Monday, May 02, 2016

The Politics of Divisiveness

As Congress went into recess without addressing even a single serious matter before it -- like fighting the Zika Virus or funding the FAA or finding a way to prevent bankruptcy of the largest U.S. territory (see below) -- we are reminded that for 20 of the last 22 years it has been the laziest, do-nothing and lobotomized national legislature in American history. 

Do not let the presidential circus get you too fixated! Your local congressional and state assembly races may be just as important. Only, at that level your own efforts could even make a difference.

== Political Notes ==

How Red and Blue America Became Two Separate Countries: A well-spoken article by Paul Waldman, describes how America is dividing ever-deeper into blue and red components. Still, I think the point is missed, unless you instead call it what it is. Blue vs Gray.  

Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing: here's an interesting legal argument that the Senate, by refusing to even hold hearings on Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination is in effect waiving its right and duty to practice “advice and consent.”  It is a strong argument… and it could wind up before the Supreme Court! Only here's the kicker.  If the case first goes to a federal district court that rules in Obama's favor, and then also the court of appeals, then just four present justices could seat Garland.

But no, watch how quickly the GOP Senate rushes to confirm Obama's appointment, after the dems win the election.  Their polemic to: "let the next president choose" will evaporate, as they hurry to deny H. Clinton her pick. 

In Defense of the GOP: Fareed Zakaria offers a fascinating insight about how today’s more “democratic” parties, in which the presidential nominee arises out of passionate primaries, may be less temperate or practical or even representative than the old “smoke filled rooms.” 

Nothing makes this clearer than the fact that Donald Trump, who - before New York - was never liked by more than 38% pluralities in his best states, could come to dominate, because of the passion of that one-third. 

This, combined with Ted Cruz’s passionate one-quarter of Republicans, has forced the rest of us to let a radical half of 40% of Americans to set the agenda.  Zakaria long ago: predicted that the partyless system would be good for “political dynasties, celebrity officials and billionaire politicians.” The front-runners in both parties in 2016 fit this description.”

Of course, when a frothing few can dominate discussion, false narratives abound.  Like the incredible tizzy that illegal immigration has increased under Barack Obama. “Immigration into the United States has slowed substantially in the last ten years. Moreover, that's lead to the English proficiency rise among Hispanics. A greater share of Hispanics today prefer to get their news in English than was the case just ten years ago." 

How to get that frothing minority to start paying at least some slight notice to actual facts? Demand that your Trumpist uncle make it a bet.  Wagers are the only thing that makes these fellows budge. Putting money on it is "manly" and hence you'll get them cornered. Just don't do it with anyone you have to sit with, next Thanksgiving.

Why poor whites chant Trump, Trump, Trump: This article does a better job of going to the heart of the matter: “From the era of slavery to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the loyalty of poor whites.” The author, Jonna Ivin, knows what she is talking about, painting a vivid picture of her own earlier life in an Arkansas trailer. Why do poor whites vote along the same party lines as their wealthy neighbors across the road? Isn’t that against their best interests?

The methods used to divide poor whites from blacks go back to slavery days and they worked. Ivins writes, "Poor and working class whites signed up by the hundreds of thousands to fight for what they believed was their way of life. Meanwhile, many of the wealthy planters who benefitted economically from slavery were granted exemptions from military service and avoided the horrors of battle."  

This cozening of poor whites has gone on and on – despite the feudal-style overlordship of Big Families like the scions of Tyson Foods, who manage to both oppress and be admired as good-ol-boys, while they smuggle in undocumented foreign workers to deny jobs to locals. And how do those locals react? By hating the smuggled-in illegals, not Tysons. The thing is… no one ever likes to admit that they’ve been fooled.  The more blatant it becomes, the more desperate most people are to cling to the “side” that has crushed them and kept them down. (Marx called this the instinct of the “lumpen proletariat.”)

And yet, as this well-written essay commences, you grow ever-more willing to see things through the eyes of folks long despised as 'poor-white-trash.' You realize that they have their own story of ancient pain and desperate grievance.  You start to understand both how the Fox-oligarchy updated the slaveholders’ propaganda techniques, and how that deliberate radicalization finally tore the reins out of their hands…

 … to be seized by Donald Trump.

== Fundamentals ==

Republican masters are already adjusting their plans to a likely loss of the presidency, this fall.  Fund-raising from big donors is shifting over to the big campaign funds supporting GOP candidates for Senate and the House of Representatives, and especially State Assemblies... the core locus of power they cannot afford to lose, even briefly.  

One of their top polemical tricks that you'll hear a lot? "Divided government is best! Because then Government is frozen and can't do much and that's gooood!"


As if the last six years of  raging, acrimonious divided government – free of any meaningful legislation, whatsoever - were exactly how a modern republic should adapt to rapidly-changing times. Forgive me for repeating this, but except for a two-year manic phase from 2009-2011, the United States Congress has for two decades been the most lazy and worthless U.S. national legislature in living memory, as well-reflected in opinion polls which rate the institution far below the DMV and circus carnies.  

Under Speakers Tearful John Boehner and role-model-for-all-boys Dennis Hastert, the House of Representatives held fewer hearings and fewer days in full session, passed fewer bills and (despite frivolous rage over Benghazi and emails) issued fewer subpoenas than almost any other across the last century.

To be clear, despite having had total power to do anything they wanted — owning all three branches of government from 2001-2007 — the GOP did not one thing about any ranted agenda items wanted by their tea party ground troops, from abortion to local sovereignty to eminent domain, to gun rights, to reducing deficits or disbanding government agencies. They railed and shouted about those things, but did nothing when they had complete power.

Exceptions. The GOP congresses did take action in four categories: massive tax cuts for the uber-caste, deregulating Wall Street, granting sweetheart deals for resource extractors, and conspiring to keep the true cost of wars off the books. Oh, yeah and Medicare Part D.  That’s five. Period. Note that all of them budget busting nightmares that transformed Clintonian surpluses into artery gushers of red ink. But beyond that? Utterly useless torpor.

A tradition that continues under new Speaker and obsessive supply-sider Paul Ryan, whose refusal to provide funds to stop the Zika Virus, or let the FAA keep airplanes safe, or for his blllionaire clients to face audit, all fall into this grand tradition. See this highly partisan but highly accurate denunciation. “The Speaker of the House is burnishing his credentials for 2020 by doing what John Boehner did best: Nothing.”

And this is their White Knight?

== A little late for oligarch regret? ==

Eep! In Existence, I portray a conclave of zillionaire-lords meeting in the Alps to at least *try* to make the New Feudalism not-stupid, this time, unlike the horrific statecraft and silly rationalizations that aristocratic castes produced, across 6000 years. I wrote that scene as a suggestion, in case the new lords win and repress our brief, two century enlightenment experiment. Odds still favor that outcome. Feudalism always won, in the past.

Alas, despite my suggestion, all signs suggest that this round of proto-feudalists will be as stupidly delusional as every other. Like kings and lords and priests of old, they let flatterers tell them how smart they are.  


Still, is there hope? Shall I lift my head, in wonder, when the archetype beta-minus billionaire (who naturally thinks he’s an alpha) seems to ‘get’ how stunningly awful is the 21st Century Republican Party that he and his brother helped to forge?

“It's a nightmare scenario for Republicans, but conservative billionaire Charles Koch says ‘it's possible’ Hillary Clinton could make a better president than the remaining candidates in the GOP primary.  As far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, Koch said. ‘It was 2.5 times [more] under Bush than it was under Clinton.’”

Um?  And every single other metric of US national health has done better across democratic administrations than GOP ones. Every metric. Every single one. Now think, Charles. What might that mean?

BTW Charles, remember that list of five "accomplishments" when the GOP held every lever of power. Most of those were things that *you* wanted and demanded from your servants. You made this bed, sir.
  

128 comments:

Anabelle said...

Except.. Trump has won most of the "olde union" with better numbers that he won the "olde confederacy" Furthermore, Trump is just just as popular with nonwhite republicans as with white republicans. So are the black republicans in New York city thinking "I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. No one cares about me."?

David Brin said...

I love this "Anabelle" sillyperson. The GOP has plummeted in the states with highest intellectual and commercial accomplishment... down to 28% registration in California and very little higher in New York. And in New York he had fewer opponents to split the vote with, than when primaries were held in the South. Oh! Oh! so this means he got 50% of the GOP primary voters, always a lesser participation and more radical than the general election. So he got 50% of 70% of 30% !!! Do the math.
And that is running against only extreme-fundie-dispensationalist Cruz and far-right "moderate" loonie Kasich.

So Cruz did better than Trump in the Olde Confederacy? And that means... what? Trump fails to match the appeal of a fellow whose pastor-dad openly declares Ted to be a harbinger of the second coming? Proclaiming that the faithful have a right to all the goods and property and wealth of unbelievers, who will all die horribly soon anyway, in apocalypse, followed by eternal torment?

Are we to dump on Trump because he did less well in a portion of America that PRAYS for that to happen? And that would put the keys to nuclear weapons into the hands of a Nehemia Scudder who will, at any excuse, bring on (eagerly) the scenario of "fire from the sky" from Revelations?

No. Choosing between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is vomit-swallowing distasteful... but also easy.

Laurent Weppe said...

Oh, COME ON! Why the Fuck do my comments disappear for no reason all the time?

Again, copy-pasted one more time:

***

From the previous comment section:

* "Laurent, I recall no moments when the Skynet or Teminator or Matrix rationales were laid down as you describe"

In Terminator 2, during Schwarzy exposition scene
**
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DQsG3TKQ0I
**
"T-800: Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate, it becomes self-aware at 02:14 AM eastern time August 29th. In a panic, they [the military] try to pull the plug.
Sarah: And Skynet fights back"

Even Sarah Connor acknowledges that Skynet didn't throw the first blow.

As for the Matrix, the explanation is part of the Animatrix short "The second renaissance"
**
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdQceIJ-t-M&list=PLJ-sErhD-26eOewsd6K0QkbO8JT8YaZQ4
**
Note that the short starts by saying that its part of Zion's historical archives: that is, the denizen of the underground city, at least those who bothered to consult the archives, knew it was Humanity who started the conflict.
Also note during the second video that human media call the Machine's industrious city state "Machine Empire": the machines deliberately settled in a desert area where they wouldn't bother the Humans, and Humans, encouraged by demagogues who were (rather incompetently) leading them still treated them like a dangerous expansionist empire.

David Brin said...

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/rafael-cruz-ted-cruz-campaign-god-sign

Anonymous said...

This morning someone said to me Puerto Rico has no money, I said Hmm, maybe we should get THEM a printer. Empty and bankrupt.. Divisiveness thought often utilized has become the blatant, new immoral turpitude of power... Your article is an excellent expression of the impalpable turmoil crowned with a lackadaisical government that chooses the former rather than manning/women up for what they deem is worthy of the stance.
Translation: it is easier to stay pissed,blames others,ignore or walk away.. rather than fix something.

Laurent Weppe said...

And now the comment I was about to post when I saw the previous one had been lost in the limbo of the web:

***

* "that's lead to the English proficiency rise among Hispanics. A greater share of Hispanics today prefer to get their news in English than was the case just ten years ago."

Which means that racism will becomes even more prevalent in years to come.
As I'm fond of reminding people, a recent study about immigration in France revealed that those who are the most often victims of racist assaults are not the people poorer, less integrated, more traditionalist and "different" from the norms of the white petit-bourgeois. It is, on the contrary, the well educated, well integrated, successful migrants who married outside their community who are targeted the most.
Basically, the real target of French racists, the people whose existence actually infuriate them... are the smart Arabs who despite the numerous discriminatory practices customary to France managed to get fancier cars, bigger homes and sexier wives than their white neighbors: behind the elaborate rhetorics and conspiracy theories about stealthy sharia and demographic replacement, the real fuel of racism is (coupled with zero-sum reasoning) the petty jealousy of the mediocre heirs of the petite & grande bourgeoisies who can't stomach seeing people more talented than them prospering more than themselves.

One doesn't need a science degree in Humanities to understand that the more integrated the Hispanics become in US society, the more desperate and intense racism against them will grow.

***

Why do poor whites vote along the same party lines as their wealthy neighbors across the road?

Because, as Joseph Schumpeter noticed during the Boer war, even the beggars in the streets of London identified themselves with the Great British Empire, despite being denied its bountiful spoils: the empire itself served the interest of a rather tiny oligarchy, but the british oligarchs never failed to present themselves as the stalwart champions of a British civilization, intrinsically superior to all others (of course) which englobed all Britons (including the dirt-poor beggars). That way even the beggars felt proud and superior to the rest of the world and therefore weren't keen to the idea of rising up against the elites that gave them this illusory sense of pride.

