likely”? I was quick to give up on Sanders when Clinton began to dramatically overperform her targets in the South, because generalizing across the region I saw that it would amount to the near-insurmountable lead she has. But if Bernie can rack up leads of over 40% in multiple remaining states, that is no longer so insurmountable.

    Furthermore, I think there’s no particular downside to a primary that comes down to the wire, no matter which way it ends up (as long as the superdelegates don’t decide; that is the one risk, but I think that the median superdelegate is wise enough to avoid that disaster.)

    • sleepyirv

      I think there’s a big downside if you’re a Bernie supporter: the sucking out of money that could be spent supporting progressives downticket. But otherwise, since this campaign has been relatively harmless, I imagine it will continue to be so.

      • I don’t think this is a downside at all. That money would never have gone to down ticket races. And the quantity of enthusiasm for Bernie has a quality all its own. The money wouldn’t have gone to down ticket races anyway because these people are not people who traditionally give money to politicians and certainly not to anything as unimportant or unexciting as down ticket races.

      • I don’t think this zero-sum thinking works. An exciting presidential race is the best thing that can happen for down-ticket races. Look at 2008: all sort of people were oh so very concerned that Hillary Clinton continuing to campaign hard would suck up the money for downticket races, but the outcome was that the Democrats in Congress had another wave year, after just having had one in 2006, and racked up gigantic majorities.

        • Cheerful

          Also, the fact that money is going to Bernie is a big encouragement, whatever happens, for future progressive candidates to make similar arguments and persist in them. The theory that cash can only be reliably raised by going to the same sources – corporations, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, tends to discourage some potential voices.

          • And, oh yeah, all those donors are now on a list. That tends to be good for future fund-raising.

            • Hogan

              Unless it’s Ralph Nader’s list, in which case fuck you guys.

              • Did he not share his list with the Green Party? That would be remarkably dickish of him.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Did he not share his list with the Green Party? That would be remarkably dickish of him.

                  He refused to even join the party. Of all the things that people projected onto Nader’s vacuous 2000 campaign, the idea that he was serious about party-building is the most bizarre.

          • EliHawk

            Also, the fact that money is going to Bernie is a big encouragement, whatever happens, for future progressive candidates to make similar arguments and persist in them. The theory that cash can only be reliably raised by going to the same sources – corporations, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, tends to discourage some potential voices.

            Except we didn’t really need Bernie to prove that. Obama was shocking the world at the power of small donor fundraising by the summer of 2007, when he was surprisingly matching, if not passing, Clinton’s totals. It’s been a known fact all the way back to Dean’s surprising fundraising pace in Summer ’03. The Presidential level Democratic party has had a tremendous small donor ATM for the last four cycles, long before anyone had heard of Bernie Sanders, and will probably still have it going forward: It’s one reason why the right’s been so protective if Citizens United: In ’08 Obama outspent McCain 2 to 1; in ’12 Romney’s inside and outside forces outspent Obama by relying on Koch/Rove groups (although the more efficient ad rates for campaigns vs. outside groups made it largely a wash.)

            • Obama’s small-donor fundraising success was largely discussed as something unique to him. Watching it happen again, and be discussed so much again, is important for demonstrating that very point about its longevity and broader application.

              Which is true about a lot of his bottom-up success in this campaign. It’s not just about him, but about a larger movement and trend.

        • Scott Lemieux

          I agree. A drawn-out Democratic Party primary is probably a net positive, particularly compared the opposing clown show.

    • Manny Kant

      But if Bernie can rack up leads of over 40% in multiple remaining states, that is no longer so insurmountable.

      Except that he basically can’t. He’s basically racked up these kinds of results only in caucuses. There’s two caucuses left – Wyoming and South Dakota, two of the smallest states in the country (plus Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, which he’ll lose). There’s absolutely no reason to think that he can do anything close to that in California, much less the closed primaries in the northeast which he’s almost certainly going to lose by decent margins.

      He may win Wisconsin and Oregon as well as the remaining caucus states and South Dakota. But even big wins there (and big, caucus style wins in Wisconsin and Oregon are unlikely) aren’t going to be enough even if he breaks even in California and the northeast.

      • Gregor Sansa

        That’s certainly a reasonable default position. But it is not out of the realm of possibility that he could overperform. It could be that California ends up coming out like King County.

      • I’ve said this elsewhere but I’ve been to Caucus. I was Caucus leader for Robert Reich when he ran for Governor. It was tremendous fun. It was extremely undemocratic in that it disenfranchised older disabled people, working people, people with young children, non white/new citizens. The person who did the best in our caucus was a young guy named Jesse. He was an older highschool student with a ton of friends who had just hit voting age. They came skeetering through the door and when we asked them who they were caucusing for they would say “Jesse! I came for Jesse!” They were uninformed and uninterested in politics but they came for their friend. He won the most votes on the first ballot and then they left and people who had the sitzfleisch to stay for several hours more ended up voting and getting their candidates through.

        I get that Bernie had a fantastic night and I’m proud of him and of his voters but in real terms how many actual voters in primary states voted vs. how many actual voters in caucus states voted? Can Bernie claim any kind of popular mandate in vote totals or is this still delgate count (in which he is, in fact, still behind?).

        • EliHawk

          I read that turnout in Washington was about 250,00 or so. By comparison, in Alabama, a smaller, less Democratic state, primary turnout was 396,000. So Sanders is prospering in very low turnout caucuses that won’t actually help popular vote legitimacy at all.

          With something like 2/3 of the states spoken, we know Bernie does very well in caucuses, better than average in Open Primaries and whiter states, and Hillary does best in closed primaries and diverse states. And right now, there’s a lot more of the latter remaining (and they’re bigger delegations) than the former. And he’s still 220 delegates behind.

          • You mean black states.

            Hillary certain didn’t do well in states with large Asian (Hawaii) or Native American (upper interior west) populations.

            • EliHawk

              And what did those states have in common? What part of “very well in caucuses” don’t you understand? Overwhelms the other variables. And HRC has done quite well in Florida, Texas, and Arizona: primaries in states that are diverse, with huge Latino populations.

              • What do that have in common? For the purpose of this exchange, they both have large people of color populations that aren’t black. You might notice, my reply was limited to your claim about Hillary winning in “diverse” states.

                There is no part of “very well in caucuses” I don’t understand, thanks. The notion that caucus vs. primary “overwhelms all other variables” is a bit of angry childishness because you got called out on a bad argument. You certainly didn’t think that when you made very sure to throw in the inaccurate point about racial breakdown in your comment – you clearly thought that variable was still significant then. Now, apparently, you with to disappear it.

                Do you really think Hillary Clinton would have lost Alabama if it was a caucus?

                • Manny Kant

                  What on earth is the basis for your claim that that “was the topic [EliHawk] originally wanted to discuss”? He said that Sanders does very well in caucuses (including Hawaii, Alaska, and most of the upper interior west), and also “better than average” in whiter states and in open primaries. The fact that he did well with non-white voters in Hawaii doesn’t refute that at all.

                  I believe that “the topic EliHawk originally wanted to discuss” is that Saners is highly unlikely to do well in the remaining states, and that *you* decided you’d better change the subject.

                • One of the topics he wanted to discuss. One he, not I, brought up.

                  I believe that “the topic EliHawk originally wanted to discuss” is that Saners is highly unlikely to do well in the remaining states, and that *you* decided you’d better change the subject.

                  I believe that you believe that. Let’s go to the tape:

                  With something like 2/3 of the states spoken, we know Bernie does very well in caucuses, better than average in Open Primaries and whiter states, and Hillary does best in closed primaries and diverse states.

                  In point of fact, Sanders performance in Hawaii refutes his claim quite directly. That claim. The one I bolded. The one I was responding to.

                  Pretty please, sirs, would it be ok if I replied to one of the points instead of that other one?

                • kped

                  Sorry Joe, but this is silly. your block quote proves what Manny Kant said. Stop this obsessive need to win an argument at all costs, in this case, you are wrong and should just move on. NOte the part right before your bold. “does very well in caucuses”. Stop ignoring the thing that you helpfully block quoted.

                • So, no I’m not allowed to talk about one of Manny’s points, only the other.

                  Thanks. Perhaps some standard of typeface demonstrating what parts of a comment can be replied to and what parts cannot could be introduced to head off such confusion.

                  Or perhaps, instead of the joe meta and psychobabble, we could actually get back to the substantive point that, no, Clinton does not do better in “states with diversity.” She does better in states with large black populations. The Asian and Native American vote (oh, and the Muslim vote) is going strongly for Sanders.

                  Whether that makes you “Sorry, joe” or not. It is what it is.

