ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [453] -- Deal? Or No Deal?

[ Posted Friday, September 15th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

As is true during most weeks of the Trump administration, a whole lot happened in the political world last week. But most of it was completely overshadowed by the game of "Deal, or no deal?" that Trump was playing. For the second week in a row, President Donald Trump shocked the leadership of his own party by sitting down and (quite literally) breaking bread with Democrats. Yes, Donnie had Chuck and Nancy over for dinner, and Washington hasn't been quite the same since.

Much was reportedly discussed in this meeting, including areas where the Democratic agenda and the Trump agenda might overlap such as infrastructure spending. On taxes, Trump apparently agreed with Democrats that any tax cut bill should not lower taxes on the wealthy -- a rather stunning admission, if true. But none of that made much news. The headline item was a deal (a possible deal?... a framework of a deal?... a discussion about a deal?... a deal to make a deal?... nobody really knows, at this point) over what to do about two sticky subjects: the people covered under DACA, and border security.

According to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, Trump agreed to support the DREAM Act, which is where this whole political fight began. When Congress proved unable to pass the original DREAM Act, President Barack Obama acted on his own with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump spokesman Jeff Sessions recently announced that the DACA program would be ending in six months. Trump maintained that he didn't want the DACA kids to be deported, rather he was forcing Congress to act to rectify the situation. So Pelosi and Schumer took him up on the challenge and persuaded him to support the DREAM Act.

Also according to Chuck and Nancy, Trump would agree that funding for the border wall with Mexico would not be included in this bill, and that while both sides agreed to disagree, they'd have this fight later, most likely in the budget negotiations at the end of the year. In return for the DREAM Act, Trump and the Republicans would get a big boost in border security financing in the form of funds that could be used for technology, Border Patrol agents, infrastructure, etc. -- but no wall money.

According to Donald Trump, what was agreed to in the deal (or whatever you want to call it) was... um... well, it's hard to say. Trump contradicted himself multiple times in the 24-hour period after the dinner, so at this point nobody's really sure what Trump thinks happened. From the initial Washington Post report on the deal:

"We're working on a plan for DACA," Trump said as he left the White House on Thursday for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida.

Trump said that he and Congress are "fairly close" to a deal and that Republican leaders Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) are "very much on board" with a deal that would address DACA. The agreement must include "massive border security," Trump said in response to shouted questions about whether he had reached a deal on the terms Schumer and Pelosi had described.

"The wall will come later" he said, apparently confirming a central element of the Democrats' account.

Later, however, he was tweeting like mad in all directions, so who knows what will come of it all? His most jaw-dropping tweets on the matter to date were apparently an effort to talk his supporters around to his (new) position:

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!.....

...They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own - brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security

Um, yeah -- really! The "anybody" who wants "to throw out" all these magnificent people would be President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, from the previous week. Sessions can't be happy about this newly-developing situation, but Trump seems more than OK with his new compassionate stance on this group of immigrants.

The real question on everyone's mind inside the Beltway, however, is whether Trump's own supporters are going to desert him over the issue or not. Call it the "shoot someone on Fifth Avenue" test. So far, there's been a lot of white-hot reaction from the usual reactionary crowd on the right, but it remains to be seen whether this anger will sustain itself and actually cause Trump supporters to ditch him for good.

Breitbart, now run again by Steve Bannon, reacted with the headline: "AMNESTY DON," leaving no question where they stand. Ann Coulter -- author of a book titled In Trump We Trust -- tweeted: "At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?" Steve King, the hardest of the hardliners, tweeted: "If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair," later adding: "No promise is credible." There were even reports of Trump supporters posting videos on social media showing them burning their "Make America Great Again" hats.

Ouch.

It is too early to see whether this will be reflected in Trump's polling or not. By next week, we should begin to see if any real trend away from the president by his staunch supporters develops or not. But so far, the signs don't look especially good for Trump.

Signs look even worse for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell (remember them?), who were completely shut out of this discussion altogether. One reporter even asked Ryan in a press conference this week: "Have you asked the president to at least check with you before he makes an agreement with Democrats?" Because no matter what Trump is doing, he certainly is succeeding in marginalizing his party's own congressional leadership.

Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer was caught in an overheard-in-a-high-school-hallway kind of moment, when a hot mic captured him saying (about Trump): "He likes us. He likes me, anyway." Schumer went on to a better, less gushing analysis, which wasn't as widely reported: "Here's what I told him: 'Mr. President, you're much better off if you do one step right, and one step left. If you just step in one direction, you’re boxed.' He gets that."

But you'll forgive us if we hesitate to go overboard in proclaiming this a New Era Of Trump. Many pundits jumped on the "Trump is the first independent president!" bandwagon, which is laughably premature. No deal has been cut, please remember, and nobody knows what might be in such a deal when it does get inked. Some of this optimism from the left was completely unrealistic, such as the suggestion that Trump is now ripe for an "only Nixon could go to China" moment where he throws his support behind Bernie Sanders's "Medicare For All" bill (more on that in a moment). This is getting way too far out in front of what is really going on, folks. We'll see what the reaction from his base continues to be, and we'll see how Trump responds in the next week or so before even slightly buying into all this glee, personally.

Moving right along, let's whip through everything else that happened this week very quickly, as this is getting way too long already.

Trump visited Florida to see Hurricane Irma's devastation and do the required "handing a sandwich to a survivor" photo op, during which he made a rather bizarre statement: "If you talk about branding, no brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard." Um, nobody was talking about branding, Mister President....

Speaking of Trump's business experience, California seems on the brink of passing a law which would mandate that anyone who appears on the ballot for president must first publicly release their tax returns. It certainly seems like a reasonable criteria, right?

Kid Rock has apparently officially entered the political arena. Or something. Because, at this point, why not?

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli is now in jail, due to making threats against Hillary Clinton (offering $5,000 for a strand of her hair). So there is some justice in the universe, apparently.

The Cleveland Indians are on a historic winning streak, but nobody seems to be talking about how they still have the most racist team logo in all of professional sports, for some reason.

In international news, North Korea launched another missile, and London suffered another terrorist attack on its Underground.

And finally, NASA (and millions of fans) bid a fond farewell to the Cassini space probe, as it disintegrated early this morning in the atmosphere of Saturn. This was one of the most awe-inspiring and successful missions NASA has ever performed, and they deserve a big round of applause.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

The same week that President Trump was cutting deals (maybe) with Democrats, there was big news from both major Democratic 2016 presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton released her book Sour Grapes (...oh, excuse us... What Happened is actually the real title), pointing fingers all over the place to explain her loss to Donald Trump. Spoiler alert: it wasn't her fault... really!

Perhaps that is too snarky, but it was hard not to notice the difference in how Clinton has spent her time since last year compared to what Bernie Sanders has been doing. On the very same day that Clinton's book was released, Sanders unveiled his "Medicare For All" bill in the Senate, with 16 cosponsors (and counting), and then made his personal case for it in a New York Times opinion piece. Among those supporting Bernie's bill are many names mentioned as possible 2020 presidential candidates, which is noteworthy.

Will Bernie's bill pass? Probably not. Even if Trump himself backed it (which seems almost impossible), it's doubtful it could make it through a Republican Congress. Bernie also completely punted on including the all-important "How it will be paid for" portion of the bill, making it impossible to accurately measure the feasibility of the whole plan.

But Bernie has successfully shifted the window of the entire debate over single-payer, and that's an impressive accomplishment all on its own. What used to be an academic pie-in-the-sky discussion among radical reformers is now fast becoming the mainstream position of the Democratic Party, and possibly even a big litmus test for base voters.

Eighteen months ago, Hillary Clinton spoke out against even the hope that single-payer healthcare could ever become reality, calling it: "a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass." Fast-forward to now, and potential Democratic presidential candidates are lining up behind the idea. That is a sea-change in attitude, which we've been pointing out all week.

