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Who Is the Lesser Of Salon’s #BernieorBusters? The Answer Is Unclear

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Dumb and Dumber (Screengrab)
Dumb and Dumber
(Screengrab)

With the outcome of the Democratic primaries no longer in doubt, Salon is turning its #BernieorBust amps up to 11. Sure, we get HA! Goodman’s latest plea for the FBI to indict Hillary Clinton which they will as he will explain in his friend’s Kickstarter for a fan tribute to Game Of Thrones starring a Bernie loolalike. But forget that, we have new Walker Bragman material!

That said, now that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, with the former secretary of state essentially guaranteed the nomination, many liberals and progressives are preparing, once again, to vote for the lesser of two evils. The choice may not be as clear as some Democrats believe — especially if Democrats can take back the Senate and assure themselves of a check on a GOP House.

Right of the top, we have dispositive evidence of someone who knows less than nothing about American politics. The chances that Democrats could retake the Senate in an election with structural conditions favorable enough to Republicans for Donald Trump to win the White House are somewhat less than the chances that the Atlanta Braves will win the World Series this year. Any meaningful discussion has to assume a unified Republican Congress.

Once you’ve let that sink in, try this: There is a liberal case to be made for Donald Trump.

Do tell.

Like Sanders, Trump is neither beholden to special interests, nor coordinating with a Super PAC. This alone sets him apart from the other candidates in the race — especially Hillary Clinton. If he wins the presidency, it will send shock waves through our political system, much like what would happen if Bernie were elected, but with a twist.

Um, OK. And that exciting twist will be that “he will sign pretty much every horrible piece of legislation that a Republican Congress puts on his desk.”

Trump’s brand of populism has been enabled by the roughly 40-year decline of our middle class that both parties have facilitated through the abandonment of Franklin D. Roosevelt in favor of Ronald Reagan. Trump may not offer policy specifics, but he does not need them because the political establishment on both sides of the aisle, have failed the American people so badly, and the people have caught on.

“We must do something about economic inequality. Massive upper-class tax cuts, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and deregulating business are something. Ergo, Trump ’16!”

If he were to be elected, it would force our leaders to have a real conversation about these problems that they simply won’t have if the people elect an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton.

Hahahahaha, yes, whatever the atrocious material consequences of a Trump administration would be, we would have a Real Conversation. At this point, my working assumption is that “Walker Bragman” is a pen name for Jim VandeHei, which he ordinarily uses for one of his characters when writing Gossip Girl fan fiction.

In all likelihood, Trump will not accomplish anything. He has made serious enemies in both parties and the media, whom he feels have slighted him, and I cannot see him working with those people. Trump holds grudges. He has filed more frivolous lawsuits than anyone in the public eye — or maybe we just hear about them more. Either way, politics do require compromise to one degree or another, and without it, nothing gets done. As such, when Trump finds himself up against institutional and bureaucratic resistance, it is unlikely he will deliver. For example, his wall — paid for by Mexico — is never going to happen. Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.? Not a chance.

I agree that his “ban all Muslims” policies will not be enacted (although there’s plenty of room for discriminatory law enforcement that doesn’t reach that level.) His massive tax cut policies? Now those will be enacted. The executive branch federal judiciary packed with neoconfederate cranks? You betcha.

The Senate with its filibuster and cloture rules is enough of a check on that, even if Democrats do not have a majority.

Yes, and the Republican Party would never, ever adjust the cloture rules, Scout’s Honor. Also, tax cut bills can bypass the filibuster, as perhaps Young Master Bragman was unaware happened under the Bush administration twice.

Moreover, rightly or wrongly, he represents America’s crypto-fascist element. The best way to discredit both of these groups is to let them fail on their own.

Just like eight years of George W. Bush killed the Republican Party forever.

The last consecutive two-term presidents from the same political party were James Madison and James Monroe. In other words, Democrats face long historical odds if Hillary Clinton wins in 2016, of winning again in four years.

This argument is just as dumb as it’s ever been. The misleading historical factoid is irrelevant, and the idea that it’s possible for Donald Trump to win in 2016 but impossible for him to win as an incumbent is silly, and the same of course goes for Hillary Clinton.

Trump now would enable the Democratic Party to regroup, and reform under a more economically populist banner in order to tap into the American zeitgeist. Perhaps 2020 could see President Elizabeth Warren.

If history has taught Young Master Bragman anything, it’s that 1)it’s unpossible for incumbent presidents to win re-election and 2)the Democratic Party always responds to defeats by moving to the left. I’m not sure what history this is, but it’s not of the United States of America.

Trump will not transform America’s oligarchy into a fascist dictatorship, nor is he the second coming of Hitler.

As long as neither candidate is literally Hitler, the outcome of elections doesn’t matter. OK.

I would not be the least bit surprised to see Trump run to Clinton’s left on economic policy in a general election

I believe that you wouldn’t be! But it won’t happen, and more to the point the economic agenda that would be enacted by a Republican Congress under Trump would make Hillary Clinton look like a radical leftist.

Trump’s foreign policy talk has alienated our allies like the United Kingdon, and that isn’t something to take lightly. However, it has also earned praise from Vladimir Putin.

Shorter Walker Bragman: “Trump may not be Hitler, but he might be Putin. I’m OK with that.” I think Ed Schultz has tonight’s lead guest lined up now!

Finally, let’s talk about the Supreme Court.

Yes, let’s.

We have no way of predicting who Trump would appoint,

Well, we actually can make a pretty good guess.

While she has said that her litmus test for nominees will be commitment to overturning Citizens United v. FEC, there is little reason to trust her given how much she benefits from the current campaign finance system that is a product of that ruling and others.

I mean, wow, even by Bragman’s standards this is amazing. First of all, the fact that Clinton benefits from the current fundraising system is irrelevant to this question — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama raised plenty of money and their nominees have consistently dissented from bad campaign finance rulings. And even if we were to grant the fantastical assumption that Hillary Clinton secretly wants Citizens United upheld and can somehow identify plausible Democratic nominees who will agree with her, there are of course countless other remaining issues on which Democratic and Republican nominees predictably differ. Are you a woman who might want to obtain an abortion in somewhere other than a blue state urban area? Young Master Bragman has bigger fish to fry! But don’t worry, Donald Trump will ensure that at least we have a National Conversation about the issue!

President Barack Obama’s recent Supreme Court nominee, Eric Garland,

Oh dear. I would forgive this, however, if it wasn’t a fair representation of Young Master Bragman’s grasp of how the judicial system functions:

which gave us Super PACs, and upheld Citizens United.

An appellate court ruling failed to overturn a higher court’s campaign finance ruling, and somehow created Super PACs. This is central to Bragman’s point that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Democratic and Republican judicial nominees. Fascinating.

But, hey, it could be worse — he could be Camille Paglia.

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  • wjts

    Um, OK. And that exciting twist will be that “he will sign pretty much every horrible piece of legislation that a Republican Congress puts in his desk.”

    With a gold Sharpie, Scott. How could you fail be excited by a super-classy twist like that? Especially because we all know that Clinton would sign those same bills but use the blood of Iraqi children to do it.

    • Breadbaker

      No, no, she’ll use the menstrual blood of women her husband raped. Don’t underestimate her.

      • Ken

        A bruja of her skill would surely still have vials of Vince Foster’s blood.

  • But, hey, it could be worse — he could be Camille Paglia.

    Should we assume it’s not?

    • wjts

      The lack of Madonna references is the giveaway here.

      • Manju

        So he’s Naomi Wolf?

    • Gwen

      Hasn’t gone into weird anti-feminist-feminist rants about Hillary Clinton’s vagina yet. Until then, I’d say we’re probably safe.

      • cpinva

        “Hasn’t gone into weird anti-feminist-feminist rants about Hillary Clinton’s vagina yet. Until then, I’d say we’re probably safe.”

        I know this is late, but there’s still an hour and a half left to today, so don’t turn off the electrified fence just yet.

    • John not McCain

      Yes, we should. Andrew Sullivan is Camille Paglia.

    • AlexRobinson

      Paglia and the rest at Salon can slither back to their cubbyhole of bitterness

  • Gwen

    There’s a reason why Bernie ran as a Democrat.

    And there’s a reason why Trump ran as a Republican.

    And if HA! and WalkerBragman can’t figure out what those reasons are, they really should be banned from publication until they complete Remedial Politics 101.

    • Can someone explain the reasons why Salon has decided on a business model of marketing nitwittery, and whether it’s because they were losing money, or if this is just more lucrative?

      I’ll note that neither of these ninnies appear to be regular staff, so they’re probably getting paid a couple hundred bucks a piece, if even that.

      • Gwen

        Look how we’re all talking about this.

        In an ideal world, we’d probably just all ignore them.

        Unfortunately…

        • I’m refusing to follow links as much as possible. [Also pissed at Salon’s current regime because I figured, before Iowa, “I know they don’t pay shit, but they’re publishing that HA Goodman nitwit, so surely they’d publish a piece by me predicting a crisis of legitimacy in the GOP nominating process, including poaching of delegate slots in state conventions, talk of overturning rules, a possible contested convention, etc.” So I pitched them, and instead of run a piece that laid out much of what’s ended up happening in the GOP race, they publish this idiocy.]

          • Nobdy

            Any expert can predict electoral chaos (at least in theory. None of the pundits did.) It takes a HaHa or a Braman to predict Donald Trump’s election directly leading to a worker’s paradise.