                • Manny Kant

                  That Sanders has done well in a couple of diverse caucus states does not really refute the point that, in general, Clinton does better in diverse states, and Sanders in whiter ones. Sanders apparently does better with Asians and Native Americans than he does with African Americans and Hispanics, but I don’t know that there’s enough evidence to say that Asians and Native Americans are “going strongly for Sanders.”

                • Yes, it does, because once again – this is really not a difficult point, and it would be nice if you could think about something other than scoring points on the internet – the relevant variable is not the whiteness of a state.

                  It is the lack of blackness. Given that African-Americans are not even the largest population of color in the country anymore, it would be better for you to be more precise in your thinking.

                • Manny Kant

                  What happened to Hispanics here? Sanders has done badly among Hispanics – 33% in Texas, 32% in Florida, and no real reason to think he’s doing much better anywhere else. Sanders regularly wins white voters, loses very badly with black voters, and struggles with Hispanics. We have very little date about Asians or Native Americans, except that very heavily Asian Hawaii supported Sanders by a landslide in a caucus. But Hawaiians aren’t much like continental Asians.

                  More broadly, you’re just arguing some weirdly narrow point that has nothing to do with anything and is completely irrelevant to the broader point.

                • kped

                  You’re allowed to talk about any point you want. But cherry picking parts of a sentence in a vain and pathetic attempt to “win” an argument that only you are having makes you look the fool. The first part of his statement isn’t invalidated by the rest. Sanders does great in caucuses. That’s not invalidated because Hawaii has a diverse Pacific Asian population.

                  Cut the tough guy “I’m always right” act, it’s so tired.

                • More broadly, you’re just arguing some weirdly narrow point that has nothing to do with anything and is completely irrelevant to the broader point.

                  You brought it up. And, in fact, you continue to argue it.

                  It’s a little late to complain about it now.

                  BTW, the best estimates put Sanders between 40 and 55% in Nevada. And please, don’t feel any need to hold forth on what But Hawaiians aren’t much like continental Asians means.

                  kped,

                  You’re allowed to talk about any point you want. But cherry picking parts of a sentence in a vain and pathetic attempt to “win” an argument that only you are having

                  You’re pathetic. Your incapacity to think beyond any terms than that is only a reflection on yourself, and has nothing to do with me. And your repeated insistence on subordinating any discussion of race in this campaign to the cheap point-scoring that is your only interest makes me sick.

                • kped

                  …you’ve now switched to “I know you are, but what am I”. I don’t think I need to continue here. Your sad quest to be “right” on the internet will have to go on with someone else on this one Joe.

                • I wrote about, and tried repeatedly to switch the discussion back to, an actual topic of substance.

                  Throwing some “but you’re just shilling” language on the end of your substance-free shilling doesn’t change that.

                  You haven’t written a single statement about the substantive point, and did you very best to flip the conversation back to horse shit every time I did.

                  Stay not upon your going, kped, but go.

                  Sorry, Manny. It’s just not going to be allowed to happen. Maybe next time.

                • Pseudonym

                  The notion that caucus vs. primary “overwhelms all other variables” is a bit of angry childishness because you got called out on a bad argument.

                  Or perhaps, instead of the joe meta and psychobabble, we could actually get back to the substantive point that, no, Clinton does not do better in “states with diversity.”

                  LOL.

                • That makes no sense. Those aren’t even written to the same commenter.

                  I’ve tried over and over again to get this back on topic. Thanks for the assist, Pseudo. Pretty awesome.

                • Pseudonym

                  You’re pathetic. Your incapacity to think beyond any terms than that is only a reflection on yourself, and has nothing to do with me. And your repeated insistence on subordinating any discussion of race in this campaign to the cheap point-scoring that is your only interest makes me sick.

                  Feel the substance and topicality!

                  Sorry, joe, it’s impossible to derail a trainwreck.

                • Oh, look, you can tight edit.

                  That’s so awesome.

                  BTW, the best estimates put Sanders between 40 and 55% in Nevada. And please, don’t feel any need to hold forth on what But Hawaiians aren’t much like continental Asians means.

                  Any thou…oh, wait a minute. Of course there aren’t.

                • Pseudonym

                  With something like 2/3 of the states spoken, we know Bernie does very well in caucuses, better than average in Open Primaries and whiter states, and Hillary does best in closed primaries and diverse states. And right now, there’s a lot more of the latter remaining (and they’re bigger delegations) than the former. And he’s still 220 delegates behind.

                  This was, I believe, the actual topic. If you have thoughts on how likely it is that the remaining states are going to push Sanders ahead in the delegate count based on your theory that he does better in less-black states rather than less-diverse states in general, feel free to share them.

                • If I wished to discuss Bernie Sanders’ path to the nomination, instead of the topic he raised about demographics, I would have.

                  I’m not shy about speaking my mind; you might have noticed that. I wished to speak it about the demographic issue, not the caucus issue. We almost, but not quite, managed to have a discussion about it through the trolling.

                • Pseudonym

                  If I wished to discuss the demographic details of the Democratic primary, rather than your insistence that everyone else stay on the topic of “whatever joe feels like discussing at the moment”, I would have done so.

                  If you’re sick of meta-discussions stop being drawn into them or responding to them and stay on topic.

                • Pseudonym

                  At any rate, if you or anyone else (Gregor? Bijan?) would like to propose a statistical model power of how caucus/open/closed-primary election type and racial demographics interact to influence outcomes, one that has either explanatory or predictive power, feel free. Absent that, this thread is just going to be more back-and-forth attacks on the supporters of different candidates.

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  To respond to Pseudonym, Nate Cohn suggests that the caucus format is worth around 9 pts for Bernie after accounting for demographics.

                  No analysis including WA/AK/HI and no analysis of how caucus interacts with racial demographics. But given that Wyoming is the only remaining state caucus, it’s not really that important compared to looking at primaries.

                • Manny Kant

                  When I said Hawaiian Asians aren’t like continental Asians, I meant that my understanding is that their voting patterns have been different historically. Notably, most Hawaiian Asians are of Filipino or Japanese descent, which are both, as I understand it, traditionally Democratic constituencies. Most Asians in the lower 48 are from other countries (especially China), and, while trending Democratic, are traditionally much more split between the two parties. More broadly, Asians in Hawaii, where Asians are the majority, are going to be in a very different political milieu from Asians in the lower 48, where Asians are a fairly small minority.

    • Bootsie

      But if Bernie can rack up leads of over 40% in multiple remaining states, that is no longer so insurmountable.

      This is a very, very big ‘If’.

      • Manny Kant

        It’s simply not possible. Does Gregor really think Sanders can win California by anything close to that much? Does he think he can win New Jersey and New York and Maryland and Pennsylvania and Connecticut at all? A Bernie Bro friend of mine tried to make up delegate projections for Sanders to win, and it required him to basically win everything outstanding by double digits, except the very most Clinton-friendly states like Maryland, where he had to break even. It mostly just convinced me that Sanders can’t win, even if he does very well moving forward.

        • I agree with the Bernie people in this. If Bernie CAN win, he ought to win. Its kind of the tinkerbell theory of politics–if enough people clap for bernie then all the other unconvinced, unconverted, bernie-ites out there will know its safe to come out and vote and Bernie will win in a righteous landslide. And if he can I think he should. I’d be proud to vote for him and work with his other voters if they can do it. It would be world historic.

          What I’m afraid of is that this kind of messianic thinking about a candidate leads to an enormous emotional backlash against the actual, eventual, nominee. Its just really hard for some people to talk themselves off the ledge after they have been encouraged to believe that their candidate was the best, that everyone else was delusional, that the game was rigged, that the world is buring, etc…etc…etc…

          Parenthetically, w/r/t the voting chart that is going the rounds with the binary choice “things are broken/things are not broken” I would say that, on the contrary, both HRC and Bernie (and their voters) believe our house is on fire and that we need to put out the fire and start rebuilding. HRC voters think that this needs to be done cautiously, salvaging the parts that can be salvaged and with respect to the people who have built the house and tried to maintain it. Bernie people think the fire is so hot and destructive that there’s nothing to do but start again. And anyone who thinks differently is objectively pro fire.

          • Matt McIrvin

            In particular, some fraction of them are going to believe that the primary election was stolen. I’ve already seen a significant amount of Facebook buzz about this, particularly from the people who believe that the election clusterfuck in Arizona was somehow Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s doing.

            • kped

              Already seen this. Or the beginnings of it. Read the diaries on dailykos for some jaw dropping stuff. Like…they closed primaries are not as democratic as the caucuses…yes, this has been said. It’s stunning to see people saying that closed primaries are the result of that evil DWS tipping the scales for Hillary…and also a good amount of CLinton wins should be overturned because Bill Clinton was within 20 feet of a polling location, and Arizona messed up…oh, early voting is also a sham!

              It’s bizarro-world.

