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DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin

Dems became the party of corruption: the organization did conspire against Sanders

Who are those "experts" who tell us those were Russians? Are those the same "experts" who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or the same who claim that Hillary bathroom email server was never breached?

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links  Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Hillary Clinton email scandal Obama: a yet another Neocon
Hillary Clinton email scandal Demonization of Putin Who hacked whom propaganda game Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Bill Clinton Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic Madeleine Albright
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  Pathological lying Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite  

Introduction

These people have no shame. Vote Trump!

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

I didn’t have a conspiracy with that woman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  HRC

Today, while reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables ,
 I unexpectedly came across a passage which fittingly describes the DNC:

They are practiced politicians, every man of them, and skilled to adjust those
 preliminary measures which steal from the people, without its knowledge,
the power of choosing its own rulers…This little knot of subtle schemers
will control the convention, and, through it, dictate to the party.

Roland , July 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

Wikileaks proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in fact, served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee. There nothing democratic about National Democratic Committee. It is an elitarian structure dominated by neoliberals (Clinton wing of the party), which have nothing to do with democracy, but a lot with Wall Street domination of the political life in the country.   They also served as a powerful catalyst of rising far right nationalism.  Essentially Bill Clinton created Trump.

But instantly after the revelations neocon propaganda machine was put in overdrive to fed the US lemmings (aka voters)  that the diabolical Russian hackers were behind the DNC hack. In other words this Rove-style plot try to brainwash the public that what the DNC actually did was not reprehensible, but its exposure was:

For Dem [media] tycoons, it’s habit. They stand behind Hill for Imperial hegemony and Full Spectrum Dominance wherever money can be extorted, always the case in our squalid, half-assed military debacles. They get that looting nations and winning wars are not the same, and only one of them matters. For Repub Capos it’s a stickier wicket but not much. For a Conservative to even consider backing a Democrat, and a Clinton at that, would have been unthinkable last May, but since no Republicans actually are conservative, they figure why cling to yesterday, and they go with their lack of principles. What horrifies them in Trump is not his racism, sexism, or crudity: those are their hole cards, beloved of their Redneck Division. What actually outrages them is that in knocking imperialism, policing the world and puppeteering NATO and Japan, in shrinking empire and friending Russia, he threatens directly the War Machine and its limitless sugar tit from Congress.

Despite all this "Russians are coming" smoke screen and attempt to divert attention on Russia that Clinton campaign tried to propagate via subservant MSM, the truth is that the Democratic National Committee under its Obama-installed leader Wasserman-Schultz (and that means with direct blessing of the Obama, who put his political weight behind Hillary and shielded Hillary from criminal prosecution) had from day one schemed against other primary candidates and first of all Bernie Sanders to get Clinton elected. Welcome to the USSR comrades: Politburo knows everything and will decide what is best for you. You need just relax and vote as they say.  Everything will be fine (100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary Cosmoso)

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

The fact that the emails exposed a coordinated effort to rob Bernie (which is a criminal offence in any state that called itself democratic as it interfere with the will of the people) was swiped under the carpet.  The DNC emails released by WikiLeaks showed that the Democratic National Committee has been implementing a coordinated multi-staged plan to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It also reveled an attempt to control media coverage (so that it benefitted Hillary) and the neoliberal MSM collusion with the DNC. It is now clear that the democratic presidential primary was rigged from the start and Hillary is an illegitimate candidate.

If nothing else, the crooked primaries process revealed just how much the DNC has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clinton family, that can't even maintain the pretense of neutrality or impartiality--as the DNC's charter requires. And it's also exposed just how much the Fourth Estate has abandoned even the pretense of being the public's watch-dogs for the role of being the Clinton's lapdogs -- fitting classic definition of the "courtier press".  Now they are shamelessly preying on peoples' lack of understanding of computers trying to hide their criminal behaviour by "Putin did it" smoke screen.  They are also shamelessly preying on naive peoples' trust in experts, which has serious downstream effects when these "experts" are debunked. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

Clinton is trying to market herself as the Serious/Safe candidate, but her campaign is acting completely hysterical. Intead of welcoming transparency and investigating corrupt DNC officials involved in the plot against Sanders, they try to "kill the messenger" trick. This whole Putin-hack thing if a pure anti-Russian hysteria. There is no proof that Russia or Russian hackers were involved.  And if hack was really sophisticated there will be no proof as after certain amount of time evidence (connection logs on routers and such) disappeared.  NSA might still have something but they typically do not revel what they know.

\Instead this is another demonstration of how corrupt Hillary is as a politician. Like mafia boss she will stop at nothing at achieving her goals -- in this case the goal is to become the President of the USA. And this is not the first instance of "Hillary" poisonous  effect on anything she touches. Let's remember that she went into State Department to get the foreign policy experience and now has a record on it that should have every sane person saying keep her away from sharp objects and things that go "boom".

Funny though, formally Schultz takes her orders from Obama, as the Chairman of the Party, the DNC Board of Directors and team Hillary.   If any blame should go around, it should splash onto all individuals in DNC, not just Schultz.  Moreover, her boss, "constitutional scholar" Obama, in this particular case also looks like a regular Chicago Mafiosi: he and his DNC accomplishes  swindle the millions of Americans who donated on average $27 to Bernie's campaign hoping (falsely as we know now) that it was a fair contest... 

Why did "Crooked Hillary" directly her puppets in DNC to sabotage Bernie? She didn't need to, as she got super delegates in her pocket from the very start.  But like many sociopaths she did because she can. Now many Bernie backers won't vote for her.  As this election is about establishment (and that means that people are not voting for, they're voting against) and Hillary is an establishment candidate. A female successor of neoliberal "bait and switch" king Obama; who is widely hated because of his support of TPP. ) i think she lost quit a bit of votes due to this scandal.  This election cycle the vote against establishment politicians might be stronger than the vote for them. That's why Jeb Bush lost.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and thier authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarised speech got.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and their authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarized speech got.

Michael109,   

Clinton, who received 3.1m from Wall Street for speeches last year, and who was "extremely careless" with national security and who clearly lied under oath to Congress had the entire system rigged in her favour and millions of mostly younger people who supported Sanders have received a slap in the face by a corrupt Dem Party.

Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

Like Clinton foundation and its affiliate entities, the DNC, could be considered a criminal enterprise or racketing influenced organization. Those who haven’t realized that, or worse, who shill for them are willfully ignorant, amoral, or unethical.  Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

VietnamVet

The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens.

Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and DNC staff served as part of Clinton campaign and designed and amplified phony attacks on Sanders. Krugman plays the role of Clinton surrogate, using campaign talking points and spin to claim that Sanders is “over the edge”. They launched a a systematic attack  basically questioning his authenticity. These are mostly cheap swiftboating attacks and straw man arguments coming from the mainstream media and DNC insiders. The attacks are usually passive-aggressive, as in the New York Times ignoring him for long stretches and then coming up with the occasional dismissive "he can't possibly win, because we say so" tripe. They often reek of cheerful condescension. See this and this.

Then there was more dangerous theme casting Sanders as a convenient prop for Hillary Clinton, a supporting actor who exists only for the cosmetic purpose of "pushing her to the left." This trope is becoming so over-used that people are beginning to notice that it is a dirty trick. These are dangerous times for non-establishment politicians due to domination of neoliberal Political Correctness and corporate neoliberal propaganda (The Swift-boating of Bernie Sanders ):

We had the expected political reaction—the DNC, under the enlightened leadership of Hillary supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has decided PAC money from lobbyists is OK after all, thus freeing up David Brock’s Hillary PAC to do whatever the hell it wants. The head of the Democratic party in Iowa, who has a pro-Hillary license plate, has ruled out any sort of recount on the voting in Iowa, about which a number of questions had been raised, but the media appears to have moved on... 

Hillary definitely has the 1% vote locked up ... but they are, after all, just 1%.

The best analysis of DNC leak that I have found so far is Peter van Buren article in American Canservative Unpacking the DNC Emails The American Conservative (July 26, 2016), His 11 point really cover all the bases:

... ... ...
  1. The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.
  2. Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders’ supporters paranoid when they claimed that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was in fact working against them. One official proposed getting “someone,” presumably a reporter, to ask Sanders if he’s an atheist to discredit him in religious areas.
  3. Claims of pro-Clinton media bias were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.
  4. Politico now admits it was a “mistake” sending the DNC an article draft in advance. The writer showed the draft to the DNC even before his own editors saw it.
  5. Facebook admits to blocking WikiLeaks links to the DNC email hack from its newsfeeds (but blames spam filters).
  6. The DNC appears to have expended significantly more effort against Bernie Sanders than it did against any of the Republican candidates.
  7. Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s. Many of the same stories suggest Trump is some sort of pro-Putin stooge.
  8. On 60 Minutes, Clinton refused to say that intervention by the DNC to favor one candidate was “improper.” Her non-answer was edited out of the broadcast when it ran on Sunday; the network later released it online.
  9. After DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation following this week’s Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign announced Wasserman Schultz would be hired by them as “honorary chair of Hillary’s campaign’s 50-state program to elect Democrats in every part of the country, and as a surrogate for her campaign nationally.”
  10. Wasserman Schultz will be replaced as DNC chair by (only now former) CNN commentator Donna Brazile. Brazile argued the pro-Clinton side of debates on CNN throughout the primary season.
  11. In the hacked emails, Brazile said “I will cuss out the Sanders camp!” over complaints by Sanders of inadequate representation by the DNC. In March, while still employed by CNN, Brazile called Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat (rather than an independent) for the additional media exposure “extremely disgraceful.”

Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once “paranoid” accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage. Even Ted Cruz stood up for himself in front of the Republicans in Cleveland. It is a sad day when we learn Ted Cruz has more guts than Bernie Sanders.

Those who are calling all this a coup of sorts—they’re wrong. It’s a surrender. But in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. He writes about current events at We Meant Well. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War.

All this dirty tricks define the future of Democratic Party. Seriously. Less and less people are believing that Democrat represents them. I think half of trade union members will vote Trump. That's  a direct result of the sellout by Bill Clinton of Democratic Party to Wall Street.  A vote for Mrs Clinton means a continuation of the rule of financial oligarchy what we've experienced since Reagan, and that is not acceptable.  Another four years of amoral enrichment of transnational corporations that Hillary election guarantee is just kicking can down the road.

Attempt to blame Russians and Putin

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
 Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton
 and deleted from her private email server.

 

Bullsh**t that MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme  "The Russians are Coming".  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete dulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely  corrupt  DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic  

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html


 

Heat on Sanders for betrayal of his supporters

DNC betrayed Bernie Sanders and the rest of America. But at this moment Sanders already folded. In other words, the Clinton mafia again created a mess. And they are now turning to Sanders — the very one they betrayed — to come in and clean it up. In effect Clinton mafia wants Sanders persuade  his supporters not to harbor any ill feelings over being stabbed in the back. That gave him perfect opportunity to reneg of his promised and run as independent or with Green Party

Bernie caved. A pity really, but understandable given the fact that the collusion between a corrupt Hillary campaign and a mendacious "free" media meant that even getting to the Convention floor was a struggle.

NYT now is afraid to open comments on this as they will swamped with denunciation of Hillary.  Sanders lied to his supporters that Trump represents bigger danger then Killary. nobody represent bigger danger then Killary.  Bernie Sanders, hypocrite, or canny operator? Is this another hostage situation and with what Clinton criminal cartel threatened him ?  “This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders told a New Hampshire crowd Tuesday in a speech endorsing Hillary Clinton. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crisis that we face.” Posting under the hashtag #SandersSellsOut, sanders supporters drew parallels with a previous uncomfortable endorsement of a presidential candidate, labeling it “another hostage situation.” Most view his endorsement on Monday, as the infidelity in a relationship and a bad break up.

Democratic voters are now splintered over neoliberal globalization, much like Republican supporters. Most already made decisions whom they will support and Clinton mafia has little chances to move those who reject their criminality and support of neoliberal globalization. It was actually Bill Clinton who sold the party to Wall Street making it another wing on neoliberal party of globalist and transnational corporations.

The Democrats' dirty laundry was aired at a worse possibly time for Hillary and I hope she will pay for DNC manipulations full price. It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primaries that voters are revolting against the neoliberal globalization that dominated the US and Britain economic and foreign policy since the 1970th, if not earlier.  The willingness of people to be intimidated by bought neoliberal economists into supporting cosmopolitan outcomes appears for the moment to have been exhausted.

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN are essentially part of the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash skandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard.

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 21, 2017] Americans got Republican Obama -- another master of bait and switch.

Apr 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs -> jonny bakho... , April 20, 2017 at 05:58 AM
In some ironic way, 2016 was highly
reminiscent of LBJ's decision to quit,
Gene McCarthy's obstreperousness, and
Hubert Humphrey's ill-fated anointment
as LBJ's designated successor.

Politically, LBJ was hugely unpopular,
whereas Obama was at his peak.

Obama approval hits 60% as end of term
approaches @CNNPolitics
http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/01/16/barack-obama-legacy-jones-pkg-lead.cnn/video/playlists/obamas-best-month/

pgl -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2017 at 06:26 AM
Interesting way to think of it. In 1968 - we got Nixon. I thought we could never do worse but we did in 2016.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> pgl... , April 20, 2017 at 06:39 AM
Interesting peculiar maybe, but way to think of it - not.
Fred C. Dobbs -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , April 20, 2017 at 07:40 AM
Well, history repeats,

sometimes as tragedy, sometimes as farce.

And then, in 2016, we get Tom Dewey's Revenge.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2017 at 06:38 AM
So, in your vernacular does reminiscent mean the same thing as opposite?
libezkova -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2017 at 05:44 AM
Fred,

"Obama approval hits 60% as end of term
approaches @CNNPolitics "

With 50+ approval ratings according to some polls Trump is not far. Raining Tomahawks on some ME country is "slam dunk" for approval ratings in the USA. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a war crime.

You got what you wanted: "Republican Obama" -- another master of "bait and switch." Hell-bent of the preservation of the US neoliberal empire at the expense of American people. But who cares about American people. Let them eat cakes.

At least in foreign policy you now actually got Hillary. all campaign promises are firmly forgotten. War drums beat is deafening. It's her policies that Trump is implementing. Why are you complaining ?

Here is a nice touch on the recent Trump gender transformation:

http://www.unz.com/freed/first-transgender-president-trump-becomes-hillary/

;-)

[Apr 21, 2017] Since Obama appointed Derugulating Larry , Tax-evading Timmy and Too-big-to-jail Eric , maybe those appointments were not that good

Apr 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
reason , April 20, 2017 at 02:31 AM
It seems Paul Krugman isn't the economist who doesn't necessarily agree with Sanders all the time.

http://conversableeconomist.blogspot.de/2017/04/personnel-is-policy-presidential.html

Still, all this really shows is how incredibly dysfunctional the ancient US system is. Time for a constitutional renewal process.

Fred C. Dobbs -> reason ... , April 20, 2017 at 03:54 AM
(Shocking stuff, no?)

'For example, late in the Obama administration the board that is supposed to oversee the US Postal Service had zero members out of the nine possible appointments. The reported reason is that Senator Bernie Sanders put a hold on all possible appointees, as a show of solidarity with postal workers. If it isn't obvious to you how Sanders preventing President Obama from appointing new board members would influence the US Postal Service in the directions that Sanders would prefer, given that President Trump could presumably appoint all nine members of the board, you are not alone.'

Timothy Taylor
conversableeconomist@gmail.com

RGC -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2017 at 07:25 AM
Since Obama appointed "Derugulatin' Larry", "Tax-evadin' Timmy" and "Too-big-to-jail Eric", maybe those appointments weren't very good.

[Apr 21, 2017] Shattered Charts Hillary Clintons Course Into the Iceberg

Apr 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , April 20, 2017 at 06:17 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/books/shattered-charts-hillary-clintons-course-into-the-iceberg.html

April 16, 2017

'Shattered' Charts Hillary Clinton's Course Into the Iceberg
By MICHIKO KAKUTANI

Donald J. Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in November came as a shock to the world. Polls, news reports and everything the Clinton campaign was hearing in the final days pointed to her becoming the first female president in American history.

In their compelling new book, "Shattered," the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write that Clinton's loss suddenly made sense of all the reporting they had been doing for a year and a half - reporting that had turned up all sorts of "foreboding signs" that often seemed at odds, in real time, with indications that Clinton was the favorite to win. Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in "Shattered" - and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders - are nothing less than devastating, sure to dismay not just her supporters but also everyone who cares about the outcome and momentous consequences of the election.

In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned "a winnable race" into "another iceberg-seeking campaign ship."

It's the story of a wildly dysfunctional and "spirit-crushing" campaign that embraced a flawed strategy (based on flawed data) and that failed, repeatedly, to correct course. A passive-aggressive campaign that neglected to act on warning flares sent up by Democratic operatives on the ground in crucial swing states, and that ignored the advice of the candidate's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and other Democratic Party elders, who argued that the campaign needed to work harder to persuade undecided and ambivalent voters (like working-class whites and millennials), instead of focusing so insistently on turning out core supporters.

"Our failure to reach out to white voters, like literally from the New Hampshire primary on, it never changed," one campaign official is quoted as saying.

There was a perfect storm of other factors, of course, that contributed to Clinton's loss, including Russian meddling in the election to help elect Trump; the controversial decision by the F.B.I. director, James Comey, to send a letter to Congress about Clinton's emails less than two weeks before Election Day; and the global wave of populist discontent with the status quo (signaled earlier in the year by the British "Brexit" vote) that helped fuel the rise of both Trump and Bernie Sanders. In a recent interview, Clinton added that she believed "misogyny played a role" in her loss.

The authors of "Shattered," however, write that even some of her close friends and advisers think that Clinton "bears the blame for her defeat," arguing that her actions before the campaign (setting up a private email server, becoming entangled in the Clinton Foundation, giving speeches to Wall Street banks) "hamstrung her own chances so badly that she couldn't recover," ensuring that she could not "cast herself as anything but a lifelong insider when so much of the country had lost faith in its institutions."

Allen and Parnes are the authors of a 2014 book, "H R C," a largely sympathetic portrait of Clinton's years as secretary of state, and this book reflects their access to longtime residents of Clinton's circle. They interviewed more than a hundred sources on background - with the promise that none of the material they gathered would appear before the election - and while it's clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.

"Shattered" underscores Clinton's difficulty in articulating a rationale for her campaign (other than that she was not Donald Trump). And it suggests that a tendency to value loyalty over competence resulted in a lumbering, bureaucratic operation in which staff members were reluctant to speak truth to power, and competing tribes sowed "confusion, angst and infighting."

Despite years of post-mortems, the authors observe, Clinton's management style hadn't really changed since her 2008 loss of the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama: Her team's convoluted power structure "encouraged the denizens of Hillaryland to care more about their standing with her, or their future job opportunities, than getting her elected." ...

[Apr 14, 2017] Neoliberals try to deny their responsibility for electing Trump

Apr 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
BenIsNotYoda -> sanjait... , April 14, 2017 at 09:17 AM
you would rather rely on some "free lunch" fairy tale tools like NGDP targeting because the simpler version, QE, has worked so well that we have Trump in the white house.
libezkova -> BenIsNotYoda... , April 14, 2017 at 07:59 PM
"QE, has worked so well that we have Trump in the white house."

That's good !. Sounds like a plausible explanation what has happened to me. Obama was the key to Trump election.

Looks like Trump was just another Obama: a tabula rasa on which a frustrated American public could project their desires, but who in reality was just another sell-out.

Worked beautifully.

libezkova -> libezkova... , April 14, 2017 at 08:01 PM
Neoliberals will always try to deny their responsibility in electing Trump.

That's the nature of the beast.

DataDrivenFP -> RGC... , April 14, 2017 at 06:56 PM
Is this from some alternate reality where Obama was elected to a third term? Can I go there too?

And the issue is not being able to create reserves on the monetary side, but being able to actually stimulate the economy by increased federal spending on the fiscal side. At the ZLB, there's no demand, so more money supply...ho, hum!

Tax cuts don't cut it because they send money to people who will speculate with it instead of spending it to stimulate production and get a financial multiplier going.

And this business of "run out" of money is some conflation of GOP fantasy with the federal borrrowing 'limit' which may have no force in law anyway. Obama didn't force the issue, though I think he should have. In any case, it'll be interesting to watch the GOP self-immolation over the so-called 'debt limit'. The big question-to bring popcorn or marshmallows?

Peter K. , April 14, 2017 at 06:56 PM
Bernanke comes out for NGDP targeting after previously dismissing the idea when Christina Romer called for a regime change during his tenure.

[Apr 14, 2017] Democrats still represent a class but that class is not the working class. It's not the middle class. It's the professional class - affluent, white-collar elites.

Apr 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RGC

Thursday 13 April 2017 11.28 EDT

Since losing the presidency to a Cheeto-hued reality TV host, the Democratic party's leadership has made it clear that it would rather keep losing than entertain even the slightest whiff of New Deal style social democracy.

The Bernie Sanders wing might bring grassroots energy and – if the polls are to be believed – popular ideas, but their redistributive policies pose too much of a threat to the party's big donors to ever be allowed on the agenda.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/progressive-democratic-candidates-james-thompson-loss Reply Friday, April 14, 2017 at 06:05 AM RGC -> RGC... , April 14, 2017 at 06:10 AM

Official Dems Abandon Sanders Ally in Key Kansas Race, and Dems Lose

By Bob Dreyfuss | April 11, 2017

UPDATE II: Politico notes, in reporting on the race that the GOP won by single digits: "The DCCC did not spend a dime in this race. Again: Trump won this district by 27 points." Outside progressive groups did mobilize for Thompson, but the official Democratic Party did squat. So, Mr. Tom "50 State Strategy" Perez,

http://thepopulist.buzz/

RGC -> RGC... , April 14, 2017 at 06:25 AM
The Democratic Party represents a class.

"It is a class party, and they act on that class's behalf and they act in that class's interests and they serve that class. And they have adopted all the tastes and manners and ideology...

It's just that class is not the working class. It's not the middle class. It's the professional class - affluent, white-collar elites.

They can't see what they're doing. This is invisible to them, because it's who they are."
............
Writer Thomas Frank shifts through the wreckage of the Democratic Party in the Trump Era, and finds a group of failed politicians unable to see the deep unpopularity of their own policies, or a path beyond serving the narrow interests of the elite professional class they've served since the Clinton years - with a generation of disastrous results.

https://thisishell.com/interviews/947-thomas-frank

Peter K. -> RGC... , April 14, 2017 at 06:44 AM
They want to be the party of business, not the job class.

That's why Hillary spends her time giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and Larry Summers gives talks to Mexican bankers and investors not Mexican union workers or activists.

paine -> RGC... , April 14, 2017 at 11:06 AM
The merit class

I recall obama and geithner hit it off
Pouring
Poison in the porches of barrys ear

[Apr 10, 2017] The democratic party will have to choose between working with the left or being undermined by it.

Notable quotes:
"... The permanent war state projects its bloodthirstiness on Russia. ..."
Apr 10, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
yuan , April 10, 2017 at 10:01 AM
https://theintercept.com/2017/04/06/top-democrats-are-wrong-trump-supporters-were-more-motivated-by-racism-than-economic-issues/

"The new ANES data only confirms what a plethora of studies have told us since the start of the presidential campaign: the race was about race. Klinkner himself grabbed headlines last summer when he revealed that the best way to identify a Trump supporter in the U.S. was to ask "just one simple question: is Barack Obama a Muslim?" Because, he said, "if they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton." This is economic anxiety? Really?"

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 10:28 AM
But wouldn't you guess that those same 89% of Trump voters that say Obama is a Muslim would have also voted for almost any Republican candidate (for any and every office, not just POTUS) and would certainly never vote for any Democratic candidate under any circumstances for any office whatsoever? The margin of voters between Democratic and Republican candidates in most (but not nearly all thanks to gerrymanders and deep red states) elections is smaller than the remaining 11%. What percentage of Fox News regular viewers think that Obama is a Muslim? Are there any deep blue states remaining?
yuan -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , April 10, 2017 at 11:52 AM
why was democratic turnout so low with a randian troll as the GOP nominee? Could it be that neglecting the marginalized by kissing up to butthurt white people is not a winning strategy...
Peter K. -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 11:59 AM
Bernie Sanders's economic policies were not "kissing up to butthurt white people."

Leftwing economic policies help white and black and brown working people. Everyone. It's weird for you to troll this way when you say that Sanders and Warren are centrist sellouts.

You, JohnH and BINY are the most confused people here.

From the 1940s through the 1980s as the middle class grew, we saw successful popular movements like the civil rights movements, feminism, gay rights, peace movements, environmental movements etc.

The legacies of those movements continue to this day as we saw a black man elected President and re-elected despite the racism of voters. We see gay marriage legalized and marijuana legalized.

yuan -> sanjait... , April 10, 2017 at 04:53 PM
you can "loony left" me all you want sanjait, but my guess is that the democratic party will have to choose between working with the left or being undermined by it.
yuan -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 04:44 PM
"Leftwing economic policies help white and black and brown working people. Everyone."

Yeah...people of color found Bernie's argument incredibly convincing.

:rolls eyes:

ken melvin -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 11:45 AM
The beatings will continue ...
Peter K. -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 11:48 AM
So Obama won in 2008 and 2012 b/c of race???

The Great Depression and the Treaty of Versailles had nothing to do with rise of Nazism?

And yuan says that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are centrist sellouts...

Sounds like a Jill Stein voter. A confused one.

yuan -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 12:01 PM
i canvassed for bernie and maxed out contributions to his primary campaign but, like jill stein, i still view him as a "lesser evil".

and i'm not the only one:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-democratic-socialists-20170308-story.html

Peter K. -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 12:03 PM
you canvassed for someone you consider a centrist?

What a dumbass.

Julio -> yuan... , April 10, 2017 at 02:32 PM
The Klinkner anecdote is meaningless.
This does not say that 89% of Trump voters believe Obama is a Muslim; it says that 89% of (white) people who believe this are Trump voters.

The article as a whole supports a point that EMichael has been making here for months.

Peter K. , April 10, 2017 at 11:53 AM
I don't understand PGL's reasoning that the U.S. military shouldn't have given the Russians a heads-up.

Isn't there an agreement about that, and that the Russians should do likewise or something?

Like it matters. If Trump did do some serious damage like PGL wanted, wouldn't that just draw us into war?

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 12:01 PM
pgl -> DrDick...

Had we run this operation with no tip off to the Russians, all of those planes would have been destroyed. That would be a smart military move. Trump cannot pull off even the obvious.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 12:02 PM
A smart military move? As Krugman points out, blowing up a Syrian janitor wouldn't matter in the long run. Trump has no long term strategy.
Peter K. -> pgl... , April 10, 2017 at 12:40 PM
As Krugman points out, taking out 65 "deadly" planes is nothing. It would change nothing.

Doesn't change anything. Trump has no long-term strategy. All of Obama's ex-advisers cheered the bombing. Obama pushed back against the "deep state" foreign policy establishment. Hillary would have embraced it, probably leading to more war.

Peter K. -> pgl... , April 10, 2017 at 12:40 PM
"Trump took out the janitor and those 65 planes are bombing the citizens of Syria again."

Russians gave the Syrians a heads-up, so he didn't take out the janitor, you fuking dumbass.

And you're mad about it!

What a bloodthirsty warmonger.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 12:58 PM
Breaking Bad was prescient given the opioid epidemic.

New season of Better Call Saul starts tonight! Another brilliant Gilligan creation.

pgl -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 12:18 PM
In my view - we should not have done this at all. But if one is going to do a hawkish act, one should not be so incredibly incompetent. That is what I said from the first moment. But do misrepresent what I said. It is what you do 24/7.
Peter K. -> pgl... , April 10, 2017 at 12:41 PM
I'm not representing anything you piece of trash.

You're just confused as always.

" But if one is going to do a hawkish act, one should not be so incredibly incompetent."

It wouldn't have mattered if the wiped the airport off the map and killed that Syrian janitor, you bloodthirsty warmonger.

ilsm -> Peter K.... , April 10, 2017 at 02:25 PM
Bombing does not work except to keep the pentagon trogh filled.

The warning was to make sure Putin did not have to answer why no US dead for Russian dead.

The permanent war state projects its bloodthirstiness on Russia.

Which may or may not be reality.

The warning had no effect on the effete use of a failed theory US calls a tactic!


pgl , April 10, 2017 at 12:34 PM
What did this missile attack really accomplish? Krugman's point is simple. Nothing in terms of the situation in Syria. A reckless and incompetent reaction to an awful Sarin gas attack. But Trump looked tough and his poll numbers will get a boost. So it was all for political purposes at the end of the day.

Not a smart way to run foreign policy. Unless one is a jingoist.

Peter K. -> pgl... , April 10, 2017 at 12:34 PM
But PGL is mad that the U.S. military gave the Russians a heads up. Allowed the Syrian janitor to avoid being bombed. His wife and children probably are grateful.

Would it matter if the airport had been completely destroyed including the janitor? Not at all.

That's what PGL doesn't get.

Bill Clinton did this sort of thing during the Lewinsky scandal, bombing Iraq off an on again, accomplishing nothing but distracting attention.

His sanctions however killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and wrecked Iraq. Albright said it was worth it.

Now Iraq is an awesome country of sweetness and light, kind of like Germany and Japan after World War II.

[Apr 04, 2017] Tracking the 2016 Presidential Money Race

Notable quotes:
"... He didn't win the money race, but Donald Trump will be the next president of the U.S. In the primaries and general election, he defied conventional wisdom, besting better financed candidates by dominating the air waves for free. Trump also put to use his own cash, as well as the assets and infrastructure of his businesses, in unprecedented fashion. He donated $66 million of his own money, flew across the country in his private jet, and used his resorts to stage campaign events. ..."
"... At the same time, the billionaire was able to draw about $280 million from small donors giving $200 or less. ..."
"... Trump won the presidency despite having raised less than any major party presidential nominee since John McCain in 2008, the last to accept federal funds to pay for his general election contest. ..."
"... Clinton and her super-PACs raised a total of $1.2 billion, less than President Barack Obama raised in 2012. ..."
"... There still is a difference between the two parties, which was on philosophical rather than ideological grounds never a very stark contrast to begin with. ..."
"... The Constitution itself needs a bit more work. Campaign finance, reasonable Congressional term limits, gerrymandering, ranked (a.k.a., preferential or instant runoff) voting, and popular petition/referendum powers for the electorate to overturn SCOTUS decisions would in combination make our republic far more democratic than it is now. That would require a national solidarity movement to impose its will on the two party system, perhaps by not re=electing anyone until the work is done. ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> libezkova... , April 04, 2017 at 08:33 AM
[Your initial premise is well taken. Trump spent a lot of his own money and used a lot of his own resources, but relied more on small donors than Hillary did.]

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-presidential-campaign-fundraising/

Tracking the 2016 Presidential Money Race

He didn't win the money race, but Donald Trump will be the next president of the U.S. In the primaries and general election, he defied conventional wisdom, besting better financed candidates by dominating the air waves for free. Trump also put to use his own cash, as well as the assets and infrastructure of his businesses, in unprecedented fashion. He donated $66 million of his own money, flew across the country in his private jet, and used his resorts to stage campaign events.

At the same time, the billionaire was able to draw about $280 million from small donors giving $200 or less.

Super-PACs, which can take contributions unlimited in size, were similarly skewed toward his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Ultimately, Trump won the presidency despite having raised less than any major party presidential nominee since John McCain in 2008, the last to accept federal funds to pay for his general election contest.

Clinton and her super-PACs raised a total of $1.2 billion, less than President Barack Obama raised in 2012. Her sophisticated fundraising operation included a small army of wealthy donors who wrote seven-figure checks, hundreds of bundlers who raised $100,000 or more from their own networks, and a small-dollar donor operation modeled on the one used by Obama in 2012. She spent heavily on television advertising and her get-out-the-vote operation, but in the end, her fundraising edge wasn't enough to overcome Trump's ability to dominate headlines and the airwaves...

[OTOH, elections do still matter. There still is a difference between the two parties, which was on philosophical rather than ideological grounds never a very stark contrast to begin with.

Bankers and proto-industrialist to the North and slave-owners to the South was the original demarcation of the split in triangulating the electorate. When slave-owners became an extinct species then Republicans mostly ran the whole show for a while, but Democrats eventually acquired enough business from immigrants and unions while reinventing the plantation economy in Jim Crow to remain in the game. When the Republican Party gave those pesky progressives the boot then the Democratic Party had a progressive moment itself during its pick up game generally known as the New Deal, but then that passed on to identity politics, which was a lot cheaper product to sell than better wages for labor.

Politics under the US Constitution has always been an uphill struggle. So, let's not quit while we are losing. Primary elections need to get more attention and participation. The Tea Party has really changed primaries for the Republican Party albeit a change of questionable merit. In VA (my state) the Tea Party seems to have benefited the Democratic Party far more than Republicans, but local results may vary.

The Constitution itself needs a bit more work. Campaign finance, reasonable Congressional term limits, gerrymandering, ranked (a.k.a., preferential or instant runoff) voting, and popular petition/referendum powers for the electorate to overturn SCOTUS decisions would in combination make our republic far more democratic than it is now. That would require a national solidarity movement to impose its will on the two party system, perhaps by not re=electing anyone until the work is done.]

[Apr 04, 2017] Moving Beyond Liberal Narratives for What Motivates Trump Voters

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... Trump voters that I know well said the following: "The system is broken, and at least Trump is saying something about it. Whether he actually does anything about it is anyone's guess given his unpredictability, but at least he acknowledges what is so plainly obvious to so many. " ..."
"... Anyone but Hillary is something I can at least accept, since anyone with a brain in America realizes that the Clintons (and that's the entire family, for the ignoramuses out there) gave EVERYTHING to the banksters, period! ..."
"... And while I greatly appreciate this article, it is really so bloody obvious by 2016, that only the dumbest, most ignorant and mentally lazy among us cannot grasp the simple arithmetic of waaay over 100,000 factories and production facilities offshored, of all the imported foreign visa replacement workers (i.e., scabs), etc., etc., etc. Plus add to that the offshore creation of jobs by American companies and corporations, instead of inshore job creation! ..."
"... We only have ourselves to blame for the mess we are in because we continue to vote for people that support corporate interests over those of the people. Then again, that is how American was founded. Only land owners (read: rich white men) were able to participate in American democracy at is founding. Not much has changed now that money is speech. ..."
"... The Democratic candidate was the candidate selected by and for the 1%. So was the LAST Democratic candidate. The Democratic party is how the 1% makes sure the citizens cannot get their needs met peacefully. They are therefore the ones to blame. Not "us." Definitely not me. I voted for Bernie. Twice. ..."
"... Sure there's a few racists in the group (there almost always are) but by and large I think Trump voters pulled the lever in spite of his hysterical rantings on the topic, not because of them. ..."
"... You're missing the point of this article. Counties that had twice voted for Obama voted for Trump. If these counties are "single-issue" voters dedicated to abortion & gun rights, then why did they twice vote for Obama? ..."
"... I know a bunch of people who were Bernie supporters who voted for Trump. And they voted for Trump because at least he was change and he wasn't insulting them. Some of them have now gone all in on Trumpian conservatism because they are recoiling from the murderous hypocrisy of the corporate Democrats, so they're giving "the other side" a chance. It saddens me, but there's nothing I can do about it. I understand that standing the wilderness of the real left pushing for change is daunting. ..."
"... The Middle Eastern small business owner who went all-in for Trump and hugged me sympathetically for being a Bernie supporter had a point of view yet to be disproved. "Your guy is the better man. He would have given us better policies. But they were never going to let him win. Trump can win, and perhaps clear out the viper's nest so that someone decent can win in the future." ..."
"... Like it or not, the Democratic Party betrayed the left, betrayed the New Deal, and became a second pro-war, pro-Wall Street Party. ..."
"... I think that this is what identity politics is about. Had Clinton won, she would not have done much for the minorities. Maybe she would have called them superpredators again. Same with the constant Bernie Bashing. They desperately wanted to shut down Bernie Sanders because he called out, if only briefly, what a terrible candidate Clinton was. She would have suppressed the left aggressively. ..."
"... Even the phony baloney "Russians Are Coming" meme should be challenged by voters on the right and left. Putin is a more valuable ally than Merkel. He's a Russian nationalist. A populist. Globalists like Pelosi, Graham, Obama and McCain use dog whistles on their respective demographics to thwart Trump's efforts to make Americans first in fevered, corrupt swamps of DC and NY. ..."
"... I decided to judge Trump by his enemies left and right. Hollywood hates him, not because of his human rights record but because he killed TPP. Without international copyright protections hidden deep in that well, the studios are bankrupt. ..."
"... Meryl Streep is a huckster, a fraud, and a tool of the same people we all hate. ..."
"... This reminds me of the arguments Zionists use to deflect criticism about Israel's actions towards its neighbors – as in "That's just the sort of thing people who hate Jews would say. Why do you hate Jews? Oh, wait, you're Jewish? Well, obviously, then, you're a self-hating Jew". ..."
"... I'm neither Muslim nor Jewish (self-hating or otherwise), but back in the '60s and early '70s I was generally supportive of Israel. The idea that only Jews could criticize Israel without being accused of hating Jews bugged me, and then the meme of the "self-hating Jew" really made it obvious what the game was. Just another ad hom argument, dressed up in the respectable clothing of religious tolerance. ..."
"... And this idea that Trump voters need to justify their votes, while HRC voters (or Stein or Johnson voters?) don't, is pretty much the same. Don't mind those people, they're just hateful bigots until proven otherwise. Nothing to see here, move along. ..."
"... Admittedly, Not a Trump fan, I don't have television or listen to radio in the car. But every time I heard cries of racism and I could find/read actual transcripts rather than just believe 'reports' I was not alarmed, at least no more and probably less than Demo/Clinton policy for decades running. But then, just being against more immigration with 320 million people already here doesn't make one automatically a racist. ..."
"... Many people are simply sick & tired of the smug self righteousness of "Identity" politicians. Sick of their belief that the mere suggestion that one is sexist/racist will cause a knee jerk retreat from any debate. The Identity crowd has been playing this nasty little game for decades now & it has WORN THIN . ..."
"... Why did Hillary voters ignore her explicitly racist, corporatist, corrupt, war-mongering ways? Why did all the blood on her hands (from Libya, Honduras, Iraq etc) cause little or no offense to them? ..."
"... Perhaps because she was what many of them aspired to be: a member of the 1%, a shining success, a winner whose failures, lies, betrayals and foul deeds were easy to ignore if you had swallowed the vile, anti-human propaganda of neoliberalism. ..."
"... a similar argument could be made for those who voted democrat ignoring their racist actions all around the world murdering, dropping bombs, and economically exploiting black and brown people. ..."
"... This Bernie Bro voted for Trump out of sheer hatred for the "Listen Liberal" crowd of sanctimonious meritocrats and desire to see their playhouse pulled down. Not real nuanced, but glad I did it. ..."
"... replace corrupt tax farming / private medical insurance (with equitable tax based medicare?) ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on April 3, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

In an earlier post, "Political Misfortune: Anatomy of Democratic Party Failure in Clinton's Campaign 2016" (parts one and two ) I looked why Clinton lost (summarized by two political cliches: "It's the economy, stupid" and "change vs. more of the same", with Clinton representing "more of the same," as in "America is already great"). I should write a post on how Trump won, but I'm not yet ready to tackle that yet ( exit polls here ). My goal in this short post is far more modest: I want to introduce the idea that Trump voters took their votes seriously, and that their motivations were - dare I say it - more nuanced and complex than typical liberal narratives suggest (Jamelle Bouie's "There's No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter" is a classic of the genre[1]). To do this, I'll look at things Trump voters actually said, using some material from Democracy Corps ( "Macomb County in the Age of Trump" )[2] on Obama voters who flipped to Trump, and more material from Chris Arnade. Both sources can be said to be reasonably representative, given that Democracy Corps used a focus group methodology[3], and Chris Arnade was been traveling through the flyover states for two years, talking to people and taking photographs. I'm going to throw what Trump voters said into three buckets: Concrete material benefits, inequity aversion, and volatility voting.[4]

Concrete Material Benefits

One concrete material benefit is no more war and a peace dividend. Arnade :

I found a similar viewpoint in communities such as West Cleveland: Donna Weaver, 52, is a waitress, and has spent her entire life in her community. "I was born and raised here. I am not happy. Middle class is getting killed; we work for everything and get nothing. I hate both of the candidates, but I would vote for Trump because the Iraq war was a disaster . Why we got to keep invading countries. Time to take care of ourselves first ."