          • rm

            You may have had evidence, reason, and a wealth of real-world knowledge on your side, but the piece lacked that counterintuitive zest that makes good journalism. It’s best for a journalist to be completely ignorant, in order to guard against bias and allow for fresh new takes on the issues.

          • random

            That sucks Dana, I would have liked to have read that.

        • max

          I agree with the first comment and I say to the second: The only words of HA Goodman’s I have read have been the ones Lemieux has quoted. ‘God willing and the creeks don’t rise’ I intend to keep it that way. Feel free to follow my lead! :)

          max
          [‘HA Goodman: A personal brand to avoid like the plague.’]

        • efgoldman

          In an ideal world, we’d probably just all ignore them.

          Well, I don’t live in an ideal world, but I sure as shit ignore them. I had no idea they existed until Scott and the gang started posting about them, and I was just fine and happy with that. I’m still ignoring them.

        • cpinva

          “In an ideal world, we’d probably just all ignore them.”

          in an ideal world, they wouldn’t exist. sadly, this is way far from an ideal world.

      • Gwen

        Also, until I saw he had a photo and a bio and everything, I thought “Walker Bragman” was just a pseudoynm for George W. Bush.

        • Brett

          Same here. “HA Goodman”? “Walker Bragman”?

          I’ve got to get my #BernieOrBust piece up at Salon, under my most subtle pen name Ima Fakout.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Don’t forget “Brogan Morris.” If you’re pitching Salon, I recommend getting your pen name from a “Random Prep School Asshole” generator.

            • That clown isn’t even an American citizen.

      • rea

        Can someone explain the reasons why Salon has decided on a business model of marketing nitwittery

        All the media, old or new, will reflexively lean Trumpward for the general, if only because a close race is good for business.

      • Bitter Scribe

        Salon seems to go through weird phases. During the recession, it was “Educated White Person Suffers the Unique Horror of Being Laid Off.” Shortly afterward, it was “Atheists Are Missing Out on the Magical Mysticism of Mystical Magical Religion.” Then it was “Degrading Sex Acts Empower Women.” Now it’s “Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist.”

        That tells me the editorial decisions are all being made by people who listen only to themselves.

      • They’re afflicted with some of that smug we’ve been hearing about. The guy who wrote the article thought it was Jon Stewart but it was really P.T. Barnum.

        • rea

          P.T. was a Republican with a mixed record as a politician–good on civil rights for blacks, but also the author of the anti-contraception law later overturned by SCOTUS in Griswold

        • Scott Lemieux

          This is what makes Bragman special. All the YouTube references suggest that some part of HA! is in on the joke. Bragman is almost as convinced that he’s a Serious Analyst of American politics as Freddie deBoer himself, and he knows even less than Freddie.

      • Casey

        Business model LOL http://quicktake.morningstar.com/stocknet/secdocuments.aspx?symbol=slnm

        I suppose losing 10 million dollars a year is a *kind* of business model…

        • Brett

          It’s kind of strange. Salon has always lost money, so why are they running it so obnoxiously? As long as they minimize the damage, they can run the magazine as long as those funding it are willing.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        A click is a click is a click, whether in love or hate, and these pieces are bait for plenty of both. Salon is a clickbait hellhole now. They will publish any piece of shit possible. I don’t think that they have any political agenda beyond that; the number of clicks these pieces get, I bet they don’t even read them before putting them up.

        • Scott Lemieux

          People I know there says that the editor responsible pretty much takes the H.A. Brogan Walker line towards Clinton.

      • BethRich52

        I applaud your phrase, “marketing nitwittery.”

    • DrDick

      Frankly, I do not believe either of these idiots would ever actually vote for Sanders. Indeed, I am not sure I believe that they have ever voted in their lives.

      • postmodulator

        I sort of picture it being like the Upper-Class Twit Of The Year competition: they try to vote, but they manage to strangle themselves to death on that curtain you pull shut on the voting booth.

        • GFW

          If only.

        • PohranicniStraze

          Final Score in the Clueless White Dude of the Year Competition:

          Brogan Morris, 3rd place – dead in a tragic voting curtain asphyxiation incident.

          Walker Bragman, 2nd place – set himself alight in the voting booth, in a too-literal attempt to “Feel the Bern”.

          And H.A. Goodman, the winner – thwarted by the machinery of the voting booth (doubtless designed by a Clinton partisan to disenfranchise him), he selflessly slit his wrists and wrote his choice on the walls of the booth with his own blood before expiring: Barnie Snaders.

      • I am not sure I believe that they have ever voted in their lives

        Well, true, but that’s the only reason. They would totally have voted for Sanders if they could find out how.

    • UserGoogol

      I don’t think Trump is strategic enough to run as a Republican out of pragmatic concerns. I think he just figured (probably correctly) that he’d get more attention there than trying to go it alone.

  • I have to agree with him — if Trump is elected president, we’ll have one hell of a national conversation.

    • sleepyirv

      It’s like how Hoover made us have a REAL conversation about whether we should allow civil society to unravel instead of having federal intervention or how Nixon made us have a REAL conversation about secretly bombing countries and breaking into political rivals homes, offices, and psychiatrists’ offices.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        To be fair to Hoover, his position wasn’t just “let the chips fall where they may.” He tried intervention, of a sort – it was just a particularly ineffective sort of intervention.

        I think Hoover gets a bad rap, or at least a worse one than he deserves.

        • ColBatGuano

          I think Hoover gets a bad rap, or at least a worse one than he deserves.

          For a second there I thought you were talking about J. Edgar Hoover and passed out.

    • Hogan

      Tonight’s topic: How the FUCK did that happen?

      • postmodulator

        Remember the story the Onion ran after Dubya was sworn in? “President Bush: I Know, I Know, I’m Scared Too.”

    • So bizarre that Bragman has not realized Trump would be one of those leaders, and if they were “forced to have a real conversation” he would have to be in it. Which would have a certain limiting effect on how real the conversation was.

    • Nobdy

      Will we? He has already spoken about plans to repress journalists. I feel like the national conversation will quiet down after the first few dozen journos who question the Trumpenfuhrer end up in Guantanamo (even if Obama closes it he will re open it!)

    • rjayp

      And it undoubtedly will be interesting!

    • If Hitler hadn’t started the conversation, Elie Wiesel would have had nothing of substance to write about.

  • sibusisodan

    So, if I’ve got this right, Trump being elected will somehow force a national conversation from failed politicians about issues they’ve been avoiding, which will magically result in actual legislative solutions!

    …but because Trump will piss everyone off, nothing will pass and so nothing will change?

    Say what you like about…whatever that was…I’m not even sure it’s an ethos?

    • What’s great about national discussions is how they help me pay my rent, educate my kids, and prevent us from starting wars.

  • Captain Oblivious

    It would be entertaining watching these Hillary-hating LINOs twist themselves into pretzels to find any excuse to vote for T-Rump, if there weren’t so much at stake for those of us who aren’t affluent white males.

  • Cassiodorus

    Someone should inform him the Republicans helded the presidency from 1869-1885 and 1897-1913. Or that the Democrats did so from 1933-1953. Or that Madison and Monroe were part of R-D streak from 1801 to 1829. His “long historian odds” cover almost half the years the nation has existed.

    • Reality, how does it work?

      • postmodulator

        “You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.”

    • Jestak

      Someone should inform him the Republicans helded the presidency from 1869-1885

      Actually, from 1861-1885.

  • Hogan

    Like Sanders, Trump is neither beholden to special interests, nor coordinating with a Super PAC.

    As to the first, Trump is a special interest all by himself.

    As to the second, the fact that neither is in violation of federal election law is not terribly compelling. Evidently “coordinating with a Super PAC” is a phrase Bragman heard somewhere once, and it sounded vaguely evil and Hillary-esque, so against the wall it must and shall be flung.

    • Cassiodorus

      In fairness, he probably means “has a Super PAC backing him/her.” And while coordinating with a super PAC is technically illegal, we’re all aware it’s common in practice.

      • NonyNony

        Except Trump had a SuperPAC backing him. The “Make America Great Again” SuperPAC.

        It got shut down by the Trump campaign when the Washington Post reported that the SuperPAC was illegally coordinating with the Trump campaign. So that’s why Trump doesn’t have a SuperPAC.

      • Alex.S

        National Nurses United is a SuperPAC backing the Sanders campaign — he’s been introduced by its leadership at campaign stops and they’ve put up billboards in Oakland near where I live with the Sanders logo on the,.

    • In fact you could say he’s a Super PAC all to himself, except he is legally permitted to coordinate with his bank account.

      • ColBatGuano

        This. Just because Trump doesn’t have a Super PAC backing him (right now) doesn’t mean his interests don’t coincide with the folks who give money to Super PACs. He’s just cut out the middlemen.

    • Gwen

      The same arguments – no special interests! no SuperPAC! – basically apply also to Kang and Kodos.

      • John not McCain

        If there’s a god, some speechwriter will force Trump to say the words “twirling toward freedom” before this all ends.

      • Internet Traditions Awareness Week

        You know who else didn’t have a Super PAC?

        • Colin Day

          Ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter, Hitler didn’t have a Super PAC!

  • thebewilderness

    I still find it hard to believe that people will have forgotten what it is like to have an ignorant arrogant posturing buffoon as POTUS after only eight years.