            • Brien Jackson

              There were Facebook stories about the vote being rigged in South Carolina, of all places! Basically anything on Facebook with “Occupy” in the title has become completely unbearable and detached from reality, and that’s the segment of Bernie deadenders I worry about, only because they may influence the perception of others, esepcially young voters.

        • JMV Pyro

          Coming from someone who’s throwing down for Bernie even though I think the best we’re going to get is some concession on appointments, the platform, and maybe the VP slot, it’s the “bargaining” stage of grief. Even though its an uphill climb with the number of caucuses left whittled down to nothing and quite a few closed primaries coming up in April, people still want to believe that its possible for him to win.

          I’m fine with it as long as it doesn’t boil over into apathetic foot-shooting (and thankfully no one here is that shortsighted). The stronger Sanders is as the runner-up going into the convention, the better our position is going forward.

          • I’m torn on the Bernie for VP thing. I doubt he wants it and I’m really sure he wouldn’t be good at it. Biden was really good at it. I also think its a sop to his supporters but not a good sop–its a powerless position and takes him out of the Senate. Its not within HRC’s remit but what Sanders should be bucking for is Majority Leader if there is a Majority. Because that person really sets the agenda or makes the agenda happen. But its not something HRC can give him or his supporters.

            • mds

              I’m torn on the Bernie for VP thing.

              I would think Sanders would find it acceptable to have some input to the VP selection process. Send a positive signal to the Sanders wing, while keeping Sanders / Warren / Brown / Oh for God’s sake stop picking our effective elected politicians for stuff right where they are.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Right. But it’s several times smaller today than it would have been last Friday.

        • For a hard headed numbers guy you are absurdly optimistic.

          • Gregor Sansa

            It’s not just optimism. When Clinton overperformed in the South on March 1, I gave that the same weight.

            To a certain extent, I’m being a devil’s advocate here. I think that people tend to make up their mind and not revisit, so me bringing in a bit of recency bias can actually be a healthy corrective.

            I wouldn’t put money on Bernie at 10:1 odds at this point, though I’d be tempted at 20:1. As of last Friday, I wouldn’t have bought him at 40:1.

            But more importantly: I think that the closer he comes to winning, the better it is for the Democratic party in the long run. Almost winning is likely to energize more young voters than it discourages, and that will help in 2018 and 2020 (and 2017 and 2019).

            • EliHawk

              The problem with giving them the same weight is that there’s a lot more of the South (and minority voters in general) than there are caucus states, which is why the lead she built in those states is still holding up, even as Bernie’s pretty much out of caucus states. The reason being that the margin he’s gained from all nine of these caucus contests (i.e. excluding Iowa and New Hampshire) is barely more (+147) than she gained from Texas and Florida alone (+140).

              • EliHawk

                *Iowa and Nevada.

              • Manny Kant

                Right, exactly. Gregor’s “analysis” seems to entirely consist of wishful thinking, not actually looking at the numbers. I don’t see how you can look at the remaining calendar and think it’s even conceivable that Bernie will rack up 40 point wins in a bunch of closed primaries in states that don’t look demographically favorable on the basis of the fact that he did that in caucuses in demographically favorable states.

                • Matt McIrvin

                  I think the probabilities are low enough here that we’re talking about the chance of an outside-context, black-swan event: Hillary Clinton suddenly dies, is revealed to be terminally ill or is physically debilitated, some scandal actually blows up into a criminal indictment, that sort of thing. I don’t know how to estimate the probability of anything like that; I think Sam Wang threw out “5%” as a placeholder but if you pressed him he’d say it’s lower than that.

                • EliHawk

                  If there were a Black Swan event this far in though, her delegates don’t just go away, and Sanders doesn’t become the de facto nominee by default (The two sweetest words in the English language!). It’s coming soon to the point that HRC’s pledged delegates plus superdelegates would be more than a majority. In that case, if a ‘black swan’ followed, your more likely scenario would be something like Biden enters as the replacement to save the party with Obama’s full backing and HRC’s delegates. Both are well liked enough by both party establishment and rank and file to be able to make that happen.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  Before Saturday, I would have agreed that Bernie would need a ☄ (an out-of-context comet, such as “Clinton dies”) to win, with under 5% chances.

                  After Saturday, I think there is a 5-10% chance that he consistently beats the polls and pulls out a squeaker, without some kind of force majeure beyond run-of-the-mill Clinton gaffes.

                  Both scenarios count as “black swans”, but they are not otherwise similar. One would be new events, the other would be a revealed failure in our current understanding of existing events.

                • Matt McIrvin

                  Saturday’s states were not just caucus states (which put a huge multiplier on enthusiasm/turnout, something Obama took masterful benefit of in 2008 and that Sanders certainly understands now), they were states where there was very little pre-caucus polling. Sanders outperformed expectations, but those expectations were shots in the dark with few and mostly old numbers behind them.

                  There actually is public polling from March in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. Not as much as I’d like, but it’s there, and it mostly shows Clinton maintaining a large lead. New Jersey is similar but the numbers are staler. There are recent polls from California too, showing Clinton maintaining a smaller but still significant lead.

                  If Sanders can make it up anywhere it’s in California, because of the late date and somewhat more Bernie-sympathetic territory, and that’s for a huge wad of delegates–but none of these primaries are winner-take-all, so it’s a lot of work if he wants to make up a large deficit elsewhere by winning in California.

                  I think a Sanders nomination is still in black-swan territory.

                • Matt McIrvin

                  …anyway, where will Sanders do really well? Oregon is probably going to be a huge win for him, at least as big as Washington state. I expect to see him win Montana and the Dakotas by large margins as well. Maybe New Mexico, probably Wyoming.

                  Outside of the West he might win Wisconsin, but not by a large margin. Rhode Island is also a possibility.

                  There just aren’t enough delegates here when you add them all up.

                • djw

                  After Saturday, I think there is a 5-10% chance that he consistently beats the polls and pulls out a squeaker, without some kind of force majeure beyond run-of-the-mill Clinton gaffes.

                  Both scenarios count as “black swans”, but they are not otherwise similar.

                  We’re arguing over language here but I don’t think this is describing a black swan event. You’re saying, essentially, that if Sanders hits his 90-95th percentile outcome based on the shape of the race currently, he’ll win (I’ll join everyone else in saying this seems pretty ungrounded to me.). But people hit their 90-95th percentile outcomes, by definition, 5-10% of the time. Dozens of baseball players will perform at their 90th-95th percentile projection this year, and we’ll treat that as surprising, but not sufficiently so that we’d call them a ‘black swan event’.

                • Manny Kant

                  Oregon’s a closed primary. I think the margins will be considerably closer than Washington – Sanders will win, but by 15-20 points, not 45.

                  (Only closed primary Sanders has won is Oklahoma, a deeply weird state)

                • djw

                  Oregon is probably going to be a huge win for him, at least as big as Washington state.

                  Oregon may be slightly better territory for him demographically, but enough to make up for the caucus advantage?

                • You’re saying, essentially, that if Sanders hits his 90-95th percentile outcome based on the shape of the race currently, he’ll win (I’ll join everyone else in saying this seems pretty ungrounded to me.).

                  I’m not sure Gregor is assuming a stable race.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  I think of it in terms of distributions. If you can safely model everything using Normal distributions, that’s “normal”; if you get an outcome that such a Normal model would put at under 0.1%, then that’s a “black swan”. In other words, a black swan is when you realize that your a priori best-guess understanding of the situation (as exemplified by your estimate of the standard error) was fundamentally flawed in some way. So yes, I’m saying that Sanders has a >5% chance of progressing smoothly (though not “statically”) to a win from where he actually is today, but that would involve a “black swan” discontinuity; not between where he is and where he ends up (as in Matt McIrvin’s “Hillary dies” scenario) but rather between where we think he is and where he actually turns out to have been (as in, “the polls were wrong!”).

                • Gregor Sansa

                  Quick technical note:

                  Normal distributions have “skinny tails”; if you take the 95% margin of error and double it, there is essentially zero chance that the outcome will EVER be outside that margin. The Central Limit Theorem says that if the outcome is a result of many relatively-small events that could each go either way, a Normal distribution (or some variant, such as logNormal) is always correct.

                  But sometimes even though that’s true, you still don’t have enough information to correctly estimate the standard deviation of the Normal. That’s what fatter-tailed “student t” distributions are for; to account, not for the chance of some huge future event, but for the chance that past events happened to make you overconfident by being anomalously small.

                  If there actually is some future event that overwhelms all other influences — something like “Hillary dies” — then that’s a different kind of black swan, and the correct distribution for modeling that is probably bimodal, not a student-t.

                • if you get an outcome that such a Normal model would put at under 0.1%, then that’s a “black swan”.

                  Statistics is so non-intuitive that black swan probably generally evokes the idea that we think the odds are 51-49, meaning a sure thing, and a black swan would be them actually being 49-51, that is, a sure thing going the other way. Of course, in a way that’s true . . .

