Home / General / There Is A New McCarthyism in the United States. It Has Nothing To Do With Vladimir Putin. (Except Insofar as Putin Helped to Put the McCarthyists in Office.)

There Is A New McCarthyism in the United States. It Has Nothing To Do With Vladimir Putin. (Except Insofar as Putin Helped to Put the McCarthyists in Office.)

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mccarthy

Based on this thread, there seems to be some confusion about what McCarthyism is. McCarthyism was a state-led campaign to suppress speech (with some private collaborators), based on conspiracy claims that were mostly exaggerated or false. There is most certainly an analogy to this happening in the United States right now:

Since the election of President Trump, Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states have introduced or voted on legislation to curb mass protests in what civil liberties experts are calling “an attack on protest rights throughout the states.”

From Virginia to Washington state, legislators have introduced bills that would increase punishments for blocking highways, ban the use of masks during protests, indemnify drivers who strike protesters with their cars and, in at least once case, seize the assets of people involved in protests that later turn violent. The proposals come after a string of mass protest movements in the past few years, covering everything from police shootings of unarmed black men to the Dakota Access Pipeline to the inauguration of Trump.

Some are introducing bills because they say they’re necessary to counter the actions of “paid” or “professional” protesters who set out to intimidate or disrupt, a common accusation that experts agree is largely overstated. “You now have a situation where you have full-time, quasi-professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,” said Republican state senator John Kavanagh of Arizona in support of a measure there that would bring racketeering charges against some protesters.

No analogy is perfect, but this is a lot like McCarthyism. What is not even remotely like McCarthyism is this:

But I do want to draw attention to an outstanding article in today’s Guardian by the Russian-born American journalist Keith Gessen, in which he clinically examines — and demolishes — all of the hysterical, ignorant, fearmongering, manipulative claims now predominant in U.S. discourse about Russia, Putin, and the Kremlin.

The article begins: “Vladimir Putin, you may have noticed, is everywhere.” As a result, he points out, “Putinology” — which he defines as “the production of commentary and analysis about Putin and his motivations, based on necessarily partial, incomplete and sometimes entirely false information” — is now in great prominence even though it “has existed as a distinct intellectual industry for over a decade.” In sum, he writes: “At no time in history have more people with less knowledge, and greater outrage, opined on the subject of Russia’s president.”

It’s hardly unique for American media and political commentators to speak of foreign adversaries with a mix of ignorance and paranoia. But the role Putin serves above all else, he says, is to cast America’s problems not as its own doing but rather the fault of foreigners, and more importantly, to relieve the Democratic Party of the need to examine its own fundamental flaws and errors…

I’m sure some claims about Putin have been exaggerated. But the possibility that the Russian state intervened in the American election is hardly without basis, like McCarthy’s “list” of Communists in the State Department. But the real problem here is that there’s no suppression of speech here. The alleged harm is not “talking about Putin is causing people to be repressed,” but “people aren’t talking enough about how Hillary Clinton sucks.” The idea that this is an any way analogous to McCarthyism is utterly absurd. And, of course, the idea that the result of the 2016 election has only One True Cause, and it’s imperative to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the very likely decisive role of the FBI, America’s broken electoral system, and the likely role of the Russian state is transparently wrong even leaving aside the fact that it’s not even slightly analogous to McCarthyism.

And this is the dark irony here — people who worked hard to minimize the threat of Trump ex ante and think the most urgent task of American political discourse ex post is to attack someone who will never be a presidential candidate again are inveighing against an imaginary “McCarthyism” while Trump’s Republican Party is doing the real thing. I’m afraid I’m going to have to give this order to discuss one thing and one thing only about the 2016 election a hard pass yet again.

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  • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

    My wife and I live in a red area of a blue state, and she has made enormous sacrifices to lead and form local groups to protest and lobby elected officials with some success. The idea that she is a paid agent or provocateur makes me vacillate between laughter (I wish she got paid), rage (that these callous villains would so disdainfully lie about their efforts), and fear (because these proposed laws make it clear rightwingers want her to suffer for exercising her First Amendment rights).

  • DrDick

    I have seen a lot of the kind of nonsense in your second example, which drives me nuts. Certainly in the past there has been a lot of exaggerated demonization of Russia (and China) and there is still some today. It is insane, however, to claim that Putin is not a hard right nationalist who wishes to restore, at least somewhat, Russian hegemony in the world. Putin is also an autocratic strongman, whose opponents have a disturbing tendency to end up dead or in prison.

    • (((max)))

      If you go back to the quote and edit it slightly:

      It’s hardly unique for American media and political commentators to speak of foreign adversaries with a mix of ignorance and paranoia. But the role Putin serves above all else, he says, is to cast America’s problems not as its own doing but rather the fault of foreigners, and more importantly, to relieve the Democratic Party the Republican establishment, neo-cons & #NeverTrumpers of the need to examine its their own fundamental flaws and errors…

      …it then seems perfectly reasonable. Because it seems quite clear to me that the R establishment really wants to have its cake and eat it to: Trump is terrible and awful and not a conservative and also he’s going to sign ginourmous tax cuts for rich people and send troops into Syria, YAY!

      Democrats aren’t even involved in this picture except for a tee-tiny number of folks who are basically conservatives and/or still nostalgic for the days of Senator Joe Lieberman and the wonderfulness of Saint Principled John of McCain (‘I’m absolutely against this until it comes up for a vote and then afterwards I’ll be totally against it again’).

      So I don’t see what the fuck ‘the fundamental errors of the Democratic Party’ has to do with it, unless those fundamental errors involving doing dumb shit like appointing Comey to the FBI* or not fucking Mitch McConnell over every chance they get.

      max
      [‘Clinton hardly even enters into it.’]

      * Which was Obama’s dumb shit move, BTW.

      • liberalrob

        Democrats aren’t even involved in this picture except for a tee-tiny number of folks who are basically conservatives

        Is it a tiny number though? And how influential are they.

        I don’t see what the fuck ‘the fundamental errors of the Democratic Party’ has to do with it, unless those fundamental errors involving doing dumb shit like appointing Comey to the FBI

        So, in fact you do see wtf ‘the fundamental errors of the Democratic Party’ has to do with it (the President is commonly a member of a political party, in fact he’s usually considered the leader of it; Obama is a Democrat).

      • DrDick

        ANd WTF does this even have to do with what I wrote?

    • Davis X. Machina

      It is insane, however, to claim that Putin is not a hard right nationalist who wishes to restore, at least somewhat, Russian hegemony in the world

      I’m pretty sure the preferred order: No hegemon > Putin/Russian hegemon > US hegemon, because US is the Focus of Evil In This The Modern World.

      Whether you even get ‘no hegemon’, and where China, say, fits into all of this, is left as an exercise to the reader. (Probably the reader of The Nation.)

      • The Lorax

        There is more than a little truth to the “blame America first” criticism the Right makes of the Left. Of course, the Right’s inability to criticize America for anything isn’t the right response, either. But for the Pacifica/Chomsky/Nation crowd, most everything that has gone wrong in the world since WWI is the fault of the US.

        (I have no idea how to square the “America isn’t currently great” presupposition of the Right with the general refusal to criticize America.)

        • cpinva

          “There is more than a little truth to the “blame America first” criticism the Right makes of the Left.”

          yes, when the US fucks up, I tend to point out that it’s fucked up. can’t fix things if no one knows they’re broken, now can you. I don’t feel one bit bad about this, it should be done anytime it’s necessary. so, if you’re trying to make feel guilty about, go pound sand.

          • Brien Jackson

            There’s an obvious difference between pointing out that the US fucks up on occassion and viewing the US state as the world’s fundamental evil to such an extent that you throw in with Putinist Russia’s interests.

            • Right. Also, lumping Chomsky in with the Nation crowd is absurd on several levels: to name two, he’s hardly demented enough to think Putin would be an improvement, and didn’t spend the entire election cycle bitching about Clinton’s flaws.

            • DrDick

              It is much more than “on occassion”, but otherwise I agree.

          • DrDick

            Exactly. I get really pissed of about this stuff because it is nominally done in my name.

        • cpinva

          “There is more than a little truth to the “blame America first” criticism the Right makes of the Left.”

          yes, when the US fucks up, I tend to point out that it’s fucked up. can’t fix things if no one knows they’re broken, now can you? I don’t feel one bit bad about this, it should be done anytime it’s necessary. so, if you’re trying to make feel guilty about, go pound sand.

    • SatanicPanic

      This is what gets me. If the left wants to argue “he’s a bad man, but he opposes US hegemony, therefore I support him” that’s one thing. How he meaningfully does that is another question- if putting a far-right nutjob in office in the USA results in less military adventurism I will be deeply surprised. But some of them are going overboard and suggesting he’s not as bad as we make him out to be. Which is nuts.

    • TopsyJane

      It is insane, however, to claim that Putin is not a hard right nationalist who wishes to restore, at least somewhat, Russian hegemony in the world.

      To be fair, Putin can’t do anything remotely close to restoring “Russian hegemony” and he knows that as well as anyone.

      • DrDick

        Tell that to the Caucasus republics and Ukraine.

        • Davis X. Machina

          Or the post-Trump Baltics. Or Finland.

          • The Lorax

            Or the US.

        • TopsyJane

          To say that Putin can never restore Russian hegemony to what it was is not to say Russia is totally without influence or unable to cause a lot of grief.The crisis in Ukraine would never have come to that if Russia were stronger. Putin resorts to force as swiftly and brutally as he does on his neighbors because he can’t apply other forms of pressure with sufficient effectiveness. That’s power of a kind, and not to be dismissed, but it’s nothing like the power wielded by the Soviet Union at its peak.

      • cpinva

        there are a lot of local countries that would beg to disagree with that assessment TopsyJane. clearly, Russia isn’t going to be invading the US, but it has all the old eastern bloc countries practically at it’s doorstep.

      • Lurker

        I agree with cpinva above. Russia has no potential to be a world hegemon, but it has very heavy ambitions in Europe. This has been demonstrated by two wars of aggression (Georgia and Ukraine) within ten years, and by a steady stream of low-level aggression in the Baltic area.

        • Davis X. Machina

          This has been demonstrated by two wars of aggression (Georgia and Ukraine) within ten years


          You spelled 'salvation' wrong. Why the Near Abroad doesn't embrace their only means of release from the octopus grasp of NATO, the EU and the ECB, defeats me.

  • King Goat

    This isn’t an either/or. Putin is a tryrant who had a preference for Trump in this election and worked to throw support his way, and that should bother everyone. At the same time Clinton was an awful, and incredibly costly, choice of nominee. Those that pushed for her really should re-examine what they were thinking and the system that gave us her as the nominee should be as well. Blaming the loss entirely on the media or Comey (especially when one of Clinton’s known weaknesses were a bad relationships with the press and decades of enmity between other Establishment actors like Comey) comes as an attempt to not engage in this re-examination.

    Btw-not a Sanders supporter. In fact that the party produced nothing better than an avowed socialist from one of our smallest states and a long time Establishment figure with high negatives means we really need that reexamination!

    • Scott Lemieux

      This isn’t an either/or.

      Well, duh.

      • King Goat

        You say that, but there’s s lot of talk like ‘Comey/Russia threw the election.’ There’s something to this, both were awful developments, but this election shouldn’t have been close enough for those to have tipped it. It’s like complaining about a single, albeit indefensible, DPI call costing your team a game that they were heavily favored. When you combine that with the ‘let’s not re-litigate the primary/second guess the campaig’ it sure seems like a recipe to get in a similarly bad spot in the future.

        • there’s s lot of talk like ‘Comey/Russia threw the election.’

          Do you deny that those were significant factors?

          • Phil Perspective

            Do you deny shit weasels like Scott Walker and Rick Snyder were more instrumental in HRC losing than Putin?

        • humanoid.panda

          I agree that “don’t relitigate the primary” can go too far. But, let’s be real here: there is a major difference between a campaign making mistakes (happens every time, in winning campaigns as well as in losing ones) and foreign powers and police agencies throwing their hats into the rings. “She didn’t go to Wisconsin” is simply not a valid reply to “Russian interference.”

          • King Goat

            Of course Comey and the Russians did outrageous things. But of course she was also a really bad choice. One of these things we can more easily influence going forward.

            • Scott Lemieux

              One of these things we can more easily influence going forward.

              I agree — since Hillary Clinton will not be the nominee in 2020, we should focus on factors that might actually be relevant again.

              • King Goat

                There’s always another establishment figure with high unfavorable and an inability to energize voters nationally, if we haven’t learned that (astonishingly!) isn’t a good type to nominate we’ll repeat it.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  There’s always another establishment figure with high unfavorable and an inability to energize voters nationally, if we haven’t learned that (astonishingly!) isn’t a good type to nominate we’ll repeat it.

                  But I’ve been told many times that she was uniquely horrible!

                  Also, no, there isn’t another establishment figure the media and VRWC have been shitting on for thirty years.

                • liberalrob

                  They’re working hard to catch up on Warren, though.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  They can’t retroactively go back and trash EW for people’s entire lives.

              • humanoid.panda

                Yeah- my biggest complaint is that the elites consolidated before they had all the information at hand- and that’s very unlikely to happen again.

                • John F

                  But I’ve been told many times that she was uniquely horrible!

                  To some extent she is- the RW has been using her as a fundraising tool for over 20 years- relentlessly- that sticks over time- for good chunk of the populace the “fact” that she is this incredibly corrupt she demon is received wisdom, no more open to question than the idea that Washington was great and Benedict Arnold bad.

                  The fact that it’s a totally bullshit fake and fraudulent narrative does not mean that it has not become “real.” She’s routinely been near or at the top of pols of “least trusted” and “least liked” people since the 1990s.

                  The only Pols similarly demonized (if only half as much as HRC) has been Pelosi, with Reid and Obama lagging far behind.

                  In a”vacuum” she wasn’t a bad candidate, but you don’t run in a vacuum or with a clean slate on a level playing field, she was running while carrying luggage containing 20 years worth of bullshit.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  To some extent she is- the RW has been using her as a fundraising tool for over 20 years- relentlessly- that sticks over time- for good chunk of the populace the “fact” that she is this incredibly corrupt she demon is received wisdom, no more open to question than the idea that Washington was great and Benedict Arnold bad.

                  I don’t disagree with this; I was just responding to King Goat’s nonsense about “there’s another person like her”

                  ETA: I do want to note though that some of the same weaknesses are strengths. Building support over years. There were people who had been #withher for literally twenty years.

                • Manny Kant

                  Hmm…what do Pelosi and Clinton have in common that they don’t share with Obama or Reid?

            • njorl

              She wasn’t a choice. She won the primary. In 2020, we’re going to nominate whoever wins the primary again.

              • John Revolta

                Now you see the corruption inherent in the system!!

            • JMP

              No, she was not a really bad choice.

          • “She didn’t go to Wisconsin” is simply not a valid reply to “Russian interference.”

            The fact that this line has been used by Trump and Kellyanne Conway to deflect the conversation from Russian influence ought to be something of a giveway.

