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      So—Bush Jr., of Iraq and torture, will vote for Clinton. The Clinton team is pleased. Michelle Obama has a publicity photo with her embracing him. 1st Lady Michelle Obama hugs Pres. George W.Bush at opening of @NMAAHC I was there for 1 of museums chief sponsors @BankofAmerica pic.twitter.com/XWw41G5nHO — kennerly (@kennerly) September 24, 2016 Meanwhile they […]
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A Landslide will bring it down

img_9597eHappy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you are having a great day. The weather in Pittsburgh is perfect today. I’m going to do some yard work and painting and head on over to the other side of the river for dinner. Maybe relax in the cool breezes high above the river and watch the lights come on in the valley below. Ahhhh….

In the meantime, Krugman is trying to talk sense to the Bernie supporters. Butcha know, I wish he would just stop. He’s doin’ it worng. Take this bit, for example:

It’s true that her lead isn’t as big as it was before Mr. Trump clinched the G.O.P. nomination, largely because Republicans have consolidated around their presumptive nominee, while many Sanders supporters are still balkingat saying that they’ll vote for her.

But that probably won’t last; many Clinton supporters said similar things about Barack Obama in 2008, but eventually rallied around the nominee. So unless Bernie Sanders refuses to concede and insinuates that the nomination was somehow stolen by the candidate who won more votes, Mrs. Clinton is a clear favorite to win the White House.

Gosh, I know some of us were ‘silly’ for refusing to jump on the Obama bandwagon after the 2008 primary debacle. But Paul should know that I continue to run into die-hard, civil rights loving Democrats who absolutely could not, under any circumstances, vote for Obama in 2008 or 2012. The reaction to being pressured to vote for him is instant nausea, a rise in blood pressure and anger. Why?

It’s because Obama’s campaign made zero attempt to reach out to us. No, it was more like roll over us, back up, roll over us again, stomp on our heads, call us racists, threaten us, make fun of us, call us stupid uneducated losers and the people who were going to deprive women of reproductive choice. All this from the campaign of the guy who couldn’t be bothered to immediately rescind the Bush conscience rule when he took office. Was that so much to ask from the Feminist in Chief? They treated us so tenderly, those Democrats for Obama. Bernie supporters are going to get a lot more consideration from Hillary than we ever got from Obama.

The difference this year is, as Nate Silver writes, Bernie has had an unusual advantage in the nominating process due to open primaries and caucuses. He has been given every opportunity to win. And he simply hasn’t had the numbers. As Silver points out, the proportional distribution of delegates, open primaries and number of caucuses allows Bernie to pile up delegates from voters who are not all Democrats through a process that is pretty undemocratic.

By Silver’s logic, the same could be said of Obama’s win in 2008. He piled up a lot of delegates in caucus states and in the Republican states in the south. He won very, very few of the delegate rich solid blue Democratic states. The way the media portrayed it, you would have thought Obama won the primary nomination in a landslide when in truth, he barely squeaked by in delegates, lost the popular vote and was the recipient of a wholesale defection of superdelegates from Hillary to Obama in May 2008. Hmmm, right about now, eight years ago…

My point is, and I do have one, is that the count isn’t anywhere near being close for Bernie. I can see where his supporters see the same patterns of wins and think they can pull off an Obama. But even Obama couldn’t pull off an Obama without a lot of help (cough, *media*, cough). And that help cooled some Clintonista’s support for Obama- permanently.

In other words, stop trying to help, Paul. The only ones who are going to be able to help Bernie supporters to move on are Hillary, Bernie and the party, who needs to make a unwavering commitment to stand behind its nominee. It would be wrong to keep taking Bernie supporters votes for granted. That’s going to make them balk. Well, at least some of them. Just give them time to adjust to the numbers. This is not 2008. It’s not that close. Not even a little bit.

This part Krugman did get right:

And no, saying that the race is effectively over isn’t somehow aiding a nefarious plot to shut it down by prematurely declaring victory. Nate Silverrecently summed it up: “Clinton ‘strategy’ is to persuade more ‘people’ to ‘vote’ for her, hence producing ‘majority’ of ‘delegates.’” You may think those people chose the wrong candidate, but choose her they did.

