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

Dumb and Dumber (Screengrab)
Dumb and Dumber

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

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

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

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

Do tell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, let’s talk about the Supreme Court.

Yes, let’s.

We have no way of predicting who Trump would appoint,

Well, we actually can make a pretty good guess.

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

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

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

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

which gave us Super PACs, and upheld Citizens United.

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

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

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