          • MDrew

            “She didn’t go to Wisconsin” is simply not a valid reply to “Russian interference.”

            She didn’t go to Wisconsin isn’t, shall we say, the strongest critique of Clinton’s campaign. But let’s assume you’d be willing to substitute some of the stronger ones for the sake of charity to your opponents and addressing their best arguments.

            The issue is not whether it is a reply to the Russia and/or Comey problems. Some may present it that way, and they are wrong. Clearly FBI or foreign interference in the election is a serious problem on its own, even if it didn’t tip the election, and even had Clinton won.

            The issue is that those problems are being used to crowd out and delegitimize any discussion of Clinton’s mistakes and shortcomings, and for that matter, most discussion about party direction in the direction of a view that it should depart from the approach of the Clinton campaign. And that’s just not defensible. In fact, Scott’s complaints about dismissing/”giving a pass” to Comey etc. is really him projecting what he is doing viz. critique of Clinton on to those he disagrees with about that.

            At least with regard to discussions here. No one dismisses the significance of Comey and Russia here. But any time we bring up the shortcomings of Clinton, we are accused of doing so, and the example of Glenn Greenwald, who none of us is, is cited as the proof.

            • Ask Me Gently

              Clinton’s mistakes and shortcomings

              …were no more than any candidate might make over a long campaign. As noted above, her high negatives came from a long, loud and ugly propaganda effort, not from anything she did while campaigning.

              She was always 10 times (100 times?) better than Trump to anyone interested in competence, stability and good government.

              The precious snowflakes who drank the right’s Kool-Aid and decided, even after Trump revealed himself as an incompetent bigot, a sexual monster and a danger to the world, that Clinton wasn’t worthy of their vote; these are the ones responsible for her loss.

            • JMP

              “The issue is that those problems are being used to crowd out and delegitimize any discussion of Clinton’s mistakes and shortcoming”

              Bull fucking shit. That’s the exact reverse of what actually happens, where every single time there’s a discussion of Comey and Russian interference idiot fauxgressive try to disrupt and derail out with screeches of “but Hillary sux everyone must only ever talk about how Clinton was the worst ever!!1!”

              • MDrew

                Where, pray tell, are the posts focusing on her shortcomings?

                They’re all posts placing full blame on Comey!

                So anyone looking to talk about Clinton’s weaknesses here is stuck doing it in that context. It can only happen by trying to get it included in a discussion in which the full set of problems is identified as Comey and Russia. So it necessarily has to disrupt and derail that account to exist.

                And then it gets shouted down as excusing Comey’s actions or ignoring or dismissing Russia’s interference.

                You’re just fucking wrong.

                • Brien Jackson

                  I mean, what else do you want to focus on? As Scott says above arguments about resource allocation just fall apart on themselves, and Clinton both trounced Trump in the debates and won a hefty popular vote margin. She was perhaps uniquely susceptible to ratfucking, but then what?

                • Someone has not seen the posts in which, for example, Erik said of Clinton after one debate “she had no good answers to him on trade”.

                  Someone has not seen the post in which Scott tried to look at the counterfactual “what if Sanders had been the nominee?”

                  Someone has not seen the posts in which Scott conceded that it was probably a mistake for Clinton to try to win over moderate Republicans with attacks on Trump’s character.

                  Either that, or these are not enough for MDrew and certain others. Only a series of “Hillary sucked ” posts will do. To that, I can only say this: get your own damn blog. Accept that not everyone shares your priorities/obsessions.

                • JMP

                  Considering that the “shortcomings” that the fauxgressives yell about are consistently imaginary, and they try and insist that everyone has to accept their ridiculous lie that a great progressive candidate was the worst ever, none of that bullshit is being made in good faith.

                • MDrew

                  Yes, you are correct. One post in which Scott ponders the Sanders counterfactual and another in which he concedes that going after Republicans (is that actually even what she did? does that square with her being the most progressive Democratic nominee ever? It’s hard to say because the discussion is so unwelcome here.) wasn’t a good electoral strategy is not “enough.”

                  But not because I need a series on how Clinton sucked for its own sake. It’s because as things currently stand, bringing any of that up in essentially any thread on the election (or god forbid the primary) is rendered into the whitewashing of election sabotage. That’s how it works here. If you want to talk about that stuff at all (unless you happen to be one of the site authors and it’s one of the few times you choose to do it), you get accused of giving Comey or Putin “a pass” on what they did.

                  It’s bullshit and embarrassing, and has made this place basically a worthless collection of self-soothing yes-people. The main thing this place is about now is providing consolation to progressives who are in various stages of denial or slow acceptance about selling out or settling for Hillary Clinton and getting nothing for it – and enforcing the narratives that are required to stand up those consolations.

                  I hope you all feel better eventually. It sucks that a good blog had to be ruined to make it happen.

                • Ah yes, so because people don’t share your priorities, that’s “ruined this blog” and we’re out of touch with reality. I notice you wrote a lot of text that just yadda yaddas the fact that there actually have been front page posts about the things you complained above weren’t being covered, and then complains that people in comment seconds still want to talk about the fact that the election got ratfucked. Well, yes, of course they do, because Clinton isn’t going to be the nominee in 2020, meaning that the mistakes of 2016 are unlikely to be repeated, and we’re still going to be stuck with the same FBI and media and Russia that ratfucked this election, and we need a way to prevent them from doing it again.

                  Also, I in no way felt like I was “settling” in the election, and I resent the accusation that I was (or that feeling that way would somehow make me not a leftist, whatever that’s supposed to mean). Even when I supported Sanders, I recognised that there were issues on which Clinton’s stances were superior (guns, women’s issues, etc.), and she made every effort to acknowledge Sanders supporters by adopting much of his proposals into her platform. That is, in fact, actually what people are supposed to do in a representative democracy: respond to the concerns of the public. It rarely ever happens, and the fact that Clinton did it should have been commended.

                  Instead the Bernouts spent the entire general election cycle viciously attacking her sincerity, character, beliefs, and qualifications, and then, when evidence suggests that the incessant negativity of the campaign depressed turnout from core Democratic constituencies, instead of actually examining whether the collective roar of attacks on Clinton from both sides of the political spectrum might have had an impact, they persist on talking about nothing but how much they hate Clinton. We don’t need a better candidate right now. We need a better left.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  But not because I need a series on how Clinton sucked for its own sake. It’s because as things currently stand, bringing any of that up in essentially any thread on the election (or god forbid the primary) is rendered into the whitewashing of election sabotage. That’s how it works here. If you want to talk about that stuff at all (unless you happen to be one of the site authors and it’s one of the few times you choose to do it), you get accused of giving Comey or Putin “a pass” on what they did.

                  Every word of this is utter bullshit.

            • Manny Kant

              Why is it important to discuss Clinton’s mistakes and shortcomings?

              The shortcomings are definitely no longer relevant, and the next nominee will avoid Clinton’s mistakes by making new mistakes of their own.

              • Why? Because some folks get great satisfaction from saying “I told you so”

              • Solar System Wolf

                Ding ding ding. Every time threads devolve into long discussions about whether Clinton was a good candidate or not, I’m out. It’s fucking boring and irrelevant.

        • Scott Lemieux

          his election shouldn’t have been close enough for those to have tipped it

          Based on what? When virtually every Republican is going to vote for any Republican candidate, how do you guarantee an election that’s not close enough to ratfuck?

          • King Goat

            You only ‘know’ this after the fact of the election with Clinton as our nominee. What we know is that most Republicans will vote for someone like Trump over Clinton.

            • Murc

              Which means they’ll vote for any Republican candidate.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Exactly.

              • King Goat

                I’m curious, how did this dynamic play out in 96, 08 and 12?

                • Murc

                  In 2008 and 2012 virtually all Republicans voted for the Republican candidate. I don’t know as much about 1996 to comment, but that was a VERY long time ago in politics.

                • King Goat

                  Ok, all Republicans vote for the R.

                  And yet Obama whooped the R while Clinton lost to it. So ‘well all the r’s vote for the R!’ can’t explain her relative poor showing.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  The overwhelming majority of Republicans and Republican-leaners voted for the Republican candidate in those elections too, of course. However, the two peacetime incumbents in good economic conditions and the candidate running in insanely favorable conditions for the out party won anyway. What this has to do with 2016 I have no idea.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  I’m curious, how did this dynamic play out in 96, 08 and 12?

                  In 1996 the Democrat won Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Those states were off the table for Hillary Clinton from the moment she announced, just proving what a terrible candidate she was!!1

                • tsam

                  96? When they ran Dole and Kemp? Have you compared those two to any of today’s Republicans? 96 is 100% irrelevant.

                • njorl

                  In 2008, after Republicans ginned up a war under false pretenses, and that war turned out badly, and after Republicans wrecked the economy, their nominee won 45.7% of the vote.
                  Trump won 45.9%.

                • King Goat

                  “However, the two peacetime incumbents in good economic conditions and the candidate running in insanely favorable conditions for the out party won anyway. What this has to do with 2016 I have no idea.”

                  So when we’re running in bad conditions maybe we shouldn’t opt for a candidate with historically high unfavorables?

                • King Goat

                  “their nominee won 45.7% of the vote.
                  Trump won 45.9%.”

                  And out pick won slightly more (electorally less!).

                • Manny Kant

                  I think the 2012 comparison is more relevant than some of you. If we compare, we see that Clinton actually did do significantly better with college-educated Republican leaners than Obama did. Look at Orange County; look at the Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta suburbs; hell, look at the Milwaukee suburbs.

                  At the same time, Clinton did considerably worse with white working class voters north of the Mason-Dixon Line than Obama did. Look at Mahoning County, OH; look at Lackawanna County, PA; look at Brown County, WI. Even more importantly, Clinton did much, much worse with rural voters.

                  I’m not sure what the answer to this is, but I don’t think it’s “nobody changed their vote from 2012”.

            • Mike G

              What we know is that most Republicans will vote for someone like Trump any execrable pile of manure over Clinton anyone with a (D) after their name.

              • Shantanu Saha

                What we know is that Republicans will literally vote for Hitler if he has a (R) after his name, over Jesus, if he has a (D) after his. Party before country, or even common sense.

          • TVTray

            Try to get Dems to vote for Dems! What Hillary didn’t do!

            • liberalrob

              They did. The problem was that they all lived in the same handful of states, which means every vote over the number needed to beat Trump by 1 in those states was wasted. And in our archaic electoral system, that’s a recipe for losing.

            • Shantanu Saha

              65 million voters beg to differ with you.

            • Hogan

              Yes, in retrospect spending the entire campaign in Texas, Idaho and Utah was ill advised.

          • addicted44

            Some people are approaching this election while pretending that 2000 or 2010 never happened.

        • djw

          heavily favored

          no

          • Davis X. Machina

            Do. Not. Contradict. The. Narrative.

            Dammit, I’m not telling you twice.

        • Little Chak

          And yet, without Comey, there is an incredibly small chance that this terrible, horrible, historically bad candidate wouldn’t have won, in an election in which all of the fundamentals (including her primary opponent attacking her viciously, calling her grossly unqualified and in the pocket of Wall Street — attacking from the same direction that her Republican opponent was going to in the general) were against her.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            (including her primary opponent attacking her viciously, calling her grossly unqualified and in the pocket of Wall Street — attacking from the same direction that her Republican opponent was going to in the general)

            In Sanders’s defense, and without in any way defending the attacks themselves, the only reason her general opponent used them was because he saw they worked well for Sanders. I don’t think Sanders could have realized that the GOP nominee was going to start talking about the Democratic primary being rigged.

            • liberalrob

              the only reason her general opponent used them was because he saw they worked well for Sanders.

              Oh, I think he would have used them regardless. They were longstanding attacks. Sanders just proved they still had teeth.

            • addicted44

              Sanders doesn’t need a defense, but if you really wanted to provide one it would be that if Sanders had never existed, the Republicans would have found some other trumped up angle to attack Hillary on.

              That’s one of the advantages of having a party built on a grassroots that lives in an alternate reality that you create.

    • sibusisodan

      At the same time Clinton was an awful, and incredibly costly, choice of nominee

      This would be said of literally no other nominee who won the popular vote by a large margin.

      This does not mean Clinton was without weaknesses or problems. It just means that the word ‘awful’ has a meaning which does not overlap with this candidate.

      You should find a more accurate word. Flawed is fine, but since all candidates are flawed it rather undercuts the rest of your schtick.

      • King Goat

        Look, this is actually a pretty objective thing. If you went up to any professional operative who had no dog in the fight and said ‘how’d you like to work for a campaign for a candidate with record high negatives? the answer would come swiftly. How anyone can dispute that, *especially now* is unbelievable. Hey, I liked the lady too, and most of the hate on her is stupidly unfair, but *people don’t much like her* and that’s kind of a bad quality in a national political candidate!

        • sibusisodan

          Your examples of it being an objective thing are a hypothetical about campaign operatives and non-quantitative summaries that people don’t like her?

          • King Goat

            Non quantitative? Perhaps you’ve heard of these things call polls, specifically ones that measur favor ability. There are also these things called elections. They involve numbers. And she kinda did poorly in them.

            • sibusisodan

              Well, you have to somehow overcome the fact that the ‘awful’ candidate was more popular in that thing called an election than the guy currently in office.

              If you want to say Clinton had weaknesses, go right ahead. But on a scale of Presidential candidates, she comes nowhere near awful.

              And that’s important for deciding how to choose the next one.

              • King Goat

                As good as any candidate that wins the popular vote is, I submit that one that wins the electoral one is by definition a better candidate…this woman lost Pennsylvania for Pete’s sake!

                • sibusisodan

                  Make your mind up! Do we judge awfulness by vote counts or not? Is the problem that HRC was awful, or that she was good but Trump was ‘better’?

                  The idea that the winner of the electoral college must have been the better candidate is…well.

                • King Goat

                  In a contest in which the electoral vote winner is the winner, yes, one that performs poorly there is an objectively bad candidate. I mean, wtf?

              • humanoid.panda

                Look- I think as my comments above indicate, I am not in the “burn the witch camp.” But it’s also true that Hillary ended the election as the second least popular candidate in history. And the least popular candidate in history happened to be running against her. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to concede that.

                And sure, you could say that the Republicans and the media would have slandered any other candidate. But every other Democratic candidate in history finished election with net plus favorability.

                • sibusisodan

                  I don’t have any problem conceding that HRC had the second highest unfavourables in history. It’s true!

                  It’s just not sufficient evidence to conclude she was an awful candidate – let alone a uniquely awful one.

                • King Goat

                  A person with historically high unpopularity is not a bad candidate in a popularity contest? Wtf?

                • humanoid.panda

                  Fair enough. I’d put it this way: while she made some avoidable errors (money grabbing with speeches), 90% of what made her unpopular was not her fault. Still, there is something to be learned here about the candidates that win elections for Democrats: relatively new to the political scene, exciting on the trail, able to captivate the media.

                • sibusisodan

                  Panda – agree with all that, depressing as it is to contemplate.

