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Reproductive Rights are a Core Democratic Value

[ 367 ] April 20, 2017 |

sanders teaser 2

I don’t believe in “dealbreakers.” In the general election, you vote for the best candidate available, and pressure them as best you can. I think Democrats should support Jon Ossoff and Heath Mello. But this is a different story:

Sanders was less interested in the Ossoff race. “He’s not a progressive,” he said. He was endorsing Democrats based on their economic populism; they could differ from progressives on social issues but not on the threat of the mega-rich to American politics. Soon, he said, the 5-to-4 majority on the Supreme Court was likely to make it legal for the wealthy to give unlimited sums to candidates, and the only way to fight back was grass-roots politicking and small donations.

“If you are running in rural Mississippi, do you hold the same criteria as if you’re running in San Francisco?” he said. “I think you’d be a fool to think that’s all the same.”

Sanders had said this before, and each time, he had sparked anger from a center-left ready to accuse him of abandoning women or nonwhite voters. On Thursday, he was set to campaign in Omaha for Heath Mello, a Democrat running for mayor who had previously backed a bill requiring ultrasounds for women considering abortions.

Sanders is right in the second graf. But of course it’s completely contradicted by his dismissal of Ossoff:

Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit. That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do, but of course the same goes for candidates whose economic rhetoric Sanders finds insufficiently populist in tone.

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  1. Phil Perspective says:

    Why is Mello the Democratic nominee in the first place? Is it true, as Wikipedia says, that Mello belongs to the Knights of Columbus? Because they’re anti-abortion fanatics. And I mean pretty much Operation Rescue fanatical. So Sanders is wrong here. Yes, I said it. Perez’s answer today wasn’t any better than Sanders. So both of them need to step up their game with this.

  2. herewegoagain4 says:

    I don’t believe in “dealbreakers.”

    Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit.

    I can’t even…

    • “Dealbreaker” = a single position that makes it impermissible to vote for a candidate.

      Unless you have evidence that Scott believes that nobody should vote for a candidate that isn’t “progressive”, there’s no contradiction there.

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        Sounds like not being for reproductive freedom is a “deal breaker” for labeling someone a progressive.

        • LMGTFY

          You also could have clicked on those blue letters in the original post. You know, the ones that said ‘I don’t believe in “dealbreakers”‘. That might have gone to a further explanation of what Scott meant by the statement. I dunno, that sounds like some dumb nerd shit to me.

          • herewegoagain4 says:

            My critique is with having a deal breaker when it comes to labeling someone a progressive.

            For example, if I used his logic and held y’all to the same standard as I hold myself when it comes to, say, animal welfare, I figure about one half of one percent of you are actually “progressive” on all issues.

            • Except that the definition of “dealbreaker” being used here describes a reason not to vote for a candidate, not a reason not to call a candidate a progressive. You can tell this because that’s how “dealbreaker” has always been used on LGM and because those blue letters on the word “dealbreaker” lead you to a blog post that uses the term that way.

            • efgoldman says:

              if I used his logic and held y’all to the same standard as I hold myself when it comes to, say, animal welfare….

              urd, izzat you?

            • Origami Isopod says:

              Animal “rights” != animal welfare.

              Also, you got quite upset at people here for criticizing labor practices at strip clubs. Animals, and your dick, seem to be placed very far above women’s well being on your priority list. Those of us who don’t consider animals the equivalent of people aren’t impressed by that. Or by your sockpuppeting.

              • postmodulator says:

                Also, you got quite upset at people here for criticizing labor practices at strip clubs.

                Glad I missed that conversation. Labor practices at strip clubs are cartoonishly bad. Late capitalism on steroids bad. Dickensian bad. Did he next twirl his mustache?

                • Origami Isopod says:

                  Nah, he just talked about how his buddies run strip clubs so they can’t be bad, and also his wife (or GF, can’t remember) enjoyed going to strip clubs so they can’t be sexist, either.

                  (FTR, I am not anti-sex work, but let’s not pretend sex work as it currently exists is a wonderland of feminist empowerment either.)

        • Spider-Dan says:

          Scott, is advocating for the global extermination of The Jew a “dealbreaker” in whether you consider someone an anti-Semite?

          According to the logic above, I have just ensnared you in an unsolvable paradox of logic and/or hypocrisy.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      You’re a dull boy, Billy.

    • econoclast says:

      Do you really think that there’s a contradiction? I can’t tell if you are trolling or are sincerely confused. Scott literally follows your second quote above with

      That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do

      I can’t imagine how he could make it any clearer.

      • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

        Again, I was critiquing his argument that not being for reproductive freedom is a dealbreaker when it comes to the “progressive” label. I understand and agree with his position that dealbreakers are stupid when it comes time to vote. I just think he should expand his horizons on “when dealbreakers are stupid.”

        • lunaticllama says:

          The post does not even talk about “dealbreakers” vis-a-vis the “progressive” label, because that is not how “dealbreaker” is being used in this post (as was made abundantly clear.)

    • Shantanu Saha says:

      Reading comprehension is not strong in this one…

  3. DanaHoule says:

    Bernie can’t say what the guy’s politics are because there are so many Congressional elections happening all at once, Ossoff’s election wasn’t coming up any time soon, there was no national attention on it, he needed to complain that Dems don’t try to win in the South, and how would he even communicate with Ossoff to learn about his politics, given that there are no such things as telephones.

    • Chetsky says:

      Ouch. Well-deserved, but still, *ouch*.

      • Snuff curry says:

        Sanders saw Trump over the past few tweetstorms throw everything along with the kitchen sink at Osoff (dogwhistles about “crime,” “safety,” “illegals,” “taxes”), and thought he ought to be the other side that does it, too.

        [I don’t know why this comment is threaded here, but this was a response to DanaHoule]

    • kped says:

      I’m going to guess that Mello supported him in some way during the primary, and Ossoff did not. Because really, isn’t that the main criteria for a good progressive to Bernie?

      • josiah says:

        Mello supported Clinton during the Democratic primary. I believed he caucused for her.

        Our primary is after the caucus and does not affect delegates.

      • nemdam says:

        Even more sad, it might be because the Democrats are enthusiastically endorsing Jon Ossoff, Bernie decided not to. IOW, Bernie’s enthusiasm toward a candidate is inversely proportional to how enthusiastic the Democratic party is behind them. Given St. Bernie’s record and the message he is delivering as the party outreach chair, this seems to be one of the main reasons.

        If the Democrats get behind the Montana House race in a big way, don’t be surprised if Bernie suddenly loses interest in the race.

    • Rob in CT says:

      Or websites. Sigh.

  4. each time, he had sparked anger from a center-left ready to accuse him of abandoning women or nonwhite voters

    I despise this construction. I am a socialist, not “center-left”, and a political platform that is willing to abandon the rights of women, people of color, LBGTQ+ people, etc. in favor of a narrow construction of economic justice is not my kind of leftism. The idea that the argument on the left is between economic leftists and social justice centrists is a noxious lie.

    • McAllen says:

      Yeah, the dispute on the left in not between the center-left and far left. Does wanting to ignore racism and sexism make you a leftist? Does apologism for non-American imperialism?

      • My favorite is the people who argue that support for US military intervention is a major left/center divide while ignoring that Sanders was not a particularly dovish candidate.

        • MDrew says:

          So your favorite is when people do things that are not contradictory nor remarkable?

          I guess that’s reasonable. It’s your favorites.

        • postmodulator says:

          Honestly, Sanders’ foreign policy was not coherent enough to criticize.

          • Q.E.Dumbass says:

            I have never been a fan of Clinton’s foreign policy, but Sanders’ “something something King Abdullah” routine* was what turned me from “good, a person who’ll move HRC to the left” to “oh, hurry up and concede already.” (O’Malley/Franken/Perez should’ve had Bernard’s niche, BTW).

            *All the right instincts, but only the instincts, to paraphrase Drum.

            • postmodulator says:

              It was a shitty situation. Given the political realities of 2016, the only things a Democratic president was going to be able to do were executive branch appointments and foreign policy. There probably wouldn’t have been much difference in appointments between Sanders and Clinton, truthfully, and the choices with regard to foreign policy were between “Christ, this shit again” and “Huh?”

  5. Bootsie says:

    Self-described “socialist” believes that Trve Kvlt progressive-ness consists solely of yelling about THE BILLIONAIRE CLASS, more at 11.

  6. MDrew says:

    So we reject Sanders bc he’ll compromise on social issues but not economic issues whereas we’re cool with Perez because he’ll compromise on social issues but also on whatever else, too.

    • DanaHoule says:

      Yes, Perez has significant influence over policy as chair of the DNC, and boy did the low wage industries love his tenure at a Labor, given all the compromises he made.

    • Lord, I am looking forward to you presenting some evidence for this claim. Lay it on me.

      • MDrew says:

        Has he made any pretense to being an absolutist on anything in the way Sanders is trying to communicate he is on plutocracy?

        • First: I’m looking for evidence for “We’ll reject Sanders”. This post read to me as a rebuke or criticism, not a rejection.

          Second: I’m looking for evidence that Scott is rejecting or criticizing Sanders based on “compromis[ing] on social issues”, considering that the post you are responding to says:

          I don’t believe in “dealbreakers.” In the general election, you vote for the best candidate available, and pressure them as best you can. I think Democrats should support Jon Ossoff and Heath Mello…. That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do, but of course the same goes for candidates whose economic rhetoric Sanders finds insufficiently populist in tone.

          • MDrew says:

            Oh, ok. See below. If “reject” is the wrong verb, replace with the description of choice.

            • OK, sure, Scott criticizes Sanders for drawing a bright line on economic issues but not social issues. He didn’t criticize Perez because Perez didn’t draw a bright line at all. Is that a fair paraphrase? Do you think that has anything to do with this;

              I don’t believe in “dealbreakers.”

          • addicted44 says:

            I find it hilarious that people complain about rejecting Sanders on a blog where nearly every front pager (every front pager?) either voted for, or voted for and strongly supported Sanders in the primary.

            These people are incapable of the very basic thought processes required that although you may prefer 1 person over another, you can still really like that other person, and support them, when your preferred choice is no longer an option.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        Lord, I am looking forward to you presenting some evidence for this claim

        Oh, I’m sure it will be as compelling as the evidence for his claim that the New York Democratic Party controls the presidential nomination process. The fact that zero Democratic nominees since World War II have came up through the New York Democratic Party is surely central to his point.

    • McAllen says:

      Who’s rejecting Sanders? If he’s were to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 I’d vote for him. But we get to criticize him when he fucks up, especially when he’s been made into a symbol of purity by too many people.

      • MDrew says:

        Fair enough, you choose the verb. This post singles him out for saying exactly what Perez says on abortion, while having a hard line on economics that Perez lacks.

        You choose the verb for that.

        • McAllen says:

          This post singles him out for saying exactly what Perez says on abortion, while having a hard line on economics that Perez lacks.

          But it doesn’t. Scott specificly says Sanders is correct about Mello, but he’s failing to apply the same standard to Ossoff.

          I also don’t see why you think that Perez being willing to compromise on everything but Sanders only being willing to compromise on social issues in a point in Sanders’s favor. To me, that suggests Perez is a pragmatist, whereas Sanders just doesn’t care about social issues very much.

          • Spider-Dan says:

            Thank you.

            Bernie is happy to compromise on abortion, gun control, same-sex marriage, and all sorts of other “distractions.” Ask him about compromise with, say, giving paid speeches to Wall Street, and suddenly compromise is a four-letter word.

          • free_fries_ says:

            A former Bern campaign staffer complained on Twitter that the Bernie pile on was unfair and he’s 100% prochoice and it’s really Mello’s team’s fault. Apparently they may not have been totally transparent on his positions. I was flabbergasted at this excuse. Granted my knowledge on the separation of campaigning vs. governing in a Senator’s office is limited but does Sanders not have access to a staffer with the ability to you know Google “Heath Mello voting record” and hit print?

