Judging By His Enemies

As Steve M. has noticed, suddenly the Right-Wing Noise Machine is very much taking Bernie Sanders as a real threat.

Maybe I just haven’t noticed it, but this seems new to me. It’s as if Sanders topped Hillary Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire in one poll and the word went out on the right to scramble the jets and start trying to take Sanders down.

I’d have thought the wingers wouldn’t worry about a wild-haired old lefty, but they know it’s a crazy year and a significant portion of the public might go for a candidate who’d have been deemed unacceptable even a year or two ago. They also know that even in defeat Sanders might have a real influence on the way we talk about taxes and government programs and economic inequality.

Right-wingers don’t let grass grow under their feet. I guess they’re going to try to address this threat now.

The Wall Street Journal, FOX News, even the Daily Mail are all going after Sanders this week, doing everything from saying his policies would cost $18 trillion dollars over ten years to Krauthammer attacking him as “insignificant” (why attack him then, Chuck?)  Add too the meatheads at Power Line, who literally are reduced to repeatedly screaming “Bullshit” at lines of Sanders’s speech at Liberty University.

Suddenly attacking Bernie is really, really popular in the epistemic closure bubble. Yeah, I’m still not sold on the Sanders 2016 train (or Hillary for that matter) yet, but if Bernie’s making enemies like these pay attention to what he’s doing, he’s probably on the right track in some fashion.

355 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    Its really binary, for them. I think the right wing worries that Trump is blowing up their party and any chance they can get the Presidency–so they are super worried that the Democratic nominee, whoever it is, will get in. They (think) they would prefer HRC to Sanders because HRC has at least been to the White House and hung with the important people so they think they can do business with her. They are sure they can’t with Sanders. Its not that they think Sanders is a real threat to HRC. They don’t have to worry about that to believe that anything can happen and the last man standing in the Democratic convention has a damned good chance of winning against any Republican candidate.

  2. 2
    Vhh says:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.” Not a foregone conclusion by any means, but you have to wonder. In 2007, I didn’t think Obama had a chance against Hillary.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    The wife you wouldn’t defend against Trump’s attacks will now become your ‘secret weapon’?
    Uh huh.

    ………………..

    In a new appeal to Hispanics, Jeb Bush deploys his ‘secret weapon’ — Columba Bush

    Jeb Bush is deploying his “secret weapon” in a new video designed to appeal to Hispanic voters.

    A new video released by the campaign Monday shows Bush speaking in Spanish and his wife, Columba Bush, speaking in English in her most expansive comments to date on her husband’s behalf

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....umba-bush/.

  4. 4
    bystander says:

    I’ve noticed that Andrea Mitchell never mentions him without first saying “Socialist Bernie Sanders”. Technically, isn’t he an independent? Of course, “socialist” is the equivalent of “child molester” to Mrs. Greenspan, but she never sems to mention socialism when speaking of Israel. I’ve also noticed that “first female POTUS” gets mentioned frequently but never “first Jewish POTUS”.

    Also, what was the purpose in asking Chelsea Clinton how it feels when she sees the poll that says everybody thinks her mother is a liar, as Savannah Guthrie did? “Oh, it feels great, Savannah. She may be my mother, but she’s one awful hag.”

    I hate these hacks on network TV.

  5. 5
    Derelict says:

    Having the Rightwing Wurlitzer light up against Bernie means he’s making inroads in places conservatives would rather he not. The question is how the mainstream media reacts. My guess is that they will pick up the refrain of “HE’S A SOCIALIST!!!!111!!!”

    Can’t possibly have someone talking about increasing marginal tax rates back to what they were in 1999!

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    In before Thoughtful today shows up to do a victory dance.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    you OWN what you CREATE……

    Morning Plum: Donald Trump is in on the joke, and the joke’s on you

    By Greg Sargent September 15 at 8:59 AM
    Politico’s Ben White talks to a number of Wall Street executives and discovers that they are growing “increasingly terrified” that Donald Trump “could actually win the Republican nomination for president.”

    Trump has vowed to raise taxes on capital gains, claiming that executive pay in America is a “complete joke.” One senior figure on Wall Street tells Politico that investors who discussed Trump at a recent lunch were “taking him very seriously,” adding: “He taps into frustrations that are very real and he is a master manipulator of the media.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/15/morning-plum-donald-trump-is-in-on-the-joke-and-the-jokes-on-you/

  8. 8
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rikyrah: Ann Romney was supposed to be Mitt’s secret weapon too. And she oozed contempt for anyone who lacked the wherewithal to have her own horse.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Sanders did an amazing job at Liberty University. He might not have persuaded the audience, but he did persuade me. He hit on the topics that affect the average Americans. WSJ tends to ignore the Bush tax cuts and the increase they would cause the deficit.

  10. 10
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bystander: I think Andrea Mitchell is a hack’s hack. I can’t believe she’s been around this long having no insight into anything.

  11. 11
    EconWatcher says:

    Someone much smarter than me pointed out that Trump has exposed something: The GOP grassroots may not really be into the party’s plutocratic platform. They just like the party because it delivers all the hate they crave.

    Trump has offered all the hate but a bit less of the plutocratic policies (eg, openly supports progressive income tax, eliminating carried interest loophole, etc.) And the knuckledraggers seem to love it. That’s what really scares the GOP about Trump; he threatens to blow the sweet scam they’ve been running for decades, getting votes from people who don’t benefit from and may not even like their policies.

    If that analysis is correct, it would also explain the fear of Bernie: They can’t afford to have some issues discussed, except in quiet rooms. But Bernie is discussing them loud and proud.

  12. 12
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JPL: The only people who care about the deficit are those who think “the deficit” was caused by overspending on people of color, which is what wrecked the economy, ergo spending less on Those People would correct everything that’s wrong economically.

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    You OWN what you CREATE. Have no sympathy for them.

    ………………….

    Wall Street’s latest panic: Trump could win
    With Bush and Clinton taking their lumps, financial executives face populist critics in both parties.
    By Ben White
    09/14/15, 07:34 PM EDT

    NEW YORK — Wall Street is growing increasingly terrified that Donald Trump — once viewed as an amusing summertime distraction — could actually win the Republican nomination for president.

    The real estate billionaire, who took another populist shot on Sunday by ripping into lavish executive pay, continues to rise in the polls. Would-be Wall Street saviors like Jeb Bush are languishing in single digits. The belief that Trump’s candidacy would quickly fade is now evaporating in a wave of fear.

    “I held four lunches for investors in August and at the first one everyone assumed Trump would implode,” said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners and a senior figure on Wall Street. “By the fourth one everyone was taking him very seriously. He taps into frustrations that are very real and he is a master manipulator of the media.”

    The CEO of one large Wall Street firm, who declined to be identified by name criticizing the GOP front-runner, said the assumption in the financial industry remains that something will eventually knock Trump off and send voters toward a more establishment candidate. But that assumption is no longer held with strong conviction. And a dozen Wall Street executives interviewed for this article could not say what might dent Trump’s appeal or when it might happen.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/.....z3loffatgm

  14. 14
    Watchman says:

    Yeah, I’m still not sold on the Sanders 2016 train

    You’ve been actively and irrationally hostile towards Sanders for several months now and have in fact echoed the Charles Krauthammer attacks against his record in the Senate on multiple occasions.

    Nobody here is buying your bandwagon bullshit now that he’s in real danger of becoming the nominee.

  15. 15
    Mike E says:

    With all the Obama=666 nonsense, nobody hasn’t called Trump the Antichrist yet. I’m disappoint.

  16. 16
    Trabb's Boy says:

    This politics thing is all very interesting, but where are my morning kittens?

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    They also know that even in defeat Sanders might have a real influence on the way we talk about taxes and government programs and economic inequality.

    Steve nails it right there. The GOP’s own populist candidate / Frankenstein monster, Trump, has shined an unwelcome light on how the plutocrats purchase candidates, and Sanders has been doing that throughout his career. The establishment Republicans aren’t controlling the narrative on either side, and they are in a panic about it. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @EconWatcher:

    The GOP grassroots may not really be into the party’s plutocratic platform. They just like the party because it delivers all the hate they crave.

    Well, the second part is definitely true. The first part, I dunno. Donald Trump IS a billionaire, and part of the reason why people support Trump is that they have a vague idea that his wealth is a sign of how he can fix the economy. He has a few flourishes about rich people putting one over on the rest of us, yes, but he also has flourishes about losers and those who don’t work hard or try hard.

  19. 19
    Lord Baldrick says:

    Perhaps the stunning rise of Jeremy Corbyn has given Murdoch and his minions pause.

  20. 20
    sharl says:

    OT: Martin O’Malley is trapped in DC traffic on way to studio to do interview with Diane Rehm. He apologized for not leaving earlier; Diane concurred, chewing his ass out a bit for (paraphrasing) failing to show up on time for a nationwide broadcast as promised. Hahaha, you tell him, Diane!

    [Seriously, DC traffic sucked when I came to this area thirty years ago, and it sucks much worse now (.pdf, 47pp).]

    ….aaand, he’s now in the studio. Yaaaaayyy!

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Rauner won’t commit to signing Rahm’s property tax relief plan

    Written By Fran Spielman Posted: 09/14/2015, 05:12pm

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise the homeowner exemption will make the bitter pill of a $500 million property tax increase easier to swallow, aldermen said Monday, but Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office cast doubt on whether the Republican governor would sign such a bill.

    City Hall sources said House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Chicago Democrats, are on board with the mayor’s plan and committed to shepherd the legislation through the General Assembly once final details are hammered out.

    But so long as they are embroiled in a state budget stalemate with Rauner over the governor’s unyielding demand for pro-business, anti-union reforms, it appears that the mayor’s longtime friend could be a political roadblock.

    On Monday, the governor’s office was asked whether Rauner would sign legislation raising a homeowner exemption that now stands at $7,000 of a home’s assessed valuation and is scheduled to drop to $6,000.

    Before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market, the homeowner exemption was capped at $33,000 or 7 percent of assessed valuation.

    “The governor has proposed legislation that would freeze property taxes and provide significant new support for CPS,” the governor’s spokesman Catherine Kelly wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    “Raising taxes alone won’t fix our problems. We need structural reforms to help cities like Chicago control costs.”

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/ne.....auner-sign

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    in defeat Sanders might have a real influence on the way we talk about taxes and government programs and economic inequality

    Does Sanders talk about these things in a way that’s distinct from how Obama has been talking about them for 8 years? “I am my brother’s keeper,” etc.?

    Everyone thinks fairness is better than unfairness and that the rich and “special interests” are screwing everyone else. But Republicans see unfairness in “welfare” and “special interests” in unionism and identity politics. It’s a party of white resentment. If with Trump it can be a party of white resentment that includes resentment about the rich, I suppose that’s a mild step forward.

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @sharl: He handled it in an exemplary fashion. #inbeforeaskew

  24. 24
    magurakurin says:

    @Watchman:

    now that he’s in real danger of becoming the nominee.

    facts not in evidence. If anyone thinks what we have seen from Hillary Clinton up to this point is all that is going to come from Clinton’s side, well, I’m pretty sure Sanders doesn’t believe that. This shit show hasn’t even started yet, but some of the Sanders supporter on the intertubes are already starting to take victory laps.

  25. 25
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Ann Romney was supposed to be Mitt’s secret weapon too. And she oozed contempt for anyone who lacked the wherewithal to have her own horse.

    @FlipYrWhig: God help JEB? if someone ever gets Columba in front of a microphone. Like Ann Romney on steroids, with a nice touch of crazy to boot.

  26. 26
    Lihtox says:

    My initial reaction was to ask “If they saw Sanders as a weak candidate, wouldn’t they keep quiet about him and hope he wins?” But that hasn’t stopped folks on the Left from making fun of Santorum or Christie or Perry or…well, anyone in the GOP primary. They still might prefer to run against him over Hillary, but he’s clearly a legitimate candidate.

    I wonder if the Liberty University speech is what prompted this wave? Bernie is going after traditionally conservative voters, and they need to quickly lay some groundwork to blunt his message. Or maybe they’re just trying to divert attention from Trump and the chaos of the GOP primary.

  27. 27
    Skippy-san says:

    Arthur Schlesinger summed up Krauthammer pretty well in 1986. It can be found in his “Journals 1952-2000”. “The puzzle is that there are people who take Krauthammer seriously as a deep thinker.”

  28. 28
    Watchman says:

    @magurakurin:

    facts not in evidence

    Except for the polls showing him leading in Iowa and New Hampshire and Clinton crashing nationally.

  29. 29
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Yglesias just posted this 1971 McGovern ad:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9.....rn-sanders

    It kind of terrifies me, because you could search and replace “McGovern” with “Sanders” and it’d read exactly like Feel The Bern copy.

    And we know what happened.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Call me cynical, but in Sanders I see McGovern. I just can’t see America electing a 75-year-old, cranky, Brooklyn-accented Jewish socialist from Burlington, Vermont.

  31. 31
    lowercase steve says:

    @EconWatcher:

    They don’t want brown and black people getting those sweet secret welfare benefits or “taking our jobs”. And they don’t like gays, Muslims, feminists or atheists either. But 1. they want their own social security and Medicare and aren’t super excited about anything they touches it and 2. they don’t give a damn about cutting taxes on rich people or helping them give “our jobs” to brown/black/yellow people.

    “I won’t let the blahs mooch off you!” +anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-choice, anti-effete intellectual sop works for a while and people will go along with the tax cuts as long as it continues and they can point to some sort of success but a naked “let’s cut taxes for rich people and get rid of benefits white middle class people also get” strategy is not going to cut it. JE(B)! Bush’s platform does not appeal to the base.

    Look at Santorum or Huckabee and what they say about SS and Medicare and elite business men who only care about money (and thus are all too happy to support gay rights and immigration reform and ship jobs overseas).

  32. 32
    boatboy_srq says:

    In their way, US elections have become antipoliticking: the choice is not about for whom to vote but about against whom. Trump is the candidate for the Teahadis who reject the party-approved candidates; Sanders may well be the selection for the “not-quite-sold-on HRC” Dems.

  33. 33
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Watchman:
    “Clinton crashing nationally” rather overstates the case, I think.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Wow. GMTA, I guess.

  35. 35
    sharl says:

    @Lihtox: I’m hoping Sanders is smart enough to know he won’t win over many of the Liberty U. crowd (religious social conservatives), but by showing up there, demonstrates to potential moderates – and maybe even some non-wacky conservatives (there are a few still out there) – that he would engage with them and their concerns. If that’s his strategy (and I really don’t know), it would be pretty smart IMO.

    I think it’s similar to the strategy GOPers use to more sinister effect, of having AfAm’s and other people-of-color serve as front wo/men. They generally know they won’t fool many people-of-color that way (at least not black folk), but it does serve to give cover to white folk who need a cheap and ready response to the question ‘Why are you voting for people in that racist Party?’ [Response, of course, is “they can’t be racists, see those black/POCs representing them?”]

  36. 36
    lowercase steve says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because white middle class people fear the working class “blahs” and resent the upper class elite (who they see as godless pro-abortion/pro-gay/pro-alien bastards). They are amazingly insecure in their positions…afraid that the government is gonna take their stuff and give it to the lower class (and that there will be a reasoning) and that the elite are constantly looking for more ways to screw the middle class/send jobs overseas. It is not a fear/resentment directed simply up or down….it is omnidirectional.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Wow, Hinderaker did a piss-poor job of transcribing Bernie quoting scripture, and it is a very telling error he makes:

    And that vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12, and it states, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the war and the prophets.”

    EDIT: Upon further drilling, I see that Powerline was using the WaPo transcript. Alrighty then. My point stands, doubled.

  38. 38
    Watchman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Please explain to me how her approval ratings among white women voters, her most important base voters, dropping from 70% to 40% isn’t “crashing nationally”.

    On second thought save yourself the effort.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The GOP grassroots may not really be into the party’s plutocratic platform. They just like the party because it delivers all the hate they crave.


    Well, the second part is definitely true. The first part, I dunno. Donald Trump IS a billionaire, and part of the reason why people support Trump is that they have a vague idea that his wealth is a sign of how he can fix the economy. He has a few flourishes about rich people putting one over on the rest of us, yes, but he also has flourishes about losers and those who don’t work hard or try hard.

    When it comes to how the right wing base feels about economic issues, I think the bottom line is that most of them have no idea what the fuck is going on, and don’t care to, either. To the extent that they understand it, it’s in terms of vague generalities that speak to the things they do care about (identity politics) – “blacks on welfare are picking your pocket, and politically correct liberals are letting them!” “Hispanic illegals are taking your jobs, and politically correct liberals are letting them!”

    They went from the Dixiecrats’ “socialism for white people” shtick to the Reaganites’ “poverty for you, but even more poverty for your black neighbor” shtick because both of them spoke to that part of them. As long as Trump does the same, it won’t matter what fuzzy math economic doctrine he serves up.

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Perhaps not Sanders, but I can see the majority of voters embracing his message.

    And that’s what has got the elites so shaken up, particularly the Republican ones, but maybe some Democratic ones as well.

    A lot of the message is coming through, in stereo, from the “outlier” candidate in each party’s race.

    Given that it’s a good message, and promises economic sustainability, I am happy. I hope Bernie Sanders forces Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party to the left.

    Recall: Mark Warner nearly got pantsed last year in Virginia. Republican lite is not a safe message for Democrats. Especially if you end up with John Kasich as nominee, who will be selling himself as Republican lite in the general. (‘I’m not as radical as those scary conservatives from the primaries.” But he is a conservative. And the MSM will find him delightful, moderate, and, in time perhaps, “cerebral.” Vs. “elite” for those nasty Democrats.)

  41. 41
    lowercase steve says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That may be why the right-wing is suddenly attacking him. It’ll boost his credibility/salience with Democrats and potentially hurt Hillary. You try to pick your opponent*

    *I have no proof this is what is happening and I am skeptical it would work if that is their intent

  42. 42
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Lihtox:

    Bernie is going after traditionally conservative voters

    (By the way, when Obama did this it was to hoots of derision, as I think it was rikryah who pointed out earlier.)