    • postmodulator

      A plurality of them completely forgot after eight weeks.

    • NonyNony

      Depending on how young they are they might have an excuse – if you’re under 20 the only President you would know would really be Obama. Heck I might even extend that to 24 or 25 since some teens don’t really become politically aware at all until they get a job.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      And we had a hell of a national conversation — in fact, a lot of people managed to get conversated all the way to an early grave.

  • GHorn

    I’m not articulate enough to describe how awful that was. I bet Salon was holding onto that thinking, “Oh, they think they’ve seen stupid shit, wait until they get a load of THIS.”

  • Nobdy

    Is it worth noting that the underlying facts of Citizens United involved the group trying to run a hit piece AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON on national television?

    Regardless of how she benefits structurally from fundraising she might have a bit of a personal score to settle. It’s hard to imagine she loved that ruling.

  • Murc

    The last consecutive two-term presidents from the same political party were James Madison and James Monroe.

    Notice how carefully he words that. Just precisely enough so that if someone says “Uh, FDR and Truman?” he can say triumphantly “I said TWO-TERM Presidents! FDR won election four times!”

    There’s a soupcon of truth in there; I, too, am worried about incumbency fatigue. Eventually a Republican is going to win the Presidency again. But that’s something we have no control over.

    • Only Bragman seems to think this would be a method of controlling it. “I can’t guarantee I’ll never have a collision with a car speeding in the opposite direction, so I’ll just drive into this brick wall.”

      • Ken

        “I’ll bring a bomb on the plane, because the odds of two bombs is statistically insignificant.”

        (I’m probably showing my age – I expect that’s no longer considered funny, even to math nerds.)

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Great point. Also, who cares about two terms? These candidates are running for one term. They can run for their second term, ya know, later. A Republican will win again, to be sure, but I would still bet money against it being the one with a dead squirrel monkey on his head.

    • mikeSchilling

      Lincoln and Grant both won two terms consecutively. They weren’t consecutive presidents for the obvious reason. (And technically, Lincoln didn’t run as a Republican the second time.)

      If you split enough hairs, you can downplay the long period of Republican dominance.

      1. Lincoln didn’t run as a Republican the second time: in fact he had a Democratic running mate.
      2. Hayes lost the popular vote in 1876, and basically stole the election.

      That leaves only Grant’s two terms in between. After Hayes came alternating R, D, R, D. Then three R’s in a row (McKinley twice and Roosevelt), Wilson’s two terms, and three Rs (Harding, Coolidge Hoover.) Roosevelt and Truman’s five elections in a row is a complete anomaly.

      By the way, Truman was only elected to the presidency once.

  • keta

    Well sheeeit. The way I hear Mudcat tell it, this Bragman feller is onta’ sumpin’:

    “I know less than half a dozen white male Democrats in my part of the world who are going to vote for Hillary,” Saunders told TheDC.
    He added, “Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have very similar messages; they’re just dressed in different clothes. I think you’re going to see a lot of Sanders people jump to Trump.”

    Ol’ Mudcat knows why, too:

    “Hillary hasn’t been shot at yet. I hear on TV people taking about Bernie Sanders being negative, he ain’t attack her, he just tapped on her,” Mudcat said. He added, “Trump’s going to take a wire-brush to her.”
    Both Trump and Clinton have unfavorable ratings in polls, both at near 60 percent. Mudcat said, “I think [Trump] can drive her negs to 80.”
    He thinks Trump will win the general election and said, “he’s going to knock her around like a baby seal.”

    I’m a’ guessin’ only Jim Webb woulda’ saved us.

    • postmodulator

      How is that God damned motherfucker even still a thing?

    • wjts

      “I know less than half a dozen white male Democrats in my part of the world who are going to vote for Hillary,” Saunders told TheDC.

      And all the white male Democrats I know in my neck of the woods will vote for Clinton. Maybe (just maybe) Mudcat Holler isn’t as representative of the country-at-large as Saunders imagines it to be.

    • witlesschum

      “I know less than half a dozen white male Democrats in my part of the world who are going to vote for Hillary,” Saunders told TheDC.
      He added, “Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have very similar messages; they’re just dressed in different clothes. I think you’re going to see a lot of Sanders people jump to Trump.”

      That’s fairly impressive prognostication, he said assuming that anyone talking to “Mudcat” Saunders meant the linked article was published before 2005.

      • NonyNony

        Eh. In 2005 the narrative was that white male Democrats in Mudcat’s neck of the woods were all voting for Clinton instead of Obama. Because reasons.

        • wjts

          No, Mudcat’s story in 2005 was that Kerry lost in 2004 because the Democrats had abandoned their natural base of conservative Southern white men and nominated an elitist liberal from New England and, if they wanted to compete in 2008, would have to run someone like Zell Miller. What he had to say on the Obama/Clinton primary in 2008, I couldn’t tell you, but I have some guesses.

  • Trump will not transform America’s oligarchy into a fascist dictatorship, nor is he the second coming of Hitler.

    Well, then! I mean, I can see refusing to vote for a fascist if you think he’ll succeed, but if you’re certain he’ll fail, where’s the downside?

    Like it was so smart to vote for George W. I told you he wouldn’t privatize Social Security, and he didn’t!

    • liberalrob

      The German political elite were quite confident that Hindenburg and other political moderates would prevent Hitler from doing anything too out of line; many suspected that his bellicose rhetoric and anti-Semitism was just for show. That worked out well for them.

  • kped

    Wonkette absolutely pounded this one into the ground (and sorry Scott…they have a better blog post title)

    http://wonkette.com/601201/dear-salon-set-your-dick-on-fire-and-eat-it

    Also, don’t think you caught this one:

    3.) The 2020 election looms

    Now we arrive at the point where I start sounding old Jud Crandall from Stephen King’s “Pet Semetary.” [sic] Progressives and Democrats should be focusing on the election in 2020 because 1) it is a census year — meaning the makeup of the House of Representatives for the following decade will depend on down-ballot voting — and 2) there may be openings on the Supreme Court.

    There is an opening. Right now. Why is it important for the hypothetical in 2020 and not for the actual case, right now?????

    • lahtiji

      I don’t think anyone can beat Wonkette’s headline writing.

    • wjts

      Now we arrive at the point where I start sounding old Jud Crandall from Stephen King’s “Pet Semetary.”

      What the hell does this even mean? I know what I hope it means – that Young Bragman Good is about to get shanked by a demonic MurderToddler – but that can’t be what it meant, can it?

      • Snuff curry

        Dangling the carrot in front of grieving Dad and then acting all surprised and disappointed when Little Lord Zombieroy comes a’calling. In an unconvincing accent. Also, the overalls.

    • Rob in CT

      Hahahahaha. Christ, these people.

      • kped

        “The current Supreme Court opening isn’t as important as the hypothetical one 5 years from now” may be the dumbest arguments I’ve seen.

        • liberalrob

          Especially since it’s most likely to be Ginsburg or Souter, thus not affecting the balance of the court favorably for liberals. I guess it’s better to lose 5-4 than 6-3, but it’s still a loss…

          • mikeSchilling

            It’s very unlikely to be Souter.

            • kped

              He could retire again!

              Pretty sure liberalrob meant Stevens, and I’d agree with those two. In the next presidency, they have a great shot at replacing 4 justices. Scalia obviously, but RBG (already 83), Kennedy (79), and maybe Breyer (77).

              That’s why this and the next election are hugely critical.

    • Colin Day

      I wonder if Trump would appoint his sister Maryanne Trump Barry to the Supreme Court?

      • rea

        We hope. She’s not a complete rightwingnut job. But she’s on senior status now, so she’s probably too old.

    • BethRich52

      Thanks. That Wonkette was worth reading for “fatuous twit” alone.

      • kped

        They are on a roll:

        UPDATE! Don’t know how we missed it before, but Walker Bragman is blaming Merrick Garland for not overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizen United. Which is NOT A THING AN APPEALS COURT CAN DO. Or as we like to call it, HOW THE FUCK IS THIS UTTER MORON GETTING PAID TO WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT ANY TOPIC THAT IS NOT HIS OWN ASSHOLE. Now back to our regularly scheduled GO FUCK YOURSELF.
        Read more at http://wonkette.com/601201/dear-salon-set-your-dick-on-fire-and-eat-it#LP2IyK6zlVjZIsWf.99

        On Twitter, he blamed a copy editor. One of Salons deeply embarrassed original founders chimed in saying that no, Salon does not have copy editors. And reading her tweets, she is legit heart broken over what has happened there the last year since she left. I feel her pain, must be tough seeing the utter collapse of standards. I mean, sure, they did post Camille Paglia once a year before, but they always had more decent to crap stuff. Now…you really have to work to find something worth reading.

        • Yezzzz, I recently removed Salon from my news feed & do not even notice its absence.

        • weirdnoise

          Link to Joan Walsh’s tweet on Salon’s demise.

    • mikeSchilling

      The 2020 election looms

      I’m voting for Hugh Downs.

  • lahtiji

    Perhaps 2020 could see President Elizabeth Warren.

    Or perhaps 2020 could see Reichskanzler Drumpf!

    • CD

      Pretty much. Fascism can be a stable equilibrium. Institutions are fragile, and it’s not that hard to frighten people.

      • UserGoogol

        I don’t think it can really be stable as such. The third reich lasted a little more than a decade before it ended up getting invaded and partitioned. Fascist governments have a tendency to overextend themselves and do stupid things, and there’s no particular reason to think Trump would take the slow and steady Francisco Franco approach.