A second concrete material benefit is jobs. Democracy Corps :

"Bring the jobs back, bring the jobs back to the States." "He's trying to create jobs , trying to keep jobs in the United States." "I just like the talk about bringing the jobs back." "To me, it's going to get us our jobs back, he's going to boost our economy, boost their economic growth for families, to bring our future generations up."

A third - and the most important - concrete material benefit is Democracy Corps :

10. [Trump will fix health care. The cost of health care dominated the discussion in these focus groups . They say Trump "promised within the first hundred days to get rid of Obamacare" and fixing the health care system is one of their great hopes for his presidency. They speak of the impossibly high costs and hope Trump will bring "affordable healthcare" which will "help [us] raise our families and make us be prosperous."

The experience of Trump voters is our health care system is similar to the experiences of many commenters here. Democracy Corps :

"My insurance for the last three years went up, went up, went up. Started out for a family of four, I was paying $117 a week out of my paycheck. Three years later I'm paying $152 a week out of my paycheck. I don't even go to the doctor for one. I don't take medicine."

Such a deal. And here's a lovely Catch-22:

"They cut my insurance at work My doctor, because my back is bad, said, 'Well, cut your hours. You can only work so many hours.' Now I have to work more hours, take more pain pills, to get my insurance back, and now they're telling me I can't get it back for another year."

Inequity Aversion

Here's a description of "inequity aversion" from the New Yorker , as shown in the famous experiment from Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal with female capuchin monkeys:

[T]hey found that monkeys hate being disadvantaged. A monkey in isolation is happy to eat either a grape or a slice of cucumber. But a monkey who sees that she's received a cucumber while her partner has gotten a grape reacts with anger: she might hurl her cucumber from her cage. Some primates, Brosnan and de Waal concluded, "dislike inequity." They hate getting the short end of the stick. Psychologists have a technical term for this reaction: they call it "disadvantageous-inequity aversion." This instinctual aversion to getting less than others has been found in chimpanzees and dogs, and it occurs, of course, in people, in whom it seems to develop from a young age.

So who's getting the short end of the stick? One perceived inequity is immigration in the context of scarcity[5]. Democracy Corps :

"Well I mean we're all talking about illegals, I made a straight up post that in America we have hungry, we have veterans, we have mental illness, we have so many problems in our own country that we at this point in time just can't be concerned with, I feel bad but our country's in dire straits financially." "I mean we need to take care of home first . We need to take care of the veterans, we need to take care of the elderly, we need to take care of the mentally ill, we need to take care everyone instead of us worrying about other people in other countries, we need to take care of our house first. Get our house in order then you know what, you need this and this and then we'll help you."

A second perceived inequity is bailouts for bankers and not for the rest of us. Democracy Corps :

[Obama] brought the country to a macro recovery by the end of his term, but not a single person in these groups mentioned any economic improvements under his presidency, even after the president closed the 2016 campaign in Detroit making the case for building on his economic progress. They have strong feelings about him, but in the written comments only one mentioned anything about the economy in positive impressions – specifically that he saved GM and Chrysler from bankruptcy – and just five mentioned anything economic when elaborating their doubts. Some described him as a steward for the status quo: "I think he just maintained. He didn't really do much for the country. And he let a lot of jobs go." Some did recall the bailout of the banks even though the crisis "affected millions or people," leading them to think he favored the elites – "the wealthy," "the richer people," "the big wigs," and "the lobbyists." They know he "didn't help the lower class, he didn't help the middle class" people like them, they insisted over and over.

And:

Taking on the reckless banks told them who you are really for. Some said they were "really irritated about the reckless banks" and "protecting consumers from Wall Street and reckless banks was very important." They recalled that "we lost our home because of that" and "with the bailout all the money went to the banks and it affected millions of people. And, then, a short time later, the banks were back to these huge bonuses" and "there's never really punishment for them."

Volatility Voting

The concept of volatility voting was invented by former Wall Street trader Chris Arnade. From "Why Trump voters are not "complete idiots'" :

Trump voters may not vote the way I want them to, but after having spent the last five years working in (and having grown up in) parts of the US few visit, they are not dumb. They are doing whatever any other voter does: Trying to use their vote to better their particular situation (however they define that) .. Frustrated with broken promises, they gave up on the knowable and went with the unknowable. They chose Trump, because he comes with a very high distribution. A high volatility.

As any trader will tell you, if you are stuck lower, you want volatility, uncertainty. No matter how it comes. Put another way. Your downside is flat, your upside isn't. Break the system.

The elites loathe volatility. Because, the upside is limited, but the downside isn't. In option language, they are in the money.

Or more vividly from an earlier post in the Guardian :

People don't make reckless decisions because things are going well. They make them because they have reached a breaking point. They are desperate enough to trying anything new. Especially if it offers escape, or a glimmer of hope. Even false hope.

That might mean drugs. Politically that might mean breaking the system. Especially if you think the system is not working for you. And viewed from much of the America the system doesn't work. The factories are gone. Families are falling apart. Social networks are frayed.

And Arnade gives an example :

Lori Ayers, 47, works in the gas station. She was blunt when I asked her about her life. "Clarington is a shithole. Jobs all left. There is nothing here anymore. When Ormet Aluminum factory closed, jobs all disappeared." She is also blunt about the pain in her life. "I have five kids and two have addictions. There is nothing else for kids to do here but drugs. No jobs. No place to play." She stopped and added: "I voted for Obama the first time, not the second. Now I am voting for Trump. We just got to change things ."

Democracy Corps also gives examples:

"I felt like it was – it's time for a change, not just a suit to change, it's time for everything to change . Status quo's not good enough anymore." "Just a lot of change, no more politics as usual. Maybe something can be changed." "I was tired of politics as usual, and I thought if we had somebody in there that wasn't a Clinton or wasn't a Bush that would shake things up , which he obviously has, and maybe get rid of the people who are just milking the office and not doing their job. I'm hoping that he's going to hold people more accountable for the job that they're doing for us."

Conclusion

The Democracy Corps pollsters conclude - and I should say I'm quite open to the idea that they were trying to sell the Democrat Party on a strategy the party was ultimately not willing to adopt, as shown (for example) by the Ellison defenestration - as follows:

Democrats don't have a white working class problem, as so many have suggested. They have a working class problem that includes working people in their own base. We can learn an immense amount from listening and talking to the white working class independent and Democratic Trump voters, particularly those who previously supported Obama or failed to turnout in past presidential contests.

Clearly, I agree with this conclusion. It's also clear that a Democratic Party that had come out for #MedicareForAll, wasn't openly thirsting for war, and was willing to bring the finance sector to heel would win a respectful hearing from these voters. (At this point, it's worth noting that the Democrats, as a party, are even less popular than Trump and Pence . So I guess focusing like a laser beam on gaslighting a war with Russia is working great.) Whether today's Democrat party is capable of seizing this opportunity is at the very best an open question; the dominant liberal framing of Trump voters as Others who are motivated solely by immutable and essentially personal failings and frailties - racism; stupidity - would argue that the answer is no.

NOTES

[1] This is not so say that no Trump voter was motivated by racism (or sexism). However, that is a second post I'm not ready to tackle, in part because I find the presumption that liberal Democrats pushing that line are not racist ( "İ cried when they shot Medgar Evers" ) at the very least open to question, in part because the assumption seems to be that racism is an immutably fixed personal essence (in essence, sinful), which ignores the role of liberal Democrats in constructing the profoundly racist carceral state ("super-predators"). However, this passage from a Democracy Corps focus group gives one hope:

But despite all that, Macomb has changed. Immigrants and religion were central to the deep feelings about how America was changing, but black-white relations were just barely part of the discussion. Detroit was once a flash point for the discussion of racial conflict, black political leaders and government spending. Today, Detroit did not come up in conversation until we introduced it and Macomb residents see a city "turning around for the good" and "on an upswing" and many say they like to visit downtown. Even the majority African American city of Flint provokes only sympathetic responses. They describe the area as "downscale" and "poor" and lament the water crisis and the suffering it caused.

[2] Macomb County was one of the counties whose Obama voters flipped the election to Trump .

[3] "Democracy Corps conducted focus groups with white non-college educated (anything less than a four-year college degree) men and women from Macomb County, Michigan on February 15 and 16, 2017 in partnership with the Roosevelt Institute. All of the participants were Trump voters who identified as independents, Democratic-leaning independents, or Democrats and who voted for Obama in 2008, 2012 or both. Two groups were among women, one 40-65 and one 30-60 years old. Two groups were among men, one 35-45 and one 40-60 years old." Stephen King has an interview with a panel of fictional Trump voters . They sound quite different from the voters of Macomb county, and I don't think the difference is entirely accounted for by geography, much as I respect Stephen King, who has done great things for the state.

[4] A fourth possibility is that Trump voters were engaging in altruistic punishment, where people "punish non-cooperators even at cost to themselves ." (Personally shushing a cellphone user in the Quiet Car instead of calling in the conductor is a trivial example.) Altruistic punishment would provide an account for why Trump voters (supposedly) don't vote "in their own interests," but I couldn't find examples in the sources I looked at.

[5] Democracy Corps puts legal immigration, illegal immigration, and refugees in the same bucket as, to be fair, some voters seem to. I think they are three different use cases. In my personal view, we need to accept refugees, particularly those from wars we ourselves started. For legal and illegal immigration, the United States should put United States citizens first. I would love to emigrate to Canada to work there and take advantage of its single payer system, or to any of a number of countries where the cost of living is half our own. However, if I travel and overstay my visa, even as an "economic refugee," I would expect to pay a fine and be forced to leave. I don't see why my case is any different from any other illegal immigrant in this country. Canada does not have an open border. Nor need we (except to the extent our goal is beating down wages , especially in the working class, of course ).

Enquiring Mind , April 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Trump voters that I know well said the following: "The system is broken, and at least Trump is saying something about it. Whether he actually does anything about it is anyone's guess given his unpredictability, but at least he acknowledges what is so plainly obvious to so many. "

I am neither racist nor sexist, and do not appreciate being called that. My staff was 30% black, over half female and everyone got along. Don't penalize or demonize me for trying to do the right thing, and then expect me to vote for your platform.

Anyone but Hillary as she is the anti-Christ with corruption, debt, war and entrenched bureaucracies bent on their own sick agendas. I know Trump is crazy, but less than alternatives.

You get the gist of it.

sgt_doom , April 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Anyone but Hillary is something I can at least accept, since anyone with a brain in America realizes that the Clintons (and that's the entire family, for the ignoramuses out there) gave EVERYTHING to the banksters, period!

And while I greatly appreciate this article, it is really so bloody obvious by 2016, that only the dumbest, most ignorant and mentally lazy among us cannot grasp the simple arithmetic of waaay over 100,000 factories and production facilities offshored, of all the imported foreign visa replacement workers (i.e., scabs), etc., etc., etc. Plus add to that the offshore creation of jobs by American companies and corporations, instead of inshore job creation!

Doc Grif , April 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm

I hear your frustration, but why take that out on the democratic candidate? All of your gripes should be directed at the 1%. The moneyed oligarchs, like the Koch brothers, that have used their money to buy politicians and shape policy to suite their needs. They are ones that hire immigrants with H1Bs, they are ones that dictate wages. They took away healthcare coverage and pensions. They choose to close factories and open up in China and Mexico. Why did we vote for elected officials for the last 40 years that passed legislation to allow this?

Again, why do people reward Republicans with the presidency, both houses of congress, and state legislatures when the republicans, starting with Regan, busted unions and fought for deregulation, free trade, and globalization. These things happen under Republicans and Democrats.

America is a capitalist society. Private business exists to make profits. Why an American $40 an hour for a job that can be done in China for $4? What can government do to stop that? Would the people really vote for the policies needed to achieve that? Show me one politician office that is willing to return to a Reagan era tax structure.

We only have ourselves to blame for the mess we are in because we continue to vote for people that support corporate interests over those of the people. Then again, that is how American was founded. Only land owners (read: rich white men) were able to participate in American democracy at is founding. Not much has changed now that money is speech.

baldski , April 4, 2017 at 1:20 am

America was founded on the backs of slaves.

Yves Smith , April 4, 2017 at 6:51 am

It may have been built on the back of slaves, but founded? No way. The early colonizers didn't have slaves.

Anonymous , April 4, 2017 at 7:41 am

Depends on what you mean by 'early'.

https://www.amazon.com/New-England-Bound-Slavery-Colonization/dp/0871406721

Squanto and twenty other Indians were kidnapped by Thomas Hunt and sold as slaves in Spain in 1614. He somehow escaped and made his way to England and then back to New England. This is how he learned English well enough to translate for the Pilgrims in 1620. The first documented delivery of African slaves to the Massachusetts Bay Colony was in 1638, eight years after the Colony's formation. [All my info above comes from 'New England Bound'.]

There had been slavery directed by Europeans in the Caribbean for a hundred years prior to the European settlement of New England. Columbus's first words upon seeing the natives of Hispaniola were: 'They will make fine slaves'.

Marina Bart , April 4, 2017 at 3:46 am

The Democratic candidate was the candidate selected by and for the 1%. So was the LAST Democratic candidate. The Democratic party is how the 1% makes sure the citizens cannot get their needs met peacefully. They are therefore the ones to blame. Not "us." Definitely not me. I voted for Bernie. Twice.

WheresOurTeddy , April 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

forwarded far and wide with prefix "For those interested in why actual people actually do things, who aren't placated with comforting thoughts that all those who disagree with them are irredeemable racist know-nothings."

"Democrats don't have a white working class problem, as so many have suggested. They have a working class problem that includes working people in their own base."

Well put. Still haven't received anything other than a flummoxed look from any Clinton apologists when I asked if *all* the 2012 Obama voters that went Trump are racists.

steelhead23r , April 4, 2017 at 11:47 am

I see the U.S. political duopoly as a Juggernaut. The tea party, a grass-roots movement toward the common man, was subsumed by the Kochs into an battering ram to destroy moderate Republicans and those not hopelessly bought-off.

The Occupy Movement, which I credit with paving the way for Bernie, simply ran into the Democratic Establishment Wall.

No to single-payer, yes to ACA. No to federal tuition assistance, yes to student loans. No to deficit spending to improve the economy, yes to austerity. And, heaven forbid we tax the wealthy, or run a socialist (gasp) for president. We came close to defeating that wall in 2016. We can't stop now.

MLS , April 3, 2017 at 1:50 pm

I'll put another twist on it:

so much of flyover country is comprised of single-issue voters. Not all, of course, but I would rank the prevalence of those issues as 1) abortion 2) gun rights. I believe #1 here dominated the thinking of Trump voters. There was no chance in hell they were going to let Hillary Clinton have a shot at nominating SC justices over the next 4 years.

Sure there's a few racists in the group (there almost always are) but by and large I think Trump voters pulled the lever in spite of his hysterical rantings on the topic, not because of them.

cm , April 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

You're missing the point of this article. Counties that had twice voted for Obama voted for Trump. If these counties are "single-issue" voters dedicated to abortion & gun rights, then why did they twice vote for Obama?

MLS , April 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

without knowing the nuances of the counties in question, my hypothesis would be that turnout was lower for Clinton-voting democrats as compared to Obama-voters in those counties while Republican voters was the same or perhaps a bit higher. I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that single-issue voters aren't voting for the Democratic candidate in any national election and I interpret your point as to suggest that they switched their votes ( voted Obama in 2008 and 2012 but Trump in 2016).

I'm not saying this is the only reason, just that IMO it's a vastly under-appreciated one.

jsn , April 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Did you read this article?

It's expressly about why Trump voters say they voted for Trump: your "single-issue" hobby horse isn't in evidence.

You do, however, raise an interesting question: in these swing counties I'll try to find the time to look at how much of the swing came from collapsing turn out rather than actual Obama to Trump votes.

I personally know at least three people who voted Obama and then Trump and none are "single-issue", all I would put in Lambert's/Arnade's "volatility voters" class.

But I'll grant that's not a meaningful polling set.

Marina Bart , April 4, 2017 at 1:53 am

You're conflating a lot of issues there.

I know a bunch of people who were Bernie supporters who voted for Trump. And they voted for Trump because at least he was change and he wasn't insulting them. Some of them have now gone all in on Trumpian conservatism because they are recoiling from the murderous hypocrisy of the corporate Democrats, so they're giving "the other side" a chance. It saddens me, but there's nothing I can do about it. I understand that standing the wilderness of the real left pushing for change is daunting.

The Middle Eastern small business owner who went all-in for Trump and hugged me sympathetically for being a Bernie supporter had a point of view yet to be disproved. "Your guy is the better man. He would have given us better policies. But they were never going to let him win. Trump can win, and perhaps clear out the viper's nest so that someone decent can win in the future."

Lots of the people who sat out 2016 rather than vote for Clinton will probably continue to sit out for Booker/Harris/Clinton (shudder) - whatever neoliberal gets coughed up. They aren't going to become activists. They're too exhausted, disgusted or drugged.

It has nothing to do with complacency. Activists have been pushing for decades for better choices. If we had had our way, Bernie Sanders would now be president, busily browbeating Chuck Schumer into passing his free college bill, having already shoved Improved Medicare for All through the Congress.

Lambert was very clear, and you don't seem to be disputing his evidence. The Democrats lost their voters because they killed, jailed, starved and immiserated their voters. Democrats stole their homes, pensions and jobs. Democrats said they were deplorable and showed they thought they were disposable. Enough of their voters understood their self-interest well enough not to vote for their oppressors, whether they came out for Trump or just stayed home. That is how Clinton lost and Trump won.

Altandmain , April 3, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Like it or not, the Democratic Party betrayed the left, betrayed the New Deal, and became a second pro-war, pro-Wall Street Party.

Trump, despite being widely disliked at least was offering the economically devastated an opportunity potentially to improve their lives. That was assuming that he kept his promises. Most people voted for him out of despair knowing that even if he did not keep his promises, they would have lost nothing since Clinton would not have either.

As for the wealthy Democrats? They wanted the bottom 90% to preserve their "upper class" and "upper middle class privilege". That's what this is about. They want the people making less than 30,000 a year to vote the same way as big city Liberals making more than 130,000 a year.

I think that this is what identity politics is about. Had Clinton won, she would not have done much for the minorities. Maybe she would have called them superpredators again. Same with the constant Bernie Bashing. They desperately wanted to shut down Bernie Sanders because he called out, if only briefly, what a terrible candidate Clinton was. She would have suppressed the left aggressively.

Clinton did make some gains among wealthy GOP voters. It wasn't enough to turn the election, but that's what they tried.
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/clinton-election-polls-white-workers-firewall/

Bernie Sanders's style of class politics - and his program of mild social-democratic redistribution - did not gain much favor in New Canaan, Connecticut (where he won 27 percent of the vote) or Northfield, Illinois (39 percent). For some suburban Democrats, Sanders's throttling in these plush districts virtually disqualified him from office: "A guy who got 36 percent of the Democrats in Fairfax County," an ebullient Michael Tomasky wrote after the Virginia primary, "isn't going to be president."

Clinton was their candidate. By holding off Sanders's populist challenge - and declining to concede fundamental ground on economic issues - the former secretary of state proved she could be trusted to protect the vital interests of voters in Newton, Eden Prairie, and Falls Church. They, more than any other group in America, were enthusiastically #WithHer.

To some extent, Clinton's appeal even carried over to wealthy red-state suburbs. In Forysth County outside Atlanta, and Williamson County outside Nashville - the richest counties in Georgia and Tennessee - Clinton lost big but improved significantly on Obama's performance in 2012.

But wealthy, educated suburbanites were never going to push the Democrats over the top all by themselves. Despite Clinton's incremental gains, in the end, most rich white Republicans remained rich white Republicans: hardly the sturdiest foundation for an anti-Trump majority.

The numbers show it.

As for the Liberals freaking out, they can be split into a few categories:

1. The ones who profited economically from the status quo, like the professional 10%ers. They don't want someone who is going to rock the boat. The Fairfax County Jacobin article captures them brilliantly. They hated Bernie Sanders.
2. The SJWs, intersectionalists, second generation feminists, and other identity politics groups. They are not all wealthy, but unifying them is their identity politics ideology.
3. The hardcore Democratic partisans who "vote blue no matter who".

The Liberals want to pretend like it was racism or sexism or Russia that prevented their "chosen one" from winning. In reality it was economics and the fact that people could see what Clinton really was. For all the talk of the most progressive platform ever, Clinton was really the anti-thesis of Bernie Sanders.

Did they really think their identity politics was going to fool anyone? We saw upper middle class well off people lecturing less well off Bernie Sanders supporters this election to check their "white privilege", even though the Sanders supporters were often poor and had their future destroyed by the economic policies that neoliberal politicians like Hillary Clinton advocated for.

I think it is because they don't want to appeal to working class people, because if they did, they would have to serve them.

This election has been a real eye-opener as to who our allies and opponents are in this class struggle. I think that in the coming years we will see a Liberal Left split of sorts. The best possible outcome is a third party or even better the Democrats going the way of the Whigs.

Maybe Jimmy Dore and Nick Brana have the right ideas:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usnxoskl3us

But building a third party would have huge barriers too. The US is more like a soft authoritarian nation:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/bernie-sanders-democratic-labor-party-ackerman/

The question is, how to build such a party? There is clearly the votes. Bernie showed that and the left might even find some common ground with Trump voters. Keep in mind they are paleoconservatives who are anti-war, want manufacturing and good benefits. By contrast the Clintons are pro war and economically have more in common with the GOP Establishment than the Trump "economic despair base".

Clearly there may be opportunities.

jerry , April 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Excellent comment thank you, I agree the opportunity is there.. the question of how to mobilize seems to be the problem. Trump is a total unknown, and who knows what the midterms will bring. The fact the bernie got as many votes as he did as an old, socialist, by no means charismatic jew gives a lot of hope for the future, as well as the demographic that voted for him (mostly young).

These paradigm shifts are generational and take a lot of time, and for some reason that remains unclear it still seems like Trump is necessary right now. Perhaps some internal political destruction is needed before we can get a clear handle on the path forward.

J Thom , April 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

This Trump voter liked and listened to Sanders early on. But as his profile and possibilities rocketed, he abandoned his anti immigration platform.

Immigrants from anywhere - yes anywhere – in a zero sum economy don't benefit the working middle class. It's not racist, but realistic. Someone had "the talk" with Bernie and his speeches became more and more party line.

And his voters should have jumped to Trump, but for the hysteria from institutional DC insiders in both parties. Trump is no knuckle dragging Cheney Goper.

He's fighting the bad guys on both fronts. With no help from natural allies too afraid to bolt the herd and call out the enemies of the middle class.

Even the phony baloney "Russians Are Coming" meme should be challenged by voters on the right and left. Putin is a more valuable ally than Merkel. He's a Russian nationalist. A populist. Globalists like Pelosi, Graham, Obama and McCain use dog whistles on their respective demographics to thwart Trump's efforts to make Americans first in fevered, corrupt swamps of DC and NY.

All Americans should be rallying around the first president to shake up the party identity. Bernie had his chance and caved to party insiders. He is no hero.

I decided to judge Trump by his enemies left and right. Hollywood hates him, not because of his human rights record but because he killed TPP. Without international copyright protections hidden deep in that well, the studios are bankrupt.

Meryl Streep is a huckster, a fraud, and a tool of the same people we all hate.

Cujo359 , April 3, 2017 at 9:37 pm

This reminds me of the arguments Zionists use to deflect criticism about Israel's actions towards its neighbors – as in "That's just the sort of thing people who hate Jews would say. Why do you hate Jews? Oh, wait, you're Jewish? Well, obviously, then, you're a self-hating Jew".

The answer always is that the other side is all about the hate, even if they clearly don't hate the people they're accused of hating, because what they're saying is "discursive", and, you know, sooner or later it will be hate, because people just can't help themselves

Ian , April 3, 2017 at 11:20 pm

I actually got called a self hating Jew when I identified myself of Jewish descent and backed MintPress News in an argument that she was having with a Pro Israel person. It utterly killed and undermined his position me doing that and he just turned on and attacked me.

Cujo359 , April 4, 2017 at 3:28 am

I'm neither Muslim nor Jewish (self-hating or otherwise), but back in the '60s and early '70s I was generally supportive of Israel. The idea that only Jews could criticize Israel without being accused of hating Jews bugged me, and then the meme of the "self-hating Jew" really made it obvious what the game was. Just another ad hom argument, dressed up in the respectable clothing of religious tolerance.

And this idea that Trump voters need to justify their votes, while HRC voters (or Stein or Johnson voters?) don't, is pretty much the same. Don't mind those people, they're just hateful bigots until proven otherwise. Nothing to see here, move along.

sgt_doom , April 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Racism, racism, racism, sexism, sexism, sexism, transgenderism, transgenderism, transgenderism - this commenter is the perfect example of the purely ignorant American today (assuming she/he/it is an American) - everything robotically repeating the Identity Political meme, no thinking or independent thought allowed.

Nope, you just don't want to ever address the plight of the American worker, now do ya????

Of course not . . . .

Eureka Springs , April 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Admittedly, Not a Trump fan, I don't have television or listen to radio in the car. But every time I heard cries of racism and I could find/read actual transcripts rather than just believe 'reports' I was not alarmed, at least no more and probably less than Demo/Clinton policy for decades running. But then, just being against more immigration with 320 million people already here doesn't make one automatically a racist.

Trump's going to have to work real hard to out deport Obama who has by far the record in that department.

animalogic , April 4, 2017 at 1:10 am

Many people are simply sick & tired of the smug self righteousness of "Identity" politicians. Sick of their belief that the mere suggestion that one is sexist/racist will cause a knee jerk retreat from any debate. The Identity crowd has been playing this nasty little game for decades now & it has WORN THIN .

PhilM , April 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm

One does not "call these ways of thinking" anything, especially not words that are so overused as to have lost all meaning except as a kind of profane slur. Rather, one characterizes ways of thinking in all their complexity and examines their origins and likely political outcomes and affiliations, as Lambert has done. One describes them and tries to see if they are justified in the context of the lives as lived by their thinkers; how they are adaptive, and how they are maladaptive-not judging ex cathedra , based on utterly inadequate information, not to mention an almost complete moral imbecility, whether they are "orthodox" or "heretical" according to the schema of rainbow righteousness, and then categorizing them with what has now deteriorated into a grade-school epithet, rather than the damned ideology it once connoted.

jrs , April 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Yea I think many of them may not be justified though, but may be based on the world view of the voters. In other words it may be what they believe is true even it isn't.

For example they might think they are all losing their job to immigrants and in a few cases this might be true, but I don't think statistics bear this out as a major source of job loss compared to say outsourcing. So if they think the reason the job market is so bad is because of immigrants that's not necessarily racist per se but it may be inaccurate.

Dave , April 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

"So what should does call these ways of thinking if not racist and/or sexist?"

You should call them: "Nobody cares about racism and sexism, because banksters, insurance companies, defense companies and other crony capitalists use tools like you to distract from their robbing the public blind."

You are part of the problem, so I don't care about you. FU.

TK421 , April 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Whom should they have voted for to strike against bigotry? Hillary "bring black criminals to heel"/against gay marriage until 2013/"the future is female" Clinton?

Dhyerwolf , April 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm

"Besides, shouldn't one ask these voters why Trump's racist dogwhistle pronouncements and explicitly sexist actions caused little or no offense to them? Did I miss that somewhere?"

Why did Hillary voters ignore her explicitly racist, corporatist, corrupt, war-mongering ways? Why did all the blood on her hands (from Libya, Honduras, Iraq etc) cause little or no offense to them?

Marina Bart , April 4, 2017 at 3:47 am

Why, indeed?

MoiAussie , April 4, 2017 at 4:35 am

Perhaps because she was what many of them aspired to be: a member of the 1%, a shining success, a winner whose failures, lies, betrayals and foul deeds were easy to ignore if you had swallowed the vile, anti-human propaganda of neoliberalism.

hemeantwell , April 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

I am not satisfied with this whole "white innocence" subtext

The subtext is there for you to impute. It seems like the only way you can be convinced that it is not there is for the interviewees to be explicitly condemned as racist because they voted for a racist. You and others who hold your stance overlook the fact that there were only two candidates, not several, including Trump's non-racist twin, to vote for, and so you have to deal with truly awful tradeoffs. Should I assume you are an imperialist because you voted for someone who helped install a military regime in Honduras??

different clue , April 3, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Would you consider yourself a "social justice warrior"? Your comment certainly reads as if a "social justice warrior" could have written it.

Are you a Race Card Identyan? The Race Card has been played so often it is wearing out. In fact, it has worn all the way out for many people. The intended targets of this guilt-inducement gambit may no longer feel the guilt you seek to induce. And where there is no more guilt, there will be no more obedience. And where does that leave you?

You sound like a typical Clinton-Brock Democrat. Today's Mainstream Democratic Party would be a good fit for you. If you aren't already in it, you might consider joining it.

flora , April 3, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Politics has been fractal for the past 30-35 years. Same old input-output on an ever expanding iterative footprint. It's old. It's tired. It'd not serving most voters. It's economically hurting most voters. Bernie and Trump showed promise of breaking the fractal iteration and replacing it with something new. Maybe better. That's what people voted for, imo.

a different chris , April 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm

Oh no no no no.. you do not get away with crap like "shouldn't one ask these voters why Trump's racist dogwhistle pronouncements and explicitly sexist actions caused little or no offense to them".

Show me one that said Trump's stuff wasn't offensive. And your phrasing is either deliberately or just stupidly messed up. "[C]aused little or no offense to them". I'm a white male, saying bad things about black females will get me near about ready throttle you but it "caused little or no offense to" me because that would be insanely presumptuous on my part. I have a heartache about how people are put upon due to race and or sex but that oppression sure isn't something I can claim as mine.

>ignores the discursive nature of racist attitudes and beliefs and how easily they can transmute into a self-justifying politics

Do these people have money? No. Do their kids have job prospects? No. I think that is enough to legitimatize what they are saying, I don't care if their very next breath is "them n-words get all the stuff". They are far from perfect, but it is just *so* funny how the most, tell you to your face racist will then say "oh but Jim down at work is OK". They are just people, plenty of warts. Get off your high horse, bet you have a number of warts of your own.

>So what should does call these ways of thinking

Nice to give us your ideal question, not biting.

joe defiant , April 3, 2017 at 11:43 pm

a similar argument could be made for those who voted democrat ignoring their racist actions all around the world murdering, dropping bombs, and economically exploiting black and brown people.

casino implosion , April 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm

This Bernie Bro voted for Trump out of sheer hatred for the "Listen Liberal" crowd of sanctimonious meritocrats and desire to see their playhouse pulled down. Not real nuanced, but glad I did it.

Code Name D , April 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Odd that you would attack the "Listen Liberal crowd," given that Thomus Frank was mostly critical of the Democrats. I am not attacking, just want to learn more about your perspective.

Vatch , April 3, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I'm just guessing, but I think that casino implosion is referring to his distaste for the people that Frank discusses in that book, not his distaste for people like Frank.

jsn , April 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm

I read it the same way, but then words do create the illusion of communication

different clue , April 3, 2017 at 6:34 pm

@Code Name D,

I don't know who/what casino implosion meant to address herm's comment to, but I will just guess that by "Listen Liberal" crowd, heeshee meant the crowd about/against/to whom "Listen Liberal" was written.

flora , April 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Great post. Thanks.

Code Name D , April 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Turns out Trump Voters are Human. Here, looking into the myths behind "Trump voters" might be constructive. The biggest myth is that they are tust political troles. In the course of deconverting from Catholism to Atheism, abserveed that many of our political beleifes are formed under the same structures as one's religous beleifes. Thoughts about the "free market" are heald just as strongly as stronly as devotion to Jesus.

Even those who deconvert from their religion, often bring their political belifes with them into the Athiest community. Often without having them challanged.

And this is the point. One deconverts from a religion because it is challanged by science. But political beleifes are rarly chalanged.

One exception was in 2007, when the economey colapsed. Many peoples convictions in the "free market" were directly challanged by reality. And on the political stage they saw McCain talking about freee markets as if nothing had happend. Conservatives were confused and looking for answers. They thoght Obama had them.

But Obama also dubbled down on the free market narative. This was a huge mistake because part of that narative is that all Liberals are socialists. And socialism is evil. So yay, Trump is Obama's legacy.

Trump voters are human. This means they are far smarter than people give them credit, even without a GED. They vote acording to the information and evidence they hae been presented with. But we live in a world where that narative has been carfuly mananged and tended too. Democrats, rather than chalanging that system, felt they could simply build their own and construct their own naraive. Hence we get "Russia Russia Russia!" And this is not convicing to conservative votes who already know the one "true" narrative,

RUKidding , April 3, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Thank you. That's a great post and provides some good, factual information.

Lil John , April 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Why would voters think Hillary might have a preference towards the interests of Wall Street?

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/hillary-clinton-wall-street-226061

Teleportnow , April 3, 2017 at 3:42 pm

I live in Macomb County. My precinct, my neighbors, voted for Trump. They hate NAFTA. They hate free trade with China. They hate H1B visas. These are people to whom $100,000 plus a year union factory job was nothing. We all knew people who had them. Those jobs built this county. Period. So Clinton never stood a chance here.

They were willing to give Trump a chance. And what's one of the very first things he did? Appointed a fast food CEO to head up the labor department. A real indicator that the plight of the working class in America keeps him up at night.

hunkerdown , April 3, 2017 at 7:51 pm

The other option available to us was the fast coffee CEO as Labor Secretary. McJobs were more or less baked into the Establishment lineup on "both" sides. It's almost as if the real decisions were made long before the election and concealed from us, and elections are held to manufacture the image of just consent to the proto-feudal system.

wilroncanada , April 3, 2017 at 10:45 pm

To Teleportnow:
And from this distance, even I could see that nothing, other than PR, was going to be done about any of them by either R or D candidate. There I go again, flogging the same dead horse.

Vatch , April 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

And what's one of the very first things he did? Appointed a fast food CEO to head up the labor department. A real indicator that the plight of the working class in America keeps him up at night.

We're fortunate that Puzder's nomination was withdrawn. It's a pity that the same didn't happen to Pruitt's nomination (Trump supporters are just as vulnerable to pesticides, lead, mercury, and other poisons as other people), or Mnuchin's nomination (many Trump supporters have been abused by corrupt bankers or mortgage processors like Mnuchin and his recently divested OneWest Bank).

You are absolutely correct about Trump's lack of concern for the plight of the American working class. Not that Obama or Clinton care much about them, either.

jsn , April 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Obama's betrayals of his core voters were disguised in the smoke of financial collapse where systemic effects were years in expressing themselves, brutal though they proved to be. They were as smooth and subtle as the man who envisioned them.

Trump's betrayals are, like him, blunt, flagrant and outrageous.

That the Democrats have achieved even lower approval ratings(CBS) than the Donald (Gallup) is the strongest legitimizing force in his thus far execrable presidency.

jrs , April 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Unlke Reagan he might actually be a good actor :). Or he can give a speech like he feels working class pain and hit all the right notes, but policy so far is horrible.

dontknowitall , April 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

"And what's one of the very first things he did? Appointed a fast food CEO to head up the labor department. A real indicator that the plight of the working class in America keeps him up at night."

Trump's appointments have been unfortunate, but remember every establishment bigwig had been lining up to announce she would never serve in this administration, all of them too good and pure for Trump. So what is he supposed to do if he couldn't even convince a couple of second rate rock and roll bands to gyrate at his inauguration. Of course he appointed friends and friends-of-friends and relatives. The establishment brought this on themselves. I couldn't care less as long as he keeps torpedoing the dearest plans of the slave owners. And by the way the first thing he did was he castrated TPP and that cannot be said enough times.

In other good news, Today the SIlicon Valley H1B exploiters got raided by ICE and about time. You know what? Maybe the plight of his base really does keep him up at night

Vatch , April 3, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Today the SIlicon Valley H1B exploiters got raided by ICE and about time.

Could you please provide a link? Or are you being metaphorical about an announcement that the government will enforce some of the rules for a change?

I couldn't care less as long as he keeps torpedoing the dearest plans of the slave owners.

He and Mnuchin have announced plans to lower taxes on the very rich. I don't think that will offend the slave owners at all.

different clue , April 3, 2017 at 6:40 pm

This is part of the collateral damage I knew I was risking when I voted for Trump in order to make my vote against Clinton as effective as possible. And we have kept Clinton out of the office for at least this time around.

If/when we are able to crush, smash and destroy the rolling Slow Coup against the 2016 Presidential Election Outcome by the IC, the Wall Street Elite, and the Mainstream Democratic Party . . . . then we will be free to try preventing Trump's damage, mitigating the Trump damage already achieved, and begin growing culture-and-politics-based Economic Combat movements devoted to targeting the purchasing and consumption choices of a hundred million people against certain Black Hat Industries which support Trump to advance their own sinister agendas.

We could start doing that now, if we didn't have to spend energy on countering the Remove Trump conspiracy first.

Politician , April 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm

1. The Dem Party is in a tough position. Where do they go from here?

On the one hand, it'll be tough to wean from the big givers on Wall St and Silicon valley. Cultivating the small givers and unions will take a lot of time and work.

Also the Dems seem to have little use for Bernie. They seem to wish that he would just go just go away and leave the Party alone. Bernie, however, could be the Dem's savior.

I don't see the Dem Party choosing a feasible direction. Maybe it will take a few more years for the Party to sort it out and find a point man.

2. I'm not surprised there is racism, misogyny, and chauvinism among many voters, including Trumpeters. I suspect that in times of economic "stress" pointing fingers feels natural, even desirable. Judging from the press, there's a lot of economic "stress" around.

So better economics might reduce these hatreds.

different clue , April 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm

The Bernies could begin by invading and conquering those regional and local Democratic Party areas which seem least pro-Clinton. Those could be First Landing Beachheads. Once those were secured, the Berniecrats could work on building strength within them, eliminating every Clintonite " Left-Behind" type person remaining to try destroying the Berniecrats from within, and then working to break out of their Secured Beachheads to conquer and decontaminate more Democratic Party territory.

Vatch , April 4, 2017 at 9:33 am

Bernie, however, could be the Dem's savior.

Very true! Let's hope the establishment Dems don't crucify him.

sharonsj , April 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm

I'm a life-long Democrat and I despise my party. But I'm not stupid. That Trump was a con man was evident from the beginning but, like most voters, both candidates made me want to vomit. (James Howard Kunstler called them "human hairballs." )

Unfortunately, all those Trump voters who are worried about jobs, the economy, health care, etc., will soon discover that Trump doesn't give a fuck about them. He likes their adulation, since it feeds his ego, but he and every one of his execrable appointments will just make their lives worse.

different clue , April 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm

The problem is that Clinton would have made their lives more worserer, and they knew it. So they perhaps hoped for better.

animalogic , April 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

Yes, you can't blame people who cast their vote in "hope" of something better.
In the case of Trump, their inevitable disappointment will be that much sadder & acute.

different clue , April 4, 2017 at 2:46 am

We can thank the DLC Clintocrats for leaving people no other means to even hope for escape than . . . Trump.