                  I’m trying to straddle a position which says the following:

                  – HRC was absolutely fit for the role and would have been fine as President
                  – her unpopularity – even if not her fault – matters in judging electoral fitness
                  – notwithstanding that, there probably wasn’t any stronger candidate in 2016.

                  All three need considering when evaluating a candidate. They have to win the nomination, win the election, and then fulfil the office.

                • King Goat

                  “notwithstanding that, there probably wasn’t any stronger candidate in 2016.”

                  Don’t you see that itself as a problem begging to be addressed? How’d we get in a state where a candidate with all the fundamental flaws you concede was the strongest we could field?

                • sibusisodan

                  How’d we get in a state where a candidate with all the fundamental flaws you concede was the strongest we could field?

                  Clinton is also the candidate with the longest and deepest record of government experience in modern history.

                  You’re pretending that only the negatives exist. Most political parties would give their left nut for a candidate with Clinton’s resume.

                  All candidates have fundamental flaws. Great candidates transcend them. Clinton did not manage to do that, alas.

                  The reason I push back so strongly on the insinuation that Clinton has an awful candidate – as opposed to flawed and unlucky – is because it erases the idea that candidates should be able to do the job they are applying for.

                  Given the current occupant of the role, I hold to the idea that it is a necessary quality in a candidate. One that Clinton had in abundance.

                • King Goat

                  “Clinton is also the candidate with the longest and deepest record of government experience ”

                  That’s been a political NEGATIVE for a long time now.

                • Little Chak

                  Great, and we’re working to change that, so that it’s harder for a dumb-as-rocks, racist, wannabe dictator to come to power while riding a wave of dumbshit “anti-establishmentarianism” that doesn’t actually mean anything.

                  Your goal seems to be a continuation of the status quo whereby credentials and qualifications matter less and less.

            • Dave W.

              Ah, polls. Like the stuff Gallup does, right? From 2016:
              Hillary Clinton Most Admired Woman a Record 21st Time

              Americans named Hillary Clinton the Most Admired Woman for the 15th consecutive year and 21st time overall. Since her initial win in 1993 as first lady, Clinton has topped the list every year but 1995 and 1996 (when she finished behind Mother Teresa) and 2001 (behind Laura Bush). Eleanor Roosevelt has the second-most No. 1 finishes among women, at 13.

              Ask your hypothetical campaign operative how they would like to work for the woman who has accomplished *that*. At least, you ought to weigh that against those “record high unfavorables” in a highly partisan atmosphere.

              Now, as I’ve said before, Clinton has won that poll much the same way that Trump won the early Republican primaries – by getting a plurality in a highly split field. (They ask people to name their two most admired men/two most admired women, and then total the mentions for each.) But it’s still a pretty impressive accomplishment, and a pretty strong core group of supporters.

              In addition, she was pretty clearly the most-qualified non-incumbent to run for president in the past 60 years, running against the least-qualified. And she took Trump apart during the debates, which for once actually addressed some relevant issues of fitness to do the job, instead of whether or not Gore sighed at the wrong moment, or Bush was someone you could have an O’Douls with. She clearly demonstrated to anyone who was paying attention that she had the correct temperament to be president and that Trump did not.

              In the end, it wasn’t quite enough. But that does not make her an “awful” candidate. It just means she didn’t win.

            • Dave W.

              And while we’re on the subject of polls, here’s the historical record of Clinton’s favorability polls. Overall, they are quite good, except when she is running for office and getting attacked by her opponents. Once she gets into office and starts governing, they rebound. This ought to dismiss any notion that her unfavorability is a permanent attribute of hers. She was viewed quite positively during her tenure as Secretary of State (which is why the Republicans launched so many investigations of Benghazi to try and undermine that, despite a lack of evidence that she had actually done anything wrong.) Her ratings tank in 2015 when she announces her campaign for President, and the Republicans switch their fire from Obama to her as the presumptive 2016 Democratic candidate (while meanwhile, Obama’s favorability improves). If Bernie had won the nomination, his favorability would have tanked too, once the Republicans started attacking him – we just don’t know by how much.

        • Sentient AI from the Future

          This issue of busing voters in to New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real, it’s very serious.

          • Gregor Sansa

            I see what you’re doing, but to do it you either need a code tag or you need to be the first response or both.

          • petesh

            Most pols only buss babies

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          how’d you like to work for a campaign for a candidate with record high negatives? the answer would come swiftly. How anyone can dispute that, *especially now* is unbelievable.

          Gee, that description applies even better to Trump, yet somehow it’s not the Republican’s fault he won the nomination.

          I find it fascinating how someone (who?) should have “prevented” (how?) Hillary from being the nominee by the undemocratic method of getting more votes than her opponents did.

          And her popular vote margin was one of the higher ones in presidential elections, further proving what a terrible campaign she ran, somehow.

    • Stag Party Palin

      At the same time Clinton was an awful, and incredibly costly, choice of nominee. Those that pushed for her really should re-examine what they were thinking and the system that gave us her as the nominee should be as well.

      Will you for fuck’s sake just shut the fuck up?

      • CP

        I cannot disagree with this suggestion.

      • TVTray

        Donald Trump is president!

        • rea

          so called

      • brewmn

        Stole the words right out of my mouth.

    • humanoid.panda

      . Those that pushed for her really should re-examine what they were thinking and the system that gave us her as the nominee should be as well

      Look, unlike most people here, I in retrospect realize that the HRC ended up being a very weak candidate. But this line is simply ridicilous: the system that gave us her as a nominee was the votes of millions of Democrats. Now, yes, it’s not as simple as that, and in future primaries, the party elite should not consolidate around one candidate. Still ,the primary was not stolen by shadowy elites, or given to her by superdelegates.

      I agree with your last line, mostly, but it ignores a lot of context: Hillary was in fact an overwhelmingly popular figure when she locked down elite support.

      • liberal

        But this line is simply ridicilous: the system that gave us her as a nominee was the votes of millions of Democrats.

        That’s woefully incomplete. Candidates don’t appear out of the ether and then run in the primaries. There’s an earlier selection process involving party elites. (Yeah, I know, people here don’t think there is such a thing as party elites.)

        • Murc

          That’s woefully incomplete. Candidates don’t appear out of the ether and then run in the primaries. There’s an earlier selection process involving party elites.

          And that’s always going to be the case. Always. There’s not a way to stop people from lining up support prior to the primary. That’s what good politicians do! There will always be party elites, their support will always be meaningful, and people will try and gain that support.

          The question is, tho, is party elite influence such that it actually forces out other good candidates and/or prevents the primary from being meaningfully contested?

          And the answer to that is 100% no. Sanders had a genuine and real shot at winning. Barack Obama won in 2008.

          (Yeah, I know, people here don’t think there is such a thing as party elites.)

          Who? Name some names or I’m calling you a liar.

          • King Goat

            The fact that establishment support can be overcome doesn’t mean it can’t be something that often isn’t.

            • Murc

              Even if I agreed with this, what is your solution?

              • Shantanu Saha

                Tumbrels, it’s always tumbrels with these revolutionaries.

              • King Goat

                1. Eliminate structural elements which favor those with establishment support
                2. Convince voters establishment support might be a bad thing

                • 1. What elements? Be specific.
                  2. What does that look like? Telling Democratic party members to distrust and hate party leaders seems like a way to get a Democratic Trump.

                • Murc

                  Please be specific with regards to one.

                  Two just seems insane as a general rule. We should convince rank-and-file Democrats that they should distrust support from… lifelong Democrats who have worked long and hard on behalf of the party?

                  Establishment support might be a bad thing in some individual cases, but maybe we should trust voters to use their brains in those cases rather than encouraging political nihilism and destructiveness on their part.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  Telling Democratic party members to distrust and hate party leaders seems like a way to get a Democratic Trump.

                  And he won, so checkmate!

                • ΧΤΠΔ

                  You want us to get stuck with Bill Maher for 2020?!!!???

                • Hogan

                  So if the Democratic governors and senators and representatives I vote for endorse a candidate for president, I should reject that endorsement? Why the hell did I vote for them in the first place?

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              Establishment support earned by years of campaigning for Democrats throughout the country, serving as a Senator, and then as Secretary of State, all the while getting good reviews from Democrats on her work.

              And this wasn’t just “establishment support”, it was lots of ordinary voters who had watched her over the years and were impressed by her achievements.

              She was the most experienced candidate and would have made the best President among the candidates. It seems your idea is that we should have nominated someone who would have not have done as well as President as she would have in office.

              And there’s no proof that another Democrat would have won- it’s all conjecture which seems to be based on the circular argument that Hillary lost but another person would have won, “proved” by the fact that Hillary lost.

              The race would have been different if Sanders was the nominee, but it’s far from certain he would have won. He had flaws, too. Biden?- he couldn’t win the nomination after several tries, so the argument that he’s a campaign powerhouse is weak.

              The recent history of Obama, and to a lesser extent, Bill “coming out of nowhere” to win the election is mostly a function of their unique political skills, and the idea that someone who is nationally unknown has much of a chance of winning the nomination or the election isn’t true, IMO.

              • Abbey Bartlet

                Establishment support earned by years of campaigning for Democrats throughout the country, serving as a Senator, and then as Secretary of State, all the while getting good reviews from Democrats on her work.

                People forget this part. She didn’t get all that support by waving a magic wand. She earned it.

                • Some people really do think hard work is a way of getting around divine will, and would have preferred if she’d used “magical” or spiritual means to acquire an appropriate power in a more graceful way.

                  They can’t see past the static attributes that make a Clinton or an Obama unacceptable in their eyes. Real world accomplishments for them don’t amount to personal merit.

              • King Goat

                “And there’s no proof that another Democrat would have won”

                Really? NO Democrat could beat the mighty, excellent candidate of….Trump?

                Wow.

                • “There is no proof that X” is not the same as “There is proof that not X”.

                • Manny Kant

                  I mean, I think it’s likely Biden would have won. But there’s no proof he would have.

          • Manny Kant

            Sanders never had a chance of winning. Not because of Clinton’s establishment support, but because he had no idea how to appeal to non-white voters.

    • Blaming the loss entirely on the media or Comey (especially when one of Clinton’s known weaknesses were a bad relationships with the press and decades of enmity between other Establishment actors like Comey) comes as an attempt to not engage in this re-examination.

      Who is “Blaming the loss entirely on the media or Comey”?

      Claiming that people who speak of the roles played by the FBI, the media, and Russia in this election result seek to “blame the loss entirely” on one or all these factors “comes off” as an attempt to end any and all discussion of those factors.

    • Murc

      and the system that gave us her as the nominee should be as well.

      You mean the part where we had all registered Democrats who wanted to vote voted, and Clinton won in a landslide?

      I was a Sanders supporter, and I will proudly say that the primary that produced Hillary Clinton had one of the largest amounts, if not THE largest, of democratic legitimacy as any other nomination contest we’ve ever had. She didn’t beat Sanders with skullduggery or dirty tricks or anything else. She won the vote. She should be proud of that primary. The party should be proud of that primary.

      Could it be made better? Sure. Caucuses and superdelegates need to go. But none of the things that need reforming had any impact on the fact that Hillary Clinton won the nomination because a lot of Democrats like her and like her positions! You can’t reform around popular legitimacy, unless you want to make the specific argument that we should return to smoke-filled rooms. (Which would have given Clinton the nomination even more overwhelmingly.)

      The primary system is good and getting better. If you have specific changes you’d like made to it, I’m all ears, but I’m highly doubtful you have any that would both be more democratic AND result in a not-Clinton being nominated.

      All that notwithstanding tho… say you’re right. Say that the problem on our side problem was Clinton. There’s a reasonable case to be made there.

      That problem has already solved itself. In fact, I really really hope that our only on-side problem this cycle was picking Hillary Clinton specifically. That would great! That’s a best-case scenario, because there is only one (1) Hillary Clinton, and she won’t run for anything ever again.

      • King Goat

        There’s no way she should have run the first time. If the only way we as a party can learn the lesson ‘don’t pick someone who’s very unpopular for the popularity contest’ is to lose to Donald J Trump then God help us.

        • Murc

          Again: you specifically said “the system that gave us her as the nominee” should be “re-examined.”

          What changes to the system do you propose that would have prevented the second or third most popular Democrat of the past three decades from winning the nomination?

          As for saying “she should have known enough not to run,” that’s just ludicrous.

          • humanoid.panda

            There’s no way she should have run the first time.

            The assumption of good faith with King Goat is running out fast.

            Seriously: the hardcore “anti-neoliberal people” seem to have an amazingly flexible set of beliefs: elites should not serve as gatekeepers for political competitions, except that they should have stopped Perez and Clinton from running, because democracy?

            • sibusisodan

              It ran out ages ago. No one can take the position ‘we should have known to run a better candidate but I’m not going to tell you who was better’ in good faith.

            • Abbey Bartlet

              The assumption of good faith with King Goat is running out fast.

              That he still has any at all while I’m a “troll” is fascinating.

              • sibusisodan

                May I say that you’re totally not, that you’re always worth reading and you should comment more?

                • Abbey Bartlet
                • Murc

                  Seconded. And I’ve gotten into some contentious shit with Abbey, both before and after her ill-fated campaign for the President of Gallifrey.

                  You know who I actually miss? Drexciya. I didn’t like Drexciya. I thought they were kind of nuts, in fact. But god damn if I didn’t need to think deeply and carefully about my own priors, my own biases, and my own responses after reading their posts.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I miss Drexciya as well.

                • sibusisodan

                  Maybe it’s the gin talking, but I’m actually grateful for the LGM community as a whole. It’s a mind-expanding, hilarious, diverse crowd of objectively despicable people as one could hope to rub electrons with.

                  Drexciya has been awesome to read. Bijan should totally start commenting again – he brings the knowledge. And yourself, Murc, are a pleasure to match arguments against.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  Back at you, Murc.

                  I didn’t realize Drex had gone.

                • Ronan

                  “Maybe it’s the gin talking”

                  Jesus, could this be any more of a national stereotype ; )

                • Murc

                  I didn’t realize Drex had gone.

                  Well, for all we know they haven’t, but I haven’t seen Drex post in a long time.

              • Dennis Orphen

                I’m with you.

              • Shantanu Saha

                Only trolls say you’re a troll. In my experience, you’ve been a lovely commenter.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  I’ve been wondering who she really is.

                  The Orphenbot 2000 has produced the following output after parsing the available evidence using my patented ‘Silk Cuts and a Trenchcoat’ techniques:

                  After subtracting the undeterminable percentage of ‘Everyone Else’ the remaining possibilities are:

                  75% Pat Schroeder

                  25% Marlo Thomas

              • rhino

                I frequently think you’re wrong, but you are most certainly not a troll.

                • A thing I like about LGM is that there’s a fairly large number of people who I disagree with on specific issues but there’s general consensus on important things. It’s more enjoyable to have a spirited debate than a big happy circlejerk.

                  That isn’t to say that some people don’t occasionally go overboard and get excessively combative. But most people here are well-meaning.

                  On the other hand, the recurring trolls who are always arguing in patent bad faith with an intent to disrupt and annoy really deserve to be banned.