    Pfft. He’s showing off (to liberals and the media) that he’s the kind of liberal who is _willing to talk to_ traditionally conservative voters. Because he believes in his message THAT MUCH! #swoon #hearts

    I remember when the person trying this was Rand Paul talking to the NAACP.

  43. 43
    Keith G says:

    It’s early.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    @Watchman: How much might that be voters who will vote for Bernie in the primary, to send a loud and clear signal that they like his proposals and message, but will be fine voting for Hillary or the Democratic nominee in the general?

    I will vote for the Democratic nominee with a smile. I will walk and canvass to turn others out to do so.

    Don’t even have to look at the Republicans.

    Paul Krugman advised this months ago. It’s a party message/platform election, not an individual candidate election.

    The GOP voters always get that.

  45. 45
    sharl says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Ahh, Rand Paul talking to the NAACP and at Howard U., that’s an even better contrast-&-compare case for Bernie-at-Liberty than what I provided. {Shoulda thought of that myownself, dammit…}

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I can see the majority of voters embracing his message.

    The first-order message that the political system is broken and the economy still dragging for everyday Americans? Sure. The second-order message about what to do about it? Eh. “How is he going to pay for all his promises?” is going to take everything down a notch, as it does for all liberal campaigns. It’s not insuperable, but it’s going to be A Big Thing if the Sandernistas continue to register in the polls.

  47. 47
    Mandalay says:

    @Vhh:

    In 2007, I didn’t think Obama had a chance against Hillary.

    It’s interesting to see Clinton’s lead over her rivals in mid-September eight years ago:

    CNN: Hillary ahead by 23 percentage points.

    New York Times/CBS News: Hillary ahead by 18 percentage points.

    USA Today/Gallup: Hillary ahead by 21 percentage points.

    Rasmussen: Hillary ahead by 21 percentage points.

    ABC News/Washington Post: Hillary ahead by 14 percentage points.

    If she was doing that well back in 2007 and still lost she can surely lose again from where she stands now.

  48. 48
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah: I saw that. I wonder if Wall Street panic means peak Trump.

  49. 49
    BR says:

    I watched Sanders’s Liberty University speech, and I don’t get what everyone is raving about. It was not bad, but wasn’t well delivered, wasn’t evocative in a way that might actually reach across the isle, and at times felt like a lecture. I agreed with what he was saying, but I just don’t know if he will get non-partisans excited.

  50. 50
    Watchman says:

    @Mandalay: Precisely.

    We have empirical evidence that:

    — Clinton has blown huge leads before

    — Democrats can win the White House without her

    There is nothing inevitable about Clinton other than her past preventing her from winning.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Does Sanders talk about these things in a way that’s distinct from how Obama has been talking about them for 8 years?

    Yes. PBO is a socialist in wingnut fever dreams only but a mainstream, centrist Democrat in reality. Sanders is a Nordic-style socialist for realz and advocates policies like Medicare for all, reversal of NAFTA-CAFTA, etc., busting up big banks, free college tuition, etc., etc. You might say there’s no chance those policies could make it through our divided government, and I’d agree. But Sanders is unquestionably to Obama’s left politically.

  52. 52
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Lihtox: And he did it using their religiously themed language and in a way that was far less threatening and smarmy than even that slimy shitbag Ted Cruz. They may be Liberty U kids but I sense they saw right through Cruz and recognized Sanders as a man who stands by his principles and on more than one occasion when he hammered home a point about humanity or respect there was genuine cheering and applause.

  53. 53
    cintibud says:

    @Watchman: So you are saying it is inevitable that Clinton cannot win?

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @lowercase steve: It is also the opposite of what they are doing with Biden.
    They push Biden because he is not a candidate while Hillary is a good candidate. Attacking Sanders implies they fear him.

    Double bank shot subtleties are not their specialty.

  55. 55
    Belafon says:

    @Lihtox:

    Bernie is going after traditionally conservative voters

    Don’t worry, he didn’t gain any. When the students were asked, they said his message was ok, but since he still supported abortion and gay marriage, they wouldn’t support him.

  56. 56
    Oatler. says:

    Nobody seems to care or notice that MSNBC gave Trump’s speech-jizz full coverage which not even Fox was doing. Is it safe to add them to “conservative news show” programs?

  57. 57
    NonyNony says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Someone much smarter than me pointed out that Trump has exposed something: The GOP grassroots may not really be into the party’s plutocratic platform. They just like the party because it delivers all the hate they crave.

    You know, maybe I’m too used to people speaking in code words, but I could swear that the phrases “Southern Strategy” and “Reagan Republicans” pretty much meant that even 40 years ago. It isn’t like appealing to a racist 25% or so of the country wasn’t crucial to grabbing the reigns of power post-LBJ or anything like that.

  58. 58
    Matt McIrvin says:

    They also know that even in defeat Sanders might have a real influence on the way we talk about taxes and government programs and economic inequality.

    Yeah: if he gets nominated and then crushed by Donald Trump in a 49-state landslide, he’ll discredit all these messages for another 40 years.

  59. 59
    ThresherK says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yessiree, I mentioned that here also. The contrast is easy to make, so I’m not gonna hold my breath while the press corps makes it.

    BTW, my wife, liberal, ex-hippie chick, but not one who really likes speeches much, watched Sanders on C-SPAN.

    Bernie came out looking presidential and serious and inclusive. Rand Paul at Howard? Heeheehee, don’t get me started.

  60. 60
    Princess says:

    @Mandalay: She definitely could lose, but for her to lose, Bernie is going to have to do better with women and minority voters than he is doing. If he does, he deserves to win the primary.

    I don’t think he will do better though, at least not better enough. The same thing (his socialism) that makes him say a bunch of things I like, also makes him tone deaf about other problems — for him, everything is economic, so he has no intuition for things that aren’t, like gun control, or aren’t exclusively, like racism.

    Count me as also not feeling the Bern, not yet.

  61. 61

    I’m not sure I get this hand-wringing about Bernie Sanders. If he’s not the nominee you want, don’t vote for him in the primaries. But don’t decide he can’t be elected and then prove it by not voting for him if he reaches the general. He is still a far, far better choice than anything the GOP has to offer.

    A growing percentage of people across the political spectrum are deciding that the establishment candidates are the problem. Is it enough people to actually swing an election? Don’t know, but I would think that this kind of anti-establishment groundswell would actually bode well for Sanders. It is going to be a very interesting election.

  62. 62
    NonyNony says:

    @Oatler.:

    First it would require anyone to care about MSNBC – nobody does. Maddow’s show is about the only tolerable thing on the network and even that I can’t work up the energy to watch at night anymore.

    And second – MSNBC is pretty much all about the dollars. If they’re showing Trump, it’s likely because they know that people will tune in to watch Trump and they can sell those eyeballs to advertisers for fat stacks of cash. Fox News, having apparently decided that they’re a propaganda outfit first and a money-making enterprise second, is losing out on those fat sacks of cash in the hopes of tamping down Trump’s popularity with their viewers.

  63. 63
    magurakurin says:

    @Watchman:

    Luckily for you it is quite certain that Bernie Sanders isn’t going to take Hillary Clinton as lightly as you apparently do.

  64. 64
    catclub says:

    @Oatler.: I felt that was an “MSNBC as liberal organization pushing the worst GOP candidate”
    action. How was viewership for that coverage? If it goes up, that is a win for MSNBC.

  65. 65
    sharl says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yep. Back in 2008, Black Agenda Report – a truly AfAm socialist bunch, not some namby-pamby ‘Democratic Socialist’ types – were screaming bloody hell at their (mostly) AfAm readers about Obama’s corporatist nature. BAR never endorsed anyone in 2008, although they made nice cooing sounds about Dennis Kucinich one one or two occasions.

    I suspect they would be more friendly to Sanders for similar reasons. Although, having said that, the interactions between Sanders and some Black Lives Matter activists posed a bit of a challenge to the writers there, the last time I checked in. [I haven’t gone to their site* lately though, so can’t say where they currently stand with Sanders’ views and candidacy.]

    *Note: Rather crappy website, due to perennially impoverished organization behind it, and maybe also technologically challenged older folks being in charge there.

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Belafon: I had it on mute all through the Trump speech, then again when sub Ari Melber seemed like he was going to give over Rachel’s show to playing long clips of his ramblings, then I remembered that even though I didn’t care about any of the four teams, there was football on. I am a little disappointed I missed this

    ‏@ mviser
    Donald Trump: “I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they’ve had in a long time.”

    but it’s just as good in a tweet

    MSNBC has always spent too much time playing long clips of right wing spew (Cheney, Limbaugh, Hate-celeb du jour), but they do seem to be getting worse since they ramped up the Great Neutering a few weeks ago. They’ve gone back to the old CNN model of bringing “balance” by pairing Villager journalists up with professional Republican flacks. And is it just me or does it seem like Michael Steele must have an apartment somewhere in the MSNBC building (which I guess is 30 Rock?). Could be worse, they could be giving Luke Russet that airtime

  67. 67
    Princess says:

    To follow up: Obama won over 80% of the black vote in the 2007/08 primary season and still had a tough time beating Hillary. Bernie isn’t doing much better than about 10%. He won’t win the democratic primary with those numbers.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    A growing percentage of people across the political spectrum are deciding that the establishment candidates are the problem.

    I have massive distrust of this formulation, because I think Sanders supporters are using it to surf the Trump wave. Republicans like bullies and force: that’s what drives the Trump boom. Liberals are “meh” about Clinton again/still: that’s what drives the Sanders boom. “Establishment” is just a way of equating the two. But they don’t need to be equated. They’re both easy to explain without the “establishment” concept.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris:

    They went from the Dixiecrats’ “socialism for white people” shtick to the Reaganites’ “poverty for you, but even more poverty for your black neighbor” shtick because both of them spoke to that part of them. As long as Trump does the same, it won’t matter what fuzzy math economic doctrine he serves up.

    You’re right that it doesn’t matter to the GOP base voters. But it matters very much to the plutocrats who are selling self-interested policies under the God-Guns-Gays brand. I’m sure they’re finding Trump’s talk about the ease of buying establishment politicians and absurdly low hedge fund tax rates very alarming.

  70. 70
    Mandalay says:

    @bystander:

    I’ve noticed that Andrea Mitchell never mentions him without first saying “Socialist Bernie Sanders”.

    For older wingnuts it may be associated with words like “gulag” and “KGB” and “Stalin”, but I suspect that for a lot of younger voters the word “socialist” carries no baggage at all. And for others it may connote the Scandinavian economic models which aspire (far more than here) to take care of all their citizens.

    Besides, Bernie proudly embraces the term, so playing “gotcha” with him just won’t work:

    “When I ran for the Senate the first time, I ran against the wealthiest guy in the state of Vermont. He spent a lot on advertising—very ugly stuff. He kept attacking me as a liberal. He didn’t use the word “socialist” at all because everybody in the state knows that I am that. It has lost its cachet.

    Trying to smear Sanders as a socialist will only work with those who were never going to vote for him anyway. Well BFD.

  71. 71
    benw says:

    @bystander:

    Technically, isn’t he an independent?

    Sanders’ party affiliation is Independent, in the Senate he caucuses with the Democrats, and he calls himself a Democratic Socialist, which means he more or less supports all the stuff that lefty progressives want. @Betty Cracker: sums it up here:

    Sanders is a Nordic-style socialist for realz and advocates policies like Medicare for all, reversal of NAFTA-CAFTA, etc., busting up big banks, free college tuition, etc., etc. You might say there’s no chance those policies could make it through our divided government, and I’d agree. But Sanders is unquestionably to Obama’s left politically.

    I’d just add that Sanders is a lefty, but he’s no fringe lunatic – the Republicans will frantically try to call him one so you know it’s a lie – he’s been a player in Washington for years and probably has a good grasp at how hard it will be for any (hopefully!) Democratic president to get anything done post-2016.

    SANDERS 2016

    Edited for the grammars and the Sanders.

  72. 72
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Princess: At least Sanders himself appears to understand that and is willing to recognize other people’s expertise on those subjects. I’m not ever going to claim that Bernie Sanders is even capable of understanding racism the way that any black person in America does, but I do think that he’s capable of recognizing that blind spot and making sure he’s got intelligent black people in his inner circle to give him advice on how to deal with such things. His road to success with non-white voters is going to be in large part determined by who he’s seen to be taking advice from and forming his strategy with.

    That said, Sanders IS Jewish, and no one should ever accuse a Jew of not understanding discrimination. Especially one as old as Bernie. He might not be able to instinctively understand what black people deal with in this country, but all Jews are very familiar with bigotry.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: @Watchman: Did HRC blow a lead in 2008 or did Obama take it? Sanders is no Obama.

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    The fact that they are noticing Sanders will help whoever the nominee is. If it’s Sanders, he’ll get to deal with the Socialist label a lot sooner than the general election. That’s going to be Sanders biggest problem. I’ve said before that if I were a Republican, every ad would show Sanders’ face with a waving red flag.

    If it’s Clinton, then we’ll get to see some of their strategy for dealing with the idea of paying for college, universal health care, and similar stances.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Humboldtblue:

    They may be Liberty U kids but I sense they saw right through Cruz and recognized Sanders as a man who stands by his principles and on more than one occasion when he hammered home a point about humanity or respect there was genuine cheering and applause

    To borrow another person’s religious language: oh, Jesus Christ. I “sense” that it’s a whole campus full of bigoted little Christ-o-tron shits who turned out to see a nice man try to use their terms. It didn’t connect with them. They’re the same way they always were.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @Watchman:

    Except for the polls showing him leading in Iowa and New Hampshire and Clinton crashing nationally.

    On the off chance that you’re incapable of reading a calendar, let me remind you that we are 3-½ months out from the Iowa caucuses and 5-½ months out from the New Hampshire primary. If you come as prematurely as you celebrate, I’m glad I wasn’t forcibly gay-married to you..

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Twitter reminds me today is the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, so expect a lot of awkward questions for ex-employees Jeb Bush and John Mailmanson Kasich.

    Just kidding.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    but I suspect that for a lot of younger voters the word “socialist” carries no baggage at all.

    There was a poll a couple years ago that said the word “capitalism” was less popular when polled than “socialism.”

    For an entire generation, “socialism” has had no meaning other than “whatever 1%ers and teabaggers call something when they don’t like it.” When the word’s been made that meaningless, there’s a lot to like about it.

  79. 79
    magurakurin says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    But don’t decide he can’t be elected and then prove it by not voting for him if he reaches the general.

    Pretty much nobody is gonna do that. If Sanders is the nominee I will not only vote for but I will send as much money as I can and try to convince as many other people as I can to vote for him, too. But I still dont think he will win. But if he is the guy I will pray to every diety ever known begging for him not to lose. I’ll pretty much do just the same with Clinton.

  80. 80
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Call me cynical, but in Sanders I see McGovern. I just can’t see America electing a 75-year-old, cranky, Brooklyn-accented Jewish socialist from Burlington, Vermont.

    @Gin & Tonic: You’re being extremely generous. Put politely, I don’t see it either.

  81. 81
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Watchman: Clinton crashing nationally.

    Yeah, her national lead is down to twenty points. Jeb? would throw Colomba under Barbara to crash like that

  82. 82
    Cacti says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    I’m not sure I get this hand-wringing about Bernie Sanders. If he’s not the nominee you want, don’t vote for him in the primaries. But don’t decide he can’t be elected and then prove it by not voting for him if he reaches the general. He is still a far, far better choice than anything the GOP has to offer.

    A growing percentage of people across the political spectrum are deciding that the establishment candidates are the problem. Is it enough people to actually swing an election? Don’t know, but I would think that this kind of anti-establishment groundswell would actually bode well for Sanders. It is going to be a very interesting election.

    This helps to quantify some of the hand wringing:

    A June 2015 Gallup poll gauged responses of groups that voters would/would not vote for. Labels included: Catholic, Woman, Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Mormon, Gay/Lesbian, Evangelical, Muslim, Atheist, and Socialist.

    Socialist was the only label that less than 50% of respondents said they’d be willing to vote for, and 50% said they would not vote for. In contrast, 38% said they wouldn’t vote for a Muslim, and 40% wouldn’t vote for an atheist.

    That’s kind of a big ass problem.

  83. 83
    benw says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Eh, 7 years ago nobody thought this country would elect a ni-CLANG.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    I’m just not enthused about any of the Democratic candidates. They do have the I-would-crawl-through-broken-glass-to-vote-in-order-to prevent-any-of-the-Republican-candidates-from-becoming-president thing going for them. I’m sure I will donate and phonebank for the Democratic nominee but I really don’t have a preferred candidate at this point.

    I blame Obama.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: Even if Sanders is to Obama’s left politically, Obama has spent years pushing for taxing the rich as an instance of fairness and pushing for the government as a positive force for collective action. I don’t see what the Sanders influence would be. What would we talk about differently?

    My thing with Sanders is that I agree with him–I just don’t find him interesting, compelling, or charismatic. He’s a guy… talking… about stuff. I guess that’s nice, but it’s never been a ticket to runaway political success before. Clinton is a woman… talking… about stuff. They’re both dry and serious. I find the fandom dimension odd.

  86. 86
    Humboldtblue says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You seem to think he needed to walk out of there with 3,000 new supporters.

    He spread his message to people who normally would only get the most heinously skewed version of his positions and philosophy. He’s no orator, he doesn’t move a crowd but he’s got a message that resonates and while he may not have gained a single voter he took the chance to spread that message and the more it’s heard the more it sticks and the closer we get to seeing some of that message turned into action.

  87. 87
    Belafon says:

    @Chris:

    For an entire generation, “socialism” has had no meaning other than “whatever 1%ers and teabaggers call something when they don’t like it.” When the word’s been made that meaningless, there’s a lot to like about it.