Ellie , April 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

I want to know the extent to which the Faux Noise network is responsible for shaping the views of Trump voters. It is by far the favored mainstream TV station for news in red-state America. A steady diet of a certain skewed viewpoint for years upon years has to have a significant effect on one's thought processes. I can't believe that millions of people spontaneously rose up and decided to throw off the shackles of business as usual without some major groundwork being done to get them all riled up. Years of being told that Hillary was corrupt, the devil incarnate etc etc by right-wing talking heads has to be a factor.

Yves Smith , April 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Sorry, this does not work as an argument.

Obama was demonized by Fox News too, yet the reason for the Trump win was that the Trump vote (in numbers) was essentially the same as the Romney vote, but the Dem vote was down v. 2012, and that was due to lower turnout, notably of people of color.

Lambert has also repeatedly pointed out that the swing state wins were due to Rust Belt counties that went for Obama going for Trump. And it has been documented repeatedly that propensity to vote for Trump correlated strongly with opioid related deaths in the area, regardless of the voter's income level.

TK421 , April 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Look up when FoxNews first went on the air, then look at the political history of the several years prior to that. You might find it informative.

Ellie , April 4, 2017 at 11:28 am

You might provide a bit of enlightenment regarding your actual point without requiring someone else to do all the work.

gardener1 , April 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I voted for Trump. I don't watch TV and I've never seen Fox news.

Pookah Harvey , April 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Economic insecurity is the driving factor. The more insecure people become the more tribal their behavior. People want economic change more than anything else and if they see that the government is doing something to provide them a better life then other social changes are possible..

A paralyzed Congress is great for the elite as the status quo is beneficial to them as they have successfully rigged the system. People want to see legislative action.

Ryan stated " "Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with some growing pains," The problem is that Republicans were never an opposition party, they were an obstructionist party that only knew how to say "NO".

The establishment Democrats are setting themselves up to become the exact same obstructionists.. This will not help them in 2018. Now is the time to try to force votes on measures that are obviously what the people want.even if they are sure to fail. Let the Republicans stay the obstructionists.

People don't want resistance they want help.

jrs , April 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Not just resistance but revolution.

Ed Miller , April 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I am a bit disappointed to not see a reference to Jeremy Grantham's quarterly letter at GMO regarding the narrarives that motivated people to vote for Trump. I have posted about this several times before. His letter runs on pages 9-15 of this link:

The Road to Trumpsville: The Long, Long Mistreatment of the American Working Class

https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/public-commentary/gmo-quarterly-letter.pdf

JG presents a lot of compelling information regarding the decline of labor vs. capital in compensation, the exploding income of the top 0.1% vs. everyone else, income inequality and the breakdown of social cohesion – both in words and charts. His Post Script summary is classic in my humble opinion, especially this line about what the voters across Red state are desperately seeking from Washington:

"Save me, oh leaders, from the rich and powerful!" Personally I would edit that to "the rich and powerfully corrupt".

flora , April 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for the link. Grantham's letter is a 'must read', imo.

james wordsworth , April 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Of course there are issues, and of course Hillary was a horrible candidate, but voting for trump was an insane way to make a point. He will clearly do more to damage the lower and middle classes than any president in the last 100 years. He will be able to fix NOTHING. More war (jobs?). More tax breaks for the rich. Less money for anyone without money. A simple tried and true capitalist asshole approach. He will not survive term 1, and then pence comes in lovely, not.

Marina Bart , April 4, 2017 at 2:34 am

Please. He stopped Clinton, which at least slowed down TPP and the Russian War. Trump doesn't even seem interested in killing Social Security. He yanked Ryan's health care "plan"; Hillary said she was looking forward to working with Ryan. Trump's going to do horrible things, but so far, his election is far better for American workers than if Clinton had been installed. If nothing else, it slows down Washington's neoliberal horror show, and the pain of people in the midwest was at least briefly covered in the corporate press, as opposed to being completely hidden under Obama, which would have continued under Clinton. Voting for Trump was saner than voting for Clinton. (I voted for neither. I also live in California.)

The only way we get Pence is if the Democrats and the CIA succeed in their coup. So let's all try to get them to cut it out.

witters , April 3, 2017 at 8:58 pm

James' Progessivist humanism: "You voted Trump? You are insane!" (& why doesn't IdPol stretch to the insane?)

VietnamVet , April 3, 2017 at 10:29 pm

This post is absolutely correct and important. The financialization of the economy which has led to inequality, skyrocketing debt, and early death in Mid-America must be addressed. Corporate Media and the Democrats ignore it and are scapegoating Russia to continue getting their paybacks from Wall Street. This post highlights the coming tragedy. Clearly Disruptive Capitalism destroys governments and society. Under stress people revert to their tribal roots. By ignoring the base causes; war, infinite growth on a finite planet and exploitation by the Elite, the West is being ripped apart.

Musicismath , April 4, 2017 at 4:46 am

It's not just the West. The Global South, largely unseen and unreported on and very much at the sharp end of extractive neo-colonialism, isn't in great shape either. Voters in Western Europe express "legitimate concerns" about economic and climate migrants from Africa and the ME, but often don't stop to think about the dire conditions and political strife that are driving that migration flow.

Thousands of people are drowning every year in the Mediterranean and that's the visible tip of the iceberg. It's just unimaginable what's currently happening.

Genghis , April 4, 2017 at 1:59 am

So, Dems ran a terrible status quo candidate that had been a long time target of Faux News in a "change" election. Most Trump voters in rural Kentucky told me they were voting against H rather than for T. Oh, and abortion, guns, bathrooms.

Dems have ignored rural communities they didn't already hold for several election cycles. No prominent national Democratic politician has ventured outside of the cities of Louisville and Lexington if they visit Kentucky at all. Spend a little time in rural communities and you begin to see how bleak the picture is for them – I asked everyone I could what they would do if they were King of Kentucky with an unlimited budget. There were very few soloutions offered.

(IMO Kentucky is Ground Zero. A border state since the Civil War that used to be Democratic – what better place for Dems to start to rebuild and appeal to Rural America?)

Dems also could have chosen to include and even woo independent voters. Instead, they took a "who else are you gonna vote for" attitude and pivoted right. Yes, Vice President Sanders would have been a pita but that would have been a significantly better result.

Still no house cleaning in the Democratic Party, Clintons and Wassermans and Brazilles still circling. Grrr.

Pardon the rant.

b1daly , April 4, 2017 at 2:16 am

oof, sorry about the wonky link formatting. I tried to use the "link" button in the editor, and got this weird result. I tried to edit twice, now can't edit.

IdontKnow , April 4, 2017 at 2:50 am

IMBW, but have an edit suggestion

A third - and the most important - concrete material benefit is Democracy Corps:

The object after "is" probably isn't suppose to be the polling source. It probably should read something like

A third - and the most important - concrete material benefit is replace corrupt tax farming / private medical insurance (with equitable tax based medicare?) Democracy Corps:

Tax Farming

Colin Spenncer , April 4, 2017 at 9:46 am

So what is going to happen when Trump voters realize at the end of four years that their choice has not delivered for them? Unfortunately they will not be able to realize that he never intended to deliver anything for them. However, the same problems or worse will remain. Lets project the current situation out into the future with the understanding that there is no credible agent or desire for real meaningful change and improvement from those presently in power. What I see does not look good, and perhaps I will have the good fortune not to be around to see it.

[Apr 04, 2017] Neoliberal, dominated by Clinton wing Democratic Party is done, as they have nothing to offer to the voters. They are history.

Notable quotes:
"... Trump at least was offering the economically devastated Americans a slight chance to improve their standard of living and get better jobs. That assuming that he keep his promises, which, of course, is not given. But why one should not give him a benefit of doubt, if Hillary was all about the kicking the neoliberalism can down the road? ..."
"... Most people voted for Trump not because they liked him, but out of despair knowing that the Hillary will betray all her promises the next day after the elections like Obama did and will behave like a female clone of John McCain in foreign policy. ..."
"... In other words, by electing Trump most Americans lost nothing since Clinton would pursue the same pro top 1% policies, just with a larger doze of hypocrisy. ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc , April 04, 2017 at 09:59 AM
Governor McAuliffe's Political Strategy for Democrats to Win that will Work - 'It's still the economy, stupid'

Trump "is a one-man wrecking crew to my economy"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/terry-mcauliffe-democratic-party-future_us_58e2bc38e4b0f4a923b11edd

"Terry McAuliffe Has A Very Clintonian Plan For Democrats To Win Back Power"

'It's still the economy, stupid'

By Sam Stein...04/03/2017...07:05 pm ET

"Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has a two-pronged strategy for his fellow Democrats to regain power in the age of Trump: Don't get distracted by the chaos and prioritize the states.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, McAuliffe called on Democrats to simplify their message down to its most fundamental, Clintonian core. For all the talk of Russian connections, disorganization and dubious ethics, McAuliffe argued, voters care most about the economy. Democrats would be wise to explain how President Donald Trump is failing them on that front.

"Don't chase the shiny objects," McAuliffe said, advising those running for office. "The public is sick of people picking partisan fights for the sake of fights. I don't pick fights with Trump for the sake of picking arguments. I am one of his most vocal critics because, as I've said, this man is a one-man wrecking crew to my economy."..."

pgl -> im1dc... , April 04, 2017 at 11:49 AM
Sorry Terry but what was your plan to fix the economy?
im1dc -> pgl... , April 04, 2017 at 12:32 PM
I believe it is to defeat Trump and the idiot Republicans supporting him politically at the ballot box, you know like Trump did Hillary Clinton.
im1dc -> pgl... , April 04, 2017 at 12:36 PM
You should answer the question I put to you about Free Trade vs 'Fair Trade' above in answer to Peter K.'s point that you are avoiding the issue.
ilsm -> im1dc... , April 04, 2017 at 03:47 PM
Economics, like PPACA idolaters, is a red [no change DNC] herring.

In 2018, it will be reconstituting the US' Bill of Rights and who pulled the redaction off the names the NKDV/NSA picked up in the politically directed wire tapping (euphemism for violating citizens privacy rights) to be used for politics and attempting a coup.

libezkova -> im1dc... , April 04, 2017 at 07:16 PM
Your Monday morning quarterbacking missed the key three points about the Democratic Party. DemoRats:

1. Betrayed the left
2. Betrayed the New Deal
3. Became a second pro-war, pro-Wall Street Party.

Trump at least was offering the economically devastated Americans a slight chance to improve their standard of living and get better jobs. That assuming that he keep his promises, which, of course, is not given. But why one should not give him a benefit of doubt, if Hillary was all about the kicking the neoliberalism can down the road?

The only segment of population that would be better under Hillary are retirees as they are out of job market anyway, but this is not what the majority of population wants. They want jobs.

Most people voted for Trump not because they liked him, but out of despair knowing that the Hillary will betray all her promises the next day after the elections like Obama did and will behave like a female clone of John McCain in foreign policy.

John McCain was rejected by voters, if I remember correctly.

In other words, by electing Trump most Americans lost nothing since Clinton would pursue the same pro top 1% policies, just with a larger doze of hypocrisy.

Neoliberal, dominated by Clinton wing Democratic Party is done, as they have nothing to offer to the voters. They are history.

[Apr 03, 2017] My impression is that cutting off Democratic Party from the teat of the Wall Street is currently virtually impossible. You need a serious crisis to shake off Clintons neoliberal wing from Democratic Party. May be even another economic crisis like 2008

Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova

, April 03, 2017 at 06:09 PM
My impression is that cutting off Democratic Party from the teat of the Wall Street is currently virtually impossible. You need a serious crisis to shake off Clinton's neoliberal wing from Democratic Party. May be even another economic crisis like 2008.

Also Democratic Party, Republican Party, the US Congress and the Federal Government are all just different faces of the same entity -- the National Security State.

With the level of jingoism demonstrated recently by Democratic Party (which was the forte of Republicans in the past), Clinton's Democrats and Republicans now are like Siamese twins, and to separate them from each other is like trying to separate two sides of a dollar bill.

libezkova -> libezkova... , April 03, 2017 at 06:43 PM
It is an easy thing to criticize neoliberalism now, when it was already unmasked (especially the USA variant of it, aka "casino capitalism")

A more difficult thing is to point to a viable alternative.

[Apr 03, 2017] With the level of jingoism demonstrated recently by Democratic Party (which was the forte of Republicans in the past), Clinton's Democrats and Republicans now are like

Notable quotes:
"... My impression is that cutting off Democratic Party from the teat of the Wall Street is currently virtually impossible. You need a serious crisis to shake off Clinton's neoliberal wing from Democratic Party. May be even another economic crisis like 2008. ..."
"... Also Democratic Party, Republican Party, the US Congress and the Federal Government are all just different faces of the same entity -- the National Security State. ..."
Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova , April 03, 2017 at 06:09 PM

My impression is that cutting off Democratic Party from the teat of the Wall Street is currently virtually impossible. You need a serious crisis to shake off Clinton's neoliberal wing from Democratic Party. May be even another economic crisis like 2008.

Also Democratic Party, Republican Party, the US Congress and the Federal Government are all just different faces of the same entity -- the National Security State.

With the level of jingoism demonstrated recently by Democratic Party (which was the forte of Republicans in the past), Clinton's Democrats and Republicans now are like Siamese twins, and to separate them from each other is like trying to separate two sides of a dollar bill.

libezkova -> libezkova... , April 03, 2017 at 06:43 PM
It is an easy thing to criticize neoliberalism now, when it was already unmasked (especially the USA variant of it, aka "casino capitalism")

A more difficult thing is to point to a viable alternative.

anne said...

April, 2017

Do election outcomes matter?

So what have we discovered? While these patterns need to be investigated more thoroughly, the data suggest no clear difference between Democratic and Republican presidents on 20 of the 30 outcomes:

  • Income inequality: top 1%'s share
  • Economic growth
  • Median wealth
  • Homeownership
  • Stock market
  • Unionization
  • Black-white income ratio
  • Female-male pay ratio
  • College graduates
  • Life expectancy
  • Homicides
  • Incarceration
  • Marriage
  • Out-of-wedlock births
  • Abortions
  • Religiosity
  • Immigration
  • Imports
  • Trust
  • Earth's average temperature

We do observe a partisan difference for 10 of the outcomes (the party achieving better performance is listed in parentheses):

  • Employment (D)
  • Poverty (D)
  • Minimum wage (D)
  • Median income (D)
  • Health insurance (D)
  • Gun ownership
  • Legal same-sex marriage (D)
  • Military spending
  • Government debt (D)
  • Happiness (D)

-- Lane Kenworthy

[Apr 03, 2017] As We Near the 100-Day Mark of the Trump Regime - Crooked Timber

Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Democrats have been dealt a substantial setback with the ejection of Hillary ..."
Apr 03, 2017 | crookedtimber.org

Z 03.28.17 at 2:53 pm

Stunningly, losing the white house to a carnival act has not yet seemed to convince Democrats that the neoliberal restructuring of economy and society (runaway financialization of everything is fine; transnational capital flows do god's work; job retraining heals all wounds) will no longer fly.

For highly qualified professionals in cities benefitting from transnational capital flows and working in financial services, it flies very well, and this group (broadly construed) 1) is not negligible in size 2) votes 3) has become the core of the Democratic constituency and 4) staffs Democratic administrations (local and national). So pushing the neoliberal restructuring of society is a feature, not a bug.

If the American electorate is increasingly structured around three groups (neoliberal/left/reactionaries; or in mock form Suits/Hippies/Rednecks), then the neoliberal and left/ecologist group have to join rank to defeat reactionary nationalists, but that is equally true for both groups. As the neoliberal group is socially and electorally stronger (if not necessarily numerically), it does not feel it is the one which has to make the concessions (in practice, this translated into "Vote for Clinton or else Trump" and I fear that 2018 and 2020 will be "Vote for this pro-corporate Dem or else More Trump"; again a feature, not a bug).

T 03.28.17 at 4:27 pm

Corey-

Hiding in plain sight. Welcome back. And hat tip for the admission.

Being a man of ideas I think you particularly underestimated the effect of personality on the election. The visceral disgust with HRC among many working class people in the Midwest was just palpable. If Biden ran he would have walked and we wouldn't be having this discussion. You should get out more.

btw-is it a coincidence that the daughters of Trump and Clinton are married to sons of incredibly wealthy convicted felons? I think the answer is no and I think the question isn't trivial.

T 03.28.17 at 4:59 pm

As to the success of the Trump agenda, a lot of policy is going to be made through regulation, not legislation. We're already seeing this with environmental regulation. Antitrust will likely become even more permissive. The private Obamacare insurance markets will get a push over the cliff. And on and on. My guess is that inequality measures have already surpassed the 1928 peak having just fallen short in 2007 and will just get worse. The top 0.01% and above are making out like bandits with the stock market increase.

He was in over his head on day one. If you're not aware, real estate development shops are tiny(and he's pretty much a branding operation now). Many have less that 100 people. The architects, contractors, etc are all outside. He's never run anything big. Hell, many government departments and agencies have offices and divisions that are larger than his firm. That doesn't mean he can't do a vast amount of damage which he will. We've only seen hints of the mess he'll make of foreign affairs. And when the domestic agenda isn't going well? There's always time for a war.

Finally, if his goal is to do well by himself, his family and his friends, he might consider his presidency very successful indeed. You keep measuring success by you're standards, not his.

bruce wilder 03.28.17 at 5:52 pm

phenomenal cat @ 12

Yep. It is a legitimacy crisis. It was always going to be a legitimacy crisis. (I thought Clinton would win - I was wrong; but I think her prospective election and the narratives attached to it also had the markings of a legitimacy crisis.) Trump is in the hot seat and his clownishness maybe flavors it a bit, but a legitimacy crisis was close to inevitable, even if the outcome of the election in terms of who was elected, was chancier.

Trump's defects of character are not causing the legitimacy crisis - this can be hard to see given how clownish he is and how relentlessly he is attacked, but this recognition may turn out to be important to understand what comes next, as events unfold.

politicalfootball @ 20

"A liberalism that fails to confront monsters enables them, as every left-oriented critic of Barack Obama will tell you. That is, they'll tell you that unless they are talking about Donald Trump, whose supporters, they say, need to be understood and empathized with."

I have to say I have read that paragraph several times and I do not understand what you are trying to say. Maybe it does seem plain to you, but I cannot make sense of it. The first sentence seems plain enough a declaration - no problem there. But, then, I have to connect the first sentence to the second and I am at a loss. Left-wing critics of Obama will not tell you "a liberalism that fails to confront monsters enables them" with regard to Trump? Huh? And, then that second sentence switches to what left-wing critics of Obama would say about Trump's supporters (not otherwise identified) and I am lost without navigational aids. Is Trump the monster? The people who voted for Trump? The people who voted for Clinton? (I voted for neither.)

Your explanation, offered @ 20: What some of [left critics of Obama] can't get a grip on is that this does nothing to justify Trump. Less than nothing, because it's clear that on every axis where Obama was bad, Trump will be worse, and Trump made it clear in advance that he would be worse.

How does anything justify Trump? would be my question (as a left critic of Obama). Trump is not "just" in any common sense of the term. And, how are differences between Obama and Trump relevant, here? (There is a leftish meme that points to the fact that some key counties and states that voted for Obama voted for Trump - are you trying to confront some particular analysis associated with that meme? Just guessing here.)

P.S. Sanders was not a choice in the general election and was arguably disabled, along with the Democratic Party as a whole, by Obama and Clinton. That's a whole 'nother line of argument engaged in by "left critics of Obama" but I cannot tell whether you are taking a particular view on that line or not.

John Quiggin 03.29.17 at 12:49 am

"Both things are true: That Trump exists on a continuum with other Republicans, and that he constitutes a break with the past in some key respects"

This is exactly right

Lee A. Arnold 03.29.17 at 11:30 am

I take it practically, not theoretically. Seven years ago I wrote here, there and everywhere, that Obamacare should be passed, even without a public option, because it will automatically drive the path to a single payer.

It will do this by first hobbling the GOP, by forcing them to choose between tax cuts and universal care, a divide they cannot bridge. (I wrote that we all demand that any tax-cut legislation the Republicans propose, be linked to the spending cuts to cover it, in the SAME piece of legislation: so the public can see their choice. Then, as now, the Republicans always try the "dynamic scoring" excuse - the falsehood that tax cuts "pay for themselves" by causing economic growth in in the future.)

Also, years ago I thought Trump could be the opportunist to insert himself into the Republican crack-up. But I thought would lose this election because the polls put Hillary ahead by 2-3%, and because the voters would see through Trump's braggadocio, and be repelled by his dishonesty & immorality.

Maybe Hillary did actually win, because the Russians hacked into the voting booths too - who knows? Certainly, every Congressperson who goes into a closed-door session with the intelligence community, comes back out, looking like they've been hit by a bomb.

It may be better this way. If Hillary had won, the GOP would still be in full blockade, still causing frustration in the voters, and still coming back to take control in a future election. So let's have the poisons all come out, now

The Wall Street Democrats have been dealt a substantial setback with the ejection of Hillary - and Sanders, an Independent, is now the voice of the opposition party. Sanders is the most popular politician in the U.S., he gets 6 TV cameras on an hour's notice. This is fun! Meanwhile the GOP has to deal with Trump, whose lack of ideology is allowing their internal divide to grow wider. The Democrats, having almost no power, can sit back and enjoy the spectacle (although not for much longer).

There are two problems for the Republicans, in Congress and in the White House:

1. The aforementioned Congressional crack-up between the "moderates" and the Freedom Caucus. Next, they have to get together to deal with the automatic gov't shutdown in less than a month, unless they push up the debt ceiling. And,

2. the Administration's split into the Wall Street crooks in the cabinet, and the "economic nationalist" fantasies of Bannon and the bananans.

I think that the President whom Trump is most like, is Reagan: Trump has a few crackpot ideas, otherwise no attention span, he just wants to be loved in the spotlights. He needs caretakers to run the White House. But there is no one of the expertise of a James Baker, to do it.

My comment under a post by Henry, 7 years ago:

http://crookedtimber.org/2010/07/25/keynesianism-as-an-inadequate-substitute-for-social-democracy/#comment-325240

Donald Johnson 03.29.17 at 4:10 pm

Much of the DC establishment back in 2016 complained that Obama hadn't been tough enough on Assad and the Russians. That's where the "propaganda" about Clinton wanting a war with Russia comes from. It was widespread. There was much talk about the brutality of Aleppo (far more than about the brutality we were supporting in Yemen). It will be interesting to see if Trump's increase in civilian deaths in Mosul will lead to the same cries of war crimes. This is an actual case where Trump really is doing something as bad as Putin, but it's not qualitatively distinct from what Obama was doing, just an increase.

Getting back to Russia, talk of no fly zones meant war in Syria, which risked confrontation with Russia. And Michael Morell had just endorsed Clinton a few days before he advocated killing Russians in Syria on the Charlie Rose show–

http://www.youtube.com/embed/-Ivt2NmbyGg JimV 03.29.17 at 5:40 pm ( 37 )
Anarassie: thanks for the reply. To clear up a possible misunderstanding, in my first paragraph I gave my understanding of what I thought politicalfootball was saying, not my personal opinion. I don't know for sure, but probably some of my relatives and best friends voted for Trump.

That HRC wants to start a war with Russia is phony propaganda is my opinion: a) I have seen no evidence of it that can't be more plausibly explained in another way; and b) I don't think she is crazy.

For example, some have said that her proposal to negotiate a no-fly-zone among the air-powers involved in the Syria conflict, to provide a corridor for refugees and humanitarian aide, was aimed at starting a war with Russia.

I will of course accept that your own view is neither phony nor propaganda to you, since you apparently believe in it. I believe it is propaganda on the part of some (probably no one here), and phony because it is not the truth. (How I wish there were reliable lie-detectors which all candidates and pundits had to pass.)

Oh, and kudos to Lee Arnold for his analysis of the ACA issue. I hope he is also prescient about getting all the poison out of our system in the next four years.

bruce wilder 03.29.17 at 6:13 pm ( 38 )
JimV@31

I do not particularly want to (re-)litigate the election or the politics of lesser evils in the comments of Crooked Timber.

Once we are emotionally committed to some narrative, it can be hard to hear some of what other people are saying, on the terms of the people saying it. I, personally, can say I do not understand what the disputes are that are splitting the Republicans. I have no feel for them at all, but in my ignorance, I pay attention to what CR has to say, to learn if I can. I do have more confidence in my understanding of the major splits among Democrats. I am not saying I have much sympathy for "any Democrat" politics of the kind you espouse. I was a "more and better Democrats" kind of guy for a long time, but you "any Democrat" types prevailed with predictable results and you do not want to own any responsibility for the horrifying result. Imho, of course. I do not propose to hash that out. "More and better" lost and as far as I can tell Sanders is still coming up short; the Obama-Clinton establishment holds fast, able to play a louder media Wurlitzer than I thought they had, and the "any Dems" left in Congress do not look any more effective now than they ever were. As for heaping tribal abuse on Trump voters, I say, have at it, for whatever personal satisfaction it gives. I cannot imagine why you think "left Obama critics" (like me) are somehow inhibiting you or our lack of sufficient enthusiasm for pre-adolescent name calling is a moral deficiency.

Suzanne 03.29.17 at 8:06 pm ( 39 )
@26: "Trump's defects of character are not causing the legitimacy crisis - this can be hard to see given how clownish he is and how relentlessly he is attacked,"

People are certainly being really mean to Orange Julius Caesar by criticizing things he does and says. But they can turn on a dime. Remember how "presidential" Trump was after he managed to get through an address to Congress without making fun of Arnold Schwarzenegger or biting the head off a chicken?

"Clownish" makes him sound rather harmless. A pol can be "clownish" and still be a decent man who is good at his job. Trump is an ignorant and irresponsible grifter who is shamelessly profiteering off the presidency while catering to the most vicious and destructive right-wing elements in American culture. That may be "clownish" to you, but nobody else is laughing.

Lee A. Arnold 03.29.17 at 9:19 pm ( 40 )
JimV #37: "getting all the poison out of our system in the next four years"

That time frame is optimistic!

[Mar 31, 2017] Larry Summers is going rogue but only long after the horse has left the barn

Notable quotes:
"... As head of Barack Obama's National Economic Council during 2009 and 2010 at the height of the foreclosure crisis, Larry Summers broke many promises to help homeowners while simultaneously dismissing Wall Street's criminality. ..."
"... Now, after the Obama administration has left power and Summers has no ability to influence anything, he finds himself "disturbed" that settlements for mortgage misconduct are full of lies. ..."
"... Of course, the Wall Street Democrats, AKA Democratic partisan hacks that infest this blog, spent years defending Obama for his lax treatment of criminal bankers. (And these same folks were also among the most avid advocates of 'trickle down monetary policy,' which involved the Fed's showering cheap money on its owners, the Wall Street banking cartel and their wealthy clientele, while raising the margin over prime rates to their credit card victims/customers.) ..."
Mar 31, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH March 31, 2017 at 10:46 AM

Larry Summers is going rogue? (But only long after the horse has left the barn!)

"As head of Barack Obama's National Economic Council during 2009 and 2010 at the height of the foreclosure crisis, Larry Summers broke many promises to help homeowners while simultaneously dismissing Wall Street's criminality.

Now, after the Obama administration has left power and Summers has no ability to influence anything, he finds himself "disturbed" that settlements for mortgage misconduct are full of lies.

Those of us who screamed exactly this for years, when Summers might have been able to do something about it, are less than amused."

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/30/larry-summers-had-the-power-to-punish-wall-street-now-hes-slamming-obamas-gentle-treatment/

Of course, the Wall Street Democrats, AKA Democratic partisan hacks that infest this blog, spent years defending Obama for his lax treatment of criminal bankers. (And these same folks were also among the most avid advocates of 'trickle down monetary policy,' which involved the Fed's showering cheap money on its owners, the Wall Street banking cartel and their wealthy clientele, while raising the margin over prime rates to their credit card victims/customers.)

[Mar 27, 2017] Michael Hudson: Trump is Obama's Legacy. Will this Break up the Democratic Party?

Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy ..."
"... Naked Capitalism ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... U.S. presidential elections no longer are much about policy. Like Obama before him, Trump campaigned as a rasa tabla ..."
"... There is a covert economic program, to be sure, and it is bipartisan. It is to make elections about just which celebrities will introduce neoliberal economic policies with the most convincing patter talk. That is the essence of rasa tabla ..."
Mar 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on March 26, 2017 by Yves Smith By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy

Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his "America First" policy looks more like "Wall Street First." His cabinet of billionaires promoting corporate tax cuts, deregulation and dismantling Dodd-Frank bank reform repeats the Junk Economics promise that giving more tax breaks to the richest One Percent may lead them to use their windfall to invest in creating more jobs. What they usually do, of course, is simply buy more property and assets already in place.

One of the first reactions to Trump's election victory was for stocks of the most crooked financial institutions to soar, hoping for a deregulatory scythe taken to the public sector. Navient, the Department of Education's knee-breaker on student loan collections accused by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of massive fraud and overcharging, rose from $13 to $18 now that it seemed likely that the incoming Republicans would disable the CFPB and shine a green light for financial fraud.

Foreclosure king Stephen Mnuchin of IndyMac/OneWest (and formerly of Goldman Sachs for 17 years; later a George Soros partner) is now Treasury Secretary – and Trump is pledged to abolish the CFPB, on the specious logic that letting fraudsters manage pension savings and other investments will give consumers and savers "broader choice," e.g., for the financial equivalent of junk food. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hopes to privatize public education into for-profit (and de-unionized) charter schools, breaking the teachers' unions. This may position Trump to become the Transformational President that neoliberals have been waiting for.

But not the neocons. His election rhetoric promised to reverse traditional U.S. interventionist policy abroad. Making an anti-war left run around the Democrats, he promised to stop backing ISIS/Al Nusra (President Obama's "moderate" terrorists supplied with the arms and money that Hillary looted from Libya), and to reverse the Obama-Clinton administration's New Cold War with Russia. But the neocon coterie at the CIA and State Department are undercutting his proposed rapprochement with Russia by forcing out General Flynn for starters. It seems doubtful that Trump will clean them out.

Trump has called NATO obsolete, but insists that its members up their spending to the stipulated 2% of GDP - producing a windfall worth tens of billions of dollars for U.S. arms exporters. That is to be the price Europe must pay if it wants to endorse Germany's and the Baltics' confrontation with Russia.

Trump is sufficiently intuitive to proclaim the euro a disaster, and he recommends that Greece leave it. He supports the rising nationalist parties in Britain, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, all of which urge withdrawal from the eurozone – and reconciliation with Russia instead of sanctions. In place of the ill-fated TPP and TTIP, Trump advocates country-by-country trade deals favoring the United States. Toward this end, his designated ambassador to the European Union, Ted Malloch, urges the EU's breakup. The EU is refusing to accept him as ambassador.

Will Trump's Victory Break Up the Democratic Party?

At the time this volume is going to press, there is no way of knowing how successful these international reversals will be. What is more clear is what Trump's political impact will have at home. His victory – or more accurately, Hillary's resounding loss and the way she lost – has encouraged enormous pressure for a realignment of both parties. Regardless of what President Trump may achieve vis-à-vis Europe, his actions as celebrity chaos agent may break up U.S. politics across the political spectrum.

The Democratic Party has lost its ability to pose as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity except that of wage earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs pledged to promote Wall Street and neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.

They preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump's electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama's. Instead of Trump's victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.

Trying to ride on Barack Obama's coattails didn't work. Promising "hope and change," he won by posing as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to control of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against the George Bush's Oil War in Iraq and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.

But it turned out that Obama's role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well.

Having dashed the hopes of his followers, Obama then praised his chosen successor Hillary Clinton as his "Third Term." Enjoying this kiss of death, Hillary promised to keep up Obama's policies.

The straw that pushed voters over the edge was when she asked voters, "Aren't you better off today than you were eight years ago?" Who were they going to believe: their eyes, or Hillary? National income statistics showed that only the top 5 percent of the population were better off. All the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during Obama's tenure went to them – the Donor Class that had gained control of the Democratic Party leadership. Real incomes have fallen for the remaining 95 percent, whose household budgets have been further eroded by soaring charges for health insurance. (The Democratic leadership in Congress fought tooth and nail to block Dennis Kucinich from introducing his Single Payer proposal.)

No wonder most of the geographic United States voted for change – except for where the top 5 percent, is concentrated: in New York (Wall Street) and California (Silicon Valley and the military-industrial complex). Making fun of the Obama Administration's slogan of "hope and change," Trump characterized Hillary's policy of continuing the economy's shrinkage for the 95% as "no hope and no change."

Identity Politics as Anti-Labor Politics

A new term was introduced to the English language: Identity Politics. Its aim is for voters to think of themselves as separatist minorities – women, LGBTQ, Blacks and Hispanics. The Democrats thought they could beat Trump by organizing Women for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), LGBTQ for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), and Blacks and Hispanics for Wall Street (and a New Cold War). Each identity cohort was headed by a billionaire or hedge fund donor.

The identity that is conspicuously excluded is the working class. Identity politics strips away thinking of one's interest in terms of having to work for a living. It excludes voter protests against having their monthly paycheck stripped to pay more for health insurance, housing and mortgage charges or education, or better working conditions or consumer protection – not to speak of protecting debtors.

Identity politics used to be about three major categories: workers and unionization, anti-war protests and civil rights marches against racist Jim Crow laws. These were the three objectives of the many nationwide demonstrations. That ended when these movements got co-opted into the Democratic Party. Their reappearance in Bernie Sanders' campaign in fact threatens to tear the Democratic coalition apart. As soon as the primaries were over (duly stacked against Sanders), his followers were made to feel unwelcome. Hillary sought Republican support by denouncing Sanders as being as radical as Putin's Republican leadership.

In contrast to Sanders' attempt to convince diverse groups that they had a common denominator in needing jobs with decent pay – and, to achieve that, in opposing Wall Street's replacing the government as central planner – the Democrats depict every identity constituency as being victimized by every other, setting themselves at each other's heels. Clinton strategist John Podesta, for instance, encouraged Blacks to accuse Sanders supporters of distracting attention from racism. Pushing a common economic interest between whites, Blacks, Hispanics and LGBTQ always has been the neoliberals' nightmare. No wonder they tried so hard to stop Bernie Sanders, and are maneuvering to keep his supporters from gaining influence in their party.

When Trump was inaugurated on Friday, January 20, there was no pro-jobs or anti-war demonstration. That presumably would have attracted pro-Trump supporters in an ecumenical show of force. Instead, the Women's March on Saturday led even the pro-Democrat New York Times to write a front-page article reporting that white women were complaining that they did not feel welcome in the demonstration. The message to anti-war advocates, students and Bernie supporters was that their economic cause was a distraction.

The march was typically Democratic in that its ideology did not threaten the Donor Class. As Yves Smith wrote on Naked Capitalism : "the track record of non-issue-oriented marches, no matter how large scale, is poor, and the status of this march as officially sanctioned (blanket media coverage when other marches of hundreds of thousands of people have been minimized, police not tricked out in their usual riot gear) also indicates that the officialdom does not see it as a threat to the status quo." [1]

Hillary's loss was not blamed on her neoliberal support for TPP or her pro-war neocon stance, but on the revelations of the e-mails by her operative Podesta discussing his dirty tricks against Bernie Sanders (claimed to be given to Wikileaks by Russian hackers, not a domestic DNC leaker as Wikileaks claimed) and the FBI investigation of her e-mail abuses at the State Department. Backing her supporters' attempt to brazen it out, the Democratic Party has doubled down on its identity politics, despite the fact that an estimated 52 percent of white women voted for Trump. After all, women do work for wages. And that also is what Blacks and Hispanics want – in addition to banking that serves their needs, not those of Wall Street, and health care that serves their needs, not those of the health-insurance and pharmaceuticals monopolies.

Bernie did not choose to run on a third-party ticket. Evidently he feared being accused of throwing the election to Trump. The question is now whether he can remake the Democratic Party as a democratic socialist party, or create a new party if the Donor Class retains its neoliberal control. It seems that he will not make a break until he concludes that a Socialist Party can leave the Democrats as far back in the dust as the Republicans left the Whigs after 1854. He may have underestimated his chance in 2016.

Trump's Effect on U.S. Political Party Realignment

During Trump's rise to the 2016 Republican nomination it seemed that he was more likely to break up the Republican Party. Its leading candidates and gurus warned that his populist victory in the primaries would tear the party apart. The polls in May and June showed him defeating Hillary Clinton easily (but losing to Bernie Sanders). But Republican leaders worried that he would not support what they believed in: namely, whatever corporate lobbyists put in their hands to enact and privatize.

The May/June polls showed Trump and Clinton were the country's two most unpopular presidential candidates. But whereas the Democrats maneuvered Bernie out of the way, the Republican Clown Car was unable to do the same to Trump. In the end they chose to win behind him, expecting to control him. As for the DNC, its Wall Street donors preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Bernie. They wanted to keep control of their party and continue the bargain they had made with the Republicans: The latter would move further and further to the right, leaving room for Democratic neoliberals and neocons to follow them closely, yet still pose as the "lesser evil." That "centrism" is the essence of the Clintons' "triangulation" strategy. It actually has been going on for a half-century. "As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'." [2]

By 2017, voters had caught on to this two-step game. But Hillary's team paid pollsters over $1 billion to tell her ("Mirror, mirror on the wall ") that she was the most popular of all. It was hubris to imagine that she could convince the 95 Percent of the people who were worse off under Obama to love her as much as her East-West Coast donors did. It was politically unrealistic – and a reflection of her cynicism – to imagine that raising enough money to buy television ads would convince working-class Republicans to vote for her, succumbing to a Stockholm Syndrome by thinking of themselves as part of the 5 Percent who had benefited from Obama's pro-Wall Street policies.

Hillary's election strategy was to make a right-wing run around Trump. While characterizing the working class as white racist "deplorables," allegedly intolerant of LBGTQ or assertive women, she resurrected the ghost of Joe McCarthy and accused Trump of being "Putin's poodle" for proposing peace with Russia. Among the most liberal Democrats, Paul Krugman still leads a biweekly charge at The New York Times that President Trump is following Moscow's orders. Saturday Night Live, Bill Maher and MSNBC produce weekly skits that Trump and General Flynn are Russian puppets. A large proportion of Democrats have bought into the fairy tale that Trump didn't really win the election, but that Russian hackers manipulated the voting machines. No wonder George Orwell's 1984 soared to the top of America's best-seller lists in February 2017 as Donald Trump was taking his oath of office.

This propaganda paid off on February 13, when neocon public relations succeeded in forcing the resignation of General Flynn, whom Trump had appointed to clean out the neocons at the NSA and CIA. His foreign policy initiative based on rapprochement with Russia and hopes to create a common front against ISIS/Al Nusra seemed to be collapsing.

Tabula Rasa Celebrity Politics

U.S. presidential elections no longer are much about policy. Like Obama before him, Trump campaigned as a rasa tabla , a vehicle for everyone to project their hopes and fancies. What has all but disappeared is the past century's idea of politics as a struggle between labor and capital, democracy vs. oligarchy.

Who would have expected even half a century ago that American politics would become so post-modern that the idea of class conflict has all but disappeared. Classical economic discourse has been drowned out by their junk economics.

There is a covert economic program, to be sure, and it is bipartisan. It is to make elections about just which celebrities will introduce neoliberal economic policies with the most convincing patter talk. That is the essence of rasa tabla politics.

Can the Democrats Lose Again in 2020?

Trump's November victory showed that voters found him to be the Lesser Evil, but all that voters really could express was "throw out the bums" and get a new set of lobbyists for the FIRE sector and corporate monopolists. Both candidates represented Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. No wonder voter turnout has continued to plunge.

Although the Democrats' Lesser Evil argument lost to the Republicans in 2016, the neoliberals in control of the DNC found the absence of a progressive economic program to less threatening to their interests than the critique of Wall Street and neocon interventionism coming from the Sanders camp. So the Democrat will continue to pose as the Lesser Evil party not really in terms of policy, but simply ad hominum . They will merely repeat Hillary's campaign stance: They are not Trump. Their parades and street demonstrations since his inauguration have not come out for any economic policy.