            Lame reasoning aside, I’m all for unity but I’m really over this “Bernie didn’t do anything wrong! Omg why are the neolibs such bullies to Bernie and The Left?” narrative.

        • Hogan says:

          You choose the verb for that.

          I choose “oxidize,” but I wouldn’t quarrel with “parboil.”

      • ForkyMcSpoon says:

        I wouldn’t vote for him.

        We will have better options than Sanders/Cuomo/Clinton.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      So we reject Sanders

      ?

    • Spider-Dan says:

      After more than a year of hearing how compromise is just enabling corporatist neoliberalism and voting for the lesser evil is an abdication of your sacred right and responsibility to vote for only the best possible candidate, I am totally uninterested in hearing those same voices NOW inform me that actually, compromise to support the best candidate with a reasonable chance to win is just Smart And Practical Political Strategy.

      You do not get to scream about Lesser Evilism all the way to a Trump victory and then declare that mayor of Omaha is just too important not to support the best candidate that can win.

      • nixnutz says:

        It’s only a compromise if it’s something you believe in.

      • free_fries_ says:

        Thank you.

        OTOH it’s amazing that it only took 5.5 months to go from “Don’t you dare use the Supreme Court as blackmail.” to “What’s your problem? Bernie said the same thing as Tom Perez.”

      • Rob in CT says:

        Well said.

        It’s never exactly pleasant to support a candidate who disagrees with you on something you really care about. But it is something that any responsible adult will do from time to time.

        Whether it’s supporting someone who is bad on abortion rights (Governor of Louisiana would be an example, yes?) or someone who is to your right on economics/taxes, or gun control, or immigration, or…

    • efgoldman says:

      we reject Sanders bc he’ll compromise on social issues but not economic issues

      We reject Bernie because (a) He is not a Democrat (b) He’s on a listening tour, but he’s not listening and (c) He spends more time kvetching about Democrats than about the kleptocrat fascists in the other party.
      Just as he did last summer and fall.

    • Origami Isopod says:

      So because Perez isn’t all Old Man Yells at Cloud Wall Street in his demeanor, he’s not as committed to economic justice as Sanders is.

      What a piss-poor criterion.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        Who cares about his tenure as Labor Secretary — he used the term “market correction” in a speech. Market correction! He’s basically a Thatcherite.

  7. herewegoagain4 says:

    Oh, and BTW…

    As the plane flew to Louisville, a Harvard-Harris poll was being released that found Sanders polling at 57 percent favorability with all voters. No politician in America was better-liked.

    Maybe we could have chosen that candidate over the one that had 14 consecutive upside down general favorability ratings before the primary voting even began?

    I know, I know…Comey did it.

    • McAllen says:

      I, too, am surupised that the politician that has received almost no negative coverage by the media is more liked than the one who has been despised by the national press for 25 years.

      • Bootsie says:

        Next you’ll be telling me that 4 million Democratic voters passed on him.

        • herewegoagain4 says:

          I just want to know: is our voters learning?

          • Spider-Dan says:

            The Bernie primary version of “Comey did it”: the voters did it!

            Then again, they are only Democrats, so I suppose neoliberalism is to be expected.

            • herewegoagain4 says:

              Well, to be more specific, the old voters did it. The young ones across all races, sexes, etc, chose the more popular general candidate. The old ones went for the unpopular general candidate.

              And now we are all fucked.

              If our voters keep nominating unpopular general candidates, we are not going to be pleased by the results. I think we should go back to the 08 model where we nominated a popular general candidate. Just a thought. I could be wrong.

              Oh, and could I get your complete list of candidates you’d vote for in the primary if they were already upside down in general approval? Here’s mine:

              • free_fries_ says:

                So you tell us? At what age do you want to start disenfranchising voters? 30? 25? 22?

                • N__B says:

                  The documentary Logan’s Run provides a strong argument for 30 as the cutoff.

                • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

                  That’s not my argument. My argument is that democratic primary voters need to be smarter than they are. We fucked up and got a piece of shit elected. We need to own this, learn from it, and never do it again. And what I hear is “she’s never running again shutupshutupshutupshutup” and not “I will never again cast a primary vote for someone who is upside down in general approval for a dozen consecutive polls and over half the last year.”

                • Origami Isopod says:

                  democratic primary voters need to be smarter than they are.

                  Right, let’s listen instead to the sooper S-M-R-T Bernie or Busters whose rhetoric and, in some cases, votes helped elect the orange teratoma.

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        Ah, the “head in sand” caucus. Lots of good that did America.

        I can’t believe I belong to a party that thinks nominating a despised politician is a brilliant electoral strategy because they have no where to go but up. Talk about grasping defeat from the jaws of victory.

        • McAllen says:

          If their positions had been reversed, with Sanders being the Democratic frontrunner and Clinton a longshot, do you think their favorability numbers would have been exactly the same? Do you think media coverage would have been exactly the same?

          • herewegoagain4 says:

            Yes, if only there was a situation where we could test your hypothesis as to what would happen if we had a frontrunner was, let’s say, +0 when primary voting started, and a long shot who was, say +27. If only we could pretend the long shot won the primary and then see how they collapsed in the inevitable attacks during the general. If only such a situation existed within, say, the last decade. I just wish that was so…

            And wouldn’t it be totally insane if said hypothetical long shot candidate maintained damn near the same level of approval from the day primary voting started until the general election (+27 to +28)…much like what happened to clinton this year (-12 to WAIT FOR IT… -12)?

            What a crazy fucking world that would be!

            • Spider-Dan says:

              If only there were some sort of other method to measure the popularity of a politician. Perhaps we could have some sort of system where we ask people to physically declare their commitment towards one candidate or the other, but with binding results.

              • herewegoagain4 says:

                Because we all know that if you can win one election of a subset of people you’re shoe in for the general election in the united states. Like, if you could elected as the president of NAMBLA you’re at least 50% to win the presidential election.

                I mean, that’s just logic and numbers and shit.

                But if only we had some method of determining how many people who make up the subset of “all voters” approved or disapproved of a candidate BEFORE we chose them…and then maybe our primary voters could take that into consideration…if only…

                I wonder, do y’all feel the same way about Jill Stein? I mean, a subset of voters selected her to be a nominee, so she had to be even odds to win it all, right?

                • efgoldman says:

                  do y’all feel the same way about Jill Stein? I mean, a subset of voters selected her to be a nominee

                  Actually, she self-selected. There was no primary process in which actual voters chose her.

                • sigaba says:

                  You have any reforms you’d recommend? Apart from abusing people you disagree with and casting Magic Bans on voting demos who give the Wrong Answer?

                • Spider-Dan says:

                  Hey, I have a question: which candidate got the most votes of ANY politician in ANY Presidential primary in the 2016 cycle?

                  But instead of using actual primary votes to determine popularity, we should instead use landline polls with malleably worded questions. Because if we learned anything this cycle, it’s that the candidate who does worse in opinion polls is the sure-fire loser in an actual election.

        • Shantanu Saha says:

          Since I despise Bernie, by your logic I figure I now have a veto on his ever running again. Unless my choice doesn’t count because I’m not a brogressive.

        • rea says:

          I can’t believe I belong to a party that thinks nominating a despised politician is a brilliant electoral strategy because they have no where to go but up.

          What, are you a Republican?

    • Donna Gratehouse says:

      Yawn. HRC was the most popular politician in 2013 and GWB was at 91% after 9-11. Sanders has high numbers because he’s the darling of the media, who delight in putting him on TV to bash Dems.

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        You are example A B and C why we lost the last election to the single most hated presidential candidate in history.

        Y’all keep fucking that chicken. Maybe we could run Anthony Weiner or hell, Bill Cosby? I see people loved them way back in the day! Let’s ignore the last dozen or so polls! How could this go wrong?

        You realize Sanders actually ran, had the exact opposite results in all of those polls where she was upside down, and has never been negative? Maybe people – besides the Clinton dead enders – actually like him?

        Or maybe there’s a disqualifying video out there, like of him admitting to sexual assault. Who knows! Let’s go with the one that everyone already hates cause she has nowhere to go but up!

        • StellaB says:

          Of course, had BS been the candidate, the GOP and the Russians Would never have dared raise a whisper of criticism directed at BS.

          • herewegoagain4 says:

            Good thing we started with a politician that was already upside down so they couldn’t drop further when the inevitable attacks came. Really fucking brilliant! Worked like a charm!

            • StellaB says:

              How is it, exactly, that you know that BS who never received any negative press, who had little name recognition for most of the primary, and who was never really within striking distance of winning the primary wouldn’t have seen his poll numbers drop even lower? His NY Post interview transcript was the most negative thing published about him and his own words wer what brought on his biggest downturn. How would he have faired if the entire GOP apparatus had been turned on him rather than casually trying to prop him up? Would Putin have called off his meddling?

              • herewegoagain4 says:

                Were you alive in 2008? Am I the only fucking person who wasn’t born two years ago?

                AGAIN:

                Obama on Feb 2, 2008: +27
                Obama on Nov 2, 2008: +28

                Clinton on Feb 13, 2016: -12
                Clinton on Nov 6, 2016: -12

                This isn’t rocket surgery people. Time to get our fucking heads out of the sand.

                I guess I’ll just have to accept that Obama received no negative attacks and the GOP didn’t turn their…aw fuck it. I can’t even.

                • Spider-Dan says:

                  Good news, everyone! It turns out that everything that happens between February and November is largely meaningless!

                  It’s like everyone from 1992 (when Poppy Bush won his second term) mysteriously died, or like you all were born a year into the Kerry Administration.

                • herewegoagain4 says:

                  It’s funny how we’re just supposed to accept this assertion, not only with no evidence, but with the evidence going in the opposite direction, because its the conventional wisdom. We just know that the attacks have to do *something* right?

                  But again, its better to go with the candidate everyone hates than the candidate that could end up being hated by as many people later because reasons!

                • Shantanu Saha says:

                  I’d rather have my head in the sand than up Bernie’s ass.

                • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

                  You gotta love it.

                  You point out that clinton wasn’t popular you get WELL WHO WAS YOUR ALTERNATIVE YOU MUST PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE.

                  You point out there was a popular alternative running you get BERNIE BRO.

                  Even though BERNIE BRO means “the majority of every race/sex of young dem primary voters” as opposed to “the majority of every race/sex of old dem primary voters.” So many young, black, female BERNIE BROS. Hell, I’m even married to one.

                • Spider-Dan says:

                  Even though BERNIE BRO means “the majority of every race/sex of young dem primary voters” as opposed to “the majority of every race/sex of old dem primary voters.”

                  So many unnecessary words. Let me help:

                  – BERNIE BRO means “the majority of every race/sex of young dem primary voters”
                  – as opposed to “the majority of every race/sex of dem primary voters.” Period.

                  See how much easier that is? You don’t need to qualify Hillary’s support in terms of age groups (and especially age groups famous for not turning out to vote, which I’m sure you’d dismiss as irrelevant to actual vote results). You can just say “Hillary had the support of a majority of DEMOCRATS” and that is a fully-formed, self-contained statement of fact.

              • efgoldman says:

                His NY Post interview transcript was the most negative thing published about him and his own words were what brought on his biggest downturn.

                It was the Daily News, but otherwise you’re exactly right.
                Seen one New York tabloid, you’ve seen ’em all.

                • N__B says:

                  I’d argue that a bit. The News is trash but the Post is Murdoch at his most vile. Articles in the News can be trusted at the most basic sense of accuracy in a way that nothing in the Post, including “a” and “the” can be.

          • efgoldman says:

            the GOP and the Russians Would never have dared raise a whisper of criticism directed at BS.

            Of course not. They would have all keeled over in fright at his magnificence and ceded the election and all levels of government immediately. Don;t you know anything?
            Holy fuck but you one-note Bernie trolls are tiresome and a pain in the ass.
            My guess is you’re a sock puppet for a different one.