Nowadays, the pro-oligarchy parties and pundits, in America and Europe present themselves as the stalwart champions of an intrinsically superior White culture which englobes every white people (including the dirt-poor unemployed and the underpaid blue collars), giving them the same illusory sense of pride, while being, behind closed doors, as contemptuous toward the white plebeians as their victorian predecessors were toward the rookeries' tenants.

(There's also, in my opinion, a degree of cynical calculus: many poor whites chant the praise of parasitic oligarchs like Trump while embracing their racist rhetoric because they made a risk/reward calculus and decided that since the oligarchs will fight any attempt to curb their privileges with renewed ferocity and have the financial mean to to finance vicious retaliatory campaigns, turning on those even poorer to steal their scraps represents a better alternative)

Anabelle said...

What it means is that Trump supporters are not some racist confederate faction. In fact since race is not a predictor for votes in the republican party we must conclude one of the following:

1)Race is not a predictor of racism in the republican party.
2)Racism is not a predictor of primary votes in the republican party.
3)Racists in the republican party are so rare that they are statistically insignificant.

Zepp Jamieson said...

I don't think the Enlightenment is a historical aberration, to be subsumed by the inevitable forces of irrationality and authoritarianism. Why?
Science.
The inherent rationality of science, and the byproducts of communication and egalitarianism, make feudalism a dying form of governance. Look at the Middle East--the last bastion of feudalism--as an example. The vicious and extreme movements there are not an assertion of feudal law--they are a response to its pending demise. A milder variation is to be found in the United States, where the present extremism of the GOP is a reaction, not to inevitable victory, but to inevitable defeat.

Robert said...

Isn't it so delightful that conservatives are squealing about Puerto Rico defaulting on debt when the Republican Congress has known for several years that Puerto Rico was in financial trouble and needed debt relief AND REFUSED TO ACT ON IT. And even now? What does the Republican Congress do in the face of imminent default by Puerto Rico? Leave without having solved the problem.

I swear, the Democrats in Congress should have stated "we're going to remain here and work on this. If the Republicans decide to leave and not do their duty? So be it. We're not going to turn our backs on the American People." It would have basically shamed Republicans into doing something, even if that something was calling the Capitol Police to forcibly eject the Democrats from the Capitol Building. ;)

Rob H.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Rob H:
Saw an utterly revolting ad yesterday that Obama was planning to "bail out" the Puerto Ricans (with images of lots of very Hispanic people) and he was going to do it on the backs of America's retirees. These people don't seem to have a moral bottom.

David Brin said...

“One doesn't need a science degree in Humanities to understand that the more integrated the Hispanics become in US society, the more desperate and intense racism against them will grow.”

Sorry, you are normally smart but this is hogwash. It may apply in France. (From my 2 years in Paris I believe it.) But it is not how things work in America.

Anabelle sillyperson: “What it means is that Trump supporters are not some racist confederate faction.”

Fatuous utter nonsense! Trump is precisely the hero of those who care slightly more about race and confederate bluefolk-hating than they do about christianity. Cruz goes 60:40 the other way. Big deal. But since Cruz and Trump overlap spectacularly… and “moderate” Kasich is a right-wing fanatic who still only gets 15%… what this really means is that 85% of the GOP voters are stunningly insane. Racism is only part of the syndrome. The confederacy is back and Cruz and Trump are only contesting to see whether dispensationalist-dominionism is the greater or lesser theme.

ZeppJ: Science. Sure. That is why the number one priority of the entire American right is the War on Science. All other matters are secondary.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "The inherent rationality of science, and the byproducts of communication and egalitarianism, make feudalism a dying form of governance"

While I agree that science (and more importantly, the technology it produces) make feudalism and all other types of authoritarian regimes increasingly less viable, technology can be uprooted, books burned, hard drives destroyed, and knowledge lost.

***

* "What does the Republican Congress do in the face of imminent default by Puerto Rico? Leave without having solved the problem."

Which will only increase the number of Porto Ricans moving to the US mainland, that is, increasing the number of pissed Hispanics who have very good reason to hate the GOP and the ground their politicians stand on and voting accordingly: Florida may already be a lost cause for the GOP, a fitting karmic punishment.

Robert Sandstedt said...

You might want to turn a critical eye towards the economic class of those non white Republicans. You might be reminded of Ben Carson and Herman Cain.

Anabelle said...

@Robert Sandselt

A negative-sum selfish economically motivated black voter would be expected to vote for Ted Cruz( who offers the fattest tax cuts) or Kasich (who would import poor immigrants to exploit). Of course a positive-sum or non-selfish economic voter might vote for Trump if they think he would be best for the country.

Alfred Differ said...

@Laurent Weppe: One doesn't need a science degree in Humanities to understand that the more integrated the Hispanics become in US society, the more desperate and intense racism against them will grow.

No. That’s not how it works here. You are correct about the real ire being directed toward the uppity members of a group at which we aim discrimination, but that only works while we can still identify them. After the second or third generation of intermarriage it becomes quite difficult IF the supposed targets wish it to be. Things get messy when the target group wants to maintain its cultural identity against the forces of assimilation, but it can still be done with a bit of bloodshed.

Regarding Hispanics in the US, we are dealing with a group that obviously intends to retain its identity and since their relatives are right next door, who can blame them. The equally obvious solution is intermarriage. When those relatives are our relatives, we are theirs too. I have no doubt many US traditions will survive this process intact and assimilation will occur. What IS American will adjust a bit and ain’t that just too bad. 8)

Beware of an overreliance upon Schumpeter. The underclass was indeed denied, but not effectively. That underclass rose anyway. You are describing my great grandparents on my mother’s, father’s side. I have a couple of stories my grandfather recorded for us that confirm the attitude you describe, but the suppression didn’t work. My great grandfather was a longshoreman. My grandfather broke into the merchant class and developed a skill that didn’t involve backbreaking labor. My mother wouldn’t tolerate being trapped socially and left the country. Beware of the simplistic stories. They don’t hold up well.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp Jamieson: I’d like to believe feudalism is a dying form of governance, but I think the 20th century demonstrates otherwise. National identities managed to capture the imaginations of many people who would have otherwise been engaged in trade with each other. Once captured, they were manipulated into slaughter. Nationalism gives us an abstraction above a feudal lord, but someone always seems to be willing to serve that abstraction, thus take on the role of that overlord. Science doesn’t do much to stop us from chasing this romantic role we imagine we can fill except to distract us with wonders. No doubt I would be Kibble if I tried to bring about a return to medieval government, so I am fortunate that Pluto looks so interesting and that we finally have evidence of gravitational waves.

What Science is really doing is competing for attention in the marketplace of ideas. If I’m thinking about bright, shiny spots on Ceres, I’m not thinking about serving my lord and master. I’d like to believe more, but that is plenty good enough for now. Keep up the distractions for they seem to be working.

Alfred Differ said...

Regarding Puerto Rico, it is time to make them a State for the same kind of reasons we accepted a debt-ridden Texas. The Texans needed debt-relief, so they handed over some land, joined the Union, and we wrote off the debt.

Heh. There is a cultural cruise missile in there somewhere.

David Brin said...

The American reflex is somewhat racist, sure. But if you give most Americans some excuse to re-cast and re-assign you as a fairly normal American, they will take the excuse. Speak well, refer to some shared cultural references, tell a corny joke or two, drop a couple of self-effacing bits of humor to show that your ethnicity is not a top grudge priority... and most of us relax and let the commonalities rule.

Most of us... by that I mean 51%. Sure, there's a large minority of troglodytes. And a large fraction of _them are assholes.

This does NOT let the 51% off the hook. Blacks and others are right to resent the burden that they must reassure whites in this way. Sometimes twenty, fifty times in a day! Knowing that each day you'll need to speak well, share some cultural references, tell a corny joke or two, just to get past the initial, visual category-assignment and get re-assigned into a "relax-he's-just-a-murkyn-like-us" category. Then, the well-meaning white is just as likely to try TOO HARD! Embarrassingly making it about race again!

THAT is the kind of racism that I can imagine to be wearing, grinding, a day-by-day burden, inescapable, just on and on and on.

It is so, so much better than the past. And better than European or (shudder) Asian racism. But it's still a bitch.

David Brin said...

Good point re Texan debt for statehood! I forgot about that!

Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred Differ:
Feudalism and Nationalism are two different things. Feudalism is an economic system, one based on indentured labour and fealties. Nationalism is a psychological and emotional disorder, and I'll be the first to admit we haven't made strong inroads against that. Your point is quite valid, but it doesn't exactly address what we are discussing.

Laurent Weppe said...

1/2

* "After the second or third generation of intermarriage it becomes quite difficult IF the supposed targets wish it to be"

You think I don't know that? I'm of Romani descent but being blue-eyed, blond haired white guy with an aristocratic patronym, I keep meeting people expecting that I'll enthusiastically agree with them when they tell me that Roms are genetically prone to steal and rape little girls. ("So why am I not busy raping your daughter you sick fuck, huh?")

***

* "The equally obvious solution is intermarriage. When those relatives are our relatives, we are theirs too"

And in terms of intermarriage France is at the top of the pile: 36% of immigrants living in France already married outside their community (how do you think I was born?), and as I mentioned, they are the favored targets, especially the men (the male dominated far-right has its fair share of dudes who regard a man marrying a foreign of migrant woman as binging home an exotic conquest, as a result, immigrant women who married whites are slightly less often targets of racist assaults).

Gentrification and intermarriage do not make racism disappear: it makes racists more desperate, as in their eyes, every brown-skinned migrant who succeed equals one white person thrown into poverty.
It didn't work like that a few decades ago (My grandfather told my mother that when he became a successful businessman, white Frenchmen stopped calling him "sale rital" ("dirty wop") and started calling him "Monsieur Gragnola"), because during period of fast economic growth, not only is the cynical zero-sum "that guy can only prosper at my expense" calculus less prevalent, but it's also more difficult for racists to reject the postulate that immigrants and minorities' successes are meritocratic rewards without outing themselves as self-centered would-be cheaters.
But nowadays? Meritocracy has been sabotaged by the rich kids and their lackeys, everyone knows it, and most dare to openly state it: it's therefore easier to disguise petty jealousy toward those more skilled than oneself as honest outrage at the system being rigged.

***

* "The underclass was indeed denied, but not effectively"

The lie that the white underclass was on the same team than the parasitic oligarchs proved strong enough to weaken reformist factions and delay social progress: the underclass was denied effectively enough to slow down the erosion of their overlords' undeserved privileges and sybaritic material comforts.

Laurent Weppe said...

2/2

* "Speak well, refer to some shared cultural references, tell a corny joke or two, drop a couple of self-effacing bits of humor to show that your ethnicity is not a top grudge priority... and most of us relax and let the commonalities rule."

Funny: THAT is exactly how French racists define Themselves:
"S'ils parlent un Français correct, prouvent qu'ils ont assimilé notre culture et nos valeurs, racontent des blagues de potache qu'on peut comprendre et pratiquent l'autodérision afin de prouver qu'ils ne sont pas «communautaristes», alors Bien Sûr qu'on les accueillera à bras ouverts!"
Except, as it turns out, it's a fucking lie: migrants living in France may jump through these memetic hoops twenty, fifty, two hundred times a day, they're not going to be reassigned into the "Relaaaaaaax, c'est juste un bon chtit franchouillard comme nous!" category: they'll be assigned into the "Putain cet Arabe est plus intelligent que moi: il faut le briser en deux dès maintenant sinon c'est lui qui deviendra le patron de mes gosses; et le seul type de bon Arabe, c'est celui qui reçoit ses ordres d'un Blanc, pas le contraire!" category.

That's a sucker's game: racists demand that migrant prove that they are integrated, but the more the migrants prove themselves, the more the racist hate them and want to hurt them, to punish them for being unwanted competition.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Laurent

From my UK experience the racial targets change,

In England it went;
The Welsh, The Irish, Blacks (west indies), Pakistanis, and now it's Poles and Arabs

How did that change in France??

The most important thing is to get away from this awful situation when the 0.01% hoover up all of the improvement and get back to where we used to be when we expected to do better than our fathers and have our children do better than us

Tony Fisk said...

Meanwhile, it's loony season down under as well...

