Only Democrats can send Trump to the White House

While Republicans celebrated their victory in the 2014 midterm elections, a nasty surprise was hiding in the numbers. That election marked a tipping point in a disastrous demographic transition initiated and driven by the GOP itself.

A decades-long focus on interests of a declining white electoral base had effectively walled Republicans off from access to the White House. Democrats now solidly controlled a large enough block of Electoral College delegates that any conventional Democratic nominee would have a lock on the White House for the foreseeable future.

Republicans might roll out the most outrageously dangerous figure conjured from imagination and no one need be concerned. Behind the strength of a demographic Blue Wall built by Republicans, any remotely credible Democratic nominee would win in a walk.

Never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to exploit a caveat.

Whatever you might think of George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, or Ted Cruz, it is vital to remember that Democrats have played a crucial role in every major catastrophe we have experienced. Financial deregulation that nearly destroyed global capitalism under Bush was launched by Clinton. Our invasion of Iraq enjoyed overwhelming Democratic support. Bush’s devastating tax cuts passed with Democratic support. Now they are threatening to do it again.

As Republicans prepare to assemble the most wildly incompetent Presidential slate in modern American history, we might all be tempted to take comfort from the Democrats’ seemingly insurmountable Electoral College lock. Frightening as the Republican nominee might be, at least the crazy bastard can’t win. It is time for the Democratic Party to demonstrate its super-power – finding a way to lose.

Somewhere in the semi-lit back rooms of the Senate they found a decrepit Hippie from a state no one can find on a map. The guy, who apparently can’t afford a comb, isn’t even a member of their party. Now he is heading into the first primaries with a lead in the polls over the Democrats’ only credible contender.

For Republicans like yours truly, and there are more of us than you think, voting for another wretched Clinton was going to be a bitter, bitter pill. Anyone with a grown-up’s sense of obligation would have felt compelled to support Clinton over some dangerous Republican loon. There is something oddly liberating in being freed from that threat. If Democrats don’t feel that obligation, then why should I? When the Democrats nominate their own random nutjob, that sober duty to cross party lines in the public interest disappears.

If you think that Bernie Sanders is going to enjoy broad support from people who previously voted for Bush, McCain or Romney, then you are an idiot who fully deserves to endure eight blustery years of the Trump Administration. As the nominee, Sanders will break the Blue Wall in a way no Republican could have hoped to do.

Go back and look at three or four of the posts on this blog. Then digest this tidbit: The guy who wrote those posts will not vote for Bernie Sanders under any circumstances.

Then ask yourself this question: If the guy who writes the GOPLifer blog isn’t going to vote for Sanders, what Republican will? Much more importantly, when lily-white “progressives” disregard the preferences of black voters – yet again – how many of those voters are going to tow the line in November? How many of the young Asian professionals who used to vote Republican, but supported Obama, will vote for Sanders?

How many of the tens of thousands people who voted for both Scott Walker and Barack Obama in Wisconsin are going to vote for Bernie Sanders? How many of the voters who elected Republican Governors in Maryland and Michigan while also supporting Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Al Gore in previous elections are going to support Bernie Sanders?

Answer: Not enough of them to predict an outcome against even the craziest potential Republican nominee.

Republicans do not have the electoral heft to put Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or even Marco Rubio in the White House. Only Democrats can do that. So far, it looks like they are on their way to doing what they do best.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Election 2016, Uncategorized
196 comments on “Only Democrats can send Trump to the White House
  1. elvispizza says:

    Revisit this. As the primaries rattled and banged to a close, the shoe had switched feet. Sanders was a lock to defeat Cheeto Jesus, but the DEMe was determined to ignore a disgruntled nation and crown neoliberal warhawk HRC, then force her down the Sandernistas throats with the threat that if they “failed to unite” and the Donald was elected they would be to blame. Of course Agent Orange is unstoppable in his determination to make himself unelectable. But what would your re-take have been in the month before Philadelphia?

  2. apocryphon says:

    I have to admit, the prospect of 2016 being McGovern vs. Goldwater is most thrilling.

  3. Anse says:

    But here’s the thing about Democrats. All of our failures–in deregulation of banks, of support for the Iraq invasion, whatever–have come as a result of our failure to abide by the values and platform we have traditionally claimed to embrace as political leftists. Bernie Sanders is a joke of a candidate to many people, but Sanders’ platform is the essential platform of the political Left. He has consistently opposed deregulating banks, he was opposed to the Iraq invasion…you see the running theme here?