On Friday, February 10, the party's Democratic Policy group held a retreat for its members in Baltimore. Third Way "centrists" (Republicans running as Democrats) dominated, with Hillary operatives in charge. The conclusion was that no party policy was needed at all. "President Trump is a better recruitment tool for us than a central campaign issue,' said Washington Rep. Denny Heck, who is leading recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)." [3]

But what does their party leadership have to offer women, Blacks and Hispanics in the way of employment, more affordable health care, housing or education and better pay? Where are the New Deal pro-labor, pro-regulatory roots of bygone days? The party leadership is unwilling to admit that Trump's message about protecting jobs and opposing the TPP played a role in his election. Hillary was suspected of supporting it as "the gold standard" of trade deals, and Obama had made the Trans-Pacific Partnership the centerpiece of his presidency – the free-trade TPP and TTIP that would have taken economic regulatory policy out of the hands of government and given it to corporations.

Instead of accepting even Sanders' centrist-left stance, the Democrats' strategy was to tar Trump as pro-Russian, insist that his aides had committed impeachable offenses, and mount one parade after another. "Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio told reporters she was wary of focusing solely on an "economic message" aimed at voters whom Trump won over in 2016, because, in her view, Trump did not win on an economic message. "What Donald Trump did was address them at a very different level - an emotional level, a racial level, a fear level," she said. "If all we talk about is the economic message, we're not going to win." [4] This stance led Sanders supporters to walk out of a meeting organized by the "centrist" Third Way think tank on Wednesday, February 8.

By now this is an old story. Fifty years ago, socialists such as Michael Harrington asked why union members and progressives still imagined that they had to work through the Democratic Party. It has taken the rest of the country half a century to see that Democrats are not the party of the working class, unions, middle class, farmers or debtors. They are the party of Wall Street privatizers, bank deregulators, neocons and the military-industrial complex. Obama showed his hand – and that of his party – in his passionate attempt to ram through the corporatist TPP treaty that would have enabled corporations to sue governments for any costs imposed by public consumer protection, environmental protection or other protection of the population against financialized corporate monopolies.

Against this backdrop, Trump's promises and indeed his worldview seem quixotic. The picture of America's future he has painted seems unattainable within the foreseeable future. It is too late to bring manufacturing back to the United States, because corporations already have shifted their supply nodes abroad, and too much U.S. infrastructure has been dismantled.

There can't be a high-speed railroad, because it would take more than four years to get the right-of-way and create a route without crossing gates or sharp curves. In any case, the role of railroads and other transportation has been to increase real estate prices along the routes. But in this case, real estate would be torn down – and having a high-speed rail does not increase land values.

The stock market has soared to new heights, anticipating lower taxes on corporate profits and a deregulation of consumer, labor and environmental protection. Trump may end up as America's Boris Yeltsin, protecting U.S. oligarchs (not that Hillary would have been different, merely cloaked in a more colorful identity rainbow). The U.S. economy is in for Shock Therapy. Voters should look to Greece to get a taste of the future in this scenario.

Without a coherent response to neoliberalism, Trump's billionaire cabinet may do to the United States what neoliberals in the Clinton administration did to Russia after 1991: tear out all the checks and balances, and turn public wealth over to insiders and oligarchs. So Trump's his best chance to be transformative is simply to be America's Yeltsin for his party's oligarchic backers, putting the class war back in business.

What a Truly Transformative President Would Do/Would Have Done

No administration can create a sound U.S. recovery without dealing with the problem that caused the 2008 crisis in the first place: over-indebtedness. The only one way to restore growth, raise living standards and make the economy competitive again is a debt writedown. But that is not yet on the political horizon. Obama's doublecross of his voters in 2009 prevented the needed policy from occurring. Having missed this chance in the last financial crisis, a progressive policy must await yet another crisis. But so far, no political party is preparing a program to juxtapose to Republican-Democratic austerity and scale-back of Social Security, Medicare and social spending programs in general.

Also no longer on the horizon is a more progressive income tax, or a public option for health care – or for banking, or consumer protection against financial fraud, or for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, or for a revived protection of labor's right to unionize, or environmental regulations.

It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.

I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.

If this slow but inexorable crash does lead to a political crisis, it looks like the Republicans may succeed in convening a new Constitutional Convention (many states already have approved this) to lock the United States into a corporatist neoliberal world. Its slogan will be that of Margaret Thatcher: TINA – There Is No Alternative.

And who is to disagree? As Trotsky said, fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative.

[Mar 26, 2017] The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their way of life and standards of living is not new

Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova , March 26, 2017 at 04:03 PM
Trump victory was almost 30 years in the making, and I think all presidents starting from Carter contributed to it.

Even if Hillary became president this time, that would be just one term postponement on the inevitable outcome of neoliberal domination for the last 30 years.

I think anybody with dictatorial inclinations and promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC now has serious changes on victory in the US Presidential elections. So after Trump I, we might see Trump II.

So it people find that Trump betrays his election promised they will turn to democratic Party. They will turn father right, to some Trump II.

Due to economic instability and loss of jobs, people are ready to trade (fake) two party "democracy" (which ensures the rule of financial oligarchy by forcing to select between two equally unpalatable candidates) that we have for economic security, even if the latter means the slide to the dictatorship.

That's very sad, but I think this is a valid observation. What we experience is a new variation of the theme first played in 1930th, after the crash of 1928.

The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their "way of life" and standards of living is not new. In 1930th the US ruling class proved to be ready to accept the New Deal as the alternative. In Germany it was not.

Please read

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program

to understand that.

Now the neoliberal oligarchy wants to go off the cliff with all of us, as long as they can cling to their power.

[Mar 26, 2017] Dear Americans: the Democratic Party is purely neoliberal, NOT Left!

Mar 26, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Posted by: nmb | Mar 12, 2017 4:36:54 PM | 4

Dear Americans: the Democratic Party is purely neoliberal, NOT Left!

From Tsipras to Corbyn and Sanders: This is not the Left we want

blues | Mar 12, 2017 4:38:33 PM | 5
The Dems and The Repubs are BOTH austerity mongers. They both want to starve the 99% and wage trillion dollar wars. The spoiler effect induced two party system is what sustains the Deep State.

Of the now literally hundreds of "fancy" voting methods all over the Internet, strategic hedge simple score voting is the only one that specifically enables the common voters to win elections against the two-party empowered Deep State. (All of the many others treat elite interest involved elections as if they were casual "hobby club" elections.)

Too bad we don't have simple score voting. Then we could give between 1 and 10 votes to many candidates. But no votes at all for Hillary the war monger. We might place 8 votes for Bernie (since he is less bad than Hillary (or more accurately, was previously though to be)), 10 write-in votes for Jesse Ventura, and 10 write-in votes for Dennis Kucinich.

Strategic hedge simple score voting can be described in one simple sentence: Strategically bid no vote at all for undesired candidates (ignore them as though they did not exist), or strategically cast from one to ten votes (or five to ten votes, for easier counting) for any number of candidates you prefer (up to some reasonable limit of, say, twelve candidates, so people don't hog voting booths), and then simply add all the votes up.

We must also abolish Deep State subvertible election machines ("computer voting"), and get back to had counted paper ballots, with results announced at each polling station just prior to being sent up to larger tabulation centers.

VietnamVet | Mar 12, 2017 5:45:45 PM | 10
b. Excellent post. The same phenomenon is occurring throughout the Atlantic Alliance. This indicates that all share something in common. It is the neo-liberal economic philosophy of the Oligarchy who have purchased western politicians, media, think tanks and education and are superseding democracy with corporate supranational rule. Inequality and chaos are hardwired into the current system.

nonsense factory | Mar 12, 2017 5:46:22 PM | 11
It's interesting that the Salon piece (essentially the Sanders viewpoint) was written in response to a Vanity Fair piece (the Clintonite viewpoint) that ends with the claim that non-Party members share
. . . the belief that the real enemy, the true Evil Empire, isn't Putin's Russia but the Deep State, the C.I.A./F.B.I./N.S.A. alphabet-soup national-security matrix. But if the Deep State can rid us of the blighted presidency of Donald Trump, all I can say is "Go, State, go."

So that's your Clinton Democrat / McCain Republican viewpoint - aka "neoliberal-neoconservative fascism." Rather tellingly, the Salon piece does not include the world "neoliberal" but just rehashes the stale PR-speak of "liberals vs. conservatives" that dominates mass corporate media in the United States. In reality, policy in Washington is made by politicians and bureaucrats who adhere to neoliberal and neoconservative ideologies and who are really servants of consolidated wealth - the American oligarch class - and their conflicts merely reflect disagreements among the oligarchs; for example do Warren Buffett and George Soros and the Koch Brothers see eye-to-eye on all issues? No, they don't, so their sock puppets like Bush and Clinton have their differences. However, the neocons and neolibs are so close to one another as to be indistinguishable to the average American citizen:

The main similarity between the two is that they have both become known as "technofacists", meaning melders of corporate, state and military power into a few political elites that allow comprehensive control. The left and the right have marched full circle and met one another.

As blues@5 notes above, fixing the electoral system (paper ballots, ranked-choice voting, voting districts that are coherent regional sectors, not octopus-like, maybe drawn along watershed boundaries, etc.) is a key step in breaking their grip on power.

Another critical issue is using anti-trust to break up the media conglomerates and destroy the centralized propaganda system that controls U.S. corporate mass media, in which a handful of Wall Street-owned corporate monsters dictate what kind of news stories are fed to the American public via television, radio and print journalism.

These reforms seem highly unlikely, however, in the current political environment.

What we probably have to look forward to is more likely continued economic downturn and rising poverty. The deep state and establishment politicians are not likely to give Trump anything, and will probably try to push an economic collapse just to make Trump look bad - not that Trump's policies have much to offer; infrastructure looks dead in the water and at best will look like Iraqi Reconstruction 2.0 under GW Bush and Cheney. We'd need an FDR-scale New Deal to turn that around and neither neocons nor neolibs will ever go for that. Instead we'll likely get infighting and factionalism, maybe a war between Trump and the Federal Reserve, etc.

Honestly given the rot in the federal government it seems the only hope is for states to take matters into their own hands as much as possible and set their own policies on rebuilding infrastructure and creating jobs but the federal government and their oligarchic corporate overlords are pressing down on that as well. One hell of a nasty situation for the American people is what it is, and maybe massive Soviet-scale collapse, and a fundamental change in government (as happened with Putin in Russia post-Boris Yeltsin) followed by rebuilding from the ground up is the only way out of this mess.

karlof1 | Mar 12, 2017 6:23:18 PM | 12
Outraged @8--

For too long, I've pointed out that the detailed list of grievances stated in the Declaration of Independence were currently alive and being carried out by the executive of the US federal government; and that if the Patriots of 1776 were correct to revolt from British tyranny, then the US citizenry was just as right and proper to revolt against Outlaw US Empire tyranny. I expounded that position through the comments at CommonDreams.org until I was banned because they went against that website's support for Obama then the Killer Queen HRC.

At the end of the previous thread, I wrote that society has only one tool to control human behavior--culture--and I've long argued that human culture in the great majority of its societies is dysfunctional and has been for quite some time--in what's now the USA, from the founding of Jamestown onward. My view is the culture has reached a level of dystopia well beyond the ability of anyone to return it to a functional state and find myself agreeing with Reg Morrison-- The Spirit in the Gene --that humanity is what's known as a plague species, a conclusion shared by some very powerful minds, https://regmorrison.edublogs.org/1999/07/20/plague-species-the-spirit-in-the-gene/

I don't particularly enjoy reaching such a conclusion given its meaning for my progeny and the remainder of humanity. But unless we--humanity as a whole--can regain control over ourselves through the imposition of a new, stronger--perhaps seen as more ridged--culture capable of suborning vice and desire to a satisfactory fitness for all, then we will reap the results of having grossly overshot our ecological support systems and like other species die-off as Morrison describes. How to accomplish such a radical change in a very short time period given the levels of resistance to such change is really the question of the moment. We know where the root of the problem lies. But uprooting that weed that threatens the garden of humanity presents the greatest challenge to humanity it will ever have to face.

jo6pac | Mar 12, 2017 6:28:13 PM | 14
The demodogs will not change any time soon if ever. They the party leaders are only interest taking all the money the can from supporters small and large giving to friends foundations and consultants.

I vote Green.

karlof1 | Mar 12, 2017 6:40:02 PM | 15
As an example of our dysfunctional culture, I offer this article as exhibit 1, which explores a microcosm of what's essentially systemic dysfunction amid unbelievable corruption, https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/epa-chief-denies-basic-climate-science

CluelessJoe | Mar 12, 2017 6:44:13 PM | 16
It's funny that pseudo-Leftists like Dems, PS, Labour, SD and others don't realize that what Kennedy once said still stands:
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Which is why it's no wonder many of those on the shitty end of the current neo-liberal take-over are flocking to the few really leftist groups and to the numerous and vast ultra-right parties/movements.
Which is also why trying to keep them out of power at all costs - as happens in Europe, most notably in France - or trying to impeach/oust/coup/kill the elected right-wing populist - as happens in the US right now - is a suicidal move. If that sizable fraction of the population never gets anything, never any part of power, not even a bone to gnaw, sooner or later, they'll just get fed up, and when they'll have barely anything of value to lose, they will go nuts. This, of course, would be even worse in the US than in EU, considering that it's the part of society with the guns, the training to use them, and more or less the will to use them if forced to.
But then, as another US president once said, the tree of liberty must be refreshed in blood from time to time - his one famous quote who's conspicuously absent from the Jefferson Memorial. And when I look closely, I can't see any Western country where this "refreshment" isn't long overdue.

Mike Maloney | Mar 12, 2017 7:06:11 PM | 17
You're right, b. Dems will continue to bleed out. A good place to see this will be the special election to replace in Georgia's 6th CD Rep. Tom Price, who took the job to be Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary. Daily Kos and ActBlue are shaking the can raising money for a young Dem staffer named Jon Ossoff. Here's the Daily Kos pitch for Ossof:
But while Price might love him some Trump, his district doesn't feel the same way. In fact, the 6th saw a remarkable shift on election night. Four years ago, voters in this conservative but well-educated area supported Mitt Romney by a wide 61-37 margin. In 2016, however, hostility toward Trump gave the president just a 48-47 win-a stunning 23-point collapse. That dramatic change in attitudes means this seat might just be in play.
The "Women's Strike" on International Women's Day was a dud. The Dems are labeling what they're doing a "Resistance," as if they are fighting a guerrilla war against Vichy. But what they're "fighting" for is really a restoration of Vichy (Trump is more a caudillo) with young corporate-friendly Dems like Ossoff.

Jackrabbit | Mar 12, 2017 7:11:04 PM | 18
jo6pac @14

Unfortunately, the Greens seem to be hobbled. They can't get past the Democratic FEAR machine. And Jill Stein's recounts reeked of collusion with Democrats.

That's why I switched from Greens to Pirate Party. Direct democracy has appeal to anyone that doesn't want rule by a permanent monied class of neolib cronys.

Laguerre | Mar 12, 2017 7:13:57 PM | 19
Actually I don't agree that the Left has lost. There's simply a lack of ideas.

The extreme nationalist right goes in the US because geographically isolated. In Europe it is time limited. In UK Brexit has won for the moment, but it is falling apart, because it can't deliver economic success. (more to see). In continental Europe, the extreme right are not gaining in the polls (Wilders, Le Pen), rather stagnating.

Macron, in france, could have the right attitude, oriented to the young. But it could turn bad.

fairleft | Mar 12, 2017 7:37:19 PM | 20
The managed resistance serves corporate interests, just as the ruling party does. Whichever party is in power. Billions of dollars in 1% money and nearly all the media are behind keeping the 'resistance' and the party in power the only two 'acceptable' vehicles for expressing yourself politically.

But it's worse ... The universities are almost entirely populated by identity politics and/or neoliberal 'left' professors, which of course generates brain-fried future leaders and cadres of the two mainstream parties. Such university environments also mean that alternative, real left research and ideas are severely underfunded and legitimized.

But it's worse ... Even the left opposition to the two party system can't bring itself to (or is too scared to) oppose open borders for economic immigrants. Minimizing immigration had always been standard pro-worker position prior to the rise of identity politics in the 1970s.

Pnyx | Mar 12, 2017 7:52:31 PM | 21
"Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants."
Sorry B, but this is outright bullshit. No country in EU-Europe needs to import cheep labor from not-EU-countries. There are more then enough EU-Europeans in search of better wages. The EU was extended exactly in order to achieve this 'abundance' (o.k. not the only reason). The people you denounce as "simply economic migrants" are not an imported good - they enter the EU against all odds. And many, many are refguees coming from countries ruined by western military interventions.

paul | Mar 12, 2017 7:57:57 PM | 22
I don't know why this blog has to be homophobic, but the basic point is valid - class struggle is the meat and potatoes of the Left

Fedya Trezvin | Mar 12, 2017 7:59:47 PM | 23
Well, if Zero Hedge is anything to go by, in a few years automation will abolish the working class anyway. Then Bill Gates' depopulation scheme will mop up the remnants.

james | Mar 12, 2017 8:00:33 PM | 24
quote from the book ishmael by daniel quinn..

"The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away."
But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats."

Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait."

The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly."

The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!"

But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats."

Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else."

The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats."

The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats."

The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats."

Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned.

The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY."
― Daniel Quinn

EnglishOutsider | Mar 12, 2017 8:12:44 PM | 25

b - exactly so. Thank you.

On the question of the far right, only if substantial sections of the political spectrum are shut out is there scope for the extremists to come in and fill the gap. That is the danger to a minor degree in England and to a greater degree in Continental Europe, as we are told it was the danger in the Weimar republic. Some precedent, that.

I am not sure about the "populist" movements in Continental Europe but the Brexit vote in England and the Trump movement in America do not, in spite of the almost universal assertion to the contrary, represent a swing to the right, let alone the far right. They represent a return to the centre, a centre that has long been shut out in Western politics generally and that is now tentatively re-asserting itself. It is only if that return to the centre fails that we need fear the Neo-Nazis and the like coming in to fill the gap.

Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 12, 2017 8:25:36 PM | 26
Great post, b. Short and sweet and right on the money.

There's certainly a looming trend. Western Australia's 8 year-old (Turnbull affiliated) Liberal Govt was annihilated at the weekend.
On Saturday night the interim result was:
Labor 39, Liberal 11, Nats 4, unresolved 5.
(39 seats in a 59-seat parliament)
Malcolm Turnbull is pretending to be 'philosophical' about it...

jfl | Mar 12, 2017 8:39:46 PM | 27
the 'left' is a gang of 'middle-class' would-be jacobins, directing 'the masses' while eating cake. there is no left, there is no right, there is a top - the few - and a bottom - the many. as b points out the desperately vocal few are left and/or right, they are on their own side of the top, definitely not on the side of us many on the bottom. their policies create more and more of us every day. they are our fathers and mothers in that sense. we will dance on their graves.

b, please don't say 'pseudo democrats' it sounds too jacobin, like the trots at wsws.org and their constant 'pseudo left'. 'fake' will do for pseudo. and it's two fewer key strokes - three in the same row. stick with the bottom against the top.

write what you want of course ... that's just a rant roiling my gut gaining vent.

Kalen | Mar 12, 2017 8:45:09 PM | 28
B in case you do not know (I doubt that) "true left" has been murdered long time ago also in Europe where betrayal of working class interests by the so-called mainstream workers parties/socialists, so-called communists and trade unions in the West was fought on the streets in 1968 Paris and all over the Europe and surprisingly it spilled out to eastern Europe in a form of Prague revolt, Warsaw riots and mass strikes that swept across the eastern block in anger of betrayal of workers interests by the ruling socialist workers parties who turned into a calcified cliques and turned against socialist workers movements and ideals of egalitarianism and equality and started selling out to the Western oligarchs.

It was at that time that under the guise of fake political detente first time massive policies of outsourcing jobs from the western Europe to the Eastern Europe commenced (starting with Hungary and Poland and later in Romania where the Ceausescu's mafia turn away openly from Russian sphere of influence in ideological, economic and political realm) in a ploy to provoke strikes in the West and subsequently shutting down the factories (in fact transferring the production to the eastern block in Europe and/or south America ruled under dictatorships) if demanded by the oligarchs concessions of lowering wages and decrease of benefits was not agreed upon by the Trade Unions.

In other words if Trade Unions did not completely capitulate they close striking factories. Similar tactics have been use in the US under environmental or productivity requirements pretension in 1960-tois and 1970-ties and later openly outsourcing for profits down south Mason-Dickson line parallel and later to Mexico and Asia.

This unified betrayal of working class simultaneously by the West and the East prompted proud vanguard of working class (leftists students of European Universities and some of the trade unions) to respond to the exigent circumstances, to respond to mortal threat to workers movements all over the Europe in 1960-ties and 1970-ties.

These were unsung heroes of last true revolutionary leftist organizations such as ETA, BR, RAF, AD, FLQ (in Canada) who took upon themselves a heroic, revolutionary responsibility for defending vital interests of working people, betrayed by mainstream leftists political parties, via a measured, targeted and restrained self-defense campaign that aimed at threatening and destruction of vital economic and financial interest of European oligarchy including direct assaults on their personal safety and welfare, as a way to, through a personal pain, humanize for them their abhorrent inhumane ways and to make them suffer as working class comrades suffered under their inhuman policies and acts including of violence, intimidation and murder.

This was the last stand of the true left against evil of spawning global neoliberalism that in following decades swept the world with no opposition to speak of left to fight it may be except for neo-Maoist guerrillas in South America and Indian subcontinent. Even anti-imperial Palestinian FATAH has been tamed while Islamic/religious movements have been supported to control leftist tendencies within populations, a consequences of such a cold decision of globalists we live with today.

This was the last stand of the true left in the Eastern and Western Europe against betrayal of the Soviet Union elites, betrayal of the programs and ideals of the international working class struggle they proliferated all over the world.

It was utter betrayal by the descendants of soviet revolutionaries who later transformed the hope for just, socialist egalitarian project into a shallow propaganda façade of a mafia state conspiring with the West to rob their own working people of the national treasure soviet/Eastern Block working class worked hard to produce and preserve for future generations.

The betrayal culminated with a western orchestrated political collapse of Soviet Union while the country was still on sound economic footing despite of cold war military baggage, western embargoes and massive theft of the corrupted party apparatchiks and cronies of Soviet ruling elite in last decade before 1991, in way resembling massive US national treasure theft by US banking mafia especially after 2008.

It is true that true left in US (decades before) and in Europe had to be murdered since it was the last bastion of defenders of working class interests against neoliberal globalist visions of a dystopia under umbrella of US imperial neoconservative rule.

Now voters throughout the world have only two "no choice" choices between full throttle globalist neoliberalism or globalist neoliberalism with national flavor of corrupted Identity Politics of race or nationality, a politics of division to prevent reinsurgency of the true leftist ideology of simple self-defense or working class under assault that naturally brews underneath the political reality of mass extermination and neoliberal slavery.

The call to International Working Class: Proletariat or more appropriately today "Precariat of the World Unite" has not been more appropriate and needed since at least 1848 after collapse of another globalization freed trade sham under umbrella of British empire.

We must unite, and not succumb to a mass manipulation and stay united in solidarity among all ordinary working people who see through provocation and manipulation of identity politics of phony left or phony right and see that they do not have any interest in this fight set up in a way that ordinary people can only lose while cruel inhumane neoliberalism will always win.

lizard | Mar 12, 2017 8:49:04 PM | 29
I contributed to a progressive blog for years until I was finally kicked off for suggesting Bernie was herding progressives into Hillary's tent. I often criticized Obama's foreign policy and the local partisan blogs--when they weren't ignoring the perspective I represented--ridiculed me for being a "conspiracy theorist" when I pushed back against the anti-Russian consensus.

I spent many years working with chronic homeless people in Montana in the "progressive" utopia known as Missoula and when the Democrats that run this town aren't actively making housing more unaffordable with their bonds for parks and endless schemes to gentrify this town into being Boulder, Colorado, they are making symbolic stands against guns and enabling Uber.

now I work with aging individuals and I am learning a lot about the cruel complexity of Medicare and Medicaid. it's already really bad and, sadly, it will only get worse--just in time for the American Boomer generation's silver tsunami to hit entitlement programs.

dh | Mar 12, 2017 8:53:59 PM | 30
I noticed a lot of British Proletariat have moved to the Costa del Sol leaving plenty of job openings for the Polish and Roumanian Proletariat. Not sure if this is a typical European trend.

Andrew Homzy | Mar 12, 2017 10:01:12 PM | 31
It reminds me of the attitudes espoused by Ishmael:

"The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away."
But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats."

Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait."

The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly."

The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!"

But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats."

Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else."

The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats."

The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats."

The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats."

Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned.

The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY."
― Daniel Quinn

Liam | Mar 12, 2017 10:29:22 PM | 32
Here's am investgative post that is quite revealing about Snopes and definitely worth a look.

Examining the Bizarre Facebook Page of the Snopes 'Fact-Checker' of the White Helmets Terrorist Ruse in Syria

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/03/04/examining-the-bizarre-facebook-page-of-the-snopes-fact-checker-of-the-white-helmets-terrorist-ruse-in-syria/

Debsisdead | Mar 12, 2017 10:36:35 PM | 33
Life isn't gonna get better for those who are not born into a solidly upper middle class family until nation states are downsized. amerika needs to be carved up into 40 or 50 - units maybe even more particularly for the large population seaboard 'states'. The one good thing about the brexit the englander tory government is gonna deliver is that it is likely to cause scots and maybe even ulster-people to leave the union.

I've lived in quite a few nation states over the years and have found that a small population state is far more responsive to the needs of its citizens than large ones - even when a mob of carpet-bagging greedheads has jerry-mandered their way into political power in a small state and an allegedly humanist political entity is running the large state this holds true.

As far as I can discern there are two reasons for this or maybe 2 facets of one reason. Firstly even the rightist greedheads cannot shit on any group be it divided by race gender or sexual preference long term in a small population state. The reason is that in smaller population units people tend to know others better and obvious injustices always reach the ears and consciences of rightist voters - even supporters of racist or sexist asshole governments and it results in a backlash. Humanist pols in large entities fall back on 'pragmatic' excuses about 'perception' at the drop of a hat - no different in action than their 'enemy'.
The second reason is the other end of the first. Because of that degrees of separation thing, when you live in a small population political unit, you find you will always know someone who knows any political aspirant. Those with a rep for being greedy, malicious or deceitful cannot hide behind press spokespeople and bullshit for long - they cop the flick quickly.

I have long believed that this is the real motive for the corporatists to support politicians' incessant centralising & empire building.
Claims about large population groups somehow being more efficient are quickly shown to be false when put to the test of reality. In nature biological systems, even those within large entities are localised and full of seemingly inefficient redundancies because one thing evolution has taught is that a system that has inbuilt alternative modes of survivability will keep the entity alive much longer than some 'simple & straightforward' system whose failure means the death or massive disability of the entity. Corporations themselves tend to be labyrinthine full of small similarly named but legally discrete modules because that is what works best, yet corporations keep underwriting politicians who strive to make their 'entity' bigger, more centralised and 'simpler' - why?

Well because political failure is a capitalist's best ally and of course when a political entity is really large as amerika is, it is possible to deceive all the people all the time. The average citizen is a stranger to any/all of the members of the political elite and as such are entirely dependent upon third party information vectors - the so-called mainstream media who push out whatever deceit their masters instruct them to.

I make the point in this thread because too many people appear to believe that it would be possible to reform the amerikan political system despite the fact that helluva lot have already tried and failed long before they got anywhere near the centre of power.

It just isn't possible because of the simple principle that anyone who is capable of convincing large numbers of people who he/she has never had any personal contact with, to support their 'character', ideas and political objectives is by virtue of their success, unworthy of anyone's vote.

No person can convince that many strangers without resorting to some form of gamesmanship and that makes them a bad choice. There is no way around that reality yet most citizens adopt the usual cognitive dissonace every election cycle and pay no heed to what should be blindingly self-evident.

Nur Adlina | Mar 12, 2017 11:31:27 PM | 34
Finally!...this is where all mericans eyes and ears has to be, i.e if they still have them...non is so blind as those who refuse to see.Clean your own backyards before commenting on or trying to clean others.

NemesisCalling | Mar 12, 2017 11:34:46 PM | 35
b's premise is that disenfranchised voters will go the polls for far right interests under the promise of nationalistic interests and the policy that springs from this. However, I do not believe that they will rue the day for this choice from being squeezed out. The Nazi party ascension was a huge success for bread and butter interests of the common kraut. Autobahn, infrastructure, industry: this nationalism scared the allies enough to go to war with Germany for asserting it's independence and own interests. Are we Weimar Germany? No, no, no. Our military is already to the hilt and yet is being halted in its advance by Russia, Iran, etc. You can't keep squeezing the same lemon and expect more lemonade. The only option for Trump is to invest in America again, period. Anything less or a further downward trajectory will only incite the deplorables more and Trump would be gone after four years, and maybe sooner to the clicking of boots marching on the White House. Something truly unpredictable and unexpected might transpire at that juncture.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:25:36 AM | 36
@ nonsense factory | Mar 12, 2017 5:46:22 PM | 11

You said:
/~~~~~~~~~~
As blues@5 notes above, fixing the electoral system (paper ballots, ranked-choice voting, voting districts that are coherent regional sectors, not octopus-like, maybe drawn along watershed boundaries, etc.) is a key step in breaking their grip on power.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, what the "election methods cognoscenti" call "ranked-choice voting" always fails spectacularly. It is quite different than what they call "score voting", which can actually work, if kept simple enough.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:31:00 AM | 37
@ Debsisdead | Mar 12, 2017 10:36:35 PM | 33

Actually, there is a way around that. If a candidate has a previous "track record" from lower levels of power, then that can usually be relied upon.

Erelis | Mar 13, 2017 12:41:14 AM | 38
Like other people never heard of Preet Bharara. Appears he was called the "Sheriff of Wall Street". Looked up his record and yes, he did not put any banksters in jail. Lots of fines which were tax deductible I believe. Strange Sheriff who has no jail. I would bet he joins a Wall Street legal firm and gets paid six-to-seven figures to defend the banksters.
This is where Wall Street feared Sanders--Bernie appeared to insist the Sheriff's he appointed actually have jails.

guy | Mar 13, 2017 12:57:55 AM | 39
A safe bet: next wednesday ultra right-wing Geert Wilders will win the dutch elections, after the diplomatic row with sultan-wanna-be Erdogan. And then Marine Le Pen...

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 1:21:57 AM | 40
In the US, the Democrats and Republicans are two wings on the same bird.
Left wing, Right Wing
The US is a democratic theme park, where the levers and handles are not attached to anything,
whose only purpose is to deceive the masses into thinking that
they make a "difference"

Debsisdead | Mar 13, 2017 1:38:06 AM | 41
blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:31:00 AM |
Yep they can be relied upon to be corporate slaves for sure I cannot think of a single example over the past 50 years of any amerikan pol who succeeded at a national level, who wasn't a forked toungued corporate shill.
There are plenty of examples of pols whose history at a low level 'seemed OK' - where their occasional examples of perfidy could be dismissed as just having to toe the party line; "Once he's his own man/woman he will really strut his/her stuff for the people" a certain Oblamblamblam comes to mind as the most egregious recent example - when they get in power everyone gets to see what whores they always were. Whores concealing their inner asshole to get into real power. That type of duplicity is much more difficult to pull off in smaller populations - it gets found out and the pol really struggles to get past the bad reputation chiefly because a lot of voters can put a face to the 'victim' which makes the evil palpable.

What I find really odd is the way that even self described lefties who acknowledge the massive evil committed by amerika still seek to evade and/or justify the evil.
It goes to show how brainwashed all amerikans are. I guess they think everyone feels that way - when people who haven't been subjected to that level of conditioning about their homeland actually don't hold that blind 'right or wrong determination. I like where I live now and everything else being equal probably would go in to bat for my friends or family if this country somehow got into a tussle. But I would back off and advocate for the other side in a heartbeat if I felt the nation I lived in was doing wrong.
I was living in Australia when Gulf War 1 kicked off and up until that point I doubt there was a more dedicatedly loyal Australian but the cynical decision to suppoft GH Bush made by the Australian Labor Party just wouldn't wash and without wanting to be accused of the current heinous crime de jour ie virtue signalling, I like many others took a stance against my adopted nation that cost me professionally & personally. This was no great achievement by me, it was easy because I hadn't been indoctrinated into any sort of exceptionalism.
Yet I see the effects of the cradle to the grave conditioning amerikans are subjected to in the posts on virtually any subject made by amerikans.
That of itself makes the destruction of amerika essential, a prerequisite that must be met if there is to be any real change in the amerikan political structure.

psychohistorian | Mar 13, 2017 2:10:27 AM | 42
@ Debsisdead who wrote about ".....how brainwashed amerikans are." and
"
What I find really odd is the way that even self described lefties who acknowledge the massive evil committed by amerika still seek to evade and/or justify the evil.
"
I live in the belly of the beast you want to destroy. What exactly is it that I should do to effect your goal? I continue to struggle with knowing that. I also disagree that it is amerika that must be destroyed but the tools of those that control our world.......private finance.

I also want to state to commenter karlof1 that her call for focus on "culture" is exactly what I think I am attacking by wanting to end private finance. And I had the pleasure of studying under an anthropologist for a year and very much appreciate that perspective on our current social maladies. I think that anthropological characterizations of our species are harder to misrepresent than history....hence my reference to tenets of social organization, etc.

We need some adults in the world to stand up to the bastardization of language and communication.

Any form of social organization not based on any type of compulsion is inherently socialistic. If we can agree to socialize the provision of water, electricity, etc. why can't we do the same for finance?

Probably for the same reason we continue to prattle on about right/left mythologies and ignore the top/bottom reality.

Effective brainwashing.

OSJ | Mar 13, 2017 2:46:24 AM | 43
b, excellent analysis. Amerika is rotten to its core. There are no cures..... just sit and watch on the sideline for these tugs NeoCon, NeoLiberal, progressive etc.. Kill themselves and blames it on Putin.

I hold two valid passports, neither better than the other. Hot frying pans, hot boiling oil?

ben | Mar 13, 2017 2:50:50 AM | 44
b said.."When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that."

You nailed b, with that one paragraph!!

ben | Mar 13, 2017 3:01:25 AM | 45
P.S.- When the microphones are owned by the wealthy, they're the only voices heard by the masses.

Peter AU | Mar 13, 2017 3:17:27 AM | 46
41

Private finance... most countries have a reserve bank. Yours has the fed.
Your country has made private money an ideology and tries to export this ideology around the globe. The opposite extreme to collective communism.
Most countries have foreign policy and foreign ministers. When I looked up the websites of Your presidential candidates, none had a foreign policy. In place, all had war policy. Sanders had his titled war and peace.

Most countries have foreign ministers. Your country has a secretary of state. I guess when you are a country that feels it has the god given right to rule the world, no country is foreign, all are vassal states.

Your country needs to collapse, or be destroyed, to knock this ideology out of the inhabitants, and then rebuilt as a normal country.

What the US is now, is just a natural progression of its foundations.

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 3:58:36 AM | 47
Thank you b, for stating the essential question.

I think there's no left left for the simple reason that it's role in the system, at least since the end of ww2, became void after 91. No competing system, no need for niceties, back to the 30's, plenty of unfinished business, 80 years of taxes to get back. New Deal and European Social Model are obsolete. The armies of workers offshored, what is left is a kind of lumpen, busy fingering their smartphones. A highly educated lumpen, probably the highest educated generation ever, but lumpen nonetheless, Indoctrinated by all media to individualism, their atomization seems assured. I wonder if anyone under 30 reads MoA. Might be wrong but looks like most of us are over 60 considering the muppet like kind of grumpyness that erupts so often.

There are drops in the ocean, in places were solidarity still has strong roots. Marinaleda (sorry, the english wiki sucks, a machine translation from the spanish wiki is certainly more informative) 0% unemployment, equal pay to all residents, housing provided through self-building, the city council provides plot, technical supervision, building materials, charges 15 euros monthly rent. Collective economy based on farming, husbandry and industrial transformation of it's products. I repeat, equal pay to all residents 1,128 euros for 35 hours a week. Just a drop in the ocean, but a worthy one.

Elsewhere true social-democracy can be found in Latin America. Nicaragua, Venezuela, Equador, Bolivia, Uruguay pop up as examples that neoliberalism, racism and neocolonialism can be defeated, on their terms, even if there are setbacks like Brazil and Argentina. There one can find rivers of solidarity. Telesur english keeps you up to date, with better coverage on Syria than CNN.

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 4:47:48 AM | 48
Sorry, missed the monthly after 1,128 euros:

equal pay to all residents 1,128 euros monthly for 35 hours a week.

better correct it before you all start flocking to Andalucia

Anonymous | Mar 13, 2017 5:30:31 AM | 49
Very good post b,
leftists parties is a joke today there is no other way to put it, its a real shame and a real tragedy.

Also on this topic:
PROBLEMS WITH SWEDISH MEDIA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t20xx5Khov0&feature=youtu.be&t=275

Anonymous | Mar 13, 2017 6:06:42 AM | 50
Although b you actually forgot the 2 new things the leftist parties have embraced:

*Anti-russian racism and
*Warmongering

Greg Bacon | Mar 13, 2017 6:37:39 AM | 51
All those USAG's and IG's and NO one wants or has investigated where all those Pentagon missing trillions went to?
Ditto for the MSM, who use all that print space pushing to let men dressed as women use the little girl's bathroom. The USA project has failed, it's Kaput, time to turn out the lights.

Yonatan | Mar 13, 2017 7:07:07 AM | 52
The 'Left' has been bought by the oligarchs, just like the media, the NGOs, the 'human rights' organizations, etc. Tony Blair was perhaps the most blatant example, especially with his 'third way', undefined by him to this day. I guess it tried to merge bits from the right such as Nationalism and bits from the left such as Socialism, but who knows!


FecklessLeft | Mar 13, 2017 7:29:46 AM | 53
I highly recommend Chris Hedge's book "The Death of the Liberal Class." One of my favourite reads ever.

More concise lectures are available on YouTube for those who won't pick up a book.

mischi | Mar 13, 2017 8:14:16 AM | 54
I am German but not living in Germany. I am disgusted with my compatriots. They seem to have bought the line that in order to atone for their parents or grandparents' crimes they have to open the doors to the dregs of the Earth and let themselves get plundered and their daughters raped without a protest. Meanwhile, the German police continue to prosecute Germans for any transgression, including speaking out about it.

jfb | Mar 13, 2017 9:03:12 AM | 55
So the left is good at pointing to its own flaws & decay but your simplistic view of a "static" right that doesn't evolve and alway represent the "evil" is laughable. Both the left and right have merged on most issue, it's a system of croony capitalism with a big government and where "financial capitalism" has destroyed industrial capitalism and innovations. Who would invest to hire employees or innovate if it's more lucrative to sell private bonds to a central bank or "buy back" the shares of the cies (to boost their price with a loan in order to get a "productivity" bonus?
A long, long time ago both left/right were pretending to offer a solution and improve the living standards, one faction with individual liberties, low taxes and a sound money policy (gold & silver) while the left was fighting against inequalities and proposing wealth redistribution with a big government & taxes. Both the left & right started to be coopted in the 1960's

TG | Mar 13, 2017 10:08:39 AM | 56
"Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep [sic: that should be "cheap"] labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants. (Even parts of the German "Die Linke" party are infected with such nonsense.)"

Kudos. It's rare to see someone intelligent admit that an open borders immigration policy is all about cheap labor, period. Bernie Sanders started to say that, but after a couple of days of being screamed at for his 'racism' he of course folded.

