U.S. Democratic Sen. Jim Webb gestures while talking to journalists during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
This H.A. Goodman guy is a national treasure. You read one of this Salon editor’s choices and it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever read on a website that has regularly published Camille Paglia. And then you read another one and see that he’s entirely capable of topping himself. The opening sentences guarantee its status as a monument to idiocy:
First and foremost, the latest unscientific poll out of Western Illinois University has Bernie Sanders winning the presidency. Therefore, if polls are gospel, we’ll have a Democrat in the White House who plans on fixing the structural issues plaguing Wall Street and the U.S. economy.
If you click through his link, you’ll see this “poll” is…a mock election among students at Western Illinois University. And I would bet Rand Paul InTrade futures to dollars that even the “unscientific” qualifier was added by an editor, since the subsequent text discusses it as if it was an actual poll.
If you support Sanders in the primaries — entirely reasonable! — why shouldn’t you support Clinton in the general? I’m sure you will find his answer compelling:
One must vote for any Democrat, regardless of how they treat a core constituency.
But think about Supreme Court nominees! Selfish! Infantile!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is fine and the New York Times writes that she has “no interest in retiring.” Justice Scalia isn’t stepping down from the U.S. Supreme Court soon and will only contemplate retirement when he “can’t do the job well.” Anthony Kennedy is in “no rush” to leave the Supreme Court. Justice Breyer has no plans to step down but will “eventually” retire one day.
The paranoid legions, frightful of voting their conscience and actually upholding our democracy, can rest assured that all four Supreme Court justices mentioned are still capable of lasting four more years.
When the next president is inaugurated, Antonin Scalia will be about to turn 81, Kennedy will be 80, Breyer will be 78, and Ginsburg will be about to turn 84. Are all of these justices “capable” of being on the court for 4 or 8 more years? Sure! Would you want to count on it? Of course not! Is the idea that Supreme Court nominations are the only difference between a Clinton administration and a Rubio administration idiotic? You betcha!
Of course, his logic for a Bernie Sanders write-in in the general is highly compelling:
If by chance Sanders loses the nomination, I’ll write him in, and if Democrats lose, then the Democratic Party will evolve to cater to progressives tired of moderate Republicans posing as Democrats. The Democratic Party will learn to uphold its ideals and evolve toward progressive views on war, foreign policy and other topics integral to the presidency.
So, to be clear, Clinton is not worth supporting because she has merely “evolved” towards progressive positions. But throwing an election to a wingnutty Republican president would be salutary, because it might cause the Democratic Party to undergo the “evolution” that, according to him, the party has already undergone.
By the way, a link helpfully provided by a reader might help to explain why issues involving women’s rights are entirely ignored in these Goodman’s peans to refusing to support Clinton in the general:
Therefore, the more Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire, and around the country learn about Jim Webb, the more they’ll see that he offers a great deal more than Hillary or any other Democratic candidate in 2016.
Democrats must evolve towards a progressive agenda, and that agenda is Republicans on the Supreme Court and Confederate flags for all.
There are entirely sound, non-sexist reasons to prefer Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton in the primaries (although when you’re writing Sanders in in the general you’re attacking the rights of women whatever your intentions.) When you prefer Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and Rand Paul to Hillary Clinton, you’re a misogynist.
Really, Salon should consider investing in Freddie deBoer instead. I mean, say what you will, his argument — “leaders of major brokerage parties are worth supporting only if they precisely agree with my unassailably correct positions on each and every issue” — is coherent. Very foolish and pathetically narcissistic and profoundly dangerous if it had any chance of attracting a meaningful number of adherents, but at least coherent. Goodman is just evidence that it’s literally impossible for an anti-Clinton article to be too stupid for Salon‘s editors not to put it at the top of the front page. Come back Matt Stoller, all is forgiven.