        But between 1933 and 1945 a whole lot of people died. We’d like that to not happen again.

        • lahtiji

          there’s no particular reason to think Trump would take the slow and steady Francisco Franco approach

          Especially given his inability to hold a stated position for longer than 24 hours.

          As far as institutions being fragile, I think what our political history since Watergate has shown is that our political institutions are actually quite stable, in a nominal sense, which is why they’ve been able to be captured so successfully by a small but motivated subset of the electorate.

          But this notion that 4 years of Trump would prove so awful that a fantasy candidate (I take Senator Warren at her at her word that she’s not interested in the presidency) would rise up, and bring us food and water and smite our enemies…I have a hard time reconciling that with what happened in 2004.

        • so-in-so

          There have been a lot of other strong-man states that have lasted longer than those that we name “Fascist”, and those that are considered Fascist are a pretty small sample to draw conclusions from.

          • lahtiji

            Oh, absolutely. I’m still struggling to come up with historical analogues for this particular strain of authoritarianism mixed with Babbittry.

        • liberalrob

          Also, the lands where those fascist governments resided did not fare particularly well in the process of that invading and partitioning. That land would be our land, this time around.

  • libarbarian

    The best way to discredit wasteful wars that kill lots of innocent people is to start one …… let’s do it!

  • NewishLawyer

    Drum had some “tough truths” for the Sanders fans today. I think he is basically right:

    “Unemployment? Yes, 2 or 3 percent of the working-age population has dropped out of the labor force, but the headline unemployment rate is 5 percent. Wages? They’ve been stagnant since the turn of the century, but the average family still makes close to $70,000, more than nearly any other country in the world. Health care? Our system is a mess, but 90 percent of the country has insurance coverage. Dissatisfaction with the system? According to Gallup, even among those with incomes under $30,000, only 27 percent are dissatisfied with their personal lives.

    Like it or not, you don’t build a revolution on top of an economy like this. Period. If you want to get anything done, you’re going to have to do it the old-fashioned way: through the slow boring of hard wood.

    Why do I care about this? Because if you want to make a difference in this country, you need to be prepared for a very long, very frustrating slog. You have to buy off interest groups, compromise your ideals, and settle for half loaves—all the things that Bernie disdains as part of the corrupt mainstream establishment. In place of this he promises his followers we can get everything we want via a revolution that’s never going to happen. And when that revolution inevitably fails, where do all his impressionable young followers go? Do they join up with the corrupt establishment and commit themselves to the slow boring of hard wood? Or do they give up?”

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/04/heres-why-i-never-warmed-bernie-sanders

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      couple of things bothered me about the Drum piece though overall I agree

      first is the idea Sanders is/was deliberately running a con on people. there’s something kind of pre-emptively bad faith in accusing everyone else of running a grift

      I also suspect that the number of young voters who drop out somehow disillusioned by Sanders isn’t going to be significantly different than the number of people who dropped out after any other ‘revolution’ failed to go over the top & that Drum worries too much about them

      • Aaron Morrow

        I found Greg Sargent’s response to be a more nuanced take on the situation.

        To be fair, Drum has a history of sneering at liberal positions he doesn’t care for, like anti-deportation and pro-refugee admission.

        • petesh

          Unlike everyone else who blogs, right? Drum himself made a good point about Krugman not long ago, which is that a lot of those who turned against Krugman because of his anti-Sanders posts should understand that what’s new is not Krugman’s snakiness, it’s that they don’t agree with him; Krugman has always pissed off his opponents. So do Loomis and Lemieux. So does Drum. BFD. I often disagree with him but I almost always find him worth reading.

    • rea

      Like it or not, you don’t build a revolution on top of an economy like this.

      Therefore, if you want a revolution. elect someone who will destroy the economy!

      • lahtiji

        Plus, don’t you start a fire from the bottom?

    • witlesschum

      Seems like you could do a find and replace for “Obama” and “Hope and/or change” just as well and we haven’t seen any particular bad effects of people being disillusioned with Obama’s inability to transform the county’s politics into something from a West Wing episode. I don’t know why we need to take Sanders’ flights of rhetoric literally moreso than Obama’s.

      It seems to me that whether this is chicken or egg, part of the reason we have this trouble with a fairly useless elite stealing too much of the country’s wealth is that major politicians don’t tend to talk about the problem in the terms Sanders does. Maybe it’s just become more acceptable to do that, so he’s doing it. Or maybe it’s become more acceptable because he did it, but his rhetoric seems to me like something different in that it’s from the left rather than from George Wallace or something, and it’s resonating with a lot of people, despite the facts Drum lays out. The Democratic Party going forward is going to get more and more like Sanders, not less, I predict.

      • Seems like you could do a find and replace for “Obama” and “Hope and/or change” just as well and we haven’t seen any particular bad effects of people being disillusioned with Obama’s inability to transform the county’s politics into something from a West Wing episode. I don’t know why we need to take Sanders’ flights of rhetoric literally moreso than Obama’s.

        Exactly. Drum chooses to misread Sanders’ campaign rhetoric as saying something it isn’t, then chastises Sanders for not being what he never claimed to be. It’s a bit like the old conservative classic, “Liberals say they’re tolerant but they’re not being tolerant of my opinions.”

    • Aaron Morrow

      Wages? They’ve been stagnant since the turn of the century, but the average family still makes close to $70,000, more than nearly any other country in the world.

      I don’t think hand-waving over 15 years of economic stagnation is a smart argument, but it’s worse than that. Due to the fact that income is not normally distributed, intentionally using average income tricks the reader. Median household income in the US has decreased from a peak of $58K in 1999 to $54K in 2014. Given that such a family can hardly travel often across the country, let alone the world, they are far more familiar with the fact that their income is worth less than it was at the turn of the century.

      • CD
        • GFW

          He said “from a peak”. That tends to be the way people look at income anyway.

          • CD

            It’s still more honest and useful to look at longer-term data and not play the game of picking years. Macro data are unstable year to year, and especially unstable in the neighborhood of the greatest recession since the 1930s. Here is real median family income, a different concept but available for a longer period:

            https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MEFAINUSA672N

            This does make a useful case for relative stagnation over the last two decades, and also makes clear that the key regime shift was in the 1970s.

            Finer-grained data can show the special difficulties faced by particular categories of folks, including students accumulating a lot more debt than previous generations.

            • Aaron Morrow

              It’s not honest for me to choose a different period than Drum did and compare apples to oranges.

              Why do you think Drum constructed his argument so sloppy, if you think his time period is too short for proper evaluation?

        • Aaron Morrow

          I used the same time period that Drum did so to make a similar comparison. Do you think he was cherrypicking the data? I guess that should have been on my list.

    • Brett

      I don’t think Kevin is right here. It’s true that the New Deal happened amidst immense suffering and dislocation, but what about the major strike waves of the 1940s, 1950s, late 1960s, and early 1970s? Those all happened in periods with similarly low unemployment and rising wages.

      • Ronan

        Depends what he means by revolution. If he means a literal transformation in the political institutions of the state, then the unemployment rate isn’t hugely important. If he’s talking about pushing a long term change in political direction , then he’s going to have to be more clear terminologically , and it would seem that Bernie is going about it in the right way. At least partially

    • Ronan

      It’s arguing against a straw man though ,no? How is Bernie trying to “build a revolution”? How is running for president and mobilising a passionate base not part of “the hard slog of politics”?
      Extremely patronising. And trivial.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        no, my take all along has been that Sanders is talking about something big and immediate that transcends not only the Democratic party as it currently exists but also the Republicans- what else would that be but a revolution?

        I differ with Drum in that I think Sanders genuinely believes there is a large and ready to participate constituency that has been waiting for someone to deliver his particular message. That at best is partially true- to really get over the Sanders campaign was going to need organizing, encouragement and a personal touch- the lesson Obama taught in 20018. So I don’t understand why Sanders ended up putting so much of that small-donor money into the usual lazy top-down things like big rallies and tv advertising instead of boots on the ground slogging it out door to door

        • Ronan

          Okay, fair points. You’re much more tuned in to this stuff than me (I’m only paying half attention and lack sophistication on it )
          But still Im curious, what do you mean by “something big and immediate that transcends .. ” This is still a little vague. Could Sanders be a Goldwater character, ploughing the ground for the next generation ?

          • Hob

            Good grief, man. I realize that not really thinking things through or looking into the details of what you’re opining about, and then walking back whatever you said by admitting that you weren’t paying attention, is pretty much your whole thing on this blog… and that’s your prerogative, but if you know that you don’t know what you’re talking about, then maybe you shouldn’t make judgments like “extremely patronizing”? Maybe just limit yourself to whimsical, non-aggressive observations?