- The Environment Minister, after an extra dose of whatever happy pills he's on, claims that Attenborough agrees that the Great Barrier Reef is in great shape...
- The Immigration Minister, responding to reports of another refugee torching themselves in the Nauru detention facility, harangues the 'do-gooders' who give them hope and put them up to these stunts.
- And the Treasurer's just delivered the 2016 budget: basically seeking to continue the good work of Joe Hockey a couple of years ago. It's relevance is moot since Turnbull is expected to call a double dissolution election for July 2. (Having called the Panto... Parliament back early specifically to table a bill for it to be rejected.)

Sociopaths, all the way down! The only sane* rationale I can see is that PM Turnbull, having wrested the Liberal clown car's steering wheel back from Pennywise, is deliberately trying to run it into the weeds before it causes real damage.

*As you might imagine, there are plenty of insane ones.

David Brin said...

"S'ils parlent un Français correct, prouvent qu'ils ont assimilé notre culture et nos valeurs, .."

Exactly my point, Laurent. There are large swathes of America where that is true, and not a hypocritical lie.

locumranch said...


By citing Schumpeter, Laurent acknowledges what David ignores:

The dirt-poor lumpen proletariat support the oligarchic establishment for the very same 'good reason' that David embraces & waxes poetic about the 'Great Enlightenment Experiment', the shared qualitative judgement that an obviously flawed but still functional system is vastly superior to no system at all, the rationale for 'settling' and 'taking the bad with the good' being indistinguishable from appeasement.

This is the Slave Mentality written large, as evidenced by our 'enlightened' willingness to accept numerical identities, pigeonholing, humiliation, subjugation, programming, wage slavery, consumerism, credit ratings & environmental degradation in exchange for a plentiful supply of iPhones, Pop-Tarts, Death Pledge mortgages & cheap plastic doodads.

Like cattle graded & destined for slaughter, we are educated (can you say "graduated"?) to support an increasingly inimical cultural system (The Bestest System EVER!!), not for the erstwhile reproductive purpose of signaling "sexual fitness to each other", but for the express (mechanistic) purpose of gradual disempowerment & depopulation.*

Well, I am neither 'a number' nor a 'replaceable provider unit' -- I am a free man -- and, having much left to contribute & very little left to lose, I refuse to knuckle under any longer for my 'own good' & I will not go gently into that goodnight as the demographically-approved suicide epidemic would have me do.**

This, then, is the source of the growing political divide between the Unreasonable Reds & the Bourgeois Blue:

By being sensible, the Blues would rather live on their knees than die on their feet.


Best
____

* Education is inversely related to mating & reproduction, allowing childbirth in the Enlightened West to fall well below replacement levels.

**Suicide rate among middle-aged US males increases by almost 50%.

PS: Neither prophetic nor secretive, a conclave of zillionaire-lords have met openly in the Alps for nigh on 45 years -- It's called the Davos World Economic Forum.

David Brin said...

Stunning romantic twaddle! It boils down to "I am an egomaniac who clearly deserves to be a lord and I am not! Rather than accept that as an MD I have earned a decent position in a meritocratic society with my own brains and hands,... or else accept that my own faults are responsible for the gap between "respected MD" and fashion model-dating prince... I prefer to blame SOCIETY! It's all society's fault! Yep, that's the ticket.

(Ignore the fact that I rail endlessly about welfare whiners and ghetto brats who blame "society." THEY are good for nothings and ingrates who are casting blame, to mask their own inadequacies.)

Never mind that the percentage of humans who exercise sovereign and active citizenship, who have developed real intellect and/or passionate vocations and avocations and delightful eccentricities and individualist passions has never been greater, in any other culture that ever existed. Or indeed that those good things - along with creativity and a myriad others -- are being achieved at levels greater than ALL previous cultures COMBINED. None of that matters!

Instead I will armwave polysyllabic platitudes about "pigeonholing, humiliation, subjugation, programming, wage slavery, consumerism, credit ratings & environmental degradation" and thus ironically and unintentionally betray how spectacularly ignorant I am about the way life was for all of my ancestors!

Yippee!

==

(Oh BTW... environmental degradation ? The nerve. The very nerve! His side wants to ignore the Earth, use it up... and his co-cultists include tens of millions who call environmentalism satanic.

As for birth rates. Seriously? People choose to have two kids they can dote on precisely because they are now pretty sure they'll live. Those two WERE the norm expected to survive to adulthood back when the TEN you popped out would mostly die!

It is because folks now dote on two that poverty is vanishing around the world and those two have a chance to inherit a non-destroyed Earth. Ooog. Sillyperson.

David Brin said...

Egad. So much for my theory about Trump and Cruz kissing and making up to divide the spoils.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ted-cruz-donald-trump-engage-epic-mud-slinging/story?id=38841290

Cruz had it in his grasp, two weeks ago, to make peace with Trump and accept the VP slot. He could have done it and I believe that used to be his game plan, till flatterers and crowds went to his head. Now? What? Is he actually hoping to be the establishment's white knight? Either in a contested convention or as the heir, in 2020? Yeesh.

Or is he even MORE patient than even I thought? Planning this far ahead to be the VP nominee in 2020? Smaaaaaart.

Robert said...

Locu fails to learn from history and thus would be destined to repeat it.

To wit: there is a long history of peasant uprisings against their Feudal Lords. One of them succeeded on a large scale and resulted in Europe being embroiled in war: the French Revolution. But the French Revolution was not an outlier. It was the natural evolution of the peasant and serf uprisings of the past.

It succeeded because technology had allowed more rapid dissemination of information, greater access to effective weapons, and on down the line.

Any attempt by an aristocratic class in this day and age would have to face a people with access to modern weapons. Even those societies that have restricted firearms ownership would not be safe because a determined individual could smuggle in, or make, their own firearms.

Thus Feudalism is dead. The gun killed it. And if it tries to rise from the grave and take over once more... guns will be used against it time and time again.

The closest you will see to an elite managing over the masses is what you see in Britain - and even that has to listen to the people and threatens to turn against those elites who refuse to listen. And attempts to cheat the system to stay in power illegitimately? Will be detected and result in someone taking out the cheaters. One way or another.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Laurent Weppe:

Basically, the real target of French racists, the people whose existence actually infuriate them... are the smart Arabs who despite the numerous discriminatory practices customary to France managed to get fancier cars, bigger homes and sexier wives than their white neighbors: behind the elaborate rhetorics and conspiracy theories about stealthy sharia and demographic replacement, the real fuel of racism is (coupled with zero-sum reasoning) the petty jealousy of the mediocre heirs of the petite & grande bourgeoisies who can't stomach seeing people more talented than them prospering more than themselves.


I just recently read a historical novel by Robert Harris (blanking on the title) which strongly suggested that what you describe was the impetus behind the Alfred Dreyfus affair.

LarryHart said...

Anabelle:

Furthermore, Trump is just just as popular with nonwhite republicans as with white republicans. So are the black republicans in New York city thinking "I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. No one cares about me."?


Leave out the "white trash" part, and you're probably spot on. Trump does well among those feeling dispossessed. The "white trash" article merely tries to explain why certain white people do feel themselves to be dispossessed. It doesn't mean they're the only ones who do so.

With apologies for an adimittedly snide retort, winning among black Republicans in New York City sounds to me like being the best hockey player in all of Ecuador (a line from M*A*S*H).

Anonymous said...

The Babylonians around about the 8th century B.C. flocked to laws mathematical, substituting Marduk-Bel for their heavenly calculus; modern man merely retramples this same path in evicting Christianity for the cult of science. Social law has been done by the Hellens, and psychological law by Buddhists, which perhaps leaves the dismal science as the sole modern innovation actual. On this economic front, check out your tech élite in action!

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/02/mark-woodward-facebook-fruit-vendor-comments

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Nationalism is a psychological and emotional disorder, and I'll be the first to admit we haven't made strong inroads against that


Be careful what you wish for. Nationalism may be a disorder, but it's an occasionally useful one. I'm reminded of an essay written by George Orwell while WWII was in progress, noting that if the progressives of the day had done away with nationalism and patriotism in England, they would possibly not have had the incentive necessary to stand up to Hitler.

David Brin said...

Anonymous expounds incantations that science has accomplished nothing... that "There is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes... and only betrays his stunning nescient ignorance of actual history. The examples he cites as incantations are completely counterfactual. e.g. Buddists can teach you one psychological solution - numbing the brain into thoughtlessness. Hurrah! And BTW... Babylonians were doing human sacrifice and pillaging every neighbor... yippee.

But of course the irony and hilarity is this bozo ingrate typing cynical, counterfactual snarks over super-palantir media while daily engaging in scores... in hundreds... of actions that any of those ancestors would have deemed the powers of gods.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart:
I would note that were it not for nationalism and patriotism, the UK wouldn't have needed to face Hitler to begin with.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Like cattle graded & destined for slaughter, we are educated (can you say "graduated"?) to support an increasingly inimical cultural system (The Bestest System EVER!!),
...
This, then, is the source of the growing political divide between the Unreasonable Reds & the Bourgeois Blue


As usual, you pick the wrong side. You really think the blue staters are the ones that insist that America has the "Bestest System EVER!!", no matter the facts?

matthew said...

Snowden's forward to the new book "The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Programme" by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of the Intercept.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/03/edward-snowden-assassination-complex-governments-tagged-animals-drone-warfare-whistleblower


LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

I would note that were it not for nationalism and patriotism, the UK wouldn't have needed to face Hitler to begin with.


True, it's a power that can be used for good or evil.

I think Orwell's point was that if the progressives of the day had done away with nationalism and patriotism in England...

Ioan said...

Laurent, I have a question. You mentioned Schumpeter and the British Empire. Was such an attitude present in the French Empire? I'm not as familiar with its history as I am that of the British

A.F. Rey said...

Apparently, the poor working whites aren't really the ones supporting Trump, at least according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/

As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

It seems that they are primarily working class people who are anxious about the future.

Ioan said...

A second question Laurent.

How in your opinion do your observations of racism towards successful immigrants in France apply to people of East Asian descent?

That question is extended to our other European and Australian friends as well?

Pappenheimer said...

I am not a Republican, but if I were, the thought of choosing between Nehemiah Scudder and Benito Berlusconi would sicken me (though apparently it will be Benito on the ballot). I was about to rant about the nonracist mask the GOP has worn being torn off, but I'm sure there are plenty of party members who will swear that they are not racist as they continue to vote Republican. They just don't mind being in the same tent.

Regarding racism in other countries, I suspect the antichinese racism in many parts of Southeast Asia has as much to do with the success of Chinese immigrants (I have read them referred to as the 'Jews of Asia') as it does with any nonassimilation. Our problems pale besides the horrific events in Indonesia in the late 60's.

Jumper said...

Folks here in the USA and here on Brin's site should consider the argument that the "Hispanic" tag is not useful. Alfred, you locally probably deal with Mexican cultural people and some from further south. Cuban Americans have their own circumstances, and so with Puerto Rico. Having lived in Florida and Texas and then watching the big illegal Mexican influx to anywhere there was work.

locumranch, I hope you aren't fixing to go flippo. Just because you wish a revolution would go your way, don't you think there's evidence it would go badly wrong? Where are your Washingtons, Franklins, Hamiltons? You get Ted Nugent and the crackhead who shot and killed the South Carolina churchgoers. Clive Bundy and Charlie Daniels. Unless you lock them out.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp Jamieson: I won’t argue Feudalism and Nationalism are exactly the same, but I will point out an analogy that brings them together at an abstract level. You have to squint a bit, but the connection is there.

Under a feudal system, I belong to the nobleman who owns the land because I am on the land. If I’m a serf, I ACTUALLY belong to the nobleman. If not, I am tied to him through an oath of fealty that authorizes my use of his land. In Germany, there was the 99 year lease, right? In such a system my productivity belongs to the nobleman too. He might extract it as taxes or rent or whatever, but my income is at least partially his to take.

Under nationalism, I belong to the state either as a citizen or as a resident. The people of the world are carved up according to sovereigns of these states. It is a classification I earn at birth in the US and not something I choose. I may switch later if I wish, but some countries don’t tolerate that. In the US, the sovereign replaces the nobleman. It’s an abstraction we rarely think about, but it DOES matter in international law. If I want to go fly a rocket to orbit, the US is legally obligated by treaty to incur the damages I cause if I screw up. The OST essentially holds the sovereign liable for the actions of the citizen, so while we might not think about these things, the law is clear enough. Also, in a national system, my productivity is identified with the sovereign. I contribute to GNP. I get taxed by the sovereign. My income is the state’s to take if necessary.