    What’s happened is Democrats have spinelessly allowed themselves to be dragged to the Right by a belligerent and bellicose Republican party. So yeah, Clinton deserves some blame for repealing Glass-Steagall. And Hillary and plenty of others deserve scorn for supporting the Iraq invasion. But if they had stuck to their guns and maintained their diligence as Democrats, these things would not have happened. It is not clear to me, though, that the GOP has any ideological objection to these things.

    I will also add that politics, being a messy affair, often requires compromises that in the heat of legislative bickering seem sensible, but in hindsight are seen more clearly as errors. Let’s not confuse compromises with ideological positions, even if we acknowledge them as mistakes.

  4. Rob Ambrose says:

    The richest 62 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half.

    http://montrealgazette.com/storyline/the-top-62-billionaires-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-worlds-poorest-half-oxfam-says

    Again: a number of people that fit on a city bus own more wealth then almost 4 billion people.

    But yeah, these crazy left wing politics are a real drag on the economy.

    I bet the aristocracy were totally surprised when the French Revolution happened, assuming their hegemony would be unchallenged forever, likely until the day of the Bastille.

    I think people think that revolutions are able to be spotted a mile away and “we can always change” if we see things coming to a head. In reality, they are only obvious in retrospect.

    My point is, the people of privilege need to address this issue or they could wake up one day and wish they had.

    • Tuttabella says:

      Rob, since this article is about income inequality on a world scale, do you predict revolution on a world scale or just in certain countries?

      I don’t see revolution happening in the US or in Canada anytime soon, since disparity in and of itself is not the problem, but poverty is, and I don’t think we have the poverty levels that might result in revolution in other countries, even if we have the disparity.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The problem would begin with utter poverty, and disparity would be the last straw, the tipping point.

      • Doug says:

        “The problem would begin with utter poverty”

        Most likely, but it could begin with jealous people stirring up anger toward those who have more than they do.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Sorry, I should have been more clear. I don’t think devolution is necessarily what’s going to happen.

        Just on the importance of getting ahead of the problem, like I’m sure the aristocrats wsh they’d done in France.

        I don’t think a French Revolution style is necessarily going to happen. Just that such accumulation of wealth in so few hands is dangerous, undemocratic (financial means always translates into political power), and if left unchecked it WILL have unintended consequences.

        What those are is hard to predict, but they will happen.

        America is more protected due to that big moat around it, but ask the Europeans how well they sleep at night.

        Hordes of millions of people leaving war torn, corrupt and poor areas, are not going to be swayed by quant things like “borders”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        You’d have to have a certain combination of factors to create major unrest. There has to be a certain level of poverty that would lead people to feel utter despair, combined with a certain REASON for the inequality, not just a certain level of inequality or disparity.

        As I said, income inequality is not really the problem — sheer and utter poverty is — unless the inequality is a result of theft on the part of the wealthy, as it is in certain African countries, or the result of the poor having no access to opportunities, as is the case in many Latin American countries.

        And no, I don’t think we’re in any danger of reaching this threshold in the US or Canada.

        I think it makes more sense to focus on the problem of poverty than on income inequality. To me, the term “income inequality” is just a trendy catchphrase that will go out out of style when the media tires of it and moves on to something new.

      • Tuttabella says:

        In other words, we don’t have the levels of poverty, the levels of inequality, and the lack of opportunities for betterment here in the US required to create major unrest. There is still HOPE that things can and will be better.

      • Creigh says:

        I’d like to think we have an “out” in the form of self-government. One of the factors for a revolution would be the lack of alternatives.

      • johngalt says:

        Revolution might come, not in the form of violence, but in the form of voting for Bernie Sanders and others who express similar viewpoints that the little guy is getting screwed and deserves better. There was a time (measured in decades) when the top marginal tax rate in the US was 90%. The evidence indicates that the world did not end – in fact, the American economy did pretty well during that period.

        The world might end, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

    • Doug says:

      It’s no skin off my nose if someone is filthy rich. I depend on myself to provide for my family, and have never had a rich person deny me that opportunity. To the contrary, a rich guy fronted the money for the company for which I work and of which I’m a part owner. I like rich people, and hope to be one some day.

      Why do you want the government to take their money away? It’s not your money.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Because rich people take advantage of tax loopholes and havens to pay less then they should. How does Mitt Romney pay less then 15% tax on his income when a family barely above the poverty line pays more?

