Armchair Jacobins

This is kind of hilarious. I followed Corey Robin on FB because I like to see what other people think (a good thing), and sometimes I politely commented. I just got unfriended after this exchange:




That’s just sad and funny on so many levels. And I didn’t change my initial remarks- I initially assumed he was smart enough to go from point a to point b. He wasn’t, so I extended them.

I’ve seen this over and over again with these guys. Zaid Jilani, Freddie de Boer, that Bruenig fellow.


In all honesty, what did I say or do that was so offensive here?

@WikiLeaks: Patchouli-Scented

One positive thing about the Trump candidacy is that it has a way of confirming long-held suspicions, such as that the GOP base’s yearning for white nationalist politics remains strong and extends well beyond Dixie. Another is that Green Party favorite Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is basically the Milo Yiannopoulos of the tie-dyed set. Consider:

Unskews polls to predict glorious Trump victory — check:

Links to The Gateway Pundit, aka, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, as if he were a credible source — check:

Promotes wingnut fever-swamp conspiracy theories about the Clinton body count — check:*

Seems like there’s very little “Wiki” involved in WikiLeaks anymore, so what we’re getting is information filtered through Assange’s anti-Clinton bile. Jill Stein recently called Assange a hero, which underscores her poor judgement. Whatever good will the organization generated by publishing material that exposed war criminals in Iraq is now being squandered by a founder who is, like Roger Stone and, functioning as a oppo research and propaganda outlet for the Donald Trump campaign. Good to know.

*After strongly implying in an interview earlier this week that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was a WikiLeaks source, Assange walked it back a bit yesterday by reissuing a statement that neither confirmed nor denied a link to Rich. But the hint was picked up by the kooks as Assange intended, much as Trump’s dogwhistles find receptive ears.

Jill Stein, Anti-Vaxxer and Homeopathy Sympathizer – Whocoodanode?

Dan Savage is having a fight with the Greens (details here), and part of it involves a good look at their perennial candidate, “Dr” Jill Stein.  Here’s a taste of her bullshit:

I don’t know if we have an “official” stance [on vaccination], but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn’t allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical? […]

For homeopathy, just because something is untested doesn’t mean it’s safe. […]

What a fucking loon.

July 3rd Tune Inn DC Meet-up

We’ll be meeting at the Tune Inn at 331 Pennslvania Ave SE for drinks and munchies this coming Sunday, July 3rd starting around 8:00 PM

Hopefully it will be quiet enough for good conversation.

Google Maps directions here.

About Hard Choices

Concept image of a lost and confused signpost against a blue cloudy sky.

There’s an affirmative case to be made for Hillary- she’s qualified, she’s smart, she’s motivated, she has detailed plans and will have the most progressive platform and agenda of my lifetime (thanks in part to the fact that our shift to the left during the Obama years made this possible), she’s tough, she understands how Washington works, and so on. There are a ton of reasons why she will make a good President. Are there things about her that give me cause for concern- of course. But so too has the Obama administration had things I didn’t like- but you take the good with the bad, and no one can say that the election of Barack Obama was not worth the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get him elected.

Well, no one sane.

So one of the things that has been bothering me a lot lately is the rhetoric from our true progressive betters, in that there is no difference in a vote for Clinton than a vote for Trump, or that the choices they have are so bad they might as well not vote or vote for Jill Stein. It’s foolish on a number of levels, especially when you consider many of them believe that having Clinton lose would rush in a new progressive era. If Clinton loses because progressive choose to abandon the Democratic party in a fit of poutrage, nothing could be farther from the truth (further? Fuck it, I’m spent.):

Though it might offend his uber-progressive supporters to hear this, the Sanders insurgency is largely a white revolution. All the talk about Sanders representing the future of the Democratic Party because of his overwhelming popularity among young people leaves out an important caveat: He couldn’t persuade minority voters to sign on. In many ways a Sanders victory, propelled by the least diverse states in the nation, would have been a step backward in American race relations. Now that Hillary Clinton has laid claim convincingly to the nomination with decisive wins in California and New Jersey, the party—and Bernie’s supporters—are at a crossroads. If they insist on maintaining their purist divide from Clinton, they will create a rift in the party that’s not just ideological, but racial.


The evidence of the racial divide lies even within the general election matchup polls Sanders and his supporters love to cite. He leads in a potential matchup with Trump by a larger margin than does Clinton. But that’s largely because Clinton’s minority voters would eagerly back Sanders as the Democratic nominee. Latinos hold a similar rate of favorability for Clinton and Sanders and would vote for either Democrat against Trump in nearly the same percentage, according to a poll by Latino Decisions.

Minority voters have been watching in horror as millions of Republican voters choose Trump either because of, or despite, his open bigotry. The Sanders supporters who toy with the idea of shunning Clinton in November and allowing Trump to become president to force a revolution that Sanders couldn’t deliver are playing with fire. To minority voters, Trump’s candidacy feels like an existential threat. It’s one thing for Republicans to either ignore or embrace his racism; the party already seems unwilling or incapable of making the kinds of adjustments it must to attract more non-white voters. It’s quite another for white Democrats to not appreciate how liberal minorities feel about the possibility of a Trump presidency and what that would say about the state of racial progress in America. It would be a slap in the face, the latest sign that a kind of white privilege—throwing a temper tantrum because they don’t get their way despite how much it hurts people of color—is deeply rooted within liberal, Democratic ranks as well.