I note that by refusing to acknowledge that importing massive numbers of workers we are pushing wages down, we are also responsible for the misery in places like Yemen and Somalia etc. How can we expect people in these places to stop having more children than they can afford, when our Nobel-prizewinning whores keep screaming that more people are always better? I mean, if we propagandize that eating arsenic is wonderful (or at lest not an issue), and people somewhere else keep eating arsenic, we are to blame.

Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13, 2017 10:08:55 AM | 57
The characteristics which define Right-wingers are...
1. They are are obliged to believe their own bullshit in order to sell it to the masses.
2. Bribery is an indispensable component of Modern Democracy.
3. Whenever one of their inane schemes backfires, it's ALWAYS somebody else's fault, NEVER their own.

Malcolm & the Liberals will spend the next 6 months looking for scapegoats (with their fingers in their ears - another R-W trait).

WorldBLee | Mar 13, 2017 10:15:36 AM | 58
Democrats become neoliberal Republicans, letting actual Republicans get elected. Rinse and repeat while blaming Russia for failure. That is the center-right mantra of the elite Democrats and their NGO supporters (who are well paid to represent the party line without deviation, if they deviate they get cut off). Yet my Democrat friends howl that I'm a Trump supporter because I wouldn't vote for Hillary.

The unfortunate truth is that outside of protest votes there is no political force in America for dissenters to turn to outside of what they can do on their own. The two-headed hydra of the Demopublicans appears to be fighting against itself now but in reality they still agree on most issues, to the detriment of all working people.

nonsense factory | Mar 13, 2017 10:36:25 AM | 59
@35 Your version of "score voting" is clearly the best approach to "ranked choice voting" as currently used. Also, using paper ballots that are counted by optical scanning machines? That's just as subject to hacking as electronic voting machines are, since nobody is going to back and hand-count those paper ballots.

But really, under current finance rules, the oligarchs tightly control the electoral process via their control of corporate media and their ability to run puppet candidates against any honest politicians who defy their agenda. Ultimately this is why politicians gravitate towards the BS issues describe by b, i.e.

"When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that."

But addressing the well-being of the working people - wages, homes, affordable healthcare for their parents and education for their children - that impacts multinational corporate profits. This is why politicians steer clear of such issues - they don't want to incur the anger of the oligarchs, who can spend millions to get them removed from office. Journalists do the exact same thing, wanting to keep their jobs in corporate media outfits controlled by Wall Street oligarchs. This is highly similar to how the oligarchs ran Russia during the Boris Yeltsin era.

There are clearly many similarites between the Russian billionaires of that era and their various American counterparts today, from the Silicon Valley billionaires to the oil & gas billionaires to the finance billionaires; they could never have made all that money without the active cooperation of politicians and bureaucrats who serve their interests in Washington as well as in many state governments. This vast extraction of wealth from the middle class, coupled with a desire to control the whole world and move money freely across borders without restrictions, and to use the military to invade and crush any countries who don't go with the program, that's what the neocon-neolib agenda is all about.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:38:02 AM | 60
When people like b start to make tremendous confusion between the Neoliberal Democratic party and the Left, I fear things will go from bad to worse ...
Confusing Neolib and Left after all these years, b? There's no light at the end of the tunnel, huh?
We've heard stupid people say that Hitler was Socialist ... after all the NSDAP had the "S", hadn't it? But they are stupid people, right?
Now this?

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 11:22:07 AM | 61
Perimeter @ 59

What should we then call left in Yankeeland?

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:24:05 AM | 62
Well-meaning populist politicians throughout history are either bought off or assassinated.

Populist rhetoric is tolerated (and necessary for R vs. D political theater to function).

The rhetoric is one thing. BUT if anyone actually DOES anything of value for the common people, he will be maligned, castigated, shunned and soon become enmeshed in a manufactured scandal.

Corruption has totally overwhelmed the system.

dh | Mar 13, 2017 11:48:17 AM | 63
@60 Unorthodox gringos.

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:49:16 AM | 64
When the fake left embraced war (with all the money for crony war profiteers - no money for the commons) it abandoned its ideology.

The brilliantly-played Charles Manson Psyop killed the anti-war (peace) movement in one stroke.

They couldn't make Castro's beard fall off, but they got the hippies to shave and cut their hair and become Republicans.

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:54:46 AM | 65
Democrats more likely to accept gifts from lobbyists; while Republicans prefer cash in brown paper bags under the desk.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:02:18 PM | 66
@ nonsense factory | Mar 13, 2017 10:36:25 AM | 58

What the "election methods cognoscenti" call "ranked-choice voting" is quite distinct from "score voting" With the score voting method I described you could give from (1) to (10) votes to up to (12) candidates. So you could give, for example, (10) votes to Candidates (A), (B), and (C), and (8) votes to (D), (E), and (F). But with ranked choice voting, you cannot do that, since you must "rank" the candidates in an "ordinal" fashion. This could look like: (A) > (B) > (C) >(D) > (E) > (F). And this forced "ranking" leads to astonishingly complex dilemmas. So, score voting is definitely not a version of ranked voting.

I did insist on "hand counted paper ballots" because ballot scanning machines are absurdly complex, and can easily be hacked. Remember that the Deep State will always completely control anything that becomes sufficiently complex. The fine print on insurance policies is an example.

While I'm here, I might as well point out that the "holy founding fathers" of the U.S. despised the concept of democracy (except perhaps for a few, maybe Franklin). You can read all about this (it's a somewhat long read, but well worth the time) at:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Enough-with-the-Holy-Founders-Undemocratic-Constitution-20150531-0025.html

Yes, it's all true!

ALberto | Mar 13, 2017 12:07:53 PM | 67
b,

"gluten free food"

Take a look at the Italian Cooking Show ladies. They aren't fat. Their immune system see gluten as an invader causing physical inflammation.

Personally if I eat gluten my lower gut blows up like an inflated bicycle tire. Gluten intolerance is not a trend. Check out online videos titled 'wheat belly.'

The wheat we eat today has been genetically modified mainly to increase crop yields.

Gluten intolerance is not a fad.

Tim | Mar 13, 2017 12:10:39 PM | 68
Yep. There's a reason the Democratic Socialists of America has seen a huge explosion in growth over the past year. The Democratic Party has no soul, and the DSA, by far the most major democratic socialist group in the country, is benefiting from Bernie Sanders constantly calling himself a "democratic socialist." If Democrats don't take their cue from this and other leftist groups, they're going to lose elections for decades to come. We need policies that work for the people, not neoliberal giveaways to corporations or conservative policies outright hostile to people who aren't rich.

LXV | Mar 13, 2017 12:15:29 PM | 69
What do you call a Social-Democracy without social-democrats?

Although many have called the "crisis of social-democracy" in previous years (especially after the "crash" of 2007-8), so far it is James Corbett that has given us the most extensive non-scholar research on How The Left Stopped Worrying and Learned to Embrace War


Bonus reading: AD Lavelle's academic case-study on the transformation of Swedish and German social-democracy into neo-liberalism .

RudyM | Mar 13, 2017 12:24:23 PM | 70
all I can say is "Go, State, go."

This is disturbingly close to what a co-worker said to me, before knowing my views about the matter, when US-backed forces were overthrowing Gaddafi in Libya: "Go, rebels, go!" He said he "normally" wasn't pro-war. A lot of ditzy liberals out there.

NemesisCalling | Mar 13, 2017 12:29:32 PM | 71
b states that the disenfranchised will rue the day they threw in their card for the far-right. I am not sure that this reality will pan out here in the states, though I am unsure what will ultimately transpire. My reasonING for this goes back to the nazification of Germany and the great benefits to that nationalist movement in general. Autobahn, infrastructure, industry: their new deal was very beneficial for the common kraut in addressing their concerns, though this nationalism scared the shit out of the global finance cabal and hence war. I am not entirely versed as to the legitimacy of their claim to Poland or the moral implications of that seizure, though the ethnic cleanses in the Russian steppes were evil.

My point is that nationalism could be one of the only forces that could bring down the global finance elite. This propelled me to vote for Trump and to hold out hope for a while. My thought is that we already have military spending covered and I don't see how the trickle down of more military spending would impress the deplorables too much. If Trump wants a 2.0, he will have to invest in another new deal. And what choice does he have? Continually being blocked my Russia and Iran? I am not convinced yet of his total idiocy, but if he continues along a neoconservative route, there will be little doubt. I guess tyrannies are stupid after all. Are Americans that stupid, too? We'll see.

Curtis | Mar 13, 2017 12:44:36 PM | 72
Clueless Joe 16
I've started to like that JFK quote more and more these days, too. At the time he did not mean it for the US but it truly applies here.

Noirette | Mar 13, 2017 12:55:23 PM | 73
1945 - 2000 +. In Europe the 'Left' was overcome in principally 2 ways.

1) Was the 'red scare of communism', i.e. against the USSR - old memes now home again. Even though there were some quite strong Communist parties, particularly in France. (Today, the ex-leader of the dead communist party, R. Hue, has come out supporting Macron.) The 'liberals' (economic liberalism) of course used any tool and propaganda to hand.

2) The expansion of W economies, 1950-1980 (about), that so to speak 'lifted all boats', and afforded for ex. cars, fridges, TVs, and at the start, just the basics like a small flat and some electricity, and water plus a flush toilet (or better services for small houses) plus universal free education (to age 14-15) and some basic health / social care. Transport flowered (fossil fuel use and railways) As opposed to living in a hut in a filthy slum though rurals were always better off. The economy basically boomed and jobs, even if ugly and badly paid, were available. This was all a tremendous advance and it was credited to a 'liberal' economic model. NOT-communist. (Though it had nothing to do with any political arrangement per se. See Hobsbawm on the USSR.)

Later, Third-wayers (Bill Clinton, Tony Blair..) tried to 'snow' ppl who would become 'poorer' with fakey Socialist-Dem party platforms, actually favoring the 'rich' (Corps, Finance, MIC, Big Gov..), in an attempt to keep ppl quiet. This 'third way' has now failed, ppl turn where they can, for now it is voting for the 'alt-right' (Trump, Wilders, Le Pen..) along a sort of nationalist line, which seems to contain germs of proto-fascim (as some would say), but which is actually principally directed against the PTB.

juliania | Mar 13, 2017 1:00:44 PM | 74
I haven't yet read comments, but actually I don't agree with the title of this piece, though the point about no left is certainly valid. I really can't see folk just swinging far right because there is nowhere else to go, since at least in this country, the US, we were burned so badly by the right - the right took us into Iraq and we have not escaped the horrors there even now. No way we're going back to that group of crazies just because another group of crazies, and now apparently Trump as well, are marching to the same bloody tune. We are being smothered by all of them.

I'm no prognosticator - I can't see the future. All I can do is say this ongoing spilling of blood is not what I voted for, and thank heavens I did not vote for Trump. I don't blame those who did, thinking he might break the mold. In doing that, they were not 'voting far right.' They were voting for what Trump said he would do, act peacefully towards each country, take care of citizens' grievances. He hasn't, and now we know. What happens next is anyone's guess but it won't be more of the same, not in this country. Experience does matter, and when we sort ourselves out and finish licking our wounds, us deplorables will build on what has come before. And perhaps in other countries citizens facing such non-choices and aware of what has happened here will trim their sails accordingly.

Almand | Mar 13, 2017 1:11:30 PM | 75
The great tragedy of the collapse of the left is that there will be nobody around to protect the minorities who live in the nations of the West. As a nonwhite American, I see the polarization of politics around racial lines is a catastrophe waiting to happen. The Democrats want to play the good cop, using fear of to control their minority vote bank while doing sweet F A for their communities that they profess to love so much. The Trumpian right has now dropped all pretense and is openly embracing white supremacy, race baiting for votes and stirring up all kinds of anti-foreigner sentiment on top of the folksy old fashioned racism done by "good" GOPers. As disgusting as the smug, patronizing prejudice of liberals is, the wild vitriolic hatred found in parts of the white community is backed up with state force. Even when faced with this reality, the Democratic party views discussions of economic issues as pandering to the "deplorables"! Never mind the rampant poverty and unemployment in black and latin ghettoes, talking about jobs is racism! They will continue this political death spiral and we will pay the price. There have been two shootings I know of where Indians (mistaken for Muslims by rednecks hopped up on hate) and I'm sure we'll see plenty more. God help Europe when their right wingers crack down on the Muslims. You think the young are being radicalized now? You ain't seen nothing yet.

RudyM | Mar 13, 2017 1:22:29 PM | 76
That of itself makes the destruction of amerika essential

You left out two k's.

Noirette | Mar 13, 2017 2:05:24 PM | 77
Juliana at 73 wrote about Trump voters.

I don't blame those who did, thinking he might break the mold. In doing that, they were not 'voting far right.' They were voting for what Trump said he would do, act peacefully towards each country, take care of citizens' grievances.

Yes, right on. And that extends to all the 'nationalist' voters. What they - perhaps confusedly for some - are trying to effect is a timid step in the present horrific political landscape, towards having a say, >> having the space, and scope, of decision-making circumsribed, and made not only smaller, but more rigidly, clearly defined - in this case down to nation size where the ppl may hopefully garner some more power.

The labels 'right' and 'left' of course are nonsense, but we all use them as 'tags' for e.g. Dems vs. Reps, and that's ok, as long as everyone undertands the short-hand. Being 'nationalist', 'anti-globalist', 'localist', 'community oriented' (footnotes skipped) is not left or right, it doesn't project to any point on the left-right polarity. Nor does it relate to an authoritarian, controlling axis. vs. a libertarian one. But of course these challengers are painted as Hitler 'nationalist' stooges and putative vicious invaders, war mongers, conquerers, as is for ex. Putin.

ruralito | Mar 13, 2017 2:29:32 PM | 78
Lefties fight imperialism, and by fight I don't mean metaphors.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 3:07:30 PM | 79
@60

And why should we call something "Left" in Yankeeland?
Why, if there is nothing not even close of this there?

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 3:11:23 PM | 80
Just for the record, someone seems to be attempting to use/mimic my Permetr name with post number 78.
Not appreciated, Mr. Troll.

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 3:29:58 PM | 81
And if anyone is interested, I chose the name "Perimetr" because that is the way my friend Colonel Yarynich spelled it . . .

Also known as the "Deadhand" system, Perimetr is a semi-automated system through which a retaliatory nuclear strike can be ordered by a decapitated Russian National Command Authority. Perimetr came into being in the 1980s and appears to still be functional. You can read a detailed analysis of it in the book by Colonel Valery Yarynich, "C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation" (if you can get your hands on a copy). https://www.amazon.com/C3-Nuclear-Command-Control-Cooperation/dp/1932019081

Perimetr uses emergency communication rockets to issue launch orders to any (surviving) Russian nuclear forces; such orders would automatically trigger a launch of these forces without further human intervention. The crew that mans the Perimetr launch control center requires several things to happen before they launch: (1) an initial preliminary authorization from the National Command Authority following the detection of an incoming attack, (2) a complete loss of communication on all channels (various radio frequencies, land lines, etc) with the National Command Authority, and (3) a simultaneously set of positive signals from seismic, optical, and radiological nuclear detonation detectors indicating that a nuclear attack has occurred.

At that point, the crew is ordered to launch the ECRs. This "Deadhand" launches the missiles even after those who gave the preliminary launch order have been incinerated in a nuclear strike. Valery thought that Perimetr added a measure of safety having the system, in that it would make it less likely that the NCA would launch a "retaliatory" strike (Launch on Warning, LOW) before nuclear detonations confirmed the strike was real (if the warning was false, then the "retaliatory strike" would actually be a first strike . . . hence Perimetr offers some certainty of retaliation for choosing to "ride out" a perceived attack). I took less comfort that did Valery, as I found it disconcerting that there was a non-human mechanism or means to order a Russian nuclear attack.

see "Launch-Ready Nuclear Weapons: A threat to all nations and peoples" http://www.psr.org/nuclear-weapons/launch-ready-nuclear-weapons.pdf and http://thebulletin.org/2004/may/lets-go-no-low

Paul Cockshott | Mar 13, 2017 6:29:31 PM | 82
@21
The aim of importing cheap labour is to allow continued expansion of capital without depressing the rate of profit. Unless the labour force constantly expands, any accumulation of capital tends to drive down the rate of profit in two ways: 1) it raises the ratio of capital stock to national income, so if the wage share remains the same, the rate of profit falls; 2) Accumulation of capital faster than the growth of the labour force creates a sellers market for labour and allows real wages to rise. For these two reasons big business favours rapid immigration.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:14:10 PM | 83
@80

Are you illiterate?
"Perimeter" is graphically different of "Perimetr". In addition and mainly, interested people can differentiate one from the other ideologically. So do not worry, kid.

Fernando Arauxo | Mar 13, 2017 11:03:07 PM | 84
The thing is black people in USA are fed up. White people (including some jews) are fed up. Black people have been marginalized and are no longer the primary darlings of the Bleeding Heart Party. You must add as well that many of them like Carson are quite conservative and wealthy, so they go Republican. One cannot discount the very high sense of patriotism that many Afro-Americans feel for the USA. They can smell the BS.
"White's", can be racially disparaged, mocked, used and abused and it O.K.
You can call a certain segment of the population; "White Trash", white bitch, fucking cracker, honky, racist, etc, etc and they just have to take it.
You can openly say that it's no longer their country, that they will no longer be the majority, if you are an immigrant and have a short time in USA, you are toasted and cheered while saying it. So soft genocide against "whites" is ok.
This is wrong and it's true what B say's, there is nothing LEFT. I gave Obama 8 and I'm still waiting for my change.

Willy2 | Mar 14, 2017 3:55:52 AM | 85
- Someone in a townhall meeting asked a Democratic representitive: "What do the Democrats stand for". And the representitive replied with platitudes. and the whole thing was captured on video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9KyR86CZ1E

john | Mar 14, 2017 8:01:55 AM | 86
the left in America is small and estranged, like an illegitimate child. the blacks fucked up long ago when they aligned with the Democratic Party, which, as we know, is just a gaggle of pro-war liberals. their reckoning is on its way...like a bad asteroid.

jfl | Mar 14, 2017 9:07:47 AM | 87
@67 ALberto

i'd check out the relationship between the exponential growth in the use of glyphosate, decimated microbial populations in the human gut as a result of its use, and the sudden eruption of gluten intolerance. that'd get any biochemist / epidemiologist fired in short order, or demonized on publication. i'm sure that's why we haven't seen it.

estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 10:23:35 AM | 88
jfl @ 87

Right, plus the other wonder trans, bacilus thuringiensis.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 10:33:11 AM | 89
@ Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 14, 2017 3:55:52 AM | 85

Thank you for the link. Succint & concise. Tragicomedy(sic) ... :(

What was highlighted with cutting clarity is what the average Joe & Betty six-pack, and not just Stateside, throughout the 'West' are primarily up in arms about, IMV. And the Owned & Controlled, Corporate 'Mainstream' Mega-Media will not touch it nor even acknowledge 'it' ... hopefully the scales will fall from enough peoples eyes to awaken from the somnolance induced by all-encompassing ' digital valium ' ...

If locales can ever reach a critical mass re numbers ... maybe the Tumbrels will yet again roll to swing humanities 'pendulum' back the other way. If they don't ...

BRF | Mar 14, 2017 10:34:28 AM | 90
There never has been a political party of the Left in America that held any political power or even a balance of power at important state or federal levels. Leaders of the emerging Left in America have been either jailed or assassinated. Any other leaders of the people, not necessarily of the left, have also met a similar fate. The American establishment has always been a repressive clique of any populous movements. Other western nations, being further from the central authority, developed at minimum Leftist political opposition that at least held a balance of power enough to effect national policies that were of benefit to the working classes as defined. In America Leftist appeal of grievances was applied through the existing two party system, mainly the Democrats with their unionized labour wing. This has all fallen by the wayside. Enough said....

Perimetr | Mar 14, 2017 12:03:31 PM | 91
RE: Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:14:10 PM | 83 "Perimeter" is graphically different of "Perimetr". In addition and mainly, interested people can differentiate one from the other ideologically. So do not worry, kid.

Well let's see, would Circe be upset if someone started posting under "Circes"? Would Outraged mind if someone started posting here as "Outrages"? How about "Alberto" instead of "ALberto"??

Sorry, there are lots of other names available, so what is the point in posting under one that is essentially identical to mine, except to confuse those who might not be paying much attention?

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 12:59:06 PM | 92
@ Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 14, 2017 12:03:31 PM | 91

Concur with your sentiments, a perfectly reasonable request. Such IDs create needless potential ambiguity/confusion/mis-attribution.

So do not worry, kid.
Hm, does not augur well re civility ... nor intent ...

ruralito | Mar 14, 2017 1:02:04 PM | 93
@84, the racial-ethnic divides among populations pale in comparison to the divisions between classes. The Reptilian Order must rake up the former through media exploits lest the proles wise up to the latter.

estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94
Outraged @ 89
Thanks for the compliment on the other thread.
I also value what you write.
In certain conditions it is possible to attain meaningfull goals without setting the tumbrells in motion. I linked to Marinaleda in a comment above. They din't decapitate the Duque del Infantado, they cut a substantial part of his estate. It was possible for 3 reasons, a charismatic leader, a strong sense of solidarity and a strong cultural identity. It's a tiny scale but if one looks at current examples in a multinational scale Chávez, Evo, Correa, Kirchner, Lula, were/are all outstanding leaders in nations that have strong cultural identities and a solidarity forged by resistance.


BRF @ 90
Exactly, jailed or assassinated. And when this was no longer feasible, when human rights became a tool in the cold war, the discourse was deflected to identitary policies and sex drugs and r&r

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 3:56:55 PM | 95
@ Posted by: estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94

My views tend towards pacifism these last many years and am totally opposed to capital punishment for common criminal acts ... the death of even one innocent due to failures of the system, injustice, or mere errors, is one life too many, IMV.

Have personally seen the dire consequences of psychopaths & sociopaths, in Military, Intelligence, Government & Corporate environments, in positions of leadership/authority. They select alike as near peers and congregate fellow-travellers, arch-opportunists & sellswords as underlings, enablers/facilitators.

Yet, long reflection on ... bitter ... experiences, have brought me to a perceived unpalatable truth, that there likely must be, long overdue, a cull of the 'Impune', via the tender mercies of such as madame guillotine, to reset the balance, for their number and reach in primarily western first world countries has become a vast cancer upon humanity.

If one can be reviled by the community and dealt with at Law for a simple common murder, why can one who abuses the authority of the State, or delegated thereof, order policies or acts that result in dozens, 100's or thousands or more deaths of innocents, yet be impune, wholly and forever, unassailable, unaccountable ?

When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past ?

Had thought the last 'Sun King' was in France ~160 years ago ...

Technology has opened a Pandora's Box of expanding destructive forces & potentialities at the behest of these psychopaths that, as Karlof1 somewhat similarly fears, will have a singular end result, if left unchecked.

Do not believe a little pruning of wealth/capital will any longer suffice ... Iceland alone, started tentatively upon the right path, after the GFC.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 3:56:55 PM | 96
@ Posted by: estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94

My views tend towards pacifism these last many years and am totally opposed to capital punishment for common criminal acts ... the death of even one innocent due to failures of the system, injustice, or mere errors, is one life too many, IMV.

Have personally seen the dire consequences of psychopaths & sociopaths, in Military, Intelligence, Government & Corporate environments, in positions of leadership/authority. They select alike as near peers and congregate fellow-travellers, arch-opportunists & sellswords as underlings, enablers/facilitators.

Yet, long reflection on ... bitter ... experiences, have brought me to a perceived unpalatable truth, that there likely must be, long overdue, a cull of the 'Impune', via the tender mercies of such as madame guillotine, to reset the balance, for their number and reach in primarily western first world countries has become a vast cancer upon humanity.

If one can be reviled by the community and dealt with at Law for a simple common murder, why can one who abuses the authority of the State, or delegated thereof, order policies or acts that result in dozens, 100's or thousands or more deaths of innocents, yet be impune, wholly and forever, unassailable, unaccountable ?

When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past ?

Had thought the last 'Sun King' was in France ~160 years ago ...

Technology has opened a Pandora's Box of expanding destructive forces & potentialities at the behest of these psychopaths that, as Karlof1 somewhat similarly fears, will have a singular end result, if left unchecked.

Do not believe a little pruning of wealth/capital will any longer suffice ... Iceland alone, started tentatively upon the right path, after the GFC.

karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 97
Outraged @95--

"When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past?"

I don't believe the Divine Right of Monarchs was ever completely expunged as it continued to operate in the shadows until it retuned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

Don't know how much you agree with my assessment above @12, but one of the smartest people I've ever known--the late Lynn Margulis, Carl Sagan's first wife, the superior microbiologist who proved symbiosis within species and agent of evolution to be fact--wrote the forward to the paperback edition of Morrison's work I cited, agreeing with him.

It's easy to observe and analyze the situation then prescribe the remedy. But said remedy must be applied by millions of currently very disparate individuals having almost no solidarity or in agreement about said remedy, or even knowing a remedy exists. I'd do more, but my responsibilities limit me to my current activities--writing and exhorting those able to act.

The great irony of our dilemma is humans have overcome Nature in almost every sphere, yet that triumph is precisely what threatens humanity and the biota--a triumph driven by Nature itself. So, to overcome our overcoming of Nature, we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

Yes, radical, controversial, requiring a great deal of prior knowledge to comprehend the logic driving the remedy. Yet, as Spock would say, there it is: Long life and prosperity lies down remedy's path; massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 6:20:04 PM | 98
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 96

... it returned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

... we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans (Leaders/Leadership) taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

... massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Concur.

Yet, would take that slightly further re amending formal application of Law & Sentencing & Punishment.

A number of Navies apply Mandatory MAXIMUM punishments for any offense, where found guilty, committed outside the parent nations 12 Mile limit, for good reason re discipline under a Captain's authority ... the ship becomes the nation and the crew the 'people' thereof and the ultimate survival of all dependent upon such.

The greater the status, rank, education, authority, experience, length of service of the ' Taboo Breaker, ' ( Leaders/Leadership ), the less any mitigating circumstances can be considered, and the proportionally higher the punishment, towards the maximum. Such should be able to plead no excuse, ignorance or misunderstanding, or lack of comprehension whatsoever, compared to a 'Constable/Trooper/Sailor/Airman'.

The pyramid of actual accountability & consequent punishment, must be inverted , by society.

If one looks carefully throughout humanities recorded history, across cultures, down thru millennia, sooner or later the stone ( society ) could be squeezed no further, and there was inevitably blowback and a, culling.

Yet, since the inter-continent telegraph and the widespread ubiquitous distribution of the mass 'Press', concurrent with the machinations of the Bankers & War Profiteers behind the scenes since the late 1800's, IMV, the ability to manipulate, divide & rule, society has become an artform, ever accelerating in scope, scale & effectiveness, preventing the necessary 'cull' in the 'International Community' of the 'west'.

IMV, the old grey men may have misunderstood/underestimated the accident of the 'net, hence desperation of such as ProPornOT etc, which provides alternate independent voices re communication & re perceived reality ... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning, there are a few discordant shrill cries and desperate pleas arising amongst the 'narrative' from the Globalists/Atlanticists (US/EU/UK/AUS/CAN), to believe & trust TPTB ... but only if there is a true, not faux, accounting .

Otherwise, yes, almost inevitably, your last. Faint hope ...

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 6:20:04 PM | 99
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 96

... it returned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

... we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans (Leaders/Leadership) taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

... massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Concur.

Yet, would take that slightly further re amending formal application of Law & Sentencing & Punishment.

A number of Navies apply Mandatory MAXIMUM punishments for any offense, where found guilty, committed outside the parent nations 12 Mile limit, for good reason re discipline under a Captain's authority ... the ship becomes the nation and the crew the 'people' thereof and the ultimate survival of all dependent upon such.

The greater the status, rank, education, authority, experience, length of service of the ' Taboo Breaker, ' ( Leaders/Leadership ), the less any mitigating circumstances can be considered, and the proportionally higher the punishment, towards the maximum. Such should be able to plead no excuse, ignorance or misunderstanding, or lack of comprehension whatsoever, compared to a 'Constable/Trooper/Sailor/Airman'.

The pyramid of actual accountability & consequent punishment, must be inverted , by society.

If one looks carefully throughout humanities recorded history, across cultures, down thru millennia, sooner or later the stone ( society ) could be squeezed no further, and there was inevitably blowback and a, culling.

Yet, since the inter-continent telegraph and the widespread ubiquitous distribution of the mass 'Press', concurrent with the machinations of the Bankers & War Profiteers behind the scenes since the late 1800's, IMV, the ability to manipulate, divide & rule, society has become an artform, ever accelerating in scope, scale & effectiveness, preventing the necessary 'cull' in the 'International Community' of the 'west'.

IMV, the old grey men may have misunderstood/underestimated the accident of the 'net, hence desperation of such as ProPornOT etc, which provides alternate independent voices re communication & re perceived reality ... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning, there are a few discordant shrill cries and desperate pleas arising amongst the 'narrative' from the Globalists/Atlanticists (US/EU/UK/AUS/CAN), to believe & trust TPTB ... but only if there is a true, not faux, accounting .

Otherwise, yes, almost inevitably, your last. Faint hope ...

karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 8:10:59 PM | 100
Outraged @97--

"... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning..."

Like using The Force to guide a missile into the exhaust shaft of the Death Star. But that was just one victory amidst many losses prior to the decapitation of the sole Evil Leader. I believe our task just as daunting with our enemy best depicted as The Hydra. In both myths, Good triumphed. In both tales, the multitude of innocents had no idea what was taking place or why. I don't think we can prevail unless the multitudes know what's happening and why. All too often they seem to differ little from my Alzheimer's afflicted mom. But her fate is determined; it's just a matter of time. Our fate's in the balance, with time being of the essence.

[Mar 26, 2017] When Nothing Left Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right

Mar 26, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Some of the people around the U.S. Democrats finally start to get the message of the 2016 election. An editor at Salon writes a slightly satirical critic of the Democratic Party under the headline: How the DudeBros ruined everything: A totally clear-headed guide to political reality . The core sentence:

When "the left" endlessly debates which core issues or constituencies must be sacrificed for political gain, as if economic justice for the poor and the working class could be separated from social justice for women and people of color and the LGBT community and immigrants and people with disabilities, it is no longer functioning as the left.

When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that.

Many nominally social-democratic parties in Europe are on the same downward trajectory as the Democrats in the U.S. for the very same reason. Their real policies are center right. Their marketing policies hiding the real ones are to care for this or that minority interest or problem the majority of the people has no reason to care about. Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants. (Even parts of the German "Die Linke" party are infected with such nonsense.)

The people with real economic problems, those who have reason to fear the future, have no one in the traditional political spectrum that even pretends to care about them. Those are the voters now streaming to the far right. (They will again get screwed. The far right has an economic agenda that is totally hostile to them. But it at least promises to do something about their fears.) Where else should they go?

The U.S. Democrats are currently applauding the former United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara. The position is a political appointed one. Whoever is appointed serves "at the pleasure of the President". It is completely normal that people in such positions get replaced when the presidency changes from one party to the other. The justice department asked Bharara to "voluntary resign". He rejected that, he was fired.

Oh what a brave man! Applause!

The dude served as United States attorney during the mortgage scams and financial crash. Wall Street was part of his beat. How many of the involved banksters did he prosecute? Well, exactly zero. What a hero! How many votes did the Democrats lose because they did not go after the criminals ruling Wall Street?

Bharara is one reason the Democrats lost the election. Oh yes, he is part of a minority and that makes him a favorite with the pseudo left Democrats. But he did nothing while millions got robbed. How can one expect to get votes when one compliments such persons?

But the top reader comments to the New York Times report on the issue are full of voices who laud Bharara for his meaning- and useless "resistance" to Trump.

Those are the "voices of the people" the political functionaries of the Democratic Party want to read and hear. Likely the only ones. But those are the voices of people (if real at all and not marketing sock-puppets) who are themselves a tiny, well pampered minority. Not the people one needs to win elections.

Unless they change their political program (not just its marketing) and unless they go back to consistently argue for the people in the lower third of the economic scale the Democrats in the U.S. and the Social-Democrats in Europe will continue to lose voters. The far right will, for lack of political alternative, be the party that picks up their votes.

[Mar 26, 2017] Democrats are a joke for refusing to sack a sclerotic, corrupt, and inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections

Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:06 AM
cnn resembles deep red tea party fox news..... and the run of the mill dems should fit their tri-corn hats
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 09:37 AM
I will take your word for it. We don't watch either CNN nor Fox News at my house. Mostly we watch local (same news and weather crew here appears on each the WWBT/WRLH local NBC/Fox affiliates) news with some sampling of MSNBC and Sunday morning ABC and CBS shows along with the daily half hour of NBC network following the evening local. Cable news is sort of an oxymoron given the prevailing editorial slants. The now retired local TV news anchor Gene Cox laid the groundwork for the best news team in central VA by setting a high bar at his station. Gene laid it all out southern fried with satirical humor and honesty unusual in TV news.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:38 AM
Maybe more sarcasm than satire, but the point is the same - wit and honesty.
JohnH -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:52 AM
Apparently we have two jokes alternating to lead America: the Republican jokes vs. the Democratic jokes.
  • Democrats are a joke for rallying their elite around a candidate who had huge negatives and for trying to block more popular candidates from running.
  • Democrats are a joke for having to rig the primaries in favor of a candidate who had already lost in 2008.
  • Democrats are a joke for refusing to sack a sclerotic, corrupt, and inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections.
  • Democrats are a joke for refusing to seize the issue that had propelled two Democrats into office--it's the economy, stupid!
  • Democrats are a joke for pigheadedly refusing to do a post mortem of their failure and insisting on blaming Putin instead!

But Democrats are right to expect that, when two jokes vie for power, their turn as joke in power will eventually come.

JohnH -> mulp... , March 25, 2017 at 07:52 AM
Maybe a post mortem would simply reveal that Democrats should have had a coherent economic message and pursued a strategy of standing up for working America for the past 8 years. For example, having Pelosi demand votes on increasing the minimum wage as often as Ryan demanded votes on killing Obamacare...

Any honest post mortem would have revealed that standing with billionaires and the Wall Street banking cartel--and not prosecuting a single Wall Street banker--is not a winning strategy...

Chris G -> JohnH... , March 25, 2017 at 12:33 PM
That Pelosi did not resign immediately following the 2016 election or, not having offered her resignation, that Congressional Democrats did not demand it is an indication that the party still has deep-rooted problems. (Pelosi may not be the cause of those problems but given how badly they've fared since 2010 she's clearly not the solution. She has no business remaining as minority leader.) I'm fine with Perez as DNC chair but Ellison should be minority leader.

[Mar 25, 2017] Bernie Sanders is currently the most popular politician in the United States, by a long shot

Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
jonny bakho -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:04 AM
David Frum, the excommunicated conservative wrote in 2010:
""The real leaders are on TV and radio"

Bernie Sanders is the Dems TV leader.
Simple ideas repeated endlessly, easy to memorize slogans
Knows how to manipulate emotions
In the Twitter Age, this is how all successful politicians must message

Chris G -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 06:29 AM
It doesn't hurt that his ideas are good ones;-)

Simple slogans repeated often isn't a new approach to politics. It goes back well over a century. "Keep it simple and take credit." Liberals haven't been very good at that in recent decades. (In contrast, FDR was.) Most people aren't wonks nor do they desire to become one. Messaging which presumes that they are or do is not a recipe for success.

Chris G -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 06:31 AM
Jack Meserve, Keep It Simple and Take Credit - http://democracyjournal.org/arguments/keep-it-simple-and-take-credit/
jonny bakho -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:09 AM
Sanders has not "destroyed" the old Democratic Party.
He is a better TV messenger and ambassador to the public
He plays the Paternalistic Grandfather who does not trigger culture shock among white voters on TV
Lee A. Arnold -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 05:59 AM
More like the cranky uncle, whom you had better listen to. Bernie Sanders is currently the most popular politician in the United States, by a long shot:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/325647-stunning-polls-show-sanders-soaring-while-trumpcare

Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 08:24 AM
you minimize how well he did in the primary as do all of you dishonest center-left types
Peter K. -> Peter K.... , March 25, 2017 at 08:31 AM
Sanders won New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Rhode Island, Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota.

*and he was close in many states like losing Massachusetts 606k to 589k. And the entire second half of the primary the DNC was repeating how Hillary had won mathematically over and over even though people hadn't voted.

DeDude -> jonny bakho... , March 25, 2017 at 08:38 AM
"Sanders has not "destroyed" the old Democratic Party"

No he is not stupid. What he has done is moving the Overton window - something that was long overdue. There is definitely an opening to make ObamaCare the first step towards MediCare for all (as it always was intended by by all but the bluedogs). But as good as Sanders is at message and getting the crowds going, he is going to need help with the politicking to actually get it done.

ilsm -> Lee A. Arnold ... , March 25, 2017 at 05:35 AM
too hard....

two party system

both obey FIRE

why no indeps

go for 'serious'

dems

Russians

cannot mess

this up

[Mar 25, 2017] Democrats are a joke for refusing to sack a sclerotic, corrupt, and inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections

Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:06 AM
cnn resembles deep red tea party fox news..... and the run of the mill dems should fit their tri-corn hats
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , March 25, 2017 at 09:37 AM
I will take your word for it. We don't watch either CNN nor Fox News at my house. Mostly we watch local (same news and weather crew here appears on each the WWBT/WRLH local NBC/Fox affiliates) news with some sampling of MSNBC and Sunday morning ABC and CBS shows along with the daily half hour of NBC network following the evening local. Cable news is sort of an oxymoron given the prevailing editorial slants. The now retired local TV news anchor Gene Cox laid the groundwork for the best news team in central VA by setting a high bar at his station. Gene laid it all out southern fried with satirical humor and honesty unusual in TV news.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 25, 2017 at 09:38 AM
Maybe more sarcasm than satire, but the point is the same - wit and honesty.
JohnH -> Chris G ... , March 25, 2017 at 07:52 AM
Apparently we have two jokes alternating to lead America: the Republican jokes vs. the Democratic jokes.
  • Democrats are a joke for rallying their elite around a candidate who had huge negatives and for trying to block more popular candidates from running.
  • Democrats are a joke for having to rig the primaries in favor of a candidate who had already lost in 2008.
  • Democrats are a joke for refusing to sack a sclerotic, corrupt, and inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections.
  • Democrats are a joke for refusing to seize the issue that had propelled two Democrats into office--it's the economy, stupid!
  • Democrats are a joke for pigheadedly refusing to do a post mortem of their failure and insisting on blaming Putin instead!

But Democrats are right to expect that, when two jokes vie for power, their turn as joke in power will eventually come.

JohnH -> mulp... , -1
Maybe a post mortem would simply reveal that Democrats should have had a coherent economic message and pursued a strategy of standing up for working America for the past 8 years. For example, having Pelosi demand votes on increasing the minimum wage as often as Ryan demanded votes on killing Obamacare...

Any honest post mortem would have revealed that standing with billionaires and the Wall Street banking cartel--and not prosecuting a single Wall Street banker--is not a winning strategy...

[Mar 24, 2017] The main story is the incompetence and corruption of the neoliberal leadership of the Democratic Party

Notable quotes:
"... Why should anyone in the working or middle class believe that voting for a Democrat is in their interest given the way in which the Democratic Party has been co-opted by the neoliberal ideology that brought us the draconian social welfare and irresponsible financial deregulatory legislation of the 1990s that led to the Crash of 2008? ..."
"... Why would they rally around a candidate who had lost the 2008 primary and who could barely win in 2016 without the party's rigging the primaries in her favor? ..."
"... Why would their candidate refuse to offer any kind of coherent message around the issue that propelled her two Democratic predecessors into office--it's the economy, stupid? ..."
"... As Blackford says, "the main story is the incompetence of the Democrats." The only question is whether their incompetence is willful or not. ..."
"... Wall Street supplied the money. ..."
"... LOL! A centrist party that has been triangulating -- chasing oligarch tail -- for decades. The 2018 election is going to provide me some excellent schadenfreude. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
George H. Blackford : March 24, 2017 at 02:54 AM , 2017 at 02:54 AM
False symmetry may be a part of the story, but the main story is the incompetence of the Democrats. There was a 20 percentage point shift away from Democrats in Michigan from 2008 to 2016, a14 pp shift in Pennsylvania, a 24 pp shift in Iowa, a 15 pp shift in Ohio, and a 24 pp shift in Indiana.