              • Dennis Orphen

                If you were one of the girls in the Human League (Keep Feeling Fascination), would you be the blonde or the brunette? Asking for a =n imaginary friend.

            • Manny Kant

              King Goat isn’t a hardcore “anti-neoliberal,” is he? He has the idiosyncratic “Clinton was terrible, but Sanders was even worse,” position, from what I recall.

          • BigHank53

            I’m just trying to figure out what King Goat’s victory conditions are. I guess we’re supposed to concede that Clinton was the worstest candidate ever, don sackcloth and ashes, and let King Goat pick the next Democratic nominee.

            Or maybe he just likes to pick fights.

            • He’s been going on about this for ages. His position seems to be:

              1) Clinton was terrible
              2) Sanders was worse
              3) Why oh why did the DNC prevent anyone good from running?

              • Shantanu Saha

                Unfortunately, Zombie Abraham Lincoln is still off fighting vampires.

            • Hob

              King Goat has very consistently evaded such questions. His definition of a better candidate is that the candidate should have been better. And he’s recycled this argument in literally dozens of different threads without deepening or clarifying it in any way, despite lots and lots of people pointing this out, and without even really showing the kind of frustration that any sincere person would have if their sincere constructive advice was being so thoroughly misunderstood by literally everyone else.

              So he likes to pick fights. He’s trolling.

          • liberal

            What changes to the system do you propose that would have prevented the second or third most popular Democrat of the past three decades from winning the nomination?

            There was a lot more to it than that. She was sucking the oxygen out of the selection process well before 2008.

            People here might not believe it, but there’s more to candidate selection than primaries and caucuses.

            • She was sucking the oxygen out of the selection process well before 2008.

              And remind me, who won the primary in 2008 and served as President for eight years after that?

              • John F

                Well after Hillary sucked all the oxygen out of the room…

                what was the question again?

            • Murc

              There was a lot more to it than that. She was sucking the oxygen out of the selection process well before 2008.

              What changes do you propose to prevent people from trying to gain support from other party members before the primary begins? And what is your case that people doing so denies us a meaningful primary without a multitude of options?

              • MDrew

                Clearly people can “try” to gain support from party members. What denies a meaningful primary is not “trying” but someone (or even two people, or even just the wrong people) being too successful at it.

                I don’t really know what can prevent that, except just a convention arising that support will split evenly enough that a well-populated, representative slate of candidates will run for every open presidential nomination.

                The party either wants to do that or it doesn’t. It didn’t in 2016. It lost. Maybe it will in the future.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  Clearly people can “try” to gain support from party members. What denies a meaningful primary is not “trying” but someone (or even two people, or even just the wrong people) being too successful at it.

                  Do you hear yourself right now?

          • King Goat

            I think many factors go into choosing a terrible candidate. No one may be by itself determinative. Suoerdelegates and party favoritism were certainly unhelpful. The party not finding and promoting up and coming attractive governors, etc is one. But also, a great deal of just primary voters not thinking very well is to blame. That’s why I said all need re-examination. What seems indisputable is that she was a bad candidate-the chief evidence is that she lost. To Trump. Now it’s on us, structurally and philosophically, to say, how the f did we get here?

            • Murc

              What seems indisputable is that she was a bad candidate-the chief evidence is that she lost.

              That’s not how it works. That has NEVER been how it works. Losing is not, and has never been, prima facie evidence that you were a bad candidate.

              • Mutombo

                She lost to Donald J. Trump. She was a worse candidate than Donald J. Trump.

                • King Goat

                  Thank you.

                • This assumes that there are absolutely no variables in the outcome of an election other than candidate quality. That is not only unproven, but the preponderance of the evidence points the opposite direction — that candidate quality has only a marginal effect on election outcomes.

                • nixnutz

                  So what’s the explanation for why that didn’t hurt her in the primary?, or why Bernie wasn’t manifestly a worse candidate than Hillary or Trump?

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  So what’s the explanation for why that didn’t hurt her in the primary?, or why Bernie wasn’t manifestly a worse candidate than Hillary or Trump?

                  There are some Very good reAsons one could Go to whIch would explaiN thAt.

            • Shantanu Saha

              Probably because we have people like you asking these idiot questions instead of doing what’s needed to promote Democrats in every election from dogcatcher to president.

            • brewmn

              You’re a fucking idiot. By your measure, every single eligible human is A. Terrible. Candidate. Please shut up now.

              And, other commenters, this dude(?) is a troll with absolutely nothing of substance to offer. Stop engaging. After wading through sixty or seventy comment in these subthreads, let me assure you, it leads nowhere useful.

            • Manny Kant

              What seems indisputable is that she was a bad candidate-the chief evidence is that she lost. To Trump.

              I think this ignores a lot. Basically, that a significant portion of the American public are basically fascists. Trump isn’t a synonym for “bad Republican candidate.” He had an appeal with many (traditionally Democratic) voters that McCain and Romney did not have. He paid for that with lost support among traditionally Republican voters, but that turned out to be a worthwhile trade, since it mostly lost him votes in non-competitive states (California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona) while gaining him enough votes in enough states to win.

              And that was at least as much about Trump as it was about Clinton.

          • wjts

            What changes to the system do you propose that would have prevented the second or third most popular Democrat of the past three decades from winning the nomination?

            A “No Hillary Clintons Allowed” rule for the Democratic Party. Duh.

            • JMP

              Now be fair; what most of the anti-Hillary faction really wants is a lot more than that, a No Girls Allowed rule for the Democratic Party.

        • FlipYrWhig

          No, of course, the obvious lesson is that people who like a candidate better than another candidate should ignore that and vote for a different one they don’t like, because if enough of the other people who like their original favorite also change their minds then it will avoid the problem of the more-liked candidate prevailing. And by gaming it out in advance it will attract other different candidates to run, who will be better liked, probably, and, if not, they should be voted for anyway, because of future events. It’s as simple as that.

          • humanoid.panda

            Admittedly, I think that given that the youth vote is so fickle, its worth noticing who is capturing it during the primary, and adjust one’s preferences accordingly. But this is cry from what King Goat is saying.

            • FlipYrWhig

              King Goat has said many times he thinks Sanders sucks too. His theory is that someone else should have run and done better, but when Democrats voted for the ones who were already running, they ruined the chances of this happening. Why he keeps showing up to say this is an exercise in mutual masochism.

              • King Goat

                And you don’t think when a national party offers up Clinton, an uber-establishment figure with high unfavorables, and Sanders, an avowed socialist who has never won election outside a small, quirky state, as the best they’ve got against a fascist, that there’s a problem?

                • dogboy

                  What they shoulda done was pick someone hot&sexy, not too left, not too centrist, good with the massive fundraising and with organizing national field efforts, able to command international respect, def not unpopular with the republicans, has the media in the bag, and also knows judo.

                  Totally.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  Mrs. Peel was born somwhere in the conmomwealth, IIRC, and is therefore uneligible.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  People voting for candidates is not a problem, dude.

                • StellaB

                  Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb don’t count?

            • Abbey Bartlet

              I’d say that given the youth are fickle about whether or not they’re even going to go vote, we shouldn’t cater to them too much. Not that they should be ignored, but adjusting your vote to suit a group of people who are in the aggregate unreliable as fuck seems like a questionable decision to me.

        • Manny Kant

          She only became very unpopular after the silent primary was over.

    • Fidalgo

      Well put. Should have read your comment before I duplicated it.

    • efgoldman

      Blaming the loss entirely on the media or Comey

      I don’t think Scott, or any other person with a brain, has done that.

      • King Goat

        You haven’t read lines about how ‘Comey threw the election’ here?

        • Murc

          Do the goalposts make a noise when you move them like that?

          • JustRuss

            Dammits, now I gotta clean all the coffee off my keyboard.

        • djw

          Jesus Christ we’ve been going through this for 17 years now with Nader/Gore, and people are still pretending to be too dumb to understand that statements like this obviously contain an implied ceteris paribus condition. The idea that when people say that they really mean “Comey threw the election in all possible worlds” rather than “Comey threw the election in this world” can only be accomplished by a willful misreading. This is exactly what Scott was referring to in his mockery of the “one true cause” narrative. Some commenters who play this game, I’m less sure about, but I don’t believe you’re actually too stupid to understand this.

          • tsam

            Gets mocked in OP-responds with mocked behavior. You can set you clock by some of these dudes.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Yes, if Comey had not intervened on October 28, it is nearly certain that Clinton would have won. It doesn’t follow from this, of course, that Comey was the only factor that determined the outcome of the election.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Either way, Comey deliberately interfered in the election favoring Trump.

            Whether of not Dave Kingman hits a home run or strikes out, he swings for the fences every time. (I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but I’m try to put a 70’s reference in every comment. Or a sports reference. This is LGM, after all. Or both. That’s like double cockney rhyming slang to me).

          • rea

            Why do some people find it so difficult to understand that an event can (and usually does) have more than one proximate cause?

            • Dennis Orphen

              I’ve always believed that critical thinking can’t be taught. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I have come to believe that critical thinking is a recessive trait if not an outright mutation (or both, because events can more than one lots of things).

            • King Goat

              Is it because people use terms like “thrown” which are defined as “cause to enter suddenly a particular state or condition?”

              • djw

                “thrown” which are defined as “cause to enter suddenly a particular state or condition?”

                The “state or condition” Comey most likely threw us into was “narrow Trump victory.” The “state or condition” he yanked us out of was “probable narrow Clinton victory.” The shift from one to the other could plausibly be described as sudden. I still think you’re not actually as stupid as you’re pretending to be here, but I’m starting to wonder.

        • JMP

          Remember that events can only have one single cause and nothing but that one cause can possibly have any effect on it.

    • cpinva

      “a long time Establishment figure with high negatives”

      promulgated and pushed by right wing media and operatives (with little to no substantive evidence supporting most of them), since the late 80’s/early 90’s. so, yeah.

  • tsam

    And, of course, the idea that the result of the 2016 election has only One True Cause, and it’s imperative to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the likely decisive role of the FBI, America’s broken electoral system, and the likely role of the Russian state is transparently wrong even leaving aside the fact that it’s not even slightly analogous to McCarthyism.

    There’s no way Greenwald doesn’t already know this. Using McCarthyism to describe liberals wanting people who colluded with Russia to face justice for it is like calling the ACA communism or a government takeover of health care. It’s just a scare word.

    • Using McCarthyism to describe liberals wanting people who colluded with Russia to face justice for it is like calling the ACA communism or a government takeover of health care. It’s just a scare word.

      This

      • DocAmazing

        Maybe he means Charlie McCarthyism, in which he is seated on Edgar Bergen’s Pierre Omidyar’s knee.

        • sigaba

          There was a great MST3k sketch, which I cannot presently locate, where Joel tells the ‘bots about the horrors of the Charlie McCarthy era, where Goliath turned in Davy as a fellow traveller and Lambchop named names including Kukla, Ollie and Ring Lardner.

          • YNWA40515

            Episode 205–Rocket Attack USA. I can’t find a video of that particular clip, though.

      • liberalrob

        This

        …is a misreading. That’s not what he said.

        • tsam

          It’s not, but obviously you disagree, so feel free defend the Intercept article.

        • That’s not what he said.

          Come now. Either calling for the Russia issue to be investigated is the “new McCarthyism”, or it isn’t. If Greenwald isn’t saying that it is, what exactly is this latter-day McCarthyism he is referring to?

    • Lost Left Coaster

      I am embarrassed that I ever defended Greenwald in threads here (and not even that long ago).

      Embarrassed. The guy is so full of shit, so taken with himself. It’s been a long time since I was a big fan of his, but I was still trying to take him seriously, debating his arguments as if they were put forward in good faith rather than just the work of a self-aggrandizing hack.

      Oh well — never too late to see the light.

      • tsam

        Greenwald knows how to make inviting arguments. It’s easy to be on his side.

        • liberalrob

          Some people even think he’s not full of shit. Or taken with himself. Some think his arguments are not only inviting, but supported by the evidence he cites. Or at least plausible.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            Hey, that’s great.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Some people think the moon landings were faked.

            Hell, some people think Trump is great President.

            Citing “some people” as evidence doesn’t cut it with me.

          • #peoplearesaying

          • Brien Jackson

            Fuck you.

          • JMP

            And those people are wrong.

      • DocAmazing

        Cheer up, li’l buckaroo. Greenwald has legitimately done some excellent stuff in the past, and that’s what you were thinking of when you defended him. It’s worth going back and viewing Citizenfour to see what it was about guys like Greenwald and Snowden that was praiseworthy in the first place. Time passes, and even incisive writers post dumb things; it’s just that GG made it his stock-in-trade.

        • ΧΤΠΔ

          I always imagine you speaking with a British accent.

          • DocAmazing

            The British part of Oakland, maybe.

            • ΧΤΠΔ

              Right.

              Also, my original comment was going to say that the difference between an occasionally stupid pundit and what Glenn’s doing right now was like the difference between Nastradamus and 95% of Kurupt’s output post-1999, but at the time I couldn’t think of a more exact comparison.

          • Hogan

            “Li’l buckaroo” in a British accent is beyond my ability to . . . audio-ize?

        • When I read lostleftcoaster’s comment I immediately thought of Citizenfour and that Greenwald’s work with Snowden was noble and even heroic. I think the problem is that that’s how he always sees himself, if not before that then certainly now. We’re all the heroes in our own movies, but now his movie is a Cecil B DeMille epic.

          • Brien Jackson

            Ya know…I don’t think so. I honestly expected that Greenwald would keep on bashing the US state under Trump, and have been surprised at the extent he’s just carrying water. I think the simlest exlanation, and ironically the one that speaks the best of Glenn, is that Snowden’s “asylum” in Moscow is being used as leverage over Glenn by Russia.

            • Now that you mention this, I’m going to have a hard time imagining that’s not what is actually going on. Greenwald has been a bit of a hack for awhile, but his descent into the level of hackery seen recently still strains credulity somewhat without some outside explanation. This one seems plausible and easily fits both Occam’s Razor and established patterns of behaviour from involved parties.

              Still doesn’t explain why Greenwald is so thin-skinned and humorless, though.

              • brewmn

                He was thin-skinned and humorless even when he was on our side, though. I was given his first book as a “gift” for subscribing to Salon back in the early 2000’s, and made it about ten pages in. It was like, “yeah, I mostly agree with this, but it’s so inartfully presented, I’ll track these topics in other forums.”

                And the lack of art in presentation, in my opinion, shows that he’s just not a deep thinker. He hit a home run with Snowden, and he’s just doubled and tripled down on the notion that the U.S. is the Great Satan ever since.

                • Most of his flaws were evident when he was an ostensible liberal, yes. It’s what the great time vortex TV Tropes refers to as a “Franchise Original Sin”. The thing is, I feel a lot of them have just gotten worse since his descent into hackery. I’m not even entirely sure how that was possible in the cases of his thin skin and lack of humour, but I don’t remember him doing anything like insulting a random blog commenter for not having Glenn Greenwald’s name recognition (seriously, he did this last time he commented here) when he was (mostly) on our side.