Many Sanders supporters believed his push to regulate Wall Street and solve economic inequality would resonate with minority voters. It didn’t because minority voters know that liberal policies alone won’t reverse decades of racial inequalities. They have been loyal members of liberal unions where white Democrats received plush jobs, even if they were no more qualified than their black colleagues. They’ve seen the same thing in liberal Hollywood and the supposedly liberal world of the media, whose top ranks remain mostly white.

Repudiating Clinton because she is not Sanders would be a disaster for the purist progressives who think theirs is the one true way by fracturing the party beyond Reince Priebus’s wildest dreams. It’s about party unity, and it’s not about party unity. It’s about the makeup of the party, period. The only people who would win are the Green party, who might get ballot access on two more states and then poll at about 5% everywhere. That would surely be worth it.


But let’s get back to where we started- choices. It drives me up the wall to hear people who are in their first or second election cycle saying things like “I’m tired of choosing the lesser of two evils. Why can’t I vote for my dream candidate?”

First off, you can. You can write in Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, the Flying Spaghetti monster, fer fuck’s sake you could vote in Tunch’s celestial body if you want. But you’re pissing away your vote and you are betraying how truly naive you are and effectively not participating.

Second, who are these people? How fucking awesome must their lives be that the only time they have to make tough choices is during a presidential election? There seems to be some group of people where the only time in their life they have to grapple with choices that range from “Shitty” to “Shittier” is during elections. That’s not my life. I’m only 45, but my life is filled, every fucking single day, with choices of the lesser evil. The same is true for every single other human being on the planet who is not working from a position of extreme privilege.

Christ, it starts for me before I even wake up in the morning. The kids blew up the new lawn mower. Steve is starting to act like he has ear mites. Rosie is getting gimpy and crabby and looks unhappy and needs another cortisone shot. I need to go to the dentist. The refrigerator is dying. I have a set amount of money. Which do I deal with first? And even these are choices from privilege, because every day people out there are deciding whether they feed their kids or pay their utilities. My freezer and pantry are stocked and I have lots of cat food and a big 50 lb bag of dog food, so we’ll be fine.

And that doesn’t even get into the choices one has to deal with as President. Most of the President’s decisions are between shit, shittier, even shittier, jesus christ that’s bad, oh fer fuck’s sake, fuck me I quit.

So just stop it. Think about things. The choice between Clinton and Trump isn’t one of choosing between lesser evils. It’s the choice between a career politician who has made a few bad choices over a long career but overall is a pretty decent candidate who at the very least will be able to hold on to the progressive gains we’ve made and serve as a calm steward of the party for a few years, and an extinction level event masquerading as a walking, talking, orange abomination with a comb-over.

So pull yourself together, fer fuck’s sake.

TL;DR: I hate all of you.

You’ll come running back

I don’t understand why it’s vital that Bernie get out of the race and endorse Hillary immediately. I do understand why he needs to do this before the convention. But I don’t understand why it has to happen soon.

It sounds like Hillary can expect about a 5 point, give or take, bounce from bringing the Bernie voters home, and I’m confident she’ll get this sooner or later. In the meantime, isn’t it just as well that she has only a 4-6 point lead in polls instead of a 9-11 point lead, given that a double digit lead might convince Republicans to do the smart thing and find a way to dump Trump?

Every day that Republicans think Trump is in it to win it and go around idiotically tying their fates to his is a good day for Democrats. If Trump were way down in the polls, this wouldn’t be happening the way that it is right now.

And eventually Bernie will do the right thing. In the meantime, we need to just chill them liberals out and wait for the cavalry, which should be coming directly.

Just Chuck Off Already

Lot of hair-on-fire screaming this morning by Dems over Chuck Schumer (D-Tel Aviv) seeing an opportunity to sandbag the Iran deal (which is still going to pass) so he can later shrug and say “You know boys, I tried to stop it…”

Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”

Mr. Schumer had spent the last several weeks carrying a dog-eared copy of the agreement in his briefcase and meeting with Mr. Obama and officials like Wendy R. Sherman, the deal’s chief negotiator. With his decision, he paves the way for other Democrats on the fence to join Republicans in showing their disapproval.

There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Mr. Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”

C’mon guys, he’s practically giving the game away here.  He’s going to try really hard to convince Dems to vote against the President, and enough of them won’t bite so that the veto of the disapproval resolution holds.  This is a done deal (as Schumer’s fellow New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand has come out for backing it, she should be the first person Schumer should have been able to convince if he was being serious about wrecking the deal) and Schumer is playing his kabuki well.

This Schumer “defection” convinces me more than ever that the Iran deal will become law. The forms must be observed, and observed they will be. Schumer isn’t even trying to hide the fact he’s covering his ass with the AIPAC crowd at this point, and he knows he can get away with it.

And he will.