    • StellaB says:

      And a here’s a poll from just before the campaign started. Oh, look who’s the most popular politician in America!

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        So you’re taking position D in the “why we lost the last election” list.

        Maybe we could look at the dozen plus polls AFTER those? I mean, like, the polls that came out in July, August, September, October, November, December, and January immediately before voting in February? Just a thought. But what do I know! I was clearly wrong!

        PS. Chris Christie was +32 back in 2013. Fucking 2013 are you kidding me?

        • StellaB says:

          Politicians poll numbers usually sink when they are actively running for office. When women run — and that includes Elizabeth Warren — their poll numbers sink even more than their male counterparts. That will continue to be a problem until more women run. Your solution is to choose only white male candidates. I’m apparently not a “progressive” because I find that appalling.

          • herewegoagain4 says:

            I find what is happening to american more appalling than any bullshit going on in your or my head. I wish a vegan atheist gay minority woman won the next 30 general presidential elections. But I’m also not so stupid as to think this is really fucking likely to happen any time soon, and will adjust my primary votes accordingly.

            Do you realize that what you’re admitting is that it was perfectly fine for democrats to vote for someone who was already upside down in a fucking popularity contest, and not only that, but that they were going to fall faster and further than the other choice we had? I mean, did you want to fucking lose? Last I heard, elections had concequences. Maybe y’all should have taken this into consideration?

            BTW – yes, only white male candidates. Like Barack O’bama. If you read what I said, it was “nominate POPULAR candidates” – regardless of their race or sex or religion.

            I’ve asked a hundred times on here and no one ever responds, but I’ll try again. Give me your complete list of 2020 candidates you would vote for in the primary even if they were upside down in popularity for the last dozen polls. Here’s mine:

            • StellaB says:

              And how do you know a priori that BS wasn’t going to tank even faster? Do you really think that the GOP would have taken one look at that confused, shouty, ex-communist in the general election and rolled over? There isn’t any chance that no one could see him having a path to the general and decided that it was better to help him muddy up Clinton from the left? The FBI couldn’t have been investigating his wife’s little troubles with Burlington College?

              I suspect that you’re new to politics. Watch the next couple of years and you’ll see the most likely D candidates accused of the most spectacular transgressions with no proof. If we drop every candidate who has been muddied up by the GOP, we will, quite literally, have no one left to run. Your enemy is not your fellow progressives (which it is possible to be, even if you don’t think that Bernie is a fucking saint), but rather the GOP.

              • herewegoagain4 says:

                Imagine if there was a black guy who’s preacher was all GODDAMN AMERICA with a funny muslim sounding name and blah blah blah.

                Go read the fucking polls from the last 10 years. They exist. People are just rationalizing and spitballing here.

                One of us is new to politics. It’s not who you think it is.

                My enemy is people who vote for unpopular candidates in the primary and allow us to lose the easiest fucking gimme election in history CONSIDERING WE WERE UP AGAINST RAPEY MCSMALLHANDS. And the GOP.

                I’ll take a +27 over a -12 in the primary, especially when their platforms are pretty much indistinguishable. Or, at least that’s what the -12’s supporters told us the whole goddamn time. Except when it was pointed out that maybe then we should nominate the popular one…then it was all but but but he could become as unpopular as our candidate already is and that would be horrible for reasons!

                Seriously, your fucking argument is that we shouldn’t nominate someone who could end up as unpopular as the alternative already is. Is the world trolling me? Are you fucking serious?

                • Barry_D says:

                  “My enemy is people who vote for unpopular candidates in the primary and allow us to lose the easiest fucking gimme election in history CONSIDERING WE WERE UP AGAINST RAPEY MCSMALLHANDS. And the GOP.”

                  1) Nate Silver, IIRC, pointed out that it was not a ‘gimme’ due to the third term effect + weak fundamentals.

                  2) Trump’s turnout was similar to McCain’s and Romney’s. People were quite happy to vote for the GOP nominee, no matter how bad.

                • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

                  Again, Silver’s analysis assumed we were running against a bog standard GOPer and not the most despised primary candidate in the history of our nation. IE, Rapey McSmallHands. If they selected Jerry Sandusky do you think he would have had the same odds as Marco Rubio? It’s amazing how candidate quality now has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the election! NOTHING AT ALL! I mean, why even care who we nominate, they’re going to get the same number of votes either way!

                  And 2) that’s because our candidate was THE SECOND MOST DESPISED IN HISTORY. This was an unforced error – that we left the election up to “oh fuck I hate them both now its time to hold my nose and pick…”

                • sibusisodan says:

                  It’s amazing how candidate quality now has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the election! NOTHING AT ALL!

                  Lost in all the shouting, there’s a strong argument that this is nearly true. Candidate quality matters at the margins – which in this election means it matters! – but has a smaller effect than structural issues (I underestimated the magnitude of the third term effect).

                  And 2016 demonstrates this quite nicely: Trump was the least liked candidate and it didn’t effect the share of R votes he got relative to Romney.

                  The idea that this was a gimme election founders in explaining how partisanship is so indifferent to candidate quality or favourability.

                • sk7326 says:

                  How was this easy? The GOP vote has basically a hard floor of 46% (what they pulled in the last 3 elections).

                  Now – could a “shiny, new” candidate have pulled in more than 48%? Maybe – but there is a reason one party has not held the conch for a third term often.

                  Your big mistake here is assuming that because you find Trump to be an odious human (and he is) that he was a uniquely terrible candidate in 2016. That is just bonkers.

                • TopsyJane says:

                  My enemy is people who vote for unpopular candidates in the primary and allow us to lose the easiest fucking gimme election in history

                  As others have already said, this election was no gimme.

                  You should also go yell at all the ordinary Democrats who ignored Sanders as well, including the black Democrats who delivered the nomination to her.

                • Spider-Dan says:

                  The particular candidate you are mentioning beat Hillary Clinton and her vast network of corporatist DNC stooges without any assist from Russia, which is more than Bernie could accomplish.

                  So then, on a scale of effective politicians, Obama > Hillary > Bernie. The actual results bear this theory out.

              • efgoldman says:

                And how do you know a priori that BS wasn’t going to tank even faster?

                It’s faith, like the bible bangers’ invisible sky buddy.

                • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

                  We should elect someone that is unpopular because the alternative could end up just as unpopular after sustaining attacks.

                  Again:

                  Obama on Feb 2, 2008: +27
                  Obama on Nov 2, 2008: +28

                  Clinton on Feb 13, 2016: -12
                  Clinton on Nov 6, 2016: -12

                • jim, some guy in iowa says:

                  Sanders is and was no Obama. Your child-like faith in his invulnerability is hilarious in its own way. Does he wear tights and a cape in your dreams?

                • Q.E.Dumbass says:

                  At the very least his MOAR SOCIALISM stance grants him Killgrave-esque pheromone powers or an anti-chickenfucking forcefield.

                • Spider-Dan says:

                  The fact that Bernie is no Obama should be apparent when considering that:

                  1) Obama actually beat Hillary
                  2) Obama took some pretty serious shots from Hillary in the process
                  3) Bernie was barely attacked at all (the GOP ran ads FOR him!), while
                  4) Hillary had WikiLeaks, the FBI, and House Republicans constantly lobbing bombs at her throughout the primary, yet somehow
                  5) Bernie STILL managed to lose handily, and was never within striking distance at any point after February

            • Snuff curry says:

              I wish a vegan atheist gay minority woman won the next 30 general presidential elections.

              What have you got against green and purple polkadot people?

        • efgoldman says:

          So which Bernie troll are you a sock puppet for?

          • Redwood Rhiadra says:

            “herewegoagain” with various numbers is the former ProgressiveLiberal (who is neither progressive nor liberal), who has been banned several times now and keeps creating new sockpuppet accounts to evade the ban.

    • Hogan says:

      The only thing that can stop a grumpy old white Republican man is a grumpy old white Democratic man.

    • JMV Pyro says:

      You know, your not entirely wrong to say that Hilary Clinton was an unpopular politician compared to Sanders. The problem is that Sanders still lost to her in spite of that comparative unpopularity.

      I don’t know about you, but if I lost to someone who had “14 consecutive upside down general favorability ratings before the primary voting even began”, I’d do some self-reflection about why instead of constantly insulting the people who voted for that person.

      • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

        How many times do you have to repeat something until a progressive understands it?

        Winning with one subset of voters is completely unrelated to your odds of winning with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SUBSET OF VOTERS. And WE FUCKING KNEW THIS BECAUSE WE HAD POLLS FOR MONTH AND MONTHS AND MONTHS THAT SAID ALTHOUGH SHE WAS VIEWED FAVORABLY BY THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS, SHE WAS VIEWED UNFAVORABLY BY THE GENERAL ELECTORATE. CAN I STOP YELLING NOW.

        Or are you arguing that Jill Stein had a legitimate shot this year because she won a nomination of some party? If someone wins a NAMBLA election does that mean they are even money to win the presidential election? I mean, they were preeeefffeerrrrred over the other candidates so that has to mean something, right? IE, your argument is transparently stupid, but people keep making it. Why is this?

        My position has been consistent: our voters done fucked up. I am hoping that y’all learn so you don’t make the same mistake (nominate an upside down politician) ever again. No matter what bullshit rationalizations you come up with at the time.

        • addicted44 says:

          Dems should vote based on what Republicans prefer.

          Maybe we should nominate Rubio next time.

          • Rob in CT says:

            To be fair, the problem was that independents hated her too.

            For a long time I was in the “there are basically no real indies” camp. But that’s overstating things. There are enough to swing a close election.

            • When people talk about Independents, they think of people who could go either way.

              There are almost no Independents of that description. What there are, are people who don’t like the parties–and this isn’t necessarily bad, it might mean they’re thoughtful people–and might be willing to shift–but who still vote the same way almost all the time, and often based on some purity test like abortion (either way) or on some, possibly idiosyncratic ideology. The libertarians who swear they’d vote for a Democrat but they’re pretty sure “the country” can’t get behind a black man. (I overheard a guy saying “the judges” would never approve of BHO, wonder what that meant?*) The free market women who vote on abortion or the kind of socially liberal security moms. When you meet an “independent” you are almost always meeting someone who will try to persuade you to vote for their party and thinks reason will sway you.

              * and maybe the guy voted for Obama and maybe even for Bernie (he was a NH resident I think–of course), but is his mindset one the Ds should actually cater to?

              • Origami Isopod says:

                people who don’t like the parties–and this isn’t necessarily bad, it might mean they’re thoughtful people

                Not in my experience. It usually means “conservative-leaning, but fancies themself (usually himself) a ‘free thinker.'”

                • Rob in CT says:

                  The key part is the fancies themselves a free thinker. The right-wing bit is often true, but there are left-leaning types who do this too.

                  Lots of them (most?) don’t even have coherent political ideologies. They’re all over the place. Maybe they’re left wing on “social issues” and right-wing on taxes but non-interventionist (aka “I’m kind of a libertarian…”) or maybe they are down with breaking the Banksters but think abortion is bad and also too that we ought to bomb the shit out of ISIS. If they’ve even put that much thought into things.

        • JMV Pyro says:

          K. How is screaming in our faces and calling us all idiots going to help with building a coalition that ensures that it doesn’t happen again?

          Whatever points you have, your constant insults and condescending attitude has pretty much ensured that no one here is going to listen to a word you say.

          Or are you arguing that Jill Stein had a legitimate shot this year because she won a nomination of some party? If someone wins a NAMBLA election does that mean they are even money to win the presidential election? I mean, they were preeeefffeerrrrred over the other candidates so that has to mean something, right?

          No, what I’m saying is that if you want to win the support of people in a party’s primary to go onto compete in a general, you have to be able to build a coalition that wins you the nomination. Sanders couldn’t manage that, falling notably short with key constituencies within the party pretty early on. Would he have done better in the general? Maybe, but he couldn’t get enough support for us to find out.