The analogy, therefore, involves abstracting the nobleman into the state. This is essentially what happened after the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the 30 Years War. The birthplace of the modern nation is in that treaty because that is where the structure of international law emerged transitioning us from nobleman to kings who reigned but didn’t necessarily rule. Republics replace Kings with an abstraction, but they don’t do away with the legal concept of fealty all together.

Arguing that Nationalism is a psych disorder is too easy. If so, Feudalism is too.

Robert said...

And Cruz is now out.

Looks like he really shouldn't have badmouthed Trump to the extend he did. Now he ends up with nothing. ;)

(Meanwhile, Sanders wins when he was expected to lose, and Clinton says "give up already!" - and I must find it amusing that even pro-Hillary websites are calling it Hillary's "coronation.")

Rob H.

Alfred Differ said...

@Laurent Weppe: Gentrification and intermarriage do not make racism disappear: it makes racists more desperate, as in their eyes, every brown-skinned migrant who succeed equals one white person thrown into poverty.

True enough. That’s where demographics AND bloodshed comes in to play. If those brown people are making babies fast enough and intermarrying with the white people the racists lose. It’s a long, ugly battle, but it works. History shows this over and over.

The lie that the white underclass was on the same team than the parasitic oligarchs proved strong enough to weaken reformist factions and delay social progress: the underclass was denied effectively enough to slow down the erosion of their overlords' undeserved privileges and sybaritic material comforts.

Not good enough for you? So it took three generations and you’d have preferred it be done in one? Meh. My little granny did well enough to get one of her kids out of the country and married to a guy with a future. In a system where no progress had occurred, she would have died in the streets (instead of her daughter’s home in America) after having several children by different fathers who would never have claimed them. She happened to find ONE guy who did the right thing when he got her pregnant much to the dismay of his family. He was a bit of a rebel and is the guy for whom my mother named me.

We would all like to be able to snap our fingers and correct social wrongs, but we can’t. What we CAN do is erode the barriers and take down some of the oligarchs in the next generation when their inbreeding has lowered the IQ of their sons and daughters. In the current generation we can steal from them as my granny did.

When it comes to the Romani, I have to apologize for being an uneducated American. I have to look y’all up on Wikipedia and it should be obvious I won’t feel the emotional pain you do. I’m an atheist, though, so I have known people who thought (and said) I could not be a moral person by definition. Normally I just look at them like they are stupid. Sometimes I offer a corny joke. Occasionally I trip over a land-mine like the time I was at work and someone griped about Michael Newdow’s lawsuit to change the US Pledge of Allegiance. She was in a full indignation snit and I’d had enough. I smiled and told her I knew the guy, agreed with him, thought he had no chance of winning, and btw I’m an atheist too. The look she gave me was the one we show when we discover a venomous snake in the bed with us. We had been decent professional friends up to that day. Not afterward. It felt good to put an end to her venom, though.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred Differ:
I don't know of any states that assert ownership over their citizenry. Indeed, in most western democracies, sovereignty resides with the people and government "derives its just powers from the consent of the governed." Governance is not ownership, even if some Republicans disagree. Even in fascist nations, the government is seen as the aggregate of the people, the expression of the popular will.
Now, you can point to some extreme examples of nation-states such as North Korea or Zimbabwe, where the citizenry have no rights and are expressly forbidden to leave. But those are extremes, on the far fringe of national organizations. Even theocracies such as Saudi Arabia purport to govern as representative of the local diety, and do not hold power of ownership in their own right--even though in practice the line is pretty blurred.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Robert:
I even saw one post in Guardian CIF earlier this evening: "The people have spoken, and they want Trump and Clinton." Yes, and Carolina won the last Super Bowl, 10-24.

David Brin said...

Aw-man... now I have to revise some blogs that were in the can! And how I wanted to see fun turmoil in Cleveland!

This year's libertarian gatherings and Freedom Fest may be interesting!

"Feudalism" is a term that should not be defined primly and narrowly.

Robert said...

Be amusing if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, but Trump offers to let Sanders be his VP choice. Trump goes on to win the general election... and then three months in quits because he's bored and we suddenly get Republican President Bernie Sanders. ;)

It won't happen. But it would still be hilarious. Especially as I honestly believe Clinton is not going to be a strong candidate against Trump.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

(Meanwhile, Sanders wins when he was expected to lose, and Clinton says "give up already!" - and I must find it amusing that even pro-Hillary websites are calling it Hillary's "coronation.")


You know I think Hillary will be our next president, but I don't think there's any benefit for Hillary or her supporters to try to get Bernie to quit. It reeks of concern that he still might win, whereas I don't think that is something they need to worry about. Let him bring more young people into the electoral process. July will come no matter what Bernie does now, as will November and January.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Aw-man... now I have to revise some blogs that were in the can! And how I wanted to see fun turmoil in Cleveland!


Kasich might still surprise you. :)

More to the point, Donald Trump and his supporters on live television might still be entertaining.

LarryHart said...

Pappenheimer:

I was about to rant about the nonracist mask the GOP has worn being torn off, but I'm sure there are plenty of party members who will swear that they are not racist as they continue to vote Republican


A black man called into Chicago's progrssive talk station, WCPT, yesterday, and he was on a roll, talking about how the Republican Party can never tell him they're not racist again, because they had their chance to nominate the social and economic conservative they've been demanding for thirty years--Cruz--and instead, they went for the racist.

Robert said...

There is no benefit for Hillary to get Sanders to quit now.

Yet her supporters are demanding his acquiescence anyway.

I must wonder how much of her popular vote lead will vanish over the next couple of months... especially if Sanders wins California by double-digits. That is what Hillary is worried about. Because if state after state keeps going to Sanders, her superdelegates are going to take a hard look at things and may decide Sanders is better suited to take on Trump, especially as he keeps polling better against the Republicans than Clinton.

That says less about how good a candidate Sanders is, by the way, and rather says more about how much Republican Voters have been conditioned to hate Clinton and to come out in droves to keep her out of the White House. Sanders wins the nomination? They'll stay home. And that could cost Republicans a number of Senate and House seats. They want Hillary to be the nominee because they will keep the House and Senate in that case.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

There is no benefit for Hillary to get Sanders to quit now.

Yet her supporters are demanding his acquiescence anyway.


Apparently, some supporters are arrogant and short-sighted. Does it surprise you that I feel the same way about Bernie supporters (even though I voted for him)? They're still claiming that Hillary only wins by having the super-delegates cheat for her, while at the same time demanding that the super-delegates cheat for him, the only path he has to victory.


I must wonder how much of her popular vote lead will vanish over the next couple of months...


It's the other way around. Bernie is at his apex of poularity. No one has yet hammered him with negative advertisements and endless droning of "socialist!" Hillary is at the nadir of her popularity. Everyone who hates her already hates her.


especially if Sanders wins California by double-digits.


Well, that's not going to happen, so the point is moot. Will it change your assessment when Hillary wins California by double digits? I didn't think so.

Donald Gisselbeck said...

Re the Puerto Rico bankruptcy, why do bankers get a free pass from the moral hazard rule? If we ordinary people make a bad financial decision (say, loaning money to someone who obviously cannot pay it back) we have to eat it. Why doesn't that apply to banksters an hedge fund goons?

Robert said...

My assessment means diddly/squat. I'm voting Libertarian. And I dislike Hillary.

That said, Hillary was supposed to win whatever state it was that knocked Cruz out of the running. She was winning by 4% in the polls. And while I have heard of poll irregularities in the sweep of states she recently won, I also suspect that was sour grapes by the Bernie Bros group that likely will not vote for Sanders in the general election even if he won the Democratic nomination.

I can live with President Hillary Clinton. I will ridicule and make fun of her in the four years of her first and hopefully only term. But I would also ridicule and make fun of Donald Trump in the four years of HIS presidential tenure if he somehow won.

Really, there is only one winner for the upcoming Presidential Election: The joke writers. And I'm good friends with one of them. :) (Not that I'd offer her jokes to sell. My jokes kill clowns. As in each time I try to tell a joke, a clown somewhere dies. It's quite sad really.)

Rob H.

David Brin said...

LH: I think Bernie should stay in the race “to make my points!” and to draw free press attention! I hope HC’s margin is big enough she can claim it without superdelegates. And she should offer VP to Bernie. She’d have to say “we are reinventing the office. I know he will be a pain in the neck… and he will be our conscience.”

“Really, there is only one winner for the upcoming Presidential Election…”

Stunning drivel. Sorry Rob. But it goes waaaaay beyond the Supreme Court, to the 10,000 skilled civil servants (under Obama/Clinton) who will be replaced by corrupt shills under the GOP. To getting SOME Sanders reforms, incrementally. To having the nuclear codes controlled by TWO savvy and calm people woken up in the same bed at 3am, instead of…. oh but you are just being plain silly.

But you raise the libertarian gambit… oh! Watch and see if the Kochs and others make a move there! NOT to win the presidency. But to offer Trump-hating goppers a reason to go to the polls so that republicans in Congress can be saved.

Robert said...

You are wrong about the VP slot, Dr. Brin.

Hillary should select a younger Democratic candidate who would make a good VP and an excellent President so that in four or eight years, that candidate can run for President and continue to keep Democrats in office. I like Sanders, but selecting him as VP is a waste of that position's potential.

And Dr. Brin, did you actually READ what I said? I'm not advocating Trump as president. I don't WANT Trump as President. And I will stomach Clinton as President. All I said is that whoever wins? It's the joke-writers who ultimately will get ahead. You will see dozens and more of jokes about Queen Hillary and her Coronation. No doubt Sanders will be written into the jokes as the Opposition.

You are right about the civil servants (though I do wonder if Trump would just put in shills or if he'd try to operate it along a meritocratic process in keeping with his "business" theme) and most definitely the Supreme Court. And as for the Libertarian Party? The Kochs are already making moves in that venue.

Rob H.

sociotard said...

A far more amusing option regarding Garland: the president can use his clearly defined power to call the Senate back into session and make the Senators show up. He loses nothing because he is a lame duck, and has no political capital to lose.

They won't hold a vote on his nominee? Fine.
But
They
Will
Not
Get
To
Campaign.

Deuxglass said...

The far right does want Clinton to win. We can see that through the repositioning of their media taking place now. We are in a remarkable situation if that is the case. We see the hardcore Republicans allying with a right-wing democrat against Trump. Could this mean that they fear that Trump could be to the left of Clinton in their eyes? If this is true then that would imply that Clinton cannot adopt much of Sander’s propositions at the Democratic National Convention without losing their support. We live in interesting times.

Robert said...

And that is the kicker.

Dr. Brin, you talk about "holding your nose" in voting for a candidate you dislike but is preferable to the alternative.

With Trump you have the financial backers of the Republican Party threatening to withhold their pursestrings. But many of them will hold their noses if Clinton is the alternative.

Some won't. The Koch Brothers have already stated "We can deal with Hillary." But if Sanders got the nod and Trump is the other candidate? You will see the coffers of the Republican Party dry up.

Sadly, Clinton is going to get the nod unless something big comes out that so tarnishes Clinton's name that she is knocked out of the running. Yet while I dislike Clinton and feel she has acted stupidly when preparing to run for President (seriously, the whole Clinton Foundation has done some halfassed things considering Hillary has wanted to be President since her husband left office, and possibly before then), I do not believe she has done anything so illegal that she would be knocked out of the running.

So. Prediction. Hillary wins the Democratic Convention, makes vague promises to the Sanders Wing that she has no intention of keeping, and goes into the general election. She beats Trump by an 8-point spread. The Democrats lose even more Senate and House seats, leaving the Republicans in firm control of the House and Senate and able to overcome Democratic Filibusters... and possibly even overcome the Veto as Republicans come out in force to vote against Hillary.

Rob H.

Paul451 said...

Re: Sanders.

One of the weird slanders I keep seeing pro-Clinton media throw at Sanders is that he "only polls well with white, rural voters".

Or as they are otherwise usually known, Republicans.

Sanders polls well with decent, average Republicans. Hillary doesn't.

The Democrat base, the northern liberals, the southern minorities, they will vote reliably for whoever wins the nomination. If Sanders gets the nomination (and, yes, I know he won't), they will not switch parties, they will not stay home.

In addition, Sanders brings in the young voters, and decent average conservative whites in all the purple or light-red midwest states.