        The money those taxes SHOULD bring in should be paying for roads, schools, infrastructure etc. So yes, in a way, its “my money”. Not me personally (I make plenty myself) but The Peoples money. There is a cost of admission for the privilege of being part of this society.

        And yes, it is expected (by me, and many others like me) that those of us who reap the most benefit from living in this society are going to pay more in taxes (in absolute terms).

        Not to mention you talk like we’re playing on a level playing field. The 1% have a massively disproportionate amount of political clout relative to their numbers, and they have skewed the system to give them huge advantages.

        It boggles the mind that somebody could complain about the food stamps or welfare given to poor families so their kids literally don’t starve to death, but champion the cause of bikkionaires (who have games the system to give themselves built in institutional advantages) paying less tax.

        Even more so when that cause is championed by someone who is NOT wealthy themselves.

        They’re using you and people like you as their useful idiots, fighting for THEOR economic interests at the expense of themselves.

      • texan5142 says:

        The government pays for the infrastructure that allows you and your family to provide for yourself. It is not free, taxes are necessary to pay for it . Why should the wealthiest pay the least when the infrastructure of all tax payers make their wealth possible. There are no Patriots today. The Patriots of the past after WWII did their part and paid high taxes to move the country forward.

      • Doug says:

        The wealthiest don’t pay the least. That’s a myth. From an IRS report in 2012 (and more “rich” taxes kicked in since then):

        “For 2012, taxpayers filing returns that fell in the top 1 percent reported an AGI of $434,682 or more. These taxpayers accounted for 21.9 percent of total AGI for 2012…These taxpayers accounted for 38.1 percent of the total income tax reported in 2012, an increase from 35.1 percent in 2011. ”

        If you don’t believe the IRS, who are you going to believe? So, ~22% of the income, and over 38% of the tax. Sounds to me like they’re getting screwed.

      • MassDem says:

        Hey Doug- factor in state and local taxes, which tend to be more regressive than federal income tax, and you’ll see that the burden on the rich is not so bad.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/how-progressive-are-american-taxes-2013-6#ixzz2nMcdbgxT

      • texan5142 says:

        Once again Doug and others are looking at the amount of tax the wealthy pay as evidence that they are paying more. It is not the amount they are paying, but the percentage that they are paying. Simple math, if you are paying 25% on total income of say $100,000 and the next guy is paying 25% of say $100,000,000 it is always going to look like the $100,000,000 guy is paying more. As a percentage they are paying the same.

  5. Eljay says:

    pointless for many major employers to continue to base their operations in the US

    Can non-US based corporations still be listed on US stock exchanges?
    Might not ‘pay here to play here’ give them pause?

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Yes, they can.

      My guess isbsuch a policy would be met by equally protectionist measures.

      While globalization definitely presents new problems, I think the best way to solve them is with an understanding that globalism is here to stay, and find solutions witjin that framework, rather then try to turn back the clock and use strategies of another era.

      This is Sanders’ weakest link, IMO.

  6. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    An excellent piece on the idea of a single-payer system and Sanders’ explanation of it: http://www.vox.com/2016/1/17/10784528/bernie-sanders-single-payer-health-care

    Remember that old saying about if something seems too good to be true, it often isn’t? Keep that in mind.

    • MassDem says:

      It would do Sanders well to remember that one of the reasons Obamacare even was passed in the first place was because of the support of the health insurance industry. They did later turn against it, but by then it was law.

      The insurance industry will fight tooth and nail against the Sanders plan. If he doesn’t think that will hurt the Democratic Party, then he has got to take those rose-colored glasses off.

      It’s not that I don’t like what Sanders proposes. But it is not realistic, given the temper of the times. The only path to a health plan that more closely resembles single payer is one more gradual than Sanders proposes. That’s life.

      • easyfortytwo says:

        I reluctantly agree that Sander’s plan is not realistic right now, so we have to settle for a more incremental approach. During the debate, Clinton hinted that ACA could be improved by re-inserting the “public option”. It would be a hard sell to Congress, but at least the Sanders supporters would get a sliver of what he advocates.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        That’s how these things get done though.

        Every major policy change, from slavery, to social security, to the ACA, at one point was thought impossible to change.

        First it seems impossible. As we get over the initial shock of such a policy, people start to think about it. Soon it doesn’t seem like the world ending policy that the fear mongers had told us. If single payer ever becomes a thing, it needs to be talked about in real, concrete terms. Its highly doubtful Sanders wins and is able to implement this. But if it ever happens, it will find its roots in people like Bernie Sanders, and others.