    Now. if they’d vote, that would be awesome.

  88. 88
    magurakurin says:

    @Cacti:

    And add to it his newest sound bite: America was founded on racist principles.

  89. 89
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mandalay:

    Trying to smear Sanders as a socialist will only work with those who were never going to vote for him anyway. Well BFD.

    I’m not so sure about that. Young liberals have no negative connotations associated with the word; to them it’s just a stupid thing that Republicans try to use to insult liberals, and they might well think it even sounds good. But old people of center-left inclinations who remember the USSR might genuinely be freaked out by the label. Remember, old people vote more than young people.

    I’m not even sure it’s an accurate label. To my mind, “socialism” means state ownership of the means of production, and Bernie isn’t anywhere near there. He’s not a democratic socialist, he’s a social democrat. Which is a great thing to be, the best thing in my opinion, but he uses this other label.

  90. 90
    dww44 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: She’s the same type of journalist who still has a huge platform and represents the kind of “middle ground’ sorts of folks that MSNBC is elevating ahead of the other more liberal sorts of hosts and pundits. Rachel is always very complimentary about her and has her as a guest quite frequently.

    Guess there’s no rule that we should always have to agree with either our politicians or our journalists all the time, unlike our fellow conservatives.. This largely probably explains why their Presidential race is such a mess with a narcissistic blowhard sucking all the air out of the room while their base falls in love with their outsider/s.

  91. 91
    MomSense says:

    @Mandalay:

    I do not see the Sanders or O’Malley teams doing what we did in 2007 to take the lead from Clinton. Sure it is possible to catch up and surpass Clintion but the other campaigns would need to make some big changes in how they organize.

  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MomSense: Obama was that rare bird, a politician who could appeal to the romantic and satisfy the practical, at least until he got elected.

    @FlipYrWhig: Karen Tumulty’s article on women deserting HRC included a single-mother in her late twenties trying to finish her college degree who didn’t think Clinton’s college plan went far enough. TO her credit, she had gotten into the weeds of the policy and done the math and decided it was “meh”, so she’s for “Bernie”, who’s going to make college free. Obama couldn’t get sixty Democrats to let people pay into Medicare, but Bernie’s going to make college free. The time she spent reading Clinton’s plan would’ve been better spent watching Schoolhouse Rock.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    Suddenly attacking Bernie is really, really popular in the epistemic closure bubble.

    And not only there.

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I just can’t see America electing a 75-year-old, cranky, Brooklyn-accented Jewish socialist from Burlington, Vermont.

    Just like we would never elect a B-movie star, or a black man with a thin resume?

    And where does “cranky” come from? I could find a plenty of examples of Clinton being cranky or snippy or curt or rude or angry or dismissive during this campaign. Can you offer up a single example of Sanders doing the same? I see him as the most even-tempered and upbeat of all the candidates running for president.

  95. 95

    @FlipYrWhig: Well I would say I’m part of that formulation. Why are liberals “meh” about Clinton? I’ll speak for myself here: I see nothing in a Clinton presidency that takes this country off its current trajectory. Absolutely nothing. I want the candidate that will change the trajectory. I want a candidate that isn’t an establishment candidate and will not make establishment decisions.

    I’m not the only liberal that thinks this way, I talk to other liberals about it almost every day. I talk to people that aren’t liberals that are drawn to him also. I’ve been very surprised by it.

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Humboldtblue: He can repeat a message all he wants. And the crowd can hear it. The crowd can be unmoved by it, and nothing will happen, and we will be no closer to having it turned into action. I don’t get why we need to pretend it was such a coup. When Republicans do it, we mock them. When Obama did it — and if you’ll remember from the coverage, his visit to the Rick Warren event was treated as an attempt to reach out to the no-so-doctrinaire young megachurch evangelicals who care about the environment and poverty — the left read it as a sign of his being a sellout who wanted to try to please everybody. We’ve been here before, and been unimpressed before. BUT THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE BERNIE

  97. 97
    benw says:

    @MomSense:

    They do have the I-would-crawl-through-broken-glass-to-vote-in-order-to prevent-any-of-the-Republican-candidates-from-becoming-president thing going for them

    That sounds pretty enthusiastic, actually! I, too, blame Obama.

  98. 98
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Mandalay: From what I can tell, the “cranky” adjective is entirely based on his looks and his age. You’re right that that isn’t at all fair to the man, especially given what he’s actually said and done in comparison to the other candidates from either party.

    While I agree that Sanders would under normal circumstances be unlikely to win a general election, this isn’t 1971 anymore. The Republicans have shown themselves to be so hostile to non-whites that even if they aren’t thrilled by Sanders, it shouldn’t be too had to GOTV in order to avoid a President Trump or President Cruz.

  99. 99
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: We’ve been attacking him since the beginning. Ain’t no suddenly about it.

  100. 100
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He might not be able to make it free without Congress but there’s plenty he can do to ease the pain of college debt just with his authority as President.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: If it were Clinton vs. Biden, would you support Biden? I’m guessing yes. If that’s true, then your issue isn’t about who’s “establishment,” whatever that means, but about who’s sufficiently progressive. “Establishment” is an empty category explaining nothing.

  102. 102
    NonyNony says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    I see nothing in a Clinton presidency that takes this country off its current trajectory. Absolutely nothing. I want the candidate that will change the trajectory.

    You’re doomed to be forever disappointed then.

    It’s Congress that sets the trajectory for this country, not the President. You want to change the country? You have to change Congress first. Presidents that make big changes only make them when they have a Congress that works with them to get those changes accomplished.

  103. 103
    Cervantes says:

    @bystander:

    I’ve noticed that Andrea Mitchell never mentions him without first saying “Socialist Bernie Sanders”

    Her predictability is exceeded only by her mediocrity.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Sanders doesn’t project “upbeat.” His whole persona is that he’s going to explain that you’re getting screwed and you should be pissed off about that. He’s not warm or smiley. Neither am I! But that’s where “cranky” comes from. Maybe “indignant” is a better fit than “cranky.” But they come from the same place.

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: “Cranky” = “Old.” Just like “Arrogant” = “Uppity” and “Shrill” = “Woman” in other contexts, I guess.

  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    @MomSense:

    I do not see the Sanders or O’Malley teams doing what we did in 2007 to take the lead from Clinton

    I don’t either, but nor did I envision Obama defeating Clinton at this stage eight years ago.

    But it is not outlandish to believe that voters may genuinely gravitate towards Sanders, and cool on Clinton, the more their views get aired in the media.

  107. 107
    Belafon says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    it shouldn’t be too had to GOTV in order to avoid a President Trump or President Cruz.

    I’ve seen a number of “but why should I vote FOR someone, all you’ve told me is why I should vote against the other guy” comments at various places. It drives me nuts, but there are plenty of people who “voting against someone” is not enough of an incentive.

  108. 108
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @NonyNony: I would actually disagree with that. The Iran treaty is a massive change in the course of our foreign policy, and Obama did that basically without Congress. You could make the argument that he needed to round up enough votes to be able to veto their objections without being overruled, but that’s a far cry from “a Congress that works with them to get those changes accomplished.” The President may not be able to force the country to always go in the direction he wants, but the President absolutely sets the tone and indicates what direction he intends for it. The executive branch has enough power without Congress to do quite a lot of things.

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NonyNony: I’m looking forward to the first “Bernie compromised too much and sold us out under the bus in the veal pen!” caterwaulings of 2017.

  110. 110
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Belafon: That’s Bernie’s job from now until election day I suppose.

  111. 111

    @Cacti: I think there’s a decent chance it will be a three way race in 2016. Either Trump will win the nom, and someone else will run as a Libertarian, or Trump will lose the nom but then burn the GOP and run anyway (because Trump says “pledge?” LOL).

    But maybe the GOP side sees a Trump vs Sanders contest and decides crazy racist plutocrat > socialist? I don’t know. I do have a hard time seeing how a Rand Paul or a Ted Cruz can deny themselves the God-proclaimed glory of saving America in that situation. Cruz especially. That guy really has no scruples (moreso than all the rest, I mean), and I could easily see him running third party if Trump’s the nominee.

    My point being that 40% may be all Sanders needs. I think socialism is not as reviled as you think it is any more — and I mean only slightly less — but it may be enough for Sanders to squeak by. I’m not blind though, I see that he doesn’t get above low 40s in current polling.

  112. 112
    Humboldtblue says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Again, Sanders didn’t go to Liberty to win over voters, he took a message that resonated with many in that crowd. There was nothing craven about Sanders appearance and he said nothing that he hasn’t been saying and doing for years. He didn’t pander, he was quite clear that he took his campaign and his message to a hostile environment because he wanted them to at least hear it from his lips and not from a FOX talking head.

    Obama got roasted for pandering to a new age religious shitbag and involved Warren as part of his official outreach in an effort at some sort of bullshit bi-partisanship.

    Sanders didn’t do that, he emphasized that they have profound disagreements on many issues but that they also are in accordance on many others and that they are ways they can work together. If Sanders pushes Clinton to the left it will help. Of course all this typing is meaningless, any change we want to see will have to happen locally and that’s why all this breathless armchair analysis is fun, but in the end a waste of time.

  113. 113
    catclub says:

    @MomSense:

    I blame Obama.

    This is quite accurate. The fact that there is no crisis to respond against- due in large part to the present President, means less voter enthusiasm. There is no need to enact Healthcare reform. There is no need to save the economy from disaster. There is no need to get hundreds of thousands of troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no need to get Osama bin Laden.

    Blame Obama.

    But there is still much work to do. And the dream will never die!

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Humboldtblue: So when Bernie does things in front of unfriendly audiences it’s out of principle and it works, but when non-Bernies do things in front of unfriendly audiences they’re pandering and it’s bullshit. Listen to yourself.

  115. 115
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: @FlipYrWhig:

    “Establishment” is an empty category explaining nothing.

    I disagree completely. But if you’re right and there is no “establishment,” I wonder why Chuck Schumer is going to be the next top Dem in the Senate? It sure as hell ain’t that he best embodies the ideals of the Democratic Party.

  116. 116

    @FlipYrWhig: Wrong! I’d support neither in the primary, but would absolutely vote for either one of them in the general against the GOP candidate. Thanks for using your supposition about my voting preference as the straw man to continue your argument, though.

  117. 117
    jon says:

    I don’t see Sanders getting past Hillary, but I do see a Democrat having a big advantage over a Republican in the Presidential election. So in many ways, attacking Sanders from the right is attacking Sanders and promoting Hillary. It’s also panic over Trump and a lot of other things.

    But most of all, it’s the right saying Democrats are socialists. They’ll say it about Sanders now, Hillary later, and Warren and every other Democrat in four or eight or twelve or twenty-four years from now. It’s what they do. Reading too much into it is the theme of the times, but mostly it’s just what they do.

  118. 118
    catclub says:

    @Humboldtblue: I wish he had responded to the question on abortion: “The way we reduce abortions is having much more and effective contraception. Kind of what Planned parenthood is all about.” He might have said that but if he did, they did not play that on the radio.

  119. 119
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    This just in (from the Associated Press):

    GE will move approximately 500 jobs from Texas, South Carolina, Maine and New York to France, Hungary and China, the company announced today. Citing the failure of Congress to reauthorize the Export Import Bank, which expired July 1, GE says they have received a line of credit from a French export credit agency. “Let me be clear: the sole reason this work cannot be performed in Schenectady is that House Republicans have failed to renew a government program that allows foreign companies to borrow money to buy U.S. products.

    Authorization for the U.S. Export Import Bank was not approved by Congress, causing it to stop lending on July 1. Foreign companies use the agency to buy expensive U.S. products when bank loans are not possible.

    As a result, GE says 100 jobs from a Houston plant that makes gas turbines will move to Hungary and China in 2016. The Fairfield, Connecticut, company says those countries have lending options in place for customers.

    Another 400 jobs could be created in France instead of factories in South Carolina, Maine and New York if the company wins projects it is bidding on. The projects require financing, which the export credit agency in France has agreed to provide it.

    What would Sanders do with an idiot congress?

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: There’s an establishment but no one left of center is deciding which candidate to back based on his or her status relative to it. They’re deciding based on ideology, with a side of “I don’t trust those Clintons.” “Anti-establishment” is just a way of rephrasing “Anyone But Clinton.”

  121. 121
    Mandalay says:

    @NonyNony:

    It’s Congress that sets the trajectory for this country, not the President. You want to change the country? You have to change Congress first.

    This, with a couple of caveats:
    – As we are seeing right now, the president can still drive foreign policy, even when burdened with a hostile Congress.
    – SCOTUS matters as well (a lot).

  122. 122
    magurakurin says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s empty as applied to Sanders. He has been in the Congress for 25 years. He is as a part of the establishment as Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell. He represents different policy views but it is somewhat riduculous to call a United States Senator anti establishment.

  123. 123

    @JPL: I agree – it was the Liberty U presentation that probably alerted them. Showed he can reach across the aisle and win votes. Made it look easy, in fact.

    Plus, they’re probably worried that some of their young’uns (like the LU students) could be pretty easily brought back to the light. Even highly conservative youths do like their free tuition…

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: If the primary race were Clinton vs. Biden you’d support neither? Just sit back and watch? That seems unlikely.

  125. 125
    Humboldtblue says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Bernie Sanders is running on a 40-year record of working to enact policies he thinks are best for the most Americans. You don’t need to take my word for it just listen to what the man said, he explains himself far better than I can. You’re just standing there with your fingers in your ears screaming “nananananananana I can’t hear you!”

  126. 126

    @NonyNony: Yes, I do understand how the three branches of government work, thank you. And I do vote in both local and national elections.

    I also understand that the President can set an agenda, and that agenda can drive the trajectory. The President can make hundreds of decisions that can change the trajectory. If you don’t think something as simple as who the President chooses for Secretary of the Treasury (or President of the Fed) has the potential to change the trajectory, you’re kidding yourself.

    ETA: I realize these have to be approved by congress, my point is that these positions have been filled by big bankers almost exclusively in recent years, and Sanders can appoint someone that has both a legitimate chance to be approved and that isn’t connected with the big banks in any way.

  127. 127
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Mandalay:

    And where does “cranky” come from?

    I’ve never heard him being cranky. Maybe he got that label because he sounds somewhat like Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    He did brush off one of O’Reilly’s ambush reporters. He said “I don’t do ambush interviews” which is as close to cranky as I’ve ever heard him, and it wasn’t close.

  128. 128
    Frank Bolton says:

    First of all, anyone who says ‘Sanders… is the next McGovern!’ without acknowledging how much the country has changed since 1972 needs to pull their head out of their ass. Obama won his entire margin in 2008 by voters under 45 years old. The country is 10% more urban (and only blacks beat urban professions for Democratic Party loyalty) since then and the country is almost 20% less white. The country is also almost 20% less Christian.

    Sanders may still not win in the Democratic Primary or the general election. But if your argument makes a comparison to McGovern without noting how much the country has changed, your argument is completely useless. I understand that 1972 was scary and traumatic, but for fuck’s sake liberals: get over it.

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @magurakurin: I think “establishment” in left-of-center discourse this cycle means “neoliberal” and/or “banker-friendly.” Fine. But that doesn’t really have anything to do with the rise of Trump (which is mostly explained by his name-calling and irritation at immigrants changing America), and in big media and alt-media think pieces the appeal of “establishment” is that you get to say The People’s Mood is “anti-establishment” and use both Trump and Sanders as evidence.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    benw says:

    @NonyNony:

    It’s Congress that sets the trajectory for this country, not the President. You want to change the country? You have to change Congress first. Presidents that make big changes only make them when they have a Congress that works with them to get those changes accomplished.

    And Congress can only make changes with a president who won’t veto their legislation. We need a Democratic president and Congress, like we (barely) had when Obamacare passed. I don’t see why we shouldn’t start by electing Bernie president now, and then working to flip Congress. We have to do TWO things!

    SANDERS/CONGRESS 2016

  132. 132
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Humboldtblue: I’ve heard it plenty. Where we part ways is that you seem to think it has the capacity to reach people who haven’t heard it before, because Bernie is the messenger. It doesn’t. “Waitaminit, fairness is good and rich people are too rich? Wow! NOW I’m voting Democrat!”

  133. 133
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I disagree. I like Biden and Clinton just fine and would happily vote for either one in the upcoming election, but they’re clearly part of the establishment. Sanders isn’t, and that’s part of his appeal to many people, including me. But I wouldn’t call him “anti-establishment” since he’s said he won’t run as an independent if he doesn’t get the Dem nomination. Someone like Nader is anti-establishment. That’s the distinction as I see it.

    @magurakurin: Depends on how you define “establishment,” I guess. What I mean is someone who isn’t part of the entrenched party apparatus, which includes the donor network. In my book, Sanders counts.

  134. 134
    Cacti says:

    @Humboldtblue:

    Again, Sanders didn’t go to Liberty to win over voters, he took a message that resonated with many in that crowd. There was nothing craven about Sanders appearance and he said nothing that he hasn’t been saying and doing for years. He didn’t pander, he was quite clear that he took his campaign and his message to a hostile environment because he wanted them to at least hear it from his lips and not from a FOX talking head.

    Obama got roasted for pandering to a new age religious shitbag and involved Warren as part of his official outreach in an effort at some sort of bullshit bi-partisanship.

    Sanders didn’t do that, he emphasized that they have profound disagreements on many issues but that they also are in accordance on many others and that they are ways they can work together. If Sanders pushes Clinton to the left it will help. Of course all this typing is meaningless, any change we want to see will have to happen locally and that’s why all this breathless armchair analysis is fun, but in the end a waste of time.

    Called this one yesterday.

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    Because Bernie “wasn’t doing it for votes”.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

  135. 135
    Emma says:

    @Watchman: You don’t have Obama. Or his team. I think liberals sometimes underestimate how much it was all about Obama.

  136. 136
    Frank Bolton says:

    Now, as for the agenda being set by Congress: I agree. So what exactly does the establishment wing plan to do about it?

