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Friday Talking Points [435] -- DonTcare

[ Posted Friday, May 5th, 2017 – 17:51 PDT ]

The Republican healthcare reform bill is now officially out of Paul Ryan's hands, at least for the time being. Which means it's time for us to rebrand it here. Up to this point, we've been calling it Ryancare (Ryancare 2.0, for the latest go-round). Democrats have already been calling it Trumpcare, for obvious political reasons. But we have to say, we favor a suggestion we first read in someone's online comment to a healthcare reform article (which we read so long ago that we only remember the idea, and not the originator, sorry). It was probably in the Washington Post, but we couldn't swear to it. Wherever we read it, we got a good laugh out of it and have decided to adopt it as our own.

Instead of using his last name (which he loves), why not use a diminutive version of his first name (which he apparently hates) instead? Add in his last name's initial, and it becomes: "DonTcare." Personally, we feel this perfectly captures the entire Democratic argument, using only eight letters: Donald T's "don't care what's in it, don't care how many of my voters it will screw, as long as Congress passes some bill or another so I can brag about it!" health care plan. DonTcare. Rolls off the tongue, don't it? Well, typing it does take some getting used to -- but without that second capitalization, it'd be a lot harder to read. Trump DonTcare. And while we certainly can't claim credit for coining the term, we do encourage others to use it freely -- it even saves characters in tweets!

Nomenclature and meme-trolling aside, though, let's take a look at the week that was. We have to begin by praising Donald Trump's media skills. Because this week had one lesson for Democrats which may be lost in all the hoopla -- winning good press against Donald Trump usually doesn't last very long. He's a master at media manipulation, and this time he even backed it up with legislative action. Earlier in the week, we wrote about what a bad week Trump was having. He'd been made fun of at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, for the third weekend in a row there were massive anti-Trump rallies all over the country, Trump had tweeted and said some monumentally stupid things ("People don't realize, you know, the Civil War -- if you think about it, why?"), and he got absolutely rolled on the budget agreement which will fund the federal government for the rest of the year (where Democrats got most of what they wanted, and Trump got very little -- including not one thin dime for his border wall). That was Tuesday. Wednesday, the congressional arm-twisting reached new heights, and by Thursday the DonTcare bill squeaked by the House. So even when Democrats seem to be winning the media framing battles, Trump can always turn things around in an instant.

This is an important lesson, and it's one that Democrats should never, never forget. Trump lives for the news cycle. Don't ever count out his ability to change the subject, for to do so always turns out to be folly.

Speaking of folly, let's get back to that DonTcare bill. Will this be all the ammo Democrats need to wrest control of the House back next year? Hmm... could be, could be. Of course, it's a long time until the midterm elections, so it's really impossible to say, but many are pointing out the parallels with the rise of the Tea Party in 2009 (during the Obamacare debates in Congress). Democratic voters are already energized and regularly marching in the streets, and now they've got a perfect target for their white-hot rage: every House Republican who voted for DonTcare.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is an awful, awful bill. Republicans were so scared how awful it is that they hustled it through before anyone knew the costs. In fact, they did pretty much everything they accused Democrats of doing on Obamacare, with lightning speed.

Don't believe us? Here is Paul Ryan himself, in an interview from July of 2009 (we wrote a whole article yesterday on the subject of Ryan's hypocrisy with many other of his past quotes, in case anyone's interested). See how many of these cause you to break out in laughter now, after what Ryan just did with DonTcare:

The problem we have here is the [Obamacare] bill that's being rushed to the floor next week; the House leadership is saying next week we will vote on this bill, no one's read this bill.... There is a way to get to bipartisan health care reform, but the bill they're trying to jam through Congress next week... is not the way to go. More importantly, this is too important to rush this thing through Congress. This is 17 percent of our economy. Let's sit down and do it right. And if they want to make it bipartisan, then you have to have collaboration with the minority, and they're not doing anything like that in the House.... I think we should talk to our constituents during the August recess. I'm holding town hall meetings on health care. We all should be doing that so we can talk to our constituents, get the public to see what this legislation is all about, and then come back in September well informed after having touched base with each of our employers -- the constituents we represent.

We'll just pause here, for everyone to get back up off the floor and wipe the tears of ironic laughter from your eyes.

Democrats did spontaneously erupt in one bit of political theater, which we also found bitterly amusing. Right after the vote was called in the House, Republicans tried to cheer and applaud. But they were soon drowned out by an extended chorus from the Democrats of: "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye!" The video's pretty priceless, if you haven't seen it (or only seen incredibly short clips of it).

Is this overconfidence, or prophecy? Time will tell. And less time than you might think. We are now officially one-fourth of the way between House elections -- six months into the two-year cycle. May the fourth be with you (OK, we couldn't resist that one, right after yesterday's annual punnery celebration).

Seriously, though, what are the chances that the Republican vote on DonTcare will create enough of a "wave" election in 2018 to hand the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi? So far all signs are pretty good, but Republicans have stacked this deck so much by gerrymandering that it's going to be a steep climb, no matter what historical midterm results show.

One further benefit to Democrats may be the increased attention on state-level races. If DonTcare actually passes, it's going to matter a whole lot which party is in governors' mansions and which party controls the statehouses. If major medical decisions on pre-existing conditions are going to be made at the state level, the Democrats could nationalize a lot of these races. Again, though, we'll see.

Donald Trump, so far, has managed to keep himself above the fray. He didn't care in the slightest what was in the bill, he just wanted to chalk his first win on the board. The bill is not even close to what he had promised would be in his healthcare plan (you know, the one that never materialized), but so far his supporters haven't seemed to notice. Maybe when some of them start becoming directly affected they will, but again, who knows?

Trump's got a long way until his next election, though -- House Republicans don't. And the Democratic ads are just going to write themselves. Consider, from just one rundown of the politics of the situation:

The eleven states with the highest percentages of people with pre-existing conditions all voted for Trump in 2016.

Fourteen of the 23 Republicans representing districts that voted for Clinton last November ended up supporting the legislation.

All seven of the California Republicans in districts Clinton carried voted for the bill.

[T]he highly controversial plan drew support from fully 46 of the 61 House Republicans in districts that voted either for Clinton in 2016 or for Obama in his 2012 or 2008 elections.... Only 15 of the Republicans from those districts voted "no."

Those who obtain health insurance through their employers -- about half the country -- could be at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs for catastrophic illnesses.

Democrats warn that the bill could increase costs for up to seven million veterans who are eligible to receive health care from the V.A. system.

One race to watch will be the Virginia governor's race, which will take place this November. Democrat Tom Perriello is already up with a brilliant ad showing him defending Obamacare in front of an ambulance being crushed at a junkyard.

See? That's how easy these ads are going to be to put together.

The icing on the cake this week, however, was Donald Trump praising Australia's socialized, single-payer healthcare system, right after the DonTcare bill passed the House: "We have a failing health care -- I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do."

Bernie Sanders immediately snarked back at Trump in a tweet: "Thank you Mr. Trump for admitting that universal health care is the better way to go. I'll be sure to quote you on the floor of the Senate."

Let the 2018 midterm season begin!

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

One Democrat has been growing in stature pretty much ever since Barack Obama left the national political spotlight. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has done a pretty bang-up job ever since Trump took office. This week, we've got two reasons to award her the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. As icing on this two-layer cake, we also have to point out she had the funniest gaffe of the week as well. In an interview last Sunday morning, Pelosi mistakenly said "President Bush" when she meant "President Trump." When this was pointed out to her, her reaction was hilarious (in an "it's funny because it's true" manner). Pelosi responded: "I never thought I'd pray for the day when George W. Bush was president." She's not alone in that nostalgia, either, we'd bet. But on to the two real reasons Pelosi was such a winner this week.

The first we're only going to briefly mention, since we've co-opted the entire talking points section to highlight it. Pelosi gave an incredibly good speech on the floor of the House in opposition to the DonTcare bill. You've probably seen short clips of it already on the news, but I'd encourage everyone to either watch her full address or at the very least read the transcript. It's a humdinger of a speech, and it provides dozens of ready-made talking points for Democrats to run on next year.

The second reason Pelosi deserves the MIDOTW this week is for showing once again how great her leadership skills are. Not a single Democrat voted for DonTcare. Not one.

Pelosi has always been pretty good at being what might be called "Cat-Herder-in-Chief," corralling the Democratic caucus to speak with one unified voice during critical votes. She has proven this ability whether Democrats are in the majority or the minority in the House. That's pretty impressive.

Pelosi was also instrumental in the discussions over the budget bill, which wound up tilted about 80-20 towards Democratic priorities, and successfully avoided all poison pills from the right (and from the White House). Once again, clear leadership skills from Pelosi.

In fact, should Democrats win back control of the chamber in 2018, it is absolutely inconceivable that any other Democrat would even challenge Pelosi for the speaker's gavel. Why would they, when she's shown time and again her ability to whip votes is second to none? With Barack Obama off the main Democratic stage for now, Pelosi is one of a handful de facto leaders of the Democratic Party. And if the midterms do return control of the House to Democrats, she will then become its loudest voice on the public stage once again.

She deserves it. This week's vote count was just the latest proof. Which is why we're glad to award Pelosi her twentieth Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, putting her in sole possession of third place on the all-time list (behind Obama at 57 and Hillary Clinton at 22, while edging out Harry Reid and Bernie Sanders, both of whom have 19). Congratulations, Leader Pelosi, and we look forward to the day when you pick up that gavel once again!

[Congratulate House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Every Democrat voted against DonTcare, so we have no complaints this week. So unless someone's got a miscreant Democrat they'd like to nominate in the comments for our belated consideration, we're simply not going to award the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award this time around.

One technical note, however. The mainstream media jumped all over Hillary Clinton this week, for purportedly blaming everyone but herself for her election loss. This was simply not true, and we think Clinton got an underserved rap for doing so. So we'd like to explain why she was not even a candidate for the MDDOTW this week.

She's writing a book about her campaign. She wants everyone to (eventually) buy and read her book. We certainly cannot fault her for that. When it is published, then we'll see what she has to say about her own culpability and what mistakes she thinks she made. But until then, the media should accept her word at face value. Here is a part of Hillary's appearance that was almost completely ignored (which cherry-picking the "it's someone else's fault" lines). The interviewer asked Clinton:

Your supporters are sad, they're devastated, they're disappointed, and some are angry. And some say, you know, could it have been different? Could the campaign have been better? Could you have had a better rationale? He had one message, your opponent, and it was a successful message: "Make America great again." And where was your message? Do you take any personal responsibility?

Clinton responded:

Oh, of course. I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate. I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of, you know, the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had. Again, I will write all this out for you. But I will say this -- I've been in a lot of campaigns, and I'm very proud of the campaign we ran. And I'm very proud of the staff and the volunteers and the people who are out there day after day.

She also later said:

So did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You know, you'll read my confession and my request for absolution.

Once again, she's writing a book that she wants people to read. She's fully allowed to hold back some of her thoughts and feelings to generate interest in the book. She got wrongly portrayed this week, and she didn't deserve the media snark that resulted. So, no, we didn't even consider her for MDDOTW this week, just to be clear.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 435 (5/5/17)

As previously mentioned, we're turning this entire section over to Nancy Pelosi. The speech she gave in opposition to DonTcare (which she prefers to call Trumpcare) was just that good. It was hard to even limit it to seven discrete talking points, because almost every one of them contains its own list of pre-made talking points. Any Democrats considering running for a House seat next year should use this speech as a handy guide to create dozens of political ads against sitting Republicans who voted for the bill. Pelosi's one speech was like a "campaign ad kit in a box," really.

Now, some Democrats might be content to sit back and wait for the C.B.O. score's numbers to begin making the case for how awful DonTcare would actually be for tens of millions of people. That would be a mistake. Because you don't even need the official numbers to make all kinds of devastating arguments against the plan, which Pelosi does in fine form.

So before we turn over the talking points to a master of the art, we encourage everyone to read the full transcript of her speech. It's well worth the time it takes to do so.

 

1
   "Often results in physical death"

Pelosi began her speech by making a moral case for her position. After the following opening, she continued with a long list of recent quotes from religious leaders and organizations, all of which condemned the GOP plan. But the first line was the best, because it's so hard to argue with:

Over 50 years ago Dr. [Martin Luther] King said, "of all of the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death."

 

2
   Gutting key protections

Pelosi then begins to hit her stride, reviewing the entire list of awful things the bill was designed to do. Any one of these would make a dandy ad for a Democratic candidate next year, it bears mentioning.

It means, Trumpcare does, it forces families to pay higher premiums and deductibles, increasing out-of-pocket costs. Costs. Less coverage. Trumpcare will take away health care from more than 24 million hardworking Americans. A crushing age tax. Trumpcare forces Americans age 50 to 64 to pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage. No matter how healthy they are. Steals from Medicare. Steals from Medicare. Trumpcare shortens the life of Medicare trust fund and ransacks funds that seniors depend on to get long-term care they need. That's why it's consistent with their wither-on-the-vine for Medicare philosophy. And then, if that were not bad enough, and they couldn't pass their bill because it was that bad, they moved further away from the American people.