          That’s the reality that anyone who runs for president has to deal with, and it’s rather silly to expect that the millions of people who vote in the primaries will all be acting in rational self-interest when they vote. If the left wants to win, they need to find out why the group identities and interests that supported Clinton supported her and find ways to shave off enough of that group to win.

    • FlipYrWhig says:

      Remember when deciding to cast a vote on the basis of “electability” was one of the mortal sins for progressives, because if you can’t vote for who you like in a primary, when the hell can you? Because I remember that like it was 2004 and 1992. It’s almost like this popularity argument isn’t actually a matter of principle but reverse-engineered to justify the further deification of Bernie Sanders by his slavering personality cult.

      • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

        LOL. You must be forgetting that this was the only argument being made by Clinton supporters this year – “they have almost the same positions but she’s more elllleeccccctabllllllle…” Clowns, the whole lot of em.

        • Rob in CT says:

          I was here at the time and I was (mildly) on the Bernie side of the divide, and as I recall electability arguments were made by both camps, but neither side centered their arguments on electability. First & foremost it was about which candidate we thought would make a better President.

          The pro-Bernie electability argument was centered on polling that had him doing better in head-to-head matchups and/or his favorability. The counter was about how his “socialist” schtick would work in the general, and how much hay the GOP could make with some of the incidents in his past, once media scrutiny was turned on him.

          Now maybe somewhere else on the internet there were hordes of pro-Clinton people making electability arguments. If so, maybe you could go argue with them.

          • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

            Maybe first and foremost we should have cared about actually winning?

            And

            We should elect someone that is unpopular because the alternative could end up just as unpopular after sustaining attacks.

            isn’t very persuasive. At least it wasn’t to me.

            • Rob in CT says:

              First and foremost, your entirely argument here is a massive non-sequitur.

              This post is about Bernie’s selective purity testing, not about Bernie’s popularity or whether he would have won the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton isn’t mentioned.

              So all you’re doing is derailing so you can rant at Dem primary voters for the thousandth time.

              However, since I’m procrastinating…

              Pro-Hillary people here at LGM rarely made electability arguments. They thought she’d be a better President.

              I, for one, never found the Hillary is more electable argument persuasive, both because of the poll data we had and because I was aware of (though still underestimating) the frothing hatred for her out there. If we could go back in time, I’d prefer to try with Sanders to see if his particular brand would’ve kept WI/MI/PA blue (I’d worry a bit about VA going red in that instance, but that’s survivable if the others hold, and I really don’t know what impact he’d have had on FL).

              Likewise, I’m fine with the idea that favorability polling should be incorporated into primary voters’ calculus. There have been many threads here in which many posters have indicated that we need to pick someone with whatever magical charisma is needed to be popular in the face of the RW puke funnel.

              • Hogan says:

                There have been many threads here in which many posters have indicated that we need to pick someone with whatever magical charisma is needed to be popular in the face of the RW puke funnel.

                Ah, but never has the argument been made with such handwaving and repetition.

                Oh wait, of course it has. Every damn time.

              • FlipYrWhig says:

                I really don’t think that in a party primary we should be putting too much stock in either comparative general-election favorability OR matchup polling. In most cases it’s going to tell us to pick the most bland and inoffensive Democrat, our equivalent of Marco Rubio.

                • Domino says:

                  Except, in this case, the self-described “socialist” candidate was polling noticeably higher than the frontrunner.

                  I also wonder how that will look going forward – if 3 years from now we’re deciding between Corey Booker and Al Franken, how different would they poll in a head-to-head vs Trump?

                • FlipYrWhig says:

                  Except, in this case, the self-described “socialist” candidate was polling noticeably higher than the frontrunner.

                  Right, but that just exposes that the operative principle isn’t “vote for the popular candidate” but “vote for Bernie Sanders because reasons.” There is NO WAY that people who like Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton would look at good popularity polling for Hillary Clinton and say, “Hmm, you make a good point, I should forego my preference for Bernie Sanders and vote instead for Hillary Clinton.” They would all say, “Fuck you, I vote for who I like, basing my vote on what some mush-headed general-election electorate claims to think a year out would be asinine.”

              • Origami Isopod says:

                There have been many threads here in which many posters have indicated that we need to pick someone with whatever magical charisma is needed to be popular in the face of the RW puke funnel.

                I wouldn’t say “many posters.” Just a handful. And some of them are out-and-out right-wing trolls like “anonymous” (JenBob).

                • Rob in CT says:

                  No, I mean people like me and Murc, and others whose names I’m not recalling at the moment. Many a half-joking comment was made about nominating Clooney.

                  Most of us manage not to he huge assholes about it.

                  Especially given the uncertainty involved in discerning who and who does not have that magic something something that will result in positive media coverage.

                  But obviously we want to win and finding such a candidate is part of that.

              • JMV Pyro says:

                What I find ironic is that the same people who are saying that you’re never going to win over the Trump voters by being condescending assholes apparently think that the best way to wrest control of the Democratic Party from the perfidious neoliberal establishment is by calling every person who voted for Clinton in the primaries an idiot.

                Maybe they’re fans of attack therapy.

        • FlipYrWhig says:

          Pray tell, did you think the Democratic Party’s primary voters shouldn’t pick Howard Dean because he didn’t poll as well as others against George W. Bush?

    • vacuumslayer says:

      You sound very familiar. You can be banned twice, or three times or more! As many times as it takes!

    • Bruce B. says:

      There’s never been a national right-wing campaign against Sanders. We’ve seen what Trump’s base likes to say and do to Jews – do you really think we won’t see as much antisemitism unleashed as we saw misogyny unleaded against Clinton and racism against Obama? Likewise with regard to his skepticism – his base is distinguishable for its relatively poor inclination to do anything religious themselves, like going to church, but they’re fanatical about their professing religiosity.

      • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

        We should elect someone that is unpopular because the alternative could end up just as unpopular after sustaining attacks.

        How is this zombie bullshit not dead yet.

        • vacuumslayer says:

          Because it’s a legit argument?

          Because Hillary won 3 million more votes than Trump, millions more than Bernie?

          • Domino says:

            In order for it to be possible, though, it requires assuming a 40 point drop in popularity for Bernie.

            Has any politician experience such a drop, absent a major, candidacy-ending scandal?

            • ForkyMcSpoon says:

              Ummm… Hillary Clinton?

              I mean, I guess you can call EMAILZ a major scandal, but it was bullshit and her favorability dropped mostly before the Comey hits. It’s a pretty good demonstration of how a politician’s favorability can be put in the shitter by a coordinated GOP/media campaign though.

              The time frame would be different for Sanders, it would have to drop much more quickly than it did for Clinton from her Sec of State highs. But people were also much less familiar with him given that he was basically unknown before the primaries, so it’s not ridiculous to suggest that people’s opinions of him would be more malleable.

      • FlipYrWhig says:

        It doesn’t even need to be anti-semitic. All he’d have to be is a wild-haired tax-hiking throwback who’s too weak to stand up to The Enemy, which is what they did to Kerry and Dukakis. There’s only so many times you can say “millionaihs billionaihs and Wawl Shtreet” before the law of diminishing returns sets in.

    • davidsmcwilliams says:

      65,844,610 > 62,979,636

  8. Chetsky says:

    B/c it needs to be said, Ta-Nehisi Coates, generations of feminists, and more recently LGBT activists have -all- pointed out that these “social issues” are -also- economic issues. Redlining, wage equality, the ability to control one’s reproduction (and the immense economic hit you take when you bear children), marriage equality (and all the economic benefits that come from marriage) are all, are all, are all economic issues. To pretend that they’re “social issues” is part of the con.

    ETA: obv. there’s many more, but keepin’ it short.

    • Anyone that claims that economic issues can be addressed separately from social issues, or that social issues can be addressed separately from economic issues, is a fool or worse.

    • Solar System Wolf says:

      Thank you. It’s not a social issue to legislate that the government has an overriding ownership stake in my body because I’m a fertile woman of childbearing age. I can’t vote for people who believe that — it’s too fundamental to my ability to live my life, or for my daughter to live hers. People who think that makes me a “purity pony” can fuck right off.

    • JMV Pyro says:

      What I’ve noticed is that neither side really disagrees with that statement, they just draw different conclusions from it. One takes a look at “social issues are also economic issues” and concludes that we should centralize economics/class politics, the other looks at it and concludes that “economic issues” are defined in an exclusive way.

      • Origami Isopod says:

        I don’t agree. If they actually considered “identity politics” to have an economic component, they wouldn’t throw that sneering phrase around, or accuse women of “voting with their vaginas,” etc.

        • JMV Pyro says:

          I think that’s what I was getting at though. To that group, the root cause of all issues in identity politics is economic/class based, therefore any attempt to move beyond that is flawed. I’m thinking of people like Adolph Reed here.

    • Karen24 says:

      THANK YOU!!

      Or, let’s add, the absence of women in positions of leadership both political and economic reinforces the idea that women can’t be leaders in politics and economics.

  9. herewegoagain4 says:

    I’m so old I remember when Obama wasn’t for gay marriage.

    • PunditusMaximus says:

      Yeah, that must’ve been a fun meeting in San Francisco.

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        He clearly wasn’t a progressive.

        • PunditusMaximus says:

          I really don’t know how to characterize Obama. He fought the War on Drugs with great vigor, did everything in his power to rehabilitate the Republican Party after its well-earned disgrace in ’06 and ’08, and seems to believe, deep in his heart, that if a rich person does it, that means it isn’t illegal.

          And then, you know, Lily Ledbetter, keeping us out of Syria (however imperfectly), the ACA (especially the Medicaid Expansion), etc.

          It is, to borrow a word from a long-ago period, a puzzlement.

          • farin says:

            On trying to rehab the GOP, I imagine his thinking was that there’s basically always a chance that they’ll take power so we should do what we can to make them a respectable, same opposition. Of course we know now that they’re too far gone for that and have been for a while, but everyone would be better off and less likely to perish in a nuclear holocaust had Obama pulled off his positive-parenting trick.

    • Spider-Dan says:

      But apparently not so old that you don’t remember when Bernie thought gay marriage was unimportant. In 2006.

      • herewegoagain4 says:

        My point was progressive purity tests are fucking stupid – the opposite of lemieux’s argument. Considering less than half of one percent of the population could pass mine.

        I’m curious, did Lemieux consider obama a progressive? Do you just have to be for abortion but can be against rights for gays? Can we get the full purity test?

        • ForkyMcSpoon says:

          My point was progressive purity tests are fucking stupid – the opposite of lemieux’s argument.

          I think you are massively misreading what Lemieux’s argument is.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          My point was progressive purity tests are fucking stupid – the opposite of lemieux’s argument.

          You are really not very bright.

          • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

            Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit.

            Can I have your entire purity test for winning the label of “progressive”?

            Can you be against gay marriage? Unions?

            Let me help you: people aren’t “progressive,” they hold (some) progressive positions. Sometimes they don’t hold one or another (gay marriage, reproductive freedom, animal welfare, support for unions, etc) but still agree on many others. How the fuck is anyone to decide who is and who isn’t worthy of the label “progressive”? I think saying “I’m a progressive” is just shorthand for saying “I hold some progressive positions on some issues.” And I think you could call yourself a progressive and be against reproductive freedom (considering thousands upon thousands in our party are.)

            Because in my progressive purity test, less than one half of one percent of people are “progressive.”

            • Rob in CT says:

              Let me help you: people aren’t “progressive,” they hold (some) progressive positions. Sometimes they don’t hold one or another (gay marriage, reproductive freedom, animal welfare, support for unions, etc) but still agree on many others. How the fuck is anyone to decide who is and who isn’t worthy of the label “progressive”?