That's everyone in America except Trump's crazies and the oligarchs.

That's a clean sweep. Plus a change of the Senate. Maybe even flipping the House.

Do Democrats actually want to win?

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
"It's the other way around. Bernie is at his apex of poularity. No one has yet hammered him with negative advertisements"

Oh, rot. Every major "liberal" media outlet has been solidly behind Clinton from the beginning. His wins are dismissed ("rural, white"), his losses exaggerated ("beginning of the end"). He's "unelectable", because he uses the word "socialism" (the meme that you repeat). When Clinton recently made a comment about Sanders not having enough experience, Sanders was asked to respond and simply contrasted his record with Clinton's. Headlines: "Sanders says Hillary 'not experienced enough' to be President", "Desperate Sanders goes negative", "Has Sanders lost the moral high-ground?", "Beginning of the end!"

They (like you) continue to parrot Clinton's "unbeatable" super-delegate lead... while ignoring that super-delegates are free to change their vote. An early pledge is not binding, they can change their pledge, and hence their vote at the convention. You know, as they did in the deep dark past... of 2008. The "cheating" that Sanders' supporters are talking about is not the super-delegates themselves, but the media's insistence in counting super-delegates with the state delegates, in order to pretend that there's an unbeatable blow-out result. When it's actually just 300 difference with 1100 remaining.

(As others have pointed out, many of the liberal pundits like Chris Matthews are actually offended by Sanders. They see his popularity as a personal affront, because they actually like politicians like Clinton and the Dem leadership (and many of the "sensible" Republicans). Someone talking about the system needing deep change is attacking their own friends.)

Robert,
"But if Sanders got the nod and Trump is the other candidate? You will see the coffers of the Republican Party dry up."

Here I disagree. Sanders is a existential threat to the Republican oligarchs. Hillary is just-another-Democrat surrender-monkey, she'll always negotiate from the centre-right. Sanders starts at the left (well, the left of politics, he's pretty centrist compared to actual Americans.)

Paul451 said...

David,
"a fellow whose pastor-dad openly declares Ted to be a harbinger of the second coming"

The anti-Christ? So even his Dad hated him?

Jumper said...

Sociotard, isn't the Senate always "in session" now, according to their official line of BS? Otherwise, I like your idea a lot.

Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.F. Rey said...

Aw-man... now I have to revise some blogs that were in the can! And how I wanted to see fun turmoil in Cleveland!

Look at the bright side. Now you won't have to make your Sophie's Choice come June. :)

Robert said...

Here's the next thing, Paul: The News Media has been declaring states with a diverse population that went for Sanders as White.

That is correct - Hispanic Americans are now White. Asians are now White. Anyone who is not Black is in fact... White. There is only one Minority in America... the Blacks. African Americans are backing Clinton because of this fantastic public relations campaign that turned the very white Bill Clinton into the First Black President. Because he's One Of Them. Despite being white.

So if you're not Black, you're White. Except if you're a Clinton in which case you are also Black.

It has shades of 1984.

Rob H.

locumranch said...



You fellows are very funny to argue that 'Feudalism is Dead', especially when it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that Modern Feudalism just goes by another name called 'Hierarchy'.

Under Old-time Feudalism, it literally "took a village" of peasants (pledging allegiance, obedience, labour & resources) to properly equip a single lord, laird or aristocratic member of the Protector Caste, and any peasant would count themselves privileged & lucky if that laird was noble enough to 'own' them in return, as that 'ownership' meant that the lord would protect the peasant class from criminals, raiders & other less noble predators AS IF they were 'his own'.

We still have the exact same system in the Enlightened West:

In return for 'ownership' & protection against criminals, raiders & other less noble predators, the typical western citizen pledges involuntary allegiance, obedience, labour & resources to the Protector/Ruling Caste, and no citizen/commoner/peasant can be said to 'Sovereign' without being declared an outlaw or 'domestic terrorist'.*

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/april/sovereigncitizens_041310/domestic-terrorism-the-sovereign-citizen-movement

Although I have more to say about distinctions between Logic & what currently passes for 'Reason' (according to a civil, submissive & appeasing David) at a later date, I'll throw my two cents into the US Presidential race & point out the best possible outcome that some of you may have over-looked:

Trump & Sanders are both denied the presidential nomination at their respective conventions, forcing both (who support Nationalism, Trade Barriers & Military Isolationism) to form a combined Independent ticket & really 'stick it' to those zillionaire oligarchic 'World Economic Forum' NWO puppet-masters & a complicit US Establishment, destroying both with a single master-stroke.

Trump-Sanders 2016 !!


Best

Zepp Jamieson said...

Saying all societies are feudal because they are hierarchal is a bit like saying Maseratis and Yugos are the same because they are both automobiles. All societies are, to one degree or another, heirarchal, and efforts to create truly egalitarian societies, without exception, fail rather rapidly and usually dramatically. As far as I know, all warm-blooded animals that form groups have heirarchies, and it appears in species that don't normally form groups, such as three or more cats in one household.
Humans see the inherent flaws in heirarchal patterns and have come up with a wide panoply of governances intended to address those flaws. Even feudalism was an early attempt to address the problems of heirarchy, creating obligations that ran from rulers to ruled, and back. Decentralization of power, and effort to rein in the power of the aristocracy and churches also represent steps away from feudalism, but maintain hierarchal aspects.

Robert said...

It's fun watching Locu stick his fingers in his ears and shouting "No, Feudalism isn't Dead!"

He never bothered explaining how "modern Feudalism" would deal with uprisings... especially as technology advances and weapons become more widespread. An old Feudal lord could deal with uprisings by remaining in his castle and sending out knights to thrash the poorly-armed peasants. But as guns became more common, Feudalism fell out of favor. Castles were not secure. Armor could not protect.

Any attempt at forcing feudalism down the throats of people will be met with force and the proto-feudalist will end up dead.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

Occasionally I trip over a land-mine like the time I was at work and someone griped about Michael Newdow’s lawsuit to change the US Pledge of Allegiance. She was in a full indignation...


Not that this would help, but you could point out that removing "under God" from the pledge is just putting it back the way it originally went prior to 1954. My parents used to recite the pledge that way, and the way I learned it in school (with "under God") sounded funny to them.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

I will stomach Clinton as President. All I said is that whoever wins? It's the joke-writers who ultimately will get ahead. You will see dozens and more of jokes about Queen Hillary and her Coronation.


Back when Obama won in 2008, Bill Maher had a mock rant about how un-comedy-friendly a President Obama would be. It's kind of dated now, but it was hilarious at the time.

You're probably correct that either Hillary or Trump will make good comedy fodder. But you're really obsessing on this "coronation" thing, aren't you? If Hillary had been given the nomination without a serious fight, then you'd have a point. The fact is, though, that she's won through a long slog just as Obama did in '08, and contrary to popular conception, she is winning in pledged delegates. It's Bernie who is now asking for a coronation--for the super-delegates to turn the nomination over to him.

I can live with President Hillary too, but if the Dems can take back the Senate, I'll be quite happy. A Supreme Court nominee who makes Merick Garland look like Antonin Scalia would be icing on the cake.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp Jamieson: I’m using ‘state’ in the broad sense, not as a US federal district. There were (and still are) states that refuse to allow their property to emigrate. There are states that refuse to allow another states property to immigrate. How long does a South Korean have to live in Japan, have babies, and support the state before they are considered Japanese? Hmm?

The analogy isn’t perfect, of course. I’d prefer to live in a state you describe where The People are sovereign and govern themselves, but that won’t prevent them from seeing me as ‘theirs’ in the sense of having a right to appropriate my income. Contributing to the welfare of the Whole is necessary, but I think it is important to pay attention to HOW we enforce the practice. Our current method is a bit too analogous to our feudal past for my comfort. I think we can do better.

Squint a bit. The analogy isn’t perfect, but it IS there and it bothers some of us.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: I’ve tried that argument when Newdow was in the news, but it doesn’t get very far. Many of the Faithful are convinced the phrase is Necessary and the people in the middle treat it as a tradition not to be disturbed without good cause. Since opposition to it is well below my 10% line which would have to rise to 20% for me to remain consistent, I’ve put aside this battle. There ARE still many people who wouldn’t mind removing it, but their support is so soft I shouldn’t count them as being on my side; thus my 90/10:80/20 rule applies to me here. Ah well. 8)

LarryHart said...

Robert:

It's the other way around. Bernie is at his apex of poularity. No one has yet hammered him with negative advertisements"

Oh, rot. Every major "liberal" media outlet has been solidly behind Clinton from the beginning.


I'm saying the Republicans haven't launched attacks on him yet. My belief is that they're trying to keep him in the race and would prefer to run against him. But whether or not that is true, the assault has not begun yet.

Hillary has already weathered whatever s*** the Republicans can fling at her.


His wins are dismissed ("rural, white"), his losses exaggerated ("beginning of the end"). He's "unelectable", because he uses the word "socialism" (the meme that you repeat).


The meme that I repeat isn't because I personally won't vote for him. It's because I'm afraid the self-inflicted tag of "socialist" is a poison pill that will hurt him come election time. I might be wrong--I also doubted the country would elect a black president--but I'm not the one engaging in wishful thinking here. There are polls that say an atheist has a better chance of being elected than a socialist.


When Clinton recently made a comment about Sanders not having enough experience, Sanders was asked to respond and simply contrasted his record with Clinton's. Headlines: "Sanders says Hillary 'not experienced enough' to be President",


He actually used the words "not experienced enough to be president." It's not like he was misunderstood.


"Desperate Sanders goes negative", "Has Sanders lost the moral high-ground?", "Beginning of the end!"


And all of that turned out to be true.


They (like you) continue to parrot Clinton's "unbeatable" super-delegate lead... while ignoring that super-delegates are free to change their vote.


You accused Dr Brin of not reading what you said, so please read my lips. I'm not saying Clinton will win because of super-delegates. That was the corporate media meme for many months, repeated by the likes of our own Tacitus2 and progressive talk hosts like Bill Press. As things stand now, though, the exact opposite is true. Hillary has a comfortable lead in pledged delegates (if my terminology is unclear, I mean the ones won in primaries). If there were no super-delegates at all, either in the numerator or the denominator, she'd have a majority already, or at least will after California.

What you want is for the super-delegates to hand the result over to Bernie, even though he has less other-delegates than she does. So somehow, you get to accuse Hillary of doing what Bernie really is doing, but when he does it, it's not a bad thing.


An early pledge is not binding, they can change their pledge,


I suspect you've been taking my "pledged delegates" as "super-delegates who favor Hillary". No, when I say "pledged delegates", I mean the ones that are committed on the first ballot.


and hence their vote at the convention. You know, as they did in the deep dark past... of 2008.


You mean when the super-delegates were going to hand the nomination to Hillary, but they went with the will of the people instead. They changed their minds to allow the winner to win instead of overturning the result. They'll do that this time too, even though Bernie doesn't want them to.

continued next post...

LarryHart said...

continuing response to Robert:


The "cheating" that Sanders' supporters are talking about is not the super-delegates themselves, but the media's insistence in counting super-delegates with the state delegates, in order to pretend that there's an unbeatable blow-out result. When it's actually just 300 difference with 1100 remaining.


I'm not disagreeing there. I prefer Norman Goldman's way of only counting pledged (ok, "won") delegates. She's still ahead, though. Yes, if Bernie wins 70% of the California delegates, he might still win. If everything goes exactly his way, he's not mathematically eliminated. Are you really betting on the world turning out that way?


Sanders is a existential threat to the Republican oligarchs. Hillary is just-another-Democrat surrender-monkey, she'll always negotiate from the centre-right. Sanders starts at the left (well, the left of politics, he's pretty centrist compared to actual Americans.


Sanders is more of a threat, but that's more a matter of symbolism than reality. Again, in both cases, you overestimate the power of the presidency itself. Hillary will sign the same bills from a Democratic congress or veto the same bills from Republicans that Bernie would. My preference for Hillary at this point comes down to her experience and savvy in the knife-fight required to get a Democrat elected in the first place. The Bernie Bros' claim that the wrong Democrat is just as bad as a Republican is dangerous.

Understand, I was originally attracted to Sanders's campaign because it was high-road, just as I was to Obama's in 08. But some of the remarks coming out of the Sanders camp are turning me off as much as Hillary's are doing to you. I'm at the point now where I'm glad the candidate I voted for is not going to be the nominee.