By gutting key protections, Trumpcare eviscerates essential health benefits such as maternity care, prescription drugs, emergency coverage, prenatal care and guts protections for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. As bad as Trumpcare was the first time around, it was dead, it died. It died right here on the floor. Now it's come back to life. Like a zombie, even more scary than before and it is even worse.

If Republicans had their way, Americans with pre-existing conditions would be pushed off their insurance and segregated into high-risk pools will where they will face soaring costs, worse coverage and restricted care. Trumpcare means huge premium increases. It's [a] frightening future for families who need affordable, dependable care the most. Now on the floor, the Republicans have recklessly, and some would say fraudulently, claimed that Trumpcare covers Americans with pre-existing conditions. It does not. It does not.

 

3
   Afraid of the facts

This, obviously, is going to become a much bigger deal once the C.B.O. scores the bill that passed. The numbers, whatever they are, are quite likely to be extremely bad. Pelosi begins the shame-game:

Forcing a vote without a C.B.O. score shows that the Republicans are afraid of the facts. They're afraid of learning the full consequences of their plan to push Americans with pre-existing conditions into the cold, or as my colleague from New York said, off the sidewalk.

If Republicans thought they really were protecting people, they wouldn't be afraid of the facts. But they're also afraid of the truth and the truth that would come forth if we knew the facts. And they're afraid that the American people will find out that this is not a health care bill. This is a tax bill disguised as a health bill. This is a bill that is the one of the biggest transfers of wealth in the history of the country, from the middle class to the richest people and corporations in America.

 

4
   Anyone? Bueller?

Pelosi partially reads a list of affected groups who have already come out against the bill. It's a long one -- so long, in fact, that at the end of it she just entered the rest of the list into the record, for posterity, without reading it in full. Which begs the question: Is there any group of Americans -- outside of the Republican House caucus, of course -- who are for the bill? Anyone?

But the suffering Trumpcare will inflict on people is all too clear. That's why this disastrous bill has been condemned by the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Age United, the Children's Hospital Association, AARP, the March Of Dimes, the list goes on and on.

 

5
   Robin Hood in reverse

Always a fun metaphor to break out, when discussing Republican dogma.

Under Trumpcare, families, seniors, vulnerable children, Americans with disabilities, people struggling to overcome addiction, and the sick will lose their health care. Rural hospitals will be closed, nearly two million jobs will be destroyed across America. Seven million veterans will lose access to tax credits for health care. And all of this to give a massive tax cut to the richest in America. Trumpcare is a billionaire's tax cut disguised as a health care bill. It's Robin Hood in reverse. One of the largest transfers wealth from working families to the rich in our country.

 

6
   Ruh-roh!

This was the absolute pinnacle of Pelosi's speech -- you've probably seen a very short clip of it, already. But we have to point out, in Pelosi's ominous threats to Republicans' re-election chances, that her metaphor stream winds up with a tattooed, glow-in-the-dark pirate. In other words, Pelosi is full-on channeling her own inner Scooby Doo. OK, that's a frivolous comment, and this was the best part of her speech, so we immediately apologize in full. Heh. But glowing pirate ghosts or not, Pelosi's warning should strike a healthy amount of fear into Republicans in purple districts.

As special as we think we are when we come to the floor here, most Americans don't know who their member of Congress is. But they will now. When they find out that you voted to take away their health care. They will know when you put an age tax on them or undermine Medicare, Medicaid and the rest. Oh, yeah. They're paying attention. Because it's really personal with them. And their families. So, I think we have to get ready for that.

Our colleagues who have the mantle of being a moderate, you vote for this bill, you have walked the plank from moderate to radical. And you're walking the plank for what? A bill that will not be accepted by the United States Senate. Why are you doing this? Do you believe in what is in this bill? Some of you have said, "Well, they'll fix it in the Senate." But you have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one. You will glow in the dark. So don't walk the plank, especially unnecessarily. Our responsibility to the sick and the hurt is biblical. It's fundamental to who we are.

 

7
   Call and response

Pelosi brings it all home with a rousing call-and-response for the Democrats in the chamber, to end her speech.

As Pope Francis said, "Health is not a consumer good. But a universal right. So access to health services cannot be a privilege." Today let us declare once again the Affordable Care Act must be the right of the -- affordable health care must be the right of every American, not the privileged few. So does Trumpcare lower health costs? [Democrats in House: "No!"] Does Trumpcare provide better health care? ["No!"] Does Trumpcare protect seniors and families? ["No!"] Is Trumpcare good for our veterans? ["No!"] Is there any caring in Trumpcare at all? ["NO!"]

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

125 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [435] -- DonTcare”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "So did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You know, you'll read my confession and my request for absolution."

    She said something right after this when Ammanpour asked her about personal responsibility:

    Before I ask you whether you would invite President Duterte to Washington or to the White House, can I just ask you something? Because, again, I think many people in the room -- look, whenever anybody says they're going to speak to Secretary Clinton, you know, there's a -- your supporters are sad, they're devastated, they're disappointed, and some are angry. And some say, you know, could it have been different? Could the campaign have been better? Could you have had a better rationale? he had one message, your opponent, and it was a successful message -- Make America great again. And where was your message? Do you take any personal responsibility?

    CLINTON: Oh, of course. I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate. I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of, you know, the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had. Again, I will write all this out for you.

    But I will say this -- I've been in a lot of campaigns and I'm very proud of the campaign we ran. And I'm very proud of the staff and the volunteers and the people who are out there day after day.

    (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

    CLINTON: It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing. But I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off. And the evidence for that intervening event is I think compelling, persuasive.

    So did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You know, you'll read my confession and my request for absolution.

    But the reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last ten days. And I think you can see I was leading in the early vote. I had a very strong -- and not just our polling and data analysis, but a very strong assessment going on across the country about where I was in terms of, you know, the necessary votes and electoral votes.

    And, of course, she didn't fail to mention that she won the popular vote, too.

    This is not a presidential candidate who understands why she lost to Donald Trump.

    This is a presidential candidate who takes responsibility for an imperfect campaign because, well, no campaign is perfect!

    Don't look for any more personal responsibility in her book, either.

    She would have been an excellent choice for this week's MDDOTW award. And, if she doesn't quickly fade away into the woodwork, then we might consider a name change for future recipients of this award: The Hillary Rodham Clinton MDDOTW award.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nancy Pelosi most impressive Democrat !?!?
    Looking forward to her holding the gavel again !?!?

    Are you trying to make people puke ?
    Or commit suicide ?

    So now that May the 4th is over it's right back to "May the Farce Be With You."

    Are you going to spend the next eighteen months towing the party line while the corporate Democrats wait for the Republicans to self destruct so the corporate Democrats can begin returning their lackeys to power in 2018 and 2020 or are you going to work to remove the Pelosis, Clintons and the other corporate ilk from the party so that the Bernie wing can make it palatable for independents and other rational voters not suckered by the corporate overlords that control both CMPs?

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    since there's no nominee for most disappointing this week, may i propose Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York:

    This week he was in queens promising to boost state aid to schools by $1.1 billion. but NY is under a court order to increase funding to urban minority school districts by $7 billion, which he is fighting AGAINST in court!

    JL

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Now things will get interesting..

    The bill now arrives at a senate committee comprised of 13 males....many of which have enjoyed boner pills being covered under insurance and are not fans of family planning. All of which are steady hands at doing the bidding of whomever pays them.

    We shall see the full amount of compassion available for sale in the hearts of 13 white male members of the "tis for ME none for THEE" generation...

    In keeping with star wars days perhaps today should hence forth be known as "The Fifth Strikes Back".

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    another most disappointing nomination: house democrats who sang at dontcare's passage. douglas williams of the guardian says it more eloquently than i:

    That’s right. While the Republicans celebrated throwing people off their health insurance with Bud Lights, Democrats had a little celebration of their own, thinking that they will be set to gain politically in 2018 and 2020 from the misery this bill is sure to cause many millions of Americans.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/06/democrats-business-rejoicing-trumpcare-disaster-ahca

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    Democrats had a little celebration of their own, thinking that they will be set to gain politically in 2018 and 2020 from the misery this bill is sure to cause many millions of Americans.

    Or they are celebrating because this won't stand a chance in the Senate but will mean that the Republicans now own healthcare, and so they can protect Americans and improve Obamacare in 2018.

    Also, this was just a replay of the same song that the Republicans correctly sang in 2010.

    Healthcare, like pensions (Social Security) is a third rail issue that it is best not to touch, but need attention most. Obama grabbed the third rail in both hands and it debilitated his Presidency, but the problem for the Republicans is that they couldn't stop using this against the Democrats and won too bigly. Now they have to do something and that means they now own healthcare.

    A sensible Senate will take the Trumpcare label and apply fixes to Obamacare as CW suggested in an earlier column. It will be difficult for the Democrats to stop and so they are in a quandary - do they let a Senate vote on Trumpcare that is just Obamacare V2.0 go thru or do they play politics?

    Of course, they will play politics. Their best hope is that the Republicans are too stupid to see the easy road in front of them, or that there are too many "This is just Obamacare V2.0 comparisons for 45 and Congress to ignore and they save the Democrats.

    Either way Obamacare in its present form is toast - it will be allowed to die on the vine in a desperate attempt by Republicans to prove that it is a disaster that needed fixed.

  7. [7] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    First of all, kudos on your integrity for not claiming to have come up with DonTcare. In your previous column, it sounded like it was your idea, and you received a lot of praise for it, so it would have been pretty easy to leave it at that, but you did the right thing, and I love you for it.

    Now for the criticism...

    Pelosi quotes the Pope saying healthcare is a right, and then defends Obamacare which maintains health care as a "consumer good", rather than fight for Single Payer which would actually make health care a right. Her tactic amounts to a deceptive appeal to a moral authority who she does not in fact support.

    I would also argue that Dr. King would prefer Single Payer over the corporatist right wing approach that is Obamacare. Same tactic as above.

    Obviously, DonTcare is worse, but Hillary just lost to Trump by running a campaign centered on "Trump is worse".
    Everything Pelosi is being given credit for including the award itself hinges on a "Republicans are worse" narrative which FAILED to be convincing to voters.

    Liz in comment 1 absolutely nails the problem with Hillary.

    And Don in comment 2 is on the mark as well.

    And, frankly, I can't understand why you, CW, would be defending the failed candidate who should no longer play any role in the Democratic party... and particularly by claiming that increasing her book sales is somehow a valid excuse.

    As for my nominee for the Most Disappointing award, I am a little stunned that a lawyer for the DNC can claim IN COURT that the DNC is legally allowed to rig the supposedly democratic primary elections because the charter and bylaws don't make them contractually obligated to adhere to the basic tenets of democracy, namely free and fair elections... and not earn your vocal condemnation.

    Then again, I posted excerpts and a link to an article about the court case and not one person here thought it was worthy of a response, so maybe most Democrats are perfectly fine with rigged elections undermining democracy... unless the Republicans do it of course.

    A

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua [5],

    I couldn't agree more.

    Have the Dems learned nothing from the last election?

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When it comes to the US healthcare system, will it be politics as usual or will this be the issue that really changes the American political landscape?

    I mean, healthcare is as personal as it gets and as more and more Americans are negatively impacted in a very personal way by how pols from both parties are dealing with this critical issue, there has to be a breaking point, no?

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone-
    While it's true many Democrats are fine with rigged elections when it benefits the status quo Democrats, I didn't comment because it didn't seem like much of a surprise.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (8)-
    That is a rhetorical question, right?

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It was more a statement of fact than a question of any sort. :(

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My question in [9] was a serious one, though ...

  14. [14] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    As for my nominee for the Most Disappointing award, I am a little stunned that a lawyer for the DNC can claim IN COURT that the DNC is legally allowed to rig the supposedly democratic primary elections because the charter and bylaws don't make them contractually obligated to adhere to the basic tenets of democracy, namely free and fair elections... and not earn your vocal condemnation.

    Then again, I posted excerpts and a link to an article about the court case and not one person here thought it was worthy of a response, so maybe most Democrats are perfectly fine with rigged elections undermining democracy... unless the Republicans do it of course.

    No one responded because there were no rigged democratic elections! The attorney was simply stating a fact -- the DNC is not contractually obligated to offer the same level of support for every candidate that chooses to campaign as a Democrat. This does not equate to "the elections were rigged"!

    You had a candidate that only switched over to being a Democrat for the primary and who refused to raise money for other Democrats campaigning in other races (Sander's has, to his credit, campaigned and raised money for Democrats after losing the primary). He was treated like an outsider because he chose to be an outsider -- a fact that most people fail to recognize. I voted for Sander's but I totally see why the DNC staff favored Clinton over Sanders. And while they may have "favored" Clinton, no one has provided any evidence to show how that factored into Sanders not winning the primary.