              You might consider asking this of Bernie Sanders.

        • Karen24 says:

          Because old white males are obviously the vanguard of the Revolution.

        • veleda_k says:

          My point was progressive purity tests are fucking stupid

          I am gobsmacked that a Clinton basher could type this without their keyboard bursting into flames.

        • Spider-Dan says:

          My point was progressive purity tests are fucking stupid

          Were you conscious at any point during the 2016 general election?

    • ForkyMcSpoon says:

      Ah. This explains why Sanders can’t support Ossoff. Somehow.

      • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

        I was just pointing out that Obama wasn’t a progressive if you have to be for gay marriage to pass Lemieux’s purity test. But so far the only question on the test has to do with abortion. I’ll let him fill us in on the rest of the test when he gets around to it.

        • Rob in CT says:

          English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

          Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit. That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do, but of course the same goes for candidates whose economic rhetoric Sanders finds insufficiently populist in tone.

          Indeed, as you argue above, classifying people as “progressive” and “not progressive” is actually kind of dumb.

          Having established that, what’s all this, then:

          “If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat,” he said. “Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not.”

          [the above is a quote from Bernie]

          • Only someone who has 36 weeks of experience as a Democrat; because he needed a national party to run in due to the miniscule bank account of the Sanders for Dalai Lama party and the inadequate number of door-knockers, phone-callers, and sparrow-wranglers; before quitting and quarter-heartedly supporting the primary winner can define the Democratic Party?

    • sk7326 says:

      Any definition of “progressive” which has nothing to say at all about social issues is pretty wacky. Bernie can have his red lines – he is simply factually incorrect when saying those red lines are what defines progressivism.

  10. Brett says:

    It needs to be made clear to Democratic national office candidates that regardless of whatever their personal beliefs are on abortion, they must support the party position on abortion in office, support pro-choice judges in nominations, and vote against any anti-choice legislation. If they want to play down that part of it in the race, fine – it’s what they do in office that matters.

    • xq says:

      What does “must” mean? You’ll kick them out of the party if they don’t?

      • kped says:

        Liberal party in Canada did just that. All MP’s must vote pro-choice, if not, they will be kicked out of the party (they keep their seat, but would have a Liberal running against them next election).

        • Rob in CT says:

          Which likely works in Canada but is not tenable, at least at this time, in the US.

          • kped says:

            Oh, for sure. Completely different political system so you can’t exactly transfer one to the other.

          • Lee Rudolph says:

            Which likely works in Canada but is not tenable, at least at this time, in the US.

            CRAZY party in the US does just that. All CRAZY congressional representatives must vote CRAZY, if not, they will be kicked out of the party (they keep their seat, but will have a CRAZY running against them next primary).

            I agree that it’s not tenable, at least at this time, for the non-CRAZY party in the US.

      • eclare says:

        For me, it means we should primary the shit out of them. I’ll always vote for the lesser of two evils in a general election, but I will never vote in a primary for someone who is anti-choice. Of course, I’m lucky enough to live in a district and state where I’ll never have to make that choice, but if I did, I would.

      • Brett says:

        Yes. Kick them out of the party, deny any funding or other support for their next campaign from the party organization, and commit to taking them down in the primary. That still might not be enough to knock them out of office (see Joe Lieberman), but it would certainly be a potent punishment for most Congresscritters.

        • xq says:

          Great strategy if your goal is to give the Republicans a bunch of free seats, I guess. Would do absolutely nothing to protect reproductive rights though.

          • Brett says:

            You know what also won’t protect reproductive rights? Electing Democrats who will cross party line to vote with the anti-choice folks in the Republican Party.

            Here’s the thing – most people don’t give a shit about abortion rights, or at the very least it’s not something that’s going to decide their vote. Why do you think the Republican Party has been able to take an anti-choice stance that’s far more extreme than what average Republican voters support and not suffer for it? People for whom being pro-choice is a deal-breaker simply aren’t going to vote for the Democratic Party, and people who have hesitations about abortion but will still vote for Democrats are still voting for Democrats.

            The logical strategy, then, is to simply not talk about it if you’re in a conservative area, then vote solidly with the party on pro-choice legislation when in office. You won’t be punished for it.

            • xq says:

              People for whom being pro-choice is a deal-breaker simply aren’t going to vote for the Democratic Party

              Why do you believe this? You give no evidence for any of your arguments, and the fact that Democrats in red districts who actually know how to win are using a different strategy than you suggest is evidence against. But that’s not even the insane thing about what you said.

              You said the national party should “commit to taking [anti-choice Democrats] down in the primary”–in other words, that it should spend scarce resources to primary popular Democrats in districts that are difficult for any Democrat to win. Rather then spend money to elect Democrats, it should be spending to make it easier for Republicans to win.

              Giving Republicans seats is not actually the path to stronger reproductive rights. Anti-choice Dems are better than Republicans on reproductive rights as well as all other issues. Our two-party system does not allow for purity tests.

        • Rob in CT says:

          Connecticut is a blue state, meaning that Lieberman was out of step with his constituents. And even then, he hung on because a lot of Republican voters were strategic enough to vote for him in the general (their eyes on the fucking ball, they keep).

          It’s one thing to primary someone like that. It’s entirely another to do it with, say, Manchin or a similarly heterodox Dem in a Red state.

          • EliHawk says:

            It’s also worth remembering that for much of his time in office, CT wasn’t nearly as solid blue locally. It had GOP or Indy governors throughout the 90s and 00s, and prior to 2006, 3 out of its 5 Congressional seats were Republican.

  11. PunditusMaximus says:

    In related news, I’m super mad that EMILY’s list doesn’t select for stridency in opposing climate change.

  12. wengler says:

    Are these the new Nader posts? Because I am going to be very disappointed if these are the new Nader posts.

  13. wengler says:

    It’s almost as if the DNC and Sanders are using each other to promote their message with the DNC more willing to compromise on economic issues while Bernie is more willing to compromise on social issues.

    It makes sense, the DNC is much more reliant on rich donors who are far more likely to cut a check for social or environmental issues than raising their own taxes. It’s also not surprising to see that the DNC is much more likely to center their rhetoric around opposing Trump than centering it around fight for 15 or raising the taxes on the wealthy.

    • Brien Jackson says:

      That doesn’t make sense if you’re slagging the candidates thugh. I think Bernie is just shittimg on whatever national Dems do.

    • free_fries_ says:

      You stated the DNC’s motivation for compromise on economic issues (donations) so what’s Bernie’s motivation for compromise on social issues? The most obvious answer seems to be prioritization.

      The problem is looking his high profile endorsements as far as I could find only Tom Perriello is on the record as fighting for $15. The others (Thompson, Quist, Mello) support an increase in min wage but aren’t really all in on $15. It’s almost as though a nation wide $15 minimum wage is out of reach at the moment and some areas will have to compromise. And when you think about all the energy spent on $12-15 vs. $15 last year, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for HRC supporters to point out the hypocrisy. There is still lingering bitterness over Hillary’s min wage position but Bernie’s willing to go to the mat for these guys?

      Oh and Perriello? FFS he’s drowning in big money-$100k+ donations from Soros family and Sonjia Smith (fortune earned from husband’s hedge fund mgmt). Now of course Tom Perez wouldn’t turn those checks down but at the same time he doesn’t spend most of his waking hours railing about the evils of Wall Street and 1%ers. I thought campaign finance was a hill the left was willing to die on but I guess it’s all cool now?

      So now it seems Bernie can tolerate more than one position on his pet issues, why were he and his supporters so self righteous about purity with Hillary? Oh right – never mind.

      • NonyNony says:

        I voted for Sanders in the primary, but I wouldn’t do it again. It’s pretty clear that he’s got major problems with women. If I want to be charitable I’d call it a blind spot, but it was a blind spot a year ago and he’s had plenty of opportunity to reconsider his positions and he hasn’t. So that “blind spot” is starting to look like an active choice on his part.

        • humanoid.panda says:

          Well, to the extent that Osoff is a man, I wouldn’t call it a “problem with women,” exactly. It’s just that he has a real issue with anyone not willing to kiss the ring.

          I mean: Osoff had raised enormous money from small donors and is running in an area where Dems are weak. But he is doing it wrong: trying to win among suburbanites and not working class people, and running as non-Trump/pragmatic let’s make government work type, because that’s the district he’s running in, so: throw an elbow at him!

          • humanoid.panda says:

            Deep down inside I think the people grousing about the Ossof campaign would have strongly preferred that suburbanites and upper income people would just revert to being republican, and we get back the wWC and we will have a nice, class-based political system. It’s a nice vision I guess, but it only ever worked in Britain c. 1950, and not in the United States, even at the highest point of the New Deal coalition.

            • FlipYrWhig says:

              I think you’re right, and I likewise think that attempting to run those campaigns in those ways was producing electoral wipeouts until the “New Democrats” built up enough momentum to try something different–which was pretty successful from 1992 to 2008. One of the things that worries me is that the 2008 approach didn’t work in 2016, and I doubt the 1992 approach will, but I ALSO _highly_ doubt the 1972 approach will either.

              • the 2008 approach didn’t work in 2016

                I would be careful about extrapolating from this one data point. Clinton outperformed the ‘fundamentals’-based models for a third-term candidate in a middling economy. Remember, she won the popular vote, and lost the electoral college on the strength of fewer than 100k votes. She also had obstacles other candidates might not have (decades of hate boners, etc.) and was running against a very unusual opponent that managed to make an appeal to voters that other Republicans may not be able to replicate.

                I would like the Democrats to offer a bolder, more progressive economic platform on the merits, because it’s the right thing to do, but I’m skeptical that it will have much electoral impact.

                • PunditusMaximus says:

                  I see HRC (and the lost State-level offices*) as much more of a referendum on Obama’s failed experiment with implementing conservative economic policy than anything else.

                  *well, and gutting the 50-State, but whatevs.

                • humanoid.panda says:

                  You are an idiot, so no one particularly cares about what you think.

            • It worked in Britain because Britain had had an elitist socialist party for more than a generation.

              But some people are really into arguments that go “other countries are all much better than us on everything” no matter how far a reach it is.

              Though in this race it might be more that well off progressives shouldn’t necessarily VOTE for a R, but just leave the Rs to handle anything in their own interest, or even put their interest aside, and consider themselves as protectors of THE PEOPLE (and their culture and values).

            • I don’t like the contrary argument either: that the working people are the ones who should just realize they’re naturally Republicans, being uneducated and conservative and unenlightened and noncosmopolitan and all. It does have the benefit of fitting recent history better, however, and for the most part fitting their desires, as well.

            • Origami Isopod says:

              Deep down inside I think the people grousing about the Ossof campaign would have strongly preferred that suburbanites and upper income people would just revert to being republican, and we get back the wWC and we will have a nice, class-based political system.

              And, of course, people of color as a voting bloc could just sit back and let the benevolent, omniscient progressive white men make political decisions for them. I mean, fixing class problems will automatically fix racism anyway, right?

            • SNF says:

              The closest it came to working in the US (with the New Deal coalition) was because the Democrats at the time were okay with bundling progressive economics with white supremacy. It worked because that package appealed to a lot of working class whites, and it kept minorities in the tent because they had nowhere else to go. Once minorities started making demands and forced the party to make a choice, the coalition fell apart.

          • Rob in CT says:

            This strikes me as correct as to Osoff specifically. He endorsed Hillary in the primary. Ergo, not progressive.

          • Origami Isopod says:

            Well, to the extent that Osoff is a man, I wouldn’t call it a “problem with women,” exactly. It’s just that he has a real issue with anyone not willing to kiss the ring.

            While that is not untrue, he has decided that justice on issues that do not affect straight white cis men are secondary to justice on other issues. That implies problems having empathy with people who are not straight white cis men. You could say, “Well, it’s just Bernie, it’s all about him no matter what the topic,” but I don’t see how he’s that much different, then, from your average brocialist.