        I doubt all the lobbies out there today together were as strong as the slavery “lobby” in the 1800’s. If slavery can be changed, so can health care.

      • MassDem says:

        Rob, although Social Security was passed in 1935, major expansions and adjustments occurred in 1939, throughout the 1950s and 60s, and even into the 70s with the introduction of COLA. It actually took a more gradual path than your comment suggests.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Social_Security_in_the_United_States

        As for the ending of slavery: that was a more sudden event but it took place under unique conditions. Not comparable.

    • And if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor!!! :_)

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Well if its a single payer all doctors are in the “plan”.

        You can see whatever doctor you want. If someone has a particular doc in a single payer system that they want to see – but don’t – its because their doc doesn’t want to see them.

  7. Rob Ambrose says:

    Sanders single payer plan.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/01/17/hours-before-debate-sanders-shares-details-of-health-plan-that-would-raise-income-taxes/

    Hefty tax increases on the wealthy. Actually looks pretty elegant.

    And is protected to save $6 trillion over the next 10 years.

    Kinda perverse that this could never pass even though it’s a great deal for everyone except those making more then $10 million/yr.

    • Doug says:

      From the WS Journal: “The plan would be funded in part with a 2.2% income tax on individuals, including earned and unearned income, and a 6.2% payroll tax paid by employers.”

      • Doug says:

        And: “Household income of more than $250,000 annually would be taxed at a marginal rate of 37%, up from 33% today.”

        “If all his proposals and the taxes to pay for them are implemented, the U.S. will collect revenue equal to about 26.6% of gross domestic product, the highest ever.”

      • johngalt says:

        Presumably such a plan would reduce or eliminate employer-provided health insurance, the cost of which is essentially paid for by the employee (in the form of lower pay). If my employer raised my salary by the (considerable) cost of my health insurance and the government took some or all of it back to provide me with comparable insurance, what’s the difference? The devil is in the details, but it is not something I would reject out of hand.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Whatever you think of the plan, that’s the key thing to keep in mind. It would NEVER pass. Medicaid and Medicare required not just Democratic majorities, but supermajorities in both the House and Senate in the 60s – along with a lot of liberal Republicans, mind you – and the death of President Kennedy hanging over both the Congress and the American people and even then it took months and months for Johnson to finally push it through.

      Clinton is right about this. We’ve got a foundation in the ACA that we can work on and expand. Until Republicans (or whatever party that comes out of the wreckage that might come this summer in Cleveland) get their heads screwed on straight, it’s playing with fire to say that we’re going to try and start over.

  8. MassDem says:

    Hillary has another advantage over Sanders, and that is Dem superdelegates. Those are the Dem shakers and movers, and there are just over 700 of them out of the almost 4800 total delegates, with around 2400 delegates needed to win the nomination. Right now Clinton has 337 superdelegates to Sanders’s 10 and O’Malley’s 3. That’s a pretty big difference, and it doesn’t seem likely that Sanders will get many of the remaining 365.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Democratic_Party_superdelegates,_2016

    By contrast, there are no Republican superdelegates, so the battle is all in the states.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      It’s a convenient way of giving an establishment preferred candidate a sense of momentum before even a single vote has been cast. Can’t say I’m particularly fond of it.

  9. flypusher says:

    A bit OT, but an interesting take on all that rugged Individualism of the Wild West:

    http://theweek.com/articles/598529/secret-history-cowboy-socialism

    So have the Bundy’s and their ilk ever read this history, or are they denying it?

  10. rulezero says:

    I know I don’t comment here often and I’m not trying to sound like Chicken Little, but it seems to me that the pressure that’s building up in this country has to be similar to what the US was like 1850-1860. Everything and everyone is polarized. If there was ever going to be a conflict that threatened to split the country again, I’d imagine it would be within the next 10-20 years. If it does happen, I hope it’s an amicable divorce and not some conflagration.

    As an aside, I’m pretty bummed about this entire election season. I have a feeling that I’m going to be walking into the voting booth and staring at the screen for 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, I’ll be shaking my head as I walk out. I don’t like Trump, I don’t like Cruz, I don’t like HRC, and I don’t like Sanders. I have half a mind to write in Teddy Roosevelt just for the lulz.

    I honestly think Trump will end up winning. I think Dems and Dem-leaning Indies will sit this election out and the right wingers are all fire and brimstone motivated.

    • flypusher says:

      I understand your frustration with the slate of candidates, really I do, but if we don’t want the crazy to win we must find the least of the evils and VOTE. Crazy wins if we give up and do nothing.

