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« It Takes a Vicente | Main | The GOP debate: Another roiling, party collapse »

February 25, 2016



It got acrimonious in 2008 too. In the end, there weren't very many PUMAs and they had no effect on the outcome of the election, even on the margins.

It may well be worse this year, because Sanders is himself insinuating (if not saying out loud) that Hillary is a part of the corrupt establishment he's trying to bring down and his most vocal supporters are burying the needle on that shit in their online rants.

Obama and Clinton in 2008 did not have as big of differences, so once the hurt feelings started to fade, the party was as united as it's been in a long time. Whether we can do it again will depend on both candidates' actions as the fight draws to a close and, presumably, Hillary emerges the victor. She needs to be willing to pursue Bernie's supporters with humility and some amount of solicitude. And Bernie needs to be willing to do what he can to rally them to her banner in common cause against the (much, MUCH) greater evil that is barfed up by the GOP.

I think the party will ultimately unite, but it won't be a breeze getting to that point.

Peter G

Meh. You have to spend a certain amount of time among the progressive crowd (broadly people who think they are) to start appreciating how diverse they are. I knew a lot of genuine progressives who understood something of how complex economic issues can be and further understood that common cause with the Democratic party was their way forward even as they heartily disagreed with many of the policies. They did not identify as Democrats. And then there was the my way or the highway type that scorned not only all things Clinton but Obama and just about everyone else in the Democratic party too. The latter voices largely disappeared from blogs as the purists drove what they considered the unpure from the temple. The most common thing you'll see the former write is about how many times they intend not to vote for a Democrat. I doubt many ever did. No loss. I doubt they constitute the majority of self identified progressives.

The generational divide is something that should be addressed however if the Democrats ever hope to do more than fashion a coalition that just holds the line against Republican attempts to undo what has been accomplished. Ironically friend Bernie is doing exactly what is needed to make that broader district taking coalition not happen. I prefer professional politicians over messiahs obviously.

Peter G

Btw if you have a mischievous streak and want to push some "progressive" buttons you will find that among the things they hate and despise most about Clintons (its a long list) is their commitment to the existence of Israel and support for AIPAC which happens to be yet another center of power in the Democratic establishment. All you have to do is point out where Bernie stands on the same issues. Brace for titanic eruptions. The Israelis and the Palestinians are about due for another dust up and it'll be interesting if this becomes an American election issue. I don't see how it couldn't.


On that topic, the Bernie brigades are conveniently unaware of a lot of his foreign policy positions. Most notably, the reliable brogressive/libertarian bugaboo DROOOOOOOONES. Bernie said he would keep using them. Interestingly, the Intercept/Greenwald crew fluffing his candidacy and throwing constant shade at Hillary don't have much to say about that.

I'm not familiar with Bernie's stance on the NSA and Snowden, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's far less passionate about that than Greenwald and his minions want to believe.

Which lends credence to my suspicion that the people "feeling the Bern" would turn their backs on Bernie in disgust just as quickly as they did with Obama should he win the presidency and not make their wishes come true within his first month in office.

Peter G

Why yes I think you are right about that. We often speak of the rainbow and unicorn crowd and their high expectations and easy disappointment. But I guess the truth is that in every populist candidate they think they've found their unicorn. The one that is different and will point the way to paradise. Some people never learn.


Since I don't read blogs often I really have no idea what Turgidson and Peter G are writing about. How many of these extreme Bernie supporters are there? I suspect, in the big picture, not many. The news I've read leaves the impression most Democrats would vote for either candidate but think Hillary has a better chance to win, despite the absurdly early national polls.

What's lacking in many discussions here is that Hillary has some problems too, mostly having to do with things she said in the 1990's. Yesterday a BLM protester had a sign reading "bring them to heel", which is something she said about black "super predators" back in the Democrats' "law and order" days. She also supported welfare reform, which doesn't look good now with 30 million children living in poverty and her touting her work for SCHIP. Bernie has been gentlemanly in bringing back issues DLC Democrats tried to disappear. The Democratic establishment is starting to realize they're going to lose a lot of votes by taking liberals and progressives for granted, and that's fine by me.


First, take anything - anything - Chuck Todd says with a half-grain of salt. He's been a shill for long enough. Second, Looking at Hillary, she's running on some of the most progressive positions in eons. The 90s were a foreign country. The murder rate in '91 was twice what it is now. The federal crime bill had zilch to do with the increase in incarceration rates.

I have a lot of issues with Hillary (as I did with Bill), but here in the real world, we do what we have to.

Lastly, how many of these Bernie supporters were once Naderites? Or at least learned nothing from the Year 2000 Election? The lyrics are slightly different but the melody is the same. The modern American left has one helluva death wish.