The biggest evidence of this monumental shift in attitude came from a very unexpected quarter:

Eight years ago, as a once-in-a-generation Democratic Senate supermajority debated health-care reform, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) kept their focus narrow. As the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus was focused on passing a reform bill that moderate Republicans could support. At one point, he had single-payer health-care supporters removed from a hearing; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), an advocate for Canada-style universal coverage, set up a meeting to tide them over. But he did not expect much from Baucus.

"[Is he open] to single-payer?" Sanders asked rhetorically. "Not in a million years."

His estimate was just 999,993 years off. At a Thursday night forum in his home state, a now-retired Baucus suggested that single-payer health care could pass, and not too long from now.

"My personal view is we've got to start looking at single-payer," Baucus said, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. "I think we should have hearings... we're getting there. It's going to happen."

Thanks for nothing, Max. Some of us still remember that hearing, when nurses and doctors were forcibly removed from the hearing room. Even so, it makes it all the more extraordinary to see even Baucus now admitting the time may soon be coming for single-payer. That's a miniature "Nixon goes to China" moment, right there.

So (to use an appropriate Bernie term), for revolutionizing what is acceptable debate on the issue of single-payer healthcare, Bernie Sanders is easily our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. While we (as always) encourage people to use the contact information below to congratulate Bernie, this week we would also direct people to the offical list of cosponsors for Bernie's "Medicare For All" bill. Take a look at the list, and see if your senators are on it. If they aren't, please feel free to contact them and ask them why not. Pressure from the grassroots is what caused this momentous shift in attitude, so let's all keep up the pressure on the holdouts. Or, if your senators are on the list, perhaps they would like to hear a message of support from you as well.

[Congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts. Or you can even become your own citizen cosponsor of the bill itself.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

This one, sadly, is also pretty easy this week. Here's the full story:

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D), facing multiple child sex-abuse allegations dating to the 1970s, will resign Wednesday, saying the damaging claims have become a distraction that threatens to undermine the city government's ability to serve its citizens.

Murray's spokesman, William Lemke, told The Washington Post the resignation takes effect at 5 p.m.

The announcement Tuesday came just hours after the Seattle Times reported new allegations Murray, 62, sexually abused a relative in the mid-70s. That relative, a cousin, was the fifth man to publicly accuse the mayor of sexual assault, the newspaper reported.

Murray continues to deny the accusations, saying his progressive political record and gay-rights advocacy made him a target for those determined to drag him down. His cousin's allegations, Murray told the Times, stem from "bad blood between two estranged wings of the family."

In a written statement issued by the mayor's office, Murray said, "While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public's business.... It is best for the city if I step aside. To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation."

Elected mayor in 2013, Murray dropped his reelection bid in May after the first four men claimed he had sexually abused them years earlier, when they were teenagers. One filed a lawsuit in April, alleging in lurid detail Murray "repeatedly criminally raped and molested" him when he was a homeless 15-year-old in the 1980s.

The other alleged victims chose not to sue.

Now, Murray has not had his day in court, admittedly. But as with any sexual assault case, the weight of the accused person's denials diminishes with each additional accuser. Five men, including his own cousin, have now made such accusations. That makes it very tough to still extend the benefit of the doubt, to state the obvious.

Which means it was a pretty easy call to award Ed Murray this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Ed Murray is now a private citizen, and it is our policy not to provide contact information for those who have left the field of public politics.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 453 (9/15/17)

A mixed bag this week in the talking points. We've even got one at the end that doesn't even really qualify under the definition of "talking points Democrats should be using," but we had to include it just for the laughs.

Everyone ready? Seatbelts buckled? Then here we go....

 

1
   The single-payer revolution

You say you want a revolution...

"Bernie Sanders has championed the issue of single-payer healthcare for a long time now. Up until quite recently, he was a lone voice crying in the wilderness. But due to his presidential campaign, he has singlehandedly raised the profile of single-payer healthcare to the level where it is now being seriously considered by millions of Americans. Bernie's right -- this is not some Utopian vision, it is in fact what most of the industrialized world already has. There is no good reason why America shouldn't join in. Single-payer would save billions upon billions of dollars, it would completely eliminate problems such as 'my current doctor's not on my new insurance company's approved list,' and all the hassles of the 'open enrollment' season. Bernie's bill includes dental and vision coverage, which would make it even better than Canada's system. Bernie Sanders has revolutionized the discussion of single-payer healthcare, and it is heartening to see how many possible future Democratic presidential candidates have already cosponsored his bill. If single-payer healthcare ever does pass Congress, Bernie Sanders will be remembered as the man who pushed for it the hardest."

 

2
   Lowest number ever

This was kind of lost in the single-payer news from Bernie, but it's worth pointing out anyway.

"According to the Census Bureau, the percent of Americans who are uninsured has now dropped to yet another all-time low. Only 8.8 percent of Americans do not currently have health insurance. Republicans can falsely claim that Obamacare has failed until they're blue in the face, but the numbers prove otherwise. Tens of millions of Americans now have health insurance who didn't previously have it. That is a huge success story, folks. The rate of the uninsured has fallen by more than half -- down from 18 percent before Obamacare took effect -- which is a monumental achievement."

 

3
   Confusion reigned

Anther entry in the "best description of Trump administration ever" category.

"Did Donald Trump strike a deal with (as he calls them) Chuck and Nancy? Well, maybe, maybe not. Is there a deal, or is there no deal? It's hard to tell with Trump, who is -- to be as polite as possible -- a bit 'mercurial' in his political stances. If a deal happens which protects the DACA population, with no funding for Trump's border wall, then this week will truly have been a turning point for Trump. If the deal falls apart due to blowback from Trump's own base, then this week will be nothing short of the best 'boy who cried wolf' example of how untrustworthy Trump's word is. From one Washington Post article came the most succinct description of this week -- and quite possibly of Trump's entire presidency: 'Confusion reigned.' When this confusion is ultimately clarified then we'll all have a chance to weigh in on what it means. Until then, your guess is as good as mine as to what's going to happen next."

 

4
   The missing players in the equation

Haven't heard a peep about this, but one would like to hope that some outreach is happening behind the scenes.

"Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi seem to be doing a good job of getting President Trump to support their agenda items, but they should really be expanding their efforts right about now. They should be reaching out to the Republican moderates, such as the so-called 'Tuesday Group,' to discuss what would be acceptable to them and what would not. Democrats are fairly flexible, from all reports, on beefing up border security (but without wall funding), so Republicans should have a chance at influencing that part of any bill that is being drafted on immigration reform. If Democrats can get a few dozen moderate House Republicans to join their effort, then it will be a lot easier to convince Paul Ryan that the bill should get a floor vote. Perhaps we can finally obliterate the 'Hastert Rule' and start getting some truly bipartisan legislation passed. The key to doing this is to get the moderate GOP members on board, which should really be the highest priority right now for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. After all, Trump can support their efforts, but it's going to take GOP votes to pass anything through Congress."

 

5
   No realistic comparison

Trump doubled down (again) on his statements that "both sides" were responsible for the Charlottesville violence. One Republican was not happy.

"The only black Republican senator, Tim Scott, met with President Trump this week to express his feelings towards Trump's reaction to Charlottesville. He initially thought he had gotten through to Trump, but then one day later Trump repeated his 'both sides' false equivalence once again. Scott was blistering in his reply:"

In yesterday's meeting, Senator Scott was very, very clear about the brutal history surrounding the white supremacist movement and their horrific treatment of black and other minority groups.... Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but white supremacists have been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries. There's no realistic comparison. Period.

 

6
   Ted Cruz likes porn!

This one is never, ever going to be forgotten.

"Senator Ted Cruz -- who once pushed a bill which would have banned sex toys, mind you -- apparently likes watching online porn. His official Twitter account sent a 'like' out to a hardcore pornographic film, late in the evening. The 'like' was removed later, and Cruz tried to blame a 'staffing issue,' which really only adds grist to the mill for comedians writing jokes about it. For a man with the most sanctimonious facial expressions in all of Washington, it was downright hilarious watching him desperately insist: 'It wasn't me!' this week. Sure, Ted, sure. Whatever helps you through the night, right?"