                • Pseudonym

                  I thought a black swan was by definition something whose probability couldn’t be accurately modeled a priori.

                • dr. fancypants

                  Sam Wang puts Bernie’s chances at less than 5%, which mostly seems to be the probability he assigns to there being some externality that massively swings the polls in a pro-Sanders direction.

        • Amanda in the South Bay

          Because Sanders performed well in low hanging fruit states? Its slightly annoying how Sanders gets mini bounces from states he would be expected to perform well in and BBros go all in on “its a game changer!” until the next primaries.

          • Gregor Sansa

            He was expected to perform well. Not that well.

            • I just don’t get the continued harping on the expectations issue. Bernie is beating expectations. yes. Its irrelevant. It reminds me of people arguing that X impossible thing can happen because, hey, people in the middle ages didn’t think we could fly! And now we do have airplanes. There remain things that are impossible despite the fact that previously impossible things turned out, with different technology and more sophisticated science, to be possible. Just because Bernie is beating (someone’s) expectations in a two person race in different formats doesn’t mean he can sweep the primaries.

            • Manny Kant

              But still not well enough to win unless he can win some closed primaries in the northeast (and the semi-open one in California) by wide margins. Which there remains no reason to think he is going to do. This is the same kind of garbage the Clinton people pulled in 2008, except with even less cause.

          • Remember when “Bernie Bros” was only ever used to describe people engaging in bad behavior?

            Gregor, stop it with your racist, misogynist optimism right now!

            • kped

              Yeah, I’m seeing it thrown around a bit too much here. I still believe the name fits a group that very much does exist…but in this thread, against these commentators, it’s absurd to resort to calling them that.

        • Amanda in the South Bay

          Until the next *Actual* primaries, then the gap will increase again.

          • kped

            Obama’s former campaign guy David Plouff had an article about this, talking about the 2008 election. He notes the similarities, and how they lost like 6 of the last 8 primaries, and fully expected to lose those. And those had no “momentum” effects, which is likely what will happen here. Remember how Michigan meant Ohio was going to be a Sanders win? And remember he lost by about 10 points in Ohio? So why does Hawaii mean Hillary loses NY by 40 points? How is one connected to the other?

      • Mike R

        Kind of like if I was 6ft 8in, with a 45 inch vertical leap and consistent 25 ft jump shot NBA baby.

    • Cheerful

      Two stories I heard from the WA caucus. A friend of mine, pro-Hillary, decided not to go because she gets stressed in conflictual situations.

      I did not tell her, but my view is that though the caucus is clearly not that democratic politics belongs to some extent to those willing to take a stand for what they believe.

      My very aged parents did go and had a great time, though as Hillary supporters they were greatly outnumbered. They said everybody was super nice. One woman came up to my mom and told her she was for Bernie. My mother asked her why. She replied because I want a better future for my child. My mother responded that she wanted a better future for her three children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren and that was why she was voting for Hillary. She was very happy she had us all in her hip pocket to pull out.

      • Emily68

        A third story from a Washington caucus. I learned that a voter could submit a document of some sort for his/her candidate and not even have to attend the caucus.

        Also, as a greatly outnumbered caucuser for Hilary, I agree everybody was super nice.

        • CD

          To add my story (North Seattle):

          (1) Yes, people were nice, and that’s one good thing about caucuses: you end up with a smallish number (about 50 for my precinct) talking to each other and that encourages civility.

          (2) Logistics: Announcement was that the party had spent $1500 or so to rent the school where this was held. We ended up packed in a gym in numbers surely well beyond the fire code, and in conditions difficult for the mobility-impaired. I guess the solution would be to double spending and rent more schools, but that rests on party fundraising.

          (3) Politics: There’s a short set time for backers of each to speak. The first Sanders supporter said: Clinton is the stronger candidate for the general election, but she has the nomination in the bag, and this is a good moment to keep pressure on her to support progressive policies by voting Sanders. A number of folks nodded, including me because that was my position too. The next Sanders supporter, annoyed, leapt on top of a table and said no, Bernie was going all the way! On the whole Clinton supporters argued competence, Sansers supporters purity.

          • Cheerful

            At my parents’ caucus, one guy stood up and launched into a long speech recounting the campaigns of Eugene Debs. My father said in the end he couldn’t even really tell who the guy was for.

    • A conversation I’ve never seen is why Bernie Sanders overperformed/Hillary Clinton underperformed so much in North Carolina. He hit 40; her 54% number was ten points worse than any other state in the Confederacy; and her margin of victory was lower than the one she scored in Ohio.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Colleges/Research Triangle? My out-of-my-ass hunch is that the campus left is a bigger proportional presence in NC than a lot of other places, although my impression may be a product of my knowing people on college campuses in NC.

      • witlesschum

        North Carolina generally has a rep for having a lot transplants from the North and Midwest, so it’s demographically less like the rest of the South in ways that are helpful to Sanders? Maybe there’s enough of the recent college graduates moving there to work in the research triangle who are demographically more likely Sanders supporters compared to native southern liberals, black and white.

        • I compare it to Virginia, though, which also has a lot of transplants, and where Hillary performed much more like the rest of the region.

          • Manny Kant

            Yeah, it was kind of a weird under-performance that nobody’s really explained. On the other hand, she over-performed in Ohio, which I’ve also not really seen a good explanation for. Bernie narrowly won Michigan, came very close in Illinois and Missouri, and got stomped in Ohio. Why? Ohio seems like it should have been close too, doesn’t it?

            • It is strange that Ohio departed from those others. I don’t know how large the SE Ohio region, the “southern” part, is as a chunk of the Democratic primary electorate, but then, there is also southern Illinois.

              We’ll see what happens in Indiana; that might provide some clarity.

          • cleek

            NC has lots of colleges and the cities are pretty liberal. but NC also has a very liberal quasi-hippy scene in the west of the state : Asheville and surrounding. i don’t know if VA has anything like it.

            i’m sure they all went for Sanders.

      • kped

        …can we not call the Southern States, who have heavily black Democratic populations “the Confederacy”? It’s a bit…tasteless, given where the Dem vote comes from in those states.

        • Since Kentucky hasn’t voted yet, and I was being quite precise in my language, no, I will assent to your less-accurate terminology.

          • kped

            “no, i will assent to your”…

            So no you will? What? How about being precise in this terminology.

            And glad you cleared that up. You intended to slur those places as the “confederacy”. So those black voters are…part of the confederacy? Sure, whatever makes you happy!

            (for someone who tries to be precise in his language, you aren’t all that good at it. Seems you are always arguing over what you meant…)

            • Oh, look, you wrote a comment about a typo.

              That’s so awesome.

              You intended to slur those places as the “confederacy”.

              Lol.

              Some people sure have gotten defensive over the weekend.

              BTW, West Virginia and Maryland haven’t voted, yet, either, but, obviously, they weren’t part of The Confederacy. Which I just typed again OHNOES!

              • kped

                Oh Joe, aren’t you the one who doesn’t like people psycho analyzing you? I assure you, i’m in no way defensive after “the weekend”, as a) I don’t care if Bernie or Hillary wins, and b) The weekend did nothing to change the likely result (Clinton winning).

                I didn’t write a comment about a typo, i was not sure what you were writing about. I gave you the benefit of the doubt in that you weren’t making a typo…after all, you choose your words very carefully (you just bragged about it…)

                And cool, you want to keep calling the majority black voters in the south “the confederacy”. That’s fine, but don’t wonder why Bernie and his supporters just can’t get those black voters to see it his way.

                Want to call them “Low information” voters next?

                • Hogan

                  And cool, you want to keep calling the majority black voters in the south “the confederacy”.

                  Ah, no. He’s calling the states that were in the Confederacy “the Confederacy.”

                  And I think black voters in those states know perfectly well where the Confederacy was, and can decode a shorthand for “the states formerly known as the Confederacy.”

                • Thank you, Hogan.

                  Self-serving, morally-vacuous White Ally Theater by one white person on behalf of a powerful white politician is always so honest and uplifting, isn’t it?

                • kped

                  Ah, so saying “the confederacy votes for Clinton” isn’t trying to paint the voters in those states as racist rednecks…

                  …I mean…you can sell that, but I don’t have to buy it.

                  If you are so into choosing words carefully, dont act shocked when people make the obvious inferences.

                • Hogan

                  You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, sweet pea.

                • Hogan

                  But you might want to try not assuming that your stereotypes of the South are as universally shared as you seem to think.

                • kped

                  Sure. Because calling the South “the confederacy” is such common modern shorthand. And sure, it’s not as if Bernie supporters all over the internet haven’t been derisively sneering at the south, calling them “low information voters” for not voting for Sanders.

                  Sure, I’ll pretend so you and lil’ Joe can feel good about yourselves for having a funny on the internets.