She did it the same way she did it in 2008. She relied on the solid Democratic machinery, unions, hard work and by excelling in messaging and preparation over the other candidate. She is a good candidate. She knows how to win elections and has proven to win elections to the senate, twice, and in the 2008 primaries. The left blogosphere guys who are freaking out need to calm their tits already.

Let me make this absolutely clear  about where we stand to those of you Bernie Bros (and right wing trolls) who can’t help throwing out word salad nonsense in our comments sections. The people on this blog are some of the most pragmatic voters you will ever meet. They have a set of standards and they challenge their candidates to meet them. They are enthusiastic about Clinton but they are also not carried away by emotion. You can’t win us over by the breathless panic you feel when the demon, female incubus mind controls us to vote for her. I assure you, we did this all on our own by researching the issues and weighing the pros and cons of both candidates. There was no electronic signal to the chips embedded in our brains.

Your attempts to highjack the nomination away from Hillary a second time and nullify our votes will provoke a very strong reaction in us. You really ought to think long and hard about this. I don’t think it’s something you considered. We are not going to just roll over and take it when we do not see Bernie as coming close to winning.

Also, you won’t find commenters here who use a lot of jargon. That’s because they prefer to do their own thinking and don’t want someone with an agenda substituting shortcuts to the thinking process. Try it sometime. I mean, try to write a comment that doesn’t contain the words authoritarians, DLC, neoliberals or corporatists. I challenge you to use real thoughts and words. I might even let some of you out of the spam filter where no one can currently hear you scream.

Otherwise, you are wasting your time here. This blog was created eight years ago so that Clintonistas could feel safe swimming against the tide and saying what they thought without someone bullying them or forcing  them to shut up. We’d like to keep it that way. That doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome here but you need to realize where we are coming from. The vast majority of Clintonistas are no longer persuadable to abandoning her for another candidate. In all likelihood, most Clinton supporters in the remaining primary states are pretty much the same. We are sticking with her no matter what gets thrown at her.

What is important is whether your candidate is damaging his own reputation and legacy. I’ve noticed in the past couple of days that he’s backing off the scorched earth tactics. Probably because he’s a smart man and he also knows that there’s nothing hinky about this process this year and that he is simply losing in the old fashioned way like other people we liked. You know, like Paul Tsongas and Gary Hart. Ok, maybe some of you are too young to know. For some of us, those were our first crushes too.

We learned to love again.

In the meantime, it’s not over yet but this story has a somewhat predictable ending. You may find out that the nominee is better than you thought. I would only ask that you give her a chance with a more open mind.

What we need is to send a clear signal to the right wing extremism that is giving us Trump so that a landslide can bring him down.

The Bernie Operatives protest too much, Methinks

Suddenly, there’s a bunch of posts and articles all over the intertoobz about why it isn’t right for Hillary people to tell Bernie people that it’s time to get out.

It feels a lot like, what’s that defense mechanism called again? You know, the one where you accuse someone of doing the very thing you would have done? Oh, yeah. Projection.

Then there’s this crap from David Axelrod via Greg Sargent:

“He’s pushed her on a lot of issues in a positive way, and I think that his young supporters will be bitterly resentful if anyone tries to shove him out of the race.”

Yes, they probably would be resentful. But it’s not like 2008 when the party will deliberately withhold delegates from his win column from two large states, gift uncommitted delegates to his opponent, re-engineer the rules so that he gets those delegates back but only at half strength until the Sunday before the convention so it looks like he’s always behind, and then doesn’t get a full first ballot roll call vote at the convention so that nobody knows how close the earned delegate count actually is so that it won’t provoke a justified floor fight.

If all that happened to Bernie, his young supporters would have a very good reason to be bitterly resentful.

Funny how David Axelrod was totally onboard with all of that when it happened to Hillary in 2008. He wasn’t overtly worried about her supporters being bitterly resentful. It probably had something to do with her being a woman and assuming she was ok with being shoved aside and not complaining about it. I’m not sure he gave a damn about her supporters’ feelings in the least tiny bit. That’s why some of them left to join the Tea Party. That went well. So, you know, David can piss off for all I care.