 

7
   Dave's not here, man.

Dave? Dave's not here, man.

Sorry, but that appears to be the only stoner joke that Orrin Hatch didn't use this week, which is why we had to include an excerpt from his press release in a list of what is supposed to be Democratic talking points. Hatch was "rolling out" a bill to make medical research of marijuana easier to perform, which is a noble goal. But see if you can count the number of stoner jokes in Hatch's brief statement -- we lost count at nine, personally. Oh, and don't forget to tip your waitress, he'll be here all week. Heh.

It's high time to address research into medical marijuana. Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I've decided to roll out the MEDS Act. I urge my colleagues to join Senator Schatz and me in our joint effort to help thousands of Americans suffering from a wide-range of diseases and disorders. In a Washington at war with itself, I have high hopes that this bipartisan initiative can be a kumbaya moment for both parties.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

97 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [453] -- Deal? Or No Deal?”

  1. [1] 
    Kick wrote:

    If single-payer healthcare ever does pass Congress, Bernie Sanders will be remembered as the man who pushed for it the hardest.

    "But it all started really with the man from Independence."
    ~ LBJ at the signing of the Medicare Bill, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, MO

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The Democratic Party (and the entire country) is in big trouble when the most Impressive Democrat is most impressive because he proposed a bill that will probably not pass and did not include the how to pay for it so it can't be properly evaluated. And he is a Democrat that many Democrats don't seem to consider a Democrat.

    But I am not criticizing your choice this week- and not because it is Bernie. It is because The award is for Bernie shifting the window of the entire debate on single-payer so that what was a pie-in-the-sky discussion is now fast becoming the mainstream position of the Democratic Party, and possibly even a litmus test for base voters.

    At this point of the year in 2015, Bernie was just beginning to show he could raise money from small contributions and actually might be able to get more than just 5% or so of the primary vote in 2016.

    You covered healthcare enough for now. It's time to highlight the other window Bernie shifted on the feasibility of small contribution campaigns.

    It's time to not only write about efforts like Brand New Congress, Our Revolution and of course One Demand now so these efforts can begin being effective in 2018- it's time to hit it and keep hitting it until it becomes the mainstream position of all citizens and a litmus for all parties and candidates. Even one third of the amount of time you've devoted to healthcare would be a good start.

    If it can be done on single-payer it can be done on campaign financing. While it hasn't been 8 years yet that I have been asking for even one mention of One Demand, it has been nearly two years. Do you really want to continue to be like Sen. Max Baucus?

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    Tired of the Hillary-hate. Just bought her book and it made me tear up and you know what? Suck it Chris. Dear me, she didn't jump out in front of Trump post-election so that he could train his bloodthirsty hoard in her direction? She didn't apologize enough for you? She didn't both disappear AND start trying to move legislation now that she doesn't hold public office? HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK Chris? Since you feel perfectly comfortable continuing on the knee-jerk slur-Hillary train I'm guessing you didn't. But hey, who needs to do that when slipping on the Hillary-hate sweater is sooo easy and comfortable! I'm sure, HAD she tried to lead ANYTHING post-election your reaction would have been welcoming wouldn't it?

    Gee, just 18 months ago she was all skeptical about Single Payer? Crucify her! Of course the intervening attempts by the GOP to repeal the ACA played NO role in the way Single Payer is now being viewed. NO, it was ALL the result of Saint Bernie's saintliness and un-Clintonness.

    Now she has the NERVE to offer her side of the story and you heard all the other knee-jerk Hillary-haters claim, without having read it, that she blames everyone but herself! Takes no responsibility! Brings up things she has no right to be angry about! Doesn't she understand her job is to accept unjustified slurs? Doesn't she know Berniacs have annointed him and she is the anti-christ for suggesting he did ANYTHING at all, or failed to do ANYTHING at all, to hurt her and help Blotus? And of course, being the receiver of unprecedented interference by Russian rat-fuckers is utterly irrelevant and played no role and why is she talking about it? It upsets the comfortable "she was a weak candidate who didn't go to Wisconsin enough" meme.

    FiveThirtyEight had a great chat on the topic: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is-hillary-clinton-right-about-why-she-lost/

    Hillary may be a throw-away for you but she means a lot to millions of people and she represents a lot to many women. Your sneers and your dismissal of her significance and achievements sends a message you may not be aware of. But I have been getting it loud and clear.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick [1] -

    Good point. I know I posted an image of the first ever Medicare card... lemme look it up...

    OK, didn't post the photo, just the link:

    http://www.ssa.gov/history/lbjsm.html

    in an article on Obamacare:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2012/03/29/what-to-call-it/

    And, not to be pedantic, but it's properly "Harry S Truman." He had no middle name, just the letter "S" -- fun presidential fact!

    :-)

    Paula [3] -

    Yeah, my wife tells me the same thing, so you're not alone in your opinion.

    I'm sorry, but I just got tired of Clinton attempting to rewrite history this week. Such as:

    http://www.salon.com/2017/09/12/sanders-scoffs-at-clintons-claim-he-stole-her-ideas/

    Or perhaps quotes like this:

    "I know what it’s like to lose. I lost in 2008 to President Obama. As soon as I lost I endorsed him. I worked hard for him. I was arguing with my supporters at the Denver convention in 2008 why they had to stop complaining about how I didn’t win and to get out and work for President Obama, and I didn’t get that respect."

    Bernie endorsed Clinton. He worked hard for her. He argued strenuously with his supporters at the Philly convention why they had to stop complaining about how he didn't win and to get out and work for Clinton.

    He did give her precisely the same respect, but she still can't admit it for some reason.

    What kept running through my mind this week was the country music title "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?" That pretty much sums up how I feel about Hillary, at this point.

    She loves to tear into Bernie for "not being a Democrat" but which one of them has worked harder for the Dem agenda since last November, really?

    The story of Verrit is a good example:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/09/06/verrit-the-pro-clinton-media-platform-thats-looking-worse-and-worse/?utm_term=.65f8245a3c8c

    So, yeah, I'll read her book when the local library gets a copy, but from her book tour she hasn't seemed to gain a whole lot of humility for her loss, so I'm not holding my breath or anything.

    I honor Hillary here when I think she deserves it -- I did so less than 10 weeks ago, actually on the subject of her healthcare plan:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/07/07/ftp444/

    And when I disagree, I state that as well. I didn't even consider her for the MDDOTW and I wouldn't have even if the news didn't break from Seattle. I didn't even consider her for a (Dis-)Honorable Mention. I did have to draw the contrast between her and Bernie this week, though, because of the coincidence (not!) of their big announcements on the same day.

    I think Hillary Clinton would have been an above-average president, and I willingly voted for her in the general, since I really wanted to see her nominate a SCOTUS pick on her first day. But her candidacy had a lot of flaws, and I didn't hear much from her about them this week. So I thought she deserved a little snark.

    Like I say, my wife is going to seethe when she reads this comment, so I know full well the other side of the coin on this issue exists out there among Democrats.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    I see you are still in denial with regard to Hillary's failed candidacy and loss to the most unfit candidate to ever hold the office of POTUS.

    And, still filling the comments section with foul language.

    Boring.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hillary can't admit the truth about the election or about the support and respect she received from Sanders because that would make her loss to the most unfit candidate ever to hold the office of POTUS all the harder to wrap her poor head around. And, she wouldn't get any sleep at all.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    FTP #2 ...

    Yeah, but ...

    Does coverage really mean coverage?

    What about the idiotic deductibles and the like?

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Isn't anyone out there ... ??

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [7] -

    No deductibles. No co-pays. And dental, vision, and hearing aids covered. Better than Canada!

    Heh. Couldn't resist...