            • Ronan

              Well, I do think the article was patronising. I backed off primarily to open up conversation. I still don’t think either drum (or to a lesser extent Jim) defined what was meant by “revolution” , but I was interested in the idea that Sanders was a “transformative” candidate. I thought he was primarily a relatively moderate politician with a Deep history working within the system who was more a slightly more leftist option, but still fundamentally establishment.
              The patronising part of drums article, to me, was the implication that Sanders base was such low information and tenous that they would automatically drift out of politics after this campaign , not go on and become more deeply involved, or be inspired into further activism.
              So shorter me, drums article was superficial, but perhaps there’s something deeper here I could learn about

              • jim, some guy in iowa

                if I understand you correctly your position is that Sanders is just another center-left politician and that Drum is being unfair when he criticizes Sanders for not being able to bring about a revolution. That is just *not* how the Sanders campaign has presented itself

                • Ronan

                  Taking the part Newishlawyer clipped only (there’s more nonsense in the article itself) here are some claims Drum makes:

                  “(1) “Unemployment? Yes, 2 or 3 percent of the working-age population has dropped out of the labor force, but the headline unemployment rate is 5 percent.” ”

                  This really isnt that relevant. The unemployment rate at X point in time doesnt generally correlate with actual ‘revolutionary’ periods let alone explain long term structural changes in a country’s political economy.

                  “(2) Like it or not, you don’t build a revolution on top of an economy like this. Period. ”

                  I genuinely have no idea what he means. What this ‘revolution’ is, what he thinks is being ‘built’, nothing is defined here. It’s empty rhetoric.

                  “(3)If you want to get anything done, you’re going to have to do it the old-fashioned way: through the slow boring of hard wood.”

                  This point is so banal Im surprised he feels the need to make it. But again he’s not defining what it is he thinks needs to be done (‘anything’ cant be done through ‘the slow boring of hard wood’, sometimes you need a push) or offer any evidence that Sanders or his supporters dont get this.

                  “(4) Why do I care about this? Because if you want to make a difference in this country, you need to be prepared for a very long, very frustrating slog. You have to buy off interest groups, compromise your ideals, and settle for half loaves”

                  Again, trivial. But again underestimaes how long term change occurs, particularly within parties. How societal and party preferences shift in part because of small groups of dedicated political activists over the long term. There’s also no evidence for why a Sanders admin wouldnt get this.

                  “(5) all the things that Bernie disdains as part of the corrupt mainstream establishment. In place of this he promises his followers we can get everything we want via a revolution that’s never going to happen. ”

                  Again this offers no evidence that this is what Bernie or his followers want. He’s assuming (cherry picked) rhetoric equals set in stone preferences. And he’s, again, using ‘revolution’ as something approaching a dog whistle.

                  “(6) And when that revolution inevitably fails, where do all his impressionable young followers go? Do they join up with the corrupt establishment and commit themselves to the slow boring of hard wood? Or do they give up?””

                  This is the worst part. The rest is trivial, this is patronishing. My guess would be that rather than ‘give up’ a campaign like this inspires enough people to become politically engaged. Not the majority, but enough to be important. We’re still coming to terms with the generation of 1968 (Gerry Adams, a product of that generation, has helped build a formidable party throughout Ireland, for example) So what this means in the long term is unknowable. But Matt Drum’s vulgar,cliche ridden screed is not a good guide. Imo.
                  And if we want to understand what’s occuring across the world, politically, at the moment, we’d be best off moving away from this vulgar partisan posturing.

            • Ronan

              I’d add as well, and I don’t mean this defensively, but you are conflating my whimsy with my serious points a little, though I thank you for at least isolating the whimsyness from the substantive contributions.
              I don’t engage in that many threads here, but thinking of one’s I was serious about, I think 4 come to mind
              (1) claiming everyone was a nationalist , which was a bit of rhetoric that got out of hand, but was mostly responding to anti nationalist boilerplate.
              (2) arguing “becoming white” (as framed here) is analytically weak. This I think I’m correct on.
              (3) arguing that trade deals come with distributional trade-offs. Banal, certainly, but coherent.
              (4) finally, Bernie Sanders. See above.

              Also please don’t mistake genuine question asking for making a point. By their nature questions will be a little incoherent.

              • Hob

                I have no idea what you’re talking about. I was neither “conflating [your] whimsy with [your] serious points” nor “isolating the whimsyness from the substantive contributions” (and how it would even be possible to do both, I don’t know). And if you don’t want someone to think you’re making a point rather than asking questions, perhaps you should use question marks rather than periods when you say things like “Extremely patronising. And trivial.”

                A huge proportion of your comments here are so dashed-off and incoherent that it is impossible to tell how serious you are, and you don’t really seem to care. When someone engages with you, you sometimes go back and give it more thought (possibly including the use of the shift key and punctuation), and actually explain what you meant to say, which is sometimes serious and sometimes not; on many other occasions, you just respond with something along the lines of “yeah okay I don’t really know anything about this, I was just talking.” It’s quite annoying, but I’m sure you realize that. And I have no interest in engaging you further.

                • Ronan

                  But I obviously think this is a bit of a caricature. I mean, I see where youre coming from but I think there’s more to it. I tend to have different positions on a number of subjects than the norm here, which I think (partly my own fault) get misinterpreted, or at least get unnecessary pushback.
                  When I ask questions I do(generally) use question marks. But I wasnt asking a question with “Extremely patronising. And trivial.” I was making a statement, as explained above.
                  And sure I tend to reconsider positions, or (more often) discreetly make my exit from tedious arguments, but tbh I dont think Ive had any fundamental political positions changed by anyone here.
                  Anyway none of this is either here not there, and it’s all become a little self referential.

                • And sure I tend to reconsider positions, or (more often) discreetly make my exit from tedious arguments, but tbh I dont think Ive had any fundamental political positions changed by anyone here

                  Ohhhh, dude! You could throw me a bone here and say that I’ve at least change done of your superficial political positions! Or maybe revealed some fact!

                  Where IS the love?!?!

                • Ronan

                  Tbh, On specific policies, a lot of people including yourself, Bijan, have. And on broader topics like racism and sexism I think Im discounting how much my positions have shifted since reading blogs like this.
                  More generally though, na.

                  edit: i would insert a smiley winky emoticon, but im playing it cool fttb

                • Ronan

                  Not that I was ever in favour of racism and sexism. Or even bad policy.

                • And now your campaign slogan writes itself:

                  Ronan: Always against racism and sexism but sometimes writes comments which might lead you to think otherwise.*

                  * Not directly so! Just by suggesting that his mind “changed” about certain aspects of racism and sexism but written in such a way that might lead you to think, if you were being a bit uncharitable, that it was changed about whether they are bad.

                  Got my vote!

              • Hob

                (For what it’s worth, I don’t think very highly of Drum’s punditry in general. But anyone who really can’t see how Sanders presented his campaign as a transformative movement— totally apart from whether his actual history as a politician fits with that idea— has not been paying the slightest bit of attention in the last year, and has no business calling anyone else’s analysis “trivial.”)

                • how Sanders presented his campaign as a transformative movement

                  The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
                  Obama’s Nomination Victory Speech In St. Paul June 3, 2008.

                • Ronan

                  Im saying what he is, not how he sold himself. And saying his base shouldnt be dismissed (as per Drum) as neophytes.
                  And I was asking, if it isnt the case that he’s fundamentally a moderate, and if he is engaging in ‘transformational politics’, then is this a movement within the Dems like the rise of the radical right were within the Republicans.
                  Anyway , Ive explained this above .

                • Hob

                  Joe, I’m not sure what point you’re making. Yes, Obama used extremely lofty rhetoric after winning the election; he used lofty rhetoric during his campaign too, for that matter. And, unsurprisingly, no one looked at that rhetoric and summed up the message of the campaign as “a relatively moderate politician … working within the system … a slightly more leftist option, but still fundamentally establishment.” Of course it’d be totally fair to describe Obama as relatively moderate, but he sure as hell was not running on the message of “I’m just another politician, I won’t really mess with the system.” Sanders even less so.

                  The reason Ronan missed the point isn’t that no other politician has ever made grand claims but then still managed to do the hard work of politics too. The reason Ronan missed the point is that he can’t understand why Drum would describe Sanders as making grand claims, and he thinks “actually Sanders is a regular politician” is somehow a counter to that.

                • Ronan

                  Plenty of people realised Obama was fundamentally a moderate.
                  But, No, ‘the reason Ronan missed the point’ is because Drum’s argument was all over the place. He’s making a specific argument. That Sanders failure will turn his base off politics. He does this by conflating campaign rhetoric with the practicalities of politics.
                  He doesnt seem to get that you can be both inspired by political rhetoric and a campaign and aware of the practicalities of politics.
                  And more specifically, he doesnt provide any evidence or meaningful argument for the many claims he makes in his article.

                • Putting aside the details about Sanders, I think it’s an interesting question to ask whether we are past the possibility for “fast” transformative and yet progresssive revolutions in liberal democracies. I was shocked by how acquiesce all the populaces were to the Great Recession and Austerity. I mean, even in Greece!

                  We have *enough* prosperity and *enough* formal and informal safety nets and *enough* democratic accountability that, with current propaganda, it seems like you can sell a *ton* of austerity and other bizarro assaults. I tend to think these are *good* things: That the Great Recession didn’t have some of the negative effects of the Great Depression is a good thing.

                  Or you know, it could be just that things haven’t broken *yet*. There were weird policies during the Great Depression as well, after all. Societies are funny and often highly non-linear in their dynamics.

                  After all, I keep waiting for the Republican party to break. Each astonishing new bit used to make me think, “well, THIS is the one!” These days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they survive a Trump candidacy (or third party run). OTOH, I wouldn’t be super surprised if the unravelled really quickly as well. I give odds for the former.

        • so-in-so

          Pushing early for people to register in closed primary states would have been helpful (although maybe he didn’t have the money or recognition at that point).