    The DNC attorney was correct in saying the party COULD LEGALLY revert to back room deals in selecting a candidate; if they changed their rules to allow for that sort of thing to occur. There would be nothing anyone could do about it if they did. However, they aren't saying they would do that or that they will do that; they are simply stating that they could do so and it would not be a violation of law.

    This lawsuit is seeking the return of all donations made to Bernie's campaign and to the DNC during the primaries.

  15. [15] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    14

    "No one responded because there were no rigged democratic elections! The attorney was simply stating a fact -- the DNC is not contractually obligated to offer the same level of support for every candidate that chooses to campaign as a Democrat"

    If the organization in charge of the elections can choose favorites, it is by definition rigged and not fair.

    And that is why the DNC chair DWS was forced to resign and four staffers fired, and why Bernie was issued an official apology.

    And before recanting after being torn a new one, the new DNC chair Tom Perez agreed it was rigged.

    "He was treated like an outsider because he chose to be an outsider -- a fact that most people fail to recognize."

    Not only was Bernie allowed by the Democratic party to be a candidate thus destroying this argument, your "outsider" argument was repeated endlessly by Clinton supporters and everyone recognizes it... many just don't agree with it because once you are welcomed in, you're in, and no longer an outsider.

    "The DNC attorney was correct in saying the party COULD LEGALLY revert to back room deals in selecting a candidate"

    The lawyer used the argument to justify the favoritism that DID OCCUR. It is nonsense to ignore the reason the argument was given, and pretend it was just a theoretical statement.
    And when the head of the DNC insists they will be neutral, and then they aren't, arguing a questionable legal excuse to justify broken promises, and one that violates the charter and bylaws is certainly disappointingly weasely and newsworthy.

    And just for the background-

    http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/10_ways_the_democratic_primary_has_been_rigged_from_the_start_partner/

    A

  16. [16] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You want my opinion? Here it is, from the mouth of Bill Maher:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-maher_us_590d683fe4b0e7021e97fe0c

    What part of "that sort of thinking probably cost us the election" don't you get? You should be glad that Hillary won't bring it up.

    Bernie, by the way, after running for the nomination of the Democratic Party, still refuses to call himself a democrat. It's as if I'd run for president of the Elk's Club, but refused to call myself an Elk. Ever.

    Hillary wasn't appointed - she garnered the most votes in both the primary and general election - and the insinuation that fiddling at the DNC was the cause of her nomination insults everyone who voted for her.

  17. [17] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    16

    Fiddling, cheating, violating the charter, bylaws and public promises... it was done with the intention of affecting the outcome.
    How she garnered the votes may be irrelevant to you, but obviously there is disagreement.

    And Bernie ran as a Democrat and would have been a Democratic president... but of course your insults based on a misrepresentation of the facts are acceptable.

    A

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar/listen,

    you're wasting pixels. no matter how gracious bernie himself is, the alt-left will never accept the reality that hillary won the nomination because most democrats voted for her. just as it's not the fault of comey or russia or wikileaks that hillary lost the electoral college. it's easier to bemoan some conspiracy than to cope with losing.

    JL

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    nypoet [18]

    Spot on.

    Bill Maher unleashed on puritans of the left - and to those Bernie voters who voted Stein as some sort of protest, I just want to say one thing to you, "Thanks for Trump". Pillocks!

  21. [21] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    Ever notice how the subject gets changed when the facts can't be spun? I think CW praised Trump for his skill in that area recently.
    I'm sure he's flattered by the imitation.
    I guess nobody wants to argue about the DNC lawyer insisting in court that they had a legal right to cheat any more?

    neil

    It was working class Obama voters who turned to Trump in the rust belt (who Hillary didn't even try to win over) that cost her the election... and none of them qualify as puritans of the left.

    Hillary gave us Trump.
    So thank you.

    nypoet

    Again with the "conspiracy" garbage defending the actual conspirers at the DNC who were caught red handed and got fired for it?
    The facts are so unpleasant... I guess the establishment fantasy is comforting after Hillary's monumental loss to the worst candidate ever.

    Let's see, Comey... yup, was it Jill Stein who held a gun to Hillary's head? Or was it her decision to use a private server to avoid transparency thus creating the mess in the first place?
    There's nothing like shooting yourself in the foot and then trying to frame a doctor for the wound.

    WikiLeaks, yup. Revealing the truth about Hillary's speeches and corrupt campaign tactics is unforgivable.
    Hillary NOT giving secret speeches to criminals for hundreds of thousands of dollars AND competing fairly wasn't an option of course... I forget... was it Bernie or Jill who forced her to do that?

    Does your "gracious Bernie" comment mean the baseless attacks on him are over?

    It must really be irksome that Bernie is the most popular politician in the country by a wide margin, huh?

    Hold on... I think I hear the "rally around the president" bell ringing... better get off your backsides and praise Trump for his warmongering again.
    That'll show him how much you disapprove!!!

    A

  22. [22] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    WikiLeaks, yup. Revealing the truth about Hillary's speeches and corrupt campaign tactics is unforgivable.

    Tell me Al, do you feel the same about Russia's meddling in the French Election, stealing and then posting all of Macron's emails, etc? If not, why not?

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    WikiLeaks, yup. Revealing the truth about Hillary's speeches and corrupt campaign tactics is unforgivable.

    That sarcasm reveals a warped sense of what is right and wrong.

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen (14)-
    The Farce is strong with this one.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (16)-
    Same as comment 24.

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    If I were a purist I would not have compromised by voting for Bernie in the primaries and Stein in the general. They were much closer than Hillary or Trump, but were certainly not perfect.
    Neither was Nader in 2000.
    Not learning from 2000 is what gave us the choice of Clinton/Trump in 2016.
    Democrats now wistfully remembering GWB as president will seem quaint in 2020 if all you offer in 2018 and 2020 is once again "we're not as bad as the Republicans".
    If you keep validating the not as bad by voting for them, then that is all you will get.
    Choosing to vote against the status quo candidates to register that I want something better is the only way to get something better. After all, the not as bad argument doesn't always work either (see-2000 and 2016 and the current Republican majority in Congress).
    Of course more Democrats voted for Hillary in the primaries. So what?
    Hillary was a status quo corporate candidate running in a primary system that excludes as many citizens that do not support that status quo corporate candidates from participating in the primaries.
    Dismissing complaints about the primary system as a ridiculous conspiracy theory is easier than acknowledging and fixing the problem.
    But credit where credit is due, you do seem to not be blaming people that didn't vote for Hillary, you seem to be blaming Hillary for not being able to get them to vote for her.

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm (20)-
    Voting for Stein was not a protest vote. It was voting for something better (but not perfect) than the not as bad as the other candidate.
    And thank you and all the others that have been suckered by the not as bad scam over and over again for Reagan, GHWBush, B.Clinton, GWBush, Obama and Trump.

  28. [28] 
    neilm wrote:

    So there were no voters in MI, PA, WI who didn't vote for Hillary because of their left wing purity Altohone? Care to back that up?

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    Voting for Stein was not a protest vote.

    No, it was throwing your vote away. Get real, this is a two party system without proportional representation where one party is pulling the system into an oligarchy. Voting for anybody except the party that can at least pull in the other direction isn't participation, it is spectatorism. Applying some sort of perfection test when there is a possibility that all three elected branches of Government, and thus the legislative branch of government will be clearly on the side of the oligarchs for personal pleasure isn't exactly helping. Time to stop the preening in front of the perfection mirror and get dirty in the real world.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Hillary gave us Trump.

    Well, it's more accurate to say that the Clintons' gave us Trump, but who's counting. :)

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And thank you and all the others that have been suckered by the not as bad scam over and over again for Reagan, GHWBush, B.Clinton, GWBush, Obama and Trump.

    That's not only breaking the rule, Don, but it's disrespecting your fellow Weigantians ... which was what the rule was supposed to prevent in the first place!

    To be clear, nobody here is a sucker.

  32. [32] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    28

    "So there were no voters in MI, PA, WI who didn't vote for Hillary because of their left wing purity?"

    Of course there were.
    But they never even considered voting for Hillary and she made zero effort to try to win them over.

    The brat pack seems to be jumping on the Maher bandwagon, but Hillary herself blames voters who were swayed at the last minute by Comey and Wikileaks.

    Neither is true, because it was Hillary's horrible campaign, her history and her policies that made what should have been a blowout election against the worst candidate ever close in the first place.

    But as far as that tiny percentage that mattered in the end, Hillary's blame game is closer to the known facts... the voters who turned to Trump in the last few days of the election, who exit polls say believed Hillary's policies favored the rich more so than Trump (AKA the conned), were not the far left.

    The far left were not in the swayable category because neither Hillary nor Trump ever had their support to begin with. Working class swing voters determined the result. The far left are not swing voters, and the swing voters are not left wing purists.

    Did you catch the story about the guy in a gorilla suit who took three days to crawl to the finish line in the London marathon?
    He wasn't trying to compete for first place, he was changing the rules of the competition.
    And his effort wasn't wasted.
    He created awareness and raised something like $42,000 for a good cause.

    Does that help explain it?
    Yes, I'm comparing Stein and Johnson to a guy in a gorilla suit who were in it to change the game, not compete... despite their claims of seriousness just like the guy in the gorilla suit.

    Blaming the roughly 4% of voters who supported third party candidates (and the majority of those went for Gary Johnson), or blaming the 47% who didn't vote, instead of blaming the flaws of the front runners is misdirected hostility.
    Winning over voters is the job description of the two party duopoly candidates. When they fail at that job, blaming the people they failed to win over is shifting the blame from where it belongs.

    A

  33. [33] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    30

    Very true.
    But Hillary chose to keep Bill around, so...

    A

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Precisely.

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, more to the point, they both failed to account for policies that engendered the kind of anger that Trump could tap into.

    And, further to the point, they are both inordinately clueless.

  36. [36] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    35

    Indeed.
    They defended those policies and promised to make them worse... and/or do nothing substantive.
    Not to mention setting a horrible example.

    Inordinately clueless says it all.

    A

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    When they fail at that job, blaming the people they failed to win over is shifting the blame from where it belongs.

    Cutting off your nose to spite your face isn't standing up for ideas, not being "convinced" or turning into a gorilla for some "game changing" reason, it is putting your purity ahead of your own interests and what is good for the country.

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So Macron has won in France, beating back the spearhead of international (neo-)nationalism. This is what happens when the Center holds. We can defeat the fascists when we pull together.

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    Perhaps the drift to fascism has been averted. Maybe 45's role is to remind sensible people everywhere that politics counts and practical voting is important.

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    i didn't call anybody a purist, nor did i criticize anybody for their voting decisions - that may have been neil's interpretation but it's not what i wrote. my only point was that both the primaries and the general election were determined by people's votes. blaming an undesirable outcome on other factors isn't based in reality.

    JL

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    Marine Le Pen just got her clocked cleaned by Macron by around 30 points.

    Vive la France!

  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    Vive la France!

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    Tillerson's vision for the State Department is pretty pathetic.

    “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately" General (Mad Dog) Mattis

    Do they not even listen to themselves?

  44. [44] 
    altohone wrote:

    Gang

    Look.
    As much as most of you don't think the establishment shenanigans affected the outcome of the Dem primary, there are literally millions of people who do.

    And a big chunk of them usually vote for Democrats.

    But the DNC setting a precedent of favoritism and insisting it is their legal right is just bad politics in addition to undemocratic and immoral... and against their bylaws, charter and public assurances.

    If Berniecrats and independents are told the primaries will not be fair, it not only makes a unified effort against the Repubs less likely to succeed, it will create an ever growing number who will put their effort into ending the two party system rather than trying to reform either of the parties.
    (if the court rules it was actually legal, which isn't a certainty though it is highly likely since most of our judges are decidedly establishmentarians, it will mean it is also legal for the Republican party)

    I don't think the two party establishment or their Big Money backers will care because for a while it will make their effort to maintain the status quo even easier, but average Americans and those who wish us well abroad should care.

    And even if you don't think the people who filed the lawsuit should win, the argument presented by the DNC lawyer is worthy of condemnation.

    His argument clearly undermines the concept of democracy.

    I know the corporate media isn't covering the case, but don't let that fool you.
    There are a huge number of alternative media outlets and blogs on both the left and right who think it's important... and they aren't cheering on the DNC lawyer.

    A

  45. [45] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    neilm [37]: tried, but couldn't say it better myself!

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [42]: Maybe the problem is allowing "Berniecrats" and Independents to challenge Democrats in the Democratic primary in the first place, without requiring them to first change their party affiliation. I mean, maybe we've just confused them, made them forget that the Democratic Party is where Democrats congregate.

    Consider, for instance, the cold shoulder that 'Independent' Bernie would get if he'd decided to run instead for the Republican nomination, then consider the craven bending-over-backwards efforts to appease Bernie voters at the Democratic convention, which included numerous platform concessions and firing the head of the DNC.