Peter G

Short answer Bob is not as many as people think nor so few as cannot damage the chances of downticket electoral success. Hillary has all sorts of problems as you note. You can't make votes on anything without compiling a record that can always be used against you. That was the very specific reason that Obama was urged to run for the office of the president rather than stick around the senate accomplishing little but generating a voting record that would harm his future prospects. I would estimate that the vast majority of legislation voted on in either the House or the Senate is intentionally larded with poison pills that you can later attack opponents on for either voting for or against. It's how the game is played.

As to Clinton's particular vote on tough on crime bills one should note these were broadly popular at the time even among the black community which suffered terribly from violent crime and drug related crime. They still do. It was the solution that was wrong and not the intention. So what is the solution given that crime rates had fallen dramatically across all classifications? I haven't a clue myself. But you know what Bernie is offering as a solution? Nothing. He is willing to admit that what was tried didn't work and is more than willing to blame the Democrats, almost all of them, for trying what didn't work. Bernie alternatives? Zero. Talking to Bernie on such issues is like asking a Republican to offer their alternative to ACA that they intend to replace it with. The only answer you will get is how he voted on something a decade or two ago.


You are completely wrong about Bernie having no positions on incarceration and crime:

If you look at his record, including on crime, it's a lot more mainstream than a lot of people would think, though it does definitely lean left. He mentions his positions on crime in his standard stump speech. Exaggerating Bernie's negatives is something I can't understand. Do you get all your news from blogs?

Peter G

Am I? Bernie Sanders voted yes on the same tough on crime bill. Did you think he voted no? Bernie apparently had the same opinion at the same time as Clinton but I do not know if he spoke about the positive aspects of super predators.

Peter G

I should correct myself. Clinton was only first lady and had no actual vote. Bernie did and voted for it.


Obviously you didn't read the link I posted that lists his vote on the bill, and you might not have even read the link you posted. The story includes "While the Clintons have defended the 1994 crime law until quite recently, Sanders was always careful to point out that he saw the law as a compromise — and regularly stated his concerns with mass incarceration.

In 1994, for example, he said that he would support it [the crime bill] because it included the Violence Against Women Act, which helped crack down on domestic violence and rape."

Peter G

Btw bob I think that is a perfectly legitimate question when you ask where I get my information. My knowledge of science came from education and long study since. Ditto for history and economics and law. My opinions about what people think and believe comes from the study of blogs and opinion pieces. How else could I acquire such knowledge? The one place I do not get any information owing to its complete unreliability is campaign web sites.

Indeed Bernie is more main
street than people think. Is Bernie in favor of the mass release of dangerous violent offenders pending the economic miracles that will eliminate crime? Why no, for those crimes mass incarceration is fine. Does Bernie correctly identify poverty as the root of most other non-violent crime? Yes he does. But so does everyone else.

Are there some questions I could ask Bernie about his votes on guns, where they may be carried and what type they might be? Damn right I do considering the number of superpredator mass shootings that occur regularly in the US.

Peter G

I find it convenient to have a salt lick handy when watching Todd.

Bob is not a campaign site. It's an independent news gathering organization and a great resource.

I personally read hard news and books and try to make up my own mind about politics. I also watch Hardball, All In, and some of the weekend shows which I consider political entertainment, though they are occasionally helpful. Chris Hayes is probably best at what he does. Starting about a year ago I rarely bother with opinion pieces. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.

Peter G

Actually that's all included in the Vox link too. As apologies go it's not bad. And I am sure they got some of their stuff from Bernie's explanations. Btw who was pushing the VAWA provisions and who sponsored the whole bill? It was indeed a compromise bill as most legislation must be. So how is Bill Clinton bad for accepting the same compromise as Bernie? I need to clear that up. Bernie compromised for the right reasons and everybody else for the wrong reasons? And how is Hillary Clinton to blame for something on which she had no vote at all?

My point would be that Bernie`s world view that only other politicians cave to special interests when they compromise. But he does not. Since when?

Peter G

Those are pretty good sources but you have to be prepared to call bullshit there when you see it too. I agree that Chris Hayes is the best of the lot but I think Matthews is under appreciated. I didn't have him on cable until 2008 and knew him only as Tweety from the left wing blogs. The epithet derives from the size and shape of his head and its apparent resemblance to guess who? I like to make up my own mind about such things. Matthews is a closet policy wonk but his metier is politics. And he has been known to applaud an adroit political move by the right which is often interpreted on the left as an endorsement of the right. That is almost never true. My chief objection to Matthews is that he seldom lets his interviewees answer his questions. Too often he does it himself.


I will take your advice.


Matthews has been in politics for a long time and spent some of it at a fairly high level. He knows a lot but mainly has a schtick. That interrupting thing is part of it. It's how he gives some guests the 3rd degree or cuts off predictable comments. He's usually entertaining, but when he turns it up to 11 he can be really annoying.

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