          Heck, deciding to run and becoming a Democratic party member himself somewhat earlier (like 2013 maybe) would have helped him a lot.

        • liberalrob

          I differ with Drum in that I think Sanders genuinely believes there is a large and ready to participate constituency that has been waiting for someone to deliver his particular message.

          I don’t believe that. I think Sanders believes there is an opportunity to create that constituency, not that it already exists. If it already existed, the “revolution” (more of a “realignment”) would already have begun. What there is, is a large number of people who know our political system is broken and not getting better. Authoritarians see it as an opportunity to further discredit republican government and push for the strongman they’ve always dreamed of being led by (if not actually being); and Trump is volunteering for that post.

          I don’t think Sanders actually ever had any real expectation of becoming President. I think he just wanted to energize people who would have snored through a coronation of Hillary and maybe not woken up in time to vote in November. And for a year he’s been able to go around the country spreading his message in a way that a small-state Senator isn’t able to do as effectively. The fact that he’s actually made it a race is an achievement on its own.

          • Ronan

            But the ‘realignment’ is occuring across the west. (and Arguably across more than the west.) The constiuency is there in pretty much all of the advanced democracies. The parochialism of Drum is causing him to misunderstand and caricature what we are witnessing.The same cleavages (left and right) are developing in most places. Whether or not it is sustainable is an open question, but I certainly dont trust Matt drum to explain it.

            • weirdnoise

              You’re right! The overwhelming success of OWS proves it.

              • Ronan

                I should learn to stop when Im behind. Or at least before the glue starts to hit. (Just to be clear, Im being whimsical. I dont really sniff glue. Not regularly anyway)

  • The problem with Trump is that he has totally vexed the establishment. It just doesn’t know how to react to someone like him. Hillary has more smarts in her little finger than what amounts to the Republican establishment these days, but she is a creature of the establishment none the less.

    I guess I’m just having flashbacks to 2004 when many of us just couldn’t grasp how Kerry could be losing to Bush. I just hope history isn’t going to repeat itself in 2016.

    • Rob in CT

      Well, data available so far indicates we’re in a much, much better position than we were in 2004. So there’s that. No reason to take anything for granted, of course, but it really isn’t the same situation at all.

      • DilbertSucks

        I think one possible danger is that expectations for Trump in the general election are so low that he won’t have to do much to exceed them.

        For example, if Trump manages to simply “not look like a total buffoon” during the debates, you’ll have media hacks like Wolf Blitzer praising him as a “changed candidate” and “surprisingly presidential.” That narrative benefits him.

        Likewise for electoral expectations. Right now so many people are predicting a landslide loss for Trump that the first signs of the poll gap narrowing (and I think the gap will inevitably narrow as the part consolidates around him) will be interpreted by the media pundits as momentum in Trump’s favor.

        That’s why I think the smart tactic for liberals is to adjust our expectations for Trump upward — assume that he’ll perform better than usual at the debates and at the polls — and then tear him apart if he falters or collapses. This makes it harder for Trump to claim he “defied the odds” and “made a comeback” while still allowing us to savage him when he fails.

        Don’t be arrogant or complacent, and scold other liberals if you see them behaving that way.

        • Rob in CT

          Oh agreed on not being complacent. Totally. But I also think doom and gloom is a bad place to be. Plenty of Dems have never shaken off the shell-shock of 2000/2004 (or earlier elections). That’s not helpful either, I think.

          Arrogant… is “this man is a total buffoon and if you think voting for him is going to help anything you’re more ignorant than my 6 year old” arrogant? Asking for a friend.

          • DilbertSucks

            I meant being arrogant about Trump’s chances of winning and capacity to hoodwink voters. In other words, don’t be one of those liberals who assumes he’s already toast and going to lose in a landslide. I know people like that and scold them for it.

            I do think Trump supporters deserve to have their judgment seriously questioned. I’m tired of all the fluff pieces defending Trump voters as sadly misunderstood souls with legitimate grievances. Some of them, maybe. But many Trump voters I’ve encountered are just nasty and resentful individuals. Many are also flat out stupid; not ignorant, but stupid. At best, they’re extremely naive about what Trump would do in office.

            • Rob in CT

              Sorry, I just recently had a conversation with my (self-styled) socialist friend who, from a vantage point in Finland, said (I shit you not) “I’m a Bernie or Trump guy.”

              I said that’s totally irrational. He said “it’s perfectly rational. He’d be different.” I said “that’s reasoning worthy of a 4 year old” and his comeback was “well then I’m 2 years older than most politics” or somesuch. There was also some heighten-the-contradictions commentary. At this point I nearly had a meltdown.

              After some back and forth about the ridiculousness of his position (I think I finally got through when I mentioned President Trump signing whatever a GOP congress sent him), he went on to praise Finland for a while.

              ARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH. Of course, if he bothers to vote at all, he’ll be voting in NY and Hillary will carry NY easily. So whatever, but holy shit I hate talking about politics with him sometimes. This is my best friend.

              Sorry, had to vent.

              ETA: also, to your point, he spent some time talking about how on certain social issues Trump doesn’t care/isn’t as bad as other GOPers.

              • so-in-so

                “Doesn’t care” probably means “perfectly willing to sign any law sent to desk on”, so yeah, really bad argument.

              • DilbertSucks

                Exactly. And I’m sure there are many many people out there who are less attentive and more impressionable and thus easier to hoodwink than your friend in NY, and those are precisely the people we need to consider when we look at the narratives and talking points the media push.

                If we don’t start dismantling these narratives and talking points right now, it might be too late to undo the damage later in the election season.

                • Pat

                  I’d like to see the Democrats put out a new narrative. I think that we should take a page from Trudeau’s book and campaign on investing in America. Raise taxes on the rich and the financial class, and pour the money into research and infrastructure.

                  Cloak it in patriotism. America should be first in the world in infrastructure. Demand to know why the Republicans want America to rot. Republican legislators are too lazy to do their own jobs!

                  We need to take control of this meme and own it.

        • Hob

          “Right now so many people are predicting a landslide loss for Trump that the first signs of the poll gap narrowing … will be interpreted by the media pundits as momentum in Trump’s favor. That’s why I think the smart tactic for liberals is to adjust our expectations for Trump upward … This makes it harder for Trump to claim he “defied the odds” and “made a comeback” while still allowing us to savage him when he fails.”

          Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t understand how “our” expectations are supposed to have any effect on what Wolf Blitzer does. Let’s say I decide to “assume he’ll perform better than usual at the debates.” Fine. But who in the media world actually gives a crap what I assume? Are they reading my Facebook feed? Are they polling any community that I have any contact with? I mean, of course I get that you’re not just talking about each individual, but the idea that pundit bullshit is actually based on a sampling of what the average liberal is talking about— be it on blogs, in bars, or at our weekly lattés-and-sodomy get-togethers— doesn’t seem well founded to me.

          There are plenty of reasons not to be complacent, but they have to do with real actions— like, don’t get so complacent that you stop supporting your candidate with volunteer efforts or donations, don’t forget to vote, etc. That’s different from “don’t get complacent because some asshole on CNN really cares whether you expected Trump to do well in a debate.” If they want to present that narrative, they’ll do it; it’s not like it really needs factual support.

          • Hob

            For that matter, I don’t even understand what it would mean for me to “assume that he’ll perform better than usual at the debates.” Should I say that I think he’ll be a good debater, in the sense of saying things that make any sense, or are responsive, or sound like something a serious candidate would say? Well then I would be lying; I don’t think that will happen at all. But if you just mean I should assume that someone will say he kicked ass in the debates… sure, of course. I have no problem assuming that, because I’m a person who lives in the United States and I’ve seen a fair number of Republican campaigns. Unless Trump accidentally pokes out his own eye with a french fry, or breaks down crying and begging Clinton to make his nightmares go away, I fully expect to hear about all the ass he kicked.

            Trump has set an incredibly low standard for himself by acting like an intoxicated fool for his whole life. If he gets through a debate OK, pundits will go wild. That really isn’t in question, and it’s a totally different question from whether he’ll be elected.

            • Pat

              I think DS is talking about the Democratic commentariat pushing the conversation. Because in some ways we do. We shouldn’t just react to the news. Scott isn’t: by making fun of HA! and co here, he pushes for Democratic unity. Reading it, and thinking it, means when I chat with the Berners I work with, I’m a little more inclined to welcome. (Actually, I like the Berners I work with. But that’s another story.)

            • BubbaDave

              Unless Trump accidentally pokes out his own eye with a french fry

              That might be the only case where ketchup would be appropriate.

    • max

      The problem with Trump is that he has totally vexed the establishment. It just doesn’t know how to react to someone like him.

      They didn’t know how to react to Dick Cheney or GW Bush either, so they projected the mantle of ‘moderate Northeastern Republican’ on to him. This was notably wrong.

      I guess I’m just having flashbacks to 2004 when many of us just couldn’t grasp how Kerry could be losing to Bush. I just hope history isn’t going to repeat itself in 2016.

      This also bugs me.

      max
      [‘Nothing to be done for it except pestering the usual suspects not to fuck this up.’]

    • NonyNony

      I guess I’m just having flashbacks to 2004 when many of us just couldn’t grasp how Kerry could be losing to Bush.

      Incumbent President.
      During a War. (Two actually)
      And a (slow) Economic Recovery.
      And an approval rating of around 50% leading into the election.