But I can’t see Hillary’s people treating other candidates’ voters like s^&*. It’s not what decent people do. It does not result in party unity. And if Hillary approved of that kind of thing that David Axelrod encouraged in 2008, I would very much question her motives. Is she so determined to win that she’ll risk destroying any sense of fairness? Would she be willing to completely discount the votes and sentiments and will of millions of voters (like her voters in 2008, made up over half of all the Democratic voters in all of the primary states including CA, MA, NY, NJ, PA, TX, FL, MI, etc, etc)? Because if she would do that, then what else might she ignore during her presidency? Long term unemployed people? Desperate homeowners? Working people in general?

I only ask.

Fortunately, there’s no reason for any of us to have to contemplate scenarios where Hillary and her people would scream at Bernie’s people to “GET OUT, YOU STUPID <fill in the stereotypical offensive epithet here>, YOU’RE RUINING EVERYTHING!!!”. (We have pictures, Greg)

The primaries are going well. Everything looks on the up and up and Bernie will have his say at the convention and a honest to goodness first ballot roll call vote.

In the meantime, it is very important that Bernie doesn’t sink to the level of a Republican and damage Clinton and the party just so he can stay in the good graces of his supporters who may or may not be some of the same obnoxious Obots who had to have their way in 2008, got it, and got burned because they weren’t paying any damn attention to the fact that their candidate’s favorite presidents were all Republicans.

They are allowed to be disappointed. I have been disappointed many times in Democratic primaries. I always got over it and voted for the nominee. But I drew the line in 2008 because of all of the nasty crap that happened with the full consent of the party, Obama, the media and DAVID AXELROD.

WE were cheated, bullied and disrespected. Bernie’s voters are simply losing. BIG difference.

This part was particularly offensive:

It’s not yet clear whether the Clinton camp thinks it will have to make any meaningful concessions to Sanders in order to unite the party and bring in his supporters. But during her victory speech yesterday, Clinton struck the right preliminary tone for navigating what’s ahead. She stopped short of declaring the nomination locked up, while suggesting that “more voices” across the country still deserve to “be heard,” and thus that the contest should continue for the foreseeable future. Her surrogates may be tempted to heap disdain on Sanders and his supporters for wanting him to keep going, particularly if her pledged delegate lead expands. The Clinton campaign should discourage that.

We don’t need a lecture from Greg Sargent. We had enough of that crap in 2008, along with the Convention media narrative, “Why is Hillary not releasing her delegates? Doesn’t she know she’s harshing Obama’s melloooooow??” (I was in Denver, Greg. I talked to “journalists”. They all parroted the same damn thing)

No one has to tell Clinton or her far more sensitive supporters how to behave towards our friends who are still feeling the Bern, especially not some tut-tutting male blogger at the Washington Post.

I have full faith in Hillary Clinton to do the right thing for the party, to which she has been far more loyal than it has been to her, and for all of the voters, both hers and Bernie’s.

When she wants your input, I’m sure she’ll ask for it.

Update: Why are Clinton people so cranky? Why don’t you put up with 20+ years of lies and innuendo from the nutcase right and then find that the guy you thought wasn’t going to hurt you is using the same personal attacks that could have been written by some back office flunky at Fox News.

And add to that the media is determined to never say anything nice about you. Even the surrogates of the most determined, successful, accomplished, over qualified candidate in the last 20 years would start to get a bit peevish.

Especially after having gone through it once before in 2008. It’s generally true that women have to work much harder to get to the same position as a man. But this is like asking her to run this gauntlet twice without any help whatsoever. It makes what Obama had to go through look like a cake walk.

The better question is, why is Bernie doing it? What can he possibly hope to gain by it?