                  My “stereotypes of the south”? Projecting much? joe was very clear – he chose his words carefully. If he isn’t trying to project something about the states Clinton won, he would choose different words.

                  Don’t have to double down on his stupid, but feel free. Again, I’m not buying any of it.

                  I can see John Lewis next victory speech…”I want to thank my Confederate voters for once again choosing me to represent them!”

                  Yeah….nothing to see here folks, move along.

                • Brien Jackson

                  It’s just Joe shilling Sanders campaign talking points again.

                • kped

                  Shill’s gotta shill. Least he has a buddy, the shill game seems awful lonely.

                • He hit 40; her 54% number was ten points worse than any other state in the Confederacy; and her margin of victory was lower than the one she scored in Ohio.

                  Ah, so saying “the confederacy votes for Clinton” isn’t trying to paint the voters in those states as racist rednecks…

                  Dishonest ass. Piss off. You aren’t making “obvious inferences.” You literally have to make things up and invent new terminology to attribute to me in to arrive at your desperately-desired state of righteously-feigned offense.

                  Projecting much? joe was very clear – he chose his words carefully.

                  Yes, I did. And then you repeatedly changes and distorted them. Remember?

                  you want to keep calling the majority black voters in the south “the confederacy”.

                  Hack. Shilling little hack. Of course, I never did any such thing. You made something up to attribute to me and then pretended I’d said it.

                  Go hide behind some black people who wouldn’t give you the time of day some more.

                • Oh, and dumbass, the comment you wrote about a typo was:

                  kped says:
                  March 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm
                  “no, i will assent to your”…

                  So no you will? What? How about being precise in this terminology.

                  Hurr durr, you left out “not,” hurr durr!

                  Oh, THAAAAAAAAT comment I wrote about a typo! Pathetic little shill will now try to make up some alternative explanation for why she didn’t actually do that.

                • Hogan

                  Least he has a buddy, the shill game seems awful lonely.

                  Yeah, we do everything together.

                  Numpty.

                • Observe, now, as kped sits in stunned bafflement, trying to figure out how either of our comments in that exchange relate to Bernie Sanders.

                  We’re really terrible Sanders shills, Hogan. We can’t even manage to effectively shill to each other!

                • kped

                  You’re losing it joe, might want to walk back off that ledge…

                  (and as much as you try to claim otherwise, calling those states the “confederacy” in relation to their voting has a pretty clear indication. You can pretend otherwise, but…I could care less. Now flail around some more. Spit in anger and anguish. It’s quite a sight!)

                  lol, i love the faux moral outrage. “How dare you infer from my use of the loaded term “Confederacy” that i was saying anything negative about the voters there!” Such a delicate flower you are joe.

                  “go hide behind some black people who wouldn’t give you the time of day”

                  Now joe, projecting again. The entire reason you mock that region in this thread is because those black people don’t give your candidate the time of day. You may want to sit the primary out fella, you are losing it.

                • While you were making up a reason to pretend to be offended on behalf of black people, I was writing this:

                  Good evening Mr. Mayor, Mr. Manager, Councillors and fellow residents of Lowell. My name is Joseph _______ and I live at_______ Street. I’ve held a couple of different positions with the City, a couple of different positions in local unions and other non-government organizations, but I’m here tonight speaking only for myself. I’m just Joe ________, who lives in the Highlands.

                  I am here tonight to register my deep concern about the warm welcome this City is preparing to give General Hun Manet. General Manet is a Lieutenant General in the army commanded by his father, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Hun Sen is, to put it bluntly, a major violator human rights; in particular, of the rights of workers to organize into unions and engage in activism for higher wages, better working conditions, and dignity for the working people of Cambodia. And General Hun, as commender of a crack special-forces unit trained to crush internal dissent, is his strong right arm.

                  For the City of Lowell to honor someone like this is profoundly troubling to me. Lowell’s history is eternally bound with the history of labor. This city is the home of Lucy Larcom and the Lowell Female Laborer Reform Association. This is the home of Benjamin Butler, who crusaded before the Civil War for the 10-hour workday. This was one of the first cities to which the Bread and Roses Strike spread. We congratulate ourselves on this history all the time. We have Lucy Larcom Park, over by the canal, behind St. Anne’s Church. It’s very pretty. General Butler has a middle school named for him, and a bust in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. You can walk into the National Park Visitors Center or the Tsongas Industrial History Center and find out about the strikes and the struggles of the mill girls and the subsequent waves of workers in Lowell to achieve a little piece of dignity and security and decency for themselves and their families – to not just be crushed as low-wage labor for the industrial companies selling people like us our nice shirts.

                  We say we honor those people, but do we mean it? Or is that just something from the old days that we show to the tourists?

                  The industrial workers of Cambodia have spent the past several years doing the same thing as the workers in Lowell. They organize into unions, and they take to the streets to protests their low wages, their dangerous factories, their abusive overseers, just like the workers of Lowell did. And when they do, they are met by the clubs, and the water cannons, and sometimes even the assault rifles of the Cambodian government. Of men like Hun Manet.

                  For this city to applaud General Manet, to tell him what a great guy he is and how much we want to be his friend, would be a betrayal of our history, our identity, and our honor. This is not about some obscure intramural fight between different segments of the Cambodian-American community in Lowell. This is about who we are as a people, and what we have to say about people who abuse workers. I call on this Council, this administration, and on the unions and the political organizations of Lowell who purport to stand with working people and with organized labor, not to give General Hun that warm welcome, but to stand with these brave citizens who preceded me, and with the garment workers of Cambodia.

                  Thank you.

                  Don’t you lecture me, you hollowed-out phony. Your support for Hillary Clinton has made you less that what you used to be, and my support for Bernie Sanders has made me more.

                  Don’t answer. Don’t reply. Try to be something more than you’ve been for the past few hours. Try hard.

                • I’m going to deliver that at tomorrow night’s City Council meeting. I don’t think the City Manager, who has appointing authority over the board I sit on, is going to be very happy about it.

                  Politics actually means something more to me than ginning up a pose on the LGM comment thread about a primary candidate.

                • Brien Jackson

                  On second thought…maybe jfl’s just finally gone over the deep end altogether.

                • kped

                  Dear lord you have lost it. What does any of what you just posted have to do with your “confederacy” comment? This is a bizarre non sequitur. I guess…good on you for what you did there? It was good, don’t get me wrong. Just has…nothing to do with this.

                  It does show I’ve touched a nerve, and maybe you should consider your words more carefully, because if you don’t want to imply that these voters are “the confederacy”, and if that wounds you so personally…DON’T CALL THEM THAT!

                  You sure you want to say any of this has made you better? Because if this is better, dear lord I’d hate to have seen you before.

                  (don’t get me wrong, what you are planning to say tomorrow is fantastic…just has nothing at all to do with our conversation here, and you posting it is just…bizarre).

                  I’m not sure what posse i’ve ginned up, this is a me/you debate (and Hogan…so that’s two for your side). But then, you see enemies around every corner. You should work on that. Not healthy.

                • Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you people?

                  Why wouldn’t you just STFU at this point?

                  Don’t you at least have any self-respect?

                  Don’t ever fucking call me a shill. Piss on you both. You ought to be ashamed.

                  Hollow little ex-human beings. You make me sick.

                  I have actual principles I talk about, and you call me a shill because I won’t bow down to your patently-dishonest little Hillary-serving Ally Theater pose. Maybe that’s your problem – you don’t even know what that looks like anymore.

                • Yeah, Brien, I “go off the deep end” when I get personally insulted over and over it’s completely bogus and unfair.

                  Imagine that. How disreputable of me. Aren’t you fucking cool that you can do a “U Mad Bro” comment when it gets to me? Yay you.

                  If there is anything left in you besides an urge to get the better of people on the internet, you will never, ever throw the charge of shilling at me again. It’s unfair, it’s untrue, it’s unworthy, and there’s nothing behind it but you wanting to score some stupid point on the internet.

                  As far as I can tell, that’s all there is of you anymore. Prove me wrong by ceasing that baseless smear. I don’t have it coming.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Oh go fuck yourself. This isn’t anything noble: You said “confederacy” instead of, say, “Southern states” because that’s the verbatim language the Sanders campaign was using to imply that winning large margins in those states is illegitimate. If you’re going to troll, at least can the fauxrage.

                • Yeah, I’m faking it.

                  Jesus.

                  Hey, Murc, remember when I called you “painfully earnest?”

                  That was envy. I admire that you lay it out there. I think it’s honorable and brave.

                • liberalrob

                  Lost in the Sturm und Drang, the Hun Manet speech looks pretty good. I had never heard of him. Good luck tomorrow night.

                • And good luck with your future trolling, I guess.

                  We all have our things.