      Kerry had a huge uphill battle to climb to win it. I was shocked at how many people thought he was a sure-fire bet to win because, frankly, it was W’s election to lose not Kerry’s to win. (I think people on the left underestimating W’s electioneering skills was the number one reason people were shocked that Kerry lost that election. If you believed – as I did – that W was a really damn good political campaigner, it was easy to see how Kerry was going to have to get really lucky to win it).

      Notably none of these are a problem this time around. If there are any flashbacks to be had, the relevant year is 2000. If I thought that Clinton was going to run a Gore-style campaign of pushing the incumbent president away and talking down his accomplishments I’d be worried. But right now I’m really not.

      • Yeah, I’m paranoid. But we will definitly need all hands on deck to flip the Senate. Hillary really needs to keep pushing that message.

        • Pat

          Investment! Fairness! Justice!

          That’s the big three we need to hammer.

      • GFW

        The 8 year track of GWB’s approval rating is an amazing thing.
        http://media.nola.com/hurricane_katrina/photo/george-w-bush-approval-rating-chart-2b5edf28af8b1e68.jpg

        He had squandered historic goodwill to such an extent that he was under 50 in his first term and just barely bumped it up over 50 for his second election, whereupon it just slid lower and lower.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        Obama is going to get out on that campaign trail. The only post-WW2 times we were in the situation where we had a two-term incumbent were:

        Bush – he was radioactive
        Clinton – Gore held him at a distance, despite his popularity
        Reagan – getting a bit senile, can’t find a lot of info on how he campaigned, but he supported Bush
        Eisenhower – did not campaign enthusiastically for Nixon

        So, seeing Obama out there is going to be interesting, and I think he’ll be more effective at helping Hillary on the campaign trail than any of those past four were to their successors.

        • random

          Good point.

        • Pat

          Oh, I think you’ve nailed this one on the head.

        • Great point.

          Also, let’s not underestimate Trump’s Ugly Mode. He’s going to go sexist after HRC and perhaps Birther against Obama. Throw in some of his typical immigration racist and Trump will be a fundraising and GOTV *force* for the Democrats.

        • bender

          I don’t think he will be effective. Mr. Clinton is normally a very gifted politician and communicator, but not when the person he is campaigning for is his wife.

          His past efforts, both in this cycle and when she was running against Obama, show that he is prone to a typical weakness of husbands and wives, which is that when their spouse is attacked, they get very angry and lose all sense of proportion in defending the spouse.

          Trump is extremely adroit at pushing people’s buttons. Hillary is wise to him and won’t respond to his insults in a knee jerk way. Trump’s going to concentrate on getting a rise out of Bill, who will go overboard. I foresee Mrs. Clinton wasting a lot of news cycles defending her husband and walking back his more embarrassing statements, when she would rather be attacking Trump.

  • John Selmer Dix

    Moreover, rightly or wrongly, he represents America’s crypto-fascist element. The best way to discredit both of these groups is to let them fail on their own.

    Ah, so the Germans and Italians were just getting fascism out of their system. Good for them.

    • so-in-so

      Harder to bomb the Facists into oblivion when the live across the street instead of across the ocean.

      Without collateral damage anyway.

    • Hells Littlest Angel

      They haven’t been fascistic since, so no harm done!

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
        But that couldn’t happen again…
        We taught them a lesson in nineteen-eighteen,
        And they’ve hardly bothered us since then!

  • DilbertSucks

    Okay, liberals need to stop being complacent and start thinking towards a Clinton vs. Trump general election match. This means:

    1) Shoot down any and all claims that Trump is “less hawkish” than Hillary. He’s going to try to position himself as less hawkish than Hillary in the general by emphasizing his “America First” stance, which could appeal on a gut level to many moderates/swing voters. Trump needs to be neutralized on this issue before the general election is underway so that no one buys him as a credible “non-interventionist” alternative to Hillary.

    Point out, for example, that Trump’s non-interventionist platform is largely a sham and contradicted by his past statements, such as his vigorous support for military intervention in Libya and toppling Gaddafi:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/trump-claims-he-didnt-support-libya-intervention-but-he-did

    Likewise his exaggerated opposition to the Iraq War. Trump didn’t turn against the Iraq War until 2004, which was the same year many people started turning against it, Hillary included.

    At no point over the last 15 years has Trump proven to be less hawkish than Hillary when it mattered or demonstrated more prescience than her.

    The irony is that Trump’s 2016 campaign rhetoric (bomb the shit out of ISIS; eager embrace of torture and war crimes; kill the families of terrorists; send ground troops in Syria; to hell with the Geneva Convention; etc etc etc) has been much more belligerent than George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign rhetoric (“no nation-building,” humble foreign policy), and yet look how Bush turned out.

    And that’s without even mentioning Trump’s appalling ignorance of basic concepts such as the nuclear triad. The argument that Trump’s foreign policy would be less dangerous than Hillary’s is delusional.

    2) Start deconstructing the simplistic Establishment vs. Anti-Establishment narrative the media has been propagating. Pressure journalists and pundits to shift away from it.

    Point out, for example, that Trump’s campaign is now brimming with Establishment lobbyists such as Paul Manafort, who would be equally at home working with Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/trump-turns-over-his-campaign-to-lobbyists-222242

    Furthermore, remind people that “”anti-Establishment” rhetoric is actually a common right-wing trope. It’s a sales pitch. Nothing more. It’s not new and Trump didn’t invent it. It’s just that this year the media is pushing “anti-Establishment” politics as the Big Thing, and have failed to put this stuff in context.

    Sarah Palin called herself “anti-Establishment” as well in 2008. Here are some choice quotes from Palin back then:

    “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly these past few days that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”

    “I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion.”

    “We’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual, and somebody’s big fat resume, maybe, that shows decades and decades in the Washington establishment . . . Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing, and kind of that closed-door, good-ol’-boy network that has been the Washington elite.”

    Sound familiar?

    3) Don’t let journalists/pundits get away with claims that Trump is a “moderate” or “centrist.” Resist the urge to praise Trump in comparison to Ted Cruz or other Republicans.

    At this stage, when liberals praise Trump for his moderation on issues like transsexuals in bathrooms, it only muddies the waters and makes it more difficult to articulate the real dangers a Trump presidency would pose. I’ve encountered way too many inattentive/low-information voters who have been sold on the idea that Trump is a “closet Democrat” or a “centrist/moderate” because of what they’ve read about him.

    This is what Trump wants, because it facilitates his pivot the general election, and lulls some leftists/liberals/moderates into believing that a Trump presidency wouldn’t be so bad and/or that the differences between Hillary and Trump are exaggerated. You see the effects of this tactic in the waffling and false equivalencies from the Susan Sarandon crowd.

    I know the temptation to applaud heterodoxy on certain issues is strong, but it’s worth remembering that it’s also more common than people remember. Dick Cheney supported gay marriage; Ted Cruz has taken a stand against torture in the past; John McCain supported campaign finance reform; Mitt Romney passed health care reform; George H.W. Bush was pro-choice; Mike Huckabee supported cap and trade in 2007/2008; William Buckley supported marijuana legalization; Pat Buchanan was an economic protectionist; and so on and so forth. So what? We’re still better off with a Democrat.

    Once again, at this point of the election, praising Trump for moderation on a given issue only helps him and hurts Hillary. It makes it harder to articulate the danger posed by Trump to the less attentive crowd. It’s not worth it.

    While I would like to see decisive victory for the Democrats in November, I think Trump is a lot more dangerous and unpredictable than liberals realize and victory can’t be taken for granted. We can’t afford to be arrogant or complacent this early, or we’ll commit the same mistake the GOP made with regard to Trump. We need to behave as if this election will be close and take every precautionary measure possible.

    • Rob in CT

      Yup. Trump’s not a non-interventionist. He’s a know-nothing blowhard with aggressive tendencies, just like on every other topic.

      Also strongly agree with #3. It’s important to add that a President Trump (shudder) will sign whatever the GOP congress he would certainly have will send him, so his supposed moderation on, say, social security, won’t mean shit. He’s not gonna veto a bunch of GOP legislation. He’ll sign it and tell you it’s yuuuge and classy.

      #2 is true but I’m not sure anyone will buy it no matter how hard liberals push it.

      • DilbertSucks

        For #2, it’s worth mentioning that it was always only parts of the GOP Establishment which opposed Trump. He could count on support from Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Joe Scarborough, et al., all of whom have wield far more influence among the GOP base than National Review does. He also received support from prominent members of the Tea Party/evangelical factions, like Jerry Falwell Jr, Sarah Palin, and to some extent Mike Huckabee. Even Rupert Murdoch tweeted months ago that Trump was an acceptable nominee and could win the general election.

        I also think that to the extent that opposition among the GOP elites existed, it was predicated on the belief that Trump would tank in the general election and alienate key demographics for a generation or more. It was a pragmatic objection, not a moral one, and certainly not rooted in any fear that Trump would “shake things up” or threaten their material well-being in any fashion.

        Finally, we need to talk to the more reasonable Bernie supporters like Robert Reich and get them to tone down the simplistic “anti-Establishment” talk, or at least try to get them to discuss the topic in a more nuanced manner than “the people are angry! tear it all down!” Reich’s analysis of this election season has been depressingly sophomoric, but he’s at least willing to support Hillary against the Republicans.