 

 

The left continues to disintegrate

Apparently, this drone issue has become pretty serious among the remaining A-list bloggers of the left.  You can get the full PUMA treatment for even suggesting that the use of drones should be discussed.  I suspect that a no-drone stance will become the new black on the left, with good reason.  At least it’s not dogmatic, although if they’re not careful, it could become a dogmatic issue.  The problem is not that drones drop bombs on innocent people.  It’s that people with unlimited, unaccountable power can drop bombs on people they do not like and, because it is not personally expensive to them, the power will be abused.  You can count on it.  Drones with lethal capacity should be banned. You can’t control power like that.  You need to destroy it before it falls into the hands of the people who, meaning to do good, can ultimately not stop themselves from exercising it for their own purposes.  In a sense, this is the same problem we’ve been dealing with since Magna Carta.  One person has too much power and can use it indiscriminately to the point that no one is safe.

But while the no-droners are getting more than a little sympathy because they have incurred the unfair wrath of the party fanatics, they themselves still think it is unserious that the current president used vote suppression tactics to win the nomination in 2008.  For some reason, that doesn’t seem to bother them, although when Republicans try to invalidate whole populations of voters in PA, lefties have a royal fit.  Throwing a fit *is* the correct response, in case there were any doubts. But it’s no different than what the party did to its voters in 2008.  Inconvenient votes were suppressed, transferred or halved so that one person would have an advantage over another.  To me, it’s just as serious an issue as the drone problem.  Maybe more so.  If you can’t vote out the guy who uses drones, you’re pretty much screwed.

Oh, sure, it all happened four years ago and what does that have to do with today?  Isn’t it obvious?  The party locked itself in with Obama.   I still don’t think the Democrats who are feeling betrayed right now understand what they’re dealing with.  Obama used WALL STREET to get the nomination.   You know, those guys who brought the entire planet to the edge of economic oblivion??  They don’t know limits.  They’re like Enron on crack, PCP and bath salts with a chaser of testosterone. Wall Street culture has permeated the party.  That’s why the partisans are so aggressive.  It’s the way they operate.  They’re smart, they’re driven and they don’t think very far ahead.  They want to win, that much is clear.  But to them, governing is not so important.  What is important is staying in charge, looking out for their own interests and politically obliterating anyone that gets in their way.

So the party faithful decided not to primary Obama this year because that sounded crazy.  Now, some Democrats regret that we didn’t primary him.  I think that just having a concerted effort on the left to discuss it seriously would have been enough to get the DNC’s attention. But at the time it was suggested to push for the only viable alternative to Obama that would have had the Obama Democrats peeing their pants, those of us who could see this day coming were called crazy.

I dunno, maybe you have to be a little bit crazy to see outside the box.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Maybe the left should stop trying to control everything for fear of losing and do something a little crazy every now and then.

Well, whatever, the left will have plenty of time to think about going a bit mad in 2014.  Let’s make the circular firing squad brief this time, shall we?

BTW, I heard that there’s a new NBC poll that put Obama ahead by a lousy 3 points.

Against Mitt Romney.

Obama should be coasting by now.

This ain’t over yet people and Obama’s no longer historic.  He’s no longer a political cypher either. Now we know the limits of his audacity.

The Republicans are sitting on a wad of cash and they will use it in the last couple of weeks to blame Obama for everything that has happened in the last four years.  He’ll get blamed for everything he did and all of the things he didn’t do. These are not ordinary times.  Real people are hurting and they’re angry.  They voted for a Democrat and they didn’t get one.  Political junkies knew that the Republicans would be obstructive pains in the asses.  That was their plan to return to power.  But that’s no excuse for the poor performance of the past four years.  If Obama had acted like a Democrat and used the power that the voters gave him the first two years and failed, he would have a much stronger case against the Republicans this year.  But you have to at least try to do what voters expect you to do before they cut you any slack and all indications are that he did worse than nothing.  He catered to the very people who got us into this mess.

Elections hinge on motivated voters.  Do you feel motivated?

One piece of advice to the new defectors: don’t let the partisans guilt trip you.  They’re going to say that it will be all your fault if Romney wins.  That’s bullshit.  It’s the party’s responsibility to nominate a candidate that represents your values and the platform of your party. You own your vote.  If the party is playing a game of political chicken with you in order to make you feel like you’re trapped into voting for their guy, remember that their job was to court you, not to take you for granted.  You have issues that are important to you and you shouldn’t always have to sit down and shut up while the candidate goes chasing after voters with whom you have little in common.  You don’t owe him anything.  If the polls get too close, he might start sweet talking you.  And if that happens, make him work for your vote.