    And we mustn't forget that many of the angriest voices on both the right and left were actually paid actors from Albania, whipping up animosity against the 'establishment' candidates.

    The Russians must think we're such rubes.

  47. [47] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    37

    You are making a two party argument against people who don't support either party or the two party system as it exists.

    Isn't it possible that your opinions of what their interests should be and your opinions of what's good for the country are not shared?

    You are insisting they are cutting off their nose to spite their face, but that assumes either party is offering them what they want.

    The number of issues and policies that both parties support is vast, and a lot of voters think changing those policies should be the priority... endless wars, fossil fuels, universal health care, wages, jobs, the safety net, a beer moat around the White House... whatever.

    You may believe your priorities are more important, but you and Hillary did a lousy job making that case.

    And you're still shifting the blame from where it belongs.

    A

  48. [48] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    38

    Too many are unaware or dishonest about the unpleasant parallels between neoliberalism and fascism.

    Corporatist policies, endless wars, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, etc.

    And Macron is a dyed in the wool neoliberal... though perhaps not as bad as American neoliberals.

    A

  49. [49] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    44

    Good luck winning anything without support from independents and Berniecrats.

    A

  50. [50] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Al,

    It must really be irksome that Bernie is the most popular politician in the country by a wide margin, huh?

    Not at all! I am thrilled by it, as Bernie has a great message that people can get behind.

    But the DNC setting a precedent of favoritism and insisting it is their legal right is just bad politics in addition to undemocratic and immoral... and against their bylaws, charter and public assurances.

    The court isn't concerned with whether this is "bad politics in addition to undemocratic and immoral"; is it legal is all that matters! This is part of a lawsuit that is asking for all donations made to the DNC during the last primary to be refunded. The DNC is simply stating what the law would allow the organization to do to show what took place does not come close to being a violation of law.

    JL [18]

    Agreed!

    Balthy [44]

    Spot on!

  51. [51] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    48

    The first part wasn't actually directed to you, but I am glad.

    Yes, but the court decision will impact politics.
    And the law allowing a violation of the charter, bylaws and public promises will cause a negative impact.

    A

  52. [52] 
    altohone wrote:

    btw Balthy
    44

    Bernie did register as a Dem in order to run in the primaries, so I don't understand why you keep dwelling on that.

    Were you out sick that day?

    A

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Al [15]

    Not only was Bernie allowed by the Democratic party to be a candidate thus destroying this argument, your "outsider" argument was repeated endlessly by Clinton supporters and everyone recognizes it... many just don't agree with it because once you are welcomed in, you're in, and no longer an outsider.

    Utter and complete BULLSHAT! You can be considered an "outsider" while still being allowed into the organization. "Membership" doesn't mean "acceptance". Your whole argument that it was because DNC staff members were Clinton supporters that Bernie lost the primary election continues to fail to explain how the staff was able to get so many people to vote for Clinton.

    Bernie did not help other DNC candidates in their races during the primaries. He was asked, but chose not to. Again, I don't fault him for that -- it's his choice-- but it does show that he wasn't much of a team player at the time.

    I was, and still am, a huge fan of Bernie! The only thing that Bernie did that disappointed me was his faking the BLM's storming the stage of his rally. It made it appear as if Bernie was being extremely gracious and understanding to the group's plight and the media made him out to be a saint for it. It also gave BLM a huge amount of credit for being so bold, something that they did not deserve. They weren't storming the stage out of the urgency to have their message become part of the national debate, it was all for show!

    How do I know it was staged? HuffPost ran an article a few days after it occurred that was written by a woman who had introduced Bernie to the crowd and witnessed the entire thing play out. She did a great job describing the mood of the rally and how thrilled she was to be a part of it all. She goes on to describe being in the "speaker's tent" when the BLM group took the stage and how shocked everyone was. She then said she looked over and saw a couple of young, teenaged black girls huddled together watching what was going on on stage. She could tell that they were scared to death and went over to comfort them. She said one of the girls was the younger sister of one of female BLM members on stage. The young girl was terrified that her sister would be hurt, and the author told of spending the rest of the rally with these young girls and discussing how brave the BLM members were for taking such a big stand. It was a sweet article, overall, but there was one problem:

    The author failed to explain why the younger siblings of the BLM members who stormed the stage had been permitted in the VIP tent that was only for those that were speaking at the rally! Are we to believe that they stormed the VIP tent the same time their older siblings were storming the stage? No, she said the girls were there before the BLM group went on stage. Bernie knew that BLM would be "interrupting" his rally. He wasn't being gracious; he was following the script. BLM wasn't protesting in the same spirit that Dr. King did, willing to be jailed to get their message out; they were performing. This was a huge PR boost for both Bernie and BLM, but it wasn't real. That made it all a little less special, personally!

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01

    I'm going to break the EM rules because I don't have time to alter my comments to fit the formula, and I'm not here to insult anybody. I like you a lot, Punk, so I'm going to tell you the brutal truth... the way I see it anyway. Please... I said "please"... consider that what I'm saying might actually be true versus what "millions of people"... or even you... believe.

    And, frankly, I can't understand why you, CW, would be defending the failed candidate who should no longer play any role in the Democratic party.

    Bernie is equally a "failed candidate," maybe even a bigger "failed candidate" since he lost to HRC. Maybe they should both go crawl under a really big rock and cease to play a role in the Democratic party... of course, I'm kidding. Come on, Punk! You don't garner support of voters you're going to need when you dismiss their candidate. Seriously... that's exactly how Bernie lost the Democratic nomination.

    It is a horrible disservice to Bernie and all his supporters and what they managed to accomplish to insist that Bernie's failure in his anti-establishment run against the "establishment" was primarily due to the organization of the "establishment." I keep hearing about all this "war" among the Democratic Party, but if we're being completely honest here, Bernie's run was more of a "hostile takeover" than it was an "internal war" in the Democratic Party. Bernie lost because of decisions he made early in his campaign... one big fatal decision, in my opinion. Bernie decided to run against Barack Obama. That decision caused him to lose African American voters in overwhelming numbers of about three to one, and as HRC can tell you... a candidate who can't garner the votes of African Americans cannot win in the South... Super Tuesday. It's not rocket science and pretty darned basic Politics 101.

    So Bernie was busy visiting college campuses and finally decided to venture into South Carolina after 3-1/2 months. Three and one half months... almost 4 months. Meanwhile, Bernie piled on the rhetoric against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Just like I'm telling you that you're not going to win over millions of voters by dismissing their candidate, Bernie is living proof. Bernie split white voters, but HRC cleaned his clock with minority voters because 90% of African Americans approved of the job Barack Obama was doing, and those were voters who weren't going to vote against the "establishment" because that was Barack Obama at the time. While Bernie was railing against the "establishment" at college campuses in the North, HRC claimed the mantle of Obama's successor... again, Politics 101.

    The way the Democratic primary is set up with primaries and caucuses and the winning of proportional pledged delegates basically means that in order to win the 2,000+ needed, a candidate must win really big where they can win and keep the losses as close as they can where they lose... and Bernie for the most part did exactly the opposite. Winning Michigan by a small margin might leave a most excellent feeling in the minds of supporters, but when the delegates are proportionally split, reality ain't so exciting.

    So the guy who suggested more than once that someone should primary Barack Obama in 2012, the "anti-establishment" candidate who ran against the "establishment," Clinton as well as Obama, lost the Democratic primary of 2016 by over 3 million votes. Bernie lost the South in a big way, Punk, and that is why he lost the nomination. It wasn't a precedent either because the DNC and super delegates favored HRC in 2008 also, but when she lost the South to Obama and BHO went on to beat her, the super delegates flipped over to Obama. If Bernie hadn't run against Obama, he might have been able to win the popular vote and flip the super delegates the way Obama did. Do I need to say it's not complicated again? It's not.

    Closed primaries are not the same as voter suppression, and each of the state's rules were in place long before Bernie announced he was running... but where is the compelling evidence that it was "rigged" when Bernie ran against the "establishment"? Bernie tried to beat the "establishment" by dismissing it, and he and his supporters seem to keep forgetting that a large portion of the voters he needed had voted for the "establishment." Bernie didn't do enough to make his case in the primaries where it mattered while Hillary didn't do enough to make her case in the general. Hillary's major fatal flaw was not doing enough to unite the Party... my opinion. She should have run like she was 10 points behind and chose a progressive as her running mate, and nothing that Wikileaks or anyone did would have mattered.

    Lastly, what lawyers argue in court has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with settled law. Lawyers are paid to argue to win court cases and mitigate monetary damages... not to please the opinion of the public... regardless of Party or lack thereof... who are upset about the Party nominee. The DNC is not a public institution, and the lawyer is arguing appropriately. It's not remotely about "fair;" that argument is about legal precedence and affirmative defense.

    If Berniecrats and independents are told the primaries will not be fair, it not only makes a unified effort against the Repubs less likely to succeed, it will create an ever growing number who will put their effort into ending the two party system rather than trying to reform either of the parties.

    Oh, come on, Punk! What's the difference in the Bernies and Trumps crashing the Parties or setting up a new one? Merely the chance to win the prize. You want a chance to win and make policy changes in this country or you want to play holier than for decade after decade? Bernie knows this, and that's why he chose to run against the "establishment" within the "establishment." If you can't beat them, join them, because you ain't going to win in the current atmosphere without being either the Democratic or Republican nominee. If the primaries were "rigged" against Bernie, then Bernie is the one who rigged them. The so-called "evidence" in the affirmative usually fails to discuss the fact that Bernie lost the Democratic primary by 3 million votes because Bernie ran against a large portion of the electorate who were 90% in favor of the "establishment" candidate Bernie chose to run against, and I don't mean Hillary Clinton. :)

  55. [55] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    list from [45]: endless wars, fossil fuels, universal health care, wages, jobs, the safety net

    list from [45]: Corporatist policies, endless wars, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, etc.

    Now tell me again how allowing Trump to win helped with any of that.

    Democrats are at least willing to discuss the environment, meaningful health care, wages, the safety net, mass incarceration and the rest. The Right would look at you like an alien species if you even brought any of that up.

  56. [56] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    51

    Bernie was accepted as a Democratic candidate.
    The rules in the charter and bylaws requiring neutrality by the DNC thus applied to Bernie as well.

    It's not a difficult concept.
    And the DNC was not neutral.
    So it's not bullshit.

    See the link in comment 15 for some of the general and specific issues.
    I don't think it mentions the false accusations about accessing the DNC database and the temporary ban, the false accusations about violence at the Nevada state party convention, or the voter suppression efforts in the 12 states other than Arizona where it occurred, like limiting voting locations, purging voter rolls and forcing likely Bernie voters to use provisional ballots.

    The Salon article isn't very long though.

    Your interpretation of the BLM incident makes a lot of assumptions.
    How do you know the BLM activists weren't invited to the event as VIP's but just not slotted to speak?
    And Bernie was most certainly pissed he didn't get to speak at his own event.

    And I disagree strongly about BLM generally.

    A

  57. [57] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    52

    Hillary is a strong supporter of our endless wars.
    She opposes Single Payer.
    She supports fracking and drilling.
    She supports mass surveillance.
    She supports mass incarceration.
    She supported efforts to cut the safety net.
    She embraces Wall Street corporatism and right wing economics.
    And neoliberal Obama was no different... other than being a better liar on the campaign trail.

    Tolerating discussion while maintaining the policies is called lip service.

    A

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Altohone [45]:

    This is a two party country. To play a meaningful role you need to pick the party closest to your views and work to make it what you want.

    I don't have much time from a political standpoint for purists, spectators or minor party supporters - they are just inertia that needs to be overcome to get something done in this country.

  59. [59] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Bernie did register as a Dem in order to run in the primaries, so I don't understand why you keep dwelling on that. Were you out sick that day?

    No, I was alert and paying attention, as you should have been.

    Vermont, you know, has no party registration, so Bernie never actually had to commit in writing to any affiliation.

    All of his FEC filings during the campaign, however, listed him as 'Independent'. I found a link that confirms that.

    During the campaign, Sanders remained vague and contradictory on the issue, which annoyed more than a few Democrats.

    He remains today officially listed as an Independent in Congress, caucusing with the Democrats, who have added him to their leadership team for 'outreach'.

  60. [60] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [54]: None of that is true. I'm sure that you believe those things to be true, but I can refute all of them with statements and policy papers that she released during the campaign - too much work though, so I assert my point as is. As for Obama, we flat disagree and I'll leave it at that.

  61. [61] 
    Kick wrote:

    Testing, testing. My comments are falling into a black hole... I think. ?

  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    Now we're talking... heh! Got one to post. :P

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01

    Now, a bunch of my posts are gone forever... lucky people, but I got smart and saved the last one that fell into the black hole. So here you go.