        • Bruce B. says:

          Me too.

          I think that referring to “blind spots” can make sense when you’re talking about stuff that really hasn’t been an issue in someone’s life. But by golly, women’s rights (along with LGBT rights, poc rights, etc.) have become part of his life and the clock on excuses ran out.

        • Origami Isopod says:

          I voted for Sanders in the primary, but I wouldn’t do it again. It’s pretty clear that he’s got major problems with women. If I want to be charitable I’d call it a blind spot, but it was a blind spot a year ago and he’s had plenty of opportunity to reconsider his positions and he hasn’t. So that “blind spot” is starting to look like an active choice on his part.

          All of this, including the primary vote.

          Same “blind spot” on race, too. His minions dismissing Clinton’s wins in the South as having been in “Confederate states,” ignoring the fact that people of color were the deciding voters, was disgusting.

          • vacuumslayer says:

            I was a Hillary supporter but tried to be agnostic in the Bernie/Hillary wars, but Bernie keeps sticking his foot in his mouth in a way that does not speak well of him.

            • Q.E.Dumbass says:

              Same here. I’m a fairly recent Balloon Juice regular, and until about last month never really shared the generally negative opinion of Sanders over there. I still think that the anti-Sanders sentiment over there semi-frequently veers into outright lunacy…

              …but dude, I totally understand.

            • I personally initially assumed he meant those were irrelevant to the general. But it was poorly phrased, flippant, and he should have apologized when he realized his mistake. I don’t know who he won over by doubling down.

            • Origami Isopod says:

              Sanders was helpful in bringing economic issues closer to the fore and pushing Clinton to the left. That said, his assholery on all other issues has come to far outweigh those benefits for me.

            • PunditusMaximus says:

              Yeah, he’s wearing me out too. I think he deserves a long vacation and a chance to figure out what his new role is.

          • FlipYrWhig says:

            Especially when they would then boast of Sanders’s wins in some of the most lopsidedly Republican states around, like Oklahoma and Idaho, which are even _more_ lost to Democrats than the southern states they sneered at Clinton for winning.

            • ForkyMcSpoon says:

              Psh, she won big in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida? Confederate irrelevancies!

              Get back to me when she wins West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma and Nebraska!

              And the followup argument if they did acknowledge that those Southern states were winnable: Well, her voters are going to vote for any Democrat, so you should go with the one that appeals to the swing voters. They would skirt awfully close to saying black voters have nowhere else to go, so why should we let them pick the candidate?

              • humanoid.panda says:

                And the followup argument if they did acknowledge that those Southern states were winnable: Well, her voters are going to vote for any Democrat, so you should go with the one that appeals to the swing voters

                To be fair, its a hardcore, pragmatic argument for why Dems should vote for whomever excites the youth. We rely on notoriously fickle voters, so a candidate that captures their imagination might be stronger in the general.

                • ForkyMcSpoon says:

                  Perhaps, but I still think Southern states should get to vote in the primary, even if they vote against the youth candidate.

                  Also it ignores that while the GOP will have trouble flipping black and other minority voters, we do need them to be motivated to turnout. Especially given that they tend to need more motivation than GOP voters due to the obstacles put in their way.

                  But maybe turnout for Bernie would’ve been just as strong; it’s possible.

          • ASV says:

            This is one of the reasons I think Bernie would’ve done worse than Hillary. He would’ve downplayed “social issues” in a way that might have been acceptable to some Obama 2012 voters (although he would’ve been tied to a party full of candidates not downplaying those issues), but doing that almost certainly hammers turnout among the people for whom “social issues” are especially important — that is to say, the actual base of the Democratic Party.

          • Junipermo says:

            As I recall, it wasn’t just his minions that made this noxious argument, but also the man himself (though he may have used the phrase “red states”).

  14. Steve LaBonne says:

    Bernie can FOAD as far as I’m concerned. He is as egotistical in his way as Orange Shitgibbon.

    • Brien Jackson says:

      Yep. And an intelectually lazy demagoguge to boot. It’s like his political personality prototype is Sean Hannity.

    • junker says:

      Much in the same way that all the stories about Trump voters obscure all the people who voted against him, the endless focus on Bernie voters obscures the majority who voted against him too.

    • herewegoagain4pt5 says:

      Waaaaaaaa! It’s not fair that everyone hates Hillary! Waaaaaaa!

      Y’all are hilarious.

      • kped says:

        You are terrible at reading. First Scott’s argument, and where you got anything to do with Hillary from this comment, I’ll never know.

      • vacuumslayer says:

        Did the 65 + million people who voted for her hate her? Think about what you’re writing before you write it.

        • Aimai says:

          Well, he won’t. Its an article of faith (in the biz we call it projection) that because they hated Hillary that her own voters did. Yes, we rallied for her, donated for her, admired her, walked for her, worked for her and voted for her 65 million strong but we did it because the primary was some kind of crazed poll that caused us to give up on our true beliefs and wants and choose a candidate we hated.

          • Origami Isopod says:

            It’s always projection. Not just with wingnuts but with fauxgressives. This is why so many of the latter are happy to “reach out” to the poor misunderstood former: they share a lot of core assumptions.

    • wengler says:

      He is as egotistical in his way as Orange Shitgibbon.

      Well, we wouldn’t want to lose all perspective…

  15. humanoid.panda says:

    There is an interesting literary parallelism going on in this thread: we are discussing a guy who goes on a national tour with the chair of the DNC and insists on slugging the party, and its candidate in the most high-profile race going on right now, and his main defender is a guy who had been kicked out four times from this joint, and yet insists on coming back.

    It’s almost as though politics is not just about politics but also about personality types..

  16. Gwen says:

    Why this has become ideological boggles my mind.

    (Also why do we care if the Mayor of Omaha is pro-choice? I wasn’t aware the Mayor of Omaha had any power over this issue).

    Bernie is probably an asset for Mello and would be a liability for Ossoff, because GA-6th is rich and conservative (not exactly Bernie’s base).

    All that should have been said is “I go where I think I’m useful.”

    • Gwen says:

      The more I read this and think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s a tempest in a teapot.

      Sure, one way to read Sanders’ comment is that Ossoff fails a purity test. But I think that is way too literal an interpretation.

      Ossoff probably doesn’t want a glowing endorsement from Bernie Sanders, for tactical political reasons (the last thing Ossoff needs is an RCCC ad calling him a “Bernie-loving socialist”). And Bernie Sanders is probably happy to oblige.

      In conclusion — everybody chill.

      • Rob in CT says:

        Hmm. Possible. The trouble is that the other interpretation fits too.

      • FlipYrWhig says:

        I think that’s giving Bernie Sanders way too much credit for humility and tactical thinking. There’s pretty easy way to say something mildly encouraging about Ossoff without being glowing and attaching your baggage to him: you could say something like “he’s a fresh new voice in a party that, and let’s not mince words, really needs it,” or “while we might not agree on everything, he’s a Georgia progressive and I look forward to seeing more of him on Capitol Hill,” or anything along those lines.

        • Aimai says:

          Right–none of us can imagine those words coming out of Bernie’s mouth by this time. At the start of his campaign I often made the mistake of thinking that Bernie was a strategic thinker who really wanted the Democrats to win to put into place the policies he cared about. But after writing so many of these conciliatory, gracious, encouraging speeches for him in my mind I realized he would never, ever, ever, do anything to benefit another political actor if he thought that political actor was actively and thoughtfully charting his or her own course through the political swamp–if that person might choose to do or say something that Bernie pretends he would do or say (compromise! vote for a flawed bill! ) that person is not going to get support from Bernie. Fuck he barely supported the guy who was one of his own major supporters who ran for some NY position.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        Ossoff probably doesn’t want a glowing endorsement from Bernie Sanders, for tactical political reasons (the last thing Ossoff needs is an RCCC ad calling him a “Bernie-loving socialist”). And Bernie Sanders is probably happy to oblige.

        Puh-leeze. This would explain why Sanders wasn’t stumping hard for Ossoff in Cobb County. It doesn’t explain why he’s implying that Ossoff isn’t worth supporting in an interview with a reported.

      • wengler says:

        This is this blog’s version of shitposting. Bernie Sanders- not a Democrat- is literally touring around with the DNC chair talking about issues of mutual interest. And yet here we are highlighting the supposed divisions inspired from vague insinuations in a Washington Post article.

        It’s a smart way to get a lot of comments rehashing the Democratic primary but not much else. Democrats aren’t changing the party position on reproductive rights. Bernie’s not changing his position on reproductive rights. This whole ‘debate’ is a rather pointless exercise in getting us to take sides on Bernie Sanders.

        • veleda_k says:

          I was not aware that criticizing Bernie Sanders made something a shitpost.

          I mean, come on. Sanders isn’t going magically turn the Democratic party anti-choice, so we must all stay silent when he says shit like this, lest we relitigate the primary?

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      I think as far as 1)general support of abortion and 2) bench building it’s preferable that Mello is pro choice

      (edited out pompous and irrelevant tangent)

    • josiah says:

      The mayor of Omaha has no impact on reproductive rights. The mayor’s race here is not a jumping point for other races. At least, it hasn’t been.

      Omaha voted for Hillary by about 15,000 votes but a lot of Democratic voters don’t show up to vote in city elections. Mello is from heavily Latino South Omaha so the hope is that he can help nudge turnout a bit, again.

      The last Democratic mayor that we had was Jim Suttle who was a proud Democrat. He faced a recall election and was voted out of office after one term.

      Anyway, I would be a lot happier if Mello was pro-choice. But we get what we can get, here.

      Not a super fan of trying to use my city as another battle in a proxy war.

      • Aimai says:

        But its already being used in a proxy war. AT any rate I’m not sure anyone is arguing that the Democrats shouldn’t support Mello–if the object is to appeal to Latino voters–but that the same thoughtful SUPPORT should be offered to all democratic candidates, once they are candidates. To do anything else is simply to shoot our selves in the foot again and again and to cause the voters not to be able to rely on brand loyalty when they get out to vote.

        • josiah says:

          Is it a proxy war? Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders are here, today as part of the fight back tour. It was initially supposed to be Tom Perez. Mello has had a broad spectrum of support from Brad Ashford (a centrist squish) to Our Revolution.

          I don’t think there’s that much brand loyalty in Omaha. Omaha is a very segregated city. North Omaha is typically African-American; South Omaha is typically Latino; West Omaha is mainly lily white. That being said, we had a moderate-left state legislator outperform Donald Trump and Don Bacon in the white suburb regions of West Omaha. Rick Kolowski who supported the repeal of the death penalty, statewide ENDA, etc. won his precincts while Trump and Bacon won the precincts at the federal level. Our state legislaive races are also non-partisan. The state leg challenger was Ian Swanson was more or less handpicked by the Republican establishment including Pete Ricketts and Lee Terry.

          During the mayoral primary, Mello won one precinct west of 90th St, which was a small precinct (and my old neighborhood). While the mayoral race is also non-partisan, it is easy to link the two candidates to a political party. Jean represents a more Tea Party candidate and is trying to establish this as a base election. Mello is trying to make this race more inclusive and include people of all political stripes to vote for him.

          What also hurts in this election is that Western Douglas County, Elkhorn among other regions of the county were annexed into the city by the Stothert administration. They are the most conservative region of the county.

          Anyway, I am not really objective in this as I do really like Mello. His replacement in the legislature, I believe is Tony Vargas who is phenomenal, so far. Although, he likewise was criticized during the elections for being on a board that wanted charter schools.

  17. vacuumslayer says:

    I think it’s ok to have deal breakers. I’m pretty rigidly pro-choice and probably couldn’t support an anti-choice candidate.

    I think we all have deal breakers. I’m never going to see eye to eye with people who are blasé about choice.

