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August 30, 2015



After noting pundits trying to be "interesting" by making a big deal out of Bernie "closing the gap" in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll I had to check on them:

Despite all the faked frisson about Hillary "missteps" and "scandal" nothing has fundamentally changed. She would still be the first woman to be president and is still the most vetted candidate on Earth. She makes me cringe, too, but most Democrats are not socialists and they like her. Probably most Democrats wouldn't know socialism from timocracy.


I worry that Sanders is not being vetted. If he were to win the nomination, the minute after will be socialism all the time plus the intemperate remarks Bernie has made about why he wouldn't join the democratic party. Would this cause purple and red states dems to flee from him? Could make for a downticket disaster. Maybe Bernie's message would shine through but a couple of billion in dark money requires an awfully bright light.


I believe your comment is astute. With apologies to the reader that likes to comment "Bernie" and others, he's really not likely to get the nomination. Bernie himself is probably more interested in legitimizing democratic socialism in America than getting the nomination.

Peter G

What you really need to do to get traction as an under under dog hidden under a basket of puppies is to tear the people who support your leading adversary (and the majority of the party you want to lead) new assholes. Mind you this might resonate with some fragment of the Democratic Party. Perhaps he can capture the 2 percent of Sander's supporters who insist they won't vote for Clinton. Which is because their actual policies are virtually indistinguishable.

I've been trying to figure out how Democratic contenders can actually go about attacking Clinton. You aren't going to do it with appeals to phony Clinton scandals. At this point even a real Clinton scandal would be dismissed as phony. See boys who cried wolf. Policy? Nope. Could you nail her down on Keystone or TPP? Well not if you understand why the Machinists union just backed Clinton. I just watched Bernie issue his most blistering Clinton attack yet. He favors lifting the cap on SS contributions and she doesn't. Which is, unfortunately, wrong.

Peter G

That would be the least of my worries with regard to Bernie. WYSIWYG is an acronym that was drafted to describe Bernie. I had thought that he represented a strong reaction against Clinton but that isn't true. Apparently Bernie's tribe is quite happy to vote for Hillary if that is who becomes the nominee. Or so recent polling has shown.


"The press would give him a hell of an education once he secured the nomination..." I wonder. In this day and age, the horse race aspects of the process are far more important to the media than telling the truth. We will be inundated with stories about how close, how "down-to-the-wire" the race is, regardless of demographics or candidate-induced idiocy on either side. It's all part of the "fair and balanced" faux balancing act, driven by advertising sales, and thus, the need for ratings points. So I fear that the Donald will get a pass on many of his outrageous statements.

Tom Benjamin

I don't see what the policy differences between Bernie and Hillary have to do with anything. There are three possible outcomes:

1) A Republican wins. In this case, they surely retain the House and they might even hold the Senate. To me this is the truly disastrous scenario. The Republican agenda rules.

2) Hillary or Bernie wins, but the Republicans hold the House. The result is more or less the status quo - gridlock. Neither Bernie or Hillary would have any more success with Congress than Obama.

3) The Democrats win in a landslide. If I squint hard, I can barely imagine Hillary crushing the Republicans and the Dems controlling Congress. I can't imagine Bernie winning big.

Conclusion? The most important task is to make sure scenario one does not occur and under no circumstances does any of the Sanders agenda see the light of day. Who cares what he wants to see happen? He does not have the magic pixie dust to make any of it happen even if he manages to get elected.

I'll consider someone besides Hillary Clinton when somebody convinces me that another Democrat (or Socialist) is more likely to win. If pushed, I would say I think Biden would make the best President, but Hillary will be okay and Hillary is in the best position to win.

I agree with Pamela. If Hillary is the candidate, the election will mostly be about the Obama agenda, as Hillary embraces his policies and the Republicans run against Obama's third term. If Bernie is the candidate, the argument will be about socialism.

Peter G There are actually quite a few policies that both Sanders and Clinton agree on. Heck if you give Trump time enough to popularize taxing hedge fund managers that might be possible too. I like Bernie but watching him pitch the idea that another old white guy is just what the doctor ordered to inspire voter turnout makes him seem just a little out of touch. I agree with PM the biggest threat to Clinton would be a Biden Warren alliance. But even that is not much of a threat.

Tom Benjamin

"There are actually quite a few policies that both Sanders and Clinton agree on."

True enough, but I don't think that matters much either. Any Democrat will push policies that continue the country's move to the left. Any Democrat will nominate a liberal Supreme Court justice. Any Democrat will hesitate to widen the war in the middle East. The rest of any agenda? It probably ain't happening in the face of Republican obstructionism.

The circumstances of this particular election makes specific policy moot. The only issue that should matter on the left is electability.

Peter G

It seems Walker has decided to jump start his fading campaign with a proposal to consider a wall on the northern border of the United States. Now that there folks is the infrastructure project to end all infrastructure projects. No news yet on whether he plans to make Canadians pay for it. I fear it might provoke another mass mooning such as took place when the DHS set up camera equipped observation balloons along the same border.