    I'm going to break the EM rules because I don't have time to alter my comments to fit the formula, and I'm not here to insult anybody. I like you a lot, Punk, so I'm going to tell you the brutal truth... the way I see it anyway. Please... I said "please"... consider that what I'm saying might actually be true versus what "millions of people"... or even you... believe.

    And, frankly, I can't understand why you, CW, would be defending the failed candidate who should no longer play any role in the Democratic party.

    Bernie is equally a "failed candidate," maybe even a bigger "failed candidate" since he lost to HRC. Maybe they should both go crawl under a really big rock and cease to play a role in the Democratic party... of course, I'm kidding. Come on, Punk! You don't garner support of voters you're going to need when you dismiss their candidate. Seriously... that's exactly how Bernie lost the Democratic nomination.

    It is a horrible disservice to Bernie and all his supporters and what they managed to accomplish to insist that Bernie's failure in his anti-establishment run against the "establishment" was primarily due to the organization of the "establishment." I keep hearing about all this "war" among the Democratic Party, but if we're being completely honest here, Bernie's run was more of a "hostile takeover" than it was an "internal war" in the Democratic Party. Bernie lost because of decisions he made early in his campaign... one big fatal decision, in my opinion. Bernie decided to run against Barack Obama. That decision caused him to lose African American voters in overwhelming numbers of about three to one, and as HRC can tell you... a candidate who can't garner the votes of African Americans cannot win in the South... Super Tuesday. It's not rocket science and pretty darned basic Politics 101.

    So Bernie was busy visiting college campuses and finally decided to venture into South Carolina after 3-1/2 months. Three and one half months... almost 4 months. Meanwhile, Bernie piled on the rhetoric against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Just like I'm telling you that you're not going to win over millions of voters by dismissing their candidate, Bernie is living proof. Bernie split white voters, but HRC cleaned his clock with minority voters because 90% of African Americans approved of the job Barack Obama was doing, and those were voters who weren't going to vote against the "establishment" because that was Barack Obama at the time. While Bernie was railing against the "establishment" at college campuses in the North, HRC claimed the mantle of Obama's successor... again, Politics 101.

    The way the Democratic primary is set up with primaries and caucuses and the winning of proportional pledged delegates basically means that in order to win the 2,000+ needed, a candidate must win really big where they can win and keep the losses as close as they can where they lose... and Bernie for the most part did exactly the opposite. Winning Michigan by a small margin might leave a most excellent feeling in the minds of supporters, but when the delegates are proportionally split, reality ain't so exciting.

    So the guy who suggested more than once that someone should primary Barack Obama in 2012, the "anti-establishment" candidate who ran against the "establishment," Clinton as well as Obama, lost the Democratic primary of 2016 by over 3 million votes. Bernie lost the South in a big way, Punk, and that is why he lost the nomination. It wasn't a precedent either because the DNC and super delegates favored HRC in 2008 also, but when she lost the South to Obama and BHO went on to beat her, the super delegates flipped over to Obama. If Bernie hadn't run against Obama, he might have been able to win the popular vote and flip the super delegates the way Obama did. Do I need to say it's not complicated again? It's not.

    Closed primaries are not the same as voter suppression, and each of the state's rules were in place long before Bernie announced he was running... but where is the compelling evidence that it was "rigged" when Bernie ran against the "establishment"? Bernie tried to beat the "establishment" by dismissing it, and he and his supporters seem to keep forgetting that a large portion of the voters he needed had voted for the "establishment." Bernie didn't do enough to make his case in the primaries where it mattered while Hillary didn't do enough to make her case in the general. Hillary's major fatal flaw was not doing enough to unite the Party... my opinion. She should have run like she was 10 points behind and chose a progressive as her running mate, and nothing that Wikileaks or anyone did would have mattered.

    Lastly, what lawyers argue in court has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with settled law. Lawyers are paid to argue to win court cases and mitigate monetary damages... not to please the opinion of the public... regardless of Party or lack thereof... who are upset about the Party nominee. The DNC is not a public institution, and the lawyer is arguing appropriately. It's not remotely about "fair;" that argument is about legal precedence and affirmative defense.

    If Berniecrats and independents are told the primaries will not be fair, it not only makes a unified effort against the Repubs less likely to succeed, it will create an ever growing number who will put their effort into ending the two party system rather than trying to reform either of the parties.

    Oh, come on, Punk! What's the difference in the Bernies and Trumps crashing the Parties or setting up a new one? Merely the chance to win the prize. You want a chance to win and make policy changes in this country or you want to play holier than for decade after decade? Bernie knows this, and that's why he chose to run against the "establishment" within the "establishment." If you can't beat them, join them, because you ain't going to win in the current atmosphere without being either the Democratic or Republican nominee. If the primaries were "rigged" against Bernie, then Bernie is the one who rigged them. The so-called "evidence" in the affirmative usually fails to discuss the fact that Bernie lost the Democratic primary by 3 million votes because Bernie ran against a large portion of the electorate who were 90% in favor of the "establishment" candidate Bernie chose to run against, and I don't mean Hillary Clinton. :)

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oui! Vive la France! :)

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    44

    And we mustn't forget that many of the angriest voices on both the right and left were actually paid actors from Albania, whipping up animosity against the 'establishment' candidates.

    Tell it exactly like it is, Balthy!

    The Russians must think we're such rubes.

    Da, ya uveren, chto oni delayut. :)

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    Kick [60]: Bravo

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    another most disappointing nomination; former congresswoman corrine brown of florida. i still remember her for her opposition the the fair districts initiative, so it comes as no surprise that she would also be caught ripping off her own education charity. closing arguments are this week.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/2017-05-06/many-decisions-ahead-jury-ex-us-rep-corrine-brown-s-fraud-trial

  68. [68] 
    neilm wrote:

    Just re-read [60] Kick - a tour de force.

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @[61]

    macron got a solid 66%, nearly two thirds of the french vote. the US record i think is LBJ with 61% of the popular vote. as a point of comparison, trump won in 2016 with 46%, bush in 2000 with 48%. bill clinton never reached a majority either, but both his elections were three-way races with perot on the ballot.

    JL

  70. [70] 
    altohone wrote:

    neal
    55

    "To play a meaningful role"

    Your opinion of what a meaningful role is may be widely shared, but it's not universal.

    After all, you and many others expended tremendous effort to maintain a corrupt status quo where torture and war crimes and massive fraud goes unpunished, and you only succeeded in enabling an extremist who will make it worse.

    Allow me to congratulate you once again on a meaningful accomplishment.

    A

  71. [71] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (31)-
    What rule did I break?
    If it's OK for neilm to thank people that didn't vote for Hillary for Trump, it should be alright for those of us didn't vote for Hillary to thank those that did for Trump.
    And if it's OK to say that Trump voters were suckered, then it should be OK to say that Hillary voters were suckered.
    You don't have to be stupid to say something stupid and you don't have to be a sucker to be suckered. For example, some people that are considered very smart were suckered by Bernie Madoff.

  72. [72] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm (29)-
    "Get real, this is a two party system..."
    At least you recognize the problem, even if you don't realize it.
    Voting to change the problem through voting for Bernie in the primaries and Stein in the general is not throwing away my vote or spectatorism.
    It is not demanding perfection as I have clearly demonstrated- it is demanding ACCEPTABILITY.
    We obviously have a different standard for acceptability. I determine mine from what I think our electoral process and representatives should be. It appears that you determine yours from the fear of getting dirty in the real world by demanding better than not as bad.

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    57

    All of it is true, and far more.
    For both Hillary and Obama.

    But if you want to ignore the record and pretend that policy papers are somehow more relevant, I doubt I can say anything that will put a dent in such delusions.

    56

    Bernie re-registered as an independent AFTER the election.

    Three guesses why that was necessary.

    A

  74. [74] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    I may have mixed up the comments I went back to. Sorry.
    It would be nice if this comment box could be next to the other comments we were commenting on so we wouldn't have to go back and forth as we are commenting on someone else's comment.

  75. [75] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don [69],

    it is absolutely okay to vote one's conscience. although the chances of a third party candidate winning a national election approach zero, civic engagement is certainly preferable to apathy. since your conscience won't permit a vote for either major party, a third party vote beats no vote at all.

    that said, it's not fair to characterize a vote for clinton as being stupid or suckered. many of us genuinely think that clinton's leadership would have done more good than harm, and have evidence to back up our opinions on that count. in general, it's better to advocate one's own reasons for a voting decision than to point to all that's wrong with the decisions of others.

    JL

  76. [76] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (44)-
    The solution may be not allowing Independents to participate in the primaries without declaring a party?
    We already have that in NJ- it doesn't work unless you consider protecting the status quo two party system by requiring citizens that oppose the status quo two party to be part of the system they oppose in order to fully participate in the electoral process a working democracy.
    As Altohone says that will not win over the Independents and Bernie supporters that the Democrats need.
    Why is it OK for the status quo Democrats to tell Independents and Bernie supporters that we must give up on what we want and support them and it's not OK for us to say that if you want our support that you must meet our standards?

  77. [77] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    You are right that those that supported Clinton because they actually like her have every right to vote for her. The people that are making the not as bad argument also have that right.
    But if the not as bad people are going to claim that those of us that do not buy the short term not as bad argument and prefer to play the long game of demanding better are wasting our vote, acting as purists or whatever then pointing out that they have been suckered in my opinion seems perfectly reasonable to me.
    The not as badders and those that don't buy that argument are not going to agree- but we are competing for those that are not firmly in either camp.
    It's going to be a tough sell for the not as badders as the 2016 elections have clearly demonstrated that previously held axioms are no longer valid.

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don[74],

    it's absolutely right that "not as bad" is a weak argument to make for someone's vote. my argument would be that every politician is a mixed bag, some good and some bad. so, if one can say that a candidate is 51% good, 49% bad, that candidate is still a valid choice. for a voter who thinks the clinton faction are 75% bad and trump is 100% bad, obviously that argument won't make much of a dent.

    JL

  79. [79] 
    altohone wrote:

    Kick
    60

    I happen to agree with what Liz said in comment 1.

    CW's favorable spin on Hillary blaming others while "accepting responsibility" only perpetuates a delusion that is harmful to Democrats.
    If they don't learn from her mistakes, they will continue to fail.
    Hillary is now a private citizen, she is no longer anybody's candidate, and expending effort and column space on aiding her attempted rehabilitation just means things that could help Democrats are being shortchanged.
    And that bit defending her right to preserve future book sales was really over the top. It's not like the Clintons are hurting for cash, and it was plainly a dodge.

    "It is a horrible disservice to Bernie and all his supporters and what they managed to accomplish to insist that Bernie's failure in his anti-establishment run against the "establishment" was primarily due to the organization of the "establishment.""

    The article I linked to in 15 does a good job of detailing the very real institutionalized barriers against anti-establishment candidates that do, in fact, amount to rigging.
    But that's not what the lawsuit is about.

    Bernie made lots of mistakes before he ran and in the campaign. Personally, I think getting into the race too late and pulling his punches in the debates were the most harmful. But the mistakes you listed are absolutely valid.

    (for the record though, I would encourage everyone to look at the breakout of Bernie's support in the poll that CW linked to in a previous column that shows he is the most popular politician in America. Bernie's support is strongest among African Americans, Latinos, and women... his weakest category is among white men.
    It is debatable if it was Bernie's attacks on the establishment/Obama or simply a lack of name recognition and awareness that was the major factor in the South... and that is where the rigged debate schedule in the primaries matters most)

    But the head of the DNC and four high level staffers lost their jobs for a reason that is substantiated by the facts. The charter and bylaws require neutrality. Those are the rules. They broke the rules and that fits the definition of cheating/rigging.
    And they cheated with the intent of helping Hillary. It is impossible to say if the outcome would have been different without the cheating, but ignoring the cheating in favor of a focus on Bernie's mistakes would be a disservice to the Democratic party and reality. It occurred. Full stop.

    It is Bernie's donors, not me, who filed the lawsuit, and their plainly stated intention is to prevent cheating in future elections. All Dems should want that.

    "Lastly, what lawyers argue in court has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with settled law. Lawyers are paid to argue to win court cases and mitigate monetary damages... not to please the opinion of the public"

    I agree with all of that. I'm not arguing the case, I am noting the effects of the argument being made. And the lawyers argument has been widely reported and most certainly has an effect on public opinion. And it's not a positive effect.

    The DNC is in a lose-lose situation with this case.

    If they win, and the rules laid out in the charter and bylaws will have been legally recognized as not carrying legal force... as in no legal obligation to follow those rules... then no amount of assurances by the DNC that future elections will be free of cheating will be convincing.

    That's a serious PR problem any way you look at it.
    And not just with the anti-establishment crowd.
    Republicans will use it against Dems too... just like Trump did.

    It may be too late for Dems to get ahead of the issue. I don't think they would even consider firing the lawyer and disavowing his argument, I don't think they would agree to settle the case, I don't see the Democratic party fighting to pass a law to legally restrict their private corporation, and previous promises of neutrality from the DNC were broken.