    • sk7326 says:

      Even when its a choice between two anti-choice candidates? I think that’s where Scott’s post leads.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        It’s not being blase about choice to vote for Edwards in Louisiana. It’s a recognition that keeping hundreds of thousands of people from getting Medicaid so one anti-choicer can win rather than another would be very bad.

    • Nixonlandia says:

      I would have a hell of a hard time pulling the lever for somebody even lukewarm on choice, but if you live in a deeply anti-choice area, how is that not purity ponyism?

    • ForkyMcSpoon says:

      I’m gay, and if I took the same view on gay rights (marriage, adoption and employment non-discrimination or no deal!) I wouldn’t have been able to vote for any Democrat for president until 2012. And I would’ve made it easier for the GOP to win and attack gay rights instead. So I don’t feel one bit of regret in voting for Kerry or Obama, despite their (perhaps insincere) opposition to gay marriage at the time.

      I can understand it being more of a dealbreaker in the primaries though. The chances that I would vote for an anti-gay Democrat in a primary are very low.

      But in the general election, there’s very little chance it could make a difference. In Congress or state legislatures, the biggest decider of whether [progressive issue] will advance or regress is who controls the gavel. And the Democrat wins that purity test vs a Republican every* time.

      *Ok, maybe not so in NY or WA. Coincidentally, I would consider voting for a non-Democrat in those races.

      • ASV says:

        Yes, where “who” is standing in for “which party.” Progressives concerned about legislative individualism need look further than the tenure of Harry Reid to see how party and individual preferences balance.

        • ForkyMcSpoon says:

          Right, that was exactly my meaning.

          Doesn’t matter if Susan Collins supports abortion and somehow her Democratic opponent doesn’t. Mitch McConnell isn’t passing pro-choice legislation and Chuck Schumer isn’t passing anti-choice legislation, and Susan Collins is going to vote for McConnell.

  18. Lord Jesus Perm says:

    Capes came out for Bernie again, I see.

  19. Gregor Sansa says:

    Facts don’t have sides. All of the following can be true at once:

    1. Sanders probably would have won the general if he’d somehow won the primary (say, if Putin had had an old “n-word tape” of Clinton, and if Clinton had done a bad job apologizing).

    2. Sanders’ net approval would have dropped if he’d won the primary, and we can’t be sure by how much.

    3. Democrats should have nominated Sanders.

    4. Misogyny was a big part of the reason Clinton lost.

    5. The Democratic party should move towards Sanders’ views on class issues.

    6. Sanders is a massive putz for minimizing reproductive rights.

    7. herewegoagain45 has a point about comparing Sanders and Obama.

    8. herewegoagain45 is “a dull boy” with poor reading comprehension.

    9. Snark about Bernie Bros is bad for the party.

    10. Clinton has at least 20 IQ points on Sanders. (And more empathy, too.)

    11. Clinton is too much of a hawk.

    12. There is no better system for choosing a nominee where Sanders would have won, and escalating the whitesplaining and mansplaining doesn’t change that. (Note that this is me saying this, the guy who spends as much time as any 20 of all yous thinking about how to design better voting systems and who is inclined to think that you can design away most flaws. But while “more Democrats want Clinton” may be a “flaw” in terms of getting a winning candidate, it’s not one that you can erase with a better primary election process.)

    13. Clinton lost.

    14. Clinton actually won the popular vote.

    …etc.

    There is no contradiction between the even numbered and odd numbered points above. So an “argument” of evens versus odds is a waste of breath. That goes double when one of the sides of the argument is basically one person who has some good points but who is either willful or stupid in their inability to understand what the other side is saying.

    • Facts don’t have sides

      I think lawyers (and some bloggers I could name) might disagree with you.

    • cleek says:

      Facts don’t have sides.

      Facts all come with points of view.
      — David Byrne

      • rea says:

        Facts are simple and facts are straight
        Facts are lazy and facts are late
        Facts all come with points of view
        Facts don’t do what I want them to
        Facts just twist the truth around
        Facts are living turned inside out
        Facts are getting the best of them
        Facts are nothing on the face of things
        Facts don’t stain the furniture
        Facts go out and slam the door
        Facts are written all over your face
        Facts continue to change their shape

    • Gregor Sansa says:

      15. Sanders has 58% popularity with women.

      16. Imagining trying to defend Sanders’s latest dumbass comment on Twitter against the women who are pissed at it makes me want to curl into fetal position. Those people are fierce!

      ….Add your own!

      • Aimai says:

        I absolutely don’t think Sanders would have won the general if he won the primary. I think Trump, and Putin, and for all we know Comey would have beaten him like a drum.

        • Gregor Sansa says:

          In the early part of the Republican primary, Trump benefitted from the fact that nobody really wanted to go negative on him. The other Republicans were busy with each other, and the Democrats (myself included) were almost gleeful that such a pushover might win. Everybody thought that all the innumerable possible attacks on him would work easily as soon as anybody got around to actually using them.

          None of the negative stuff about Bernie would have been in the top 10 for Trump. I think that the “once they go negative” fears about Bernie would have been about as relevant as the ones about Trump. That is, not entirely baseless, but far from decisive.

          • Aimai says:

            Knowing what we now know about how porous and easily infiltrated and manipulated democratic voters were to russian influence and republican/fox news attacks I just don’t think you can say that with any certainty.

            • humanoid.panda says:

              I absolutely don’t think Sanders would have won the general if he won the primary. I think Trump, and Putin, and for all we know Comey would have beaten him like a drum.

              Knowing what we now know about how porous and easily infiltrated and manipulated democratic voters were to russian influence and republican/fox news attacks I just don’t think you can say that with any certainty.

              I think all of these statements are problematic.
              1. Trump didn’t actually beat Hillary- whenever they confronted each other, she beat him soundly. Bernie is not the debater she is- but he would do well enough, I think.
              2.Putin wanted Trump because he wanted the least hawkish person imaginable. Since Sanders is a dove, I think he would just revery to neutrality: while Trump is more manipulable and corrupt,Sanders is less likely to have a fight and fling rockets at Moscow.
              3. Comey’s window of fuckery came from an open investigation he had running since 2014. I seriously doubt the FBI launches a public investigation of Sanders out the blue, when he wins the nomination. Even Hoover never went that far.
              4. The tragedy is that the parts of the Democratic party that were penetrable to Russia/FNC memes were the young and the marginally attached to politics. Hillary voters are older, and more loyal to the party- so the effect of black PR on them would be limited.

              Now, surely, Bernie would have had weaknsesses:
              1. Oppo research, especially rumoured Nikaragua tests. Obama survived an equivalent challenge easily, but would Sanders be deft enough?
              2. “He wants to tax people to death” attacks could have been brutal in the upper middle class suburbs where the dems won in 2008/12. Losses in the rural areas would have been smaller. No one knows how the number would have balanced.
              3. A Trump/Sanders race takes place in a very unstable environment: stocks slide, allies freak out that both seem to want break from American FP consensus, etc, folks like Bloomberg jumping into the race, etc. All probably negatively affects SAnders.
              4. That being said, many of the specific weaknesses that felled HRC: “not likeable,” bad image among young voters, “Wall Street/Establishment.” are clearly not applicable to Bernie. And in the end, even if Bernie numbers fall to earth, he probably still back in the Romney area- and far above Trump.

              So, who knows, but if I had could go back in time and change the results of the primary, I probably would.

              • rea says:

                I seriously doubt the FBI launches a public investigation of Sanders out the blue, when he wins the nomination

                Not out of the Blue, exactly, and maybe more his wife than him, but:

                http://digital.vpr.net/post/look-jane-sanders-role-closure-burlington-college#stream/0

                • humanoid.panda says:

                  As I said, suddenly investigating a case they had no interest in while Sanders was a senator and then a primary contestant would be a drastic move- one that even Hoover never tried.

              • ForkyMcSpoon says:

                I think specifically Bernie’s response to attacks would’ve been worse. The “unqualified” spat arose from him reading a headline and not reading the story, if you recall.

                The Sandinista stuff is not important to me, but Obama was willing to jettison Reverend Wright to make the problem go away. And I dunno, but to me that feels like it was a cold calculation on his part, not his true feelings. I don’t know that Sanders would be willing to do that sort of thing about some of those incidents from his past. Would he be willing to say he was wrong, or apologize… especially if he doesn’t really think he was/hasn’t really changed his mind?

                I think Sanders probably could survive those oppo attacks with the right response. But they weren’t trivial and the response would matter. I have my doubts.

                But yes, of course, if I could run a do-over, I’d run Sanders. Another bite at the apple is another bite.

          • Rob in CT says:

            I tend to agree.

            The big unknown unknown is whether the media would’ve treated Bernie remotely fairly if he was the nominee.

            It’s hard to imagine them treating him as badly as they did Hillary.

            • FlipYrWhig says:

              But they wouldn’t need to treat him as badly as they did Hillary and Al Gore, they would just need to treat him as badly as they did John Kerry and Michael Dukakis. Because the thing that Hillary Clinton spent her whole political life building — a reputation that she could be tough on threats to America — would be very much at issue with Sanders, who struggled to say anything coherent about war/peace/terrorism/defense. That’s what I think would have done in Bernie Sanders. It would become an election that was all about who kicked most ass, and Bernie Sanders cannot win that contest with Donald Trump.

              • Rob in CT says:

                That’s plausible, but unknowable.

                I mean, coherence clearly doesn’t matter. :)

                I agree that Bernie really failed to formulate/articulate much of anything on FP/national security. He was running on domestic stuff.

                • Aimai says:

                  Its all unknowable–but that is why I am so sick and tired of bernie supporters throwing this assertion out there. It is far from clear that Bernie was bombproof–in fact I believe for extremely good reasons (like that he lost the fucking primary which was the friendliest space for him) that Bernie would have been burned as a commie, soft on terrorism, limp wristed ivory tower socialist from (ugh) Vermont with a questionable sexual history who was embracing all those democratic black/brown/immigrant people. No matter what his platform or his speeches. Bernie is not a nimble political actor–he’s a one note thinker and shouter. He just was not going to be able to defend himself against decades worth of republican skill at defining the terrain.

                • N__B says:

                  I wonder if the HRC camp’s decision (which I agree with) to treat BS gently accidentally created the impression he was a better candidate than he is. Had he faced the level of oppo that, say, Ted Cruz got, he’d have looked a lot more vulnerable.

                • Rob in CT says:

                  Aimai,

                  Possibly. But Comey wouldn’ve have been able to do what he did. Trump’s “outsider” appeal would’ve been blunted.

                  I really think it’s plausible that Bernie could have won the general, even with his various weaknesses/liabilities.

                  One key factor we haven’t discussed is whether with Bernie running there would have been so much assumption about who would win it (and resulting complacency – complacency amongst the media such that they totally failed to vet Trump & spent their time circlejerking about EMAILZ and complacency amongst some voters who just couldn’t be bothered to show up).

                  As HP raises above, there is also the question of whether a Bernie v. Trump race ends up enticing Bloomberg to run and if that would’ve hurt Bernie more than Trump by peeling off moderate/well-off Dems.

                  There are a lot of variables. And it was all so close that every one of them could have been decisive.

                  The core problem is that 63 million of our fellow Americans disgraced themselves and the Republic on election day.

                • rea says:

                  I really think it’s plausible that Bernie could have won the general, even with his various weaknesses/liabilities.

                  Of course, it’s also plausible that Hilary could have won the general, even with her various weaknesses/liabilities.

                • Gregor Sansa says:

                  Bernie Trump is not a nimble political actor–he’s a one note thinker and shouter.

                • gmack says:

                  Here’s my totally unfounded speculation: the election would have been pretty similar to what happened. Some key differences are: the self-styled centrists would have attacked both candidates, which would have created a lot of media hand wringing about populism (electoral effect: probably nil, but man, that would have been irritating); Republicans who disliked Trump would have come home much earlier (they would hate Bernie), and the polls would have been closer throughout (electoral effect: also minor, but probably net in favor of Trump, as Republican leaners in safe states might have gone for him more readily); it’s possible that Bernie would have done better than HRC in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (thus winning the election), but having said that, I’m pretty convinced she lost those states mostly as a result of the bs scandals facing her. So if there were similar bs scandals facing Sanders, who knows?