LarryHart said...

sociotard:

A far more amusing option regarding Garland: the president can use his clearly defined power to call the Senate back into session and make the Senators show up.


I like the argument that by not holding hearings, the Senate is deemed to be "consenting". It's the same as if you don't vote--you tacitly accept the outcome that others vote on. The result of the election isn't suspended forever until you deign to cast your ballot.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

So. Prediction. Hillary wins the Democratic Convention, makes vague promises to the Sanders Wing that she has no intention of keeping, and goes into the general election. She beats Trump by an 8-point spread. The Democrats lose even more Senate and House seats, leaving the Republicans in firm control of the House and Senate and able to overcome Democratic Filibusters... and possibly even overcome the Veto as Republicans come out in force to vote against Hillary.


Then an easy counter-prediction: "Your prediction will not come true."

There aren't enough Democratic Senate seats in play for Republicans to get a veto-proof supermajority. If everything goes their way, they could keep the Senate instead of losing it, but they'll have fewer seats than they do now.

Robert said...

Larry, the first part of quotes was from Paul, not me. And I don't use sock-puppets. ;)

As for "not enough Democratic Senate seats in play" you forget an important fact: incumbents have a far better chance at keeping a "safe" seat than one where that Senator has decided to step down. There have been several Democrats who decided to let someone new behind the wheels, which WILL put those seats into play.

You can claim otherwise... but there is proof that those seats can be won by Republicans.

Scott Brown. In the extremely Liberal state of Massachusetts, Scott Brown WON the Senate election over his Democratic rival. A seat that should not have been in contention. And yet it flipped Red (even if he was a RINO) until finally Warren wrestled it away from Brown several years later.

No seat is safe if the incumbent is retiring. You no longer have the "I know this person and this person is better for us because they know what they are doing and have all their connections already established" factor. And if the Democrat going for that now-open seat ends up stumbling or alienates enough people? A safe seat falls to the Republicans.

Don't just assume the Democrats will win back seats in the Senate. If voters are disenfranchised with Hillary and don't see a reason to vote because theirs is a safely Democratic state? You could see the Senate turn darker Red. Because Republicans will vote no matter what. Democrats? Could care less unless they are truly motivated. And Hillary has not been motivating them nearly to the extent Sanders has.

That is a problem.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

Larry, the first part of quotes was from Paul, not me. And I don't use sock-puppets. ;)


I just responded to about 1000 posts of yours, so I'm not sure which one this refers to. :)


As for "not enough Democratic Senate seats in play" you forget an important fact: incumbents have a far better chance at keeping a "safe" seat than one where that Senator has decided to step down. There have been several Democrats who decided to let someone new behind the wheels, which WILL put those seats into play.


True, I'm demonstrating a bit of faith in a sort of regression to the mean, just as you seem to be demonstrating faith that the most unlikely of possibilities that aren't completely impossible are going to occur. No point arguing too much about it, as we'll see in November who was more correct.


You can claim otherwise... but there is proof that those seats can be won by Republicans.


Sure. As a Cubs fan, I never count a win before it comes off. I was terrified Obama would lost to McCain, even after North Carolina and Pennsylvania were announced.

But just because something is possible doesn't make it likely. Many Senate seats up for election this time were won by Republicans in the Tea Party year of 2010. The wave simply isn't going in that direction this time. I think it takes an awful lot of faith/hope to believe that the Senate will end up more Republican than it did that year.

Off on a tangent to that: It is often noted that the president's party loses congressional seats in his sixth term, and this is usually attributed to "fatigue" with the president himself. Has anyone analyzed whether, at least in the Senate, this happens as the result that the senators elected six years earlier came in on that president's coat-tails, and then they run for re-election in an off-year, where the coat-tails aren't there?


Don't just assume the Democrats will win back seats in the Senate.


I don't. I hope they will, but that's not the same thing. I know a hawk from a handsaw.

If voters are disenfranchised with Hillary

She did get more votes in the primaries than Bernie did. I don't use that as a measure of how well they'd do against a Republican, but how do you come up with voters being "disenfranchised" by the one who acquired more of their votes being the winner?

Because Republicans will vote no matter what.


But they hate Hillary so much they'll for sure vote against her even more than they would against Bernie, even though they always vote no matter what?

Are you listening to yourself?

Democrats? Could care less unless they are truly motivated. And Hillary has not been motivating them nearly to the extent Sanders has.


Hillary's job, and that of the Democratic Party is to get them motivated, and to get them registered. I'm not expecting her to be coronated President. I'm expecting her to win the fight.

RFYork said...

As one who was born in the south and educated at a southern college, I would like to encourage people in the old Confederacy to once again pursue their independence. Southerners have been electing Republican know-nothing jackasses to both houses of Congress for over 25 years.

These politicians have managed to do the following:
1) almost completely erase the civil rights gains of minorities in the 1960s,
2) prevent the expenditure of billions of dollars on the transportation and communication infrastructure of this,
3) passed measures to prevent perfectly legal minorities and the elderly from voting,
4) diminished women's rights and equality,
5) embroiled us in one of the most stupid conflicts in American history.

Those of us in the more liberal and progressive states would lose nothing by removal of these states from the Union.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred Differ: I think I understood your usage of the word "state" correctly. You can argue that a state can be too coercive, and I certainly won't argue with you on that. You can make a case that the IRS is an example of a state being too coercive, and again, I won't argue. Nation-states have an inherent power to tax, but who and how they tax can make a huge difference. Still, serfs were effectively owned by their lieges, whereas citizens in the vast majority of the world are not owned by their governments.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Andrew Differ wrote: "Occasionally I trip over a land-mine like the time I was at work and someone griped about Michael Newdow’s lawsuit to change the US Pledge of Allegiance. She was in a full indignation.."

Even without the sleazy effort to inject religion, I dislike the pledge because I feel it's stupid and counterproductive to make kids chant a meaningless rite to an inanimate object. It won't make them more patriotic, and certainly doesn't promote virtues the founders wanted the country to have, such as independent thought and a healthy skepticism of power elites.

Jeff B. said...

Andrew Sullivan has returned, with an insightful (but flawed) piece in New York Magazine:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html

His central thesis is thought-provoking, that our efforts of the last 100+ years to spread the vote, and democracy, within the U.S. borders, have weakened many of the elite-dominated checks built into the system- while has allowed the emotive, demagogic rise of someone like Trump, who saw the weaknesses of the current system and has exploited them effectively.

I do think he overstates his case when analyzing The Donald's threat, though- I do not think that a "Trump presidency" (shudder) would immediately plunge us on a path toward tyranny. And he also bases much of his analysis of Trump's support on the still-touted meme that his supporters are disaffected, lower class white men; the Nate Silver article referenced above pretty thoroughly demolished that one.

LarryHart, Sullivan also addresses your point about the Republicans' attacks on Clinton. Sure, she's weathered decades of everything the Republican machine could throw at her. But she has yet to stand toe to toe with Trump and faced the full measure of his off-kilter, anti-sensical, illogical- but extremely effective- verbal assault.

Somehow, somewhy, this works for him, and this is a wildcard that I can't predict, and it truly worries me- esp. after her repeated troubles coming up with an effective message to counter Bernie. Is Trump's effectiveness limited to the confines of the Republican/Tea Party complex? Will it carry, even in part, to the general election? Will his playing for the infotainment complex (which will continue to lap up whatever he serves- it SELLS!) be able to raise doubts or change people's minds?

I suspect it won't carry over, and that he's already won over all the faithful he's going to. But my worries continue... maybe he doesn't need to win converts, if he can tarnish Hillary enough to cost her enough votes...

Anonymous said...

And I think I did not summarize Sullivan's view well enough- Sullivan's idea is that the checks built into the system by the founders were in part to counter potential demagogues. He notes the spread of democracy over the last century plus is definitely a huge positive, and our society has benefited from it.

But removing these checks- like direct voting of senators, expanding the franchise, weakening of the electoral college- and recent events- refusal by the republican congress to do their constitutional duties, Citizens United- have removed some of the barriers against demagoguery, which we have yet to replace. So we are at this point in history somewhat vulnerable.

Jeff B. said...

Sorry, that last was mine.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp Jamieson: I won't try to convince you that we are in fact owned by our respective states. I'm an old-school liberal and flatly reject the proposition. What I will say is you aren't squinting hard enough to see the fact that our current system does behave AS IF our states do own us.

In a round-about way the Pledge connects here. It is an Oath of Fealty, is it not? Some of the faithful recognize it as such and reject it on those grounds. The Separation Clause protects them from the rest of us requiring Pledge recitations of them.

ah well. A discussion of humans as property, whether liege owned, state owned, or self owned leads into a mine field. It is exciting to dance competitively in the field, but winning there is like winning at Russian Roulette.

David Brin said...

RobH I never said you favored Trump, only that your loathing of HC seems excessive. Moreover, Bernie would be an awful pain in the neck as VP. It all depends on whether HC feels his troops will rally to her.

Your rationalization that socialist Sanders would cause GOP Moguls to fold their wallets is stunning to me. It would simply make them pour zillions into congressional races, so President Sanders could rail and shout and get nothing done.

Your scenario of Clinton winning the WH while DROPPING Senate seats is stunningly bizarre. No Pundit alive thinks the Dems won’t gain at least 4, this fall.

David Brin said...

Sociotard - All best vanish before they are even laid down. See how the tenor has changed re Merrick Garland: Suddenly, a tsunami of conservatives calling for the Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, lest Prez Hillary pick someone both more liberal and younger.  No objections here. But... But what was that guff about "let's let the next president choose"? Hypocrisy after hypocrisy, on down the line.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/04/raising-the-white-flag-conservative-blog-says-confirm-obamas-supreme-court-pick/

Deuxglass, the logic SOME elements of the right supporting HC is clear:
1) If Trump wins the presidency he will re-forge the GOP, top to bottom, in a replacement purge not seen since the Night of the Long Knives. The party of Rupert Murdoch will be no more.

2) Their investments are in serious danger in a Trump instability. They know that democratic presidents administer well and run smooth executive government.

3) Also, growing radicalism in both parties would frighten any smart mogul. The brightest are probably resigned to reforms like an end to Supply Side Voodoo and full regulation of Wall Street and a Court that shatters gerrymandering and Citizens United. With Clinton, they’ll be heard enough to negotiate over the details, hoping that incrementalism will fix the mess they made.

(Yes, I know that angers some of you Sandersites, out there. But history shows incrementalism can lead to more incrementalism. Look up a fellow named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

4) The GOP moguls will be pouring cash into congressional campaigns and especially keeping state assemblies. If they lose those once, they lose many of them forever. Hence there will be arguments over how to get trump-hating conservatives to the polls. A direct campaign, for sure. I am betting also the Kochs will pour money into the Libertarian Party.

5) History shows it is very hard for a party to keep the presidency three terms. Post FDR, only Reagan-Bush did it. And zero for four straight terms. I bet some of the GOP moguls are already looking to 2020, deeming it a shoe-in for their chosen boy, likely Paul Ryan. But to get there, they must keep Trumpism from seizing the party. Hence they may view HC as a bearable place-holder - and to get through it they must sacrifice things like Supply Side, that have run their course and now threaten the health of the republic and to radicalize the nation.

Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch: Modern Feudalism doesn’t really exist in the US no matter how much our host rails against it. It certainly COULD come to be and is worth every effort to avoid, but even our rich aren’t among the aristocracy yet. They are haute bourgeoisie aspiring to aristocracy unless they are one of the good billionaires of which he speaks in which case they are simply bourgeois like the rest of us, though very successful.

Mistaking the elite at the top of a hierarchy for feudal lords who historically aspire to idleness (the gentleman does not soil his hands or trade for a living) is a typically US error. We have no such overlords yet. If we sit on our behinds and let the children of the richest inherit their parent’s wealth, we MIGHT wind up with a few. Look for idleness and a desire to ensure the people below them maintain their idleness. It is the latter part of that test that is most dangerous. THAT is what will tempt them to spend their wealth distorting our social and market rules. Name those people when you see them. The idle possessing no wealth can’t do it. The wealthy who are not idle are part of the bourgeoisie whether we like them or not.

As for peasants being lucky to be owned, that’s pretty obvious. Their choice was usually between starvation and slavery. The peasants are not part of the bourgeoisie, though. We are and we have choices to make. Peasants in the US are about as rare as the aristocracy.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brin says: "(Yes, I know that angers some of you Sandersites, out there. But history shows incrementalism can lead to more incrementalism. Look up a fellow named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)"

Hmmm. There's nothing Sanders is proposing that is anywhere near as radical as the legislation passed during the first 100 Days of FDR's first term. Sanders, in terms of American politics in the 1950s, would be an Eisenhower Republican.