    From what I can tell, the establishment wing plans to just sit on their ass and hope that the 2016 election will give them enough of a cushion in the Senate so that they won’t lose their majority in 2018. There used to be some noise about Hillary Clinton engaging white women, but I’ve noticed that a lot of her supporters aren’t making that argument anymore. They just seem to be content with a slow, grinding victory — which will fuck them over if the economy has a downturn.

    Sanders, by contrast, seems to be running a campaign of ‘Obama Coalition + disengaged whites tempted by economic self-interest’. I know that the Southern Strategy showed the weaknesses of that strategy, but the thing about the Obama Coalition is that it’s already reasonably close to getting a Congressional majority even in unfavorable elections. We need about a 7% gap on the generic ballot and Obama 2012 was able to get us 4%. Raw demographic increases among Millenials, Asians, and Latinos should get us around 6%. I’m not expecting Sanders to suddenly turn about the Democratic Party’s fortunes (especially in the South) but if he can get Obama voters + 5-7% more white voters that gets us the House and gives us a big buffer against midterm defeats.

    Again, I’m not certain that Sanders will be able to get Congress with his agenda. 2016 will show us if racism is really all-powerful as it was in 1968. But it’s at least a fucking plan and he hasn’t pre-emptively surrendered.

    Hillary and supporters better fucking hope that all of the Supreme Court retirements happen in the first two years of her Presidency. Because they sure as hell don’t have a plan to run the country past 2018.

  137. 137

    @FlipYrWhig: You’re kidding, right? You just want to continue being me for a while, I guess. I kindly suggest that if you’re going to be me, at least get it right.

    I said what I said. I would have no preference. They are both establishment candidates and if you can’t see that’s how some people view it, then you’re being shortsighted about the entire electorate. I don’t actually have anything against HRC and I think you are being lazy for assuming that the rise of Bernie Sanders is being fueled entirely by that sentiment.

    I’m very independent and very liberal. When none of the candidates in the primary suit me, I don’t vote. But I always support whoever wins against the whackjob GOP candidate. I actually usually don’t get to vote for Dems so much as I have to vote against the GOP.

  138. 138
    Emma says:

    @MomSense: I’m in the same boat. I don’t care who we put up, I’m voting for the sucker.

  139. 139
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Belafon: That’s a marketing problem, not a demographic one. If the basis for denigrating Sanders’ coalition is a label — ignoring the popularity of his actual positions — then I wouldn’t put much stock in the label’s strength.

    For fuck’s sake, Trump completely turned around a 50-pt favorability deficit in the GOP in about a month because he kept pounding the issues important to the base’s peabrains. How in the world could a pompous dimwit with bad hair, a string of bankruptcies, and no political experience have done that if labels are all-powerful?

  140. 140
    SatanicPanic says:

    @MomSense:

    I blame Obama.

    He really spoiled us. Sad to think we’ll probably never have another president that good in our lifetimes

  141. 141
    NonyNony says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Okay, let me clarify. In domestic matters Congress has to come first and the President follows. (I figured we were talking about Sanders’ economic platform here – foreign policy is another story).

    Congress basically abdicated their foreign policy authority almost a century ago and have never even tried to get it back. Even the most recent temper tantrums from the GOP are basically political theater – they have no interest in reigning in the power of the Presidency to set foreign policy.

    But if you want big domestic policy changes you need the Congress first. Without a Congress willing to work with him/her no President is getting any of their agenda accomplished. Which is why it literally doesn’t matter to me which Democrat wins the next Presidential election so long as it is someone not to the right of Hillary Clinton (sorry Jim Webb). They’re all going to nominate good people to the Supreme Court and they’re all unlikely to get any of their agendas past Congress. Sanders will disappoint people more as President than Clinton will, but only because they’ll be expecting more out of him and he won’t be able to deliver it.

    (Honestly of all of them the one most likely to make me happy might just be Clinton. It took Obama 6 years to become President No-Fucks-To-Give when dealing with a GOP Congress. I suspect that with Clinton it might take less than 2.)

  142. 142
    MomSense says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    This is the bank that the RWNJ are convinced is a Soros Obama plot to I can’t even remember what anymore but I got dire emails about it!

  143. 143
    Cervantes says:

    @Watchman:

    It’s very early to be counting chickens. I imagine Sanders agrees.

  144. 144
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Cacti:

    Called this one yesterday.

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    Because Bernie “wasn’t doing it for votes”.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    Back in 2009 there was some considerable doubt that the Obama administration wouldn’t do anything to advance gay rights, especially with the Proposition 8 shenanigans. Giving Rick Warren a platform only served to accentuate those fears.

    Who, exactly, is Sanders throwing under the bus or ignoring by giving LU his standard stump speech? Are you worried that his visit to the university means that he’s not serious about his platform of social and economic liberalism? Did he triangulate when he got there?

  145. 145
    Keith G says:

    I find it interesting that there is a Sanders vs Obama under current in many comments on this topic.

    As far Bernie and race goes, yep he did blow a chance. Had he sang the right tune, danced the right dance, and pronounced the correct shibboleth he would be farther along. But to borrow from something I typed a while ago:

    Assuming two possible (though not equally probable) realities: One in which HRC wins election and is able to do her Hillary Clinton thing successfully; and the other where Bernie wins election and is able to do his Bernie Sanders thing successfully…..I feel it would be quite likely that minority populations would fare better in Sanders World than in Clinton World.

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: The complexity of defining what establishment and anti-establishment mean is a large part of why I doubt its utility. “Establishment” seems to connote for various people things like elite/moneyed, rehearsed/scripted, conservative, etc. But those are all the same criticisms of Hillary Clinton from 2008 and Clinton/Gore from 1994-2000. It seems like inventing a new language unnecessarily, and I suspect it arises from a desire to say “The People demand more!,” which is epic and grand, rather than “I like Bernie better,” which sounds diminished and petty.

  147. 147
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Call me cynical, but in Sanders I see McGovern. I just can’t see America electing a 75-year-old, cranky, Brooklyn-accented Jewish socialist from Burlington, Vermont.

    What if he were African-American?

  148. 148
    Belafon says:

    @Frank Bolton: You’re the one who brought up how much the country has changed.

    For fuck’s sake, Trump completely turned around a 50-pt favorability deficit in the GOP in about a month because he kept pounding the issues important to the base’s peabrains resorting to 1950s rhetoric about how our country is being destroyed by those “others”.

    Tell me again how much we’ve changed.

  149. 149
    NonyNony says:

    @benw:

    But ANY Democratic President will pass the same things. Give Clinton a Democratic Congress that passes, say, an increase in Social Security and a reduction in the retirement age and you think she’s going to veto it?

    Name one Democratic issue that a Democratic Congress would pass that Clinton would veto but Sanders would sign. You won’t find one. Not because Sanders isn’t to the left of Clinton (he is, clearly) but because you won’t be able to get anything through a Democratic Congress that is substantially to Clinton’s left anyway. This is why Obamacare looks like it does – I’m sure Obama would have been just as happy to sign something further to the left than what he got, he wasn’t going to veto anything handed to him by a Democratic Congress either.

    The point is that Congress is the roadblock to change in this country (as are the 50 state legislatures, but that’s another issue) and nobody takes that seriously. Everyone just whines about jerrymandering and sits on their hands and hopes that if they elect the most liberally liberal who has ever liberalled a liberal to the White House everything will be great. But it won’t. Because that isn’t how our country works.

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    I’m very independent and very liberal. When none of the candidates in the primary suit me, I don’t vote

    Oh, jeez.

  151. 151
    Belafon says:

    @Belafon: In addition, recent polls show that 31% of millenials, the same percentage as Boomers, hold views that blacks and Latinos are lazy moochers.

  152. 152
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti:

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    Can you name one of these same people? Thanks.

  153. 153
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: MSM repeats republican talking points over and over.

  154. 154
    Botsplainer says:

    Frankly, I’m unimpressed that he spoke at Liberty. That sort of thing legitimizes them.

  155. 155
    Cervantes says:

    @NonyNony:

    But ANY Democratic President will pass the same things.

    What rhymes with “murderous invasion of Iraq”?

  156. 156
    Cervantes says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    EDIT: Upon further drilling, I see that Powerline was using the WaPo transcript. Alrighty then. My point stands, doubled.

    Nice recovery!

    And I agree.

  157. 157
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I suspect it arises from a desire to say “The People demand more!,” which is epic and grand, rather than “I like Bernie better,” which sounds diminished and petty.

    You’re being really reductive about the differences between the politicians in question, so I’m not surprised that’s what you suspect, but I think you’re wrong.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cervantes: African-American, young, really good-looking and a genius orator?

  160. 160
    Frank Bolton says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It seems like inventing a new language unnecessarily, and I suspect it arises from a desire to say “The People demand more!,” which is epic and grand, rather than “I like Bernie better,” which sounds diminished and petty.

    Then you’re just not paying attention. The Democratic Party establishment is a recognizable component of the party. And they by and large support the same cocktail of beliefs:

    * American exceptionalism, with an iron (but caring) fist.
    * Deficits and debts are the scariest thing evar!! So scary that we might have to (whisper whisper) increase FICA taxes or even… reduce payouts.
    * Marijuana legalization is just a passing phase. If we stonewall enough the DFHs will just forget about it.
    * Yes, yes, the War on Crime and War on Terror verges on authoritarianism. But it works. I mean, mass incarceration is bad and all, but… the Republicans absolutely killed us on crime in the 70s and 80s and we’re not sure that this crime reduction is permanent.
    * We fully support abortion-rights! But we’re scared to death of the pro-lifers, so as long as they don’t assault Roe v. Wade directly we can ignore them chipping away at access. Besides: while abortion should be safe, legal, and rare we should still snivel about how people should have babies even if they don’t intend to or can’t adequately support them because PRECIOUS BABBYS.
    * Oh, goddamn it. Climate change? Urrrrgh. Maybe we should save this battle for another day.

    And above all else:

    * The Democratic Party cannot win on policy issues alone. They need to scrape and scrimp for every little advantage they can get, not just to run up the margins, but because it’s the only way that they can win. Therefore the Party needs to out-charm, out-press conference, and out-speech the GOP. For these people, Texeira and Judis’s The Emerging Democratic Majority remains a cute theory because their brains are still stuck somewhere between 1972 and 1996.

    That’s by and large the establishment. They run things. And if they get their way in 2016 we won’t have have the Presidency in time for 2020.

  161. 161
    Belafon says:

    @JPL: Yep, but that still means there’s a large part of the country still stuck in the 50s.

  162. 162
    Princess says:

    @lonesomerobot: If you are waiting for one person to come along and all by his or her lonesome change the trajectory of the country, that is more than half the problem.

    The kinds of people who single-handedly change the trajectories of countries are usually authoritarian fascists.

    Do not want.

  163. 163
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Belafon:

    Tell me again how much we’ve changed.

    The Obama coalition, which favors social and economic liberalism, is a natural majority in Presidential elections and can win in even unfavorable conditions. That’s what changed. The days of deliberately weakening our policy and setting ourselves up for defeats in foreign policy or the economy are over, because unlike the New Deal Coalition or post-Carter/pre-Obama Dems, we no longer need to appeal to the conservative and independent peabrains in order to win in Presidential years as long as we’re not saddled with a scandal, foreign policy fuckup, or economic crisis.

    And until the Democratic Party can internalize that it’s doomed to lose or underperform in elections they could’ve kicked butt in.

    It’s not fucking 1972 or even 1994 anymore. Goddammit people.

  164. 164
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Cacti: Did you listen to the man’s speech? I have to assume you didn’t listen to a word because of this asinine comparison between Obama pandering to fucking Rick Warren as a potential ally in the midst of the heat of the gay marriage battle was rightly seen as pandering to an asshole and Sanders taking his record and message to people who would never have heard it.

    If you watched Sanders speech you’ll know he didn’t pander to anyone, but you keep pretending your some sort of seer. You got your history wrong and now you’re getting the present wrong and that just makes you the fucking Bill Kristol of the balloon-juice comments section.

  165. 165
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @MomSense:

    Exactly. Organizers need training. Remember “respect, empower and include”? It’s not hard to see some Bernie supporters telling a Clinton or O’Malley supporter that they’re stupid, neoliberal corporatists.

    I’m neither feeling the bern or ready for hillary. Still will do my part for whomever is the nom. I can’t help wonder how Bernie will handle an avalanche of 1billion+ $$$ of dark money with nothing to back him. Plus it won’t only be about socialism. They’ll tear him up with any dodgy political connections from his past as well as his personal life.

  166. 166
    Cacti says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    Again, I’m not certain that Sanders will be able to get Congress with his agenda. 2016 will show us if racism is really all-powerful as it was in 1968. But it’s at least a fucking plan and he hasn’t pre-emptively surrendered.

    Here’s a preview of how Bernie’s revolution is likely to be greeted by his friends in the Congressional Democratic caucuses:

    After 24 years in the halls of Congress, Bernie has received a grand total of zero endorsements from his Democratic colleagues. 30 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, who work with Bernie daily, have come out for Clinton. 26 members of the Congressional progressive caucus, of which Bernie’s a member, have endorsed Clinton.

    Inability to play well with others is not the harbinger of a transformational candidate.

  167. 167
    MomSense says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    African-American, young, really good-looking and a genius orator?

    Don’t forget the dream team family.

  168. 168
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What’s the big deal? I don’t vote in primaries, because I’m not all that particular as long as they have a (D) next to their name.

  169. 169
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt McIrvin: …who raised more funds in the first two quarters of the year preceding the election

  170. 170
    feebog says:

    @Humboldtblue:

    He didn’t pander, he was quite clear that he took his campaign and his message to a hostile environment because he wanted them to at least hear it from his lips and not from a FOX talking head.

    This. I watched Trump bloviate during the first 35 minutes of the Chris Hayes show last night. “Breaking News” my ass. It was complete and utter bullshit in front of twenty thousand morons who couldn’t find their ass with both hands (you know, Texans). Then I saw a clip of Bernie at Liberty talking about economic injustice. The contrast could not have been starker. It doesn’t matter if he changed any minds or not. The mere fact he was willing to go in their and deliver his message was powerful.

  171. 171
    les says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But Sanders is unquestionably to Obama’s left politically.

    Economically anyway. Not sure how far left he is on civil rights and foreign policy.

  172. 172
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Frank Bolton: Is there anyone in this election who can actually get the whole Obama coalition? Not just to not vote for the other guy, but to turn out? That’s what I’m asking myself.

    I’m not convinced Hillary Clinton can, but I’m sure as hell not convinced Bernie Sanders can. I think Donald Trump actually might be able to take a chunk of it.

  173. 173
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: “Cranky” = “Old.”

    Joe Biden is a year younger than Bernie Sanders. So, old. But I don’t think anybody would call him cranky. It’s a question of affect.

  174. 174
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Cacti:

    Here’s a preview of how Bernie’s revolution is likely to be greeted by his friends in the Congressional Democratic caucuses:

    After 24 years in the halls of Congress, Bernie has received a grand total of zero endorsements from his Democratic colleagues. 30 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, who work with Bernie daily, have come out for Clinton. 26 members of the Congressional progressive caucus, of which Bernie’s a member, have endorsed Clinton.

    Can you think of a reason — any reason — why party members might not endorse a particular member that doesn’t involve ideological mismatches? Because I can think of at least three.

    At any rate, this is exactly what I meant earlier when I said that the Democratic establishment believes that it can’t win on issues alone. That they have to embrace political fetishes and totems like great appearances on the Daily Show and killer debates and newspaper endorsements. Clinton and the Democratic Party’s fortunes bode pretty damn ill if they think that flotsam like party endorsements override, oh, policy synchronization with the base.

  175. 175
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Frank Bolton: Where are HRC’s declared positions out of line with the Democratic base?

  176. 176

    @Princess: um, wut? Are you saying Sanders has the potential to be an authoritarian fascist? Because I’m not seeing that. Not one bit.

    Also, too: FDR.

  177. 177

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m really not sure at all what you’re trying to insinuate here. But I disagree with your whole line of thinking here, and I certainly don’t appreciate you hanging on to some very wrong assumptions about my voting behavior and opinion of HRC to try and advance it. Quit being so obtuse, please.

  178. 178
    Kay says:

    I’ve been bothered why no one seems to pay attention to half of what Bernie Sanders says- he’s not just talking about income inequality. He’s talking about why we can’t get policy that evens that out, and he says it’s because wealthy people have an outsize voice and influence.

    This is from Ezra Klein and I think it’s the best one-line description of what Sanders is saying that I have seen:

    He’s showing that the political style initially associated with Elizabeth Warren wasn’t dependent on her; that there’s a real constituency in the Democratic Party, and perhaps even beyond it, for politicians who fight economic inequality by fighting political inequality.

    It’s two parts, and they are connected. The conservative analysis focuses exclusively on the income inequality part because they don’t want to talk about political inequality. I think political inequality is the real third rail, the part that makes everyone uncomfortable, the real threat to the status quo.

  179. 179
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Not if you think that the Obama Coalition’s support revolves around slow jams and cool slogans and sicknasty burns on the Daily Show. A demographic projectory from 2000 shows that Obama, despite being the touchstone for the slick, smooth-talking bastard campaigner, didn’t perform all that much better than Kerry and Gore once you account for George W. Bush’s fuckups, the ailing economy, and the rising number of racial minorities and Millenials.

    Obama lost 7% of the 18-25 turnout vote between 2008 and 2012 despite this cohort being (slightly) more liberal and brown. That indicates to me that he and the Democratic Party had and has a problem with engaging its base rather than anything special about Obama himself.

    Modern voters are not stupid. Well, they are stupid but they at least know what they want and won’t be distracted from their natural inclinations just because the salesman is cool, cosmopolitan, well-spoken, and handsome. Charisma and slick campaigning helps, but in the era of unprecedented polarization policies mean so much more.

  180. 180
    Betty Cracker says:

    @les: Good point, and @Gin & Tonic: good point.