Does anyone really believe these kinds of shifts from Obama to Trump and third party candidates can be explained in terms of racism and bigotry or voters failing to understand that they were voting against their own interests because of Republican flimflam?

The real question is: Why should those who shifted from Obama to Trump and third parties have believed it would have been in their interest to vote for Hillary given her ties to Wall Street and the way in which the Democrats abandoned home owners and bailed out Wall Street during the crisis?

Why should anyone in the working or middle class believe that voting for a Democrat is in their interest given the way in which the Democratic Party has been co-opted by the neoliberal ideology that brought us the draconian social welfare and irresponsible financial deregulatory legislation of the 1990s that led to the Crash of 2008?

Democrats have been running on a "lesser of two evils platform" for 30 years now. Why would anyone be surprised that a significant portion of their base grasped at a straw when given the chance? http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm, http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm , and http://www.rweconomics.com/IVR.htm

George H. Blackford -> mulp... , March 24, 2017 at 03:50 AM
Re: "Do you think Clinton is more Wall Street than Trump?" It's not about what I think. It's about what the voters think. For what it's worth, I think it is quite clear that those voters who voted for Obama in 2008 and switched to Trump in 2016 are grasping at straws, and they did that because they saw no hope in voting for the Democratic Party.

As for: "Clinton staved off a crash in the 90s by high taxes." I think you are a bit confused on this. Not only was the deregulation signed into law by Clinton responsible for the Crash in 2008, his appointment of Greenspan facilitated the dotcom and telecom bubbles of the 1990s, the bursting of which led to the 2001 recession: http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm

The real question is why do "voters want the free lunch of tax cuts"? The reason is that Democratic Party, starting with the Clintons, bought into the neoliberal ideology championed by the Democratic Leadership Council and have refused to challenge the Republican's free lunch arguments and tell the voters that government programs are essential to our economic, social, and political wellbeing and that they have to be payid for. I believe that I have explained this quit well in: http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm

George H. Blackford -> jonny bakho... , March 24, 2017 at 05:26 AM
You'r wasting your time trying to convince me of this? I know what the Clintons did for the banks in the 1990s: http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm

And you are not going to be able to convince those who voted for Obama in 2008 and switched to Trump in 2016 either.

Paine -> George H. Blackford ... , March 24, 2017 at 05:51 AM
Blackie I love your stuff

The main line power core Democrats have layed their horrible liberal supporters and their minority bases like side walk gulls

And he gulls ...god bless em ... just can't believe they've backed the sunny side of all street all these past 25 plus years

Bernie tried to blow the whistle Ralph Nader tried to blow the whistle

JohnH -> George H. Blackford ... , March 24, 2017 at 07:14 AM
You really have to wonder if Democrats are trying to lose.

Why else would the party's elite rally around a candidate who had huge negatives and try to block anyone else from running?

Why would they rally around a candidate who had lost the 2008 primary and who could barely win in 2016 without the party's rigging the primaries in her favor?

Why would they refuse to sack an inept congressional leadership that had lost three straight elections?

Why would their candidate refuse to offer any kind of coherent message around the issue that propelled her two Democratic predecessors into office--it's the economy, stupid?

Why would the pigheadedly refuse to do a post mortem of their failure and insist on blaming Putin instead?

As Blackford says, "the main story is the incompetence of the Democrats." The only question is whether their incompetence is willful or not.

JohnH -> EMichael... , March 24, 2017 at 07:59 AM
"Other than a insignificant number of insane people, no one voted fro Obama and then voted for Trump"

LOL!!! According to EMichael, lots of Rust Belt voters must be insane...exactly the kind of disdain and disparagement that made them switch their vote in the first place.

EMichael, ever the partisan hack, still can't come to terms with the fact that Obama and Hillary ignored the concerns working class voters...the real reason they voted for Trump.

Could EMichael's delusional denial be characterized as insanity? Or just a partisan hack ineptly doing his job?

RGC -> jonny bakho... , March 24, 2017 at 06:49 AM
"Wall Street has little to do with it"

Wall Street supplied the money.

Tom aka Rusty -> RGC... , March 24, 2017 at 07:43 AM
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/4/1496194/-Complete-List-of-All-91-of-Hillary-s-Corporate-Speeches-and-Speaking-Fees
George H. Blackford -> kthomas... , March 24, 2017 at 06:05 AM
The reason I post all this BS is that as far as I can see, the only hope for the country is for the DAs in the Democratic Party to wake up and face reality.

I fear that if Democrats' do not wake up and they continue down the same neoliberal path they have been traveling since Carter--a path that led directly to Trump--even if we survive Trump and Democrats do regain power again, the demigod that follows the disaster that results is going to be even worse than Trump: http://www.rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm

George H. Blackford -> kthomas... , March 24, 2017 at 06:37 AM
"There is no fun in being in the middle, yet that is where the ability to wield power and effectively governing resides: in the middle. It's not pretty. it's not graceful. America exists as it does today only because we have been able to compromise for a long time. It's that ability to comprise that has been lost in great volume."

You seem to be missing my point: TRUMP IS PRESIDENT!

The things we are taking from the right DON'T WORK!

They are a disaster: http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm

http://www.rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm

yuan -> kthomas... , March 24, 2017 at 07:22 AM
LOL! A centrist party that has been triangulating -- chasing oligarch tail -- for decades. The 2018 election is going to provide me some excellent schadenfreude.
JohnH -> George H. Blackford ... , March 24, 2017 at 07:38 AM
Not exactly: "even if we survive Trump and Democrats do regain power again, the demigod that follows the disaster that results is going to be even worse than Trump."

If a Democrat follows Trump, his/her job will be to normalize and put a bipartisan imprimatur on what Trump did. That was Obama's role on many issues, including torture, Guantanamo, and NSA spying.

George H. Blackford -> JohnH... , March 24, 2017 at 07:55 AM
I think you may be missing my point.

Getting along is exactly what Bill Clinton did and it led to 2008. It's also what Pelosi and Obama did and it led to the loss of congress. It's also what more-of-the-same Hillary promised to do, and it led to Trump.( http://www.rweconomics.com/blame.htm )

The so-called center today is neoliberal nonsense that leads to disaster. If we can survive the current disaster, the only hope to avoid another disaster in the future is for the Democrats to move the center back to a point where it is possible avoid an even worse disaster:
http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/blame.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm

JohnH -> George H. Blackford ... , March 24, 2017 at 08:04 AM
Fat chance! "the only hope to avoid another disaster in the future is for the Democrats to move the center back to a point where it is possible avoid an even worse disaster."

The DNC is adamant about NOT learning any lessons from their election debacle. But they are counting on Republicans to screw up so that they can have their turn in power.

[Mar 20, 2017] As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled

Notable quotes:
"... "There's been a real evolution," Philippe Renault-Guillemet, the retired head of a small manufacturing company, said as he handed out National Front leaflets in the market on a recent day. "A few years ago, they would insult us. It's changed ..."
"... With a month to go, the signs are mixed. Many voters, particularly affluent ones, at markets here and farther up the coast betray a traditional distaste for the far-right party. Yet others once repelled by a party with a heritage rooted in France's darkest political traditions - anti-Semitism, xenophobia and a penchant for the fist - are considering it. ..."
"... French politics are particularly volatile this election season. Traditional power centers - the governing Socialists and the center-right Republicans - are in turmoil. Ms. Le Pen's chief rival, Emmanuel Macron, is a youthful and untested politician running at the head of a new party. ..."
"... Those uncertainties - and a nagging sense that mainstream parties have failed to offer solutions to France's economic anemia - have left the National Front better positioned than at any time in its 45-year history. ..."
"... Frédéric Boccaletti, the party's leader in the Var, knows exactly what needs to be done. Last week, he and his fellow National Front activists gathered for an evening planning session in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, a working-class port town devastated by the closing of centuries-old naval shipyards nearly 20 years ago. Mr. Boccaletti, who is running for Parliament, keeps his headquarters here. ..."
"... It is not unlike the strategy that President Trump applied in the United States by campaigning in blue-collar, Democratic strongholds in rust-belt Ohio. No one thought he stood a chance there. Yet he won. ..."
"... "Now, we've got doctors, lawyers, the liberal professions with us," Mr. Boccaletti said. "Since the election of Marine" to the party's presidency in 2011, "it's all changed. ..."
"... The backlash against neoliberal globalization creates very strange alliances indeed. That was already visible during the last Presidential elections. When a considerable part of lower middle class professionals (including women) voted against Hillary. ..."
"... As Fred noted today (Why did so many white women vote for Donald Trump http://for.tn/2f51y7s ) there were many Trump supporters among white women with the college degree, for which Democrats identity politics prescribed voting for Hillary. ..."
"... I think this tendency might only became stronger in the next elections: neoliberal globalization is now viewed as something detrimental to the country future and current economic prosperity by many, usually not allied, segments of population. ..."
Mar 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. : March 20, 2017 at 09:23 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/world/europe/french-election-marine-le-pen-national-front.html

As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled

By ADAM NOSSITER

MARCH 19, 2017

SANARY-SUR-MER, France - The National Front's leafleteers are no longer spat upon. Its local candidate's headquarters sit defiantly in a fraying Muslim neighborhood. And last week, Marine Le Pen, the party's leader, packed thousands into a steamy meeting hall nearby for a pugnacious speech mocking "the system" and vowing victory in this spring's French presidential election.

"There's been a real evolution," Philippe Renault-Guillemet, the retired head of a small manufacturing company, said as he handed out National Front leaflets in the market on a recent day. "A few years ago, they would insult us. It's changed."

It has long been accepted wisdom that Ms. Le Pen and her far-right party can make it through the first round of the presidential voting on April 23, when she and four other candidates will be on the ballot, but that she will never capture the majority needed to win in a runoff in May.

But a visit to this southeastern National Front stronghold suggests that Ms. Le Pen may be succeeding in broadening her appeal to the point where a victory is more plausible, even if the odds are still stacked against her.

With a month to go, the signs are mixed. Many voters, particularly affluent ones, at markets here and farther up the coast betray a traditional distaste for the far-right party. Yet others once repelled by a party with a heritage rooted in France's darkest political traditions - anti-Semitism, xenophobia and a penchant for the fist - are considering it.

"I've said several times I would do it, but I've never had the courage," Christian Pignol, a vendor of plants and vegetables at the Bandol market, said about voting for the National Front. "This time may be the good one."

"It's the fear of the unknown," he continued, as several fellow vendors nodded. "People would like to try it, but they are afraid. But maybe it's the solution. We've tried everything for 30, 40 years. We'd like to try it, but we're also afraid."

French politics are particularly volatile this election season. Traditional power centers - the governing Socialists and the center-right Republicans - are in turmoil. Ms. Le Pen's chief rival, Emmanuel Macron, is a youthful and untested politician running at the head of a new party.

Those uncertainties - and a nagging sense that mainstream parties have failed to offer solutions to France's economic anemia - have left the National Front better positioned than at any time in its 45-year history.

But if it is to win nationally, the party must do much better than even the 49 percent support it won in this conservative Var department, home to three National Front mayors, in elections in 2015. More critically, it must turn once-hostile areas of the country in Ms. Le Pen's favor and attract new kinds of voters - professionals and the upper and middle classes. Political analysts are skeptical.

Frédéric Boccaletti, the party's leader in the Var, knows exactly what needs to be done. Last week, he and his fellow National Front activists gathered for an evening planning session in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, a working-class port town devastated by the closing of centuries-old naval shipyards nearly 20 years ago. Mr. Boccaletti, who is running for Parliament, keeps his headquarters here.

"I'm telling you, you've got to go to the difficult neighborhoods - it's not what you think," Mr. Boccaletti told them, laughing slyly. "Our work has got to be in the areas that have resisted us most" - meaning the coast's more affluent areas.

It is not unlike the strategy that President Trump applied in the United States by campaigning in blue-collar, Democratic strongholds in rust-belt Ohio. No one thought he stood a chance there. Yet he won.

"Now, we've got doctors, lawyers, the liberal professions with us," Mr. Boccaletti said. "Since the election of Marine" to the party's presidency in 2011, "it's all changed."

...

libezkova -> Peter K.... March 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM

The backlash against neoliberal globalization creates very strange alliances indeed. That was already visible during the last Presidential elections. When a considerable part of lower middle class professionals (including women) voted against Hillary.

As Fred noted today (Why did so many white women vote for Donald Trump http://for.tn/2f51y7s ) there were many Trump supporters among white women with the college degree, for which Democrats identity politics prescribed voting for Hillary.

I think this tendency might only became stronger in the next elections: neoliberal globalization is now viewed as something detrimental to the country future and current economic prosperity by many, usually not allied, segments of population.

[Mar 19, 2017] Clintons time is passed. Her view of common ground is still based in the 20th century and the Third Way neoliberal politics she and her husband helped create. That era is over.

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton's time is passed. Her view of "common ground" is still based in the 20th century and the Third Way neoliberal politics she and her husband helped create. That era is over. ..."
"... Why won't she just go off and become a professor somewhere, like Dukakis did? ..."
"... Hillary like bill never feels guilt. Only ambition. They are monsters ..."
"... Utterly without a sense of culpability ..."
Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : March 18, 2017 at 07:03 AM , 2017 at 07:03 AM
Hillary Clinton Says She's
'Ready to Come Out of the Woods'
https://nyti.ms/2nCIzGS
NYT - AP - March 17

SCRANTON, Pa. - Hillary Clinton said Friday she's "ready to come out of the woods" and help Americans find common ground.

Clinton's gradual return to the public spotlight following her presidential election loss continued with a St. Patrick's Day speech in her late father's Pennsylvania hometown of Scranton.

"I'm like a lot of my friends right now, I have a hard time watching the news," Clinton told an Irish women's group.

But she urged a divided country to work together to solve problems, recalling how, as first lady, she met with female leaders working to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

"I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides. And we can't just ignore, or turn a cold shoulder to someone because they disagree with us politically," she said.

Friday night's speech was one of several she is to deliver in the coming months, including a May 26 commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The Democrat also is working on a book of personal essays that will include some reflections on her loss to Donald Trump.

Clinton, who was spotted taking a walk in the woods around her hometown of Chappaqua, New York, two days after losing the election to Donald Trump, quipped she had wanted to stay in the woods, "but you can only do so much of that."

She told the Society of Irish Women that it'll be up to citizens, not a deeply polarized Washington, to bridge the political divide.

"I am ready to come out of the woods and to help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this, to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going," said Clinton. ...

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 18, 2017 at 07:11 AM
(As you may recall HRC won the popular vote,
and also 472 counties which generate
64% of the US GDP.)

... Our observation: The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America's economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country's output-just a little more than one-third of the nation's economic activity. ...

High-output America vs low-output America http://brook.gs/2fIOhlt via @BrookingsInst

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 18, 2017 at 08:25 AM
Trump did win PA, narrowly, 48.2% to 47.5% for HRC. Libertarians got 2.4%.

HRC won most urban areas, including Scranton (6 counties). Trump won elsewhere, including Clinton county.

Dan Kervick -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 18, 2017 at 08:37 AM
Please no.

Clinton's time is passed. Her view of "common ground" is still based in the 20th century and the Third Way neoliberal politics she and her husband helped create. That era is over.

Why won't she just go off and become a professor somewhere, like Dukakis did?

paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , March 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Hillary like bill never feels guilt. Only ambition. They are monsters
paine -> paine... , March 18, 2017 at 10:01 AM
Utterly without a sense of culpability

[Mar 19, 2017] Why Trumpism Is a Global Phenomenon

Notable quotes:
"... various European countries have seen a significant rise in votes for populist parties (on the right and left) and a decline in center-left "mainstream" parties. ..."
"... As a result, most Americans are in debt, most Americans' wages have not increased above inflation, and most of the gains of the past 30 years of America's economic growth have gone to the top 1% of income earners. (And the same trends are true for other Western democracies.) ..."
"... Blyth points out the famous Elephant Chart by economist Branko Milanovic, which shows the change in real income between 1988 and 2008 for all people in the world: basically, during the past 30 years, everyone in the world has seen a real increase in their income except for the Western world's middle class. ..."
"... Mark Blyth poses the example of a hypothetical man named Gary who lives in Gary, Indiana, who is emblematic of a typical Midwestern white working-class Trump voter. In 1989, Gary had 10 years in the union at age 30 and was a line supervisor making $30 an hour (real dollars, adjusted for inflation). In 1993, after a few years of losing factory jobs to Southern states, the U.S. passed NAFTA and his town lost a lot of jobs. The town took a huge economic hit. Tax base declines, schools get worse. Gary wound up getting a job in a call center for $15 an hour. 5 years later, the call center moved from Indiana to India. Now at age 58, Gary works for $11.67 per hour at Walmart. ..."
"... The only person who actually seems to articulate anything that Gary gives a shit about is Trump. And Gary knows that Trump's a buffoon, he knows he's a reality TV star. But Gary has seen politician after politician every four years saying 'vote for me, better jobs! vote for me, more security!' and Gary's life has gotten crappier and crappier. So he has no reason whatsoever to believe a word that they say. So he has a liar on one side, and a bullshit artist on the other. Which one gives you more possibilities?" ..."
"... However: a sizable portion of Trump's vote-just like Brexit and just like the rise of other populist parties in the UK and Europe-was more of a despairing protest vote, a way to send a message to the political establishment and mainstream media: we don't like what you're doing, this system you've built is not working for us, we don't like the way you talk down to us, and we're gonna throw a brick through your window. ..."
Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. -> Peter K.... March 17, 2017 at 09:32 AM

, 2017 at 09:32 AM
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/01/trump-is-not-a-fluke-why-trumpism-is-a-global-phen.html

Trump Is Not a Fluke: Why "Trumpism" Is a Global Phenomenon

By Ben Gran | January 31, 2017 | 4:25pm

Where did Trump come from? Is the rise of Trump a fluke, a problem unique to America, born of American reality TV culture, combining 20th century American xenophobia with the worst aspects of 21st century social media into an ominous new post-truth world? Are American Trump voters uniquely racist and stupid and self-sabotaging? Or is Trump part of a broader global trend in politics, where voters throughout the industrialized world are revolting against the established political, economic and social order?

There was a great lecture (from before the election) by Mark Blyth, Brown University professor of international political economy, about global Trumpism where he discusses how the same factors that are playing out in America are also happening in lots of other Western democracies, driven by populism (both right-wing and left-wing), racism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. For example, various European countries have seen a significant rise in votes for populist parties (on the right and left) and a decline in center-left "mainstream" parties. One particularly powerful example was the unexpected success of the Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union; despite the pleas of the political establishment and most members of the media, a small majority of UK voters decided to leave the EU even though it was widely described as an economically damaging, self-sabotaging, xenophobia-driven, unthinkable decision. Sound familiar?

Blyth explores the economic factors and argues that Trump's victory should not be seen as an isolated, local "America-only" event; instead, Trump's victory is part of a broader trend where the post-World War II neoliberal global order is breaking down. What will replace it? No one knows. But it's worth listening to Mark Blyth for perspectives on how we ended up with Trump, and how to understand the broader political and economic forces that made Trump possible.

Here are a few of Mark Blyth's key points on what "global Trumpism" means and how it happened:

A Brief History of the Post World War II Economic Order

Ever since World War II, the governments and financial institutions of "the West" (U.S., UK, Europe) have focused their national economic policy on two broad targets-from 1945 to 1975, broadly speaking, the goal was to achieve "full employment." This is part of why the 1950s-60s are looked back upon as a kind of Golden Age for the middle class, especially for people who worked in manufacturing at union jobs with good wages and benefits. And broadly speaking, this policy was successful! But full employment led to inflation-and by 1975, inflation had gotten so bad that creditor classes within these countries (investors, banks, wealthy people) started to revolt, and put in politicians like Reagan and Thatcher who focused on strong anti-inflation policies, and who changed the way that everyday people thought about the economy by appealing to voters' interests as consumers ("low-priced products from China are good! High-paid union labor is bad!") instead of their interests as workers or union members. All of this was good for creditors and consumers, even if it was bad for borrowers and workers. That's where we've been ever since 1975: central banks have fought inflation, interest rates have been low, labor unions have been weak-to-nonexistent, and life has gotten better for creditors and worse for debtors.

As a result, most Americans are in debt, most Americans' wages have not increased above inflation, and most of the gains of the past 30 years of America's economic growth have gone to the top 1% of income earners. (And the same trends are true for other Western democracies.)

Meanwhile, during that time, the center-left parties (Clinton's New Democrats, Tony Blair's New Labour, and Germany's Social Democratic Party) have moved away from their traditional working-class base and have become more comfortable hob-nobbing with bankers and tech CEOs and other corporate interests. So where are working class voters supposed to go? This is where left-wing populists like Bernie Sanders and right-wing nationalists like Trump are filling the void in the political marketplace.

The Elephant Chart

Blyth points out the famous Elephant Chart by economist Branko Milanovic, which shows the change in real income between 1988 and 2008 for all people in the world: basically, during the past 30 years, everyone in the world has seen a real increase in their income except for the Western world's middle class.

This is why so many former factory workers in the Midwest are upset about globalization: they haven't seen their lives get better from it; if anything, globalization has made their lives worse. So when Trump promises to "bring jobs back" and raise taxes on companies that export products to the U.S., that message resonates in the Rust Belt states in a way that "the wife of the guy who passed NAFTA" just never would.

Gary, from Gary

Mark Blyth poses the example of a hypothetical man named Gary who lives in Gary, Indiana, who is emblematic of a typical Midwestern white working-class Trump voter. In 1989, Gary had 10 years in the union at age 30 and was a line supervisor making $30 an hour (real dollars, adjusted for inflation). In 1993, after a few years of losing factory jobs to Southern states, the U.S. passed NAFTA and his town lost a lot of jobs. The town took a huge economic hit. Tax base declines, schools get worse. Gary wound up getting a job in a call center for $15 an hour. 5 years later, the call center moved from Indiana to India. Now at age 58, Gary works for $11.67 per hour at Walmart.

As Blyth describes in his lecture, speaking from the point of view of "Gary:" " The only person who actually seems to articulate anything that Gary gives a shit about is Trump. And Gary knows that Trump's a buffoon, he knows he's a reality TV star. But Gary has seen politician after politician every four years saying 'vote for me, better jobs! vote for me, more security!' and Gary's life has gotten crappier and crappier. So he has no reason whatsoever to believe a word that they say. So he has a liar on one side, and a bullshit artist on the other. Which one gives you more possibilities?"

Trump's Victory was an Anti-Elite Vote

Yes, Trump's a racist and a misogynist. Yes, he's horrible. Yes, lots of people voted for him out of racist or sexist hostility and wanting to raise a middle finger at Muslims and black people and Mexican immigrants.

However: a sizable portion of Trump's vote-just like Brexit and just like the rise of other populist parties in the UK and Europe-was more of a despairing protest vote, a way to send a message to the political establishment and mainstream media: we don't like what you're doing, this system you've built is not working for us, we don't like the way you talk down to us, and we're gonna throw a brick through your window.

But Trump Voters are all Racist ... Right?

By all means, condemn Trump's racism and sexism. Resist his retrograde agenda every step of the way. But liberals need to be open to the possibility that Trump won not just because of racism and sexism (those voters weren't turning out for the Democrats anyway), but because-especially in a few key Upper Midwest states-Trump was offering a message of aggressive economic populism that the Democrats were not delivering, that was embraced by just enough voters in just the right states (who otherwise might have voted for the Democrat) to give him a victory.

Trump didn't just happen in America; the political forces he represents are happening all over the Western democratic world. Other countries like Greece and Spain have elected left-wing "Trumpists" but America didn't have one of those choices on the ballot in November.

If the only lesson that liberals take away from this election is: "48% of America's voters are irredeemably racist and sexist," they're not really understanding the nature of Trump's appeal within this broader context of "global Trumpism." And they'll lose to him again in 2020.

What's Next?

Mark Blyth is oddly optimistic about America in the age of Trumpism, especially compared to Europe. He says that America has an advantage over Europe because Europe is bound by the Euro currency, which Blyth says is a "disaster" because individual countries within the Eurozone (such as Greece vs. Germany) have different conflicting political agendas that cannot be addressed by monetary policy. Trump might turn out to be a flash in the pan, a Black Swan event brought on by a one-time bizarre confluence of events and a bad matchup with the Democratic nominee.

Trump might even have some positive effects, in Blyth's view, because the U.S. would benefit from a more isolationist foreign policy with fewer costly, unending military interventions in other countries. As Blyth says in this discussion on the 2016 election results, if Europe is left to pay more for their own national defense and find their own accommodation with Russia, without relying on American military power, that would not be a bad thing for the U.S. Blyth is skeptical that Trump will actually enact any of his trade protectionist promises, since U.S. voters won't want to see higher prices for their iPhones (imported from China). It's possible that Trump's presidency will be less frighteningly radical than many liberals have feared.

Aside from Trump's immediate outrages, the broader challenge for America, and the world, is that the neoliberal political order of the past 30 years in the Western democracies is breaking down. We've elected a president who campaigned as a populist, but who's likely going to govern as a traditional Reagan-style "trickle-down economics" Republican. Those Upper Midwest swing voters who voted based on economic populism and "bringing jobs back" are not remotely going to get the populist politics that Trump promised; so the question is, can the Democrats deliver a real populist alternative instead? Will the American Left be defeated by Trumpism, or can they co-opt Trump's appeal to the middle-class and working-class, and create a new politics that truly speaks to the concerns of the people who have been left behind by globalization and our new era of wealth inequality?

sanjait -> Peter K.... , March 17, 2017 at 09:54 AM
tl:dr.
Peter K. -> sanjait... , March 17, 2017 at 01:03 PM
the short version is that the failure of neoliberalists such as yourself to provide an economy with shared prosperity has led to the rise of the populist right across the globe.

You really need to go back and study the 1920s and 1930s. History is repeating itself.

[Mar 17, 2017] Spicer apologized. But what about alternative hypothesis that British hypocrisy has no bounds:

Notable quotes:
"... British and Dutch intelligence were apparently discreetly queried regarding possible derogatory intelligence on the Trump campaign's links to Russia and they responded by providing information detailing meetings in Europe. ..."
Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc -> Fred C. Dobbs... March 17, 2017 at 08:11 AM , 2017 at 08:11 AM
I need to hear the apology from Trump himself rather than Spicer who was obviously told to go out to the press room and say that lie.

Otherwise this is just more Trumpian Misdirection to take eyes off their arrogant mismanagement and incompetence.

libezkova -> im1dc... , March 17, 2017 at 08:04 PM
And what about alternative hypothesis that British hypocrisy has no bounds:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-soft-coup-or-preserving-our-democracy/?mc_cid=2f82659492&mc_eid=32cf78e7e5

== quote ==

The campaign to link Trump to Russia also increased in intensity, including statements by multiple former and current intelligence agency heads regarding the reality of the Russian threat and the danger of electing a president who would ignore that reality. It culminated in ex-CIA Acting Director Michael Morell's claim that Trump was "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

British and Dutch intelligence were apparently discreetly queried regarding possible derogatory intelligence on the Trump campaign's links to Russia and they responded by providing information detailing meetings in Europe.

Hundreds of self-described GOP foreign policy "experts" signed letters stating that they opposed Trump's candidacy and the mainstream media was unrelentingly hostile.

Leading Republicans refused to endorse Trump and some, like Senators John McCain, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, cited his connections to Russia.

[Mar 17, 2017] Bernie Sanders Goes To West Virginia To Speak With Trump Supporters

Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Jesse : March 16, 2017 at 05:36 PM , 2017 at 05:36 PM

Bernie Sanders Goes To West Virginia To Speak With Trump Supporters

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2017/03/bernie-sanders-goes-to-west-virginia-to.html

"Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats." Bernie Sanders to NY Times Magazine's Charlie Homans

anne -> Jesse... , March 16, 2017 at 05:55 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/magazine/democratic-party-election-trump.html

March 13, 2017

The New Party of No
How a president and a protest movement transformed the Democrats.
By CHARLES HOMANS

I asked [Bernie Sanders] if he thought the Democratic Party knew what it stood for. "You're asking a good question, and I can't give you a definitive answer," he said. "Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats." ...

[Mar 17, 2017] Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party

Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : March 17, 2017 at 08:24 AM , 2017 at 08:24 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/17/everyone-loves-bernie-sanders-except-democratic-party

March 17, 2017

Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party
A new poll found he is the most popular politician in America. But instead of embracing his message, establishment Democrats continue to resist him
By Trevor Timm - Guardian

If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it's not even close. Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party – out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant – still refuses to embrace him and his message. It's increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.

A new Fox News poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 net favorability rating among the US population, dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he's even more popular among the vaunted "independents", where he is at a mind boggling +41.

This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders' favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him – the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.

One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don't have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country.

Politico ran a story just this week featuring Democratic officials fretting over the fact that Sanders supporters may upend their efforts to retake governorships in southern states by insisting those candidates adopt Sanders' populist policies – seemingly oblivious to the fact that Sanders plays well in some of those states too.

Sanders' effect on Trump voters can be seen in a gripping town hall this week that MSNBC's Chris Hayes hosted with him in West Virginia – often referred to as "Trump country" – where the crowd ended up giving him a rousing ovation after he talked about healthcare being a right of all people and that we are the only industrialized nation in the world who doesn't provide healthcare as a right to all its people.

But hand wringing by Democratic officials over 2018 candidates is really just the latest example: the establishment wing of the party aggressively ran another opponent against Keith Ellison, Sanders' choice to run the Democratic National Committee, seemingly with the primary motivation to keep the party away from Sanders' influence.

They've steadfastly refused to take giant corporations head on in the public sphere and wouldn't even return to an Obama-era rule that banned lobbyist money from funding the DNC that was rescinded last year. And despite the broad popularity of the government guaranteeing health care for everyone, they still have not made any push for a Medicare-for-all plan that Sanders has long called for as a rebuttal to Republicans' attempt to dismantle Obamacare.

Democrats seem more than happy to put all the blame of the 2016 election on a combination of Russia and James Comey and have engaged in almost zero introspection on the root causes of the larger reality: they are also out of power in not the presidency, but both also houses of Congress, governorships and state houses across the country as well.

As Politico reported on the Democrats' post-Trump strategy in February, "Democratic aides say they will eventually shift to a positive economic message that Rust Belt Democrats can run on". However: "For now, aides say, the focus is on slaying the giant and proving to the voters who sent Trump into the White House why his policies will fail."

In other words, they're doubling down on the exact same failing strategy that Clinton used in the final months of the campaign. Sanders himself put it this wayin his usual blunt style in an interview with New York magazine this week – when asked about whether the Democrats can adapt to the political reality, he said: "There are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats." ...

Peter K. -> anne... , March 17, 2017 at 09:08 AM
Krugman and Vox have been attacking Sanders regularly on behalf of the establishment Democrats.

I thought it was interesting that PGL and Sanjait said they don't agree with Krugman's latest blog post, but they refuse to discuss exactly why Krugman is wrong.

"This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can't be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these "populist" voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won't hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that's what happened.

That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich.

In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open."

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/populism-and-the-politics-of-health/

[Mar 17, 2017] Neoliberal democrats would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats

Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova : March 16, 2017 at 09:58 PM , 2017 at 09:58 PM
"Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats."

Charles Homans, NY Times Magazine, The New Party of No

[Mar 11, 2017] Apparently, most Democrats are now defending the CIA [and bashing the US constitution] and trashing WikiLeaks

CIA and militarism loving Democrats are what is called Vichy left...
Notable quotes:
"... "Apparently, most Democrats are now defending the CIA [and bashing the US constitution] and trashing WikiLeaks (who have never had to retract a single story in all their years). The brainwashing is complete. Take a valium and watch your Rachel Maddow [read your poor pk]. I can no longer help you. You have become The Borg." ..."
"... There is a large amount of ground between being a Victoria Nuland neocon hawk going around picking unnecessary fights with Russia and engaging in aggression overt or covert against her or her allies ..."
"... I happen to support reasonable engagement with Russia on matters of mutual interest, and I think there are many of those. I do not support cheerleading when Russia commits aggression against neighbors, which it has, and then lies about it. There is a middle ground, but you and ilsm both seem to have let your brains fall out of your heads onto the sidewalk and then stepped on them hard regarding all this. ..."
"... US Deep state analogy to Stalin's machinations against his rivals seems reasonable. ..."
Mar 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Clinton wing of Democratic Party was always undistinguishable from Vichy left

ilsm : March 11, 2017 at 03:26 AM

pk love the dog, the rest is same-o-same, jumped the shark Stalinist rant except instead of Putin! it's Ryan!!

reading vox.....

feed your cognitive dissonance

standards.......

ilsm -> ilsm... , March 11, 2017 at 04:18 AM
"Apparently, most Democrats are now defending the CIA [and bashing the US constitution] and trashing WikiLeaks (who have never had to retract a single story in all their years). The brainwashing is complete. Take a valium and watch your Rachel Maddow [read your poor pk]. I can no longer help you. You have become The Borg."

[my edits]

ken melvin said in reply to ilsm... , March 11, 2017 at 09:13 AM
Actually - Prof Rosser said it to you

Barkley Rosser :

anne and ilsm,

I am going to make one more point, a substantive one. There is a large amount of ground between being a Victoria Nuland neocon hawk going around picking unnecessary fights with Russia and engaging in aggression overt or covert against her or her allies and simply rolling over to be a patsy for the worst fort of RT propaganda and saying that there is no problem whatsoever with having a president who is in deep financial hock to a murderous lying Russian president and who has made inane and incomprehensible remarks about this, along with having staff and aides who lie to the public about their dealings with people from Russia.

I happen to support reasonable engagement with Russia on matters of mutual interest, and I think there are many of those. I do not support cheerleading when Russia commits aggression against neighbors, which it has, and then lies about it. There is a middle ground, but you and ilsm both seem to have let your brains fall out of your heads onto the sidewalk and then stepped on them hard regarding all this.

If you find this offensive or intimidating, anne, sorry, but I am not going to apologize. Frankly, I think you should apologize for the stupid and offensive things you have said on this subject, about which I do not think you have the intimately personal knowledge that I have.
Reply Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 12:36 AM

Paine -> ilsm... , March 11, 2017 at 08:19 AM
My dear interlocutor
As a once overt and future sleeper cell Stalinist
I'm perplexed by your artful use of Stalinist

In my experience that label was restricted to pinko circles notably
Trotskyists pinning the dirty tag on various shades of commie types
On the other side of the great divide of the early thirties

Buy you !

To you it seems synonymous with Orwellian demons of all stripes

A part can of course stand in for a whole

But can uncle joe really stand in for the DLC ?

Paine -> Paine... , March 11, 2017 at 08:21 AM
The new left extended fascist to fit Hubert Humphrey
So I confess the stretch is conceivable but is it catalytic
RGC -> Paine... , March 11, 2017 at 08:31 AM
US Deep state analogy to Stalin's machinations against his rivals seems reasonable.

Maybe you are more a Bukharinist than Stalinist.

[Mar 11, 2017] The working and middle classes were decimated by neoliberals but somehow it is now the voters fault because they had thrown the neoliberal warmonger Hillary in the ditch

Mar 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
George H. Blackford -> EMichael... March 10, 2017 at 10:07 AM
Facts Liberal elites refuse to face:

a) In the 70s, a Dem congress began deregulating the financial system with the help of a Dem president.

b) In the 80s, a Dem congress continued deregulation and cut taxes on the rich, increased taxes on the not so rich, cut SS benefits and essential government programs, and abandoned the unions.

c) In the 90s, a Dem president reappointed Greenspan to the Fed, further deregulated and cut essential programs, and signed draconian crime, welfare, and student loan bills into law.

d) In 07, the Dems took back the congress and did nothing to hold accountable those who had led us into a war under false pretenses, turned us into a nation of torturers, and politicized the Justice Department as the concentration of income rose until the economy blew up in the fall of 08.

e) In 09 the Dems took complete control of the federal government and ignored students and homeowners as they bailed out the banks, passed a Heritage Foundation healthcare plan championed by the insurance and drug companies as incomes and wages plummeted.

The working and middle classes were decimated throughout this process, and, somehow, it's the voters' fault we ended up with a throw the bums out Trump instead of a more of the same Hillary? I don't think so!

Liberal elites are in a state of denial. It's time to wake up and face reality:
http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/Sanders1.htm

Pinkybum -> George H. Blackford ... , March 10, 2017 at 08:43 AM
"The obvious solution for rising healthcare costs is either a public option or extending Medicare to younger and younger people, but Democrats, other than Sanders, refuse to offer or defend these solutions."

Medicare for all was not offered because politically it was a non-starter. The public option was offered and once the Republicans (and Democrats who might as well be Republicans) realized what it meant (out-competing insurance companies) they opposed it.

yuan -> Pinkybum... , March 10, 2017 at 09:32 AM
"and Democrats who might as well be Republicans"

people who try to equate these class traitors to all democrats are carrying their water.

[[House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pledged at the time that the House bill would include a public option.15 Indeed, a public option offered through a private insurance exchange was included in all three versions of the bill passed by House committees in the summer of 2009 (House Ways and Means and House Education and Labor on 17 July 2009; House Energy and Commerce on 31 July 2009), as well as in the bill passed by the full House of Representatives on 7 November 2009 (the Affordable Health Care for America Act, HR 3962). A public option was also included in the bill passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on 15 July 2009 (the Affordable Health Choices Act, S 1679).

Senate Democrats were engaged in a highly contentious debate throughout the fall of 2009, and the political life of the public option changed almost daily. The debate reached a critical impasse in November 2009, when Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who usually caucuses with the Democrats, threatened to filibuster the Senate bill if it included a public option.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) made last-minute attempts to introduce amendments to include a public option as the bill was about to be voted on by the Senate Finance Committee. Those failed, and there was no public option in either the bill that emerged from that committee or the bill that passed the full Senate on 24 December 2009]]

http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/6/1117.full

George H. Blackford -> yuan... , March 10, 2017 at 09:41 AM
My question is, why was this allowed to die there?

Why wasn't it raised as a campaign issue in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections, explained to the public, and fought for by the Democrats?

yuan -> George H. Blackford ... , March 10, 2017 at 09:47 AM
i think obama's conservatism played a huge role.
Pinkybum -> pgl... , March 10, 2017 at 12:29 PM
I agree. Medicare For All! Should have been the rallying cry from the start. The Democrats should have challenged the Republicans to argue against the logic of it and laid them bare but they didn't. If that was the starting point of any negotiations we might have a much better health insurance system now. I guess I have to blame Obama for the lack of leadership on that one.
pgl -> Pinkybum... , March 10, 2017 at 01:07 PM
'Medicare For All! Should have been the rallying cry from the start.'

Yep and it should have been the rallying cry in 1993.

run75441 -> George H. Blackford ... , March 10, 2017 at 07:07 PM
Hmmmm:

"The obvious solution for rising healthcare costs is either a public option or extending Medicare to younger and younger people, but Democrats, other than Sanders, refuse to offer or defend these solutions."

In either case, Congress has not allowed Medicare to negotiate costs completely and you believe they my allow a Public Option to do so???

George H. Blackford -> run75441... , March 10, 2017 at 10:25 PM
The point is that the public has never been given a choice. No one except Sanders has made this sort of thing a campaign issue, and the Democrats rejected Sanders. As a result, we ended up with a Republican congress and Trump.