        On #3, I agree with you, and I’d add that all the data I’ve seen suggest that Trump voters, for the most part, hold standard Republican beliefs on issues such as LGBT rights and abortion and healthcare. This means that, should Trump get elected, he’d be forced to placate his constituency on these issues by appointing reliably conservative Supreme Court justices, taking a “states’ rights” stance on various social issues so that Red states could get away with discrimination, etc.

        • Pat

          Pretty solid, DS, but we also need a positive message. We’re Democrats; we have to stand for something. We need to give people reasons to vote for Hillary as well as reasons not to vote for Donald.

    • max

      I endorse this comment.

      max
      [‘Thanks for sparing me the task of writing it.’]

    • tsam

      I want to take a warm shower with this comment.

  • addicted44

    Trump’s brand of populism has been enabled by the roughly 40-year decline of our middle class that both parties have facilitated through the abandonment of Franklin D. Roosevelt in favor of Ronald Reagan.

    “The problem is that we’ve adopted Reagan’s policies. The only solution is to elect someone who explicitly and repeatedly claims to be Reagan’s heir”.

    Are we sure these people aren’t actually just pseudonyms for a 1000 monkeys banging away at typewriters?

  • max

    Moreover, rightly or wrongly, he represents America’s crypto-fascist element. The best way to discredit both of these groups is to let them fail on their own.

    Uhhhh:

    Some men will got to extraordinary lengths to prove how macho they are. Frenchman Pierre Pumpille recently shunted a stationary car two feet by headbutting it. “Women thought I was a god,” he explained from his hospital bed.
    Deity or not, however, Pumpille is a veritable girl’s blouse compared to Polish farmer Krystof Azninski, who staked a strong claim to being Europe’s most macho man by cutting off his own head in 1995. Azninski, 30, had been drinking with friends when it was suggested they strip naked and play some “men’s games”. Initially they hit each other over the head with frozen turnips, but then one man upped the ante by seizing a chainsaw and cutting off the end of his foot. Not to be outdone, Azninski grabbed the saw and, shouting “Watch this then,” he swung at his own head and chopped it off.

    “It’s funny,” said one companion, “when he was young he put on his sister’s underwear. But he died like a man.”

    To be fair, that story is probably entirely bogus, much like HA Goodman’s column.

    max
    [‘At the third turn of this year’s Stupid Derby, HA Goodman is breaking away from the ‘Sanders is a Red Commie Racist’ pack! Can he maintain his lead????’]

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    Trump is no Hitler. And furthermore, he might sign a mutual non-aggression pact with Putin, but that doesn’t mean he’ll have to honor it.

    • rea

      True, he’s unlikely to invade Poland. Maybe Mexico

    • Matt McIrvin

      Honoring it would certainly make him unlike Hitler.

  • Anon21

    Beyond the embarrassing errors of syntax and spelling (which Salon has now seen fit to edit–often, publications will edit their pieces before even publishing them), the man is simply letting his true motives all hang out:

    On the flip side, if Hillary Clinton screws up by compromising too much (which is likely) or doing too little (also likely), progressivism will take a big hit in the public eye, which is something we cannot afford.

    “We” I’m guessing means brogressive purity trolls. The thing they can least afford is to endure the sight of a Democratic President “compromising too much.” “We” presumably does not include say, low-income women who need abortions, people with pre-existing conditions who rely on ACA subsidies, or workers who depend on NLRB for protections against unfair labor practices. Those groups tend to have more concrete concerns than whether the “brand” of progressivism is sufficiently pure.

    • Pat

      Don’t forget:

      Children who drink tap water
      People who breath air
      Parents who want their children educated
      Commuters who want decent transit systems
      Consumers who want green energy
      Researchers who need funding dollars
      Parents who don’t want their children shot in the street by cops
      Students who don’t want to owe their whole lives for an education

      We also have a stake in this election

  • Area Man

    Trump may not offer policy specifics, but he does not need them because the political establishment on both sides of the aisle, have failed the American people so badly, and the people have caught on.

    Republicans do bad things. Democrats exist. Therefore, both sides are equally to blame.

  • Area Man

    As such, when Trump finds himself up against institutional and bureaucratic resistance, it is unlikely he will deliver. For example, his wall — paid for by Mexico — is never going to happen. Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.? Not a chance.

    I recall this style of argument from supporters of Ron Paul back in ’08. “Sure, many of his ideas are totally horrible. But don’t worry, Congress will never let his horrible ideas pass.”

    For some reason, the more parsimonious action of not voting for a person with horrible ideas didn’t occur to these people.

  • kped

    I feel bad for Digby. She has to go on Twitter to say “#notallsalonwriters”. It’s sad to see someone who is great have to work for that company, but bills gotta get paid, so I have no bad words to day about her. Can’t believe how far Salon has fallen. Was never “great”, but was certainly good enough for many years. This election has seen it go insane for a few extra clicks. They don’t seem to care that most of the clicks are to mock it and its stupidity.

    • Aaron Morrow

      As long as Kaufman keeps getting paid, I hope he keeps pointing to his good stuff there from here.

      • kped

        There are a couple I’m glad are getting paid there. Scott, Digby, Marcotte (I know she is persona non-grata around many liberal blogs for being for Clinton, dont matter, still think she’s a good writer). But then they have their stable of interchangeable white guys pooping out the dumbest columns I’ve read.

        • XTPD

          I’d also add Maloy, Legum & Saraiya to the list of essential writers: Maloy & Pareene do about as good a job as Pareene in delivering accurate & humorous commentary, while Saraiya’s a pretty solid media critic (and to her credit, not given to “Nixon was a liberal!” fancies like O’Hehir).

          The rest of the columnists, ugh. I will say that Salon’s “derp oblivion” is more the fault of the regular contributors (HA!-Bragman-Morris, etc.) than the (largely inessential) columnists on the sidebar (even Sean “Gore 2016” Illing is rarely that stupid). That said, there’s probably a rule that requires at least three total dumbasses on their payroll at any given time – Jeffrey Tayler’s writings on atheism manage to make Bill Maher seem like Reza Aslan, and Patrick Smith is essentially a D-list Alex Cockburn without the charm. Speaking of which:

  • BethRich52

    I was so shocked to read that Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is Eric Garland, that I missed the incredibly ignorant statement about how he had single-handedly created Super PACs. Fatuous twit is right. I would say that Bragman is the twit of the year for this piece, but the year is still young. He might write some more.

  • bobbo1

    Trump often talks about raising taxes on “hedge fund guys”

    As in, “so yeah, here’s this other thing I’m not going to do.”

    He has filed more frivolous lawsuits than anyone in the public eye — or maybe we just hear about them more.

    Say, is there some way one might “check” whether “facts” are true?

  • But, hey, it could be worse — he could be Camille Paglia.

    Speaking of whom, I am very disappointed that no one has taken his or her life in hand, watched this:

    A Conversation with Camille Paglia
    Camille Paglia joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on the brilliance of Bowie, lamb vindaloo, her lifestyle of observation, why writers need real jobs, Star Wars, Harold Bloom, Amelia Earhart, Edmund Spenser, Brazil, why she is most definitely not a cultural conservative, and much more.

    & typed something about it.

    • BubbaDave

      My assumption is that those who watched it suffered such debilitating brain damage (from neurons committing suicide in protest) that they’re unable to type anything now.

      • You can be sure I wasn’t about to watch it, not having any neurons to spare.

    • Malaclypse

      PAGLIA: They’re so proud of themselves as they produce all these clones, these polished, bourgeois clones, witless, knowing nothing.

      Irony is dead.

      • IS

        Are you saying that Paglia is polished?

  • Mike in DC

    The real question is when each of these guys publish their last column this year. I’m guessing either the week after the convention, or else the week before the general election.

    • I can picture HA Goodman coming out with a December column entitled “Why Bernie Sanders will be sworn in as President on January 20th, 2017.” In fact, I’d almost be disappointed if he considers the actual election the end of the line.

      • Mike in DC

        “All we need is 1.21 gigawatts of power…”

  • IS

    Either way, politics do require compromise to one degree or another, and without it, nothing gets done. As such, when Trump finds himself up against institutional and bureaucratic resistance, it is unlikely he will deliver. For example, his wall — paid for by Mexico — is never going to happen. Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.? Not a chance.

    Is it really fair game for a lefter-than-thou Bernie dead-ender to use this argument? Is it something that only applies to Republican presidents, and not Democratic? If you believe this and apply it consistently, does it even make sense to care who the president is?

  • JG

    Even if you give Trump credit for being against trade deals (never mind the fact his rhetoric is ridiculous) and not cutting social security (tough to believe him but let’s go with it) how do any of these delusional lefties believe Trump and a Republican congress won’t try to demolish Medicaid and food stamps? But of course none of these people making this case are on food stamps or Medicaid so it doesn’t matter to them. Add in Trump’s promise to completely deregulate healthcare and his ridiculous tax cuts and there is no leftist economic case for him.

    Even foreign policy is a stretch. It’s tough to believe the raving Islamophobe who has bashed Obama for not being tough on ISIS will enact an anti-imperialist, non-interventionist policy. And “ripping up the Iran deal” is essentially opening up the path to war with Iran. So the leftist foreign policy case for Tump is also ridiculous.

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  • DilbertSucks

    Can the NY Times release Maureen Dowd so she can go work at Salon? Please?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/opinion/sunday/donald-the-dove-hillary-the-hawk.html

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