Here's the rub, Tom.I agree with Bernie Sanders and his desire to build a movement. Yet I'm well aware that MY preferences are rarely attuned to the majority of Americans.

I guess in practical terms, I'd like to see Bernie be vetted NOW(so far, ain't happenin'). I agree with you that Hillary, for all her her flaws, represents a more incremental approach by building on Obama's "third term". Looking at our nation's history, incremental,i.e., reform tends to out perform "revolution".

While I chafe at incrementalism, it seems when we liberals get our way (McGovern, Mondale) we pave the way for more destruction. A dem. can barely dig us out before the electorate willfully elects for more destruction.

Tom Benjamin

"I agree with Bernie Sanders and his desire to build a movement."

I don't have a problem with Bernie. I'm Canadian so I don't even see Bernie as that much of a radical.

But I see him - relative to Clinton - a big risk. I might even consider that, but it is a risk without an upside. Even if Bernie builds a movement and wins, so what? The gain is nothing.

Progressives seem to think that Bernie and his bully pulpit would change anything. How? Obama built huge majorities for almost all of the policies he advocated and the Republicans opposed. The Republicans simply ignored the will of the majority. They will ignore Bernie's revolution, too.

If he wins, we get nothing we could not get with Hillary. And if he loses?


Peter, I have 0 idea of what the acronym"WYSIWYG" means. I think you're misguided about Bernie's tribe voting for Hillary; I think there's a fair number of Naderites in the Bernie support mix. Now, I hope that I'm wrong but it all brings me back to my original premise: Bernie is not being vetted.

P.S., pm: understand that you don't like to comment on your blog, still would welcome your input as most of your readers have the same goal: no reactionary republican in the White House Maybe even eschew the philosophical and literary references. Just talk to me "Mr. Mystery" (Heh. Joni Mitchell reference).


WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get.

It's an old term from the pre-Windows era when monitor display fonts and formatting didn't necessarily indicate what your printer would spit out.


Than you, dricey.

Peter G

You know Tom you sound a lot like me. I can see now where, in haste, I misinterpreted something you were saying. The argument you just made is the one to which I subscribe. It doesn't matter which Democrat is president. As long as the Republicans control either house very little is achievable in the way of major legislation, and it really doesn't matter which Democrat gets the job. Personally I back whoever gets the job. I think still that would be Hillary but I am not counting on her native political abilities either. I'm pretty sure the Republicans will overreach on everything and they can try to self exonerate by declaring all racist and sexist to merely political correctness. Which will convince none of their targets. Bernie is right about the need for enthusiasm and I expect the Republicans will provide excellent motivation for the largest loyal block of democratic voters, which are women, to stick with the women who is most likely to be the first female president of the United States. If she finds an Hispanic running mate this could provide all the enthusiasm anyone ever dreamed of.

Peter G

Sorry. I'm old and Dricey is right. I rather assumed everyone knew that acronym. As to the source of my information re Bernie's troops feelings about Clinton those are the results polling of Bernie's supporters. I confess I was somewhat surprised that it did not demonstrate more significant Clinton opposition but there you are.

Tom Benjamin

Here is where I think PM is wrong:

"...[A] 2017 Republican White House is nearly impossible to envision. There are always increasingly sane demographics, a largely blue Electoral map, and oodles of horrorstruck enthusiasm for thrashing a Trump (or Bush) ticket, even if Democrats are less enthused with their own."

I agree that the demographics are encouraging, but until we see somebody besides Obama create that largely blue map there are no guarantees that a few - enough - swing states will not flip back. If the global economy continues to slow, the American economy will eventually feel it. It could easily become a toss up if the Obama recovery stalls.

Plus, I don't think fear ever drives Democratic turnout. Democrats turn out for things. A year from now, the Democrats are going to become the first major political party to nominate a woman for president. That woman is the most qualified person in the country for the job. The Republicans are going to try to beat her by smearing her.

I'm counting on women. I don't think they will let Hillary lose. They should not let her lose over the kind of bullshit that is flung at her. Women will provide all the passion needed. They will drive the turnout Democrats need to win.

Peter G

I don't know if that is a uniquely Canadian perspective (I am too though my wife is American) but what you wrote is exactly what I hope and expect to see. In essence I hope PM is wrong about a very narrow set of options. Some I would bet on but many not.

Repack Rider

I would love the opportunity to vote for Bernie. First politician worthy of my respect since Jimmy Carter.

I am currently represented in Congress by two Democrats and Dianne Feinstein. Ms. Feinstein won't be on the ballot, so I can't vote against her.

But I can vote for Bernie!

I am a US Army veteran, E-5, Honorable Discharge. Your patriotism may vary.


To assume I'd vote FOR the Democratic candidate as a means of voting AGAINST the Republican candidate is nonsense and a gross miscalculation. I'll stay home.
The Shock Doctrine value of the 3rd way strategy is a losing one and doesn't work.
I'm done with it as the results change nothing.

-angry voter

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