  181. 181
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    Quit being so obtuse, please.

    That’s rather funny coming from the person who posted this.

  182. 182
    Watchman says:

    @Cervantes: seems to me it’s Team Hillary that has been counting them and getting a nasty dose of reality.

    Bernie Sanders may not be the nominee. But it won’t be Hillary.

  183. 183
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Just because someone is willing to die to take out your enemy doesn’t mean that they don’t oppose you. Just because someone doesn’t oppose you doesn’t mean that they support you. Just because someone supports you doesn’t mean that they’ll go to the mattresses for you.

    The GOP establishment’s positions are broadly acceptable and even popular among their base. So why is Trump eating their lunch if their policy platform is by-and-large acceptable or even desirable in abstract?

  184. 184
  185. 185
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Frank Bolton: So a group you call “The Democratic Party Establishment” stands for all the things you hate. Convenient!

  186. 186
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: @lonesomerobot: Call me crazy but I think it’s probably a good idea to exert whatever influence you have, even over minimal differences, in a primary system… by… voting.

  187. 187
    Oatler. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    “Quit being so obtuse, please.”
    We’re all rounded at the free end sometimes.
    Says Les Nessman.

  188. 188
    magurakurin says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    The Obama coalition, which favors social and economic liberalism, is a natural majority in Presidential elections and can win in even unfavorable conditions

    So, Sanders is running as an Obama third term? Not really, eh. And if his intent is to hold together the Obama coalition, then the choice of Cornel West, one Obama’s largest critics on the left, to introduce him in South Carolina is perplexing indeed.

  189. 189
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Watchman:

    Bernie Sanders may not be the nominee. But it won’t be Hillary.

    Wow, so it might not be the #2 pol, and it won’t be the #1 pol.. who is it going to be? O’Malley? Webb?

  190. 190
    Frank Bolton says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Who gives a shit whether it’s convenient? How about whether it’s true?

    What part of my long list was wrong? What noticeable policies, rhetoric, or strategies did Dukakis, the Clintons, Gore, Kerry, or Obama promulgate that contradict what I said?

  191. 191
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: It’ll be so wicked anti-establishment that it’ll be someone you’ve probably never heard of!

  192. 192
    magurakurin says:

    @lonesomerobot: No he’s saying we are electing a president and not a king. In real practical terms a Clinton presidency and a Sanders one will only differ on the margins. The only thing that matters is which one is stronger in the general. I think Clinton. I’m guessing you think it is Sanders. If you don’t think that, and that isn’t your primary reason for backing Sanders, you are mistaken in what this is about. It’s about winning in the general. full stop.

  193. 193

    @Omnes Omnibus: OK, that’s vague. If you want to refute what I say, go ahead and do so. What you posted does neither.

    I’m here to have a discussion, but what FlipYrWhig has done is basically base an entire argument on an assumption about my actions and beliefs that is flat out wrong. And then rather than accepting that I am telling the truth about my actions and beliefs, just saying, ‘Oh, jeez’ as if it’s just completely implausible that I could choose to not vote in the primary. That is obtuse.

  194. 194
    Frank Bolton says:

    @magurakurin: The Obama Coalition, despite its name, does not revolve around the personality of Obama. It revolves around the fact that Obama was perceived to be in the best position to implement their policies and worldviews. We know this, because Texeira and Ludis (and to a lesser extent the authors of Whistling Past Dixie) predicted the composition and policy preferences of the Obama Coalition two elections before it coalesced.

    In that light, it doesn’t matter too much if Sanders makes a partial or even complete break with the Obama administration as long as it does so on the basis of better implementing the Obama Coalition’s underlying policy preferences.

  195. 195
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Frank Bolton: Again, that’s just a litany of complaints about ideology and priorities. Your complaint is that the Democratic Party isn’t liberal enough for your liking. It has nothing to do with “the establishment,” which couldn’t possibly encompass Dukakis (outsider campaign in ’88), Clinton (outsider campaign in ’92), and Obama (outsider campaign in ’08).

  196. 196
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: But like I said, I don’t really care. I like Hillary mostly because she has the best chance of winning, and when possible mention that she is THE BEST and will DEFINITELY be the next president. But if Sanders knocks her off the top spot, then Sanders will be THE BEST and DEFINITELY the next president.

    Basically, see NonyNony’s point- presidents are mostly interchangeable, and I’m confident that any Democratic nominee would pursue more or less the same goals

  197. 197
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    The GOP establishment’s positions are broadly acceptable and even popular among their base. So why is Trump eating their lunch if their policy platform is by-and-large acceptable or even desirable in abstract?

    Are you equating Sanders and Trump?

  198. 198
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: whoever it is, I’m going on the record right now and saying their early records were much better

  199. 199
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lonesomerobot: As was your reading of the comment I cited.

  200. 200
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: I suppose first I made an erroneous assumption about your thinking. But as we proceeded I started to think instead that your erroneous thinking was harder to explain than that.

  201. 201

    @FlipYrWhig: Well that’s fine for you to believe, but it doesn’t mean that everybody does it. And if I’m not inspired by the candidates in the primary, I will not vote in the primary. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are basically the same choice, in my opinion. The establishment choice. I’m sorry that nomenclature does not work for you, but many people see it exactly this way. Or at least enough to account for a statistical rise in the standing of Bernie Sanders.

    Regardless, I will vote for the nominee in the general election.

  202. 202
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: I think that too, but even if the candidates were Kang and Kodos I’d probably find a way to prefer one over the other.

  203. 203
    different-church-lady says:

    Someone talk some sense into me: I’d me much happier with President Bernie than President Hillary (although it is very important to note that I would not be unhappy with President Hillary).

    Yet the more traction he gains, the more disconcerted I get, because…

    a) I wanted this to be a slam-dunk just for once, and Hill was killing everyone else in the general, and I don’t know if Bernie is going to pan out the same way

    b) The idea that the manic progressives are “right” about something makes me very very suspicious. If they’re doing a “told you so!” then there’s gotta be a boobytrap in this thing somewhere.

  204. 204
    Cacti says:

    @magurakurin:

    So, Sanders is running as an Obama third term? Not really, eh. And if his intent is to hold together the Obama coalition, then the choice of Cornel West, one Obama’s largest critics on the left, to introduce him in South Carolina is perplexing indeed.

    West isn’t a critic of Obama so much as he just viscerally loathes the President on a personal level.

    Unless one believes that calling the POTUS a “niggerized black person” is some sort of high-minded philosophical disagreement.

  205. 205
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: Jim Webb isn’t part of the establishment. He’s prickly and heterodox and unpredictable. He’s un-bought. But no one is flocking to Jim Webb, because his standing vis-a-vis the establishment counts for far, far less than his ideological placement to the right of Hillary Clinton.

    I know I’m belaboring this and being quixotic about it, but I really don’t think the word “establishment” is doing anybody any favors. Especially for Sanders backers. Wouldn’t you rather have the narrative be that the Democratic Party and its voters are eager to move to the left?

  206. 206
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Are you equating Sanders and Trump?

    Just because someone is willing to die to take out your enemy doesn’t mean that they don’t oppose you. Just because someone doesn’t oppose you doesn’t mean that they support you. Just because someone supports you doesn’t mean that they’ll go to the mattresses for you.

    Is it that hard to understand that it’s possible that someone can like you, that someone can want you to win, that someone is willing to donate time and money to your success and yet still end up supporting someone else because they like that person more?

    As far as I can see, Hillary Clinton’s positions are reasonably in tune with the Demcratic Party. She still has like, what, a 65% favorability rating? That doesn’t mean that someone can’t do better.

    I oppose Hillary, or rather, currently support Sanders because A.) I think that she and the rest of her supporters don’t really have a plan to win the House or keep the Senate in 2016 and B.) she could fuck the Democratic Party over through warhawkery or economic centrism. I don’t think most Democrats realize just how fucking close Obama came to losing the Presidency and/or having a double-dip recession during the 2011 debt ceiling debacle. If the Tea Party hadn’t accidentally bailed his ass out we’d be talking about how to get us out of this Iran War President Romney put us in. And I think that with the Democratic Party establishment’s obsession with debt and deficits reigning supreme, Hillary Clinton would get us into a similar situation.

    I’ll still vote for her in 2016 because the GOP needs to understand that Trump-style fascism is totally fucking unacceptable and must never be attempted again. However, it’ll be with the knowledge that we’ll probably be looking at a Republican President in 2020.

  207. 207
    Cacti says:

    @Humboldtblue:

    Did you listen to the man’s speech? I have to assume you didn’t listen to a word because of this asinine comparison between Obama pandering to fucking Rick Warren as a potential ally in the midst of the heat of the gay marriage battle was rightly seen as pandering to an asshole and Sanders taking his record and message to people who would never have heard it.

    If you watched Sanders speech you’ll know he didn’t pander to anyone, but you keep pretending your some sort of seer. You got your history wrong and now you’re getting the present wrong and that just makes you the fucking Bill Kristol of the balloon-juice comments section.

    Bernie’s heart is pure, so it’s different when he goes chasing the “Reagan Democrats” and their children at a fundie bible college.

    Got it.

  208. 208
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: HRC intended to do a listening tour of small events over the summer and has done so. Those events are not likely have the same splash that big events have. Once she starts doing big events and the debates begin, we will see how the polls are affected. Until then, I am not particularly wound up about anything that is going on. Others’ mileage may vary.

  209. 209
    Keith G says:

    @different-church-lady: Those are things you think about while deciding your vote?

  210. 210

    @Omnes Omnibus: Still, what is the comparison being made there? That I said something obtuse as well? Because I don’t think that pointing out that the commenter made what was essentially a Godwinian leap from Sanders as trajectory-changer to Sanders as authoritarian fascist is obtuse.

    I suggest the irony of FDR as both a trajectory changer and an authoritarian-type figure as the only 4 term president (yes I do see the dichotomy) because I know the world is absurd. The social safety net as we know it put into place by a man who was absolutely going to keep being president until the end of his life, no matter how long that was.

  211. 211
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    I don’t think most Democrats realize just how fucking close Obama came to losing the Presidency and/or having a double-dip recession during the 2011 debt ceiling debacle.

    I’m skeptical. I think he was always a lock to get reelected, debt-ceiling or whatever

  212. 212
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    Is it that hard to understand that it’s possible that someone can like you, that someone can want you to win, that someone is willing to donate time and money to your success and yet still end up supporting someone else because they like that person more?

    I understand that perfectly well. Thank you. What I don’t understand is the applicability of your Trump analogy.

  213. 213
    Mandalay says:

    @Cacti:

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    The phrase “some say” has rightly become a thing of derision. It is a fabrication used to lend an air of authority and detachment to arguments pushed by liars with an agenda.

    The phrase “the same people…” should go the same way.

    Anyone who writes that “The same people who did {X} did {Y}” almost certainly has an agenda, and is definitely spewing bullshit.

    Why? Because they are presenting as fact a claim that is impossible to substantiate or verify. Nobody alive has any idea whether it is true or not that “the same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero”.

    So anyone who presents that claim as a fact is a liar.

  214. 214
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lonesomerobot: The commenter was not suggesting that Sanders was going to be a authoritarian fascist, but rather suggesting that, because he was manifestly not such a person, that he was unlikely to single-handedly change the country’s trajectory. Also, the commenter’s use of the word “usually” left open the possibility of an FDR.

  215. 215
    Cacti says:

    @Keith G:

    Assuming two possible (though not equally probable) realities: One in which HRC wins election and is able to do her Hillary Clinton thing successfully; and the other where Bernie wins election and is able to do his Bernie Sanders thing successfully…..I feel it would be quite likely that minority populations would fare better in Sanders World than in Clinton World.

    As it stands currently, a fairly substantial majority of black voters do not come to the same conclusion.

    And as is the long custom in US racial politics, the kneejerk response from white supporters of candidate Sanders has been to invalidate black feelings/opinions on the topic, and proceed into a discussion of why black people are wrong.

  216. 216
    Kay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You should be happy because Hillary will court Sander’s voters in the general and that will pull her Left. Yes, she will, because people don’t win elections by saying they don’t “need’ certain voters and the longer he goes on the more clout and leverage he has.

    She’ll want his voters and she’ll want his endorsement and it will be up to her to go to them, which she understands and will do, in exactly the same way Obama courted Clinton voters in ’08.

    Obama campaign actually did conference calls with Clinton and Obama delegates on the same call prior to the convention. They worked really, really hard to bring Clinton delegates in- because he wanted to win.

  217. 217
    Frank Bolton says:

    @SatanicPanic: I don’t think that the Democratic Party would’ve put up with a reduction in Medicaid and Social Security benefits — and they definitely wouldn’t have put up with a FDR-style double-dip recession.

  218. 218
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Humboldtblue: FWIW, transcript from the Warren interview of Obama. Includes this moment that recalls some of the lauded Bernie moments yesterday:

    OBAMA: I think America’s greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me, and that notion of — that basic principle applies to poverty. It applies to racism and sexism. It applies to, you know, not having — not thinking about providing ladders of opportunity for people to get into the middle class. There’s a pervasive sense, I think, that this country, as wealthy and powerful as we are, still don’t spend enough time thinking about the least of us.

  219. 219
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @NonyNony: I’m pretty sure Hillary Clinton completely ran out of fks to give for Republicans by 1998. I would be surprised if she makes even a token effort to work with them as President. Given how much crazier they are now than they were even in the 90s, that is not necessarily a bad thing. That’s why I would have no problem at all voting for Clinton should she get the nomination. She may be more right wing than I would prefer, but honestly I’m more left wing than the general American populace so that’s just something I should have to accept. Clinton at least understands the nature of the right wing and mainstream media beast better than anyone else on the ballot.

  220. 220
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti: Voters make less-rational decisions all the time. That much is spectacularly obvious.

  221. 221
    different-church-lady says:

    @Keith G: No, those are the insane thoughts I have running through my head. They don’t affect my voting decisions. The goal here is not to help me decide who to vote for, but to get the prattling idiot to stop controlling my inner monolog.

  222. 222
    Cacti says:

    @Keith G:

    Voters make less-rational decisions all the time. That much is spectacularly obvious.

    And out comes the paternalism.

  223. 223
    kc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That’s not what he said.

    You seem mad, bro.

  224. 224
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    and they definitely wouldn’t have put up with a FDR-style double-dip recession

    Didn’t seem to affect FDR’s reelection plans

  225. 225

    @FlipYrWhig: Of course Jim Webb isn’t winning over the party base because he’s to the right of Clinton. It’s the base, and they’re more liberal on average. Nevertheless, the average voter can have more than one metric, can’t they? To me, “non-establishment” is a different and just as valid quality as is “liberal” — one describes an approach to governing and the other describes an ideology. And when I’m evaluating a candidate both of them will be considered.

    But if you’re suggesting Jim Webb should have had a chance in the democratic primaries simply because he is also somehow “non-establishment” … well, I would suggest that, instead, this actually proves that establishmentism and ideology are two different metrics that many voters have the capacity to consider separately.

  226. 226
    jl says:

    @Kay: I agree. Sanders has repeatedly said he wants to use his campaign to build a grass roots movement, he’s been in politics long enough and ran enough campaigns to at least understand the importance of building a ground organization (whether he knows how to do it on a national level versus a small state is another question).

    If HRC wins the nomination, she would be crazy not to reach out to Sanders and deal. And Sanders will be in the Senate two more years, and I am sure would like to swing it a Democratic majority.

    And if Sanders wins, if he wants to reach out to Republicans, there is no question he will want to reach out to HRC.

    I think people are making too much of stuff that is happening so early in the campaign. I don’t see much bad happening on the D side that will be remembered after the debates and the first couple of primary contests.

    Compare that to the GOP. I heard good GOPer Kristol is threatening to go third party for general if Trump wins the nomination. (Edit: after Trump signed the Holy GOP Pledge and twittered it out with a ‘here’s your BS piece of paper, happy now?’ face) Sure they are authoritarians who will fall in line with whatever is the best chance path to power, But why should be indulging in sniping each other when things look pretty good so far. The GOP 35+ year long con game is collapsing, and that is a very good thing.

  227. 227
    Tommy says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Next to her resume it is why I like her. She long ago said fuck you to the far right. She won’t bow down.

  228. 228
    Princess says:

    @lonesomerobot: I do not think Sanders has the potential to be an authoritarian fascist. I do not think he will be elected president. I also do not think he has the potential to get very much done if he becomes president. Even FDR did not work alone, and it took a world-wide depression and a cataclysmic war for him do be able to do what he did do.

    Again: do not want.

  229. 229
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    but they’re clearly part of the establishment. Sanders isn’t…

    I support Sanders, but I don’t accept that at all. He has been in Congress since 1991, and he is clearly part of the establishment. Why? Because even though he is to the left of almost everyone in Congress on most (but not all) issues, he has been working within the system to change it.

    The right will be busy enough misrepresenting Sanders as an outsider trying to destroy the establishment. We don’t need to fuel their fire.

  230. 230
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    If HRC wins the nomination, she would be crazy not to reach out to Sanders and deal.

    Of course she will. Both Clinton and Obama courted John Edwards and he had something like 4 delegates. I don’t think Republican candidates are afraid of Trump. I think they’re afraid of alienating Trump supporters. No one does that. They’re just not going to write off 30% of the GOP primary electorate. In fact, they’ll be squabbling over Trump supporters.

  231. 231
    Peale says:

    @jl: I’m skeptical of candidates on the left who claim to be building grassroots movements. I guess we’ll see how it goes this time. At least he’s not trying to build that movement while running outside of the Democratic party for now. That’s been the dead end for progressives for pretty much my entire adult life. But I’m skeptical that that the “grass roots movement” isn’t any different form the “elect Bernie” committee.

  232. 232
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: I think you’re ignoring the fact that Cornel West brings you the support of Tavis Smiley and Michael Moore.