    :-)

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Chris, as I have mentioned once or twice before, your country has an opportunity to develop and implement a single-payer healthcare system that borrows from the best practices of similar systems already in place in many countries and, if done correctly, could very well become the envy of the industrialized world!

    Yes, I STILL have faith in the promise of America, despite the 'What happened? tour ...

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Quite obviously, I'm just baiting you ... so don't take it! :)

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd like to tell her what happened!!

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, just spent some time answering comment threads from the past week's articles. Sorry for getting so far behind!

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me guess ... they got lost in the filter ...

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Tired of the Hillary-hate. Just bought her book and it made me tear up and you know what? Suck it Chris.

    Seriously?

    I suppose it's easy enough for some people to mistake legitimate and constructive criticism of their personal heroes for hate.

    But, that hardly excuses lame comments full of misplaced temper tantrums. That's the realm of spoiled little girls. Heh.

  16. [16] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    But, that hardly excuses lame comments full of misplaced temper tantrums. That's the realm of spoiled little girls. Heh.

    Easy there, Liz, you've had a moment or two yourself, if I recall. Paula, and CW's wife apparently, have a point that was repeated more than a few times this week: the hating on Hillary has just gotten out of hand. In 2015, after having seen the woman on both the political and international stage for better than 20 years, the Democrats polled overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary. Just two years later, some of the same folks want to kick her like a bad dog. WTF happened?

    Hillay fans want you to to remember that this loss was one of the closest, numerically, in history, and that she significantly won the national popular vote. Hillary did her job.

    But a lot of democrats did not do theirs. They let the networks get away with giving $2+ billion dollars in free media to Trump, with allowing stolen material to be used to undercut the party, with allowing fake news spewed onto the internet by a foreign power to split the Democratic party like a cheesecake.

    Bernie endorsed Clinton. He worked hard for her. He argued strenuously with his supporters at the Philly convention why they had to stop complaining about how he didn't win and to get out and work for Clinton.

    But undercut all of that by not withdrawing from the race in the weeks before the convention. Should have gotten out after having his clock cleaned in California, and certainly when the discussion got to the point of discussing superdelegate defections. His refusal to do so fed the anti-Hillary left to the point that he couldn't slow it down, leading to that horrible scene at the convention where his own 'supporters' were booing him. You can blame a guy for trying only after the damage was done.

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-4

    It's properly "Harry S Truman"-

    I think you are correctt, but this technicality got me thinking about my father's official U.S. Navy commission which hung in his study for decades. I cpuld swear the top line said Harry S. Truman.

    So I went up in the attic. Yep, the Navy got it wrong. it was 1945. Proper punctuation was rationed. Sadly, Truman did not sign the document to give his opinion. Secretary of the Navy Forrestal signed in pencil. Lowly ensigns got pencil.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Embarrassing typo in 17, my ipad apparently sends messages on it's own authority if you leave it by itself too long while tipping the pizza guy.

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    still reading.

    JL

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Take it easy, Balthy ... :)

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthy,

    CW is not hating on Hillary.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That was the point which you missed. Ahem.

  23. [23] 
    Paula wrote:

    Balthasar [16] Yep, yep, yep!

    Chris: As Balthasar notes, Bernie got behind Hillary only AFTER threatening contested convention and all the rest in the months prior. And I recall reading he was actually shocked at how virulent his rabid followers had become --taken aback. Gee, where the hell had he been? And what do you call that? Negligence? Obliviousness? Was he being played by Jeff Weaver or Tad Devine? Every minute up to the convention Bernie was pushing the "Hillary can't be trusted" bull and whining about the DNC. Then Hillary bent over backwards to honor him at the convention and amend the platform and all the rest but even after the convention he didn't deal with his hardcore followers; he didn't sell them on really getting behind her. You say she was flawed but you pass right over his flaws. He piggybacked off Republican slurs and then, after convincing his followers Hillary was (insert insults) he did a piss-poor job of dealing with the damage he'd caused.

    As for his post-election activities, yes, he's done some stuff. LIKE HIS JOB. So have lots of other Dems. He introduces Single Payer -- as though he's the only pol who ever tried -- at a time when the GOP has served up promising conditions for its reception. I'll give him credit for taking advantage of the moment, as have the Dems who signed on to it. AND I will give him credit for moving Hillary further to the left during the campaign. If he'd done that without becoming a dick; if he'd bowed out when he lost and got on board with her, there wouldn't be this lingering resentment among many of us. But he was a dick and he didn't bow out until after he'd inflicted maximum damage.

    You're tired of Hillary? Then don't read about her or watch her. I'm sick of Bernie and I avoid him. I can applaud his good works politely, from a distance, and otherwise ignore him. I don't say he had to disappear, however. I don't make a point of dissing his books because I haven't read them and don't care to. But I don't object to his writing or promoting them.

    OTOH I'm NOT tired of Hillary. I want to hear what she has to say. I want her to be treated with respect and given credit for her achievements. I also would appreciate acknowledgment of the barriers she was confronted with in this campaign, about which we keep learning more and more and more. About which you and an awful lot of Bernie-supporters just can't seem to muster any interest in. Funny, that.

    Ultimately, the thing that comes through your writings about her is something you yourself said: she hasn't seemed to gain a whole lot of humility for her loss,

    She hasn't gained a whole lot of humility for her loss.

    Humility for her loss.

    Humility.

    You might want to think hard about why her "lack of humility" bothers you. You might want to ask your wife (who sounds awfully smart to me!) what SHE think of that.

    You might want to think about how you've never, that I know of - I could have missed it in the first months post-election - talked about how Bernie needed to be more "humble" about his primary losses to her. Are their columns explaining what-he-did-wrong-and-how-he-blew-it? Did Bernie do a tour (maybe I missed it) humbly going over his mistakes and apologizing for miscalculations, misreadings, mis-anythings?

    Or is that just something for girls?

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,
    still reading.

    That's, too bad ... by the time you're done, she will probably have published another. :)

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    i'm sure someone somewhere will care.

    JL

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indubitably.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Hillary did her job.

    Hardly.

    If she had, we wouldn't be dealing with Trump today.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Do you think anything would have changed if Hillary had sewn up the nomination without any real challenger in her way.

    I doubt it would have changed the way she ran her presidential campaign one iota. That is to say we'd still be dealing with Trump today, regardless of what Sanders did or didn't do to respect or disrespect her.

  30. [30] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Do you think anything would have changed if Hillary had sewn up the nomination without any real challenger in her way?

    Oh, absolutely - of course it would have. But nobody is saying that Hillary shouldn't have had challengers - like anyone, a bit of in-league scrimmaging was good for her game. But as you know, the amity of the first few debates ("Nobody cares about your damn emails!") became more difficult as time went on. Then Jeff Weaver happened, and shouting matches began to erupt. Then the decision to take it all the way to the convention.

    Now here's the thing: all that time, the Russians had these troll farms set up, wherein hundreds and hundreds of trained intelligence professionals were online, posing as Americans, egging all this on. For instance, as the political drama came to a head just before the Democratic Convention, Wikileaks dumped the DNC hacked documents, and it would be naive to presume that the reaction to that wasn't in part coordinated with their troll farms.

    Was Robert Mercer's data analytics corporation, which was working with the Trump campaign, helping those troll farms to target their faux outrage? Well have to wait for "What Happened by Robert Mueller" to find out, I suppose.

    So the point is, while we can point to decisions made by Bernie that weren't helpful, and wish he hadn't relied on Weaver of all people, we still can't blame him for the way it all flew off the rails at the convention. That was being manipulated, we know now, from elsewhere. The resultant fallout crippled the DNC, split the party, and likely blind-sided Hillary's team.

    So we don't have to dump it all on Hillary, and we don't have to dump it on Bernie either. What we have to do is find a way to once more unite the party in common cause, and then go save the world.

    again.

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    4

    Good point. I know I posted an image of the first ever Medicare card... lemme look it up...

    Nice card. Everyone should have one of those along with the benefits.