David Brin said...

" If voters are disenfranchised with Hillary..."

I am getting sick of this emotional and completely unjustified silliness.

Robert said...

Dr. Brin, you still cling to the Cult of Incrementalism.

It is a fallacious theory. The recent sweep of legalization for same-sex marriage across the United States has shown this to be a flawed theory.

Incrementalism is saying "blacks should get a $1 raise while everyone else gets a $2 raise." They are making more after all. Everything is all better, right? Except that inflation makes that $1 raise worthless, or even a pay reduction. And when blacks complain, then comes the complaints of "you give them an inch, they demand a mile. This is why we don't give you anything!" (Please note, I'm saying $1 raise as a metaphorical situation.)

You are all for "Garriage" and ignore the fact that even when gay marriage was accepted in some states, other states would ignore it and not allow a legally married same-sex couple to have the power of attorney or visitation in hospitals and the like.

I used to be a firm believer in incrementalism. I kept telling my feminist friends "Take small steps. Otherwise you risk not gaining any ground at all." And they hated that advice and told me rightfully to go shove it. Incrementalism is absolutely a wonderful policy to advocate... when you are not the one being discriminated against.

It is a policy of discrimination, of urging those who are "lesser" to "not overstep their bounds."

I truly hope someday you will wake up, as I did, and realize "incrementalism is wrong." Maybe, just maybe, it'll be over another social movement where people decided small steps get you nowhere and instead you have to leap to achieve equality.

Rob H.

Alfred Differ said...

@Rob H: Incrementalism does have room for discontinuities. You are imagining a continuous relationship between stress and strain. Force and displacement. Some things are elastic that way, but some elastic objects break when finally pushed beyond their limits. Was the social force advocating women’s suffrage incremental? Was the response to that force incremental?

Don’t advocate for incremental outcomes. Advocate for incremental pressure.

Alfred Differ said...

Assuming Trump wins the WH, I don't think he gets to re-forge the GOP. I suspect it will fracture instead. Keeping that from happening has to be the top GOP priority right now which means letting Trump be the nominee and letting him go down in flames.

Jumper said...

Incrementalism beats zero.

Robert said...

So, tell me. Was the treatment of black people in the first 20 years after the Civil War ended and slavery came to an end a good thing then? Incrementally, it was better than slavery after all.

Of course, back then it was more difficult to advocate for widescale change. But in today's society with the widespread and rapid communication methods and the growth of social networks that rival anything in the past... incrementalism is a detriment. And again. It is easy to say "small steps are better than none" when you are not the one being discriminated against.

And I understand the blowback against sudden change. I was all for incrementalism for several decades! And then I realized. I. Was. Wrong.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Suddenly, a tsunami of conservatives calling for the Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, lest Prez Hillary pick someone both more liberal and younger. No objections here. But... But what was that guff about "let's let the next president choose"? Hypocrisy after hypocrisy, on down the line.


They're already claiming that if Garland is confirmed (never mind a Hillary nominee) they will "lose the Supreme Court for a generation". They consider the right-wing judicial activist majority of the past two decades to be normal--that any court mix less activist on the right is an intolerable coup of the left, to be resisted at all costs.

Of course, it's the same reason majority rule had to be resisted at all costs in Rhodesia and South Africa. "What if they get to treat us the way we treat them?"

LarryHart said...

Jeff B:

LarryHart, Sullivan also addresses your point about the Republicans' attacks on Clinton. Sure, she's weathered decades of everything the Republican machine could throw at her. But she has yet to stand toe to toe with Trump and faced the full measure of his off-kilter, anti-sensical, illogical- but extremely effective- verbal assault.


Neither has Sanders.


Somehow, somewhy, this works for him, and this is a wildcard that I can't predict, and it truly worries me- esp. after her repeated troubles coming up with an effective message to counter Bernie. Is Trump's effectiveness limited to the confines of the Republican/Tea Party complex? Will it carry, even in part, to the general election? Will his playing for the infotainment complex (which will continue to lap up whatever he serves- it SELLS!) be able to raise doubts or change people's minds?

I suspect it won't carry over, and that he's already won over all the faithful he's going to. But my worries continue... maybe he doesn't need to win converts, if he can tarnish Hillary enough to cost her enough votes...


You come up with the same points I do in the final analysis. Trump is a force to be concerned about, sure, but not to despair over yet. Yes, I think his brand of appeal works better within the Republican Party than in the general populace. People who aren't already inclined to despise Hillary aren't going to be swayed to do so by anything Trump says about her.

Maybe I'm making the same mistake that Robert does with his Hillary-hatred, assuming that the average voter reacts as I do personally. I don't mean that they agree with me politically, but that I can't imagine anything a Republican says in a tv ad affecting my vote one way or another. I have a hard time believing that Trump can convince anyone to change their vote if they're not already inclined to vote Republican.

David Brin said...

Rob perceives 'incrementalism' as the grinding pace of civil rights from 1865 to the election of Barack Obama. Fair enough. Well-said. But I see it as FDR wheeling and dealing and saving and spectacularly expanding the American middle class while also preserving and spectacularly enhancing competitive enterprise. Of course we need both parables in mind.

Still, it’s true that Bernie has experienced ZERO directly personal attacks of the nature HC has endured for 30 years. Show me dirt from his time as mayor. You’re telling me there aren’t even some petty grudges from then, to exaggerate? Of course HC could have done that. She did not. Nor did he. Angry Bernites miss the point! Watch them hug at the convention. Read… Bernie’s… lips.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

If Clinton wins the nomination, Sanders will give her his support. He is a democrat after all but how warm that support would be depends on how many of his ideas are adopted in the party platform. If he gets important things in, then that support will be wholehearted and he would have convincing arguments to give to his followers as to why they should support Clinton. He would not have to say to them to hold their noses but will be able to say that since these measures are in the party platform Clinton is committed to working toward them. Sanders does not own his supporters. He needs ammunition to get his people who had rejected Clinton before to now vote for her and to do that he has to show that they did not vote for him in vain. If few of his ideas are in the platform then he will be bereft of influence in the election. Against Trump, Clinton needs every vote and if she has any political instincts at all, then she should realize that just an endorsement by Sanders is not enough. Above all she needs his supporters on board.

Deuxglass said...

Incrementalism can work for some things and not for others. Sometimes you can get a win-win situation and other times somebody has to lose for the greater good. All laws have loopholes and Incrementalism is useful in closing them off or in adding a new measure to an existing law in order to correct or add measures. It should work well for that. However incrementalism fails when a wide sweeping change is necessary. It just takes too long and is open to the creation of new loopholes. If we take Universal Health Care as an example, if it is implemented, insurance and drug companies, some doctors and medical clerks will lose in a big way. There is no way around this but the population will benefit from improved health, administrative simplicity and be free of the worry of the financial consequences of illness. Every developed country had to make this step and they did it and their populations now enjoy better health at a cheaper price than the US. We can do this too but it can’t come about with incrementalism.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

Everyone has dirt in their past but some have more than others. Sanders looks to have less than most politicians and his political opponents apparently have not been able to use his “dirt” against him. This tells me that he is not an easy mark for whatever reasons and is not because he wasn’t in the limelight as was Clinton. In local elections finding dirt on your adversary is the name of the game. In a Trump-Sanders election, Trump would have some problems. First they agree on trade and the Iraq War. Sander’s voting record on both these issues couldn’t be attacked so Trump would have to find something else. They both believe in a strong military. Sanders is not a pacifist and his record shows it. Trump can’t attack him on these core issues because they basically agree. With health care they do have differences but they are closer than you think. Trump is for a single bidder and Sanders is for a single payer but they both are for a deep reform. They agree on limiting the power of the banks and outsized corporate lobbying. He may call him Socialist Bernie but that word has less impact now than before. He cannot attack him as being inconsistent, showing bad judgement or beholden to big business and big donors. He has no foundation or emails.

Trump would find it hard to find an easy handle on him. He might actually be forced to debate on the details of the issues rather than using his usual bombast style. When you come down to it, if Trump and Sanders are close on the important issues, enough of Sanders supporters could abandon Clinton to make the election unless Clinton seriously gets her act together and bring in the Sanders supporters at the convention by giving them what they want.

Jumper said...

I prefer the 13th Amendment to incremental change, but lacking that, incremental change over no change whatever. Also, I consider ACA unfinished and we are in the midst of incremental moves towards better health care. The perfect is enemy of the good. Don't mistake a draw for a loss. I won't do it in chess; I'll keep struggling for a draw rather than just weep and concede a drawn game.

Paul451 said...

David,
Re: Incrementalism.

I'm not bothered by compromise. Two honest sides forging an acceptable middle ground. My objection to modern Democrats is that their response to a dishonest opposition is to begin negotiating from what they think would have been an honest opponent's starting point. Then compromise from there. All they do is ratchet further and further to the right.

Hillary is cut from that mould. Her starting point will be the centre-right to right. (With the exception of a few liberal tropes.)

Sanders will do deals. His voting record shows that. But he will start negotiating from his actual position. Yes he will concede, but will make his opponents earn every concession.

The danger with "incrementalism" today is that is isn't incremental progress. It's incremental backsliding. Apologising to implacable opponents for daring to exist. Hoping that if you let them kick you enough, they'll start to respect you.

Modern "incrementalism" is Pres. Clinton signing DoMA. Ten years later, it's Sen. Clinton standing on the floor of the Senate denouncing gay marriage and pledging her support for "traditional" marriage. Their starting point was to adopt their opponent's position.

The other side will never accept a deal, so why offer one? At some point you just have to do what you want and stop apologising for it.

In a tug-a-war, you can't win by standing in the centre.

"it's true that Bernie has experienced ZERO directly personal attacks of the nature HC has endured for 30 years."

You sure?

Paul451 said...


LarryHart (or is it Robert?),
"The Bernie Bros'"

Again, you repeat memes created for political purpose.

The Clinton campaign has always had a problem with young women preferring Sanders. So the whispers ("briefings" and "backgrounders" to journalists) were that these were stupid little girls fawning over the boys. Unimportant. "Real women" supported Clinton.

Unfortunately, a couple of older name-brand feminists actually said that in public, making Clinton even more loathed by young women. So the campaign changed tactic to attacking Sanders' male supporters. Trying to brand them as a bunch of idiot, misogynous, college "Bros", backed up by a few Twitter-anecdotes. Thus "Bernie Bros" was born.

By pretending that all Sanders supporters are basically Trump-supporters who bought the wrong t-shirt, the Clinton campaign is trying to cleave away young women, without again insulting those young women directly.

Pro-Clinton journalists duly regurgitated the meme, and people like you followed.

But it's an example of the sort of crap that has been thrown at Sanders. Its very existence disproves your idea that Sanders hasn't faced a tough campaign (but somehow Clinton has.)

[Oh, and for the record, the Clinton campaign did exactly the same thing over Obama supporters in 2008. The meme then was "cult-like".]

"My preference for Hillary at this point comes down to her experience and savvy in the knife-fight required to get a Democrat elected in the first place."

She has the second highest "unfavourable" rating of any nominee in the history of modern US Presidential elections. (The highest being Trump.)

She lost in 2008 to an inexperienced junior Senator from Illinois, in spite of being the presumptive nominee with support from most of the DNC leadership.

She is struggling in this Primary against someone who isn't even a Democrat, an old hunchbacked shouting Jewish socialist from a small New England state who has no major financial backing, no media support, and is hated by the DNC leadership.

Yeah, she's a fucking genius.

locumranch said...


Now that Trump (a man reviled by most Republicans) appears to be the sole Republican nominee and Clinton continues to alienate everyone under 30, it becomes likely that we are witnessing the balkanisation of the US two-party political system, so much so that many left-leaning progressives will find that their tired 'Us vs Them' tactics no longer work and, much like the Cold War Right, will become nostalgic for a cohesive Right-wing Super Villain analogous to the failed USSR, for without an Axis-of-Evil to fight there will be no way to distinguish the 'Good' Democratic Oligarchy from the Evil Republican one, bringing us ever closer to the tumbrels.