    @Emma: @Watchman: You don’t have Obama. Or his team. I think liberals sometimes underestimate how much it was all about Obama.

    and how much it was about George W Bush, and Sarah Palin. I still think the 2008 version of HRC could have lost to a Palin-less McCain (and I really hope she’s learned some things). Counterfactuals is bunk, but Clinton/Bayh vs McCain/Lieberman, I don’t like our (counterfactual retro-) chances.

  233. 233
    Frank Bolton says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Overall, the Democrats lost 72 seats in the House, though with 262 seats, they retained a majority. The defeats were nearly all in the North, as the South resumed its historic role as the Democratic base in Congress.

    FDR won by much larger margins than Obama did previously such that he still had a Congress (and, on the horizon, WW2) to economically bail him out. 2012 Obama, and 2016-2020 Sanders or Clinton for that matter, would have been undone by that kind of aftershock.

  234. 234
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Tommy: If you just look at her resume she is rather obviously the single most qualified person on OR off the ballot for the office. I doubt there is anyone in the country right now who would be better prepared to hit the ground running on day 1 of the first term than Hillary Clinton. That combined with her having all the right enemies? She’s good. I am supporting Sanders in the primary because his personal politics align more with mine than Clinton’s do, but I will enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton should she get the nod.

  235. 235
    MomSense says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I know I’m belaboring this and being quixotic about it, but I really don’t think the word “establishment” is doing anybody any favors. Especially for Sanders backers. Wouldn’t you rather have the narrative be that the Democratic Party and its voters are eager to move to the left

    It’s also pretty tough to argue anti-establishment about someone who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before serving almost 10 years in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Senate has to be the most establishment job in government.

  236. 236
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: don’t think Republican candidates are afraid of Trump. I think they’re afraid of alienating Trump supporters.

    I do think they fear Trump, because I have no trouble imagining him going independent. I don’t know the mechanics of getting on the ballot in different states, but all he would have to do is get on in Ohio and Florida and I think the R’s are fucked (I think even write-in votes could be dangerous for Jeb Bush– we’ll see, in just fifteen short months!). And Trump really, really doesn’t like Jeb. If Bush is the nominee Trump might prove more destructive peeing inside the tent.

  237. 237
    Cacti says:

    @Princess:

    Even FDR did not work alone, and it took a world-wide depression and a cataclysmic war for him do be able to do what he did do.

    Again: do not want.

    FDR also would never have been what he was without huge legislative majorities in both chambers Congress.

    During his 12 years in office, the Dem House majority never went below 93 seats, and the Senate majority was never fewer than 19 seats. No Dem in this election cycle is going to have anything like that to work with, even in a best case scenario for coattails.

    But the bottom line for any POTUS is, who controls Congress matters a lot.

  238. 238
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Again, it comes down to definitions. I think there’s a useful distinction to be made between “outside the establishment” (e.g., Sanders) and “anti-establishment” (e.g., Nader). YMMV.

    @Cacti: At some point in 2007, polls showed that most African American Democrats favored Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama because they didn’t think he could win. Some white progressive Obama supporters said Yes He Can. Were they being paternalistic?

  239. 239
    Cluttered Mind says:

    Sanders is definitely, 100% part of the Democratic Party establishment. His voting record aligns with the Democrats more than that of plenty of actual Democratic Senators. What he isn’t is part of the Democratic Party LEADERSHIP. And while that is a strong distinction, it shouldn’t be enough to paint the man as a political outsider. Which is good, because part of the strength of Sanders’ argument for the nomination is that he’s been around the block enough times to really know the ins and outs of our system and has managed to keep his integrity and core principles intact throughout his multi decade political career. He’s a career politician who is running as a career politician and saying that that’s not a bad thing. I happen to agree. So did our founders for that matter, which is why the Presidency has an age minimum of 35, whereas it’s 30 for Senators and 25 for Congressmen. You’re not supposed to jump into the Presidency without having been involved in electoral politics.

  240. 240
    ruemara says:

    @Frank Bolton: so Sanders will be successful with Obama coalition, yet he’s been saying that Obama told people he didn’t need them to get things done, that things are in terrible shape right now, etc. Well, I can see why he’s running away with it in NH, IA & VT.

  241. 241
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If you do a straight demographic trajectory using 2000 Gore’s numbers as a baseline, and assume that the Obama coalition naturally grows by 1.5% every Presidential Election (which, given the growth of Millenial voters and racial minority voters, is mathematically reasonable) Obama didn’t do that well relative to the electorate compared to Gore and Kerry. And even Kerry’s loss in 2004 can be entirely explained by W. Bush’s monstrous overperformance with Latino voters. If 2004 Bush had gotten 2000 or 2008 numbers with that contingent Kerry would’ve won, only slightly underperforming relative to brute demographics.

    Obama’s charisma and organization helped, sure, but to attribute the 2008 and especially 2012’s successes solely to his efficacy is to vastly overstate things. Remember: going by exit polls, 1988 Dukakis would’ve won in 2008 or 2012. And 2008 Obama would’ve lost in 1988.

  242. 242
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    I would suggest that, instead, this actually proves that establishmentism and ideology are two different metrics that many voters have the capacity to consider separately.

    I would agree with that, but suggest in turn that no one particularly cares about establishment-ism except as a sort of flavoring to ideology, which is why I’m surprised that establishment has been such a staple of hot-take analysis of the Democratic race — and why I further suspect it’s an attempt to reinvent “Clinton fatigue” as a different sort of problem.

    It’d be a different story if the leading challenger to Clinton were Matthew McConaughey or something. But it’s not.

  243. 243
    Cacti says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    At some point in 2007, polls showed that most African American Democrats favored Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama because they didn’t think he could win. Some white progressive Obama supporters said Yes He Can. Were they being paternalistic?

    If they were calling them “less-rational” for their opinions? Yes.

  244. 244
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @EconWatcher: I’ve made that point about Trump in previous threads. He’s definitely at least flirting with driving a wedge between the working stiff portion of the GOP electorate and the plutocrat/donor class. I thought that Plum line article was funny – everyone on Wall Street is amazed that Trump is winning even though they don’t know and have never met a single Trump supporter. They’re completely out of touch with the ground troops at this point, and the ground troops are starting to get restive about their “comfort the rich” agenda. It may be the guys they’ve been playing all these years who are the first to break out the torches and pitchforks and roll out the tumbrels.

  245. 245
    Frank Bolton says:

    @ruemara: I don’t know if Sanders will be successful in rallying the Obama Coalition. I mean, right now he’s obviously not doing this because he’s grossly underperforming with racial minorities — and that’s do-or-die for our Party. And of course we don’t know if his opposition within or outside the party will be able to mount an effective attack against him. And then there’s just outright bad luck. He is a 73-year old man after all.

    And even if he does win the Democratic Party primary, he can certainly do so in a way that alienates or dismotivates the base. For example, if his win is entirely due to the white working class (and make no mistake, they’re the only reason why he’s being talked about at all) or if he has a major campaign stumble yet still wins because Clinton dropped out before being able to mount a fair challenge. In that case, there’s certainly the possibility that he rallies the base ‘worse’ than 2016 Clinton would.

  246. 246
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: The truly stunning thing is that the rank and file right wing were the ones who who endlessly mocked Pauline Kael for (allegedly) saying she didn’t know anyone who didn’t vote for George McGovern. Apparently political myopia isn’t localized to just the rich left wing in Manhattan. The rich right wing is just as sheltered.

  247. 247
    ruemara says:

    @Betty Cracker: you know, speaking as a black person, some of it was paternalistic. It was pie-eyed, magical negro thinking with the easy swallow coating of being a white liberal. I was confused by white people forgetting everything they ever knew about the government and presuming that the black guy was going to go all umoja with a black power salute and a dashiki to overturn the corporatocracy. He wasn’t just a black guy, he was their black guy, who was gonna show the other side what’s what. You didn’t see Obama, you saw a cipher of black manhood & power that was as stereotypical as the perception of blackness as inherently criminal & savage. “You” meant in the rhetorical sense. It was largely why I stayed away from the personality cultish nature of the ’08 campaign and took my time learning about his positions versus Hillary. The way people were disappointed immediately after he won, including the Rick Warren opening prayers the inauguration told me I wasn’t as far off the mark as I wished to be. I’m sure your view is different but, I thought you might like an answer.

  248. 248
    Mike in NC says:

    When I turned 18 I ran out and voted for George McGovern, but not many other people did. Still, he stood a much better chance at getting elected president than Bernie Sanders.

  249. 249
    Mandalay says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    If you just look at her resume she is rather obviously the single most qualified person on OR off the ballot for the office.

    That is the conventional wisdom, but I don’t buy it, especially when you start looking for specific achievements in her resume.

    GHW Bush has an absolutely spectacular resume – I doubt if any politician will ever be able to come close to it. But I don’t see many people arguing that he was a very good president, and I think the community organizer with the flimsy resume who spent ten minutes in the Senate has been much better.

  250. 250

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The kinds of people who single-handedly change the trajectories of countries are usually authoritarian fascists.

    Do not want.

    Those words are pretty straightforward: This situation usually leads to this result. I do not want this result.

    As it was made in response to my comment, my reading of the sentiment is more be careful what you wish for with supposed trajectory-changers and not if trajectory change is what you want, Bernie’s the wrong guy. Call me obtuse, but I do not see that at all. But even if that is the subtext there, I don’t think that one could be expected to deduce that. Especially someone who doesn’t personally know the individual who made the comment.

  251. 251
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think Trump is just waiting for Bush to call him out strongly and he will turn that right around to claim Bush is attacking Trump supporters. That will never happen on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will never take it that far, because both will want the other’s voters.

  252. 252
    ruemara says:

    @Frank Bolton: let me help you out. We are a significant portion of the base. He is not endearing himself to us. His supporters, even less so. We will probably be even more meh as we hear the accolades from our progressive, tone-deaf betters. Unlike them, we will show up in our usually higher numbers to vote in the general. No one currently running is exciting the AA base. But they are making us question if saving American whites from themselves is worth it for being sidelined by allies consistently.

  253. 253
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: as a Sanders-skeptic– about his chances in a general and even primaries that are less milky, not about his sincerity or his goals– I don’t think for a moment he will do anything to torpedo Clinton. I trust that this time HRC will keep her temper under control, I just hope someone in her camp can have a talk with Bubba and his loyalists (Carville, Rendell, Blumenthal) about theirs.

  254. 254
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cluttered Mind: James Wolcott, who knew her at the time, says she did say that, but she was mocking the very attitude people ascribe to her when they quote it.

  255. 255
    Cervantes says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    African-American, young, really good-looking and a genius orator?

    It sounds as if you just said the following:

    I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.

    My point was somewhat less controversial!

    Namely, that, in my view, stranger things have happened in American politics recently than the (potential) election to the Presidency of a blunt-spoken Jew from Vermont.

    We may not agree as to which is the less likely event, and that’s OK by me.

  256. 256
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti: Was it also paternalistic when in the past, I have suggested to my friends who were lower-wage earning types that voting for GOPers was not a highly rational choice for them?

    If that is the case, so be it.

  257. 257

    @Princess:

    Even FDR did not work alone …

    This right here. I don’t know why some people feel compelled to pretend that FDR (and LBJ) did NOT have overwhelming majorities in Congress to pass their agendas, but it seems to be a common misconception on the left.

    In 1933, there were 435 members of the House of Representatives. 322 of them were Democrats. There were 96 US Senators. 70 of them were Democrats. And Obama is a failure because he couldn’t get his agenda passed through Congress like FDR did?

  258. 258
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Frank Bolton: And then there’s just outright bad luck. He is a 73-year old man after all.

    He turned 74 last week, so he’ll be 75 when people go in the voting booth next November. More than five years older than Reagan was at his first election.

  259. 259
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    @lonesomerobot: I’m very independent and very liberal. When none of the candidates in the primary suit me, I don’t vote

    Oh, jeez.

    You pulled that rather violently out of context. The statement was clearly about not voting in the primary while voting in the general:

    When none of the candidates in the primary suit me, I don’t vote. But I always support whoever wins against the whackjob GOP candidate.

    If you’re objecting to this behavior, could you say why? It’s entirely possible I missed your point.

  260. 260
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Right, because it’s different this time. Obama had to do the outreach last time, not Clinton.

    Although it’s relatively easy to be gracious when you win. To me it’s like “all is forgiven!” as long as I won but that’s probably because I’m horribly shallow :)

  261. 261
    Frank Bolton says:

    @ruemara:

    No one currently running is exciting the AA base. But they are making us question if saving American whites from themselves is worth it for being sidelined by allies consistently.

    It makes me wonder what will happen if Clinton or Sanders wins by rallying whites + Asians + Latinos despite completely tanking the black vote, as Clinton 2008 almost did. Obama performed pretty pathetically among non-black racial minorities in 2008.

    Not saying that it will happen, but it’s a possibility. Sanders is still doing terrible with Asians and Latinos, but not laughably terrible.

  262. 262
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, Kael was pointing out that her social circle was not representative of the country as a whole. The fact didn’t baffle or surprise her.

  263. 263
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ruemara: I’d never looked at it quite that way, but I think you’re right, at least about a subset of white liberals. It actually explains a lot.

  264. 264

    @Cervantes:

    It’s certainly not impossible for an outspoken Jew from Brooklyn via Vermont to win the presidency, but it’s not really a storybook. Maybe a novel by Philip Roth, but not a storybook you inspire the kiddies with like Obama’s journey was.

  265. 265
    Cervantes says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    The truly stunning thing is that the rank and file right wing were the ones who who endlessly mocked Pauline Kael for (allegedly) saying she didn’t know anyone who didn’t vote for George McGovern.

    Your “allegedly” is helpful. What Kael actually said, in an address to the MLA weeks after Nixon’s land-slide re-election, was this:

    I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.

  266. 266
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cervantes: See here. “Very independent and very liberal” was spraining my eyeballs from all the rolling. It was getting chippy out there! I made my point as best I could.

  267. 267

    @Princess: But what’s important here? Even if you don’t think he will be president, could you support him if he is the nominee? What is Clinton going to get done if she wins (with presumably the same Congress to deal with)? What kinds of awesome deals is she going to make with a Republican congress (because the assumption implied here is that she, and probably moreso Biden, would be able to work with Congress in a way that Sanders wouldn’t)?

    You and I want different things. I want the trajectory to change. I don’t expect at all that Congress will be there to help any Democrat in the Oval Office. I actually don’t want a president who will work with Republicans, because the GOP have proven they are crazy people. I do also understand you may be worried that Sanders may not be able to even work with Democrats, though.

    So, what gets done? I agree, not as much legislatively. I understand the numbers in Congress. I also understand that for 6 years Obama hasn’t had the House, and for the final 2 years he won’t have the Senate. And he’s still been able to do some things. I also think that just being able to elect someone like Bernie Sanders is the type of event that would have an enormous impact on the mindset of the establishment, per se. There’s a message that’s being sent, and the guy who is the face of that message has the bully pulpit. Given the granite-hewn course of two party politics in America, I’d think that would be a BFD. It’s an entirely different conversation that we’d be having, you have to admit.

  268. 268
    beltane says:

    I must be the only person not really thrilled with the choices in the primary. The more I think about it, the more depressing it gets. We are just lucky the Republican field seems eminently beatable this time around.

  269. 269

    @Frank Bolton:

    Obama performed pretty pathetically among non-black racial minorities in 2008.

    You mean in the primaries, yes? Because Obama got a majority of every ethnic minority’s voters in the general election. The Obama Coalition is pretty much any voter who doesn’t identify as white.

  270. 270

    @FlipYrWhig: So, you’re back to this? Are “independent” and “liberal” somehow mutually exclusive, or do you have a condition that causes muscle spasms in your eyes?

  271. 271
    Archon says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    Blacks are the shock troops against right-wing barbarians at the gates. Escorting us off the field for other allies in times like these is extremely dangerous.

  272. 272

    @Frank Bolton:

    So why is Trump eating their lunch if their policy platform is by-and-large acceptable or even desirable in abstract?

    Racism. Full stop, nothing else. Trump was a nobody until he declared that Mexicans were rapists and murderers in those specific words, with no dog whistles. Now he’s the guy who speaks the truth that other people are too afraid to say. They seem to like him mocking women, too. As you have noticed, they don’t give one good god damn about policy positions if someone will give them what they always wanted – open, unapologetic hate speech. To Republicans, ‘not establishment’ means ‘We tried polite euphemisms, and now a black man is president.’

    None of this applies to the Democratic Party. We are an entirely different dynamic, not free of racism, but certainly not driven by it as our central motivation.

  273. 273
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cervantes: Honestly, my gut feeling is that we’re going to lose no matter who gets nominated.

    Probably to Donald Trump, who seems like the real great improbable currently bearing inevitably down on America like an oncoming train.

    But that’s all it is, a gut feeling.

  274. 274
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I guess I see what you mean — but personally I found nothing there to make me roll my eyes.

  275. 275
    Cervantes says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    But that’s all it is, a gut feeling.

    Maybe, but I’m not dismissing it.

  276. 276

    @Cervantes: I believe it must have been the shock and horror of my not living up to FlipYrWhig’s civic expectations. Oh! The humanity! Someone who won’t vote for boring candidates in the primary!

  277. 277

    @lonesomerobot:

    You and I want different things. I want the trajectory to change.

    You keep saying this. I think you need to be more specific, because if you’re unhappy with the *trajectory* we’re on with Obamacare, consumer protections, financial reform, and with our foreign policy (deals with Iran and Cuba), then you are on a completely different track than the rest of us.

    Wanting more financial reform to happen more quickly does not put you on a *different* trajectory than what’s actually happening under Obama.

  278. 278
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Cervantes: I’m well aware that Kael didn’t actually say or intend what they mocked her for saying/intending. Al Gore never actually said he invented the internet either, but it didn’t stop the right from endlessly mocking him as though he had said it. Unfortunately we’re not dealing with people to whom the truth matters a whole lot.