    And, not to be pedantic, but it's properly "Harry S Truman." He had no middle name, just the letter "S" -- fun presidential fact!

    Oh, boy... I do love a good game of "word poker" so I'll see your "pedantic" and raise you a "punctilious." You see, when citing the names of organizations that employ the period in their legal titles, one must still use the period... hence "Harry S. Truman Library."

    https://www.trumanlibrary.org/speriod.htm

    :)

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    "So we don't have to dump it all on Hillary, and we don't have to dump it on Bernie either."

    This is true. The media, the voters and the non-voters also deserve a share.

    Hillary and Trump were both the inevitable result of the broken political process.

    "What we have to do is find a way to once more unite the party in common cause..."

    Since Hillary and Trump were the inevitable result of the broken political system, then let's kill two birds with one stone by uniting the Democratic Party around an issue with a goal that 80% of citizens agree on- getting the Big Money out of our political process.

    But that requires the supporters of the Big Money Democrats to stop rationalizing supporting Big Money Democrats. Supporting Big Money Democrats hasn't worked and will not work.

    The lesson that supporters of the Big Money Democrats still have not learned from 2016 is that you need us (the people that will not support Big Money Democratic candidates) more than we need you.

    You have to save the Democratic Party from itself before you can save the world.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But nobody is saying that Hillary shouldn't have had challengers ...

    Yes, of course, and that wasn't my point.

    The implication was that Sanders and his lack of respect for the Democratic presidential candidate did irreparable harm to her presidential campaign. I disagree.

    What we have to do is find a way to once more unite the party in common cause, and then go save the world....again.

    Well, good luck with that, Balthasar.

    It's very hard to move forward successfully when the right lessons are obviously not being learned along the way.

    By the way, why are we still talking about Hillary? Does she think that publishing yet another memoir will ensure her political relevance? Maybe she's right. :(

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    So we don't have to dump it all on Hillary ...

    And, no one in this thread is doing that, least of all CW, despite Paula's typically over-the-top protestations.

    The real point here revolves around taking personal responsibility for a presidential campaign that was far less competent than the candidate and her fervent supporters will ever be willing to admit.

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    "It's very hard to move successfully forward when the right lessons are obviously not learned along the way."

    You answered your own question about why we are still talking about Hillary before you asked it.

    We can't learn our lessons without discussing Hillary, but we need to recognize that Hillary and Trump were symptoms and not the cause.

    You are right that personal responsibility is key. The Big Money Democrat supporters need to take personal responsibility for continuing to allow the Democratic Party to be controlled by the Big Money interests. The media, including CW, need to take personal responsibility for not providing information on possible alternatives.

    It's not that Hillary did not run a competent campaign- it's that she ran a competent Big Money Democrat campaign. And less people are buying that lie as each election has proven that it is not effective at moving forward. Moving the wrong direction slower than the Republicans has been exposed as a fraud, but unfortunately people would rather not admit (especially to themselves) that they have been snookered.

  36. [36] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    What's all this proposed sanity? Single payer healthcare...? I'm stunned, the reality of universal healthcare being not only affordable, but also superior, to the present draconian system in the US is finally sinking in.

    What's next? Voting in a government that pledges to legalize marijuana for its own sake? Putting the 'U' back in color is probably too much to hope for, and an over-reach.

    Keep up the good work, it hasn't gone unnoticed.

    LL&P...

  37. [37] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW,

    I disagree with you giving Ed Murray the MDDOTW award, as he has not been found guilty of any crime and chose to step down so not to become a distraction in governing Seattle. Had he chosen not to step down, then I could see him deserving the award. Murray has been a great mayor to Seattle, and I think he demonstrated just how much he cares for the city by his willingness to step aside because of these accusations. That's not something to discourage elected officials from doing!

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    "And I recall reading that he [Bernie] was shocked at how virulent his rabid followers had become-"

    Maybe he was just being nice in not saying "What do you expect after the way Hillary and the DNC behaved during the primaries?".

    As for the rest of that paragraph- can you tell me where you got whatever it is you're smoking? It must be some ass-kicking shit to cause the hallucinations of Bernie pushing Hillary can't be trusted or whining about the DNC, Hillary bending over backwards or Bernie being the one that caused her problems with Bernie supporters that were of her own making.

    As for the barriers that Hillary faced, she did a competent job of confronting them in the same manner she always has. And that was why the barriers proved to be too much for her to overcome. And why the Democratic Party will continue to lose voters to Republicans, third parties, independents or apathy (not voting) if they continue to offer yesterday's candidates, methods and not as bad as the Republicans to today and tomorrow's voters.

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The real point here revolves around taking personal responsibility for a presidential campaign that was far less competent than the candidate and her fervent supporters will ever be willing to admit.

    Maybe competence isn't the issue. Maybe cyber-meddling is the issue. Maybe vote-tampering is the issue. We don't know everything that happened yet, despite the book title.

    Consider just one incident in this twisty tale of international espionage:

    Guccifer 2.0, the self-described hacker that US intelligence officials and cybersecurity experts have linked to Russian military intelligence, sent 2.5 gigabytes of voter analysis data compiled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to [Florida political strategist Aaron Nevins] late last summer, The Wall Street Journal reported late last month.

    The documents provided to Nevins, who then posted them on his blog, analyzed districts in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. They showed "how many people were dependable Democratic voters, how many were likely Democratic voters but needed a nudge, how many were frequent voters but not committed, and how many were core Republican voters — the kind of data strategists use in planning ad buys and other tactics," the Journal said.

    The exposure of that voter data, which Nevins remarked was worth "millions of dollars," led at least one Republican campaign consultant, Anthony Bustamante, to "adjust" the voting targets of the campaign he was advising at the time, according to the Journal.

    "Basically if this was a war, this is the map to where all the troops are deployed," Nevins told Guccifer 2.0 in a text message, according to the Journal.

    This was but one small part of Putin's multi-million dollar effort against Clinton in 2016, an effort that included everything from millions worth of Facebook ads to sophisticated phishing expeditions targeting election officials to flat-out changing of voter rolls, and possibly changing votes - Republicans in Michigan and Wisconsin have successfully blocked forensic investigation of their voting machines, however, so we're not likely to ever know for sure.

    Now imagine that you're the candidate who loses an extremely close race - by 0.2% of the vote in Wisconsin, for instance, and then discovers after the fact that there was a whole other secret campaign marshaled against you the entire time and that it might have been targeted and coordinated by your opponent. Just how humble would you be?

  40. [40] 
    John M wrote:

    Don Harris wrote:

    "And why the Democratic Party will continue to lose voters to Republicans, third parties, independents or apathy (not voting) if they continue to offer yesterday's candidates, methods and not as bad as the Republicans to today and tomorrow's voters."

    I have to agree with you there. Democrats need to offer a clear progressive alternative, and not just be Republican "lite."

  41. [41] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Democratic Party will continue to lose voters to Republicans, third parties, independents or apathy (not voting) if they continue to offer yesterday's candidates

    As will Republicans, according to longtime Democratic pollster Pat Caddell. Caddell was hired in 2013 by Republican billionaire Lee Hanley to conduct a 'mood of the voters' survey. The end product, dubbed the "Smith Project" (after the movie "Mr. Smith goes to Washington") reported that:

    Americans were hungry for an outsider. It didn’t matter whether the candidate came from the left or the right; voters just wanted somebody different. They had lost all faith in the ruling class—the government, the media, Wall Street. “It showed the entire blow-up of the country coming,” Caddell told me. “A whole new paradigm developing.”

    This wasn't exactly a new revelation: Chris Hayes of MSNBC had written much the same from a different perspective in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites:

    “We now operate in a world in which we can assume neither competence nor good faith from the authorities, and the consequences of this simple, devastating realization is the defining feature of American life at the end of this low, dishonest decade.”