      While it is true we are quite divided these days, we don’t have any issue as big and bad and evil as slavery was. That is one crumb of hope.

      • Glandu says:

        That’s it. Millions of french socialist voters still feel a pain in the back for voting Jacques Chirac in 2002, against the proto-fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen. At least, they had a second round in which they could vote for the lesser of two evils(in their eyes, not mine, I had already voted Chirac in 1995). They did their duty to protect democracy.

        You Americans have only one round to expel the worse. Don’t miss it. Many people planned to vote socialist at the second round, but decided to play with other leftist candidates(the social-rebublican Chevenement, the left radical Taubira, the green whose name I’ve forgotten…..). But had the choice between conservative right & the nationalist right, at the end. A very bitter pill.

        Whoever thinks the choice is important shall not play with its vote. Don’t be as frivolous as 2002 french socialists. Vote NOW ASAP for the lesser evil, whenever you can.

    • MassDem says:

      Much of the time, I’ve ended up voting for the candidate I disliked least.
      Mondale v. Reagan, Bush v. Gore, Obama v. McCain (I briefly considered voting for McCain until he chose his VP-I didn’t dislike Obama but I worried that he was too green)

      I think it was Hillary’s turns in the Senate and as Secretary of State that sold me on her. Although I’ve always thought she was intelligent, she came across as more disciplined & resilient than she had as FLOTUS.

      I finally broke down and watched the last Republican debate on YouTube. Trump can be very funny and charming when he wants to be. Whoever runs against him should try to get under his skin so he shows his less appealing side. Out of all of the GOP candidates, only Jeb Bush seemed to have a handle on facts (tariff discussion especially).

      It’s actually more the norm to be politically polarized in this country IMHO. The only presidents capable of cracking 50% approval from members of the opposing party at any time during their tenures were Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and George HW Bush. Not Reagan, interestingly enough. I’ve decided to stop wringing my hands over it.

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/01/12/presidential-job-approval-ratings-from-ike-to-obama/

      • Creigh says:

        I consider voting for the candidate I dislike the least to be a completely honorable thing to do. I never agree completely with anybody but myself, and I wouldn’t run for President if you paid me.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m thinking of the Arthur C. Clarke story “The Songs of Distant Earth”. There is a human colony on a mostly ocean planet with a Governmental setup where anyone who wants the office of President is considered disqualified. The President is picked by lottery from all mentally competent, non-criminal adults. If you’re picked, you must serve.

        (Obviously that’s more doable with a very small population. But the concept has always amused me.)

  11. goplifer says:

    This is a Facebook post I read this morning from a black Democratic campaign coordinator on Chicago’s South Side. My friends on the left, there’s a problem brewing at your flank:

    Trump says “African-Americans have never done worse than they have under President Obama. Look at the crime, the jobs. I will bring jobs back from China. I will be great for African-Americans.”

    I think he said African-American more in one interview than POTUS in 8 years!

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      I understand that Democrats have taken our African-American brothers and sisters for granted, and while I wouldn’t underestimate Donald Trump’s ability to exploit the issue; is he REALLY the one that the black community would look at and say: “Hey, maybe we should give this guy a shot?”

      Don’t get me wrong. All it would take is one decisive strike on Republicans’ part to absolutely shatter the Democrats’ ties with African-Americans. If someone were out there with something comparable to your own platform, I would be the first to admit that the Democrats were cooked, but I have a hard time believing that they’re going to look at The Donald and feel like he isn’t just trying to exploit them for political advantage.

      I could be wrong, I admit, but I’d have to see it to believe it.

      • johngalt says:

        Maybe the GOP could break the ties between African-Americans and the Democrats, but doing so would require them to acknowledge how the GOP became a Southern-dominant party (the “neo-confederates” as Chris calls them) and then to propose a few policy changes that would be very, very un-Republican. The promises won’t work by themselves, so the GOP will have to match words with deeds and then, and only then, might that barrier start to come down. The chances of this are about the same as me being hit by an asteroid tonight.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        If Trump becomes the Republican nominee and the party splits, that future may be much closer than you think. We shall see.

    • MassDem says:

      Saying “African-American” is not the same thing as actually doing something that helps out that group. Just like saying “Islamic terrorist” doesn’t actually decrease terrorism.