  279. 279
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    The Obama Coalition is pretty much any voter who doesn’t identify as white.

    It’s fashionable to say that, but not strictly true. In addition to minorities, the Obama Coalition also includes single women, the highly educated, the young, etc., and Democrats can’t afford to exclude or alienate any of them.

  280. 280
    beltane says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I am starting to get that same feeling. In the modern era, only highly charismatic master-campaigners have managed to win the White House for the Democrats. No one fitting that description in running now. While I am willing, even eager, to eat my plate of Hillary Beans, I wonder how many people are going to be “meh” about the whole election.

  281. 281
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    In 1933, there were 435 members of the House of Representatives. 322 of them were Democrats. There were 96 US Senators. 70 of them were Democrats.

    In 1933? Where do you get these numbers?

  282. 282
    Peale says:

    @Archon: Yep. Pretty much. I’d be really reluctant to vote for a Democratic candidate in a primary if their message to African American voters was “I don’t need your votes to win the Presidency.” Or, for that matter, spoke out loud that they’d like to test the theory that Hispanic voters really matter. Their supporters may turn off voters, but if the candidates themselves start speaking like that, they should be shown the door by everyone.

  283. 283
    Cervantes says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    I’m well aware that […]

    Yes, your (helpful) “allegedly” made the point.

    I just wanted to get her remark accurately on the record.

  284. 284
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Cervantes: Understandable. Thanks for doing so!

  285. 285
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: I myself am very creative and very transgressive, which is why I’m so careful not to demean myself by participating in sordid “politics.”

  286. 286
  287. 287
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You are aware that the numbers on that page are different from yours?

  288. 288
    Cacti says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Honestly, my gut feeling is that we’re going to lose no matter who gets nominated.

    Probably to Donald Trump, who seems like the real great improbable currently bearing inevitably down on America like an oncoming train.

    But that’s all it is, a gut feeling.

    I have a different ominous feeling. I think the current GOP has painted itself into such a demographic corner, that they’re going to get thumped by the Dem, whoever they put up.

    Only this time, I think the teabaggers are going to nominate the caveman wingnut they’ve been dreaming about, and when he (of course it will be a male) gets drubbed at the polls, they may become unhinged to the point of armed insurrection. The Oath Keeper loons are already flirting with it.

  289. 289

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): and @Cervantes:
    My source says that’s the 74th congress with those impressive numbers, but the 73rd is still a damn good 59D 36R 1I. The basic point Mnemosyne is making remains supported.

  290. 290
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Yes, I mean in the 2008 primary. Also: I probably shouldn’t have to be saying this, but because the GOP does its best to elide ‘white values’ with ‘Confederate values’, let me say this: not all whites are equal. Big surprise, eh? Nonetheless, it’s worth nothing that the only voters who are more in the tank for the Democratic Party than blacks are white urban professionals. Hell, in the Northeast and West Coast a majority of whites in 2012 voted for the Democratic Party. In the Midwest it’s a little over 45%.

    Where the Democratic Party is getting killed among whites is the South. I think they won like, what, 20%? Same goes for the Rockies and Appalachia, but there it’s ‘just’ 35%. But even in the South it’s mostly a rural thing.

    @Frankensteinbeck: I agree. And I feel a little trepidation using Trump as an example to the ‘being good on issues can overcome most other shortcomings’ because there’s no issue in the United States that stirs up certain roach motel-chewing voters like race. Not money, not sex, not religion, not war, nothing. I certainly don’t have any hard evidence for my hypothesis that the issue of income inequality and household debt and jobs will be even half as stimulating as race other than Sanders’ current polling. And that particular indicator is spotty in a lot of ways. We’ll see in 2016, won’t we?

  291. 291
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    I also think that just being able to elect someone like Bernie Sanders is the type of event that would have an enormous impact on the mindset of the establishment, per se.

    Just being able to elect someone like Barack Obama seems like it ought to have had an enormous impact on the mindset of the establishment, per se, then. Did it? If not, why not?

  292. 292
    Cervantes says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Questioned not “the basic point” but the underlying numbers; they seemed high for 1933.

  293. 293
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because, as has been pointed out, Sanders is much farther to the left than Obama.

  294. 294
    AxelFoley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    (By the way, when Obama did this it was to hoots of derision, as I think it was rikryah who pointed out earlier.)

    Yup, and don’t think that black folks haven’t forgot that.

    Obama does it = bad. Bernie does it = good.

    And they wonder why Bernie’s not resonating with African-Americans or why we give white “progressives” the side-eye.

    See also, Damon, Matt

  295. 295
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cervantes: I find it hard to believe that Sanders would have more success translating his left-of-center views into results any further left-of-center than Obama has managed.

  296. 296
    Cervantes says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Obama does it = bad. Bernie does it = good.

    Have you found a person P who actually said all that?

    And assuming you have found P, the following still makes no sense:

    And they wonder why Bernie’s not resonating with African-Americans

    Why would anyone blame Sanders for what P might have said?

  297. 297
    Mandalay says:

    @Cacti:

    I think the current GOP has painted itself into such a demographic corner, that they’re going to get thumped by the Dem, whoever they put up.

    This.

    I’d be quietly confident that Sanders, Clinton or Biden could beat any Republican apart from Kasich, but (luckily for us) he is probably not enough of a knuckle-dragger to get the nomination.

  298. 298
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That’s not the question I addressed.

  299. 299
    catclub says:

    @FlipYrWhig: If Sanders is elected, it would probably be within a huge left wing wave, that would allow him to do many left of center things.

    I do not think that is likely.

  300. 300
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cervantes: Humboldt comes close in this thread, because he(?) suggests that Obama’s addressing an evangelical audience was pandering and legitimizing gay-hate, while Sanders’s addressing an evangelical audience (still a haven of gay-hate) was reaching out in ways that resonate, without IMHO addressing what makes him(?) so confident as to be able to tell pandering from sincerity. It’s a sort of reverse-engineering of a non-self-evident difference that relies on Sanders as sincere and Obama not. It raised my hackles and others seem to have reacted similarly.

  301. 301
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I don’t think Sanders will be the nominee, much less the president, so this is academic, but it’s an Overton Window thing. If someone as far left as Sanders could get elected, that would signal a shift in the ideological balance in this most rightest and centrist of nations, no?

  302. 302
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti:

    I think the current GOP has painted itself into such a demographic corner, that they’re going to get thumped by the Dem, whoever they put up.

    I feel that this is a highly likely, but not certain, scenario, especially in the near term.

    And that sentiment concerns me. I worry that reliance on “the demographic bomb” (of course they will vote for us – they are brown and/or female) might create, and has created, a certain intellectual laziness. It is almost as if some are saying, “We will not have to go to the voters, since they will come to us. What choice do they have?”

    That is part of the reason that, while I am likely to vote for HRC in the primary, I am reserving my decision until I see how hard she champions real policies that focus on progress toward social and economic fairness. I know she has the vocabulary, I am waiting to get a better sense of the commitment.

  303. 303
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cervantes: The question I’m addressing is that we heard the same thing–actually much more resoundingly so–about the stakes of electing Obama as a paradigm shift. It would say something about race, about liberalism, and about the place of government. If electing Obama didn’t create a paradigm shift, why would electing Sanders create one? I would venture to say that the reason why electing Obama didn’t do such a thing is that the promise of Obama is checked by the reality of Obama, and that the same thing would happen all over again if Sanders prevailed.

  304. 304
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe, but by that standard the election of Obama in 2008 should have upset conventional wisdoms and pieties much more, and I’m not sure we’ve moved into that dramatically different a political world since then.

  305. 305
    Mandalay says:

    Club for Growth has just released an attack ad on Trump.

    He’s got the nomination in the bag if that’s the best they can do. Really lame.

  306. 306
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Thanks for addressing my question. I’ll have to look for the comment you’re talking about.

  307. 307

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You’ll have to forgive me, I spent several years living in what is essentially a Democratic Socialist country. That’s part of the trajectory I want. I like President Obama, and he has actually done more than I have expected of him. That is to say, I did not expect much in the first place. The financial reform that has happened under Obama has been all that has been allowed by Obama’s big bank-connected appointees and advisors (Geithner, Bernanke, Lew, Summers, et al). So I would argue that it is different, actually, though I could agree that there has been at least a subtle trajectory shift with Obama. The ACA was indeed a BFD. My words aren’t meant as a complaint against Obama’s leadership. He has certainly done about the best he could with very little help from Congress.

    A more specific different trajectory is (no particular order):
    breaking up the big banks
    actually having the Justice Dept. prosecute and jail bankers
    taking a serious (transformative?) look at foreign policy goals
    taking a serious look at defense spending
    real campaign finance reform
    a much larger infrastructure rebuilding program

    Most of those things aren’t going to happen without Congress, I know. I concede it’s pretty much about public sentiment and effective use of the Bully Pulpit during the first two years of a Sanders presidency. Because he will certainly not have the votes there in that Congress, even though he actually has far more congressional experience than Clinton and a comparable amount to Biden. Sanders will have the Bully Pulpit, and he will have some things he can do with Executive powers and appointing good people. But that first mid-term election (2018) will tell the tale: he will either have the country with him, and seats will change, or he won’t, and he will be a one-termer.

    But here’s the thing with Clinton or Biden (or any of the other candidates that could have a realistic shot at winning the nomination) — I have no confidence that any change of trajectory has even a remote chance of happening with them.

    There’s another part of this: We are a violent, war-mongering, gun-addicted, unjust society that still not only tolerates but actually coddles the long-standing military-industrial complex. That trajectory has not changed in the last 60 years.

  308. 308
    Frank Bolton says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think Obama’s election did say something profound about race. That racial revanchist politics (at least along the current brown/white dichotomy) were no longer the unmitigated political boon for conservatives that they were for the past, oh, entire history of the United States. At least at the Presidential level. That’s potentially a huge, nay, titanic and unprecedented change in American history, assuming that Trump doesn’t squeak by.

    And anyway, the difference between a Sanders and Obama Presidency is that the former’s hypothetically transformative Presidency is now framed in terms of policy rather than culture. Culture does not change that quickly. The efforts of the New Left to discredit racism, sexism, homophobia, and American exceptionalism at the ideological (rather than policy level, and we know how fragile that was) are just now starting to bear fruit, after 40 years.

    If 2008 Obama came into office with a 1936 FDR-style victory and Congressional Margins, I’d expect little in the way of rhetorical ‘change’ that he advocated for. Even back then, the certainly didn’t become man-for-man less hateful and aristocratic and partisan; they were just marginalized. Why would it be any different with a candidate that won a less resounding victory than 1936 FDR did? However, if 2016 Sanders (or Clinton, but I don’t think that she can accomplish that with her current platform) came into office with a 1936 FDR-style victory and Congressional Margins then a lot of the items in the leftist agenda could pass and no one would give a shit if the conservatives didn’t give ideological buy-in. It takes two to play the game of togetherness and bipartisanship and post-racialism. If you just want to clobber people over the head with new laws, you just need a majority.

  309. 309
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cacti: I think the vast majority of them are a superstitious, cowardly lot who would poop their pants if faced with the possibility of actual armed insurrection (as opposed to posing with firearms and waving them around). There’s a scary core who can and do become violent, and when they flip out they can do a lot of damage.

    And some do become cops or wannabe-cop George Zimmerman types. The worst they do is in essentially lawless situations in which they have power and know they’re insulated from getting in trouble.

    What happens if someone with the demeanor of Donald Trump gets actual executive power, though, that is a scary thought.

  310. 310

    @FlipYrWhig: Maybe because we were in the middle of the biggest economic calamity since the Great Depression, the guy who caused it was a Republican, and the Republican running to succeed him suspended his campaign, appointed a batshit-crazy running mate, and was generally not even well-liked by his own party?

    I mean, people act like Obama was ideologically some radical politician, but he wasn’t. He was and is a moderate from Illinois. There’s no way, as a black person, that he can be elected a Senator in Illinois without being moderate enough to get downstate votes. Aside from being anti-Iraq war, which was hardly controversial by 2008, he really wasn’t that radical a candidate, skin color notwithstanding. Obama got more Wall Street donations in that election than McCain did. People ascribe waaaay too much of the Fox News narrative of Obama as a leftist socialist, as if it’s actually true. Sanders, as has been mentioned already here, is significantly to the left of Obama.

  311. 311
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Matt McIrvin: If these people are going to make their move they better do it soon. Right now racial minorities are over-represented in the enlisted ranks of the United States military, especially the Marines and the Army. Given racial demographics and the fact that the military skews young, by 2030 racial minorities will form a majority in the enlisted ranks.

    If they wait too long, the next Goering could find himself shot in the groin while giving his Final Solution speech, being laughed at by his never-to-be SA 2.0 while they pelt his dying form with burritos and Mountain Dew.

  312. 312
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lonesomerobot: Bernie Sanders has a rural electorate in VT and accordingly has been rather more gun-friendly than otherwise might be expected. Everyone has a moderate tack or two in them even in the most reliably Democratic states.

    @Frank Bolton:

    However, if 2016 Sanders (or Clinton, but I don’t think that she can accomplish that with her current platform) came into office with a 1936 FDR-style victory and Congressional Margins then a lot of the items in the leftist agenda could pass and no one would give a shit if the conservatives didn’t give ideological buy-in.

    Except that any overwhelming Democratic majority would also include a lot of conservative Democrats in it, and the “leftist agenda” would founder on intra-party opposition rather than inter-party opposition. A smaller version of that happened between 2009 and 2010.

  313. 313
    AxelFoley says:

    @lonesomerobot:

    ’ll speak for myself here: I see nothing in a Clinton presidency that takes this country off its current trajectory.

    Don’t care whether you support Bernie or Hillary or whomever, but what’s wrong with the country’s current trajectory?

    Marriage equality, affordable health care, Iraq and Afghanistan wars over, no war with Iran, diplomatic relations with Cuba re-established, car industry saved and thriving, economy almost fully recovered, unemployment at 5.1% and a bunch of other stuff that escapes me.

    I don’t see the problem with the direction of the country.

  314. 314
    AxelFoley says:

    @Humboldtblue:

    @FlipYrWhig: Again, Sanders didn’t go to Liberty to win over voters, he took a message that resonated with many in that crowd. There was nothing craven about Sanders appearance and he said nothing that he hasn’t been saying and doing for years. He didn’t pander, he was quite clear that he took his campaign and his message to a hostile environment because he wanted them to at least hear it from his lips and not from a FOX talking head.

    Obama got roasted for pandering to a new age religious shitbag and involved Warren as part of his official outreach in an effort at some sort of bullshit bi-partisanship.

    Sanders didn’t do that, he emphasized that they have profound disagreements on many issues but that they also are in accordance on many others and that they are ways they can work together. If Sanders pushes Clinton to the left it will help. Of course all this typing is meaningless, any change we want to see will have to happen locally and that’s why all this breathless armchair analysis is fun, but in the end a waste of time.

    Amazing you can form your fingers to type this shit, especially the first sentence.

    Bernie didn’t go to Liberty U to win votes? What, did he just go there for his health?

    The dude’s running for president. Every stop, every speech is an attempt to win votes.

  315. 315
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cacti:

    Called this one yesterday.

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    Because Bernie “wasn’t doing it for votes”.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    BOOM! Got ’em!

    You did call it. And like I said at POU, the Bernie stans are tying themselves in knots trying to explain how when Bernie does the same things they ripped Obama for.

  316. 316
    Frank Bolton says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Except that any overwhelming Democratic majority would also include a lot of conservative Democrats in it, and the “leftist agenda” would founder on intra-party opposition rather than inter-party opposition. A smaller version of that happened between 2009 and 2010.

    Conservative how? I agree that an overwhelming Democratic majority on a Sanders-style campaign won’t be a huge rebuke to the right-of-center wing on race relations, the war on drugs, foreign policy, the war on terror, LGBT rights, reproductive rights, etc. but I generally feel that politicians want to be and stay elected and to this end pursue policies that (they perceive) their voters wanted. If the economic conservatives in such a situation decided to back away from much of Sanders’ economic agenda even after agitating for it won the Democratic Party a resounding victory, that’d be the equivalent of political malpractice.

    FDR and LBJ (and to a lesser extent Truman) enacted pretty sweeping legislative changes and yet neither candidate got an explicit mandate for a sweeping list of economically progressive weregild. Yes, that includes FDR, whose policy prescriptions were always a mishmash of sorta-Keynesian totems that didn’t coalesce into a coherent policy until WW2 — as we can see from the Roosevelt Recession. If you want to read a confusing, incoherent, small-beer victory speech, read FDR’s 1932 Democratic Nomination Speech.

  317. 317
    Cervantes says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Amazing you can form your fingers to type this shit, especially the first sentence. Bernie didn’t go to Liberty U to win votes? What, did he just go there for his health?

    On the one hand there’s you. On the other hand there’s Charlie Pierce:

    Sanders certainly didn’t go to Liberty University looking for votes, at least not a lot of them, anyway. He went down and gave that speech as a kind of moral witness. He did something that liberal politicians—and, especially, liberal Christian clerics—have been unable or unwilling to do, which is to demonstrate to the audience in question that there is more to the gospel than merely the glandular. He made them look at him, an anomalous figure at best in their college careers, and that was how he made them listen. And why not? Bernie Sanders is Jewish and a public employee. So, as it happens, was St. Matthew.

  318. 318
    Frank Bolton says:

    @AxelFoley: There’s a difference even if you don’t want to see it. Sanders’ speech was typical ‘take it or leave it’ boilerplate once you got past the civility. Obama’s bringing in of Warren was his attempt of healing the rift (per his campaign promise) between right-wing Christians and gays through nebulous ‘understanding and compromise’ — and the idea of a victim meeting the bully halfway, especially after the Proposition 8 bullshit, is offensive and risible. Sanders’ wish doesn’t involve the Democratic Party compromising its principles, unless that principle is ‘never reach out to voters who aren’t already in your camp, even if it doesn’t involve changing your agenda or strategy one iota’. Obama’s meetup with Warren, on the other hand, did because it required the victim to legitimize the bully’s grievances.