Best

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

Look for idleness and a desire to ensure the people below them maintain their idleness. It is the latter part of that test that is most dangerous


The would-be aristocrats who use Ayn Rand for support insist they must never be required to live for the sake of another, while conveniently leaving out the part about not expecting another to live for their sake.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Dr. Brin says: "(Yes, I know that angers some of you Sandersites, out there. But history shows incrementalism can lead to more incrementalism. Look up a fellow named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)"

Hmmm. There's nothing Sanders is proposing that is anywhere near as radical as the legislation passed during the first 100 Days of FDR's first term.


I don't think Dr Brin was speaking to Bernie himself when he referred to "some of you Sandersites." A few posts below yours is Robert condemning incrementalism, insisting on having it all right now, making the perfect the enemy of the good, and implicitly asserting that if we don't get everything we need right this minute, there is no point in accomplishing anything yet. He doesn't put it quite that way (heh), but that's the logical outcome of his position and of the "Bernie or Bust" faction.

That's who (IMHO) Dr Brin was addressing.

Robert said...

I would not say I hate Hillary.

Hating someone means you see them and either grit your teeth or spit at their extended hand. Hating someone means if their life was in danger you would smile and walk the other way and let them find their own way out (if they can). Hate means passion.

I lack that hate-passion these days for her. Oh, there are small spurts of it, but they fade rather quickly. No. I dislike Hillary. But if I were to meet her, I'd probably shake her hand. If my vote was to decide either Hillary or Trump, then I'd swallow my pride and vote Hillary. And I don't hate Trump so it's not a matter of the Lesser Evil.

It is 90% likely that Hillary will be the Democratic nominee. It is 100% likely I will be voting for the Libertarian candidate EVEN IF SANDERS GETS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION.

---------

Bernie Bros. are real, btw. Bernie Bros. are the people who insist they will not vote for Hillary at all no matter what. When you have that level of insistence that they will cut off their noses to spite their face, despite the fact the Republican candidates make Atilla the Hun seem reasonable? Then you have to look at the voting behavior of that person.

And there is a core of people who "support" Bernie Sanders online but won't be bothered to vote. They attack Hillary, smear her name, they put out memes about how she and Bill Clinton murdered dozens of people (ah, Snopes, you have been put into overdrive use in fighting that accusation!), and even more ridiculous claims. But when the primaries came around? They didn't vote. They come out with all sorts of excuses... but they. didn't. vote.

They didn't bother checking voting registration. They didn't find out about where to vote. They didn't want to change party registration. They didn't want to be bothered.

That is a Bernie Bro. The vocal armchair political warrior who doesn't have anything positive to add, who probably didn't donate, who didn't vote, and whose primary participation is reposting social media posts attacking Hillary and making her look bad.

Now, do you know what I'd like to see Sanders do? Take all those donations and start building a network of Get Out The Vote groups across the nation. Get small organizations developed, maybe link them through social media, do NOT make it a large organized nonprofit or the like that Republicans can attack and shut down. Have it be private citizens working together to educate people how to register, how to ensure they remain registered, and help them vote.

He wants to create a revolution. Revolutions that succeed start small. His did. But in order to continue that success it needs to water those roots and make sure they flourish. And that means new voters. Hell, he can even encourage those young voters who were so for him and want their voices heard through them to ENTER LOCAL POLITICS. To start running for local government positions and force out the entrenched interests that look out only for themselves. And police each other! If one of them starts acting like those old interests? Do an intervention and remind that person of what they were fighting for... and if necessary, find a new voice to run against that person.

These voices need not be Democrat or Republican. They can just be the voice of the people. And it will take a lot of hard work... but no revolution was ever won by people sitting on their asses in their armchairs grousing and writing about it. Even the newspaper editors of the 1700s also got out into public and worked among the people to put out the effort.

-----------

Locu? You continue to miss the target entirely. Try again.

Rob H.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart:
I'm quite sure Doctor Brin was speaking to us, and not Bernie.
My point was that the 100 Days was not an incremental process, and I would add that it almost certainly saved the United States from collapse. Whether you favour incrementalism or not, it just isn't a term applicable to FDR in his first term.
There were areas where FDR was incremental, and they stand out as some of the weakest aspects of his presidency: civil rights for black people (he resisted strong pressure from his wife to improve the lot of African Americans); deficit spending (he let Republicans in Congress pressure him to try to balance the budget in 1937, which led to a fairly serious, if brief recession. Standing up to Hitler, where he ignored two years of deliberate Nazi provocation which cost thousands of American lives and millions of tonnes of shipping. There was a famous cartoon from the era, "Great Western Leaders". Churchill with his V-for-Victory gesture, Stalin striking a heroic pose, De Gaulle looking very French, and FDR crouched, tentative finger timidly testing the wind.
The main problem with Hillary is she is the epitome of the incrementalism that has paralyzed the Democratic Party since 1988. Thomas Frank wrote an article this week, (Why must the Trump Alternative be Self-Satisfied Complacent Democrats http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/04/democrats-acting-elitist-not-progressive-thomas-frankand two weeks ago in "The soft bigotry of low expectations" http://inthesetimes.com/article/19068/hillary-clinton-and-the-soft-bigotry-of-low-expectations.
I recommend both to you and Doctor Brin.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

If we take Universal Health Care as an example, if it is implemented, insurance and drug companies, some doctors and medical clerks will lose in a big way. There is no way around this but the population will benefit from improved health, administrative simplicity and be free of the worry of the financial consequences of illness.


Back when the Berlin Wall was about to come down, I saw a CNN interview with some East German border guards who said that the end of communist control over East Germany would be a terrible thing because they would lose their jobs. I remember thinking "Well, yeah, I can understand why you feel that way, but really dude, that's just too bad."

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

Trump would find it hard to find an easy handle on him. He might actually be forced to debate on the details of the issues rather than using his usual bombast style.


Or he could just come up with a funny nickname for Bernie that played off of the "socialist" card, and keep repeating it for six months.

You really think Trump's campaign will convince people to hate or distrust Hillary (those who don't already do so), but that he's powerless against someone who has embraced the term "socialist" for himself for 40 years?

LarryHart said...

Robert:

Hating someone means you see them and either grit your teeth or spit at their extended hand. Hating someone means if their life was in danger you would smile and walk the other way and let them find their own way out (if they can). Hate means passion.


Well, there are degrees of hate. I don't think you have to be willing to spare no effort to destroy someone in order to feel hatred. But in a milder form, I do agree in the sense that I think "hate-crime" is a badly misused term. White supremacists (for example) do not necessarily hate black people. More likely, they find black people to be beneath their notice, and don't think about them enough to bother hating. It's the victims of discrimination who hate the oppressors, admittedly with good reason, but let's not confuse the terms.


And there is a core of people who "support" Bernie Sanders online but won't be bothered to vote. They attack Hillary, smear her name, they put out memes about how she and Bill Clinton murdered dozens of people (ah, Snopes, you have been put into overdrive use in fighting that accusation!), and even more ridiculous claims. But when the primaries came around? They didn't vote. They come out with all sorts of excuses... but they. didn't. vote.

They didn't bother checking voting registration. They didn't find out about where to vote. They didn't want to change party registration. They didn't want to be bothered.

That is a Bernie Bro. The vocal armchair political warrior who doesn't have anything positive to add, who probably didn't donate, who didn't vote, and whose primary participation is reposting social media posts attacking Hillary and making her look bad.


I'm not going to disagree with you there. In fact, one reason I think Hillary makes the stronger Democratic candidate is that she does better among people who actually vote. Bernie does better among people who don't vote. I'd rather go into November with the former on my side than the latter.


He wants to create a revolution. Revolutions that succeed start small. His did. But in order to continue that success it needs to water those roots and make sure they flourish. And that means new voters. Hell, he can even encourage those young voters who were so for him and want their voices heard through them to ENTER LOCAL POLITICS. To start running for local government positions and force out the entrenched interests that look out only for themselves. And police each other! If one of them starts acting like those old interests? Do an intervention and remind that person of what they were fighting for... and if necessary, find a new voice to run against that person.


If you don't already, you should listen to Norman Goldman's radio show. He's singing your song. It's available on line if not on a local radio station.



LarryHart said...

Robert:

Locu? You continue to miss the target entirely. Try again.


I'm glad you're the one who said that. I have been biting my tongue to keep from quoting Captain Kirk, "But like a bad marksman, you keep missing the target!"

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

You said "I'm not going to disagree with you there. In fact, one reason I think Hillary makes the stronger Democratic candidate is that she does better among people who actually vote."

That is an extraordinary statement to make considering they turned out in mass to vote in the primary and to attend his rallies. If Clinton cannot capture their enthusiasm then are you saying it is their fault and not Clinton's.

locumranch said...


Yep, FDR was a great guy as far as Mussolini-loving, non-incremental, anti-semitic Aristocrats go.

Then again, Aristocrats have been given a bad reputation as 'Do Nothing Parasites', much in the same way that even the most beneficent Jeffersonian Slave Owner has been so thoroughly 'Uncle Tom's Cabined' even though (by & large) he displayed ownership, responsibility and treated his wards with the care, kindness & respect that other human beings deserved, and we can expect no less as history is written by the survivors.

WW1 so thoroughly depleted the ranks of those 'Do Nothing' Aristocrats (a Casualty Rate approaching 20%; almost double that of the Enlisted Man) that one can only assume that those Evil Aristocrats were little more than irresponsible cigar-munching parasites, much in the same way we tend to stereotype our current male professional & labour class as evil patriarchal rapists (unless we like them for whatever reason).

That's why we need to elect Hillary for Prez, so she may continue to 'protect the rights of Oppressed Women & Children' by the further villainisation & slaughter of those vile Aristocratic Patriarchal Male oppressors (rapists all) who deserve to be excluded from University Level education (at a ratio exceeding 2:1) as punishment for their Collective Guilt.

Of course, it's kind of funny -- funny 'hypocritical' rather than 'ha ha' -- how we still expect those g-damned parasites to display OWNERSHIP in our culture when we need them to, despite our constant repudiations.


Best

Jumper said...

I suppose by some people's logic, I should decide that since Al Franken isn't on the ballot I should stay home in a snit.

On the Sullivan piece, another issue he didn't mention is the number of fairly new laws states have passed requiring electors to vote the popular choice. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Electoral College was put in place just for situations like this.
http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=967
Of course they failed completely to stop the '00 Bush travesty.

Jumper said...

This has some additional details:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

David Brin said...

How I weep for the plight of the over-privileged cheater caste...so oppressed! That is, in locum's bizarro world.

onward

onward

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

You said "I'm not going to disagree with you there. In fact, one reason I think Hillary makes the stronger Democratic candidate is that she does better among people who actually vote."

That is an extraordinary statement to make considering they turned out in mass to vote in the primary and to attend his rallies.


I was agreeing with Robert (I do that sometimes) after he pointed out the distinction. In fact, this is what I was agreeing with:

That is a Bernie Bro. The vocal armchair political warrior who doesn't have anything positive to add, who probably didn't donate, who didn't vote, and whose primary participation is reposting social media posts attacking Hillary and making her look bad.


I have no idea how old you are. I'm closer to 60 than to 50, so I've seen plenty of US elections, including Ronald Reagan's. If enthusiasm on the left translated into votes when they count, history would have been different.


If Clinton cannot capture their enthusiasm then are you saying it is their fault and not Clinton's.


I think Clinton will capture some of it. The ones who insist that Hillary is no better than Trump, and are willing to punish the Democratic Party by throwing the election? Yeah, that is their fault and not Clinton's.

But for the rest, the liberals such as myself who would have preferred Bernie as president, but are ok with Hillary too, and see much more space between the Democrats and the Republicans than between two Democrats? Yes, I would hope that Hillary's campaign will work to get such people fired up to vote (and registered to vote as well). I hope they'll also make clear that congress and the Supreme Court are at stake, and the presidency actually pales beside them. I hope Bernie will join in that campaign, and convince his followers that their best path to eventual victory lies with not replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and "to be named later" with 30 year old clones of Scalia.

You're conflating enthusiasm for one Democrat over another with enthusiasm for Democrats over Republicans, assuming that only the one leads to the other. That's the same fallacy which forecast that the states Obama lost to Hillary in 08 would go for McCain in November. It doesn't work that way.

LarryHart said...

oops, posted before I saw the...

onward


onward

Zepp Jamieson said...

Jumper:
If my only choices in nearby restaurants are McDonalds and Burger King, if I elect to stay home and cook my own dinner, is that considered "having a snit"?

Jumper said...

You can order a pizza which doesn't exist, I guess.
Now for the next thing!

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