[Mar 08, 2017] Political Misfortune Anatomy of Democratic Party Failure in Clinton's Campaign 2016

Mar 08, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
justanotherprogressive , March 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

This is just another example of how Big Data can fail. All polling is is the use of Big Data – weighting factors are just another name for algorithms. Unlike Cambridge Analytica which was going outside its data to make projections, the pollsters insisted on using the wrong model to determine human behavior – and that is just as bad. Instead of watching who the polls said was in the lead, I was watching the error analyses. The model of how people vote had changed, but polling companies just didn't notice (or perhaps didn't want to notice). Certainly the elections of 2010, 2012, and 2014 should have alerted them to changing trends and model instability and their error analyses should have been much higher than they were. But putting data into a garbage compactor just gives you more garbage .

clarky90 , March 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

People assume that "Big Data" is science. It is not. They are "models", like kid's Lego models, that reflect the consciousness of the "Model's Creator" (This kid seriously likes battleships, or cosy little houses!) Sort of like the way IQ tests reflect the culture, class and race of its creator. (You usually do not get points for identifying a bird by it's bird-song or differentiating edible plants from the inedible, by taste/smell).

This proves that most Big Polling companies are run by Clintonistas, just as Big Media is run by Clintonistas. Their polling numbers still show that Trump is losing, to this day. They are truly exceptional people. (In a weird and creepy way)

This also implies that Lambert possesses that very rare quality- The Open Mind , that can see through powerful/dense/stinky bullshit, with x-ray vision.

applauds and stands respectfully , cheers

susan the other , March 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm

It's amazing how much more complex a humanities approach is compared to a stone cold set of unemotional variables. To wit: Trump won because the "rural" component of the LA Times was exaggerated – so then what does that say for the urban component who where almost as down-and-out. This is logic karma. The humanities guy, using a tree of almost-psychic analysis gets it right. Love it a lot. And there is some connection to our favorite Mr. Professor, Mark Blyth when he describes these fed-up electorates (those betrayed by neoliberalism) as "no-shows." Well, we could go on and on. Truth becomes the fractal analysis of politics.

vlade , March 6, 2017 at 3:51 pm

"The humanities guy, using a tree of almost-psychic analysis gets it right".

I've got some bad news for you. Decision trees are part and parcel of Machine Learning techniques.

And polling has nothing to do with Big Data per se – sample of a few thousand is not Big Data in any way form or shape, it's just statistics. And while statistics doesn't have any bias, statisticians (and polsters) do (as do, for the matter, any and all humans).

justanotherprogressive , March 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Your comment reminds me of some data science jokes going around:
1. Data science is statistics done on a Mac.
2. A data scientist is a statistician living in San Francisco.
3. A data scientist is a person who knows more about statistics than a computer scientist and knows more about computer science than a statistitian.
(I'd give credit to whoever started these jokes if I could only figure out who they were ..)

Statistics is a big part of Big Data – it cannot be done without it. You'd probably be surprised to know that polling is a part of data science. And you'd probably don't know that the first documented use of Big Data was by Tycho Brache/Kepler ..
It is important to understand what Big Data/Data Science is since it is here and it isn't going away. Curiosity Stream has an excellent video, "The Human Faces of Big Data" that is well worth the watch.
And as always, the worst thing a person can do is give up their ability to think critically when presented with Big Data results, which are not truths, but only patterns based on the data given. GIGO still applies .

justanotherprogressive , March 6, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I need to correct my next to last sentence to read: .which are not truths, but only patterns based on the data given AND the algorithm used ..
Sometimes the data is good, but the algorithm is bad and vice versa

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

The data plugged in to the decision tree was done so in a very humanities major-y way. Yes, I know what a decision tree is.

Rosario , March 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm

I have to remind myself every time I see data modelling political and cultural phenomenon that these particular models can or will work well until they don't. They always operate within a political and cultural paradigm and when that paradigm is broken or even just faltering the methods (which are heavily biased by that paradigm) fall apart. I can't say it is apophenia as the data/patterns are relevant within an existing paradigm. Maybe it is apophenia in reverse. The culture establishes an agreed upon framework thus informing the modeller and skewing their modelling. So the culture creates the patterns on a largely nonscientific basis and the modeller simply interprets them to predict the culture's future behavior. It seems like an exercise in futility.

shinola , March 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

While the "horse race" data is interesting & kinda fun to dissect in retrospect, I don't think it really captures the essence of what happened. Boiled down to 2 factors:

1) Trump was the "bomb thrower" candidate. First he blew up the R's establishment candidates in the primaries & then blew up the D's hyper-establishment candidate in the general.

2) HRC was a terrible and, ultimately, incompetent candidate. Her palpable sense of entitlement & arrogance was quite off-putting to a significant portion of the electorate. That she won the popular vote but still managed to lose the election says it all about her campaign strategy.

Trump's election was a giant middle finger to the "politics-as-usual" crowd.
(Unfortunately Trump is really very "establishment" – he just ran a non-traditional campaign. I'll be rather surprised if he makes beyond 2020)

Code Name D , March 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm

I suspect there was a lot more neo-liberal working behind the sceine that we might suspect. Polling companies are a lot like the acounting firms for the banks – they are paid to overlook acounting issues. Those that don't, do not get to keep their contracts. The polling firms were paied not to measure the mood of the electorate, but to produce polls that conformed to the narative. And the narative was that Clintion was going to win by a landslide.

The polls were just another tool for manufacturing consent.

[Mar 07, 2017] On journalism and Democratic Party fiasco

Notable quotes:
"... The constraint on punditry is that they are all a bunch of high school mean girls. They spend just as much time gossiping and trashing each other as teenagers. Anyone who doesn't parrot faux objectivity, which is little more than the D party line, can expect to be ostracized and not given opportunities for advancement. ..."
"... They all pretend they can divine absolutely everything from polls, enabling them to forego any real reporting in favor of some number crunching or referencing fivethirtyeight. Polls have so many problems in the first place, that to try and extrapolate to what the electorate is really saying is a fool's errand. Polls don't let people say that they would rather be boiled in oil than elect the wife of the guy that laid the groundwork for the GFC, or that they really hate both of them and as long as it looks like Clinton is going to win I might not bother to show up. They certainly don't have an option for: I see how this country works, I see how corrupt 95% of the elites are, I see how they have had success in their lives and pulled up the ladders of opportunity behind them, I see how they think they are peers with the titans of industry and are willing to forgive them of just about any misbehavior no matter how consequential and despite all that the titans think of them as the paid help. I see how willing they are to make life harder for the majority just to fellatiate their donors; leaving rhetoric and shame as the only tools to get compliance and votes. ..."
"... I think it has to do with the knowledge that she holds grudges and the level of inevitability she was able to command. Anyone who dared to go even an inch beyond the mean girl hive mind could be assured zero access in her Whitehouse and to have future opportunities for advancement disappear. ..."
"... It's just not that hard: the Democrats bent the rules and thwarted what people wanted in order to run Hillary because it was her turn, ignoring the negatives that were present before the inept campaign increased them. ..."
Mar 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
UserFriendly , March 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

I went on two email rants tangential to this if anyone is interested, I enjoyed them.
On journalism:

The constraint on punditry is that they are all a bunch of high school mean girls. They spend just as much time gossiping and trashing each other as teenagers. Anyone who doesn't parrot faux objectivity, which is little more than the D party line, can expect to be ostracized and not given opportunities for advancement.

They all pretend they can divine absolutely everything from polls, enabling them to forego any real reporting in favor of some number crunching or referencing fivethirtyeight. Polls have so many problems in the first place, that to try and extrapolate to what the electorate is really saying is a fool's errand. Polls don't let people say that they would rather be boiled in oil than elect the wife of the guy that laid the groundwork for the GFC, or that they really hate both of them and as long as it looks like Clinton is going to win I might not bother to show up. They certainly don't have an option for: I see how this country works, I see how corrupt 95% of the elites are, I see how they have had success in their lives and pulled up the ladders of opportunity behind them, I see how they think they are peers with the titans of industry and are willing to forgive them of just about any misbehavior no matter how consequential and despite all that the titans think of them as the paid help. I see how willing they are to make life harder for the majority just to fellatiate their donors; leaving rhetoric and shame as the only tools to get compliance and votes.

At the end of the day, polls are like horoscopes, a kernel of truth but you can see what you want to see. Which is why we were subjected to copious think pieces about Bernie Bros and Racist Trump voters that are little more than polling cross tabs woven into whatever narrative would best help Clinton.

But why Clinton? It certainly isn't because there was a cozy relationship before this campaign. Note this quote from Politico :

But to this day she's surrounded herself with media conspiracy theorists who remain some of her favorite confidants, urged wealthy allies to bankroll independent organizations tasked with knee-capping reporters perceived as unfriendly, withdrawn into a gilded shell when attacked and rolled her eyes at several generations of aides who suggested she reach out to journalists rather than just disdaining them. Not even being nice to her in print has been a guarantor of access; reporters likely to write positive stories have been screened as ruthlessly as perceived enemies, dismissed as time-sucking sycophants or pretend-friends.

I think it has to do with the knowledge that she holds grudges and the level of inevitability she was able to command. Anyone who dared to go even an inch beyond the mean girl hive mind could be assured zero access in her Whitehouse and to have future opportunities for advancement disappear. But it certainly isn't above her to play favorites and reword good coverage with access, even to the point of dictating adjectives to reporters .

UserFriendly , March 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

The second email was to 538 because they put up a job listing, which I used as an opportunity to get an email read by them.

Well, I don't have any experience editing or writing (except as a hobby) but I do have a very extensive knowledge of current events, political trends, polling, voting methods, and heterodox economics. Since it's doubtful you would consider me for a policy editor position I just thought I would offer some constructive criticism.

1. Instead of using your models to display the odds of a candidate winning if the election were held today, incorporate the polling error and historical trends to make a graph that starts with lines for the past and ends with probability cones into the future. You may know that polls are only for a snapshot in time, but the vast majority of the TV pundits who use this site as a bible don't. Then they go and decide who gets coverage based on it. This is especially important when you have a well known candidate vs lesser known ones. This is a key reason Sanders didn't do as well and why we have a president Trump. They also couldn't emphasize enough how unelectable he was despite the polls constantly saying otherwise which really was the one thing that sank him . For some reason about 40% of the country says they will vote even if they don't care about the outcome. I'm sure in reality it is much less, even more so for a primary. However, one of the reason politics is so dysfunctional right now is that no one in their right mind would run for congress or anything else when only 63/435 house districts had a margin under 15%. Any damage you do to the incumbency effect is a huge plus.

2. Alternative voting. Since your site is all about data I can't for the life of me understand why you haven't done a dive into alternative voting methods. It there is one thing this election should have taught us it's that first past the post (FPTP) is a creation from hell that needs to die. Then the only other option widely expressed is Instant Run Off (IRV), which is just ever so slightly better than FPTP. Would it really be too much to ask to dive into Score Voting , 3-2-1 voting , Condorcet, and Schultz? And maybe look at some of the work being done to model voter satisfaction with those systems.

3. Improving Polling. Clearly you have contacts at all the major polling firms I have absolutely no clue why you haven't pressured them to gather better data. Since the elites in this country absolutely refuse to be within a 5 mile radius of real people, they rely on polls to take the temperature of the public. I'd say that hasn't been working so well. I have seen polls where they find out your stance on ACA, give both side some of the opposing arguments, and then ask again and manage to flip like 20% from each side. Any poll that is going to ask our suboptimally informed electorate something about a hot button issue should give a reason or two for and against before getting a response. Polls that are meant to determine a participant's preference on a range of hot button issues really should be done with quadratic voting .
Which brings me to horse race polls. Just to get a baseline about how dysfunctional FPTP is I would have loved to see a poll in the middle of the Dem primary ask "regardless of who you plan on voting for, who do you want to be the next president?" Primary season would also be a great time to test out some of the alternative voting methods mentioned above, most of which would eliminate the need for primaries entirely. But if we are stuck with FPTP I would love for the follow up question to be "In one sentence why do you plan to vote for that person?" That would really be invaluable data.

I could probably go on for another hour with things that I think you could do to personally improve the miserable state this country is in and will continue to be in for the foreseeable future, but I'll spare you. Thanks for reading this far if you did.

TheCatSaid , March 7, 2017 at 10:13 am

I'm glad you posted this! I wasn't familiar with quadratic voting and the link is quite interesting.

It seems to have some similarities with ranked preference voting. That said, I agree with Peter Emerson that in any choice there should be at least 3 options to choose from, and those options should come from the voting base.

Choosing from how much I agree or disagree with a single proposal is still a poor option–it depends what the alternatives are if one disagrees, or at least some basics about the implementation if one agrees.

Using the questions from the QV video as an example, in some questions the nature of the potential alternatives might affect results more than others. (For example, "Do you want to repeal the ACA?" How a person answers might vary considerably depending on the alternatives.)

DWD , March 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Lambert,

It's just not that hard: the Democrats bent the rules and thwarted what people wanted in order to run Hillary because it was her turn, ignoring the negatives that were present before the inept campaign increased them.

People reacted in a predictable manner.

End of story.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 10:52 am

I only partially agree with your alternative narrative; see the forthcoming post.

BobW , March 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I read that book a long time ago. What I remember (perhaps incorrectly) is that there are simple, compound and complex failures. One error causes a simple failure, two a compound and three a complex. Complex failures are usually catastrophic. The errors were 1) failure to learn 2) failure to anticipate 3) failure to adapt. Perhaps a bit overly structural, but it did stick in my mind for years.

Chris , March 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

James Reason's 'Swiss cheese' theory ( http://130.88.20.21/trasnusafe/pdfs/HumanErrorsModelsandManagement.pdf )

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 10:54 am

> 1) failure to learn 2) failure to anticipate 3) failure to adapt.

Those are the types of failure, and those are reasonable enough buckets. But their analysis of how multiple pathways to failure is to my mind far more supple - and you have to treat case case separately.

dcblogger , March 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

reminder that Democratic dysfunction goes bac a long way

L , March 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

While I generally agree with your analysis I think that your timeline is missing one key inflection point, the ACA. During September and October some states began announcing pricing changes for the coming year. That fed into the rolling narrative that the ACA was collapsing, or in a death spiral, or otherwise in trouble right around the same time that radical opportunist True Patriot(tm) Jim Comey was bringing up Weiners.

Others have argued (can't find the links right now sorry) that this was more meaningful than the emails and my own informal poll of Trump voters is consistent with that. None of them mention Bhengazi or the emails except as general background to her unsavoriness, meaning that the damage was done long before October. But they do bring up the "collapsing state exchanges" and "unreasonable price surges" as current problems.

KurtisMayfield , March 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I agree 100% . The ACA timing was beautiful from a political perspective. The old question "Are you better off now" was answered with a resounding no.

Too bad no one is going to fix this health care system. It has to die before it can be reborn. Unfortunately the human toll will be horrible.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 10:55 am

I agree that the email furor could be masking the effect of an ObamaCare rate hike, but I have never seen polling to this effect; if somebody has, please add! There are a lot of events happening simultaneously, and then the press will pick one and make that the cause.

Hayek's Heelbiter , March 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Bottom line, people in rural western Virginia (with which I am more familiar) might not have even heard the term "neoliberal" [by the way, why do we use his portmanteau of two very positive words to describe a loathsome philosophy? Why don't we just call it what it is, "neofeudalism" or possibly more accurately, "archeofeudalism"], but these "deplorables" do know that their lives suck more than they ever have due to their lives and livelihood being drained out of them by the 1% and the Accela Corridor Class, of which HRC was the examplar par excellence.

Just ignore all the polls, all the verbiage, all the analysis. Bottom line: Trump is the proverbial "Ham Sandwich."

IMHO

Mel , March 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

The original liberal revolution (circa 1776 and later) mobilized the power of the bourgeoisie, money, and markets to correct the inadequacies of the remains of the feudal society based on agriculture and land. The neoliberal revolution aims to mobilize the power of money and markets to correct the inadequacies of the liberal society based on money and markets. Strategically, to put a price on anything that's left without one, and eliminate the chances for Polanyi's "double movement".

George Phillies , March 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

You write: "all but the Daybreak poll got the popular vote outcome wrong. "

Ummh, your sentence exactly disagrees with your data. Almost all polls got the sign of the popular vote total correct, with Clinton leading Trump by several points. The average (Huffington Post does this) of a lot of polls was very close indeed to Trump's performance, with Trump having fewer popular vote than Clinton by close to 3%.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

Fixed, thanks.

I Have Strange Dreams , March 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Trump never said he actually grabbed women by the pussy:

"And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

Sad thing is, Trump is probably right. As the old pussy-grabber Jefferson said, "The government you elect is the government you deserve."

john c. halasz , March 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I'm surprised in your narrative inflection points, you don't note Oct. 24 as a key date, the day the administration announced that Obamacare premiums would increase by an average of 22%. Though it didn't receive as much coverage from the horse-race media, it seems to me that if there was one single event that tipped the race to Trump, it was that announcement.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

Because I don't recall polling to that effect (and you know my priors; I would have been very happy to beat that drum).

john c. halasz , March 7, 2017 at 2:59 pm

I didn't follow the polling much in real-time, but my recollection from post-mortems is that Trump received a number of bounces up at inflection events, but then his poll numbers subsided back. But in the aftermath of Oct. 24 his numbers began to rise without subsiding later. The graphs you posted are consistent with that, except that it's attributed to the Comey letter,, which received a lot of media play, but probably was of lesser importance to voters, as opposed to its importance as a Dembot excuse.

sharonsj , March 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm

In Florida, Trump got 113,000 more votes than Hillary. However, election officials report that 130,000 voters refused to vote for either candidate and wrote in the names of various people and cartoon characters. The usual "vote for the lesser of two evils" just isn't working any more.

Carl , March 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

Oh nice! I didn't know that .

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

Got a link?

Paul Greenwood , March 7, 2017 at 7:32 am

Why not look at how Bill Clinton diverted the Democratic Party towards Wall Street and Oligarchs and left behind huge swathes of traditional voters ? The story of the string-puller from Arkansas and his connections, whether to get him a Rhodes Scholarship and multiple draft deferments, or his visit to Russia in Dec 1969, or his governorship and its strange association with Rich Mountain Aviation in Mena, AK.

This was where the Democratic Party turned away from its voter base and Blair copied this in UK with New Labour, a Neo-Marxist front facilitating Financial Excess

http://louisianavoice.com/2011/02/14/603/

http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/what-does-hutchinson-know-about-arkansass-biggest-drug-smuggler/Content?oid=3206051

http://www.arktimes.com/RockCandy/archives/2014/02/13/ron-howard-to-direct-movie-about-arkansass-most-notorious-drug-smuggler-barry-seal

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

You're asking why I didn't write another post. Basically, because I wanted to write about penguins, and not peacocks. The focus is on the campaign, not on everything that's been wrong with the Democrat Party since forever (though there'll be a bit more of that in the forthcoming post).

oy , March 7, 2017 at 8:36 am

One of these days pundits are going to stop treating the election like some damn sporting event, focusing on momentum and god knows what instead of where the candidates stand on the issues of importance. When that happens, maybe we'll start electing candidates that are interested and capable of solving problems instead of candidates merely striving to stroke their egos.

oh , March 7, 2017 at 1:24 pm

I commend you for your optimism, However, the two party (actually one party) duopoly will insist on nominating neo-liberal candidates paid for by yuuge corporate bribes. May I suggest that you look elsewhere if you want candidates capable of solving the people's problems rather than the corporate ones.

Steven Greenberg , March 7, 2017 at 9:49 am

The trouble with social science is that the subjects read about themselves and change behavior based on what they read. This is the property that George Soros calls reflexive. Even physical science at the quantum mechanical level has as a basic principle that the act of measuring something changes it.

Yes, even George Soros can be right about a thing or two.

TheCatSaid , March 7, 2017 at 10:24 am

Interesting analysis. What would add considerably is if we had some way of also charting other events, in particular election fraud events (including voter suppression, computer tabulator rigging, etc.) and other election interference mechanisms such as media coverage / non-coverage / miscoverage.

Not to mention the primary problems. Or the issues having to do with "candidate selection" in the first place.

Analysis of the election without examining the information made available to voters, and with no hope of knowing how voters actually did vote (hint–we don't know this from official election results), is dodgy to say the least.

At the minimum the glaring gaps in information (e.g. about actual vote tallies) should be acknowledged.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2017 at 11:03 am

Did you read the title of the post? That often gives a good indiction of the subject matter to be found therein. You want me to write another post. Perhaps one day.

TheCatSaid , March 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

The presence of actual election malfeasance for decades (and more–when have we ever had clean elections under public scrutiny?) means that elegant analysis such as yours perversely perpetuates the acceptance of phony election data. That's why some form of acknowledgement is needed somewhere in the post. Not a different post or a different topic, just a mention that there are . . . issues.

I would love your approach if only it didn't contain the unspoken presumption of official election results bearing any resemblance to actual votes cast! Maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the precinct and specific election. We should not advocate people continuing to blindly accept official election results regardless of whether the results were expected, unexpected, close, non-close, matching polls, not matching polls. Analysis that does not acknowledge the absence of meaningful election scrutiny inadvertently perpetuates the problem.

It's like doing financial analysis on an economy where all data is submitted by companies with zero requirement for backup financial data. (Not to mention then carrying out "polls" of what "financial analyses" we believe or prefer!) We would never accept that kind of "data" and subsequent "analysis" in a financial context.

Scott , March 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

I see it as a contest for power between two jet setters. Both had Boeings. One was owned by the candidate, bigger & black & red.
The other was some smaller, and nondescript blue.
I'd like to see the number of flights and where they went compared.

gizzardboy , March 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Concerning your inflection points, Lambert: I remember from a while back that Empty Wheel had a chart that showed a major shift in sentiment toward Trump when new higher Obamacare costs were announced for 2017. Sorry, but I don't know how to run down that link.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm

It's bad now, but it could be worse. Project Fear. OK, Trump is a lunatic but how does that compare with the status quo? Let's give the lunatic a go. How bad can it get?

[Mar 07, 2017] The Democratic party is officially dead

Notable quotes:
"... Until the Democrats reform their leadership and recommit to working people again, they will have no future as a party. ..."
"... Brad and Larry and Paul are a big part of the status quo for the liberal establishment, and the incredible failure of leadership they have achieved. ..."
"... Continuing to argue about it here, with the quick resort to personal attacks and name-calling, is irrelevant, because the Democratic party is dead. Seriously, how big of a loss can they take before the leadership gets tossed? It was not just the presidency. They have lost almost everything. ..."
"... Don't count the Democratic Party out yet. Politicians need to make a living. After the Civil War the Democratic Party had to scrape together what it could find that Republicans had tossed out with the garbage. ..."
"... So, the Democratic Party took to supporting immigrants and unions. Times have changed and the Democratic Party lost the unions to corporatism, but tried to make it up with racial politics. ..."
"... The Democratic Party made a big mistake abandoning the interests of ordinary working people, but that is what their corporate donors demanded. So, it is time for a makeover and if the next one does not take then they will be back at it again because politicians have to make a living. ..."
"... The Democratic party, much less so than the Republican party, is not homogenous. All the things you ascribe to them past or present don't apply to most of their current members or operatives. ..."
Feb 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Jesse : February 20, 2017 at 01:43 PM

Until the Democrats reform their leadership and recommit to working people again, they will have no future as a party.

Brad and Larry and Paul are a big part of the status quo for the liberal establishment, and the incredible failure of leadership they have achieved.

Continuing to argue about it here, with the quick resort to personal attacks and name-calling, is irrelevant, because the Democratic party is dead. Seriously, how big of a loss can they take before the leadership gets tossed? It was not just the presidency. They have lost almost everything.

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2017/02/jimmy-dore-and-thomas-frank-on-what.html

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Jesse... , February 20, 2017 at 02:10 PM
Don't count the Democratic Party out yet. Politicians need to make a living. After the Civil War the Democratic Party had to scrape together what it could find that Republicans had tossed out with the garbage.

So, the Democratic Party took to supporting immigrants and unions. Times have changed and the Democratic Party lost the unions to corporatism, but tried to make it up with racial politics.

That worked some, but the problem with identity politics is that eventually people get their rights and freedoms and next thing you know they want jobs and college educations for their children.

The Democratic Party made a big mistake abandoning the interests of ordinary working people, but that is what their corporate donors demanded. So, it is time for a makeover and if the next one does not take then they will be back at it again because politicians have to make a living.

cm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , February 20, 2017 at 04:33 PM
The Democratic party, much less so than the Republican party, is not homogenous. All the things you ascribe to them past or present don't apply to most of their current members or operatives.

It is one of the pernicious aspects of an effectively two-party system that all progressives have a strong motivation or even necessity to associate themselves with the "least bad" party. By way of official narrative the Democrats definitely fit the bill, even though they contain a lot of "co-opted" (if not corrupted) establishment baggage. That just happens with any major party - elites and interest groups that nominally stay out of politics but factually participate and not just a little are never resting.

In Germany, the 80's (perhaps late 70s?) saw an ascendancy of the Green party which was strongly associated with environmentalism, and by implication resistance to then prevalent politics, social mores, etc. They were successful as environmentalism and (I would say secondarily but that can be debated) civil/individual liberties and gender/ethnic equality which they also featured big time were themes that found wide appeal, and the time was ripe for them (e.g. environmental degradation had become undeniable, and gender/ethnic discrimination had become recognized as a factor hindering progress, aside from just fairness concerns).

A few decades later (and starting even a few years after the success) there was a noticeable bifurcation in the Greens - it turned out they were not all on the same page regarding all social issues. A number of Greens "defected" from the party and associated themselves with Red (Social Democrats, equivalent of US Democrats) or Black (Christian Democrats, equivalent of US Republicans) - showing that environmental or general (dimensions of) equal opportunity concerns are perhaps orthogonal to stands on other more or less specific social issues (or if one wants to be more cynical, that some people are careerist and not so much about principles - that exists but I would prefer (with little proof) to think it doesn't explain the larger pattern).

[Mar 04, 2017] Update on Trumps Pro-Russiaism

Notable quotes:
"... Gordon claimed that Trump said he did not "want to go to World War III over Ukraine" during that meeting, Acosta said. ..."
Mar 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc : March 03, 2017 at 05:45 PM , 2017 at 05:45 PM
Update re Trump's Pro-Russiaism

This shows Trump and his highest campaign officials at the time complicit in pro-Russian spin and from those in contact with Russia in the Trump campaign

Impeachment charge stuff imo

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/jd-gordon-change-story-gop-platform-ukraine-amendment

"Trump Ally Drastically Changes Story About Altering GOP Platform On Ukraine"

By Allegra Kirkland....March 3, 2017....2:16 PM EDT

"In a significant reversal, a Trump campaign official on Thursday told CNN that he personally advocated for softening the language on Ukraine in the GOP platform at the Republican National Convention, and that he did so on behalf of the President.nnb877

CNN's Jim Acosta reported on air that J.D. Gordon, the Trump campaign's national security policy representative at the RNC, told him that he made the change to include language that he claimed "Donald Trump himself wanted and advocated for" at a March 2016 meeting at then-unfinished Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gordon claimed that Trump said he did not "want to go to World War III over Ukraine" during that meeting, Acosta said.

Yet Gordon had told Business Insider in January that he "never left" the side table where he sat monitoring the national security subcommittee meeting, where a GOP delegate's amendment calling for the provision of "lethal defense weapons" to the Ukrainian army was tabled. At the time, Gordon said "neither Mr. Trump nor [former campaign manager] Mr. [Paul] Manafort were involved in those sort of details, as they've made clear."

Discussion of changes to the platform, which drew attention to the ties to a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine that fueled Manafort's resignation as Trump's campaign chairman, resurfaced Thursday in a USA Today story. The newspaper revealed that Gordon and Carter Page, another former Trump adviser, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the GOP convention.

Trump and his team have long insisted that his campaign had no contact with Russian officials during the 2016 race, and that they were not behind softening the language on Ukraine in the Republican Party platform."...

libezkova -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:30 PM
This is not an update re: "Trump's Pro-Russiaism".

This is an update of your complete lack of understanding of political situation.

There was a pretty cold and nasty calculation on Trump's part to split Russia-China alliance which does threaten the USA global hegemony. Now those efforts are discredited and derailed. Looks like the US neoliberal elite is slightly suicidal. But that's good: the sooner we get rid of neoliberalism, the better.

Sill Dems hysteria (in association with some Repugs like war hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham) does strongly smells with neo-McCarthyism. McCain and Graham are probably playing this dirty game out of pure enthusiasm: Trump does not threatens MIC from which both were elected. He just gave them all the money they wanted. But for Dems this is en essential smoke screen to hide their fiasco and blame evil Russians.

In other words citing Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. "

This farce of making Russians a scapegoat for all troubles does make some short-term political sense as it distracts from the fact the Dems were abandoned by its base. And it unites the nation providing some political support for chickenhawks in US Congress for the next elections.

But in a long run the price might be a little bit too high. If Russian and China formalize their alliance this is the official end for the US neoliberal empire. Britain will jump the sinking ship first, because they do not have completely stupid elite.

BTW preventing Cino-Russian alliance is what British elite always tried to do (and was successful) in the past -- but in their time the main danger for them was the alliance of Germany and Russia -- two major continental powers.

Still short-termism is a feature of US politics, and we can do nothing against those forces that fuel the current anti-Russian hysteria.

The evil rumors at the time of original McCarthyism hysteria were that this was at least partially a smoke screen designed to hide smuggling of Nazi scientists and intelligence operatives into the USA (McCarthy was from Wisconsin, the state in German immigrant majority from which famous anti-WWI voice Robert M. La Follette was elected ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._La_Follette_Sr.))

So here there might well be also some hidden motives, because everybody, including even you understands that "Trump is in the pocket of Russians" hypothesis is pure propaganda (BTW Hillary did take bribes from Russian oligarchs, that's proven, but Caesar's wife must be above suspicion).

im1dc -> libezkova... , March 03, 2017 at 07:44 PM
What we are witnessing is the truth coming out, too slowly for some of us, but it surely will come out eventually despite the best efforts of Trump's WH, Gang, and his Republican lackies to cover it up.
im1dc -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:05 PM
Serious question, what do you believe to be Director Comey's fingerprints on all of this?
libezkova -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:59 PM
You probably would be better off sticking to posting music from YouTube then trying to understand complex political events and posting political junk from US MSM in pretty prominent economic blog (overtaking Fred)

Especially taking into account the fact that English is the only language you know and judging from your posts you do not have degrees in either economics or political science (although some people here with computer science background proved to be shrewd analysts of both economic and political events; cm is one example).

Although trying to read British press will not hurt you, they do provide a better coverage of US political events then the USA MSM. Even neoliberal Guardian. So if you can't fight your urge to repost political junk please try to do it from British press.

As for your question: in 20 years we might know something about who played what hand in this dirty poker, but even this is not given (JFK assassination is a classic example here; Gulf of Tonkin incident is another)

[Feb 27, 2017] Tom Perez Elected Head of DNC

Notable quotes:
"... isn't going to wor ..."
"... isn't going to wor ..."
"... is all that works. ..."
"... and Haim Saban's opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money. ..."
"... The Dems are set up pretty well for 2018. ..."
"... "We lost this election eight years ago," concludes Michael Slaby, the campaign's chief technology officer. "Our party became a national movement focused on general elections, and we lost touch with nonurban, noncoastal communities. There is a straight line between our failure to address the culture and systemic failures of Washington and this election result." ..."
"... The question of why-why the president and his team failed to activate the most powerful political weapon in their arsenal. ..."
"... Obama's army was eager to be put to work. Of the 550,000 people who responded to the survey, 86 percent said they wanted to help Obama pass legislation through grassroots support; 68 percent wanted to help elect state and local candidates who shared his vision. Most impressive of all, more than 50,000 said they personally wanted to run for elected office. ..."
"... But they never got that chance. In late December, Plouffe and a small group of senior staffers finally made the call, which was endorsed by Obama. The entire campaign machine, renamed Organizing for America, would be folded into the DNC, where it would operate as a fully controlled subsidiary of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... Republicans, on the other hand, wasted no time in building a grassroots machine of their own-one that proved capable of blocking Obama at almost every turn. Within weeks of his inauguration, conservative activists began calling for local "tea parties" to oppose the president's plan to help foreclosed homeowners. ..."
"... Your friend should share her script for success w/ the DNC leadership. ..."
Feb 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on February 25, 2017 by Yves Smith Kiss that party goodbye. From the Wall Street Journal :

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee Saturday, giving the party an establishment leader at a moment when its grass roots wing is insurgent.

Mr. Perez defeated Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and four other candidates in a race that had few ideological divisions yet illuminated the same rifts in the party that drove the acrimonious 2016 presidential primary between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Perez fell one vote short of a majority on the first vote for chairman, with Mr. Ellison 13 votes behind him. The four second-tier candidates then dropped out of the race before the second ballot. On the second ballot, Mr. Perez won 235 of 435 votes cast.

Altandmain , February 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Somehow, I think most people knew that this was going to happen.

There's a good chance that Trump will end up being a 2 term president and that 2018 will be a disaster for the Democratic Party on the scale of 2010, 2014, and 1994. Meanwhile, they will surely blame the voters and especially the left, which is what they always do when they don't win.

I think that we should keep in mind that the US is a plutocracy and that at this point, the Democrats aren't even pretending to be a "New Deal" party for the people anymore. Perhaps its existence always was an outlet to contain and co-opt the left. At least now, the message is naked: the left is expected to blindly obey, but will never be given leadership positions.

In other words, the left is not welcome. I think that it is time for people to leave.

The only question at this point is, how hard is it going to be to form a third party? I don't see the Left as being able to reform the Democrats very easily. It may be so corrupt as to be beyond reform.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm

The time to leave the Democrat party was when Obama turned healthcare over to the insurance and pharma industries in 2009.

If it were easy to form a third party it would have been done by now. But then again, if it were easy, perhaps it wouldn't be necessary.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:43 pm

or 1993 when NAFTA was passed and FDR started his 23-years-and-counting spinning in his grave?

sgt_doom , February 25, 2017 at 7:01 pm

At least 1993, although the ideal time would have been after the Coup of 1963, but unfortunately too many were still clueless than. (Had more than five people and Mort Sahl ever bothered to read the Warren Commission Report - where Lee Oswald was "positively ID'd by a waitress for the murder of Officer Tippit:

W.C.: So you went into the room and looked at the lineup, did you recognize anyone.

Helen Louise Markham: No, sir.

And there you have it, gentlement, a positive ID! And the rest of the so-called report was even worse . . . .)

Oregoncharles , February 25, 2017 at 10:13 pm

(Patting self on back) That's when I left it. God, was it really that long ago?

And responding to the earlier part of the string: no, it isn't easy to form a "3rd" party; and yes, there already is one. Just might be time to stop nit-picking about it and help. (In Oregon, there are about 6, two of them right-wing.)

Kshama Sawant, who is a socialist not a Green, is hoping (I think that's the exact word) to put together a Left coalition. I think the Green Party could be sold on that – for one thing, we would be much the largest portion. Certainly I could, as I'm pretty tired of spinning my wheels.

Remember, according to Gallup, the Dems are now down to 25% affiliation (Reps at 28 – the first time they've been higher, I think because they won the election.) Independents are the plurality by a wide margin. Something's going to give, and we should try to get ahead of the parade. It could easily get really nasty.

John Merryman , February 25, 2017 at 11:45 pm

The problem with third parties is the same with the math of this ballot. If Perez was one vote shy the first time, that means he only picked up 18 votes the second time. So all the other candidates mostly split the opposition. I'm sure if the democratic establishment felt the need, they would form a few front parties.
People, you are just going to have to wait for it to blow up and after that, coalesce around one cause; Public banking and money as a publicly supported utility.
It took a few hundred years to recognize government is a public function and drop monarchy.

energizer wabbit , February 26, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Beats me how anyone thinks "public banking" will change anything. In a capitalist system, banks are banks. They chase the highest return. That's not where the public interest (qua people) lies and never will be. And "government is a public function" so long as it serves its mandate: to make return on capital investment function smoothly.

Tomonthebeach , February 26, 2017 at 1:03 am

For those of use who never were in the Democratic Party, this choice ensures that many of us will be looking for another party. The DNC just gave us the same choice as the last election – Corrupt establishment or Fascism. The distinction these days is not worth pondering.

SpringTexan , February 26, 2017 at 9:46 am

Unfortunately the deck is too stacked against a 3rd party in US. This article is good on that and on why playing nice with Democrats is also no good:
https://medium.com/@petercoffin/the-democrats-will-disappoint-you-a-third-party-aint-happening-and-other-garbage-you-don-t-want-3eb0a80c154#.h7q0j2uvp

What people are doing right now with Donald Trump's GOP - forcing town halls, making a ruckus, holding everyone accountable - has to be the model for progressive change in American politics. Doing this stuff inside the system isn't going to wor k. Forming a party around ideology or ideas isn't going to wor k. Wearing the system down is all that works.

SpringTexan , February 26, 2017 at 9:43 am

Good article on DNC chair race:
https://medium.com/@MattBruenig/be-clear-about-what-happened-to-keith-ellison-78e31bad6f76#.ri3iw6i5i

Before this gets turned into another thing where the establishment Democrats posture as the reasonable adults victimized by the assaults of those left-wing baddies, let's just be very clear about what happened here. It was the establishment wing that decided to recruit and then stand up a candidate in order to fight an internal battle against the left faction of the party. It was the establishment wing that then dumped massive piles of opposition research on one of their own party members. And it was the establishment wing that did all of this in the shadow of Trump, sowing disunity in order to contest a position whose leadership they insist does not really matter.
The establishment wing has made it very clear that they will do anything and everything to hold down the left faction, even as they rather hilariously ask the left faction to look above their differences and unify in these trying times. They do not have any intent of ceding anything - even small things they claim are mostly irrelevant - to the left wing.

Nuggets321 , February 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm

isn't in nice to see the Dims being so effective when it comes to threats to its establishment ways?

Another Anon , February 25, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Reform may become possible only when the money spigot dries up.
At some point, the oligarchs may simply decide its not cost effective
to finance such losers. With no money, there are no rice bowls and so the
professional pols and their minions will either wither away or seek a new funding
model which may make possible a different politics.
I think it will take well under a decade to see how this plays out.

L , February 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

At some point, the oligarchs may simply decide its not cost effective to finance such losers.

Unless having a monopoly on both the winners and losers ensures a total control over the political system.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Unless?

Patricia , February 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm

What is the cheapest way for oligarchs to maintain power in a pseudo-democracy?

If there is enough conflict among them, I suppose they'll continue to put money into both parties. Otherwise, why not just let one of the two slowly die? Electoral theatre is expensive.

Jason , February 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Electoral theatre is expensive.

The scary thing is that it's NOT expensive, compared to the size of the economy. As long as there's enough at stake for large companies and ultra-rich individuals, they can very easily buy two or even several parties.

(This is not to disagree with your main point, which is that they may let the Democrats die.)

Patricia , February 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

But why bother with that extra bit, if it can instead be spent on a second or third bolt-hole?

But I suspect you are correct because the citizenry will revolt fairly quickly after the illusion completely dissolves. It's worth something to put that off for as long as possible.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

The United States' GDP was estimated to be $17.914 trillion as of Q2 2015.

Hillary spent less than $1.2B. Trump spent less than $700M.

So for less than $2B, or .00011148272 of the GDP, you can have your kabuki theater for the proles.

Entire election for ALL candidates cost just under $7B , or .00037904124 of GDP.

8 people have the same wealth as the bottom 50%.

And the Aristocrat Choir sings, "what's the ruckus?"

MG , February 25, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Yes it is when a very competitive Senate race is now $50M as a starting price tag and to run a viable Presidential campaign will likely be $1B as a floor in 2020.

Foppe , February 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Nah, that'd never fly. Must have "choice".