    Losing the case but without any or with reduced damages may actually be the best outcome for Democrats.

    A

  80. [80] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    67

    Sorry about misspelling your name.
    Not intentional.

    A

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    What rule did I break?

    The actual "rule" is our very own version of the golden rule ... refrain wherever possible from using I/me/you in our comments.

    Can we make our points without implying that our fellow Weigantians are suckers? That's not to say that we are beyond being suckered, though. :)

  82. [82] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    LIz-
    I don't remember agreeing to participate in your I, me, you rule.
    If people are suckered then pointing it out may not be polite- but that's too bad for those that were suckered.
    Just as those defending being suckered by the status quo have the right to try to demean those that are trying to fight back against the status quo by calling us purists, spectators or that we are not accepting reality I have the right to my opinion that they have been suckered.
    But it is true that I am not accepting reality. I at least acknowledge reality and am trying to change it rather than pretending that the Corporate Democrats are not conning people with the not as bad argument. Even if those perpetuating the not as bad argument are not conned by the argument, they are participating in the con when they try to convince others to support the corporate Democrats with the not as bad argument which encourages voting out of fear.

  83. [83] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The trouble with this arcane line of argument, Don, is that you and Al don't represent the great majority of the left in this country, who, instead of re-litigating (literally) the primaries, have moved on to the more strenuous work of forming a united, effective resistance against the Right.

    Schumer put Bernie on his leadership team. Bernie joined Tom Perez to hold Unity rallies. Elizabeth effen Warren is everywhere. The "Indivisible" movement flourishes.

    My suggestion: lay down your anti-democrat guns and fight GOP orcs with the rest of us.

    My suggestion?

  84. [84] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    That last "My Suggestion?" is a mistake.

  85. [85] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    Sorry, but your first suggestion is also a mistake.
    I am not anti-Democrat. I am anti-Big Money regardless of party.
    I fully intend to work as much as possible with Bernie to make the Democratic Party acceptable, but I will not support the corporate Democrats.
    The trouble with your arcane argument is that it depends on electoral dynamics that have been completely decimated in 2016.
    The corporate Democrats are counting on that being just a blip and that all will return to normal in 2018 and 2020.
    I'm anticipating that it will not return to normal. If the corporate Democrats are as wrong now as they were in 2016 it won't turn out very well in future elections for the not as bad argument.

  86. [86] 
    Kick wrote:

    Neil
    65

    Just re-read [60] Kick - a tour de force.

    Thanks, Neil. Just calling it the way I see it.

    Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat and never has been. Bernie is a politician who has spent decades building his identity as the guy who hates Democrats as well as Republicans.

    Bernie Sanders: "I am not a Democrat because the Democratic Party does not represent, and has not for many years, the interests of my constituency, which is primarily working families, middle-class people and low-income people."

    Believe him. That wasn't something Bernie said in the 1980s, just a few years ago. Bernie's not a Democrat; he's a Socialist and has been for decades; he rails against both parties, says there is no difference in them and plays his holier-than-thou card every chance he gets.

    How unfortunate for Bernie and his ilk that their only chance to govern is to appropriate the very thing that they claim to abhor. Political parties are not public institutions and exist solely to gain political power for the Party they represent. Political parties gain power by rewarding those who are loyal to their Party and running against and opposing those who aren't members. Obviously, that does not mean that everyone in the Party holds the exact same views; there is always room for differences, otherwise there would never be growth within the Party.

    So along comes Bernie and his supporters into this environment which is well known to Bernie and expects to be treated with unconditional deference while challenging the very "establishment" they claim to abhor... running against a candidate who has spent her entire political career as part of that institution. What exactly were they expecting?

    On the very day that Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy he was asked if he would join the Democratic Party. Bernie replied "No, I am an Independent." That was the day he announced, not that anyone in the Party didn't already know that... so should it really be a surprise that the vast majority of superdelegates of the Democratic Party had cast their votes with the candidate who was also a Democrat? This ain't exactly rocket science, people, just the Party members voting for one of their own members.

    As I believe Jeremy Corbyn himself would agree, if you're going to take over a Party, you might at least have the decency to be a member of the Party you're attempting to hijack. As Bernie confirmed on Day 1 of his candidacy, he isn't a Democrat, and anyone who actually believes the utter fantasy that Bernie Sanders is a Democrat or ever was a Democrat simply hasn't paid well enough attention. :)

    Still, I would have voted for Bernie over Trump any day of the week.

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    We here in Weigantia don't like to be falsely accused of being suckered into anything. Please cease and desist from that tactic.

    And, that's all there is to say about that.

    The End.

    :-)

  88. [88] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    The End.

    it's never really, as long as someone's got a chip on their shoulder. but on the good side, you've got me humming the doors song now.

    the killer awoke before dawn
    he put his boots on
    he took a face from the ancient gallery
    and he walked on down the hall

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I really like that song, not surprisingly. :)

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How does one hum The End?

  91. [91] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    it won't turn out very well in future elections for the not as bad argument.

    The flaw in your argument is Trump himself, who is so abnormal that he creates an anti-Trump pool of voters just by his very existence. Add to that all of the rank and file Democrats, plus those who will be adversely affected by his policies, and all of the moderate Republicans who were only concerned in 2016 about which party got to make the Supreme Court pick, but are fed up with the far right's shenanigans (yes, I said shenanigans) and you've got the makings of a "not-as-bad" wave election from hell, actually.

  92. [92] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Al,

    Please see Kick's posts in 60 & 83 as he does a far better job of putting into words the points I was attempting to hit on as far a Bernie being "an outsider".

    How do you know the BLM activists weren't invited to the event as VIP's but just not slotted to speak?

    Because the author was very clear in saying the tent was the "Speakers' Tent" which was ONLY for those who would speak on stage. Using these types of areas is common because it allows security to know who can and who cannot be on the stage. They are separate from the regular "VIP" tents.

  93. [93] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    Great posts [60 & 83]!

    You explained things so much better than I could. The entire time I was reading them I was saying, "Yes! Yes!"

    Russ

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ, he is a she.

  95. [95] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Yes, and she makes her points very well!

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    She's pretty good.

  97. [97] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01
    76

    I happen to agree with what Liz said in comment 1.

    I agree with just about everything EM says most of the time. On this issue, I just think HRC does recognize why she lost... there's many factors of which she is stating some of the obvious ones. I do believe her book will contain more because I've already heard some of the internal dialogue that was going on within her campaign. There were different ideas on how to handle certain situations, and hindsight is of course 20/20. Some people had ideas that were overruled, and I'll bet she covers some of it.

    CW's favorable spin on Hillary blaming others while "accepting responsibility" only perpetuates a delusion that is harmful to Democrats.

    Oh, methinks Democrats will survive it, and perhaps you're reading a wee bit more... actually quite a bit more... into that issue than it merits. It's not difficult in my mind to comprehend why one author would respect another author's right not to give away the contents of their future work.

    If they don't learn from her mistakes, they will continue to fail.

    Hmmmmm. Maybe HRC should consider writing a book in order to pass on her wisdom for future reference. :p

    Hillary is now a private citizen, she is no longer anybody's candidate, and expending effort and column space on aiding her attempted rehabilitation just means things that could help Democrats are being shortchanged.
    And that bit defending her right to preserve future book sales was really over the top. It's not like the Clintons are hurting for cash, and it was plainly a dodge.

    Oh, come on, Punk! CW doesn't appear to be dodging anything. To me he simply seems like an author who sympathizes with another author... see above. I'm guessing CW also believes in the First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and free speech, and he might not even have a problem with people making money even if they're not "hurting for cash."

    It is debatable if it was Bernie's attacks on the establishment/Obama or simply a lack of name recognition and awareness that was the major factor in the South... and that is where the rigged debate schedule in the primaries matters most)

    All of the above and more. The so-called "rigged debate schedule" didn't stop Bernie from leaving the college campuses in the North and venturing down South and introducing himself. Bernie lost the South long before the debates, and no amount of debating was going to change that fact. In fact, a candidate railing against the system to a group of Southern voters, particularly minority voters, who approved of said "establisment" to the tune of 90% probably benefitted by NOT debating. Don't believe me? One needs only to look at the African American vote in Bernie's home state of Vermont where they have known Bernie Sanders for decades and voted for Hillary Clinton 57% to Bernie's 43%. Please let me know what stopped Bernie Sanders from African American outreach in his home state of Vermont over several decades. I'll wait.

    But the head of the DNC and four high level staffers lost their jobs for a reason that is substantiated by the facts. The charter and bylaws require neutrality. Those are the rules. They broke the rules and that fits the definition of cheating/rigging. And they cheated with the intent of helping Hillary.

    Go figure! The Democratic Party favored the Democratic candidate over the guy who said he wasn't one. I guess they don't call them the "establishment" for nothing.

    It is impossible to say if the outcome would have been different without the cheating, but ignoring the cheating in favor of a focus on Bernie's mistakes would be a disservice to the Democratic party and reality. It occurred. Full stop.

    Full stop? Oh, please. In much the same manner as berating Hillary and/or her supporters for not acknowledging why she lost the general election, isn't it high time for Berners to practice what they preach? No, it's not remotely impossible to say if the outcome would have been different because you simply cannot win the Democratic Party nomination in this country in this day and age if you cannot garner the votes of minority voters and particularly the vote of African Americans. It's not rocket science. If you know you can't win a state, you absolutely MUST do everything you can to mitigate your losses in said state, which the failure to do is political suicide.

    Bernie could not win the African American vote in Vermont where they knew him best, and we darn sure saw the shellacking that Bernie took in the South. It is a proportional delegate system, and Bernie did nothing to mitigate his losses in the South. Not only that, he and his campaign actually minimized the Southern vote. This had nothing to do with the so-called "rigged debates." Nothing stopped Bernie from meeting the people when it mattered. Does anyone honestly think a few debates would have changed all that when Bernie's debate performances were virtually identical?

    Bernie Sanders before Super Tuesday: "To those of you in South Carolina, you know what, in Mississippi — we need a 50-state strategy so that people in South Carolina and Mississippi can get the resources they need."

    Bernie Sanders after he lost the South by huge margins:
    "Well, you know people say, ‘Why does Iowa go first, why does New Hampshire go first,’ but I think that having so many Southern states go first kind of distorts reality as well."

    So someone who preached a "political revolution" and a "50-state strategy" suddenly turned hypocritical and actually dismissive and kind of offensive... Why don't those people vote for what's best for them?

    There was debate regarding how much of the oppo research file that HRC would need to use to win the South. She never had to scratch the surface. HRC learned from 2008 that you simply cannot win the Party nomination without the vote of minorities, and she secured it while Bernie hit the college campuses and railed against Obama as well as Hillary. I honestly think more debates would have hurt Bernie rather than help him. Relying on televised debates as a substitute for getting out and meeting the people is Bernie's call, not the DNC's. I wonder if the Berners filing suit have mentioned those "rigged caucuses" that have the effect of voter suppression? I'm guessing not.

    It is Bernie's donors, not me, who filed the lawsuit, and their plainly stated intention is to prevent cheating in future elections. All Dems should want that.

    That would be more believable if they weren't asking for millions in the process. There's a reason people's tax donations to political parties are not tax deductible, and surely we all know what that reason is.

    I agree with all of that. I'm not arguing the case, I am noting the effects of the argument being made. And the lawyers argument has been widely reported and most certainly has an effect on public opinion. And it's not a positive effect.

    Oh, let's be honest and say that berating other posters for not disagreeing with the article at the link resembled the trumpling's "agreement by omission" goop, which is utterly nonsensical from whatever direction it's coming. That lawsuit is not about anyone in the group's opinion or public opinion. It basically about the Berners who can't seem to let the election go or see how the arguments they present against Hillary not taking responsibility for her election choices apply equally to themselves... if only they'd open their eyes and see it. And make no mistake, these plaintiff's aren't Democrats trying to get a fair system; they're outsiders trying to hijack the Party because they can't get a place at the table to govern without that arm of the "establishment" that they claim to loathe.

  98. [98] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How does one hum The End?

    dum-da-dum, dum-da-dum-dum, dum-da-dum-dum-danananum, dum-da-dum... this is the end, da-da-da-dum, beautiful friend, dum-da-da-dum, this is the end, da-da-da-dum, my only friend, the end, dum-da-dum, of our elaborate plans the end, of everything that stands the end, no safety or surprise, the end
    I'll never look into your eyes... agai-ain, dum-da-dum...

    etc.

    JL

  99. [99] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A lovely song, that is.

  100. [100] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    79, 82

    If people are suckered then pointing it out may not be polite- but that's too bad for those that were suckered.