    • cpinva

      “Using McCarthyism to describe liberals wanting people who colluded with Russia to face justice for it is like calling the ACA communism or a government takeover of health care. It’s just a scare word.”

      bearing in mind, very effective scare words, “death panels”, “choosing your doctor for you”, etc., even though, of course, it did no such thing, lots of people claimed to believe it.

  • MacK

    On banning masks – my next door neighbour has recently retired, but he used to work for a non-profit sponsored by a major drug company that distributed free aids treatment and heavily discounted HIV treatment in Africa. The animal rights crowd found out – and at 10pm to 2am repeatedly had groups (some it seems students from GW) who would stand outside chanting “we know where you sleep at night.” Flammables were poured in his letterbox (it’s a small rowhouse) one night. Their animus was that the drugs had been tested on animals. This was next door – one night they got the address wrong and protested outside our door – “we know where you sleep at night” masked! I travel a lot, they’d show up when my wife was alone, my wife, elderly neighbors were terrified. When the police came the masks would stay in place – though various neighbors unmasked photos were posted to the internet. If anyone complained they’d scatter.

    This continued for about two years, not just to our neighbor but to several people and neigborhoods around DC (smaller row houses were the main targets because of alley and street proximity) until DC passed an ordinance, no more masks – I agree with it. When the masks went, the protestors suddenly lost interest in midnight doorstep chanting of threats.

    By the way, my wife noticed one of the protestors was wearing one night a white gold and diamond Cartier tank watch, retailing circa $35k

    • humanoid.panda

      What you describe here is a series of illegal behaviors that should have sent those assholes to jail. But as far as I know, there is no law that bans from arresting people who try to burn down things, and removing their masks.

    • humanoid.panda

      What you describe here is a series of illegal behaviors that should have sent those assholes to jail. But as far as I know, there is no law that bans from arresting people who try to burn down things, and removing their masks.

    • BigHank53

      I admire your forbearance–I doubt I’d be able to resist the temptation to slip out the back door, around the block, put on my own mask, and test out one of those big cans of bear spray on the protestors.

      • MacK

        I took my camera out and photographed them, one shoved me and I pulled his pig-snout off. A number were girls 17-22, probably GW, Georgetown, AU – telling them I’d call their school and demand discipline made them worried. The flammable liquid was poured one night when there was no protest – there was also petty vandalism

        But the chant “we know where you sleep at night” for say 20-30 minutes, then moving on to another home – the threat was clear and I remember arguing with a police lieutenant that this was a clear threat. They refused to do anything.

        But that was one time when I was there – it happened a bunch of times.

      • cpinva

        VA has a (Reconstruction era) law that makes the wearing of masks in public illegal, with certain exceptions.: Halloween, Mardi Gras, that kind of thing. it originally was to cut down on the KKK, but has been used to criminally charge people sneaking around in the night.

    • Murc

      The animal rights crowd found out – and at 10pm to 2am repeatedly had groups (some it seems students from GW) who would stand outside chanting “we know where you sleep at night.” Flammables were poured in his letterbox (it’s a small rowhouse) one night.

      You know, I’m not a violent man by nature, and I’m very nearly a free speech absolutist. I believe that people should be able to wear masks to demonstrations in order to not be retaliated against, outed, end up on some FBI list somewhere, etc. I don’t think you can constitutionally ban masks in public, even.

      But this isn’t demonstration. This is straight-up harassment and intimidation, if not outright terrorism. This is a scenario in which responding with a baseball bat or a shotgun and leaving one of these assholes on the ground as a warning to the others is 100% morally and ethically appropriate.

      • tsam

        Ohhh yes.

        • Murc

          And you know what, I’m super easy to get onside for stuff like this. I’m on Team Don’t Punch Nazis, for crying out loud. If these assholes had just stood on a soapbox outside from 10am to 2am, reciting speeches about why they think Mrs. MacK is a terrible person within the legal decibel limit, while wearing masks, I’d have been like “well, these guys are douchebags, but we live in a democracy and they’re playing by the rules.”

          You stop playing by the rules when your clear intent moves from “we’re here and we will be heard, and if you don’t like it that’s just too bad” to “we are trying to instill in you the belief that if you go to sleep, like not at some unspecified future point but right now, you won’t wake up. Because we’re going to kill you. In your sleep. Just to make that clear. Sleep-murders. Should we go over that again? Oh, and we’re wearing masks, so you’ll never find us!”

          At that point you’re allowed to respond violently, in my opinion.

          • tsam

            I’m on team Bullets and Machetes for Nazis but I’m wrong about that. I like the fire I see in this. The mask thing, though, is straight out of some COINTELPRO era nightmare.

          • MacK

            One thing I’d add, this is not like standing outside most houses. These houses have no front yard, they open onto the sidewalk. When they are standing on the pavement, they are inches from the living room, the hall, the kitchen. They can pound on the front door or the windows without actually trespassing from the public sidewalk. The letterbox was a slot in the front door going directly into the hall or room just inside.

            I think the ordinance also said that they had to be a certain distance from the door of homes, or the entryways.

            • Murc

              They can pound on the front door or the windows without actually trespassing from the public sidewalk.

              I am not a lawyer, but I believe this still counts as trespass. They’ve physically violated your property with parts of their body. It might even count as vandalism.

              I think the ordinance also said that they had to be a certain distance from the door of homes, or the entryways.

              This seems entirely reasonable.

              • MacK

                Door knocker, door bell? Which one tapped on the window….impossible to do anything.

      • MacK

        I’ve been in DC, London and Paris when the Black Block types have shown up and hijacked peaceful demonstrations. In DC they wrecked shops and restaurants, ditto in London. The result is that they became the story, not the demonstration. And you can see them setting up for the riot, wearing bandanas or other masks.

        An old classmate of mine who was a 5th Streeter (DC practitioner who took court appointments (they mostly worked out of a shared space office building on 5th Street) described to me how, at arraignment after one set of IMF or World Bank riots they were surprised to be standing up at arraignment to in several instances be replaced by lawyers from very White Shoe law firms, apparently hired by the family.

        Masks have their place – I can see that a federal worker protesting Trump might fear retaliation. But on the other hand, a bunch of this masked assholes have done nothing but damage to what are often good causes. And quite a few are effectively riot tourists, showing up in city after city.

        I think there needs to be a balance on masks – because I’d rather those who were going to hijack demonstrations were stopped before they managed it, and Fox was able to use that hijacking to attack the entire demo.

        • tsam

          If I was at a protest and those fuckers showed up, I’d beat the shit out of those assholes. I hate that kind of shit.

        • Murc

          I’ve been in DC, London and Paris when the Black Block types have shown up and hijacked peaceful demonstrations.

          This is what turned me against those assholes after being (and remaining) radical action-curious.

          Because here’s the thing. You wanna start an uprising, smash global capitalism, hang some financiers from some lampposts? I’m interested. I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

          But there’s not actually a whole ton of support for that sort of thing. What a rational, ethical person does in the face of that is either 1) does it anyway, and damn the consequences, or 2) tries to BUILD support for it.

          The black bloc does neither. The black bloc shows up at demonstrations where they’re unwelcome, doesn’t liaise with organizers in any way, shape, or form, puts on masks, and uses the demonstration as vehicle for pulling their shit and not getting caught. And they do that because they know they could never get a huge demonstration like that organized under their own remit, but they sure can glom onto other peoples!

          Leeches.

          • MacK

            As far as I could see the effect in DC is that the shops, bars and restaurants close and a bunch of financially precarious waiters, busboys, kitchen staff and shop assistants get an unpaid day off or three, and people who cannot afford off street parking get their cars vandalized.

          • tsam

            And get a bunch of innocent people hurt. There are kids and people who can’t handle elbows and bodies flying around. They don’t need that shit

      • cpinva

        “I don’t think you can constitutionally ban masks in public, even.”

        yes, you can, depending on the circumstances, and a narrowly drawn, for specific purpose. See my post above.

    • rea

      There are a number of states with long-standing laws against masked demonstrations–they were originally aimed at the Klan

      • cpinva

        rats, should have looked farther down!

  • Nathan Goldwag

    Increasingly, I think the GOP should be understood as a neo-aristocratic party. They don’t really want an all-powerful fascist dictatorship, they believe in elections and democracy and all that—but they think it should be limited to the proper sort of folks. The local gentry should stand for office and the local yeomanry should vote them in. Petition for redress of grievances? They totally support it! Once again, as long as it comes from ‘proper society’, and not the rabble. The only real difference between them and 18th century conservatives is that they don’t care if you get your money from trade or from the land. Progress?!

    • Increasingly, I think the GOP should be understood as a neo-aristocratic party.

      FIFY

      Reference: http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

      • UserGoogol

        The GOP historically has not been identical with conservatism. Over the last several decades the political parties have become significantly more ideologically sorted, the GOP has become more conservative, and thus in particular neo-aristocratic and so on.

    • CP

      Increasingly, I think the GOP should be understood as a neo-aristocratic party.

      I wish I could find the quote somewhere, but some commenter, either here or on Balloon Juice, was talking about how the vision of the future that Republicans had was of a rule by a loosely connected aristocracy that “mandates no evil, but condones every evil.” The two examples being the American slave states in the old days, and the British East India Company in the old days. No Hitler/Stalin figure commanding everything, but more of a fraternity of people who support each other’s absolute rule over their own fiefdoms.

      If fascism/communism were the modern version of absolutism, this would be the modern version of feudalism.

  • Dagmar

    At the moment, teams of lawyers are working on corollaries to Godwin’s Law.

  • Fidalgo

    It is possible to believe 1) that Russia attempted to influence the US election and 2) Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed person and a lousy candidate.

    • Cheerfull

      And if 1) happened with the knowledge of the Republican candidate and party, which of the two propositions should be a more important topic for investigation and discussion today?

      Or do you think that we can somehow now prevent in the future the nomination, by democratic processes, of lousy campaigning candidates?

      (and sure you can believe she was a deeply flawed person and lousy candidate. The rest of us will look at the same evidence and find your deep conviction on these points undersupported)

    • Cheerfull

      And if 1) happened with the knowledge of the Republican candidate and party, which of the two propositions should be a more important topic for investigation and discussion today?

      Or do you think that we can somehow now through extended debate prevent in the future the nomination, by democratic processes, of lousy campaigning candidates?

      (and sure you can believe she was a deeply flawed person and lousy candidate. The rest of us will look at the same evidence and find your deep conviction on these points undersupported)

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’m not sure this trite point needed to be brought up again, but yes Glenn is wrong that only one variable explains the outcome of the 2016 election (or, to be more precise, that even if other variables were relevant, we’re only allowed to discuss one.)

      • I’m not sure this trite point needs to be brought up again

        It ought not to be necessary, but amazingly there are many people whose arguments rely on missing that very point.

      • liberalrob

        It’s fortunate then that he didn’t say only one variable explains the outcome of the election, nor that we’re only allowed to discuss one. I don’t know where you’re coming up with that. But clearly you believe that’s what he said, so what can I say beyond what I already have.

        • Funny then that any explanation from the Democrats that addresses variables other other than “we fucked up! mea maxima culpa!” appears to be scorned in the Intercept as a diversion from that necessary postmortem process of Democratic self-flagellation.

          Of course the main thing we shouldn’t be talking about, according to Greenwald, is Russia. It’s “Russia is a just a scare tactic to avoid taking responsibility for their own election loss”. The idea that one can blame Russia for its actions while also looking at what they could have done better – and at other issues besides – appears to elude Greenwald. No. For him, talk of Russia absolutely MUST be a diversionary tactic, even though logically and practically there is no reason why it must be so.

          • Scott Lemieux

            “Democrats have spent the last 10 days flailing around blaming everyone except for themselves, constructing a carousel of villains and scapegoats – from Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin, James Comey, the electoral college, “fake news,” and Facebook, to Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, millennials, Bernie Sanders, Clinton-critical journalists and, most of all, insubordinate voters themselves – to blame them for failing to fulfill the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates.” –Glenn Greenwald

            • Abbey Bartlet

              the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates

              V H A
              O A G
              T V E
              E E N
              R C
              S Y

              • Vance Maverick

                You’re trying to smuggle that message through undetected, but don’t think we didn’t spot it — vhoagtveeenrcsy indeed!

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  Omg FYWP.

                • I think you have to use non-breaking spaces for that to work. I’m not sure if FYWP will allow them. Let’s see:

                  V H A
                  O A G
                  T V E
                  E E N
                  R    C
                  S    Y

                • Ok, good, it allows them. To get a non-breaking space, type  . (To get an ampersand before that code, type  .)

                • This may actually look better in monospace, except that monospace has come to signify sarcasm on this here blog. Regardless:

                  V H A
                  O A G
                  T V E
                  E E N
                  R   C
                  S   Y

                  Lines up slightly better, but actually, the normal version looks better than I thought it would. I wonder if the code tag will eliminate the need for non-breaking spaces.

                  V H A
                  O A G
                  T V E
                  E E N
                  R C
                  S Y

                  …nope. FYWP needs a preview function.

                  Anyway, hopefully this was instructive. Note that to get the text to line up the way I did it in the main font, you need multiple non-breaking spaces.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  I didn’t even think to try that. FYWP allows the most random tags.

    • Thom

      It is possible to believe these things, but I am not sure what (2) is based on. The lousy candidate won all three debates, handily. And decisively defeated a strong opponent in the primary. And I have no idea why she is supposedly a “deeply flawed person.” (FWIW, I voted for Sanders in the primary, but did not thing (and still don’t think) he would be a good general election candidate.)

      • Davis X. Machina

        And I have no idea why she is supposedly a “deeply flawed person.”

        How many times did she call upon us to expropriate the exprpriators? Not. Even. Once.

    • MacK

      Deeply flawed person – how? Everyone is flawed, except Donald Trump (in his own mind.) Calling Hillary Clinton deeply flawed is daft. A lousy candidate – well I’ll concede that the was not a good one, indeed I have said so repeatedly, and I’ll agree that she had blind spots – she was terrible at staffing and hiring and prone to credentialism, and sorry, that Huma Abedin was still on the team 5 years after the Weiner sage started, still living with the guy…

      But was there a better candidate. The negative stuff on Sanders that never got played was really harsh.

      However, a deeper problem is that the Democratic party has become too focussed on a single national race, the Presidency, and this undermines its ability to groom a deep pool of talent. That is a huge problem now, when in 21 months 39 statehouses, legislatures, the house and ⅓ of the Senate will be in play. Does the democratic party have the depth to field candidates at every level?

      • John F

        This is a generational problem that can work itself out – you have a whole generation of GOP leaders and voters who “came of age” (were in their late 20s, early 30s) when Reagan and Bush I were in office.

        That’s a large voting cohort, it’s a large political cohort- the Dems are in a minority in that voting cohort and have far fewer elected officials in that age cohort.