Patricia , February 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm

There'd still be 'choice' since we plebs would continue quixotically financing this/that with our cashless dollars (while they filter, oh say .30 of each, for the privilege).

At least, perhaps, until we finally get our sh*t together and genuinely revolt. How long will that take?

Foppe , February 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Hard to say, too few historical data points actually involving revolts.

witters , February 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

The farce willl go on. After all, while the actual popular sovereignty expressed in voting might be minimal, and the information environment itself largely a corporate construction, its gives a concrete, personal, representation of popular sovereignty, and in so doing – and whatever the despondency of its voters and the emptiness of their choice – legitimates or "mandates" whatever it is the government does, and however corporate friendly it might be. And it may be – with its Private Public Partnerships, and revolving door from the corporate to public office (and back) – very corporate friendly indeed.

If this is the case, then the "China Model" is not, as some think, the ideal neoliberal political model. Explicitly authoritarian rule is, from the start, problematic in terms of popular sovereignty. If a corporate-friendly authoritarian regime is to avoid this, it has but one option. It must deliver economic growth that is both noticeable and widespread, and so do what neoliberal theory claims, but neoliberal practice isn't much, if at all, interested in providing.

We may well be in the midst of making a choice here

Altandmain , February 25, 2017 at 7:11 pm

At least the China model provided growth unreal living standards from the desperate poverty that most Chinese were living in a generation ago.

It is certainly not without flaws. Corruption, inequality, and pollution are big problems.

That said,the US is following the corruption and inequality pretty well. With the Republicans and other corporations in control, they will surely make sure that pollution follows.

Actually it will be worse. The Chinese model ensured that China built up a manufacturing sector. It followed the economic growth trajectory of Japan after WW2 and later South Korea. The neoliberals won't do that.

Patricia , February 26, 2017 at 8:52 am

Which 'we' is that? I suspect we are well past the time when people like you and me can make that choice. 40-50 years past.

b1daly , February 26, 2017 at 1:50 am

By "revolt" what do you actually mean? Armed overthrow of the existing power structure? Or political revolt, forming a new party? Breaking the US up into smaller countries?

I'm having hard time imagining a radical restructuring of power in the US. Nor does it strikes me as particularly desirable, as my observation is that the new power structure is often just as bad as the existing one. But now has to deal with governing a fractured society.

Patricia , February 26, 2017 at 8:48 am

Whatever would be required to create necessary change. A series of actions emerging from a plan, ever-intensifying until the system-as-it-is has no more power.

Do you think hundreds of millions of people should continue to let themselves be trashed? That sort of thing never lets up but only increases over time.

This situation is not unlike spousal abuse. The most dangerous time for the abused is when the she/he decides to leave. And the after-effects usually land her/him in poverty but also peace and self-respect.

Kurt Sperry , February 25, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Yep, in a duopoly it is necessary to own and control both halves–even a perpetually losing one. That is cheap insurance against nasty surprises. American political parties and politicians are cheap as hell to buy in any event. Gazillionaire couch change can control entire parties.

L , February 26, 2017 at 12:57 am

Agreed, this is why even the soviets maintained a permitted show of opposition if only to keep people distracted.

freedeomny , February 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Yes

Steve Ruis , February 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

Oh, c'mon. The money spent to provide an illusion of democracy is chump change compared to the billions they are reaping from having bought the government. The plutocrats are not trying to effect change really, they like it pretty much as it is now. The purpose of the two parties is to distract us from what is really going on. The only plutocratic interest in what they do is fueled by perverse curiosity of what their new toy can do.

steelhead23 , February 26, 2017 at 9:57 am

Anon, I hope you are right. Somewhat lost in the news was the vote NOT to ban corporate donations to the DNC. To me, that is at least as telling as Ellison's loss. The Clintons may be gone, but their stench remains.

reslez , February 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm

I think we need to accept the strong likelihood that there will be a corporatist-dominated Constitutional Convention by 2025. First on the agenda: a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget. The globalist elites will slam on that lever to destroy what remains of the economic safety net. "Balanced budgets" are very popular with the deceived public but such an amendment will end general prosperity in this nation forever. Imagine what else they'll outlaw and ban and 1860 doesn't feel so far away.

Fred1 , February 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm

What surprises me is that Establishment Ds make no effort to defend themselves from attacks from the Left. It's like they don't care: no leftward movement on policy. They just call Bernie and the Brodudes names. What Sanders did to Hillary is a proof of concept. The most powerful Establishment D is mortally wounded by an attack from a no name senator from Vermont. This can be used against any Establishment D. The Brodudes initially may not have wanted to burn it down, but they now know they can. So what are the Establishment Ds doing to defend themselves?

JerseyJeffersonian , February 26, 2017 at 9:59 am

Closer and closer it comes as the Democrats have let state after state come under one-party Republican rule while unjustifiably preening themselves for their "moral rectitude" (while yet continuing to assist in looting the joint for a small percentage of the take ). That party has come to play their part in cementing the injustices and inequalities into place. Witness Obama, not only sitting on his hands when action against palpable injustice was needed, but actively collaborating in rigidifying the rotten structure. The quintessential globalist, authoritarian, war-loving Democrat, the only kind permissable, vide Perez.

neo-realist , February 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

There's a good chance that Trump will end up being a 2 term president and that 2018 will be a disaster for the Democratic Party on the scale of 2010, 2014, and 1994. Meanwhile, they will surely blame the voters and especially the left, which is what they always do when they don't win.

If Trump doesn't deliver the manufacturing jobs to the "undesirables" like he promised, if he dismantles ACA and leaves poor and working class "undesirables" to the wolf of some sort of privatization scheme health care w/ vouchers or tax breaks, if backtracking on financial sector reform leads to another economic meltdown, and if he and Bannon get another war, which metastasizes into asymmetrical warfare all over Western Europe and the US, then Trump's ability to get reelected is in serious jeopardy to say the least, no matter how lame the democratic challenger is. Bush's meltdown gave us a Black President for christs sake.

On the other hand, the down ticket races could continue to be the usual disaster for the dems unless they do a major reshift in their campaign strategies outside the blue states that includes strong populist economic messaging and pushing a strong safety net w/ a public option for health care (assuming the GOP wipes out ACA.)

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

There are a lot of "ifs" there that are looking like "wills" at the moment. He is playing true to type and delegating policy to whomsoever flatters him best whilst jetting off to Mar-a-Lago for a game of golf with his business buddies. With the exception of killing TPP (maybe?) and no immediate European conflicts with Russia, this is what I would have expected from him and, more importantly, Pence. The true believers seem to be getting their way, thus far.

That said, I wouldn't discount the power of his ability to deflect blame for the consequences of his actions. For the most part, those who voted for him truly believe that everything is someone else's fault, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

witters , February 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

'For the most part, those who voted for him truly believe that everything is someone else's fault, and I don't see that changing any time soon.'

And the vast majjority of those who voted against him! See the topic of today's post.

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm

This is true, but don't you think the standards are different? At the moment nothing is either Parties fault, according to their leadership, but the reactions of both Party's base has been far different to date. Dems have been comparatively unsuccessful blaming Muslims, leftists and Russians for their problems whereas that is, and always has been, red meat for Republicans. Any stick to beat someone with just doesn't work as well for the Democratic Party. Claire McCaskill calls Bernie a communist and is vilified for it at the time, so now she is whining because her seat is at risk in '18? What did she expect when she knew, at the time, that she was alienating half the Party by so doing?

Dems are losing because they have the misfortune of not having more Republicans in their electoral base, however hard they have tried to include them in their "Big Tent" leadership. Republicans actively fear their base, and would never make such an egregious political mistake.

Matt , February 25, 2017 at 8:34 pm

I thought all of the candidates for the DNC Chair were really bad. Even the ever so popular Keith Ellison. This guy once advocated for an entire separate country to be formed comprising of only African Americans. Just curious, how "tolerant" and "inclusive" would the immigration policy be for that country if it were ever created? What would the trade policies be in that country? Would they let a white owned business like Wal-Mart move into a black neighborhood and put the local black owned businesses out of business? Keith Ellison is nothing more than a hypocrite every time he criticizes Donald Trump's policies and advocates for his impeachment.

The entire Democratic party is falling apart. They are trying to get elected because of their race, sex, and/or religion. Instead of trying to get elected based on the content of their character and their message. I truly believe the main reason Keith Ellison was even considered for the DNC Chair is because he is black and a Muslim.

The party rigged the primary against Bernie because they felt it was time that a woman became president instead of a man. Some democrats even called Bernie a white supremacist.

This identity politics is killing the party.

JerseyJeffersonian , February 26, 2017 at 9:40 am

This, in spades.

You know, "Where there is no vision, the people perish "?

Irredeemable Deplorable , February 26, 2017 at 1:42 pm

The God-Emperor's vision is crystal clear:

"@realDonaldTrump: The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally "rigged." Bernie's guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!" – Twitter

LMFAO

How about that new Clinton video, sure looks like she is going to run again in 2020 – please, Hilary, you go, girl!

Dugless , February 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm

The corporatist "third way" democrats are hoping for Trump to implode so that they can get back into the White House. They really don't think that they need progressives since it is undoubted in their opinion that Trump will certainly be fail on his promises and be unelectable in 2020 and they will be back in power. And they may be right but the dems still will have lost most of the states and many localities. It will be more of the Obama/Clinton wing at the top with all the "professional" hangers on facing down a Republican congress until the system collapses.

Brad , February 25, 2017 at 7:59 pm

That's clearly what the Perez/Nate Coln Dems are banking on. Metro-suburban class alliance of multicultural service workers and their secular Republican employers nonplussed by Bush-style Trump clusterfark. Heard no "strong populist message" out of Perez's mouth in the DNC debates. Anything the Dems do there will be to elect more Blue Dogs to strengthen the conservative wing of the party and push the Sanders people back to the margins. That's all they care about right now.

But it's a completely passive strategy that is at the mercy of the Republicans. For "what if" President Bannon lays off the coke and, like Obama, doesn't do stupid?

The only real hazard the Trumpistas face is the timing of the next recession. And that will depend on part on the Fed. The rest is: don't start a war, just leave ACA sit there.

The Fed, the Fed, it all comes down to the Fed in the next 4 years. Has Bannon studied up on Jackson's Bank War?

Oregoncharles , February 25, 2017 at 11:22 pm

I was just at a "Community Meeting" with Rep. Peter DeFazio – one of the more progressive Dems. Huge turnout, again. Questions were more challenging than the ones to Wyden. Amazingly old audience – where are all the Bernie millennials?

Toward the end, I asked him (1) what he thought had happened to the Democrats over the last 8 disastrous years; and (2) whether he saw motion to fix the problem.

He responded with a passionate statement of progressive ideas, so I guess that answers #1; but he didn't answer Pt. 2 at all, really, which is a negative answer. He had actually been pretty critical of the party in earlier answers, and we had just learned that Perez would be chairing the DNC.

I was wearing a Green Party T-shirt, which I'm sure he recognizes. Oddly, both the first and last questions were from local Greens: the first, from the former city councillor who runs against him on a regular basis; and the last from my wife, about the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement. Time was limited, and we lined up for the microphones.

Lord Koos , February 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm

The wars won't matter to people as long as the propaganda is good enough (perhaps a helpful false flag incident as well) and as long as there is no draft. It's all about whipping up the patriotism we'll see if that still works.

P Walker , February 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

The Democratic Party has always about "left containment." Their entire existence isn't about winning at all. It's about allowing establishment rule, which is why even when Democrats are elected the forward march into corporate rule continues unabated.

Burn it.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I like Lambert's phrase:

Kill it with FIRE.

fresno dan , February 25, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Altandmain
February 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Neither party is worth a bucket of warm spit – and both parties pay no attention what so ever to the vast majority their members, or the vast majority of the citizens. And neither party can be reformed. IMHO, the only question is if any new party constituted would be infiltrated and undermined from within before it could do anything.

kimsarah , February 25, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Nothing to fear if Van Jones starts the party.

BeliTsari , February 25, 2017 at 6:14 pm

A series of storms was coming through, so I was tuning-around on TV, to find weather & stumbled upon coverage on MSNBC (the onliest way I'd ever end up there). The yammering bobble-head referred to actual lifelong Keynesian Democrats as "the FAR left." I simply assumed I'd tuned into FOX, since there's about 3 affiliates where I'm working. She kind of sneered the whole story. Why don't they just use CGI? Smart TV's, selfie cams and biosensors could ensure the viewer's attention; gauge reactions & report potential dissident proclivities? https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/key-question-about-dnc-race-why-did-white-house-recruit-perez-to-run-against-ellison/ http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/eduardo-caraballo-puerto-rico-deportion-94795779.html http://www.juancole.com/2017/02/endangering-abiding-undocumented.html

MG , February 25, 2017 at 8:08 pm

This seems very much like a kneejerk reaction. Your assuming the economy doesn't go into recession by then which increasingly seems less and less likely as well as the GOP Congressional leadership or Trump showing much skill in executing their legislative agenda. A lot easier being the guy who chants out about how the guy in charge sucks and another entirely when they suddenly become the person in charge.

Unless Trump starts to deliver on jobs and meaningful wage growth, there will be inevitable backlash in 2018 at him and the GOP. It is going to be increasing when the rank and file American realizes that the GOP House tax plan goes for essentially a 20% VAT to be implemented on imported goods while they get a whopping income tax cut of 1-2%. Average American is a rube but eventually this will start to sink in as to just how short changed they'll be if it largely passes wholesale.

Adamski , February 25, 2017 at 10:19 pm

What if they do tax cuts for the rich without Social Security / Medicare cuts? What if they don't do much about Obamacare and don't lose votes that way either? And if the recovery continues, the labour market will tighten.

dcrane , February 26, 2017 at 3:36 am

Yes, and what if they *do* continue to put on a big show against "illegals" and allegedly unfriendly Muslim immigrants? And tinker just enough with NAFTA to claim a symbolic "win" against Mexico? This could be potent stuff.

If the Democrats haven't managed to come up with a candidate people can really get behind, it will be even easier for incumbency to pull Trump over the finish line again. Many Republicans who wouldn't vote for Trump this time "because Hitler" will have observed by then that the country survived Term I, and they'll get back in line, because Republicans always come home. The Democrats seem to think that since the election was close, all they need to do is run Obama V2 (Booker), thereby re-juicing the lagged African American turnout and putting a D back in the Oval Office. I think that ship has sailed now. If Trump truly bombs, then sure anyone will beat him. But as of now I'm not confident that he will simply fail and the numbers may only be more difficult for the Ds in 2020.

Richard H Caldwell , February 26, 2017 at 9:23 am

A very neat summation of my views.

Teleportnow , February 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

I seriously doubt Trump will be a one term president. DNC elections notwithstanding. If there's no "there" there in the, according to Trump, utterly nonexistent Russia scandal, why hide from the press? Take the questions. Call for an investigation himself. Nothing to hide? Quit hiding.

Irredeemable Deplorable , February 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Best news I've heard today. High fives all around.

As an oponnent of every Democrat and every Democrat "policy", I am overjoyed. Carry on.

Trumpslide 2020 t-shirts are already on sale, I'm ordering one.

Burritonomics , February 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Given very recent history, this is no surprise. Unfortunate, and I expect to see "resistance" activities nudged even more toward the same weary mainstream DNC tropes.

Vatch , February 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Well gosh, Alan Dershowitz just breathed a huge sigh of relief!

As for me, I probably have elevated levels of stress hormones. I need to visit my "happy place".

Harry , February 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm

the Dersh is probably just pleased none of his students has recently accused him of sexual assault.

Lee , February 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

They also voted down a ban on taking all that yummy corporate cash.

aliteralmind , February 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

They also voted down a motion to stop big money and lobbyist donations.

This is just another big fuck you to the progressive wing of the party. It's time to board the ship and start a mutiny. And if that doesn't work, sink the ship and build a new one.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 6:06 pm

"This is just another big fuck you to the progressive wing of the party."

The message is undeniable: You're not welcome here. Thank you for your votes, thank you for your money, shut up, no you do not get to pick the candidate, Debbie and Donna did nothing wrong, no we are not getting rid of superdelegates, no we are not refusing corporate money, no you cannot have even a Clinton-endorsing kinda-progressive as Chair, no to free college, 'never ever' to universal health care, 'we're capitalists here', and Haim Saban's opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money.

The ship be sinking.

integer , February 25, 2017 at 10:14 pm

and Haim Saban's opinion matters more than millions of BernieCrats because money.

"I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel."
Haim Saban

The D-party's biggest donor is a one-issue guy, and that issue is Israel but Russia!

In March 2008, Saban was among a group of major Jewish donors to sign a letter to Democratic Party house leader Nancy Pelosi warning her to "keep out of the Democratic presidential primaries."The donors, who "were strong supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign", "were incensed by a March 16 interview in which Pelosi said that party 'superdelegates' should heed the will of the majority in selecting a candidate."The letter to Pelosi stated the donors "have been strong supporters of the DCCC" and implied, according to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, that Pelosi could lose their financial support in important upcoming congressional elections.

Poor ol' Haim must be soooo pissed that Clinton lost again. Hahaha.

integer , February 25, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I wasn't planning on commenting for a while but ended up leaving a comment here a few minutes ago and it disappeared into the ether. Probably something to do with the one of the links I included. No big deal.

Outis Philalithopoulos , February 25, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Not sure why it vanished in the first place, but it should be up now.

integer , February 25, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Thanks!

Altandmain , February 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Basically they are bought and paid for by the special interests of America and indeed foreign ones too.

kimsarah , February 25, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Re: "It's time to board the ship and start a mutiny. And if that doesn't work, sink the ship and build a new one."

That ship has passed, at least the first part.

L , February 25, 2017 at 4:17 pm

I stopped being a Democrat a few years ago. And I have not donated for some time. Yet I still receive constant requests for money to keep the consultants in airline miles. Every so often I think that perhaps it might be time to "come home" or at least that they aren't so bad anymore.

Then they go and do this.

At this point I see no reason to keep the ossified corpse of the Clinton Machine Democratic party going. It is clear that the last thing they want to do is listen to actual voters to decide their direction. All they have is the faint hope that Trump will be so godawful that everyone will love them again.

But then that was Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy

Vatch , February 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm

If your state requires you to register as a Democrat in order to vote in the Democratic primary, I recommend doing so. Then you can vote for outsiders in the 2018 and 2020 primaries. If your state has an open primary system, you don't have to taint yourself with official membership - just request the appropriate primary ballot and vote.

hreik , February 25, 2017 at 4:40 pm

This is my dilemma. In CT, you have to be R or D to vote in primary. I left the D's after the CA primary b/c I was so disgusted. I'll see what candidates are looking like when the time comes and make my decision then.

The leadership of the D party is just clueless.

Chauncey Gardiner , February 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm

They're not clueless. They just like the money too much.

freedeomny , February 25, 2017 at 8:09 pm

+1000000000

L , February 26, 2017 at 12:59 am

Given that most of them are professional fund raisers/candidates it is not surprising.

lb , February 25, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I deregistered as a Democrat in CA today after 17 years (though I was already pretty much out over the past few years, I let this be the final straw opposite inertia). The CA "top two" system for general elections only puts the top two vote-getters from any party during the primary on the ballot, ostensibly switching the election to one largely determined during the primary, by primary voters.

The California Democratic party allows those voters registered as not specifying a political preference to vote in the Democratic primary, so I might still end up voting among the various options, especially if someone like Brand New Congress puts up a real candidate here or there. During the 2016 primary, the D-party anti-Sanders shenanigans were evident even in CA. In some areas, unaffiliated voters who wanted a D-party ballot were misled or required to very strictly repeat a specific phrase, or they were given ballots with no effect on the D-party primary. I expect to have to be very careful to request and obtain the correct ballot in advance. (Let's hope that the slow takeover at lower levels within the state makes this less necessary).

It's going to be a long, hard slog on the left, whether occasionally peeking inside the tent or building something cohesive, not co-opted and effective outside the tent (where it seems the D-party has necessarily pushed many).

Katharine , February 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm

But whatever you do, make sure you know your state's election law in advance, especially deadlines for registration changes, which may be earlier than you expect.

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Yep, New York state being the perfect example.

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

"All they have is the faint hope that Trump will be so godawful that everyone will love them again."

Well, that and Nancy "we know how to win elections" Pelosi promising the Earth for votes to regain their majorities, again, only to then take all of that off of the table and start the cycle over again.

I really don't know how many times one can go to that well; we have seen this play before. Seems like an awful lot of people have caught on to the tactic at this point. Were that not the case, HIllary would probably be happily bombing Russia by now.

Biph , February 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

The Dems are set up pretty well for 2018. Both Trump and Hillary are deeply unpopular and Hillary won't be a vote driver for the GOP in 2018 and Trump will be for the Dems. There are a bunch of important States with Gov races and whatever happens the next 20 months Trump and the GOP will own completely, they wont even have a recalcitrant legislative branch to point the finger at.
I always figured whoever won in 2016 was set up to be a one term POTUS. Best case scenario for Trump is that we tread water for the next 2-4 years and I don't think that will be enough get him a 2nd term although it might be enough to staunch GOP losses in 2020. If he gets gets into a messy hot war, fumbles a major natural disaster or sees an economic downturn in 4 years we'll be talking about the impending death of GOP.

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Those scenarios sound a little rosy considering the types of people we are talking about. They can take a lot of pain as long as someone else is feeling it more .and there is always someone else. If they cannot find a demographic to blame they will invent one; see the historic hatred for ObamaCare and the raucous town halls now defending the ACA; they don't have to make sense.

Also, too, Dems are defending more incumbencies in '18 than are the Reps., and the Republican Party has the machinery already in place to reduce the voting public down to just those that are more likely to vote for them. Just create a riot at a voting precinct, for example, jail whomsoever you want and take their stuff as is now foreshadowed in Arizona. They would love that stuff; "Beat those hippies!" And, after the Democratic Primaries, the Democratic Party will be in no position to take the high ground.

No, even if all that happens, I think the predicting the death of the GOP is way premature.

Biph , February 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

His fans will vote for him, a lot of the the people who voted for him as the lesser of two evils will be demotivated to vote or will vote Dem as a check on him and this who voted for HRC as the lesser of two evils will be motivated. At best his popularity right now is about where GWB's was after he tried to privatize SS and just before Katrina and the public's view on Iraq flipped for good. I think 2018 will look a lot like 2006. Hate and spite will be on the Dems side in 2018 and those are great motivators.
Trump may have deep support, but it isn't very broad. He didn't win an 84 or even an 08 sized victory.
There is a reason the party in power does poorly in off year elections and Trump is the least popular newly elected POTUS in modern history.

Nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I see your rationale, but then I look at Kansas and Wisconsin. Doubling down has never hurt them for long.

dcrane , February 26, 2017 at 3:52 am

It would be helpful to know, also, how many who normally vote Republican abstained or went 3rd party rather than vote for Trump. Maybe it wasn't that many (since Trump did get more votes than Romney after all), but many of these people will be voting for Trump in 2020 unless he completely tanks. It's never a good idea to underestimate the party loyalty of GOP voters. Beating Democrats is the Prime Directive.

Daryl , February 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm

I think the problem is that Republicans are much better at actually winning elections. How many seats can the Democrats actually regain? Keeping in mind that midterm voters skew older/Republican in any case.

Big River Bandido , February 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm

The Dems are set up pretty well for 2018.

Yes, set up well for failure.

Brad , February 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Looks like Darrell Issa is trying to outmaneuver Nate Coln.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/darrell-issa-bill-maher-jeff-sessions-recuse_us_58b10218e4b0780bac29b0d6 ?

http://issa.house.gov/ca-49-interactive-map

Ought to pull the new cold war, Russia-hating secular middle class Republicans and liberal Democrats. Who needs Latino service worker votes?

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Clinton Machine / Democratic party

You had it right the first time

der , February 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

"We lost this election eight years ago," concludes Michael Slaby, the campaign's chief technology officer. "Our party became a national movement focused on general elections, and we lost touch with nonurban, noncoastal communities. There is a straight line between our failure to address the culture and systemic failures of Washington and this election result."

The question of why-why the president and his team failed to activate the most powerful political weapon in their arsenal.

Obama's army was eager to be put to work. Of the 550,000 people who responded to the survey, 86 percent said they wanted to help Obama pass legislation through grassroots support; 68 percent wanted to help elect state and local candidates who shared his vision. Most impressive of all, more than 50,000 said they personally wanted to run for elected office.

But they never got that chance. In late December, Plouffe and a small group of senior staffers finally made the call, which was endorsed by Obama. The entire campaign machine, renamed Organizing for America, would be folded into the DNC, where it would operate as a fully controlled subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

Instead of calling on supporters to launch a voter registration drive or build a network of small donors or back state and local candidates, OFA deployed the campaign's vast email list to hawk coffee mugs and generate thank-you notes to Democratic members of Congress who backed Obama's initiatives.

Republicans, on the other hand, wasted no time in building a grassroots machine of their own-one that proved capable of blocking Obama at almost every turn. Within weeks of his inauguration, conservative activists began calling for local "tea parties" to oppose the president's plan to help foreclosed homeowners.
https://newrepublic.com/article/140245/obamas-lost-army-inside-fall-grassroots-machine

Thomas Frank: "The even larger problem is that there is a kind of chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years, a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google jet and those nice people at Goldman. The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the "last thing standing" between us and the end of the world. It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

And so it goes, unless. The ruling class, the professional class D&R, the upper 10%, those who make more than $150 thousand, win no matter who sits in the Oval Office or controls all 3 branches, both look down on their respective bases, the deplorables. Taking a page from the TParty to fight harder, tougher, longer, louder and make Perez move left.

LT , February 25, 2017 at 6:06 pm

OFA: nothing but lobbyists for the private health insurance industry.

Ernesto Lyon , February 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm

150k in the Bay Area ain't rich, unless you bought a house 30 years ago.

a different chris , February 25, 2017 at 8:19 pm

People like to have stable decently paying jobs. But:

>our failure to address the culture

They will never get it, will they?

Oregoncharles , February 25, 2017 at 11:50 pm

"The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play "
And so far, they're right. At least, very few are going there. A lot are staying home, but that doesn't accomplish much.

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Take heart. One of my friends is a long-time progressive Democrat. She ran as a Clean Elections candidate and was elected to the Arizona legislature last November. She has never held office before.

It can be done.

neo-realist , February 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Your friend should share her script for success w/ the DNC leadership.

Big River Bandido , February 25, 2017 at 7:54 pm

I think the friend should share *nothing* with the DNC, but *fight* them every step.

neo-realist , February 26, 2017 at 1:30 am

If they toss the script aside w/o using the prescriptions for winning, fight them.

SpringTexan , February 26, 2017 at 9:49 am

Agree, Big River Bandido. She should share with progressive Democratic primary challengers to those sorry Democrats only. Not that anyone at the DNC would ever listen anyway.

But good for her!

Will S. , February 25, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Kudos to your friend! I think progressives fighting for places in the state legislatures has to be our first step, especially with the census/redistricting looming

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Where do you live? 2/3'rds of the states have Republican governors and 66-70 percent Republican state legislatures. They have already been gerrymandered and are very likely to remain this way for AT LEAST a generation.

I live in Ohio. Democrat state legislators can do absolutely nothing. Not that this particularly bothers them. They collect their $60,000 salaries - not bad for a VERY part-time position– regardless.

readerOfTeaLeaves , February 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm

I'm guessing that you failed to mention - in addition to salary - per diem, plus payments into the state retirement system? I'm guessing that $60,000 is only the top part of the iceberg; best to look under the waterline to get the whole picture?

Daryl , February 25, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Sounds a lot better than Texas, where legislators are paid $600 a month, thus ensuring that only the independently wealthy can be legislators.

HotFlash , February 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Congratulations to your friend, and thanks to her for her service. If you tell me where to donate, I will happily do that, too.

To neo-realist February 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Your friend should share her script for success w/ the DNC leadership.

Hello/hola/etc. The DNC has that script, they don't care, and IMHO AZSlim's friend should stay as *far* away from the DNC as possible.

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Her name is Pamela Powers Hannley. Her campaign slogan was Powers for the People.

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

And she is on the Interwebs at Powers for the People dot-net. (Using my phone to post. Need to learn how to copy and paste a link.)

HotFlash , February 26, 2017 at 1:55 am

TY, Ms Slim. Will look her up and send a buck or two, if I am permitted.

neo-realist , February 26, 2017 at 1:34 am

They had Howard Dean, and a script for 50 state success and tossed it. Yeah, I guess they at least should hold Perez's feet to the fire to make him go lefty populist on the ground, if he doesn't, toss him and fight them.

HotFlash , February 26, 2017 at 1:53 am

Look, people, we cannot even get ahold of their feet, let alone hold them to any fire. Eg, B Obama.

Katharine , February 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Brand New Congress just got out their fundraising email in response to the election:

The DNC just elected a chair who is pro-TPP, against single-payer, against tuition-free state universities and has no desire to transform our economy in meaningful ways. A chair who thinks the status quo is ok. It's a clear indicator that they're confident in their agenda, a confidence exemplified in the words of Nancy Pelosi who believes that Democrats "don't want a new direction".

Not badly put.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm

From the BNC web site. This looks good:

Our Goal

Elect a Brand New Congress that works for all Americans.

We're running 400+ candidates in a single campaign to rebuild our country.

Add Your Name

Join us if you believe it's time to reset our democracy.

Email
Please enter a valid email.
Zip
Please enter a valid zip code.

80% of Americans agree: Congress is broken. Both major parties have proven time and time again that they are either unwilling or unable to deliver results for the American people. But we have an alternative. We are recruiting and running more than 400 outstanding candidates in a single, unified, national campaign for Congress in 2018. Together, they will pass an aggressive and practical plan to significantly increase wages, remove the influence of big money from our government, and protect the rights of all Americans. Let's elect a Brand New Congress that will get the job done.

This list of sponsors DOESN'T:

Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
Wired
The Huffington Post
The Daily Beast
Slate
The Nation
The Frisky
Salon
Bustle
Boing Boing
Roll Call

****
No. Uh-uh. Time for BNP : Brand New Party!

marym , February 25, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Those seem to be just links to articles about them.

jopac , February 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Well I for one am relieved he's the new chair. I won't have to think there might be hope and change in the corp. owned demodog party. I'll celebrate with a glass of whine later.

Arizona Slim, Thanks for the good news in AZ. It was tried in my part of Calli but dnc did everything they good to elect repug instead of a real progressive.

Time to get firewood into the house

baldski , February 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

In order for real representative government to appear on the American scene, two things have to happen:

1. Corporations have to be declared non-persons.

2. Money is declared not equal to speech.

Why do we have the situation we have now?

Two decisions by the Supreme Court. Santa Clara vs Southern Pacific RR and Buckley vs. Valeo. So, who is the real power in our Government? The Judicial.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Here's where it stands right now:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48

So if your Congress critter has not yet co-sponsored, get on 'em.

Roger Smith , February 25, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Thank you so much for this post!! I saw a video on the 1886 case in high school and was disgusted. In passing time I forgot the specifics and have been trying to locate that decision since. I kept thinking it was in the 1920s/30s

TheCatSaid , February 26, 2017 at 2:06 am

I'd add No. 3: Ranked preference voting. (Majority wins or run-offs do not cut it.)
In this case, if choosing among 4 candidates, and I rank all 4 of them, my first choice gets 4 points, my second choice gets 3 points, etc. If I only rank 2 of them, my first choice gets 2 points, my second choice gets 1 point. If I only rank 1 person, they get 1 point.

Try this out on anything where you've got 3 or more options, in a group of any size. It's amazing how much better the group consensus will be reflected in the results.

You can vote your genuine preference without concern for "spoilers" or dividing the opposition.

readerOfTeaLeaves , February 25, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Kiss that party goodbye.

Yup.

Aumua , February 26, 2017 at 2:49 am

And good riddance.

Seriously though, I kind of like this little game we play here, where we act surprised or shocked or something at the Democratic Party's complete lack of integrity. Like there was ever any question that 'they' might do the right thing. I honestly don't know about you guys, but I decided a long time ago that the Democrats and Republicans were just two tentacles of the same vampire squid or whatever, so.. why the outrage and/or disdain? cause it's diverting I suppose.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

"The Cheaters At The DNC Just Chose Divorce Over Marriage Counseling"

http://www.newslogue.com/debate/355/CaitlinJohnstone

Caitlin Johnstone DGAF.

Patricia , February 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm

She posted a Trump tweet in that article:

"Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party."

Yep, he did, 25 minutes ago: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump

Ahahahahah

Bugs Bunny , February 25, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Hail to the chief of the *burn*

I guess I forgot how dumb the Dems were. Lucy and the football, I'll never learn.

Carl , February 25, 2017 at 8:14 pm

She's on fire, no question.

Ottawan , February 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Hold on to your negative prognoses, you'd be amazed what modern technique can do with a corpse.

They are clearly betting on Donnie blowing himself up and taking the Repubs with him. They are betting on looking less-dead in the aftermath.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm

"After he's burned the castle to the ground, who's going to rule the ashes? That's right baby, US!"

LT , February 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm

The Democratic Party will never let the Republican Party go down. Haven't we figured that out yet?
The only way to get rid of the Republican Party is to get rid of the Democratic Party.

WheresOurTeddy , February 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm

As usual, Greenwald sheds some light:

"He is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual," pronounced Saban about the African-American Muslim congressman, adding: "Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party."

"I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel," he told the New York Times in 2004 about himself
he attacked the ACLU for opposing Bush/Cheney civil liberties assaults and said: "On the issues of security and terrorism I am a total hawk."

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/key-question-about-dnc-race-why-did-white-house-recruit-perez-to-run-against-ellison/

Dear Leftists Who Haven't Got The Message Yet:

YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE

Annotherone , February 25, 2017 at 6:46 pm

We're not welcome anywhere it seems – and that has to be flippin' ridiculous in a country of this size and diversity! Could there be a better time for the Democratic Socialists to expand and come forth ? Cornel West at the helm, to begin – perhaps persuading Bernie to join him.

NotTimothyGeithner , February 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Who will Team Blue blame for Senate losses in November 2018? Tau Cetians? Game of Thrones ending?

nippersdad , February 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm

I suspect that Correct the Record has an app for that already in place.

Octopii , February 26, 2017 at 1:13 am

From what I see already around the interwebs and comment sections, it will be blamed on the lefty radicals who are fracturing the party by resisting the borg. And Sanders. And Cornel West. Etc Etc

MDBill , February 26, 2017 at 11:23 am

Right. The people who refuse to play on their team any longer. The neoliberal arrogance and sense of entitlement is just staggering.

freedeomny , February 26, 2017 at 5:14 pm

You know – it almost doesn't even matter. The Dems will get corporation donations just in "case" they win. They really aren't terribly motivated. It's like being a salesperson with no sales goals.

On another note – The Turks guy (Cent? can't remember his name) said that it was time for a third party on his twitter account. Nina Turner "liked" it. I found that a little hopeful.

LT , February 25, 2017 at 5:43 pm

The Democrats obviously can't wait for that constitutional convention by the sadist wing of the Republican Party. The sooner it can no longer have any loopholes that cause any interpretation outside of corporations rule, the easier it will be for Democrats. No more worrying about doing good things for those pesky people.

oho , February 25, 2017 at 5:47 pm

if anyone wants to email Tom Perez and sent your congrats, Tom left an email trail in the Podesta cache.

https://search.wikileaks.org/?query=tomperez1&exact_phrase=&any_of=&exclude_words=&document_date_start=&document_date_end=&released_date_start=&released_date_end=&new_search=True&order_by=most_relevant#results

George Phillies , February 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm

The United States already has third parties. There is no real need to start another one. The Libertarian party is the radical antiauthoritarian center. The Green Party ought to be adequate for progressive Democrats. There is also a far-right christian theocrat Constitution Party.

Carla , February 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

As a registered Green, I am very sorry to tell you that the Green Party is not adequate. And I have no reason to think it ever will be.

Next.

Isolato , February 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Carla,

I've voted forJill twice now (and contributed moderately). She seems intelligent, well-spoken, progressive, passionate, everything we would want a candidate to be and nothing. If there was EVER a year to have broken through 5% sigh. So what's the problem?

Adam Reilly , February 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm

The problem is that there's widespread election fraud. You could see it in the Wisconsin and Michigan GE recounts and the Illinois Democratic Party Recount. The reality is that we don't have any trustworthy vote totals. Maybe Jill did a lot better (or maybe she didn't), maybe Hillary actually beat Donald (or maybe she didn't), maybe Bernie won the primary (okay, that one really isn't a maybe to me since it's very clear that Hillary used tricks to move IA and NV into her corner- which would have been fatal if she didn't, the CA, NY, AZ, PR, and RI primary debacles, DNC collusion etc).

Here are two videos that really helped me understand that this fraud is likely widespread:

Short video on the Wisconsin recount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLra_4abmxc

Long video on the Illinois recount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSNTauWPkTc&sns=em
–>The "good" part starts at minute 24. The underlying point becomes clear really quickly if you want to just watch a small portion, but the speaker who comes on around the hour mark is excellent.

Election Justice USA also had a great summary. There's a reason many places in Europe still do manual, verifiable counting. Voting security, even more than money in politics, is the biggest barrier to having a legitimate Democracy. Unfortunately, that may be even more difficult than money in politics, which at least could theoretically be altered by Congress to cover the whole country at once.

Massinissa , February 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

What Carla said about the greens. Also, the Libertarians are basically into neoliberalism. Theyre ok on social issues, but they aren't a real answer either.

neo-realist , February 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm

My hope is that the #Notmypresident millennials take the next steps from Trump needs to be resisted and work for longer term gains and political power by getting active in local politics/down ticket races and local democratic party organizations to in effect bum rush the dems and make it the party that it wants the country to be.

Love doesn't conquer all, Corporate lobbyists do. Organize for power, win elections, work for change.

Brad , February 25, 2017 at 9:20 pm

We need a political movement, not a "third" party.

SpringTexan , February 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

Thanks, Brad. Exactly right.

PH , February 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

I think most people here are seeing what happened, but wrong about the impact.

Head of DNC is not a good place to organize primary challenges, and that is what is needed. DNC head is mostly just bag man for corporate money. Not that much power but some visibility. Bernie guy gets in, and there are constant questions about loyalty to the party and big tent and being fair to blue dogs. And then questions of competence if not enough money is raised or not enough elections won. No winning likely.

Losing suits us better. Establishment is against Progressives. Fine. The war is on. Find primary challengers, and get them elected.

In my view, that has always been the only way forward.

LT , February 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Find primary challengers, even if they have no chance of winning. Even in districts stacked against them turn money in politics into the wealthy's biggest weakness. Make the ROI in elections too expensive to achieve.

Big River Bandido , February 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

I agree with you that losing this worthless race serves our long-term interests better. This is war and clarity is always an advantage. Easier to fight them from a clear outside position.

However, we have not the resources or the power base (within the Democrat Party) to mount effective primary challenges. If that party is to be a vehicle for change, we will have to take it away from them starting at the lowest levels - local party offices - and gradually work our way up.

As we move up the chain, we purge all the deadwood.

Outagamie Observer , February 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

At this point, perhaps progressives would have more luck joining the Republican Party in hopes of "reform" or "changing the platform". They would probably have more luck than with the Democrats. As for 2018 and 2020, the congressional Republicans will have no incentive to defend congress or the Presidency. They would rather have Democrats to blame things for than have to deal with President Trump (whom they detest).

ChrisAtRU , February 25, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Einstein's definition of #Insanity immediately comes to mind.

We'll see what #BernieCrats, #DSA and others can do at the grassroots level. Their (continued) #Resistance to the #corporatistDem structure is even more important now.

But gawd, WTF are establishment Dems thinking?

PH , February 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm

They are incredibly smug. Sure that the only way to win in purple states is to run Repub lite.

Oregoncharles , February 26, 2017 at 12:14 am

That's just what Rep. DeFazio just said – even though he himself w