    So maybe some of the people who think the other people have been suckered are simply misinformed about indisputable facts. Imagine how much more we'd know about Saint Bernard Sanders if only he'd actually bothered to disclose his personal finances during the 2016 presidential campaign. Oh, sure, Bernie argued about political transparency, but then his campaign lawyer argued and was granted a 45-day extension by the Federal Election Commission in which to file his personal finance disclosure. Bernie's campaign then requested a second 45-day extension because they said Bernie was busy with his current campaign schedule.

    Everyone know where this is heading? Bernie never filed the disclosure. So if we're going to talk about suckers maybe we should all factor those facts in. How would one even know they were a sucker if they were believing a bloviating hypocrite who railed against everyone else's personal situations while refusing to disclose his own?

    Maybe not knowing would actually make someone the absolute worst kind of sucker... someone who believed "BS" without ever having had the chance to verify the facts.

    Still, regardless of whether or not a candidate insists on purity from others while hiding his own personal situation, anyone can look up political contributions on the Internet. For instance, there are only 3 Senators who took more contributions from Big Pharma than Bernie Sanders, and Jeff Merkley isn't one of them.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=H04&cycle=2016&recipdetail=S&mem=Y

    Look way lower on that list for Jeff.

    I fully intend to work as much as possible with Bernie to make the Democratic Party acceptable, but I will not support the corporate Democrats.

    Perhaps some of us are the worst kind of suckers... those that are simply fooling themselves without even bothering to take a quick look to find out who they are... in fact... supporting.

    If people are suckered then pointing it out may not be polite- but that's too bad for those that were suckered.

    Be careful what you wish for. Bernie's oppo research file never really saw the light of day, and apparently the "purists" forgot to check out that which Bernie refused to disclose. There's plenty more where that came from, but for now, I'll bet Balthy and others in the group would like to hear your "not as bad argument" for Bernie. :)

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    89-93

    Ummmmm. Yes, I can confirm "he" is a she... y'all silly people... ;)

    Hey! Who knew that Bernie didn't meet Don's "One Demand"? It's such a short list to verify... just one little ole demand. :p

  102. [102] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    to accurately describe donTcare, perhaps it's necessary to dust off the old alan grayson line. the essence of the house plan is, "donT get sick, and if you do get sick..." well, you know the rest.

    JL

  103. [103] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz(84)-
    The not as bad argument is a scam. Saying that those that have been fooled by the scam have been suckered is not a false accusation.
    Of course those making the not as bad argument, whether they have been fooled or are using the argument to try to fool others will not be happy when that is pointed out.
    TFB.
    Until you condemn those people for the false statements they keep making about those pointing out the scam then I can't consider your request seriously.

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Fine.

  105. [105] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar (88)-
    Now THAT was funny!
    So the flaw in my argument about the not as bad argument is the not as bad argument.
    Thank you for proving my point.

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This blog has finally become far too tedious.

  107. [107] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick (97,98)-
    I have acknowledged that Bernie and Stein were not perfect candidates. I have acknowledged that neither met my demand for a small contribution candidate but I voted for them because they were much closer to my standard than Clinton.
    But that election is over.
    Trump and Clinton are not running in 2018.
    The you must vote for corporate Democrats because TRUMP! didn't work in 2016.
    Many people are just as fed up with the corporate Democrats as they are with the Republicans.
    But please, continue to bet on the not as bad argument for 2018. Continue to alienate the very people you need.
    Continue to tell the people that you need to give up what they want and support the corporate Democrats and that it is wrong for them to demand that the Democratic Party meet our standards in order to gain our support.
    And continue to complain about Trump and Republican majorities in Congress for eight years instead of just four.

  108. [108] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    I have acknowledged that Bernie and Stein were not perfect candidates. I have acknowledged that neither met my demand for a small contribution candidate but I voted for them because they were much closer to my standard than Clinton.

    how is that any different from the 'not as bad' argument? bernie did not meet the one demand, but he was 'not as bad' as hillary, no? as kick pointed out, there's a fair amount about bernie to dislike as well. so, at what point does a candidate cease to be 'not as bad' and start to become 'better'?

    so, maybe the question wasn't whether or not he was less bad, but whether or not there was enough to like about him that it made him 'more good than bad' in some people's eyes. presumably those same people saw clinton as 'more bad than good.' my purpose here is to try to dispense with the absolutes and get to the heart of the matter, which is why many voters thought bernie was an acceptable candidate but hillary was not.

    JL

  109. [109] 
    altohone wrote:

    Kick
    94

    We're going to have to agree to disagree about Hillary putting the blame where it belongs.
    The main factor was Hillary in my opinion.

    As for her book about losing, I'm dying to read it... er, I mean you'd have to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger.

    CW wasn't dodging.
    Hillary was dodging.
    We know why she lost. She shot herself in both feet repeatedly. Nobody needs her "wisdom", but her deflection from the actual causes may indeed be harmful.

    Your dismissal of the importance of name recognition in politics is almost quaint.
    The significance of the fact that relative to 2008, the number of scheduled debates in 2016 was less than a third, and they were scheduled at times to limit exposure is only disputed by Hillary defenders.
    It's also possible that that hurt Hillary in the general too btw.

    Bernie did campaign in the South, but he should have started earlier for sure.
    It didn't help that Hillary had negotiated the endorsement of all but two of the members of Congressional Black Caucus before the primaries began, but that is just machine politics, not rigging.
    Outside of the South, Bernie did far better with minorities too.
    And there were numerous states where the totals were blowouts in his favor.

    No comment on the poll showing minorities holding the most favorable opinion of Bernie now?

    "Go figure! The Democratic Party favored the Democratic candidate over the guy who said he wasn't one"

    Bernie would have been the Democratic candidate and a Democratic president if he had been elected.
    Not an independent. It wouldn't kill you to admit that reality.

    Go figure. The rules laid out in the charter and bylaws were broken.
    And you think it's justified despite the RULES and the PUBLIC ASSURANCES of neutrality.
    The establishment lied. You're spinning it... poorly.

    "Oh, let's be honest and say that berating other posters for not disagreeing with the article at the link resembled the trumpling's "agreement by omission" goop""

    Huh?
    I was seeking comment... and hoping for agreement not disagreement.
    My cajoling was effective sort of... despite both respondents ignoring what I said in favor of defending the legal argument... and ignoring the negative light in which it paints the DNC... which you continue to do.

    "these plaintiff's aren't Democrats trying to get a fair system; they're outsiders trying to hijack the Party because they can't get a place at the table to govern"

    It may be worth reminding you here that a smidgeon more then one out of twenty voters in the Democratic primaries switching to Bernie would have altered the outcome... a swing of only 5.1%.

    45% of participants voted for Bernie.
    And there were plenty of registered Dems in that figure.
    "Hijack" is a pretty funny word to use for reforming from within... considering the cheating to prevent it. Another reminder may be in order... the Democratic party left us, we didn't leave them.
    The corporatist Dems claiming entitlement to the party they have veered to the right, and being defended for it by someone who supports a lot of policies they will not (like Single Payer) is kind of sad.

    And the DNC DID violate the charter and bylaws and public assurances.

    A

  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As for her book about losing, I'm dying to read it... er, I mean you'd have to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger.

    heh

    me, too

  111. [111] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    There is a similarity. For me the difference is that I never argued people should vote for Bernie because he was not as bad.
    As I said in comment 69 it's a matter of acceptability.
    And to me the heart of matter is that the not as badders want me to give up what I believe in and support the corporate Democrats and complain that it is wrong for me to demand that the Democratic Party meet my standards if it wants my support.
    I thought that demanding the candidates, legislators and parties meet the standards of the voters was one of the basic tenants of a democratic process.
    That is what is supposed to make democracy work.
    It sure hasn't been working too well without it.

  112. [112] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    89

    See my responses to Kick.

    "Because the author was very clear in saying the tent was the "Speakers' Tent" which was ONLY for those who would speak on stage. Using these types of areas is common because it allows security to know who can and who cannot be on the stage. They are separate from the regular "VIP" tents."

    I've been in "Speakers" tents, and in my experience, friends, family, assistants to the speakers and event staff are common sights... and I've never been a speaker.

    Somebody saying something in some article is not a very good basis for an argument... but if you want to try to substantiate it, I will respond.

    How about a response to my argument about the potential effect of the argument the DNC lawyer used?
    As in not arguing the legal case...

    A

  113. [113] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    107

    I pity the reviewers.

    A

  114. [114] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    My sincerest apologies for just assuming you were a "he" and not a "she". No offense was intended, I assure you!

    Liz,

    Thank you, for correcting me!

    Balthy [92],

    Yes, yes SHE does!

    - Russ

  115. [115] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    104

    I have acknowledged that Bernie and Stein were not perfect candidates. I have acknowledged that neither met my demand for a small contribution candidate but I voted for them because they were much closer to my standard than Clinton.

    Oh, did you, Don? You acknowledged that Sanders nor Stein met your "standard"... your "one demand"... because they too have taken thousands and thousands of dollars from corporations, but then you pointed out how people who vote for "Corporate Dems" were suckers and voted for "not as bad" candidates. So the way I see it, Don... the object of my post, dear Don... is that what we have here is a simple case of POT-KETTLE-BLACK or POT-MEET-KETTLE... take your pick.

    If we're all suckers, then you're at least one of those "Dum Dums"... you know, one of them little suckers... but a sucker nevertheless.

    Not the first time I have said this, but I think we are more alike than some of us realize. The only thing that's really different is the rhetoric.

    But please, continue to bet on the not as bad argument for 2018.

    Why would I "bet" on an argument I don't even believe in? I pick candidates based on multiple issues and not remotely based on "one demand." Don, that "not as bad" argument isn't my argument... it's your argument... even though you may not realize you're doing it... you do appear to be voting based on the same criteria for which you're criticizing others because you did vote for Bernie.

    Continue to alienate the very people you need.

    Who did I alienate? It wasn't me who called a group of people "suckers" for doing the exact same thing I was doing myself.

    Continue to tell the people that you need to give up what they want and support the corporate Democrats and that it is wrong for them to demand that the Democratic Party meet our standards in order to gain our support.

    Sounds like an ultimatum, Don, but you voted for Bernie so the issue is moot because you already voted for a corporate "Democrat." I think that's great, Don. I would have voted for him too if he had won the nomination. Had Bernie actually won the nomination by mitigating his losses in the South versus virtually ignoring its very existence, he would have received loads of funds from the Democratic Party that would have come from lots and lots of corporate donors, and it wouldn't remotely be the first time he's done it.

    I'll let Bernie explain it.

    Bernie Sanders, 03/14/2016, MSNBC Town-Hall event in Ohio:
    Look, here’s the truth. You’re right, I am the longest serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. And when we gave some thought to running for president, and the reason I gave thought, honestly, is not because I disrespect Secretary Clinton. I’ve known her for 25 years and I respect her.

    I just happen to believe that in this moment of history, given the crises that we face, it is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics. So we did have to make that decision. Do you run as an independent? Do you run within the Democratic Party? We concluded – and I think it was absolutely the right decision – that, A, in terms of media coverage, you have to run within the Democratic Party.

    Number two, that to run as an independent, you need, you could be a billionaire. If you’re a billionaire, you can do that. I’m not a billionaire. So the structure of American politics today is such that I thought the right ethic was to run within the Democratic Party.”

    And that's the danged irony of the whole thing, Don. Bernie became a "Democrat" for the very reason that he knew he couldn't win without the very platform he was demeaning and criticizing, including the "corporate" money... it's like one of those wicked double-edged sword thingies that makes a very sharp point at the end. :)

  116. [116] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    105

    how is that any different from the 'not as bad' argument?

    Ummmmmmm... ain't different.

    I will admit to being a "Charms Blow Pop" if Don will at least admit to being one of those "Dum Dums."

    And I ain't being mean either... Dum Dums are some of my favorite little suckers. :)

    my purpose here is to try to dispense with the absolutes and get to the heart of the matter, which is why many voters thought bernie was an acceptable candidate but hillary was not.

    How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? ;)

  117. [117] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    the question i guess is what criterion does don use to distinguish a "corporate" democrat from an "acceptable" democrat? as you point out, it can't possibly be an absolute, so maybe acceptable for him would mean somewhat less funded by corporations?

    How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? ;)

    ha! what were we discussing again? is this a quiz show?

    Do you know the penalty for a slave who strikes a Roman citizen? ...ok, you... you had your hand up first.

    -Death by torture!

    No... You?

    -Crucifixion!

    Wrong! You?

    -They shove a living snake up your ass!

    Roman Officer: Ah, no... but that's very creative!

    ~history of the world part 1

  118. [118] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01
    106

    As for her book about losing, I'm dying to read it... er, I mean you'd have to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger.

    Yikes... You with all your knives and guns talk! Seriously, though, I inherited quite a collection of those so I could accommodate you there... but wouldn't.

    CW wasn't dodging.
    Hillary was dodging.

    I know what you meant, Punk. I was trying to be funny.