  319. 319
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes:
    BOOM! Got ’em!

  320. 320
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti:

    Called this one yesterday.

    Congratulations.

    The same people that stroked out over Obama and Rick Warren consider Bernie a hero for speaking at the bible college of the late pastor who blamed 9/11 on gays and women.

    Asking yet again: who are these “same people”? Show me their hypocrisy (or whatever it is you think you’ve discerned).

  321. 321
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    You startled me there. Don’t do that.

  322. 322

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    You’re right, I was confused by Wikipedia’s table putting the following Congress’s numbers at the bottom. It was 311 (not 322) in the House and 60 (not 70). Which are still overwhelming numbers in FDR’s favor, and a margin he only increased in the next election.

  323. 323
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Which are still overwhelming numbers in FDR’s favor, and a margin he only increased in the next election.

    Certainly true — although in the Senate, the difference between sixty votes and seventy votes can be significant.

    (And not that one could assume, then or now, that all sixty or seventy would vote the same way, either.)

  324. 324

    @AxelFoley: That’s a very rosy view, and I don’t share it. As I’ve said previously, I like Obama, but I can’t share your enthusiasm about the current direction. I don’t necessarily blame Obama for the direction, either.

    -Concurrently with marriage equality, we have the most overtly virulent strain of anti-otherness (black, LGBT, Muslim, immigrant) that we’ve had in years.

    -Affordable health care I’ll give you.

    -Iraq and Afghanistan: Neither of these wars is actually “over” – we are just not actively participating in them in the way we were previously. Iraq is now a big, giant mess of a civil war that has also spilled into Syria and Turkey. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War_(2014-present)]. Afghanistan is still in a civil war; Afghanis and a NATO coalition including 9800 US troops are still fighting the Taliban, and we are now extending our bases (and forces) there until beyond 2015 [http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/is-the-us-war-in-afghanistan-actually-over/].

    -Nice diplomacy at work in the Iran deal. But the opposition to that very clearly just wanted to get their war on; a very pre-Iraq War mindset that is still far too prevalent in my opinion.

    -The Cuba thing is neat.

    -The auto industry thing is also neat, but I don’t really count that among a “trajectory” calculation. I mean, let’s hope the auto industry is healthy but when the choices were save it or let it fail, I’m glad the not crazy choice was made, and I’ll leave it at that.

    -I’m really not there with the economy at all. Income inequality is at its worst since the Great Depression. New wealth creation has almost exclusively gone to the top 1% since the recovery began. Unemployment numbers are mostly where they are because a large amount of people have taken themselves out of the work force entirely. Good paying jobs in manufacturing are increasingly replaced with lower paying service industry jobs. We are frighteningly close, at this very moment, to another global recession. Our economic future is hopelessly tethered to China’s because of bad trade deals.

    Not saying these things are Obama’s fault, but his efforts to budge the trajectory were only slightly effective, in my opinion (and the inability to move it further is certainly not on him). I’ve since posted elsewhere on this thread what I mean by changing the trajectory. I guess what I really mean is … MOAR.

  325. 325

    @lonesomerobot:

    So to you a “trajectory change” from Obama’s current path is … doing all of the things Obama has explicitly had on his wish list for the past 8 years?

    Here’s my clarifying question for you: who should Obama have appointed instead of Janet Yellin as the head of the Fed?

    It sounds to me not that you want a trajectory change from what Obama is currently doing, but that you’re worried that Clinton will not continue on the same path as Obama.

  326. 326
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Here’s a trajectory change for you, then: I want the Democratic Party to stop clutching their pearls over debts and deficits. The only time they should care about those things is if the economy has high inflation, and as we can see from Japan’s decades-long struggle with deflation the United States has a long way to go before that becomes a care. If they stopped doing that shit then a lot of debacles, such as the inadequate 2009 stimulus and the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, would cease to be. It’d also stop a bunch of other fuck-me-in-the-asses like the VSP’s obsession with ‘reforming’ Social Security and the asinine assumption that trade surpluses are a generic good and trade deficits are a generic evil. Or hell, what about the current talk right now about raising interest rates? There’s another fuck-me-in-the-ass brought about by debt and deficit hysteria.

    Right now, Sanders is proposing massive new spending and picked up one of the most famous MMT figures as his adviser. I don’t expect Sanders to become full-on post-Keynesian, but if the Democratic Party can stop pissing their drawers over meaningless ‘OMG, 80% DEBT TO GDP, SHUT DOWN FUCKING EVERYTHING’ centrist hysterics that would be a huge improvement even if Sanders didn’t do much else different.

  327. 327

    @Cervantes:

    There were 4 fewer US senators then (Hawaii and Alaska were not yet states), so it was a filibuster-proof majority for FDR that Obama only approached for a few months in 2009.

  328. 328
    jl says:

    @Peale:

    ” But I’m skeptical that that the “grass roots movement” isn’t any different form the “elect Bernie” committee. ”

    Sanders says that it it was a mistake for Obama to build an elect Obama grassroots organization and then not use it more after he was elected. Sanders says that it is more than an election GOTV operation, so we will see what he does. And, if he can build something of value, what he does with it depends on what policy commitments he can get from the nominee and the DNC.

  329. 329
    Betty Cracker says:

    @AxelFoley:

    I don’t see the problem with the direction of the country.

    I see plenty of problems with this country’s trajectory, including 2.2 million Americans in jail (many in for-profit prisons), militarized police, an irrational drug war that ruins lives at home and around the globe, the Walmart heirs amassing wealth equal to that held by the bottom 40% of Americans combined, corporate seizure of political levers, crumbling infrastructure, crushing student debt, out of control defense spending, an armed and twitchy citizenry, the suppression of voting rights and unionization, a minimum wage that guarantees poverty, etc. I could go on.

    Obama has been a really good president and has worked hard to reduce some of these problems in the face of near-treasonous opposition. But it’s bullshit happy talk to act like everything is just fine and dandy now. It took five terms of Republican presidents (with a partial assist from DLC GOP Lite Bill Clinton) to dig a hole this deep, and it’ll take a comparable period of Democratic ascendancy to dig us out.

  330. 330

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Not really. I mean, I wouldn’t expect Clinton to continue the path, but as I just said above, I really just want MOAR democratic socialism. As I also said, Obama did more than I expected, and that’s good. But his record on bombing the shit out of other countries, domestic surveillance, and really addressing economic injustice have been poor, as far as I’m concerned. Just because Wall Street is doing well doesn’t mean Main Street is.

    And Obama certainly did not have breaking up the big banks and prosecuting and jailing bankers on his list. If he had, we wouldn’t have had Sec of Treasury Geithner who made moves to specifically prevent breaking up the banks, and Attorney General Holder, who did very little to attempt to prosecute bankers and almost nothing to punish them.

    All of this is moot, though. Regardless of what I hope will happen, I will vote for Clinton, Biden, O’Malley, Webb, Lessig, or whoever else the Democrat could be in the general election.

  331. 331

    @Cervantes:

    It’s weird that Pierce doesn’t seem to realize that Sanders was able to go to Liberty U and say what he did *because* he’s not a Christian. Which does put Sanders back in the Rand Paul/NAACP seat of being the outsider lecturing people about how they *should* be.

  332. 332
    Keith G says:

    @lonesomerobot: Add to your list, a policy orientation (especially in his first 6 years) that seemed to prioritize Wall Street at the expense of working class families – akin to your last point, I guess.

  333. 333
  334. 334
    goblue72 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Totally. We’ve had DECADES of wage stagnation – which when inflation is included, means lower income and working class households have seen their standard of living & economic prospects DECLINE over the last 20 – 30 years. And that wage stagnation creeps up higher and higher into the middle class year after year. Even upper middle class households are starting to see their wage growth stall out.

    The vampire squid oligarchy is sucking all of the wealth out of the system, leaving crumbs for everyone else. Times are NOT good. They are positively mediocre – even in the midst of what is a solidly growing economy. Which means when the next recession occurs – which it will quite soon – its going to be even worse.

    And I don’t see a President Clinton turning on the Wall Street financiers who have paid for her and her husband’s political careers for most of the time either of them have been in office.

  335. 335
    cain says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    What about a black guy from Chicago?

  336. 336
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Why wouldn’t a fellow Christian be able to drop a truth bomb on Liberty U? If they read their Bibles, they should feel compelled to do so, not constrained.

  337. 337
    goblue72 says:

    @Frank Bolton: That would be nice.

    And I see today that Hillary Clinton is using David Brock as an attack dog against Sanders. Which is the height of hypocrisy on her part given how David Brock got started in political muckraking as the guy who slimed Anita Hill and brought us Paula Jones & Troopergate. She keeps that up and somebody at some point is going to hold up a mirror to the hypocrisy – and she will NOT look good at that point.

    The Democratic Party has tied its Presidential hopes and aspirations to a 1990s re-run of DLC, Third Way corporate centrism at precisely the point in the history when the animating impulse at the core of the Democratic base is the deep rooted frustration and exhaustion with having been completely shafted by the 1% – and totally fed up with it.

    Its the same impulse animating Trump’s supporters – even if its expressed from a different end of the political spectrum – all the hippies can hear is the racism & xenophobia. But if you actual listen to Trump’s supporters – what you hear is the fed-up, pissed-offness & fear of years of economic insecurity. Its why Trump’s positions make no sense from the frame of the GOP standard platform – he’s in favor of raising taxes on the rich, he doesn’t think we need to “reform” Social Security, he wants to raise tariffs, he wants to fund a giant infrastructure spending program, and his wall with Mexico xenophobia is as much rooted in the “they are taking our jobs” than the “they will rape & murder us” stuff.

  338. 338
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Filibusters were not precisely the same then and neither are they the only Senate procedures that require supermajorities.

  339. 339
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    It’s weird that Pierce doesn’t seem to realize that Sanders was able to go to Liberty U and say what he did *because* he’s not a Christian.

    What makes you think a Christian couldn’t have done it?

    Which does put Sanders back in the Rand Paul/NAACP seat of being the outsider lecturing people about how they *should* be.

    To fairly characterize his speech in this way, you need to begin with his words, not your conclusions.

  340. 340
    Betty Cracker says:

    @goblue72:

    The Democratic Party has tied its Presidential hopes and aspirations to a 1990s re-run of DLC, Third Way corporate centrism at precisely the point in the history when the animating impulse at the core of the Democratic base is the deep rooted frustration and exhaustion with having been completely shafted by the 1% – and totally fed up with it.

    I agree with your description of the base’s frustration, but you’re conflating Bill with Hillary Clinton, and that’s not entirely fair. (I’d say it’s completely unfair, except that she does have her own record of DLC centrism to live down that is separate from Bill’s.)

    I’m hedging my bets during the upcoming electoral season. At the moment, I’m planning to support Sanders in the primary, but I don’t think he’ll win. I think he will — and already has — pushed HRC to the left, and that’s a good thing. But before you write HRC off as a 3rd Way corporate centrist, I’d urge you to listen to what she’s saying now, not what she said in the 90s.

  341. 341
    sharl says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oooh, I was just thinking this would be a good idea, and while he’s not a political candidate, I have JUST the Christian to send to LU: the guy who wrote this:

    The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal

    In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal.

    Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception.

    Ask any American evangelical, today, what the Bible says about abortion and they will insist that this is what it says. (Many don’t actually believe this, but they know it is the only answer that won’t get them in trouble.) They’ll be a little fuzzy on where, exactly, the Bible says this, but they’ll insist that it does.

    That’s new. If you had asked American evangelicals that same question the year I was born you would not have gotten the same answer…

    I’m sure a Christian institution of higher education – an intellectual bastion of thoughtful people of faith, if you will – would be delighted at the opportunity to engage theologically with Fred Clark. {hehehe}

  342. 342
    Cervantes says:

    @AxelFoley:

    I don’t see the problem with the direction of the country.

    Talk to the Black Lives Matter folks.

    Maybe even talk to Matt Damon.

  343. 343

    Why did Bernie go to Liberty University? Because of this right here:

    Michael Leh, a sophomore studying Christian leadership, said he saw himself voting for Sanders if the election came to a matchup between Sanders and businessman and television star Donald Trump.

    “Even though I might not agree with him, I respect him the most out of all the candidates right now, the fact that he came here and spoke with us and at the same time was very blunt with us, I really appreciated that,” Leh said.

    Trump makes the race crazy in so many ways. He even makes it possible for conservatives to vote for Sanders.

  344. 344
    goblue72 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh, I hear what she’s saying. Talk is cheap. The money that funds their respective campaigns is not. My gut tells me if elected, her default position when the going gets tough will be Third Way centrism – and that whatever moments of boldness Obama may have displayed during his administration will be even more limited with her. And that unlike Obama, she will stock her administration with a lot more centrist hacks than his relatively clean, technocratic administration.

  345. 345
    Betty Cracker says:

    @goblue72: You could be right. I’m not totally sold on Clinton; I’m just pretty sure she’s the candidate we’ll end up with in the end. But I don’t think she’s quite as hawkish or Wall Street-centered as many on the left (and I count myself among them ideologically) think she is. I don’t think she’d be all that different than Obama, policy-wise. She really wasn’t in 2008 either.

  346. 346
    Monala says:

    @Frank Bolton:

    Obama performed pretty pathetically among non-black racial minorities in 2008.

    He got 67% of the Latino vote and 62% of the Asian vote. Those percentages went up to 71% and 73% in 2012, but Obama hardly performed pathetically in 2008.

  347. 347

    @Betty Cracker:

    Sure, a liberal Christian could *try* to talk to Liberty U, but I’m not as sanguine as you are that they would get a better reception from our side for that effort than Obama got for reaching out to Rick Warren.

    It just seems weird to me that Pierce is celebrating Sanders for his “Gospel” when Sanders is not a Christian. It makes me a little uncomfortable, actually, like Sanders is being forced into a religious role for a religion he doesn’t believe in, like he’s the Jewish version of a Magic Negro.

  348. 348
    goblue72 says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think we agree more than disagree. I don’t think she’s the second the coming of Rupert Murdock – even if they are buddies. I think she’s similar to Obama, but a smidgen to his right. But I also think Obama was an Establishment, economic centrist. Once he got finished bailing out the banks, he was pretty much done. I don’t mean to dismiss things like the ACA – which was a BFD – but the ACA is at its core a welfare program (most of its benefits in reducing the uninsured rates are from expanding Medicaid eligibility) – its not a program or policy designed to primarily assign the struggling middle – the economic core of our society.

    Which is the problem. We don’t need more neo-liberal, technocratic economic policy. We need a strong attack on the existing economic order. More FDR or Teddy Roosevelt. Less Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.

  349. 349

    @goblue72:

    I’m not a huge Brock fan, but he does seem to have had a true Cole-like conversion to the Democratic side and has renounced his past actions as a dirty trickster. If she’s not allowed to hire someone who knows how the Republican noise machine works because he helped build it, then you should stop reading this blog immediately because Cole obviously can’t be trusted. Brock had his conversion at least 5 years before Cole did, so you can’t go by the length of time they’ve been on our side.

  350. 350
    Betty Cracker says:

    @goblue72: Can’t disagree with anything you said there. We do need a fundamental shift in the economic order. But honestly, I’m not sure the Democrats are capable of pulling that off, not with the levels of polarization we’re dealing with right now. The Republican Party will have to completely implode for that to happen, an outcome that I pray for (in my atheist manner) every single day.

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):I’m sure you’re right when you say a liberal Christian wouldn’t get a positive reception at Liberty U. I was just pushing back against the notion that ONLY a non-Christian could say what Sanders did, because somehow Sanders’ status as an “outsider” by virtue of his faith/heritage allows him to call them out. I don’t think that’s true at all, nor do I believe Sanders is being pressured to play fundie-whisperer because he’s Jewish.

  351. 351
    Frank Bolton says:

    @Monala: I apologize for leaving a crucial word out. I meant that Obama underperformed with Asians and Latinos in the 2008 Democratic Primary.

    http://www.naasurvey.com/resou.....R-2009.pdf

    How did Asian Americans vote in the 2008 presidential primaries? In Table 1, we present the self-reported vote preferences of Asian American registered voters. Since several states had open primaries or modified open primaries where “decline-tostate” voters could still choose a primary candidate, we present the results for all registered voters, regardless of their party registration. As Table 1 indicates, Asian Americans did favor Clinton over Obama by a substantial margin ~45% to 27% overall, or 61% to 36% among Democratic primary voters!

    http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/re.....-primaries

    Hispanic men and women of all ages, educational levels and incomes voted for Clinton over Obama on Super Tuesday. For example, younger Hispanics (ages 17 to 29) voted heavily for Clinton (62%) over Obama (37%) on Feb. 5, in contrast to their counterparts among whites and blacks.

    2/3rds was a slight exaggeration, but there’s no denying that she completely smoked Obama among non-black racial minorities. I mean, she still lost, so I can’t exactly recommend that Sanders pursue a path of white working class + Asians + Latinos. But she came pretty close in the end and I’m pretty sure that if 2008 Clinton and Obama got their same margins among the 2016 electorate (black votes very slightly increases, white vote modestly decreases), Clinton would’ve squeaked out a win.

  352. 352
    jhentai says:

    $18 trillion over ten years? pittance compared to jeb!!!’s or paul ryan’s plans! and he’s proposing to give the poors that money as opposed to the cocks (sorry, kochs), or adelston, or romney, or any of those crazy republican bastards!

  353. 353
    Thoughtful Today says:

    On the lighter side:

    Bernie music!

  354. 354
    Thoughtful Today says:

    !

    On the serious side:

    http://Bernie2016events.org

    ^ Find an event, start an event, meet Bernie supporters, & work at expanding Bernie’s Democratic Party primary voting base.

  355. 355
    Thoughtful Today says:

    More seriously:

    Bernie was a forceful advocate for both gay marriage and abortion at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

    ^

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