                • Brien Jackson

                  No joke, you should send a resume to WWE. This “I know you are but what am I” persona you’re working is 10x better than any of the heels they’ve come up with in yeeeeeeeeeeaaaars.

              • kped

                Why wouldn’t you just STFU at this point?

                Because…you are clearly being disingenuous. You have been proven wrong, just admit it. You want to be cute calling the voting region “The Confederacy”, which as Brian points out below, has been used to try to de-legitimize the votes from the South. “Oh, that’s just the confederacy”.

                You know, when called out on something, if you reply with

                I was being quite precise in my language

                YOU DON’T GET THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. You said it yourself, i were being quite precise with your language. So, if you want to slither away and say you didn’t mean to imply that those voters were confederates, that their votes aren’t “less” than those in the north, please, do so. Otherwise, I will continue to think what I think of you (and don’t pretend you don’t care. People don’t get as unhinged as you just did if they don’t care).

                And yes…the majority of the voters giving Clinton her edge in the south, the “confederacy” as you so nicely put it, are black. I’m not hiding behind them, or pretending to support them to mock you. I do think it’s quite shameful to denigrate them as the “confederacy”.

                So, either blow another gasket, or maybe clear up what you were trying to say. And next time, be more precise.

                (and if you don’t want to be called a shill, stop using the same lines as the other shills from the Sanders camp. It’s harder to deny it when you do).

                • Jesus.

                  I hope everyone remembers this.

                  Asshole is still calling me a shill. Still.

                • Thirtyish

                  I dunno…he sounds more like the Donald in angry mode (is there any other?) with each comment.

                • So, if you want to slither away and say you didn’t mean to imply that those voters were confederates, that their votes aren’t “less” than those in the north, please, do so.

                  Um, ok. This is all you. This has nothing to do with me, what I wrote, or why I wrote it. This is entirely you projecting.

                  I don’t care anymore that you’re clinging to an insistence that what I wrote was in bad faith. My conscience is absolutely 100% clear. I know what I said, I know what I meant, and it doesn’t matter that you’re dead-ending it in calling me dishonest. You don’t matter, and you aren’t touching anything in me. I told you why I chose that term, and if you feel like you’ll look or feel better clinging to a “dishonest joe” line of attack than in admitting you jumped the gun, that’s all you.

                • kped

                  Not clinging to it, i truly believe you used that term to denigrate the voters there, as it’s something I’ve seen from other Bernie shills all over the internet. If you don’t want to be confused for them, maybe you shouldn’t use their words, and their arguments. I guess I can be glad you didn’t call them “low information” at least.

                  When everyone has trouble discerning what you are actually trying to say, despite your “precisely chosen words”…maybe it’s time for some introspection. Maybe, the problem isn’t them Joe.

                • No, nor clinging. Just reiterating over and over again to make sure no one thinks you aren’t really, really determined to make sure they know it.

                  But in a non-clingy way. OK.

                  It’s just you and Brien, kped. You don’t even get the “argument from popularity” escape here.

                  Do you think there’s anyone who’s read this far that hasn’t seen you keep insisting on this? You don’t have to keep saying it.

                  I said why I used that terminology – for the deliberately-chosen reason I explained (to exclude the southern-but-not-confederate states that haven’t voted). You said you don’t believe me.

                  I’m happy to leave it at that. People can either believe I’m a dishonest shill instead of someone who writes truthfully, or they can believe you that I’m not. I don’t really see what further harping is going to accomplish.

                • kped

                  ? And it’s just…you and Hogan? I wasn’t aware we needed to bring people to “our side”.

                  Guess what Joe? I’m not being dishonest either! I know it’s hard for you to believe, but you aren’t the last honest man on earth, and sometimes, people just aren’t going to buy what you are selling. This argument doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You can say “well golly, that’s not what I meant”. But you just go in a rage and just…keep…going…forever.

                  And if it’s something you believe…reiterating it in the argument is kind of how you make your point. That you don’t like it brought up again is really your problem, not mine. (you could also just move on, but you need the last word so desperately…if you want it, go, last I’ll say unless you go with another of your rants calling me a non human…)

                • When everyone has trouble discerning what you are actually trying to say, despite your “precisely chosen words”…maybe it’s time for some introspection. Maybe, the problem isn’t them Joe.

                  I wasn’t aware we needed to bring people to “our side”.

                  Whatever.

                  And I’m still perfectly happy to let anyone reading this decide all on their own if I’m a dishonest person or not, without further making of the case. But don’t let that prevent you from further pleadings.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        Nate Cohn suggested that it was because it had a closed primary. The only closed primaries in the South were LA, OK and NC.

        Reasoning is that in those areas, many conservatives who vote Republican in general elections are still registered as Democrats. In those areas, you see conservadems casting protest votes against Hillary Clinton for “no preference” or Martin O’Malley or minor candidates. And some for Bernie Sanders. At least in Oklahoma, this is fairly strongly supported by exit polls showing Bernie Sanders doing best with conservative voters, precisely the opposite of what you’d expect based on their ideological positioning. In NC and LA, the evidence is not as good. Bernie’s best group in those states was liberal voters, but it’s still the case that Hillary did better with moderates than conservatives. Note that independents are allowed to vote in either primary in both OK and NC, but Dems are forced to vote Dem, and same for Republicans voting GOP.

        But this could be at least a partial explanation.

        Open primaries in SC and VA did not result in a polling miss in Bernie’s favor.

    • kped

      Well…given that some of the states coming up are New York, Penn, and California, I’d say it’s not bloody likely that he racks up 40% leads, so I wouldn’t move it to ‘not very likely’.

      • Gregor Sansa

        If he averages 10% across those three biggies, and approaches 40% in the smaller stuff, he wins. That means keeping his NY loss under 10% and running up the score in CA. This is tail probability stuff but I think it’s over 5% chance.

        • Manny Kant

          Gregor Samsa: A case study in how to lie (to yourself) with statistics.

          • Gregor Sansa

            That’s “Sansa”, as in Stark. Note the bugged-out redhead in my avatar.

        • kped

          Wait…”those three biggies” includes California. So…if he loses those by 10%…while running up the score in California? Not really possible given the first part of it…

          (and also reads as bad fan fiction anyway.)

          • Gregor Sansa

            If he loses NY and PA by under 10%, but runs up the score in CA enough to bring the average of the three to around +10. I am not a crackpot.

            • kped

              He’d need to win by about 30 points in California….want to revisit that last statement about not being a cracpot ;)

              • Manny Kant

                Clinton’s leading by about 9 in the polling average in CA – so, indeed, Bernie would have to overperform the polls by 40 points. I’m not sure why anyone thinks that would happen.

                She’s up by 19 in New York, 23 in Pennsylvania, 25 in New Jersey, 34 in Maryland, 3 in Wisconsin. No polls for Oregon or Connecticut.

                Also: how is Bernie going to mitigate damage to only lose by 10 when his whole strategy so far has apparently been to cut bait on states he thinks he’s going to lose? Sanders and Devine aren’t actually playing to win!

  • efc

    Can we please have more posts about nobodies saying stupid things? I have low self esteem so these circle jerks really make me feel better. It’s very therapeutic for me to affirm to one another how sensible and level headed we are compared to those losers that would not have much exposure but for the continual posts about their shitty articles.

    • Cheerful

      I agree. These postings are fun because human stupidity is an extremely interesting phenomenon, shaping our world around us at all times, and I think it deserves a fair amount of examination and critique.

      Or were you being sarcastic?

      • efc

        A per the photo in the post, “In case you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic.”

      • And what could be funnier than telling the same joke over and over again?

        • FlipYrWhig

          The Aristocrats!

        • Cheerful

          You’ve met my Dad!

    • Thats fair except that I see these articles as trial balloons of the same kind that marked the sending up of anti Obama messages which later turned into full blown attacks. The pro-Bernie part doesn’t bother me, its the anti Hillary/Anti politics part that pisses me off and that is potential ratfucking.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      in order to not repeat the past we have to repeat ourselves in the present, I think is the problem

  • LuigiDaMan

    A. FREE DOPE AND COLLEGE! I ASK YOU, WHAT MORE COULD A MORON WANT?

  • Linnaeus

    OT, but folks here might be interested in this rather silly NYT Op-Ed by Orrin Hatch: Let Voters Decide the Court’s Future.

    • witlesschum

      I mean, Hatch tries to finesse the contradictions inherent in “let the voters decide, but not when they decided in 2012!” as well as one can, which is to say by asserting that the fact the Republicans won the senate in 2014 means the voters didn’t want Obama naming Supreme Court justices anymore. Needless to say, he doesn’t explain what he’s basing that interpretation on or what the voters might have changed their mind about in 22 months, but it’s their best argument. The rest is just maundering about how people who share his and Scalia’s judicial philosophy rule and people who share Obama’s drool, while refusing to just be honest and say that he was elected to say no and that’s what he’s gonna do.