    We know why she lost. She shot herself in both feet repeatedly. Nobody needs her "wisdom", but her deflection from the actual causes may indeed be harmful.

    More guns talk?! Oh, we know a lot of Berners hate her for the unpardonable sin of winning the Democratic nomination. Moving on.

    Your dismissal of the importance of name recognition in politics is almost quaint.

    When did I dismiss the importance of name recognition in politics? That never happened. Are you forgetting that Anne Richards was my babysitter and mentor? So if I was a Yankee politician for many decades, people in the South would've already known who I was. If I was going to run for POTUS at the "quaint" old age of 74, people would have already known my name way before then. It wasn't me hanging out in the North part of America campaigning with the younguns on the college campuses when I should have had my bony arse down in the South and getting my name recognized and mitigating those states where I knew I was going get my clocked cleaned and what's left of it handed to me on a stick.

    The significance of the fact that relative to 2008, the number of scheduled debates in 2016 was less than a third, and they were scheduled at times to limit exposure is only disputed by Hillary defenders.

    What post did you read where I disputed that? Moving on.

    It's also possible that that hurt Hillary in the general too btw.

    But, I thought you said it was the shoot footing. *scratches head*

    Bernie did campaign in the South, but he should have started earlier for sure.

    Honestly, it probably wouldn't have mattered a whole lot. He probably should have been First Lady for 8 years.

    It didn't help that Hillary had negotiated the endorsement of all but two of the members of Congressional Black Caucus before the primaries began, but that is just machine politics, not rigging.
    Outside of the South, Bernie did far better with minorities too.
    And there were numerous states where the totals were blowouts in his favor.

    Outside of the South, most of the states are less than 10% African American, and how many of those states were primaries and not caucuses (where there is voter suppression because you must hang around for hours in order to cast a vote)? Bernie outperformed expectations in caucuses. A lot of people call those caucuses "rigged." I suspect if there were primaries in every state, Bernie would have lost sooner. See Nebraska and Washington State as an illustration, where both caucuses and primaries were held... Bernie won the caucuses and lost the non-binding primaries.

    No comment on the poll showing minorities holding the most favorable opinion of Bernie now?

    When I was supporting HRC, I was repeatedly told by Berners that I was only supporting her because she was a woman and it was her turn... so I'm going to go with that nugget except he - man - his.

    Bernie would have been the Democratic candidate and a Democratic president if he had been elected.
    Not an independent. It wouldn't kill you to admit that reality.

    Of course he would, and I would have voted for him too... even if he didn't meet his own purity tests... all while insisting he was the transparent one.

    https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/08/18/20074/how-bernie-sanders-beat-clock-and-avoided-disclosure

    And you think it's justified despite the RULES and the PUBLIC ASSURANCES of neutrality.

    I never said I thought it was justified. I just meant it didn't surprise me that the Democrats favored a Democrat.

    The establishment lied. You're spinning it... poorly.

    No, I wasn't spinning it. I was saying it should have surprised no one that the Democratic Party favored the Democratic candidate over the life-long Independent who trash mouthed their party on multiple occasions over multiple decades.

    I was seeking comment... and hoping for agreement not disagreement.

    You were hoping for agreement by saying: "Not one person here thought it was worthy of a response, so maybe most Democrats are perfectly fine with rigged elections undermining democracy... unless the Republicans do it of course."

    Okay, if you insist.

    My cajoling was effective sort of... despite both respondents ignoring what I said in favor of defending the legal argument... and ignoring the negative light in which it paints the DNC... which you continue to do.

    I just don't think there is any real evidence that the election was "rigged." Bernie didn't lose the election because of the debate schedule. On Day 1, Bernie declared he wasn't a Democrat so who was delusional enough to expect superdelegate support for an admitted outsider trying to take over the Party? Take that superdelegate issue up with Tad Devine. At what point do we stop pretending that it's the DNC's fault that Bernie lost the nomination of the Democratic Party and deal with the fact that it was because of his own actions and that those "rigged" caucuses that suppress voter participation kept Bernie alive?

    It may be worth reminding you here that a smidgeon more then one out of twenty voters in the Democratic primaries switching to Bernie would have altered the outcome... a swing of only 5.1%.

    So you think 5.1% is a "smidgeon"? Hmmmmmmm.
    An even teeny tinier smidge would have made HRC president were it not for the shoot footing.

    Perhaps we simply shouldn't let either of these people handle guns?

    45% of participants voted for Bernie.

    It was more like 43%, but who's counting?

    And there were plenty of registered Dems in that figure.

    There were lots of Republicans in that figure too who were picking the candidate they wanted to run against after Trump won.

    "Hijack" is a pretty funny word to use for reforming from within... considering the cheating to prevent it. Another reminder may be in order... the Democratic party left us, we didn't leave them.

    Well, if we're being totally honest here... Bernie couldn't leave a Party that he never belonged to. While I concede the fact that Bernie was "your voice," that still didn't make him a Democrat. Just ask him.

    The corporatist Dems claiming entitlement to the party they have veered to the right, and being defended for it by someone who supports a lot of policies they will not (like Single Payer) is kind of sad.

    That's merely a legal argument. It's literally their Party, not a private institution, and they don't remotely have to claim entitlement. It probably would have helped Bernie to NOT disclaim the Party like he did.

    I said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't think any of us are all that different; it's the rhetoric that's the problem. It would be a great Step 1 if the Berners would admit that they're thumbing their noses at people for voting for "Corporate Dems" when they are basically doing the exact same thing. Come down off your high horse, Arthur... and please stop banging on the dang coconuts.

  119. [119] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01

    Please read my response to Don at 112 also because it's relevant to some of the same things we're discussing. :)

  120. [120] 
    Kick wrote:

    Listen
    111

    My sincerest apologies for just assuming you were a "he" and not a "she". No offense was intended, I assure you!

    No offense taken! :)

  121. [121] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    114

    the question i guess is what criterion does don use to distinguish a "corporate" democrat from an "acceptable" democrat? as you point out, it can't possibly be an absolute, so maybe acceptable for him would mean somewhat less funded by corporations?

    Like I told Don in 112, Bernie's rhetoric simply doesn't match his reality.

    Don called us suckers for voting for Corporate Democrats without seeming to realize he's doing the exact same thing... and to that I respond... Matthew 7:3.

    "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" NIV

    Except stick up your own 3-letter word that starts with a vowel and also has two of the same letters but is not "eye."

    -They shove a living snake up your ass!

    Roman Officer: Ah, no... but that's very creative!

    ~history of the world part 1

    Winner, winner... chicken dinner! ;)

  122. [122] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    Holy crap! That is one of my all time favorite quotes from History of the World Part I... And one that NO ONE ever knows when I use it.

    So you are from Texas? Your Anne Richards comment made me wonder if you might also know Carl Andrews?

    -Russ

  123. [123] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Al,

    How about a response to my argument about the potential effect of the argument the DNC lawyer used?
    As in not arguing the legal case..

    There is always the "potential" that what one says will come back to bite them in the ass. Taking an argument from a legal setting and repeating it without the proper context being explained to those who hear it could have terrible repercussions. It's doubtful it will, but it is possible. There are lots of things stated in my iPad's iOS user agreement that are shocking when you think about what they COULD do if they chose to do it. But I hit the agree button anyway because I still have to use their product. Both parties have their faults but they do serve a purpose, If the DNC were to go the route of the RNC, I would not support them.

  124. [124] 
    altohone wrote:

    Kick
    118

    "I inherited quite a collection of those so I could accommodate you there... but wouldn't."

    One of the things I love about you is your generous nature.

    "I know what you meant, Punk. I was trying to be funny."

    Don't let me stop you from trying.

    "Oh, we know a lot of Berners hate her for the unpardonable sin of winning the Democratic nomination."

    The idea of Bernie as a candidate hadn't even been born when Hillary's unpardonable sins generated the animosity. But she does have a knack for generating more.

    "When did I dismiss the importance of name recognition in politics?"

    You seemed to be dismissing the importance of a restricted number of debates, which the older demographic in the South that heavily went for Hillary relies on for exposure to candidates and their policies. Bernie did well with the younger demographic which isn't as reliant on traditional media outlets... and, the poll CW linked to makes it abundantly clear that minorities do indeed view Bernie positively when they get to know him and his ideas.

    "how many of those states were primaries and not caucuses (where there is voter suppression because you must hang around for hours in order to cast a vote)? "

    I didn't respond to your previous mention of caucuses as being "rigged", but since you brought it up again, the difference of course is that it wasn't the DNC being run by Hillary's former campaign chairwoman and other supporters who made those decisions... which is vastly different than the rigging we are debating.
    The Dem establishment in the caucus states made those decisions long before Bernie was a candidate.
    Berners didn't implement caucuses or violate the charter and bylaws to benefit Bernie, and the argument is thus irrelevant to the debate at hand.

    I wrote
    "Bernie would have been the Democratic candidate and a Democratic president if he had been elected.
    Not an independent. It wouldn't kill you to admit that reality."

    Your response
    "Of course he would"

    So, if he was in fact a Democrat in that election, the rules should have been followed despite his previous comments.

    "I never said I thought it was justified. I just meant it didn't surprise me that the Democrats favored a Democrat."

    He was a Democrat in that election, as we just established.

    But, in general, I engage with you because I am highly interested in YOUR opinions. Absolutely and truly interested, because you are a compelling, and knowledgeable independent.
    If you're going to play devils advocate and serve as a surrogate for "THEIR PARTY" (as you put it later), that's totally cool.
    But I would like YOUR opinion too, and maybe some sort of heads up when the arguments you are offering are not reflective of how YOU feel.

    "I just don't think there is any real evidence that the election was "rigged.""

    OK. Nobody should be surprised that the rules as established in the charter and bylaws were violated to favor Hillary, but the violation of those rules doesn't amount to rigging?

    Color me confused by that pretzel.

    Again, those rules were violated with the INTENT of helping Hillary. But those violations of the rules aren't "evidence"?

    "So you think 5.1% is a "smidgeon"?"
    A smidgeon more than 5% is not the same as 5% being a smidgeon.
    I'm guessing you were trying to be funny again, but that's just annoying misrepresentation of what I wrote.
    The primary election was closer than anybody including Bernie and most assuredly Hillary expected. Thus the evidence of favoritism for Hillary by the DNC may have been a factor. Acknowledging that reality shouldn't be personally offensive.
    And Hillary's smidgeon loss in the general is accurate but it's not relevant to this debate.

    "There were lots of Republicans in that figure too who were picking the candidate they wanted to run against after Trump won."

    That's an oft repeated claim which nobody ever seems to feel the need to substantiate.
    I would guess that my "lots of Dems" is a vastly larger number to your "lots of Repubs"... but if you are able to provide the numbers that show otherwise, I'm willing to revisit the debate.

    "Bernie couldn't leave a Party that he never belonged to. While I concede the fact that Bernie was "your voice," that still didn't make him a Democrat"

    OK. If you're going to be on both sides of this claim (see above), I might just ask you to get out that collection you inherited and put it to use.
    Bernie became a Dem, and would have been a Democratic president. You admitted it.
    People are allowed to change parties in our system.
    The Dems allowed his participation... arguing that they should be allowed to have their cake and eat it too is... well, it suggests that just as I wouldn't want to play Monopoly with the Clintonian Democrats, I wouldn't want to play with you either.
    Sorry.
    Playing by the rules is supposed to be expected and accepted.

    And Bernie's independence revolved around being an old school Democrat, before their naked embrace of Big Money... and he caucused with Dems his entire career.
    And his criticism was and remains valid.

    I did read your comment to Don, and you are simultaneously arguing that Bernie is a socialist who isn't a Dem while noting the evidence that makes Bernie just like the corporatist Dems.

    The difference is that Bernie fights for Single Payer and the negotiation of drug prices in Medicare and the importation of drugs from Canada DESPITE taking money from pharma corporations.
    He fights for higher taxes on the wealthy DESPITE taking money from some wealthy people.
    He voted against the war in Iraq DESPITE voting for big defense budgets and the F35.

    Many think those differences with Hillary and the establishment in both parties are significant... significantly higher than a high horse even.

    Those and many other examples are what makes Bernie more acceptable despite his imperfections and hypocrisy.

    "It's literally their Party, not a private institution, and they don't remotely have to claim entitlement."

    Well, the Democratic party is a private corporation/institution, but they should be bound by their own rules, and the opinions of Dem voters are supposed to matter too.
    That's inherent in the concept of "democracy".

    A

  125. [125] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    123

    Taking the legal argument out of the context in which it was being offered in court is what YOU were doing.
    The lawyer made the argument in an attempt to claim the DNC isn't legally bound by their own rules.

    See my response to Kick just above for the context in which that legal argument will have an effect.
    If the DNC doesn't apply their rules evenly, they aren't actually rules, and it isn't fair or neutral.

    I guess admitting the potential effect is a step forward despite the misrepresentation I took issue with in the first part of this comment.

    A

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