        • Breadbaker

          But you know what we do have? A whole bunch of people who were part of the Obama Administration, have experience in government, are currently out of jobs, and who will, in 2018 and 2020, look good to voters because they will be nostalgic for the good days when government actually tried to help people. They will make fine state legislators, city council members, mayors, secretaries of state and lieutenant governors, and among them will be some future members of Congress, Senators, governors and dare I say an eventual President and Vice President or two.

    • nemdam

      I keep seeing this but I don’t understand how Hillary was a deeply flawed candidate. It’s one of those things that is stated as obviously true and has been repeated so much that is goes unexamined. She is flawed and imperfect like anybody else, but I have not seen a credible argument show that there is something deeply wrong with her.

      A deeply flawed candidate does not convincingly win every debate, does not lead the entire race until election day, does not run an organized, disciplined campaign, does not run to carry on the legacy of a successful and popular two term president, and only then loses the race by the narrowest of margins because law enforcement, a foreign government, and the media all decided to seriously intervene on behalf of your opponent all while trying to break the gender barrier. Sure, every candidate makes mistakes, and hindsight is always 20/20, but I cannot identify any major or moderate mistakes* she made in the entire campaign.

      *And just to rebut this argument before it gets brought up, I do not consider the bad tone of the ads you run in the last week of the election to be anything more than a minor mistake. The specific content of ads don’t matter that much in a campaign.

      • JMV Pyro

        I can accept that Clinton made critical mistakes(the lack of persuasion canvassing for example), that her record over the past several decades made her uniquely able to serve as an evil establishment figure from several ideological perspectives, and that she(like virtually everyone else) thought that pointing out that Trump is a horrible person was enough to beat him.

        But was she uniquely terrible? Not really. If anything her loss was the result of long-existing systemic issues in both the party and political culture more broadly finally boiling over in a horrifying way. She was just unlucky enough to be in the drivers seat when it happened.

        • nemdam

          Not only do I not think any of these are mistakes, it seems hard to make a case that any of them rise to the level of critical mistakes.

          In such a polarized environment, it is about turning out the base since there are so few persuadable voters. And given that whoever represented the Democratic party would have to run on Obama’s legacy, that person, even Bernie Sanders, would’ve been painted as a tool of the establishment.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            Persuasion canvassing I think was, but the constant harping on no Wisconsin visits–by the time Comey happened and the polling came back saying WI was suddenly an issue, it was too late. If prior to that Wisconsin was fine, why would she waste time there?

            • Brien Jackson

              Also where does the attention to Wisconsin come from? You can’t put people and dollars into two places at once after all. So…Florida? Virginia? Colorado? Pennsylvania? No one ever bothers to answer this.

              • Abbey Bartlet

                So weird that the same people making the complaint are virtually always people who did not volunteer or donate.

                • Brien Jackson

                  There are no Bernouts in an organizing meeting.

              • nemdam

                Even though I am the fierce Hillary defender, a mistake she made was not totally pulling out of Iowa. She kinda did by October (her last visit there was in late September), but she probably should’ve redirected resources from Iowa to Wisconsin. But then again, if she does, there are a million stories about “HILLARY IS DOOMED! THE FIREWALL IS CRACKING!” which would probably negate any advantage this shifting of resources would bring.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I’ll probably do a separate post on this, but arguments that try to explain the election based on Clinton’s resource allocation are almost certainly wrong. Apart from the fact that WI and MI don’t put her over the top, the demographic differences between the Obama races and Trump/Clinton were very consistent across states regardless of whether or not they were contested.

                  While I think the two biggest factors in explaining the differences are 1)the less favorable structural conditions for Democrats, and 2)Trump (if Obama had some special appeal to uneducated midwestern white people that Clinton doesn’t, it sure didn’t appear in the 2008 primaries), it’s possible another Dem candidate could have done better, and it’s also possible another Dem candidate wouldn’t have been ratfucked to this degree. IOW, you can mount a serious argument against Clinton as a candidate, but I think her campaign was fine.

                • Breadbaker

                  The amount of her loss lets a thousand choices all seem like the determinative one. To me, the problem wasn’t exactly Hillary’s messaging, but that her ads functioned as Trump ads to those who were persuadable to Trump, negating her funding advantage. All you heard just before the election was Donald Trump, in his own ads and in hers. Tactically, I’d argue that was a mistake.

  • louislouis

    McCarthyism can mean a lot of things – the definition you’ve provided, the denouncement of people for having unpopular opinions, and the leverage of fear of a foreign power to shape opinions and behaviors at home. Greenwald is writing about this last aspect of McCarthyism. As Gessen points out, there really wasn’t much in the e-mails, which casts a lot of doubt on how much they influenced the election (assuming such things are knowable, which they are not). And leaving that aside, nobody’s seen any evidence that Russia was behind the DNC hack, even though the Obama administration encouraged that such evidence be made public. But in response to this pretty flimsy case, we get day after day of stories filled with dishonestly worded pronouncements about how Russia “installed” Trump and “hacked” the election. A theory of how Putin has a Bond-villain-like game plan to subvert Western democracy is presented as fact, and those who don’t agree are tarred as collaborators or stooges. All of this is documented at the link, and so it seems hard to say that the comparison to Red-baiting is not apt. The claim that Russia actually swayed the election simply isn’t a rational argument when weighted against more salient factors. So the question remains as to why is it repeatedly invoked as an especially significant source of Clinton’s loss.

    • Scott Lemieux

      As Gessen points out, there really wasn’t much in the e-mails, which casts a lot of doubt on how much they influenced the election

      This is a terrible argument. It’s simply astounding that anyone could argue at this late date that if a “scandal” ginned up about a Democratic candidate doesn’t have any real content that it can’t matter.

      The claim that Russia actually swayed the election simply isn’t a rational argument when weighted against more salient factors.

      This is silly.

      So the question remains as to why is it repeatedly invoked as an especially significant source of Clinton’s loss.

      First of all, this is moving the goalposts — Glenn has not merely said that these factors are being over-weighted, but that it’s wrong to discuss them at all. Second, this applies both way; we can be certain that Clinton spending more time in Wisconsin wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the election, but people talk about it as a major factor all the time.

      • humanoid.panda

        As Gessen points out, there really wasn’t much in the e-mails, which casts a lot of doubt on how much they influenced the election

        I’ve noticed that on another thread, but its kinda amazing that one Gessen, sibling, is making bad arguments under-stating Putin’s influence on the election, while the other, Masha, is making bad arguments over-stating it. A gifted family!

        • IM

          But that is good: So we can blame the russians either way.

      • liberalrob

        Glenn has not merely said that these factors are being over-weighted, but that it’s wrong to discuss them at all.

        I’ve never seen him say that. In either formulation.

        • JMP

          Then why is it that he and his fanboys constantly respond to any discussion of Russian hacking with “NO ONE SHOULD EVER DISCUSS ANY REASON FOR TRUMP’S VICTORY EXCEPT THAT HILLARY SUCKS!!11!”

      • rea

        It’s simply astounding that anyone could argue at this late date that if a “scandal” ginned up about a Democratic candidate doesn’t have any real content that it can’t matter.

        If Democrats discuss Italian food in e-mails, millions will conclude that they’re a pedophile ring.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      As Gessen points out, there really wasn’t much in the e-mails, which casts a lot of doubt on how much they influenced the election

      HA HA HA HA HA!

      Maybe send a note on that to Greenwald, whose Intercept was breathlessly reporting every single tiny little thing out of those emails as if it was the smoking gun that finally proved that Clinton was the Devil herself.

      • Scott Lemieux

        No, no, no. Wikileaks revealed that HILLARY CLINTON USED A PUBLICIST! WHO INTERACTED WITH REPORTERS! This is a level of malicious corruption absolutely without precedent anywhere. I can’t believe Gessen and louislouis are downplaying this five-alarm scandal.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Ooof we really dodged a bullet there. As we all know, Trump is his own publicist.

          • He no doubt arranged for a third party to pay his other self for the service.

        • nemdam

          This article is the only evidence needed to show that Glenn’s is irrationally and blindly opposed to the Democrats. Glenn, a Pulitzer award winning journalist, presents the fact that a political campaign calculates which reporters to release stories to in order to maximize their positive impact as a scandal. Or in other words, he presents basic and ordinary journalistic and political campaign practices as evidence of unethical wrongdoing. This is in essence punishing a candidate for running for office and would be as dumb as criticizing a candidate for making attack ads. It’s one of the most basic things a campaign does and to attack them for it is to attack them for trying to win the race they are part of.

          • Breadbaker

            It’s an extension of the whole Wikileaks phenomenon. When professional journalists review an archive, whether after a FOIA request, a routine release of public records or a leak, there is the possibility that the result will be no story. Not every archive is the Pentagon Papers or the Panama Papers.

            But when you get the DNC records, or the Podesta Papers, through a clearly illegal theft of private documents, there is pressure on someone like Greenwald to justify possession of something that is, in reality, at the moral level of snooping into your next door neighbor’s daughter’s bedroom and reading her diary. “Look, she’s on the pill!”

    • Cheerfull

      McCarthyism mostly involved chasing people out of their jobs on ideological grounds. Where is that happening now?

      The question of whether the emails influenced the election is decided less by examining the emails but how they were used. And Trump used them often in his campaign, and so did Stein and her friends.

      I don’t have to think that Putin has a Bond villain plan. He just had to have a plan, which he has used in other places. Cause trouble in the democracies near him.

      And Russia does not have to be a specially significant factor. If it is a significant factor, and Trump knowingly benefitted, than that is a problem when he is currently our president and in a position to reward Russia for its help. And that’s a more important question now than deciding amongst ourselves exactly how much blame Hillary must share for her loss.

      • humanoid.panda

        McCarthyism mostly involved chasing people out of their jobs on ideological grounds. Where is that happening now?

        Didn’t you hear about all the liberals who are making conservatives feel like gays in the 1950s?

        • rea

          The politics that dare not speak its name . . .

      • Scott Lemieux

        If you define “McCarthyism” as something completely different than the suppression of dissenters led by McCarthy and his allies, then being concerned about the role Russia played in electing Trump becomes much more like McCarthyism.

        • nemdam

          Everyone knows the real issue with McCarthyism wasn’t prosecuting people for their ideological views or anything to do with Communism but merely that Joe McCarthy said mean things about Russia.

          • Scott Lemieux

            And the most important consequence of McCarthyism was people not spending enough time criticizing Adlai Stevenson. Everyone knows this.

        • But this is what he’s doing, isn’t it? It’s a kind of tertiary metonymy. Where McCarthyism means Cold War, and Cold War means a kind of militaristic fearful nationalism, and that means traditional ways of viewing the securit state that he prefers to have viewed as optional.

      • tsam

        i made a doofus comment and erased it.

    • JMP

      “And leaving that aside, nobody’s seen any evidence that Russia was behind the DNC hack,”

      What an utterly preposterous lie.

      The claim that Russia’s well-documented interference somehow didn’t sway the election is one of the dumbest lies anyone can tell , it’s so stupid it sound like something you’d hear from a moronic fake-liberal tool of the far right like Glenn Greenwald. Do you really want to sound as dumb as Glenn
      Greenwald?

    • Hogan

      the leverage of fear of a foreign power to shape opinions and behaviors at home.

      I’m not sure why you would call a political tactic going back thousands of years “McCarthyism,” but hey, you be you.

  • Brien Jackson

    It seems to me that the biggest point that doesn’t get made often enough is that GLENN GREENWALD IS A MASSIVE FUCKING LIAR. Fullstop. He just makes shit up about there being no reason to believe Russia was behind the DNC hacks, no reason to believe links about Russian contact with Flynn, no reason to believe the AP story about the DHS memo on militarizing immigration enforcement, etc. It’s a completely dishonest postmodernist propaganda campaign straight out of 1984.

    • louislouis

      The point is there is no evidence that what people are saying happened, i.e., Putin ordering the DNC hack, happened. If you want to take the intelligence community at their word, that’s fine. But it’s the opposite of a propaganda campaign to demand proof.

      • Brien Jackson

        If Russian government did the hack, does it matter if Putin personally ordered it?

      • JMP

        That’s true if you redefine “no evidence” to mean “massive overwhelming amounts of evidence”, liar.

    • Scott Lemieux

      The number of things that has to be a coincidences for Russia not to have been involved is indeed a very long list. The idea that this is completely baseless is just obviously wrong.

      • legrand

        So Lay out the detail ms rather than make unsupported assertions – that’s all we’ve been provided with so far – like the idea that “17 intelligence (ha – NOW we trust the James Clappers of the world – interesting) all agree about the hacking – in sure the Coast Guard intelligence pursued a very in depth investigation! Get real. HRC should have beat Corporate O’Bummer in ’08 but but by the time we got to ’16 her utter inability to present a coherent campaign message combined with the smell of Goldman Sach perfume doomed her. I’ll bet all of the state legislature, gubernatorial and senate losses was the work of the Kremlin, too, right! Had Sanders been the candidate Trump would be selling steaks . . .

        • mnuba

          O’Bummer

          I’ve only ever seen “Obummer” in shitty conservative Facebook memes and Yahoo comment sections. Seems a bit of a tell.

          • JMP

            I’ve seen wingnuts pretending to be liberals give themselves away by referring to “the Democrat party” before, and this seems similar.

        • Scott Lemieux

          her utter inability to present a coherent campaign message combined with the smell of Goldman Sach perfume doomed her.

          Except that she would have won had the director of the FBI not called her a crook based on nothing less than 2 weeks before the election, so nah.

          Had Sanders been the candidate Trump would be selling steaks . . .

          So the consensus of intelligence communities and the many bits of circumstantial evidence about Russian involvement mean nothing, but we know to an absolute certainty that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump. OK.

          • Davis X. Machina

            Bernie Sanders didn’t overthrow Mossadegh.

            Checkmate, neolib!

          • nemdam

            LOL, if Sanders was the candidate then Russia wouldn’t have intervened, he would’ve gotten a fair shake by the media, and he would’ve been scandal free.

            • Abbey Bartlet

              He would have won West Virginia!

              • Breadbaker

                And Utah.

        • Little Chak

          I swear to God, if I hear that Sanders would have won one more time, I’m going to personally swear that I will vote for the Republican candidate in the next election if the Democrats nominate a Bernie Sanders.

          The disparity between “percent of Clinton supporters who would vote for Sanders over Trump” versus “percent of Sanders supporters who plan to vote for Clinton over Trump” was large. And hey, if you can burn it all down, then I can threaten to. Maybe MAD will keep things civil and prevent one of the candidates in the primary from going on a months-long rager against the other and screaming that they are hopelessly corrupt and unfit, thus increasing the chances of defeating the Republicans in the general.

          She was my candidate, and I’m proud of it. You’re proud of your support for Sanders. Fine. But I did my job, which was not to attack Sanders as unfit and unacceptable as a candidate during the primary, and I would have happily voted for him over any Republican candidate, because no matter how much I disagree with him on policy, and no matter how unfit I thought he was, I don’t subscribe to an authoritarian “my way or the highway” view of politics.

          Also: I tend to be suspicious of our intelligence services when there is evidence that a war-mongering administration led by the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz is pushing them for a certain result, and they are producing flimsy intelligence.