    But the result, warned Hayes, of distrust in institutions could have its own negative effect:

    "..there is another insidious possibility: that endemic elite failure will prompt the populace to retreat into denialism. As distrust spreads from institution to institution like a contagion, it can render the entire social structure of publicly accessible knowledge unusable. If the experts as a whole are discredited, we are faced with an inexhaustible supply of quackery."

    Whether this rampant anti-institutionalism is endemic or a faddish reaction to the slings and arrows of modern life is yet to be determined, I think. There is hope, however, that the election of Trump will encourage a re-thinking of the paradigm that 'the establishment' deserves a diminished role in society. There is no more sobering experience than suddenly discovering that you'd gotten exactly what you asked for - and it's a nightmare.

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Now imagine that you're the candidate that loses by an extremely close race- by 0.2% in Wisconsin, for instance, and then discovers after the fact that there was a whole other secret campaign marshaled against you the entire time and that it might have been targeted and coordinated by your opponent. How humble would you be?"

    Bernie was humble enough to actually endorse and work for Hillary even when it was clear that his opponent was without question clearly involved in the targeting and coordination of the secret campaign against him.

    What goes around comes around.

    "You reap what you sow.
    You reap what you sow."
    Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson
    -The Great White Hype

  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Bernie was humble enough to actually endorse and work for Hillary even when it was clear that his opponent was without question clearly involved in the targeting and coordination of the secret campaign against him.

    The way I heard it, Bernie agreed to endorse Clinton after she was able to assure him that no such 'secret campaign' against him actually happened.

    But the secret campaign against Hillary was at its most active: immediately after the Wikileaks dump, selectively culled emails from that pile of tens of thousands of communications that cast the DNC and DWS in the worst possible light were being posted and shared. All of this was widely disseminated at the worst possible time for Hillary, during the week before the Democratic Convention.

    Although, as the Washington Post noted, "Basically all of these examples came late in the primary -- after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory..", the damage was done, and DWS resigned on the eve of the Convention.

    But here's the point: the outrage over those emails was all along being manipulated, amplified, targeted and disseminated by agents of the Russian government, who were suspiciously quick to identify exactly which of the 20,000 emails in the wikileaks release were the most damaging. These needed only to be shared with aggrieved Bernie supporters to garner wide distribution. These were followed up by the Russian 'Troll Farms' who attempted to keep the wound open by linking the DNC emails to Hillary, who was neither a creator nor recipient of any of the offensive emails at all.

    Moreover, while some in the press took the bait and professed to be shocked by these selectively culled emails, others were not surprised at all, knowing that a sometimes vicious liberal-moderate split had existed at the DNC for years prior - "on a par with [Casablanca character] police Capt Renault's professed shock that gambling was taking place in the Casablanca club he was raiding, as a waiter hands him his winnings."

  44. [44] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Since Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, I'm wondering how he qualified for MIDOTW. Is the Democratic Party so desperate now that they'll even accept those who were briefly a Democrat-of-convenience?

    Looks like Bernie wants to run again in 2020. It will be interesting to see if he becomes a Democrat-of-convenience again, runs as an Independent or forms his own party. Whatever he chooses to do, he'll be working hard to stand out from the rest so I expect he'll be MIDOTW more than anyone else between now and 2020.

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The way I heard it, Bernie agreed to endorse Clinton after she was able to assure him that no such 'secret campaign' against him actually happened.

    LOL!

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Quick question for everyone ...

    What was the percentage of eligible voters who actually voted in the last presidential election?

    Thanking y'all in advance.

  47. [47] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    I think it was just yesterday that someone on Washington Journal said that voter turnout was down 7%, the first time in a long time that voter turnout has gone down in a presidential election year.
    Not sure about the percentage of eligible voters, but it is usually around 60% in presidential elections.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That sounds high to me, Don ... are you sure about that?

  49. [49] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Whether or not I am high I am pretty sure about the 60%. In 2014 about one third of voters that voted in 2012 did not vote in 2014. And 2014 had about 40% of eligible voters voting.

    I use these statistics often to show how just half of those voters that didn't vote in 2014 would have totaled 20% of the vote if they had registered a vote against the Big Money candidates by voting for third parties, independents or writing in their own name instead of not voting in 2014.

  50. [50] 
    dsws wrote:

    Obamacare repeal also has a game of deal-or-no-deal going on, this one in the Senate.

    I'm glad to say it's looking likely that I was wrong. I said, repeatedly, that Republicans were going to repeal Obamacare. In campaign after campaign, they got elected on a commitment to do something, anything, to make sure that 26-year-olds can't stay on their parents insurance, that we don't try the law's many small-scale efforts at reducing the horrific inefficiency of our medical system, and that we do our best to maximize the number of uninsured people. They never agreed on the rest of the details, but those key elements have had a clear consensus within the Party, and a clear mandate from voters, for at least seven years.

    Revamping a huge sector of the economy provides countless opportunities to pick winners and losers, to redirect money from those you don't like to those you do. I insisted that Republicans would not leave that money on the table. When the Senate passed a budget bill that allowed it to be done with only 50 votes, I thought it was a done deal. But time is running out for them to do it on that authorization.

    Of course, I may yet turn out to be right. They may do the same can-do-it-with-50-votes thing again next session. Only a Democratic majority in at least one house can really provide a check on their ability to repeal ACA.

  51. [51] 
    dsws wrote:

    Or is it PPACA? However Obamacare is abbreviated.

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    Whether or not I am high I am pretty sure about the 60%.

    it would still be about 60% of eligible voters, but if you were high you probably wouldn't care. :)

    JL

  53. [53] 
    Paula wrote:

    [43] Balthasar: Yep.

    These were followed up by the Russian 'Troll Farms' who attempted to keep the wound open by linking the DNC emails to Hillary, who was neither a creator nor recipient of any of the offensive emails at all.

    The DNC-scheme Hillary gets accused of, as all the other things she gets accused of, didn't exist. But it fit right into the "untrustworthy" narrative Bernie made use of. Like most of the fake-scandals flung at the Clintons, it will never die because there are always opportunists keeping these things in circulation, and individuals who will believe them.

    The entire DNC-Bernie-joins-the-party saga is one of poor people-skills by Bernie and his gang. They roll into a place they'd done nothing to support, commence to bitch about schedules made BEFORE their arrival, and accused their hosts of cheating when Bernie came in second. They acted like "Democrats preferring a Democrat" was a deliberate conspiracy instead a natural response and, instead of being sensitive to a perfectly predictable dynamic and trying to woo people who leaned Hillary, they were affronted and whined and whined and then threatened chaos.

    HRC gets lambasted by Hillary-haters over her perceived errors: not going to Wisconsin enough, etc. Bernie, OTOH, is not scrutinized for his inability to walk into a predictably delicate situation and mishandling it. He showed terrible leadership skills, poor judgement, and a refusal to take responsibility.

    All of this was aided, as Balthasar notes, by Russian rat f&cking, by the media, and by Bernie fans who didn't smell the rat and just swallowed every nasty thing about Hillary they were fed.

    The Hillary-hate has always been overly-intense in response to whatever objections the haters have. She held positions most other Dem leaders hold and none of them are hated in the same way.

    Plenty of Bernie-preferrers voted for HRC in the general and moved on. They don't feel the need to engage in every "Hillary pile-on". But other reluctant-HRC-voters DO feel the need to engage in every "Hillary pile-on"; DO feel the need to insist she go away and shut up, etc. Methinks they protest too much.

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So Paula, did Hillary do anything wrong that is worthy of serious criticism?

    Or do you just chalk up all criticism of her as hate, by reflex?

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, I'm not really talking about her 'positions' per se, Paula, but, rather how she ran her presidential campaign, generally speaking focusing as she did on Trump and not on effectively answering her detractors and persuading voters that she had the better message, if she in fact had a message ...

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, 60% is not great but, I thought it was lower than that.

  57. [57] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [43]: Yep. I'm not very 'huggy' in real life, so forgive me if I don't show enough appreciation for your excellent posts in support. But rest assured, I'm with you on this.