Yeah, it will suck if Romney and more Republicans win.  I’m planning to vote D down ticket.  But it will suck worse for the guys who highjacked the party because they will be out of power and power is more addicting than anything else.  They’re going to hate that.

Good.

Welcome new Democrats In Exile.  We’re out of our customary initiation packages.  Grab some popcorn and make yourselves comfortable.

Irony is not dead

Digby seems surprised by the White House’s hubristic gloating and chastisement of union money spent in Arkansas:

Honestly, this is beneath the White House and they need to put a muzzle on it. Primaries are a legitimate part of the democratic process and no president (or his men) should ever, ever dismiss them publicly or imply in any way that members of the rank and file shouldn’t have a voice in these decisions. It’s truly embarrassing and offensive to see the Republicans responding with more class to their crazed teaparties than the White House does to its labor union and netroots allies.

It *almost* feels like the Obama administration has discovered from past experience that primaries don’t count, or that their results can be invalidated, so that the party can operate with impunity and ignore the voters. But that could only happen if the activist base let the party get away with it and failed to hold them accountable. But that would be stoopid because then the activist base would have thoroughly emasculated itself, becoming completely ineffective as a political force. Where would the White House get such a crazy idea?

Drive slow children.

Late Afternoon Developments- Holding Pattern

My curiosity has been piqued by the following interesting developments:

  • Admiral “Fox” Fallon is retiring. Yep, the guy who referred to General Petraeus as “an @$$-kissing, little chicken$hit” is calling it quits. Fallon was the last surviving top military honcho to stand between Dick Cheney and his Iran bombing Viagra. As Jane at FDL points out, retiring means he is free to spill the beans.
  • Eliot Spitzer is not resigning today. He may not resign tomorrow. It is unknown when he will resign. Except that the Republicans in the NY State legislature printed the Articles of Impeachment sometime back in January and it would be a shame to waste them. So, it appears that he may be trying to work out a deal to avoid indictment on some of the charges before he beats a hasty retreat. Oh, and apparently, his NY cheesecake was not cool with Silda.
  • John Boehner is threatening to close up the House if the president and the telecomms don’t get their way with FISA. There is a deal in the works to not give them blanket immunity but instead bring each infraction before a federal judge to determine whether there is a state secret involved. BUT we forget that Republicans have been in charge of nominating federal judges for the past 28 out of 40 years so what are the chances?
  • Pelosi scuttles any chance of a joint Clinton-Obama, Obam-Clinton ticket. Whew! That’s a relief. I guess she knows firsthand what it’s like to be the first female leader in her organization who has a male second in command forced on her who ignores her every word. Well, we’ll see, Nancy. It’s likely you won’t have any say in *this* matter either.

Guys, I don’t have to remind you that 3 out of the 4 items up above are a direct result of Republican skullduggery. They are nasty pieces of work who will scheme right up to the last minute when they are escorted off the premises and just before they leave, someone will give the signal to type “rm *” at the sys admin console while logged in as root at /. (I’ll bet the unix geeks just got a shivver from that)

In the meantime, item 4 shows how much we have let our guard down with respect to the Bushies while Obama has accused Clinton of being the Grand Master of the Chapaqua Branch of the KKK and the Obamaphiles are flipping out over the fact that Hillary says McCain has more national security creds than Barry. And what about the FL and MI delegates, guys? Could you please wrap it up so we can get onto keeping the barbarians from making any further incursions until we can send reinforcements?

Priorities, people!

The Latest on MI and FL: Obama digs deeper

green-eggs-and-ham.gifReaders may remember that on Wednesday, well before Mark Schmitt got the credit (*sigh*, so typical. The guy always gets the credit), The Confluence presented the plan to seat the MI and FL delegates in Look, It’s Very Simple. (There was a followup with A Modest Proposal) The plan was, have both candidates agree to waive the rules and seat the Florida delegates or have the holdout pay for a mail-in primary. For Michigan, the current results would be thrown out, because not all candidate names were on the ballot, and a mail-in primary would be conducted. This was a win-win for both candidates. Hillary gets her delegates, the voters of CA, NY, NJ, OH, TX etc, get their critical mass, Floridians get their votes counted and since Barry will not win Florida anyway, he gets their good will in the unlikely event that he is the nominee. In Michigan, Hillary gets the goodwill of Edwards and Obama supporters by requesting a re-do and Barry has an opportunity to win this state legitimately through a primary, not a caucus.