          When an anti-gay, crony-capitalist authoritarian who has been fomenting anti-immigrant, right-wing movements, and in whose country pesky opposition journalists have a history of dying in suspicious circumstances, aligns with hard-right racists here who love both him and the current administration; when the right-wing leader of our administration has enormous conflicts of interest with moneyed interests in said authoritarian’s country; and when — despite that right-wing leader clearly wanting no investigation into said authoritarian’s attempts to influence the election in his favor, or any investigation that could reveal his conflicts of interest — they decide to continue to do their job anyway, when they could easily just…not…and have unfettered power under a “law and order” administration that has no respect for the independence of the press or the judiciary…

          I tend to be less suspicious. But then again, I am a liberal, not a hard-right conservative who uses the name “O’Bummer”, so there’s that.

    • sibusisodan

      I think you’ve misheard. He’s not a liar, he’s a lawyer.

      The former says things they know are not true. The latter arranges true statements in such a way that you may have the impression that the overall picture is thus-and-so, and leaves the question of the accuracy of that overall picture to tone side.

      • Brien Jackson

        Nah, Greenwald crossed the threshold a while ago. The AP thing, in particular, pushes him into full on propagandist territory.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          What’s the AP thing?

          • Brien Jackson

            Greenwald was screaming on Twitter that unless the AP released the full memo from DHS about calling u the National guard to enforce immigration policy, then when it was released he just stopped tweeting about it altogether.

            • Lost Left Coaster

              Sweet Jesus, even by Greenwald’s standards that’s pretty shitty.

              • Little Chak

                He’s a man after Trump’s own heart: never apologize for anything. It’s a sign of weakness.

    • FlipYrWhig

      He’s an anti-government paranoiac and always has been. He thinks it makes him consistent and principled. What it actually makes him is paranoid.

      • Brien Jackson

        Except he’s not. He’d never have demanded the level of proof he wanted over the DHS memo for any story about Bush/Obama and DRONES! or NSA spying or anything else concerning the security state. He’s a full on water carrier for Trump.

        • FlipYrWhig

          AFAICT it’s because he thinks the government under Trump isn’t really Trump’s, but THE DEEP STATE. He’s also become a creature of cleek’s law, where the most important battle to wage is sticking it to liberals. Also, he’s a dick, has always been a dick, will always be a dick, and is far less smart than he thinks he is, which isn’t saying all that much, because Stephen Fucking Hawking is far less smart than Glenn Greenwald thinks Glenn Greenwald is.

          • Brien Jackson

            What’s that got to do with overtly implying that the AP fabricated the story?

            • FlipYrWhig

              Who knows, he’s an asshole.

            • Hob

              I think the fact that the story was broken by AP, rather than by Greenwald, might possibly be the issue.

      • humanoid.panda

        Wish it was that simple. If he was an anti-government, he’d be ligthing his hair on fire (less paranoid consistent anti-government voices like Radley Balko are doing that now). But what he is doing now is carefully defending the government from silly liberals and their paranoia.

        • FlipYrWhig

          As above, I’m pretty sure the reason for the seeming flip is that he now thinks the government that needs to be dreaded and viewed with vigilance is THE DEEP STATE. Because he’s a daft ass.

        • Scott Lemieux

          The fact that AFACT he thinks Comey should be a given a complete pass is also a major tell.

        • nemdam

          I mean, I think he’s a consistent paranoid, libertarian, anti-government type in that most libertarians are perfectly fine with Republicans. His rationalization is that Democrats and Obama kept THE DEEP STATE in place, so there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties on civil liberties and foreign policy. But at least Republicans want to cut government in other ways. He also likes Trump because of his “burn it down” potential. If you hate government, Trump is appealing because he might blow the whole thing up.

          • Breadbaker

            Which is a very dangerous opinion for certain values of “the whole thing.”

      • The Great God Pan

        Greenwald isn’t anti-government per se, although he likes to be thought of that way. He certainly doesn’t have a problem with Russia’s government. By now I think it’s clear that he just hates the US government, not government in the abstract. He is of the school that says the US can only accomplush evil in the world, and that all evil in the world can be traced back to the US.

        As Greenwald recently tweeted, Trump’s “instability threatens US global power.” That is why he is outraged at any “deep state” maneuvering and “McCarthyist hysteria” that might bring Trump down.

        • Brien Jackson

          I think it would be more accurate to say he hates the US state, which explains why he’s fine with Trump if you assume that Trump is someone who will fuundamentally weaken the US state and global power.

  • AcademicLurker

    My favorite deranged right wing meme at the moment is that the angry constituents showing at town hall meetings are paid leftist provocateurs.

    These people either have no understanding of how representative government works, or else understand but have total contempt for the idea.

    • John F

      The angry rightwing people who show up at Townhall meetings to harangue liberals often times are paid provocateurs- so they assume the converse is true.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Venal people think everyone is for sale, because they are.

        • liberalrob

          That statement is true in every sense:

          Venal people do think everyone is for sale because those venal people themselves are for sale (projection);

          And venal people are correct to think everyone is for sale, because everyone is (human nature).

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      If you assume everything a Republican says is projection you’ll be correct an amazing number of times.

      These are people who voted for a man who literally hired out of work actors for his speech announcing his candidacy, and can’t get through a press conference without his employees being there to cheer him on.

      • Brien Jackson

        It is: Republicans use low level paid staff to go to these events with signs and shit all the time.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        These are people who voted for a man who literally hired out of work actors for his speech announcing his candidacy

        So what you’re saying is he’s a proven job creator!

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I wonder how the numbers compare between how many people he’s hired and how many of them he’s paid.

  • legrand

    I’ve yet to hear an explanation of how hacking into Podesta’s email (gmail account with the password “password”) made a difference – what was revealed that threw the election – that the Clinton campaign wanted to beat Sanders? Shocking! Oh, perhaps that made a difference to the 0.5% of the population who even knows who Podesta is (and good for them!) So Scott, you can dismiss the claim of McCarthyism but what about Rachael’s questions about the third party candidates that Greenwald cites? It’s as disgusting as she is smug. You have a habit of very selective outrage!

    • humanoid.panda

      I’ve yet to hear an explanation of how hacking into Podesta’s email (gmail account with the password “password”) made a differenc

      If that girl didn’t want to get raped, why did she wear that mini skirt?

      You fucking asshole.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Also, not true; repeating hearsay from rapist Assange.

        (I know that’s an ad hominem but coincidentally he’s both an unreliable witness and a rapist and both deserve saying.)

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’ve yet to hear an explanation of how hacking into Podesta’s email (gmail account with the password “password”) made a difference – what was revealed that threw the election – that the Clinton campaign wanted to beat Sanders? Shocking!

      Jesus Christ, are you for real? “The Wikileaks hacks that Trump and the media talked about constantly couldn’t have affected the election, because when you look carefully their content is trivial?” How could anyone who knows anything about American politics believe something that obviously ludicrous?

      So Scott, you can dismiss the claim of McCarthyism

      Yes. Very easily in fact.

      hat about Rachael’s questions about the third party candidates that Greenwald cites?

      I don’t know or care what Maddow said about Jill Stein, who has proven she doesn’t need to collaborate with Putin to be a Republican stooge.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        I don’t know or care what Maddow said about Jill Stein, who has proven she doesn’t need to collaborate with Putin to be a Republican stooge.

        I won’t speculate on collaboration, but she’s certainly awfully chummy with the man.

        • tsam

          What irritates me about anyone thinking Putin is someone who doesn’t need to fucking die is that you can take just ONE of a thousand bad things about him, and that one thing alone makes him toxic. Murdering journalists, for example. GAME OVER, VLAD. But add everything up and he makes Trump look harmless.

          • John F

            What irritates me about anyone thinking Putin is someone who doesn’t need to fucking die

            Here’s the problem, given the current nature of Russian politics – if he dies he could easily be replaced by someone worse

            • This is factually true, and at the same time, if he is taken out in a very public way that makes it clear it is being done directly as retribution for his many horrible deeds, it could have a deterrent effect. Normally I’m on Team Capital Punishment and Assassinations Are Wrong but I think I can make an exception just this once.

              • humanoid.panda

                This is factually true, and at the same time, if he is taken out in a very public way that makes it clear it is being done directly as retribution for his many horrible deeds, it could have a deterrent effect

                Yeah, no. About half of all Russian rulers were assasinated in various creative ways. And it had not deterrent effect at all.

                • Hogan

                  Not in a very public way.

                  OTOH, the game of thrones didn’t end after Ned Stark got the chop.

                • To be fair, Joffrey fucked up there by promising to let him take the black and then… not. After doing that, the execution came off as a case of petty vengeance and the North had little choice but to respond.

                  …This makes me think that we need an alliterative name involving Joffrey for the shitgibbon. Most of the historical comparisons are insulting to the target of the comparison, but this one might actually be somewhat deserving.

                • Hogan

                  D. Joffrey Trump, First of his Name? Kind of a mouthful.

    • I’ve yet to hear an explanation of how hacking into Podesta’s email (gmail account with the password “password”) made a difference

      I dunno, maybe all the breathless media stories implying that there was something sinister about what was discussed in the e-mails had something to do with it. Also, people had been hearing, vaguely, that Clinton had criminally jeopardized national security with her e-mail practices and here was a Clinton staffer being hacked.

      Seriously, the fact that a so-called scandal was not actually about anything doesn’t prove that it wasn’t damaging.

      what about Rachael’s questions about the third party candidates that Greenwald cites?

      What about it?

    • Gregor Sansa

      It’s not the Podesta hack, but the DNC hack, which is sophisticated and pretty clearly Russian. The Podesta hack might also be, but the evidence is weaker. Or at least so I understand from secondary sources.

      And yes, the drip-drip-drip of “mainstream” news stories about “more emails, bad for Clinton, because emails” did probably cost Clinton over 1% of voters, as screamingly moronic as that is.

    • John F

      what was revealed that threw the election

      Of course, nothing that was “revealed” threw the election, because there was nothing THERE. What threw the election was the steady drip of headline after headline reporting that Clinton was being investigated for emails, that emails were being hacked and released, all of which was conflated into one big mass (Call it the Clinton Email Mass*), all of which played into the RW meme that Clinton was corrupt and untrustworthy, and then

      2 weeks before the election, the director of the FBI publicly announced that yet more CLINTON EMAILS were being investigated…

      All that is what “threw the election”

      *Focus group polling showed that most people at the time were conflating the Clinton SOS server issue and the DNC/Podesta hacks- into one issue (one issue that was HRC’s fault) – that the DNC hacking was totally separate and unrelated to HRC’s private server issue was not clear to most people, and incredibly it’s still not clear to some now.

      • I’ve mentioned this before, but a number of liberal friends of mine who vaguely follow politics but are not political junkies had a sense that part of the Clinton email scandal is that her “private server was hacked”, and that the emails that were being published were leaks from the hacked server. I think a big contributing factor here was that there were a lot of emails published from her server, but those came from the US government (either leaks from Congress or FOIA requests). I don’t think everyone realized that some of the emails being reported on were leaked and some weren’t.r

        • humanoid.panda

          I have no doubt that 80% of public was totally convinced that Podesta, DNC, and Clinton server emails were all one and the same thing. Which is why if I voted for DNC chair, e-mail security would be my no. 1 priority..

          • humanoid.panda

            I also enjoy how the same people who were screaming #corruption and #rigged during the summer and fall are now angry that we ascribe any significance to release of emails that were totally harmless..

  • DocAmazing

    There are a number of legitimate, useful words and phrases that right-wing droolers and clueless writers have grabbed hold of and bent into barely-recognizeable form. Among these: racism, deep state, McCarthyism, working class.

  • kped

    It’s amazing with all that is going on with the government, and who holds power, that Glenn continues to write meaningless stories about the fucking DNC election.

    Glenn is so far in the weeds in his hate for “neoliberal sellouts!!!” that he doesn’t seem to give an actual fuck about the real problems and the real people in power. Seriously, what a complete hack he is.

    • Brien Jackson

      It’s not neoliberal sellouts: Glenn hates the liberals/Democrats who didn’t agree with him that Obama was as bad as Bush full stop. And also Obama, he really hates Obama, and even more so because he can’t come right out and say that he just despises Obama without losing over half of his audience.

  • socraticsilence

    Without saying too much, I’ve run the sort of things they’re bitching about (know one of the idiots on the O’Keefe tapes professionally) and it’s not paid crowds- its crowds with a handful of organizers at best spread across multiple foci – reproductive justice, labor, enviros, etc.

    Which is what makes the Tea Party comparisons hilarious those were far better financed and far more artificial– AFP had freaking bus tours.

  • TopsyJane

    The only Pols similarly demonized (if only half as much as HRC) has been Pelosi, with Reid and Obama lagging far behind.

    Pelosi and HRC – the first female Speaker of the House and HRC the first woman to lead a national ticket. Both of them successfully made into pinatas and both women. Not a coincidence, methinks.

  • MacK

    Something that makes me furious it these asswipes calling themselves ‘conservatives’ as if they are. They are a bunch of extremist reactionaries and radicals. Read Edmund Burke, the alleged father of conservatism, and what you see is a man who primarily believed in civil and human rights and was alienated from the French Revolution because it, in The Terror, ignored those rights. Those who call themselves conservative today would have appalled Burke.

    • I completely agree and have made this point several times. Burke’s philosophy can essentially be boiled down to the concept, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, or, “Don’t make changes unless there is a good, empirically based reason to think they’ll be improvements”. These people have nothing in common with this philosophy, not least because a large number of them reject empiricism out of hand. I have more in common with Burke’s philosophy than most of today’s Republicans do, and I suspect the same could be said for most commenters here. The word “conservatism” once described a useful philosophy that has much to offer the world, and desperately needs to be reclaimed from these reactionary dipshits.

      I also think we need to do more to promote the philosophy of Benjamin Disraeli here. I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s the sort of thing Americans would benefit from hearing.

  • You know, the problem with “Hillary lost the election because she was a bad candidate” is that there’s not actually that much of a lesson the Democrats can learn from it, other than “don’t run Hillary Clinton for president.” Unless we can identify a predictive quality about Hillary Clinton that made her a bad candidate, there’s not much else we can take away.

    Our friend Gov. Chafee elsewhere in the thread likes to make a point that Clinton’s low approval rating should have kept us from running her. OK, cool. No more candidates with negative approval ratings. Is that the unbearable bout of introspection that Greenwald suggests Democrats are avoiding with all this Russia talk?

    The Democrats have run shitty candidates before. They have not always been able to parlay that experience into running a less shitty candidate the next cycle, because there really isn’t a reliable way to know whether a candidate is shitty before letting them run. You know, the Dems had bad luck in the ’80s with presidential candidates. I certainly don’t think that left-wing critics of the Democrats want them to follow the same successful strategy that won them the White House in 1992, do you?

    • Abbey Bartlet

      Unless we can identify a predictive quality about Hillary Clinton that made her a bad candidate

      As I noted upthread, there are some Very good reAsons one could Go to whIch would explaiN thAt.