    As I said in a previous post, we've got to cut the Bernie Bros a little slack, because their nerves were exposed and laid raw by professional Russian rasps.

    But now that THEY know that, perhaps they ought to check their premises, and have a bit of sensitivity to the fact that both camps want their candidates to be treated fairly, and with at least some respect.

    As I also posted earlier, the urgent question is how to bring the two camps back together to defeat the conspiracy of fascist racist dunces that have seized both the government and our futures.

    To that end, I'm a huge fan of the Women's March and those little 'pussy hats' that carried so much symbolism and united Sanders and Hillary fans against Trump. I'm a fan and supporter of the 'Undivided' movement that defeated the GOP assault on the ACA, and would like to see more of that marshaled against the Trump agenda.

    And I'm very pleased with the efforts of Schumer & Pelosi who, like the penniless optimist, ventured into the whore house and managed to come out with smiles on their faces.

    So an olive branch to the Bernie supporters: I'm on board with the 'single payer' solution to health care, but cognizant of the fact that we would need a complete reversal of current political fortune to pull it off - control of both houses of Congress at least, perhaps a majority on the Supreme Court as well.

    Same goes for stricter regulatory oversight of Wall Street: good idea, needs institutional backup.

    But if we work TOGETHER toward the common goal of defeating the 'fascist lite' party at the polls in 2018, and carry that unity into the 2020 election, we could just make it happen.

  58. [58] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz [55]: Are you seeking understanding, or demanding a confession of sins?

    We get it: you weren't a big supporter of Hillary to begin with, and thought that Biden would have done better. That was a good debate, once, although Biden's track record in previous cycles didn't promise much.

    Everyone's entitled to a few mistakes.

    Trump, and his army of deporables, is the issue now. Hillary is offering us intel from the front lines of the last battle, and if we ignore (or ridicule) her insights, we risk repeating her mistakes. You don't have to agree with her assessments, or conclusions, but to not listen at all is foolhardy.

    We need to accentuate the positive: what useful lessons have you drawn from the 2016 race that you think would help in 2018 and 2020?

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    A serious political analyst once wrote that he could not ignore Trump but he could ignore Hillary.

    That is a truism in a nutshell.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We need to accentuate the positive: what useful lessons have you drawn from the 2016 race that you think would help in 2018 and 2020?

    I've already waxed lyrical on lessons that Hillary should have learned or known and how she should have handled a number of complicated issues (her private email server, her links to Wall Street and corporate America, her lack of a coherent message, etc.) during her presidential campaign.

    There are many lessons to be learned from her failed attempt to ascend to the highest political office but you won't learn about them from her memoirs.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We get it: you weren't a big supporter of Hillary to begin with ...

    Well, then, you don't 'get' anything. She was the only game in town.

    You misconstrue my disappointment in her ability to run a successful campaign with a lack of support. I went beyond support, in fact, and offered up constructive criticism at every opportunity.

  62. [62] 
    Paula wrote:

    [54] Elizabeth: I have never said Hillary was beyond criticism, and neither has Hillary. What I object to is the notion that she needs to prostrate herself, abase herself, to please people who, in their various ways, helped with her loss.

    If you want to criticize her campaign decisions, talk about the decisions, not about whether she's showing "enough humility". But if you want to criticize her decisions with any credibility you have to factor in the unprecedented obstacles she was confronted with too. Similarly, avoid criticisms based on lies, such as the notion that she was part of a conspiracy with the DNC to screw Bernie.

    It's not necessary to bring Bernie into it at all, but if you do, then acknowledge his role in these events as well. Bernie, knowingly or unknowingly, piggy-backed on Russian propaganda and GOP slander. That counts. HE, seemingly, believed the slanders, which is statement about his own judgement, and his reliance on others with questionable judgement. That counts. If people are going to make it about Hillary's personal qualities -- lack of humility -- then lets have a talk about Bernie's.

    OR, lets look at all the analysis and data and learn something. Including information HRC is now sharing and getting on the record.

  63. [63] 
    Paula wrote:

    [57] Balthasar: Thank You!

    I agree and acknowledge Bernie supporters were being manipulated and no one knew it at the time. While I can cut them some slack, it bothers me a lot that they were so eager to believe so many nasty (and false) allegations. I think its valid to investigate why.

    What I know is is that, as I watched what was going down on Facebook I was appalled and suspicious. NOW we're learning about the dirty tricks that were happening and if we don't learn from all of this we're gonna be hurt in 2018.

    So the "shut HRC up" brigade is, whether they realize it or not, are also pushing a "let's not figure out how we were manipulated" outcome. Which makes my blood run cold.

  64. [64] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    The question on whether you are really offering an olive branch to Bernie supporters depends on what conditions are set for working together.

    If it means that we have to support Big Money Democrats because TRUMP! then it's not much of an olive branch.

    While I have never seen any of the Hunger Games movies I did see part of one a week or two ago and they kept saying "remember who the real enemy is".
    The real enemy is not Trump or even the Republicans. it is all candidates that take Big Money to run their campaigns. And Hillary is in that group.

    While you say you are cognizant of the need for "a complete reversal of current political fortune to pull it off" (single-payer), that complete reversal is not possible if people keep accepting, supporting and voting for Big Money candidates no matter what party they belong to.

    Listening works both ways.

  65. [65] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    Sorry, but the Bernie supporters were not manipulated by false allegations.

    It was and is the Big Money Democrats Deniers that have been manipulated for decades with empty promises and the politics of fear that people have to accept Big Money Democrats like Hillary, Pelosi and Schumer because the Republicans are even worse.

    2016 showed that people will no longer be manipulated by Big Money Democrats.

    Hillary and the other Big Money Democrats have made their bed and now they have to lie in it (no pun intended). You can pull the covers over your head and pretend that the "Party" is not over or you can get out of bed with the Big Money Democrats and help move the country forward.

  66. [66] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (55)-
    Hillary did have a message- that she was not as bad as Trump.

    The people have spoken and they rejected that message as either untrue or just not good enough.

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Hillary had the smarts, the experience and the where-with-all to have mounted a serious challenge to Trumpism and offer a positive vision for progressive change and a message of unity.

    Sadly, she fell far short of what I believed she was capable of. I was obviously quite wrong about her ability to face the challenges, both of her own making and outside of her control.

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hillary's problem, by the way, is not a lack of humility.

    It's rather a lack of political acumen that was her downfall.

  70. [70] 
    Paula wrote:

    [69] Elizabeth: You are certainly free to assess Hillary's "smarts and experience and where-with-all" but oddly enough I don't find your opinion to be persuasive.

    [64] Don: You are dodging specifics by making a general assertion: Berniers weren't fooled by Russian bots, rather Hillary-supporters have been fooled by years of insert-Don's-perrenial-argument. Dodging and assertions don't cut it.

    Both of you are clinging to a completely false "this was a conventional election" mindset which renders your views incomplete and therefore useless -- and if anyone with any power took them seriously -- actively harmful.

  71. [71] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    Wherewithal is one word.

    JL

  72. [72] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    "Dodging and assertions don't cut it."
    Dodging- you mean like refusing to accept how Hillary and the DNC treated Bernie in the primaries? or "... Hillary supporters were fooled by -Don's-perrenial argument."?
    That you wouldn't even say what that argument is is the definition of dodging.

    Assertions- you mean like asserting that Bernie supporters were fooled by the Russians? Or how Liz and I are clinging to a completely false this was a regular election mindset?

    At least when I make assertions they are actually true. You should try it sometime.

    Hillary ran her campaign as if it was a regular election and that's why she lost. And Hillary supporters such as yourself refuse to accept that the regular elections where the not as bad as the Republicans politics of fear argument fools people will not be coming back.

    You will be severely disappointed if you refuse to accept this reality. You can no longer hide in your comfortable imaginary world.