      The supplement industry’s most favored servant also asserts that this is the most poisonous election campaign in history, which is the kind of thing that makes me madder than the political hackery which I take as par for the course.

      • Hogan

        the fact the Republicans won the senate in 2014 means the voters in eight states didn’t want Obama naming Supreme Court justices anymore.

        Friendly amendment, Senator?

        • witlesschum

          Yeah, no kidding. It’s still their best argument, if not a good one.

  • Hogan

    Am I the only one who noticed that Scott just endorsed Sanders?

    • witlesschum

      I admit I didn’t, but I started skimming the post pretty quickly. All caps should be used sparingly, even in satire.

  • Clinton was one of the strongest frontrunners in the history of the contemporary primary process

    One of?

    How would you rank Hillary’s strength in 2015 against Al Gore’s at the beginning of the 2000 election primary campaign? Is there anyone else (other than incumbent presidents) who even belongs in the conversation?

    Are there any incumbent presidents who could be ranked lower than Hillary Clinton at the beginning of this primary?

    • wjts

      Are there any incumbent presidents who could be ranked lower than Hillary Clinton at the beginning of this primary?

      Carter 1980?

  • JustinVC

    This is all the equivalent of the hostage taking we see the GOP do with the debt crisis. Can’t get what you want fair-and-square? Threaten to shoot the hostage. The GOP version of shooting the hostage is “country destroyed by debt default” and the Sanders version is “country destroyed by Republican President.” The only problem is that negotiating with the President is more likely to result in a deal than negotiating in the abstract to tends of millions of voters who aren’t even listening.

    The upside is, if these guys are even quasi-rational, they’ll have no incentive to keep holding the gun to the hostage’s head after the nomination. But they’re not that rational from the getgo.

    • Matt McIrvin

      There’s a substantial difference between the Congressional majority, and a bunch of strange guys who write for Salon, HuffPo and Paste.

  • I take issue with this in Scott’s Prospect column:

    Only two Democratic senators voted against the bill, and one was the conservative Alabaman Richard Shelby. Among the members of the House who voted for the bill was…Bernie Sanders. The statute was, in retrospect, a terrible mistake, but it was based on bad assumptions that were widely shared by liberal and moderate Democrats alike at the time. Neither Clinton nor Sanders would make the same mistake again.

    The implication he’s obviously pushing here is that Sanders shared the assumptions about law enforcement policies in Clinton’s crime bill, but that is demonstrably false. Sanders denounced the criminal-justice, prison-building, three-strikes elements of the crime bill. He voted for it after the Violence Against Women Act amendment was attached. As opposed to Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, who put the actual law-and-order elements into the bill because they supported them.

    That only two senators voted against the bill greatly overstates the level of consensus that existed about criminal justice policy back then. There is a bit of “Everyone believed Saddam had WMDs” about this argument. No, they didn’t. There was a non-negigiable body of liberals who did not buy into that consensus, even at the time, and they shouldn’t be written out of history because they conceded to some policy they opposed in exchange for some policy they supported.

    • What does this have to do with Hillary Clinton? She didn’t vote for the Crime Bill. And Joe Biden remains a beloved part of the Democratic establishment despite supporting the law and order aspects of the bill–btw I’m pretty sure Biden was a champion of the VAWA. The point people are making when they point out that Bernie voted for the bill is that he, like the rest of them, is a politician. He votes for legislation because, on balance, he thinks he needs to, or it does something he values, or he is willing to accept the bad parts to get the good parts. Just like all the rest of them.

      • If I’d meant to say something about Hillary Clinton, I would have. My comment has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. Must you turn every discussion into primary fodder? The shift in the Democratic Party on issues like this, and how it happened and who shifted, is an important topic. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t bury it because you feel defensive towards your candidate.

        And Joe Biden remains a beloved part of the Democratic establishment despite supporting the law and order aspects of the bill–btw I’m pretty sure Biden was a champion of the VAWA.

        As does Bill Clinton. As does Hillary Clinton. The Democratic establishment they control certainly is willing to forgive its past sins, yes.

        The point people are making when they point out that Bernie voted for the bill is that he, like the rest of them, is a politician.

        No, it’s not. Did you even read Scott’s article before decided you needed to go all LEAVE HILLARY CLINTON ALOOOOOOONE? The point he was making about Sanders’ vote for the bill, the point to which I was replying, the point found in the passage I quoted, wasn’t that Sanders (or anyone else) voted for the bill despite opposing the crime-control elements because it contained other things they liked. The point he was making was that they – Clinton, Biden, Sanders, and allegedly the whole party – supported those crime control elements at the time, but have evolved into opposing them.

        That’s false. There were a number of Democrats, Bernie Sanders notably among them, who were against those policies the whole time. The evolution of the party on those issues represents a shift among the rest of the party towards the position he and many other liberals have held all along.

        • Oh, whatever, Joe.

          • Just don’t try to make this crap argument again, and it’s all good.

            • liberalrob

              Everyone who disagrees with you makes a “crap argument.” You go straight to the denigration and diminution. Lighten up, everyone who disagrees with you doesn’t think you’re a witless moron.

              • I take issue with this in Scott’s Prospect column:

                Only two Democratic senators voted against the bill, and one was the conservative Alabaman Richard Shelby. Among the members of the House who voted for the bill was…Bernie Sanders. The statute was, in retrospect, a terrible mistake, but it was based on bad assumptions that were widely shared by liberal and moderate Democrats alike at the time. Neither Clinton nor Sanders would make the same mistake again.

                The implication he’s obviously pushing here is that Sanders shared the assumptions about law enforcement policies in Clinton’s crime bill, but that is demonstrably false. Sanders denounced the criminal-justice, prison-building, three-strikes elements of the crime bill. He voted for it after the Violence Against Women Act amendment was attached. As opposed to Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, who put the actual law-and-order elements into the bill because they supported them.

                That only two senators voted against the bill greatly overstates the level of consensus that existed about criminal justice policy back then. There is a bit of “Everyone believed Saddam had WMDs” about this argument. No, they didn’t. There was a non-negigiable body of liberals who did not buy into that consensus, even at the time, and they shouldn’t be written out of history because they conceded to some policy they opposed in exchange for some policy they supported.

                In the absence of such wing, fighting from a lonely position against the tide at the time, how likely is it that the rest of the party would have made such a shift?

                This isn’t to say that the 90s-era dissenters from the tough-on-crime position were the primary cause of that shift – I don’t think they were – but that they defined an ideological and policy landing zone for the party to shift to once the party, mainly for other reasons, came to see movement away from the previous orthodoxy as desirable.

    • So, the trolling aside, would Scott or anyone care to address the point that Sanders and his wing of the party has not, in fact, shifted to the left on these criminal-justice, but have been occupying all along the space towards which the rest of the party is shifting?

      • OK, then let me go first:

        In the absence of such wing, fighting from a lonely position against the tide at the time, how likely is it that the rest of the party would have made such a shift?

        This isn’t to say that the 90s-era dissenters from the tough-on-crime position were the primary cause of that shift – I don’t think they were – but that they defined an ideological and policy landing zone for the party to shift to once the party, mainly for other reasons, came to see movement away from the previous orthodoxy as desirable.

        • I guess not.

          It’s going to be nice when kped-style stupid season ends and it once again becomes possible to have conversations about substantive matters without them being filtered through uber-defensive “Wait, is this good for Hillary Clinton?” glasses.

          Score one for the troll. Congratulations.

          • kped

            Jesus, I feel like you should be charging me rent, because I seem to have taken up a room in that little brain of yours. Get a grip, this is just…bizarre.

            • Brien Jackson

              I’d almost believe it if it turned out he was a psychology professor planting examples for a textbook section on projection. I can’t quite believe it’s not deliberate.

              • Whatever gets you two through the night.

              • Thirtyish

                As I said above, he’s behaving in a way that reminds me of one D. Trump. It’s sort of entertaining, I’m not going to lie, in the way a train wreck can be entertaining.

                • Classy

                • Brien Jackson

                  Sad!

                • I take issue with this in Scott’s Prospect column:

                  Only two Democratic senators voted against the bill, and one was the conservative Alabaman Richard Shelby. Among the members of the House who voted for the bill was…Bernie Sanders. The statute was, in retrospect, a terrible mistake, but it was based on bad assumptions that were widely shared by liberal and moderate Democrats alike at the time. Neither Clinton nor Sanders would make the same mistake again.

                  The implication he’s obviously pushing here is that Sanders shared the assumptions about law enforcement policies in Clinton’s crime bill, but that is demonstrably false. Sanders denounced the criminal-justice, prison-building, three-strikes elements of the crime bill. He voted for it after the Violence Against Women Act amendment was attached. As opposed to Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, who put the actual law-and-order elements into the bill because they supported them.