But it seems that Barry is a little hesitant about this. No doubt, the angel on his left shoulder, Donna Brazile, is urging him to let the RULZ dictate and Howard Dean, who has forgotten his role as the head of the Democratic National Committee, is dithering as well in order to continue his experimentation with the 50 State Strategy. (Um, Howard, that would mean that Obama would have to win at least *some* of those big, Democratic states, like MINE.)

Well, it isn’t looking good for Barry. Passing up his chance to be magnanimous and to unite the voters in November, Barry has decided to go with the self-interest of having the perception of an artificially inflated vote count. James Carville spoke on Clinton’s behalf yesterday and went one further. If Obama insists on a re-do in Florida, thereby becoming the only candidate in primary history to lose the same state twice, Hillary has backers who would offer to foot the bill up to $15M. It’s a little like Sam-I-Am, chasing the hapless seussian around with a plate of Green Eggs and Ham. “Would you eat them on a train, would you eat them on a plane? Would you eat them here or there? Would you eat them anywhere?” So far, Obama is resisting with “Sam, let me be!”

He doesn’t want to be VP. He doesn’t want want to waive the RULZ. He’d rather piss off the voters in Florida. And I’ve heard that there is a new twist to this. Apparently, Gov. Crist in Florida can decertify the Democratic party in Florida if its delegates aren’t seated and the name of our nominee can be left off the ballot in November. (Thanks Boston Boomer for the reference) Obama’s in a tight spot alright. Too bad he isn’t listening to the better angels of his nature and taking the sure thing, even if it results in what could be a temporary loss of frontrunner status. Under these circumstances, it would be stupid for Carville and buddies to not milk the story of Obama, The Great Disenfranchiser, for all it’s worth.

With political acumen like this, he’d be a lousy president.

It’s not about popularity vs numbers. It’s about “hard” vs “easy”.

I’ve heard enough about the delegate numbers and the popular vote. People who go on about these things as if they are meaningful are deliberately ignoring reality and what voters are starting to see. Hillary wins the do-or-die states. They’re difficult and the odds are against her but she still manages to win them. Obama wins the low-hanging fruit. Now, people may legitimately argue that those states count too. But in many of the states he’s won, it has been by overwhelming the traditional regular Democratic voters in a caucus situation. And we have gone over the reasons why caucuses tend not to be representative of Democratic will. They exclude the people most likely to vote for Hillary: the shiftworker, the caretakers, the rushed and hurried mothers who can’t spend several hours at a caucus. Think about that for a sec. Obama is trying to ride to glory on the basis of exclusive caucuses. The young and the DINKs turn out in record numbers. The rest of us can kiss off.

But my point is that primaries in the big D and swing states are not easy to win. Even with all of the loads of cash that Obama has poured into them, he hasn’t been able to swing it. But Hillary has won these difficult states and in several cases, by double digits. If the delegate mathematicians think that has escaped the voters’ attention, they are dreaming. When Hillary won OH and the TX primary, she moved way ahead of Obama in the mental math of most voters. She *is* the presumptive nominee now. The only way Obama can win this is by suppressing voters, either by caucuses or by making sure Florida doesn’t get a seat at the table where it will count for anything. The fact that neither one of them have enough votes to win outright does not change this perception.

She won the tough ones. She’s going to win the other biggies and do well in the remaining *primaries* because people want an end to all of this and they’ll turn out for her to finish it. She’s proven herself and overcome adversity with hard work and grace, She’s the one.

One more thing: It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks Hillary is the one.  Here is a piece from the Timesonline (Britain) that makes essentially the same point.  I’m not saying that Barry can’t make a comeback but the switch in the minds of the remaining voters is probably already thrown for Hillary.

For those of you who are interested, here is the map of the primaries so far from the NYTimes.

electoralcollege2004-large.png