    You may find some solace in other Hillary supporters that will confirm your delusions. But reality and those of us that actually pay attention to reality and learn from it will shatter the illusion.(see 2016 elections for an example)

  73. [73] 
    Paula wrote:

    Don: I have addressed "how HRC and DNC treated Bernie in the primaries. HE BLEW IT.

    I reiterate that you and Liz are clinging to your views about the election which fail to factor in a series of events that actually WERE taking place, in secret, by bad actors. Which meant that efforts her campaign made to attempt to deal with problems were going to be hampered by not being able to get to the root cause of those problems in real time. Kind of like one of those murder mysteries in which the heroine is getting sicker and sicker and the MD is trying to help but he doesn't realize someone is quietly feeding her arsenic. They learn that in the post-mortem. Then they go after the killer.

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You are certainly free to assess Hillary's "smarts and experience and where-with-all" but oddly enough I don't find your opinion to be persuasive.

    Well, Paula, the most persuasive part of my assessment is that she lost to the most unfit candidate for president - most unfit ever, in the history of the world, even.

    :-)

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    56

    Well, 60% is not great but, I thought it was lower than that.

    It is usually lower than that. For approximately the past 50 years, the numbers have slipped from the 60% range into the 50s.

    1960 - 62.77%
    1964 - 61.92%
    1968 - 60.84%
    1972 - 55.21%
    1976 - 53.55%
    1980 - 52.56%
    1984 - 53.27%
    1988 - 50.15%
    1992 - 55.24%
    1996 - 49.00%
    2000 - 51.21%
    2004 - 56.70%
    2008 - 58.23%
    2012 - 54.87%

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/turnout.php

    I believe I read somewhere that the turnout for 2016 was 59.7%, so almost back to 60%... but in my opinion those numbers are abysmal, pathetic, sad.

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    I reiterate that you and Liz are clinging to your views about the election which fail to factor in a series of events that actually WERE taking place, in secret, by bad actors. Which meant that efforts her campaign made to attempt to deal with problems were going to be hampered by not being able to get to the root cause of those problems in real time.

    You might have a point if Hillary or her campaign actually attempted to deal with these problems in a serious manner. But, they did not so you don't.

    Whether you are talking about her email situation or her stance on Obamacare or just how she dealt with Trump and his antics - or, for that matter, her campaign-sabotaging husband - she handled the challenges of her campaign with great ineptitude.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks for the info, Kick!

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wherewithal is one word.

    I didn't like the look of it. :)

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [Don and Liz] are clinging to a completely false "this was a conventional election" mindset which renders [their] views incomplete and therefore useless -- and if anyone with any power took them seriously -- actively harmful.

    That's quite a non-serious statement, Paula.

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, a good place to end this thread on. :)

  81. [81] 
    Paula wrote:

    [76] Elizabeth: You might have a point if Hillary or her campaign actually attempted to deal with these problems in a serious manner. But, they did not so you don't.

    I see. Were you privy to their meetings and efforts and plans? Do you have any idea what steps they took? Do you know what data they were getting? I don't think you know squat.

    Re: your "persuasive" argument that she lost to the worst candidate yada yada once again illustrates you got nuthin'. You skip right over the covert tactics being used against her, proving my contention that your "analysis" (i.e. your broken-record Hillary-dissing pretending to be analysis) is useless because it simply ignores significant elements that affected the outcome.

    The words "pompous" and "blowhard" keep flitting through my stream of consciousness…why is that? They're such "male" words. But you would make a terrific insufferable-male-pundit, grandly and confidently spouting empty statements that sound kind of impressive if they aren't scrutinized. Have you ever done community theatre? Might be a good outlet for your energies.

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me ask you this, Paula ... in an effort to illustrate just how badly Hillary campaigned for president ...

    If you were advising Hillary, how would you have suggested she handle the Obamacare issue, in view of all that Trump was saying about it?

  83. [83] 
    Paula wrote:

    [82] Elizabeth: You are looking at a tree while the forest behind you is/was burning.

    All your ideas about what she should/should not have said about ACA or anything else are nothing more than your opinions. It's fine for you to have them. It's not fine for you to think they are anything more than speculative mental games. And if you want to make a case for what you think she should have said, make it. Don't ask me to make it for you, especially since it's beside the point.

    My points are not about her positions/messaging, they are about the tactics that were both known and hidden that hindered her ability to advance those messages and some of which, like Comey's intervention, were literally Black Swan events.

    I posted this upthread: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is-hillary-clinton-right-about-why-she-lost/

    You should review it.

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Have you ever done community theatre? Might be a good outlet for your energies.

    No. I think I'd be better at political campaign consulting. Hillary sure could have used my help!

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think you are quite beyond hope, Paula and I am done with this thread.

  86. [86] 
    Paula wrote:

    [84] Elizabeth: Adios!

    Also, since I am quite beyond hope, feel FREE to skip my comments in the future! Don't waste your precious pearls of wisdom on moi - I am unworthy! Channel that energy towards helping Don (Quixote) and his quest! Be his little Pancho (Pancha?) Sanszo-beth!

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don't worry Paula ... I gonna keep on trying to convert ya. :)

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's talk tax policy and the Republican cult of economic failure!

  89. [89] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    "I have addressed how HRC and the DNC treated Bernie in the primaries. HE BLEW IT."

    You can tell me the earth is flat and I won't believe that either.

    The only way he "blew it" was not pointing out Hillary's flaws, even though she was attacking him and making false claims about his positions.

    As for the series of events taking place in secret that hampered Hillary's campaign- I have taken that in to account. It's Bullshit.

    If secret Russian trolls on the internet can influence enough voters to vote for Trump or stay home and not vote then it's time to admit that democracy doesn't work. I seriously doubt that the dozen or so voters influenced by internet comments could have swung the election to Trump.

    And if Hillary couldn't handle the Russians during the campaign then it's a good thing she wasn't elected because it's unlikely she could have handled them as president.

    Hillary lost because she was an establishment candidate in an anti-establishment election, because citizens were fed up with being let down by Big Money Democrats and Hillary was not able to learn from and adapt to changing political dynamics.

    SHE BLEW IT.

    The poison that killed her was self-administered. And as long as the Democratic Party candidates continue to take the Big Money poison they will keep losing voters and elections.

    The only mystery is why citizens keep supporting and voting for candidates like Hillary that are clearly the enemies of democracy and America.

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You can't blame it all on Hillary, Don. Her campaign-sabotaging husband takes a big chuck of the blame for giving us President Trump. If it wasn't for him, Comey would still be the FBI director.

  91. [91] 
    Paula wrote:

    [89] Señor: If secret Russian trolls on the internet can influence enough voters to vote for Trump or stay home and not vote then it's time to admit that democracy doesn't work. I seriously doubt that the dozen or so voters influenced by internet comments could have swung the election to Trump.

    That right there illustrates your complete ignorance about the topic.

    So much so it's almost mind-boggling given your zeal to transform the electoral system. Do you actually research ANYTHING about which you opine? (Although democracy CAN'T work if it's unprotected, and it is unprotected right now and your ignorance about how it is unprotected is staggering.)

    You and Liz go together like ham and eggs.

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I resemble that remark.

  93. [93] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    You seem to be confusing ignorance with understanding.

    It is your ignorance that is mind boggling. I am trying to protect democracy from the real enemies in our country- the Big Money Democrats and Republicans. They are what made any Russian interference possible (though not effective) because any opening the Russians could exploit was in put in place to be exploited by the Big Money interests.

    You and Hillary go together like a vampire and it's human servant.

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I meant that in a good way, Don. :)

  95. [95] 
    Paula wrote:

    Don: you mean its human servant -- no apostrophe.

    [94] See, Lizzie likes you!

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula, you can call me anything you want but, please don't call me late for dinner.

  97. [97] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Several hurricanes, a poorly worded diatribe to the UN and two gobby loud lawyers later, Manafort remains on thin ice and hot water simultaneously.

    I'm curious to the extent of Manafort's fealty...

    LL&P

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