There is always an applicable XKCD

I’m still trying to put together thoughts that don’t evolve into seventeen hundred words of profanity.

Open thread

Go, Zach

Speaking truth to the powerless:

Donna Brazile, the interim leader of the Democratic National Committee, was giving what one attendee described as “a rip-roaring speech” to about 150 employees, about the need to have hope for wins going forward, when a staffer identified only as Zach stood up with a question.

“Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this?” he asked, according to two people in the room. “You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.”

Some DNC staffers started to boo and some told him to sit down. Brazile began to answer, but Zach had more to say.

“You are part of the problem,” he continued, blaming Brazile for clearing the path for Trump’s victory by siding with Clinton early on. “You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.”

Zach gathered his things and began to walk out. When Brazile called after him, asking where he was going, he told her to go outside and “tell people there” why she should be leading the party.

Brazile is probably one of the better denizens of Clintonworld, but they must all go, every last one of them.  Clintonworld is over:

The silver lining of this Democratic crap-storm isn’t that Clinton racked up a really big margin in California to put her over the top in a meaningless metric. The silver lining is that, as a leaderless party, it’s free now to debate what it wants to be in the post–financial crisis era just as Republicans did after 2008. This release of suppressed emotions began during the primary between Sanders and Clinton, but the post-primary need to stop Donald Trump bottled them up again, and the fight was never resolved. Should the Democratic Party seek to be the “sane” party that offers modifications to liberal capitalism, or should there be—say—a “political revolution”? Should Democrats try to inch the ball forward on policy goals in the existing paradigm or eschew immediate gains to blow up that paradigm altogether? The fight is going to resume now, and how. The arguments of the primary are going to look like an Up With People halftime show compared with what’s about to go down. It’s going to be messy. People are going to get so pissed. It’s going to be embarrassing. It’s going to be great.

Not a Fan, But…

Michael Moore’s piece on why Trump will win seems eerily prescient. For example:

Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.  I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. […]

Moore names 4 other factors in the piece, and they all seem reasonable to me.

Yesterday’s result was a bit like an airplane crash:  there are a lot of factors and no single one was enough to bring the plane down. We need to take a look at all of them, and engineer a new party from the wreckage.

First Things First

First, a hearty FUCK YOU to every single person who voted for Trump, all 57,518,551 or so of you. Even if you don’t consider yourselves stone-cold racist, misogynist pricks like the president-elect, you’re as bad as he is. If you were stupid enough to believe that your vote “sent a message,” you’re right: By voting for that degenerate demagogue, you’ve displayed such depraved indifference to the fate of women, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, etc., that you’re now an honorary member of the Klan. So, put that fucking hood on, asshole.

Second, a rousing GO FUCK YOURSELF to Stein voters. There were two candidates who had a chance of winning this election, and you chose to preen on the sidelines. The fucking hilarious thing is, you didn’t even matter. You’re not a spoiler, but you’re still an asshole. When you get over yourself, you’re cordially invited to come be useful to those of us who will be opposing the fascist.

Third, about opposing the fascist: it starts tomorrow with a focus on 2018. Only determined, implacable resistance will get us through this. Having seen the writing on the wall, I turned my TV off before they called the race, but I just read an alert that popped on my screen that says “Trump calls for ‘America to bind the wounds of division.’” Fuck that. Trump is a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue who has elevated the very worst people in a country chock-full of lunatics, sadists and incompetents. Read more

I Have to Agree with Jim Newell


[…] We can’t comprehend even 1 percent of what’s just happened. But one aspect of it, minor in the overall sweep, that I’m pretty sure we can comprehend well enough right now: The Democratic Party establishment has beclowned itself and is finished.

I think of the lawmakers, the consultants, the operatives, and—yes—the center-left media, and how everything said over the past few years leading up to this night was bullshit.

The midterm losses? That was just a bad cycle, structurally speaking; presidential demographics would make up for it. The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.

Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn’t know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.

And this:

What was the line? Hillary Clinton would do well in a general election, because she’d been “vetted” for 20-some years and there was nothing new Republicans could try? Just writing that, I recognize that it’s the funniest line I’ve ever seen, and yet it was the exact argument Clinton used in two separate campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

And I’ll add three words: Debbie. Wasserman. Schultz. (Who won tonight, by the way.)

The Democratic Party that will re-take the Senate, House and Presidency will not look like the party that DWS or the Clintons fostered and maintained. The house organ of that Party will not be the New York Times or any other part of the false equivalency establishment press, no matter how “liberal” their columnists are. The advisors and consultants who bring that Party to victory will not include John Podesta or anyone who ever worked for him in a senior capacity. The reason is simple: this combination killed us in 2016.

Obama was a breakout candidate in large part because he went around the Democratic establishment. The message, style and operations of a winning Democratic Party will be part Obama and, as much as many of you hate hearing this, part Bernie Sanders. The simple fact was that there was a hell of a lot more excitement about Bernie’s candidacy among the Democrats who need to be energized for us to win, than there was among Hillary supporters. Bernie wasn’t the guy, but we need to look hard at what he said, how he said it, and how his campaign operated. We need to find someone who isn’t Bernie to carry that message into 2018 and 2020.