      • Darkrose

        *claps*

        • Abbey Bartlet

          ISWYDT.

    • Murc

      And you know what, there are people here, including myself, who would be very open to a nuanced critique of Clinton’s nomination and candidacy. I’m prepared to entertain arguments, because I made them myself during the primary, that nominating her was an mistake; that we had better options. And also that she made some errors during her campaign.

      King Goat, as well as a number of others, aren’t making those arguments. They’re arguing that Clinton was transparently an awful candidate and that Democrats not recognizing that from the get-go was breathtakingly stupid on our part. And then they’re topping that off with some vague hand-waving towards “establishment support” and “cleared the field” which is of course an implication that her primary win is tainted somehow, not quite a legitimate exercise of the peoples will. He of course doesn’t have any concrete suggestions about how to change this.

      That’s just pure bullshit.

      • Brien Jackson

        There’s an argument to be made that Democratic voters were far out of step with how everyone else saw Clinton…but I don’t know what the answer to that conundrum is supposed to be, because in this respect Democratic voters were right on the facts. Whitewater, EMAILS!, the Clinton Foundation nonsense, BENGHAZI! etc. were all out and out bullshit.

        • Abbey Bartlet

          There’s an argument to be made that Democratic voters were far out of step with how everyone else saw Clinton

          Which is slightly undermined by most people voting for her. Maybe Democratic voters were slightly out of step with how the shitty good people of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania saw her, but I’m not sure what to do about that one.

          • humanoid.panda

            Plurality, not majority..

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        all this going around and around on the ’16 primaries with the idea it serves a purpose regarding 2020 seems to just avoid a very basic fact: there isn’t another Hillary Clinton out there. 2020 is going to be a free-for-all like 1988 or 1992. Personally I think the whole works of you are engaged in gross misconduct with chickens, and it’s getting *old*

      • kped

        I think there is also something to be said about not letting your opponents dictate who is and who is not acceptable to nominate. Hillary is and was very popular with Democrats. She was even very recently popular with the country as a whole. That she was made “unpopular” by the opposition (while still being able to gain 3M more votes) should not really be relevant to the discussion of who to elect.

        Newsflash: They can make anyone unlikable. They made John Kerry, who actually served in Vietnam, into a coward vs a guy who left his cushy army post in the US to go on Coke benders.

        Now, there is some debate to be had that voters should have seen that Hillary’s long history of mostly bullshit “scandals” would uniquely hurt her. I can totally agree with this. But then, that’s not really a lesson to be learnt, is it? “Don’t elect someone who has had 30 years of trumped up scandals that amounted to nothing as your candidate”. Uhh…sure?

        But even then…it needs to be said: Bernie had a chance, voters, actual voters and not DWS, chose Hillary. So the left really needs to get in on this introspection. Blaming the “party” or the “elites” or the DNC is great, but it doesn’t get the left, the Sanders wing, any closer to actually winning a primary. So this evaluation really needs to be a two way street, whereas I see a lot of far left people basically demanding the more center parts of the party to sit down and shut up, it’s their turn now. Well, it’s still a democracy fellas, so that won’t work. You need to convince people, and that includes black and hispanic people. It includes people in the south. You’ll need a candidate that reaches all of the party, not just the young.

        • StellaB

          Yes, indeed.

        • Dr. Acula

          Right.

        • Breadbaker

          To imagine what the electoral prospects were of the Democrats with Bernie as a candidate, one has to consider the impact on various Democratic constituencies of a Bernie victory that relied heavily on Democratic votes in overwhelmingly white states where he would not stand a chance in the general like West Virginia and Oklahoma, as well as the whiter west coast states that Hillary won like Washington and Oregon.

          As a working proposition, Sanders would be likely to pick up exactly one electoral vote from Trump, the fourth one in Maine. He would be at risk from voters staying home in at least two states Clinton carried, New Mexico and Virginia. He would do no better, if not worse, in North Carolina and Florida. This is all based on the idea that African-American and Hispanic voters would be less likely to turn out for a candidate who was not their choice, and those four states depend, for any Democratic victory, on a lot of those voters.

          So even if he were to eek out victories in the two of those states Hillary took, he’s still got to get every Hillary voter in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee, while somehow appealing to enough Obama/Trump WWC voters Hillary lost in the general to overcome Trump’s margin. That assumes that the disappointed white women who stay home are about the same number as the irreconcilable Bernie voters who stayed home, voted for Johnson or Stein or whatever.

          That’s a tall order. It’s not, as the Bernie supporters of my acquaintance assume, a slam dunk.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            So even if he were to eek out victories in the two of those states Hillary took, he’s still got to get every Hillary voter in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee, while somehow appealing to enough Obama/Trump WWC voters Hillary lost in the general to overcome Trump’s margin.

            And he has to do these things while running a general election campaign, which almost certainly would have required him to do things that would upset the same chunk of his followers who turned on Elizabeth Warren for endorsing HRC.

            • Gregor Sansa

              That “chunk” is about 3 loudmouths, who would have been about as likely to abandon their messiah as Trump’s supporters are.

          • Gregor Sansa

            This is not supported by polling data, as Jameson Quinn’s guest posts pointed out. If Bernie had miraculously been swapped onto the ballot last minute, without having time to have to face a negative campaign, he would have won overwhelmingly. There is room to correct for a negative campaign and still have him stronger, especially in Rust Belt states like PA and OH which could have easily put him over the top.

            • nixnutz

              But the outcome that happened in our timeline wasn’t supported by the polling data either, I find that not convincing in the least. I think it’s perfectly plausible but anybody expressing any kind of certainty is kidding themselves.

            • Abbey Bartlet

              Jameson Quinn’s guest posts

              ::raises eyebrow::

          • humanoid.panda

            I see no evidence whatsoever for this series of propositions. First, the reality is that Hillary’s voters were older and more closely connected to the party. The odds of them not showing up in the general are nil.Second, in a Bernie campaign, there is no Comey letter.

            Which is not to say Bernie wins: he indeed never faced a negative campaign, and a Trump-Bernie race almost certainly creates a 3rd party competition, so who knows.

            But it is also true that what brought Hillary down was a popular perception that she was a corrupt insider. Bernie didn’t have that problem.

            • Right. Sanders had a reputation as a straight shooter who put doing the right thing first before pragmatism. He was a Jew who showed NotAllJews are usurers, etc., by campaigning against Jewish stereotypes and promoting All-American Values. He repeatedly stressed his lack of party affiliation and his lack of attachment to any specific ideology. He stressed his intention to appeal across party lines to people who hadn’t found their way into the system yet and whose ideals made them a natural fit for the Ds if only they could be got before the insiders got to them first. He was basically an individualist who happened to get a lot of people behind him because he was a good person.

              A lot like Obama, except Obama bought into those “elite” values and thought they had to be worked with pragmatically.

              A lot like Trump, except Trump’s lack of visible connection to ideology is even more invisible, as with his lack of visible Jewish influence, and in fact his lack of visible connection to any institution that might be accused of backing him.

              What does he campaign on, as long as Trump is campaigning on exactly the same thing?

          • StellaB

            This also assumes that the GOP wouldn’t have whipped out “Trotskyite”, pornography, Burlington College, and whatever other negative intel, real and created, that they wanted to use against Bernie. Why is the assumption always that the GOP would have taken one look at Bernie in the general and waved a white flag?

            The Sander’s campaign didn’t do a very good job of organizing and turning out its voters for the more difficult primaries, even if they were able to control the caucuses fairly well. There aren’t any caucuses in the general, but we should assume that they would have learned how to register and turn out their non-voting base?

        • Bernie had a chance, voters, actual voters and not DWS, chose Hillary. So the left really needs to get in on this introspection. Blaming the “party” or the “elites” or the DNC is great, but it doesn’t get the left, the Sanders wing, any closer to actually winning a primary. So this evaluation really needs to be a two way street, whereas I see a lot of far left people basically demanding the more center parts of the party to sit down and shut up, it’s their turn now. Well, it’s still a democracy fellas, so that won’t work. You need to convince people, and that includes black and hispanic people. It includes people in the south. You’ll need a candidate that reaches all of the party, not just the young.

          This. Yes, those who support the Democrats need to consider what went wrong in the general election and learn from it, but in the same way, those who supported Sanders in the primary and who would like a progressive to win next time need to consider what went wrong in the primary.

          • Brien Jackson

            It’s kind of worth saying that NOTHING went wrong. Bernie ran against a broadly popular opponent who just wasn’t going to be beaten this time, but he made a strong showing, increased his own national profile exponentially, and created leverage for the party as a whole to take more progressive positions on economic issues. That’s a big win! And his supporters really need to accept the parameters they were up against. The problem is more that there’s this subset that just refuses to believe they could have lost legitimately and won’t accet the reality of the situation at all.

            • kped

              I’m not sure I totally agree there. Bernie made inroads in a lot of places, but where the electorate was diverse (mainly with Black and Hispanic voters), he did poorly. Any future candidate in the Bernie mold will need to prepare better to woo those voters. They matter (and some of their states will matter more and more going forward).

              “Why am I only appealing to people under 30? What can I do to reach out to minorities”. Those are questions that absolutely must be asked, and I think it’s foolish to think otherwise.

              (and likewise, a more centrist candidate will have to think hard about those under 30 voters, and how to appeal to them and harness their passion).

              There are lessons for everyone from this election. To say otherwise is foolish.

              • Brien Jackson

                That’s not necessarily a major strategic mistake though. Sanders clearly hadn’t plan to run for years prior or anything. Although ironically you could say that a better politician than Sanders might have won.

                • kped

                  Yes, that I can agree with. The next “Bernie” will have to be someone in the party (perhaps a Gillibrand or Sherrod Brown, or someone of that ilk), someone who wanted to run and has begun the process years in advance of courting the various groups.

                  But again, that is something to be learnt.

                  Oh, also, maybe if you know you are losing and have no chance of winning, and you see that a racist thug with facist leanings is the guy on the other side, don’t run a scorched earth campaign against your own party at the end such that the other side can use you and your words the entire campaign, and that your most hardcore followers will never vote for your primary opponent.

                  But I’m not sure anyone is willing to look that far inside…

        • djw

          Newsflash: They can make anyone unlikable. They made John Kerry,

          It’s worth noting that they did not, using the measure we’re talking about here, make Kerry “unlikable”. His approval ratings dropped from around +20 in early summer to around +10 in the fall, but he was never close to being underwater, and was doing better on this measure than Bush in Sept-Oct. He lost anyway.

    • gmack

      I’m guessing that this point has been made already in this thread (I really haven’t read it all, so please forgive me if I’m repeating something), but (a) I agree with your claim, and (b) the much more productive question is what has happened to the Democratic party at the state and local levels across the country. Part of the reason why the present situation is so dire is not just that Clinton lost the election; it’s also that the Democrats don’t control any of the federal branches of government, they don’t control many of the states, and they also have precious little chance of changing either situation unless they can radically alter their fortunes in 2018 and 2020 statewide elections (which will determine redistricting).

      I really don’t have much of an idea of how to fix this stuff. I’m doing what I can to get involved in local politics. But it seems to me that reflecting such issues would be considerably more productive than debating about whether the 2016 loss was a result of a bad candidacy: had Clinton won, we wouldn’t be facing as many immediate crises, but we would still be facing the problems I mentioned above.

  • Darkrose

    I just got an email from the Nation about their upcoming trip to Russia. At some point, when I’m not screaming mad, I want to write them and ask if they’ll guarantee my safety as a lesbian visiting Putin’s Russia. The blindness of the left when it comes to Putin’s homophobia enrages me.

    • Abbey Bartlet

      That’s another way in which he’s like PPOTUS: he does so much awful shit that it’s hard to focus on all of it.

    • Gwen

      “The Left” is not blind to it.

      A few people are:

      * Cohen and VanDenHeuvel.

      * Jill Stein ( who is wrong about everything).

      * Some random tankies on the Internet who watched too much RT.

      * A handful of “blame America first” pacifists and antiglobalists blowhards.

      * Some erstwhile “victims of oppression” who never quite understood just how bad oppression can get (cough::gaymenforTrump::)

      * “Meninists” who were never really left to begin with

  • Gwen

    What unnerves me is that McCarthyist paranoia is leading some people to clamor for invasions of privacy on a massive scale.

    To me the First Amendment is premised on a classical liberal notion of a public sphere. A strict reading of the First Amendment says that the government should remain scrupulously neutral toward all voices, both loyal and dissenting.

    Of course nobody follows this strictly, especially when the dissenters are vile or threatening. And so the defenders of the power structure unleash water cannons and tear gas. Permits get denied and protesters get corralled into “First Amendment Zones.” Reporters get snubbed and criticized. Businesses get boycotted.

    These are all to some degree a diminution of speech, but they at least happen in plain sight. The pigs and the anarchists meet in the streets and do glorious combat and then go home (maybe after a few nights in the clink) and the world goes on. There is almost a certain chivalry; the goal was never total destruction of the opponent. And what happened in the marketplace of ideas, stayed in the marketplace of ideas.

    But what I see now is more problematic. The state wants to read emails with little or no justification. The state (Senate of Arizona) wants to seize money and property of people they deem violent protestors. Even in public attacks are more personal and more vicious. And I have no doubt that the allegations of IRS interference in the Obama years will serve as a pretext for retribution.

    A flawed democracy is one thing. But recent events are pushing us towards dismantling the private/public divide. It is not only undignified but dangerous. I think we’d all prefer to live in a permanent 1968 than a permanent “Nineteen-Eighty Four.”

    • Dennis Orphen

      The state has been seized by a criminal organization. The COP wants to seize property and assets. That’s its primary criminal objective. The crimes of invasion of privacy, etc are tactics used to further the objective of stealing by neutralizing any meaningful resistance.

  • In fact, McCarthyism was primarily a campaign by the private sector, not government; vastly more people were persecuted in the workplace than by official government action. Come on, man.

    • Abbey Bartlet

      Two in two days! What have we done to deserve such an honor?

    • Scott Lemieux

      I would recommend reading the posts before commenting.

  • I’m not sure what the relevance of this interjection is supposed to be. Mccarthyism was an attempt by people in power to suppress certain types of dissent by labelling it as treasonous. While the majority of people fired and blacklisted were in the private sector that doesn’t mean that government and politicians didn’t play a leading role in fostering a climate where that could happen.

    Obviously if the private sector were to participate in the persecution of opponents of the Trump regime to the same extent that they participated in McCarthyite purges that would be extremely dangerous. But again, what is the point of this interjection?

  • Beats me how all the comrades feel the need to defend pure fascism in Russia as well as criticizing any issues anyone may have with Russian policies at home and abroad.
    And there’s defending Russian interference with our election because interfering in elections is America’s heritage.
    Spoiler: Whether or not Trump as POTUS becomes the best thing that ever happened to Putin — no visible signs of that yet — the secondary goal was to make us look bad, maybe even destabilize the US. At that, it’s mission accomplished for Vlad.
    And comrades are defending all that? Really?
    Please.

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