        • Domino says:

          How many campaigns have seen a candidate lose 30 points in popularity in the course of the election?

          Ted Stevens, with public news about an FBI corruption investigation, at most lost 20 points in popularity, from 63 to 44.

          Note, I absolutely believe Sanders’ approval rating would drop had he won the primary. But it seems a giant stretch to me to assume he’d see a collapse to Hillary’s popularity levels. I’d assume from +27 to +7.

          The bizarre thing in all of this is how ineffective he’d be if he won the primary and general – he’d be dealing with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and Dems would be looking at losing 6 seats in the Senate come 2018.

          With Hillary losing, the Democratic party looks primed to make a noticeable comeback in the midterms.

          • Spider-Dan says:

            Why do people keep talking about popularity numbers as if they are the takeaway from this election? THE MOST UNPOPULAR CANDIDATE IN HISTORY WON.

          • Gregor Sansa says:

            I agree completely. Sanders’ favorability would have fallen sharply; he would still have won; and that win would not have been a good thing for the Democrats in the medium term. But the short term advantages of not having an incompetent narcissist surrounded and backed by the hateful, greedy, and domineering people who control all branches of government… yeah, I’d still pay 8 Senate seats to replace Trump with Sanders.

    • tsam says:

      9. Snark about Bernie Bros is bad for the party.

      Whereas Bernie Bros pushing an agenda of inclusiveness for chauvinist assholes, attacking black intellectuals, and batshit loony attacks on all Democrats who aren’t Bernie Sanders or some weirdo from Hawaii are good for the party?

      There’s a big difference between pushing for more progressive policy and standing outside the party and throwing rocks at it, while claiming to know what the fuck you’re talking about.

  20. josiah says:

    I think I would have more of a problem with Mello’s votes/sponsorships in the unicameral, if he was running for Congress, Senate, or even the Governor’s mansion in Lincoln. But he’s running for Mayor which has little to do with reproductive rights. It’s obviously a vote I disagree with and something I had to grapple with when I started my support for him.

    But the other option is Jean Stothert who is anti-labor, anti-LGBT equality, and against any sensible gun control for the city, among other issues. She has Scott Walker coming to campaign for her in the coming weeks.

    The #1 issues in Omaha right now is our streets and trying to stop the brain drain from college graduate 20somethings like myself from leaving the city and the state. Some of us, including myself, were part of a giant layoff from one of the national companies leaving their headquarters here and are a little upset that Stothert never met with the company until after they were announced they were going to leave. I could go on and on about this race. I live here. I know what’s going on in the city and what is feasible here.

    Not relitigating the 2016 primaries is a two way street.

  21. sk7326 says:

    Elections are job interviews, essentially. The difference being, that in a job interview you can hold the position open forever – or work around it.

    At a certain point, you have to pull the trigger – and (importantly) somebody is going to get the job. So declining a chance to have an opinion on that simply doesn’t make sense.

  22. Harkov311 says:

    This is yet another case where, from a logic standpoint, Sanders isn’t making much sense. He seems to understand that there’s a difference between running in rural Mississippi and San Francisco, but then denies that there’s a difference between Omaha and the wealthy Atlanta suburbs. Why is Mello an acceptable compromise for Nebraska, but Ossoff isn’t an acceptable compromise for Georgia?

    I mean, surely he doesn’t think that “hang the bankers” would be a winner in Ossoff’s district, does he? So why is that the hill we should die on, and not “legal abortion?”

    I suppose that, being both socially and economically center-left, I’ll take progress in either whenever I can get it. Sanders seems to only get genuinely excited about leftward movement if it’s on economics, and then only if it’s enough movement to suit his taste (does anyone really doubt that Ossoff is to the economic left of Karen Handel?)

    • SNF says:

      Sanders has left-leaning opinions on social issues, but he doesn’t care that much about them deep down. It’s not why he’s in politics.

      If someone disagrees with him on social issues, he can agree to disagree with them. He might think a socially conservative person is wrong or stupid, but he doesn’t think they’re his enemy.

      Economic issues (and issues where the rich can play the part of the villain – such as environmental issues) are what he really gets fired up about.

      So if someone isn’t up to his standards on economic issues, he thinks of them as an enemy. He views class as the core issue defining politics. If you’re not on his side there, then you’re on the side of the enemy.

    • humanoid.panda says:

      This is yet another case where, from a logic standpoint, Sanders isn’t making much sense. He seems to understand that there’s a difference between running in rural Mississippi and San Francisco, but then denies that there’s a difference between Omaha and the wealthy Atlanta suburbs.

      What it comes down to is that he thinks that rural Misssisipi and San Francisco and Omaha should be parts of the Democratic coalition, but rich suburbs should be republican.

      • SNF says:

        He basically wants politics to be purely based around class lines. So he wants to swap professional class Democrats with socially conservative (or even racist) poor whites.

          • humanoid.panda says:

            He basically wants politics to be purely based around class lines. So he wants to swap professional class Democrats with socially conservative (or even racist) poor whites.

            On some level, it’s a noble dream. A world where the Republicans are a coalition of conservatives and social liberals with a smattering of minority professionals, and the Democrats are a multi-racial coalition of the working class is much prerefable to ours.

            But.
            1) It will never, ever could happen as long as race and religion are significant cleavages in American life.
            2. And even if it happened, the US could plausibly be more like Venezuela and less like Sweden..

  23. josiah says:

    Daily Kos withdrew their endorsement of Mello. Which may end up being helpful if it wasn’t for the case that we need more money before 05/09.

  24. D.N. Nation says:

    Point 1: Jon Ossoff is a centrist liberal who likes to talk about reducing government waste and making Atlanta a new Silicon Valley. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but…

    Point 2: He’s running in a district that, regardless of how its shape has morphed over the years, hasn’t been won by a Democrat since 1979. It’s Newt Gingrich‘s former district. True red. But it’s not the Chris Arnade misery porn sort of red; currently the 6th District is the most educated district in the country repped by a Republican. Rich Atlanta suburbs with some outlying areas. Ossoff’s as liberal as it gets up there, and I say this as someone who lives next to it (I’m in the 5th – John Lewis’ district – which is much different) and used to work in it.

    Point 3: If Bernie, Our Revolution, the Dem Socialists, etc., cared about putting a True Certified Progressive® in this race, then the time to do that came and went. This was an open primary with a ton of candidates on the ballot. Go nuts with it. Instead, as far as the Metro Atlanta area goes, Our Revolution has focused on a candidate for Atlanta’s mayoral election (Vincent Fort, good choice) and a Dem Socialist running for city council in South Fulton (and who won! nice.). As far as the 6th goes, though: crickets.

    Point 4: Now that it’s in a runoff, there are exactly two candidates you can vote for. No third parties, no write-ins, two candidates. Between those two, Jon Ossoff is the more progressive by light years. Karen Handel is state-level wingnut flotsam hackery who does not believe in a woman’s right to choose. An Ossoff victory would make Congress that much more progressive. If Congress was all Jon Ossoffs, it would be far more progressive than it is now. So given this, why can’t Bernie ass himself to figure out who Ossoff is (he has a website and everything!), what he stands for (he has a website and everything!), who he’s running against (there are many websites!), etc. Why can’t Bernie ass himself to toss off a flavorless endorsement and move on? What’s the impetus behind shitting on the Ossoff campaign when, again, Bernie and his crew did nothing to contest it when that was a possibility?

    Sick of the Statler/Waldorf routine from progressives. I get it from the daddy’s money Brooklyn podcast set – it’s all they know – but from a supposed lefty champion? The heck, man. Why should I vote for Bernie in Georgia if he runs in 2020, if he doesn’t give a shit?

    • Aimai says:

      This is something else that bugs me about the continued invocation of Bernie’s popularity (like the person who keeps saying that Bernie is at 58 percent with women)–first of all, that is clearly with white women, because he is in the toilet with black women. So as usual its a way of saying that bernie’s brand of cranky/shouty white guy does well with republican, independent, and some democratic white women. But even if its true that at this moment, when he’s not running for anything and the republicans and the press aren’t beating up on him (which would peel off his republican white woman supporters in a fucking heartbeat, and quite possibly independent and swing white women voters as soon as they start hearing sex/moscow crap) he is defiantly and insultingly refusing to ally his brand (such as it is) with the democrats. He is literally touring the country and taking a shit on the democratic brand and other democratic politicians and voters every fucking time he can. Its not ok with me that he switched to being a democrat to fuck over Hillary Clinton and then switched back to being an independent. He is saying to voters “this party is not good enough for me” so how can he argue that it is good enough for them? He can’t--he isn’t.

      Its a sign of weakness in the democrats that they think that they can parade Bernie around the country, fundraise off him, and actually get voters excited to vote for democratic candidates. They are building Bernie’s brand when his brand is reactionary to and rejecting of our brand. They are helping him maintain his fucking cult of personality at the cost of, ultimately, creating voters who are taught to hold their noses when voting for democrats, or sit out vital elections because the democrats are not pure enough for Bernie.

      Its stupid politics even if you think that Bernie’s brand is popular. You don’t tie yourself to someone who shits all over you. Replace him with warren, create a different crusty old white guy savior who is an actual democrat. Bring out Obama to tour the country. Anything is better than this asshole who will, as usual, stab Democratic politicians in the back as soon as they get close to taking back power.

      • D.N. Nation says:

        Primum non nocere.

        • humanoid.panda says:

          This is something else that bugs me about the continued invocation of Bernie’s popularity (like the person who keeps saying that Bernie is at 58 percent with women)–first of all, that is clearly with white women, because he is in the toilet with black women

          Support in the primary is not the same favorability. I presume that like every Democratic politician of note, Sanders scores very favorably among the most Democratic element of the American body politic.

      • Its a sign of weakness in the democrats

        I think it’s a sign of ambivalence about the Left. And the ways Sanders is reactionary is a sign of ambivalence within the Left. There’s a certain part of the left that really doesn’t want to do normal politics, and a part of the Ds that doesn’t know how to get their own policies without a wave of pseudo-revolutionary feeling. And a lot more. It’s a big problem.

      • xq says:

        irst of all, that is clearly with white women, because he is in the toilet with black women.

        Evidence? Sanders has 77% favorability with black people overall, the highest of any race. Really hard to see how he could be doing that badly with black women.

      • Gregor Sansa says:

        (like the person who keeps saying that Bernie is at 58 percent with women)

        I’m the one who said that above. And as far as I know, it’s true. But the context in which I was trying to say it was that it’s a stupid fact: feminists have EVERY FUCKING REASON to be pissed at him and some factoid about X% of people who get randomly polled and happen to be female doesn’t diminish that in the slightest. I may not have expressed that as clearly or artfully in my comment above as I just did here, but at least I left no doubt that I was deliberately showing that a case could be made on both sides; as Trump would say, “it was in quotes”. So I think that your “the person” dig is a bit unfair and even seems passive-aggressive to me.

        If you make a scoreboard of Bernie Bros vs. Righteous Black women Democrats on Twitter, it comes to about 0 to 250. And that’s awesome.

  25. cpinva says:

    that Sen. Sanders blows off women’s bodily autonomy is another good reason he lost to HRC. you can’t possibly be “progressive”, and seriously think it’s ok for the state to tell women what to do with their bodies, just because their pregnant, it’s an oxymoron.

  26. […] Oh puh-f–ing-leeze. If you support mandatory ultrasounds for women considering abortions — Mello is a pro-life member of the Knights of Columbus, just so you know – then you’re hardly a “progressive,” no matter how much you yell “income inequality!” Scott Lemieux explains: […]

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