                  That only two senators voted against the bill greatly overstates the level of consensus that existed about criminal justice policy back then. There is a bit of “Everyone believed Saddam had WMDs” about this argument. No, they didn’t. There was a non-negigiable body of liberals who did not buy into that consensus, even at the time, and they shouldn’t be written out of history because they conceded to some policy they opposed in exchange for some policy they supported.

                  In the absence of such wing, fighting from a lonely position against the tide at the time, how likely is it that the rest of the party would have made such a shift?

                  This isn’t to say that the 90s-era dissenters from the tough-on-crime position were the primary cause of that shift – I don’t think they were – but that they defined an ideological and policy landing zone for the party to shift to once the party, mainly for other reasons, came to see movement away from the previous orthodoxy as desirable.

          • ChrisTS

            Christ, you’re an asshole.

            • I take issue with this in Scott’s Prospect column:

              Only two Democratic senators voted against the bill, and one was the conservative Alabaman Richard Shelby. Among the members of the House who voted for the bill was…Bernie Sanders. The statute was, in retrospect, a terrible mistake, but it was based on bad assumptions that were widely shared by liberal and moderate Democrats alike at the time. Neither Clinton nor Sanders would make the same mistake again.

              The implication he’s obviously pushing here is that Sanders shared the assumptions about law enforcement policies in Clinton’s crime bill, but that is demonstrably false. Sanders denounced the criminal-justice, prison-building, three-strikes elements of the crime bill. He voted for it after the Violence Against Women Act amendment was attached. As opposed to Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, who put the actual law-and-order elements into the bill because they supported them.

              That only two senators voted against the bill greatly overstates the level of consensus that existed about criminal justice policy back then. There is a bit of “Everyone believed Saddam had WMDs” about this argument. No, they didn’t. There was a non-negigiable body of liberals who did not buy into that consensus, even at the time, and they shouldn’t be written out of history because they conceded to some policy they opposed in exchange for some policy they supported.

              In the absence of such wing, fighting from a lonely position against the tide at the time, how likely is it that the rest of the party would have made such a shift?

              This isn’t to say that the 90s-era dissenters from the tough-on-crime position were the primary cause of that shift – I don’t think they were – but that they defined an ideological and policy landing zone for the party to shift to once the party, mainly for other reasons, came to see movement away from the previous orthodoxy as desirable.

              • Brien Jackson

                Oh look, Joe is doing the totally non-trolly thing of pasting the same response over and over and over again.

                • Thank you, Brien, I don’t think anyone would have figured that out if not for you.

                  We should all be grateful for what you bring to the site.

    • There are still zero comments on Scott’s Prospect piece and the shift of the Democratic Party on criminal justice issues.

      But the joe meta just keeps coming. Yay.

      • liberalrob

        It’s a sign of how influential you are on this blog.

        You need to post something new on your own blog, BTW. No posts since March 14th isn’t going to cut it.

        • Curses. My years-long effort to be “influential on this blog” lies in tatters.

          Now where will I find a meaningful outlet for my political and public-service impulses?

          • liberalrob

            On the contrary, half of this comment section is devoted to you. Your influence has never been more evident. I was going to say “popularity” but that didn’t seem apropos…

        • liberalrob

          Speaking of your blog, you should post that Hun Manet speech there.

  • Murc

    In further Sanders/Hillary news, Sanders just threw down the gauntlet to Hillary to debate him again, in New York in May.

    This is garden-variety politics, of course, but it’s always a smart play because it is so difficult to counter. Frontrunners never want more debates, because they can be destabilizing and change the narrative (and more importantly the numbers) of a race in concrete ways; challengers with what they think is a winning message and who have been experiencing slow but solid gains always want more debates.

    But it’s hard for the person challenged to a debate for whom there is no upside (at best, they come out of it… where they were before, still the frontrunner) to demur, because they look cowardly, like they have something to hide. So it’s usually best to push for’em if you want to force your opponent into an uncomfortable position. Smart, if basic, play.

    (This is just doing the political calculus; some people want more debates because they’re genuinely committed to that form of dialogue, and some people are against them because fuck you, that’s why.)

    • kped

      They already agreed on 2 more debates, so it’s actually just a matter of time and place. It’s more that he requested one in NY before the primary. Hillary already agreed to hold the debate in their negotiation.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Gee, Scott, the end of this post sounds a little like you’re starting to believe in that Overton Window you’ve so often scorned.

    • Murc

      Scott has never, to my knowledge, scorned the actual Overton Window, which is a real thing.

      What’s he’s scorned is the idea that said window can be moved radically in the ten minutes or so it takes a President to make a speech, or the six to eight months of a Presidential campaign.

      Sanders current popularity isn’t based on him making some speeches last summer and suddenly people decided they like him, although of course his personal skill as a politician isn’t irrelevant. It’s based on the last twenty years of demographic changes, Republican malfeasance, economic malaise, and brutal education costs having slowly moved things to the point that his message is suddenly politically viable again in a way it would not have been in, say, 1992.

      The Overton Window moves over the course of years and decades. It is important to help maintain that movement, but accelerating it is usually real frickin’ hard.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Scott has never, to my knowledge, scorned the actual Overton Window, which is a real thing.

        Well, I mean, I think the “Overton Window” is pretty much back-of-a-cocktail napkin junk. But political pressure and coalition power shifts are certainly a real thing.

      • the actual Overton Window, which is a real thing.

        Is it?

        The actual Overton Window requires a number of specifics:

        1) There’s an axis (of freedom) ranging from more government intervention to less government intervention
        2) That policy proposal are arranged primarily along that axis
        3) That the acceptability of a policy depends on a) its position on that axis and b) where the Overton window is
        4) A politician’s viability depends on being reasonably within the window

        I buy that we can produce a 1, though it’s tricky and probably not super helpful. 2 is weak at best (if we mean either “primarily” or by public perception”).

        3 and 4 are just false. There’s ample evidence that partisan identification is way more important than objective content of a policy. That is, Republicans (from low to high information) regard things proposed by the core of the party as being pro-Freedom and things proposed by Democrats as all anti freedom unto unthinkable. Democratic policy viability clearly depends on a way more complex function. Even Republican policy with it’s mix of low/no taxes on the rich is willing to put tons of intervention on the poor and other marginalised groups.

        (The overton *window* also predicts that “adjacent” policies on the axis will be similarly acceptable. That’s just not true!)

        Who the politician is has a huge effect on their viability beyond whether their proposals are inside the window. Look at the Pauls.

        So, I don’t think it’s just that shifting the Window is “hard” but that the Window is worthless analytically. Some policy proposals are unacceptable, sorta. Some behaviours are! (Sex scandals don’t work they way they used to!) But the determinants of politician success (and thus the success of policy enactment) is both way more complicated than the Overton Window, it is also incompatible with it. That is, the OW is not a reasonable simplification of those determinants.

    • If the Overton Window’s definition has been dumbed down so far that any shift in a party’s political position is proof of its existence, then it’s lost all meaning as a concept and we should just say “mainstream Democratic opinion,” so as to not confuse it with the much more specific definition with all of the other elements that went with it.

  • No Longer Middle Aged Man

    If Sanders supporters are so disgusted that they don’t vote for Clinton in November (if she is the Dem nominee), I hope they’ll still turn out to vote for Democratic down ticket candidates, including state legislators. Because one of the smart things that Kochs, Club for Growth et al did was work on turning state legislatures Republican so that they could gerrymander the shit out of congressional districts to the point where Republicans dominate the House despite getting millions of fewer votes in Congressional elections.

    State politics is boring and mundane and really matters for things like this. I think the willingness of vocal “Sanders or no one” supporters to put in the tedious hours on state and local politics is a sign of how committed they are about trying to effect significant changes.

    • Manny Kant

      If Sanders supporters are so disgusted that they don’t vote for Clinton in November (if she is the Dem nominee), I hope they’ll still turn out to vote for Democratic down ticket candidates, including state legislators.

      Good luck with that. The kind of Sanders supporters who are unwilling to vote for Clinton in the general have got to be the Democratic primary voters least likely to turn out for down ticket candidates.

  • Charlie Pierce is on it (apologies if this is already buried in the thread somewhere). Nobody does a take down like Charlie. He calls it “one of the dumbest pieces of political analysis [he’s] ever read.”

    • kped

      My favorite political writer. Thanks for linking to this, hadn’t seen it yet today.

      (and Pierce actually goes to many of the oral arguments for the Supreme Court, he knows the stakes here, which probably pissed him off even more)

  • a_paul_in_mtl

    Someone else did a Bernie or Bust article. Here is my take on it:

    https://paulieu.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/i-prefer-less-evil-myself-how-about-you/

  • Davebo

    Over 320 comments! It was stupid but stupid seems to sell these days. See Trump, D.

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