      • flypusher says:

        It seems to me Obama is in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation regarding race. Depending on which extreme you listen to, he’s either obsessed with race, or he completely ignores the issue.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Hi, I’m Sir Magpie De Crow. Because I have black… feathers… I think should weigh in. If anyone thinks that the current configuration of the GOP has any flapping credibility in criticising any declines in the condition of African Americans under Obama I have this to say to them… Get stuffed (I know a lot of good taxidermists by the way). It’s kinda of hard to elevate a demographic group when the other side makes it their mission to make you a one term president. It is kind of hard to achieve academic benchmarks when a GOP hand pick Supreme Court Justice thinks darkies do better in lesser, not as challenging community colleges. It is kind of hard to avoid unnecessary police and suburban community scrunity when governors from really white states (okay…Maine) bemoan “thuggish” heroin dealers making hordes of half-breed mulatto bastards with white girls all over the eastern seaboard. It is a little hard to maintain career success as a black professional when you have a popular billionaire prez candidate who once spoke of his distate for black guys counting his money because they lacked the smarts of those Jewish guys. And who can forget the fact that a brilliant African-American scientist and astronomer can be castigated and ridiculed by GOP aligned conservatives but Cliven “let me tell you something” Bundy and his merry band of dumbf**k sons (armed protesters?) are held in great esteem by the arbiters of real American-ness, Fox News. And so on, and so on, and so on. Obama is by no mean a perfect president (even he would admit that) but he has frankly had strong/hurricane-esque headwinds to deal with as he has tried to sail the turbulent polical waters of this country for nearly 8 grueling years. I give him tremendous credit and my appreciation for not drowning in it, despite the best efforts of his opponents. Sometimes black people are elevated greatly not just by immediate results of the leadership of a high profile political figure, sometimes that progress is achieved by merely showing the rest of the community that one can survive in the most hostile social environments. Liberals and Democrats have their problems but I think GOP lifer overestimates the GOP’s capacity to prevail with black voters when they can’t seem to stop tripping over their own ugly, ignorant notions of people who don’t look like them. “The Republican Party is becoming the party of old white men”. You know who said that? Black Panther activist Rand Paul.

  12. texan5142 says:

    Tuned in to fox this morning… Cruz is a dangerous man that gives weasels a bad name. Fun watching him squirm when confronted with his lie about his changed vote on the farm package.

    • texan5142 says:

      What is the GOP’s plan? To this day they have none, unless you think more tax cuts are a plan. Seven years of disrespect of the president is not a plan. More votes to repeal the ACA is not a plan. Defending what little money spent on PP is not a plan. More money to the MIC is not a plan. Denying GW is not a plan. The GOP candidates are running on nothing….. Hillary bad…. me good knuckle dragging platitudes is all they have.

    • texan5142 says:

      Exactly how is what Sanders and Warren are proposing any different than Cruz saying he will bring back manufacturing jobs from China?

    • Griffin says:

      Of course if you actually ran on a platform that acknowledged that everyone should get some money out of the machines doing our labor for us, that pretty soon not everybody may need to work, that we should have longer vacations and shorter work hours, people will dismiss you as a complete kook because it goes against everything they “know” and how they were raised. The GOP would actually be more brutal than anyone and just dismiss you as a “lazy communist” for acknowledging this.

      • Creigh says:

        Yes, I forgot that one (shorter hours, more leave). I was on Hillary’s site just now and she’s recommending more overtime, which seemed counterintuitive. How about a 30 hour week?

        (Trump thinks we make too much, Hillary thinks we should work more. Yeesh!)

    • Creigh says:

      The economic problem for our age is that so many people have been rendered economically irrelevant. There are some obvious things to do, like infrastructure development. Also, boost demand by lowering taxes on lower income people, into negative territory if necessary (guaranteed income). Longer term, focus our economy on “experiences not things.” Things are for robots, let’s figure out how to deal with that reality.

    • n1cholas says:

      Wow. Delving into projection with the reactionary thing, eh?

      You do realize that when you constantly criticize the Republican party, and lament how it isn’t really conservative…it’s because the Republican party is the reactionary party, right?

      The whole Sander’s thing and the fact that his positions, if polled individually without party labels, are actually favored by a majority of Americans is really getting to you I think.

  13. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    Former RNC Chairman, and a man whom I like, Michael Steele thinks there’s no stopping Trumpmentum now. This pain train is gonna keep on chugging. Choo Choo, Republican Party!

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/former-rnc-chair-trump-will-be-the-republican-nominee?utm_term=.orX5YaeVX#.ien2BZW4M

  14. tuttabellamia says:

    OMG, I think I just noticed a major typo in the title of the current blog entry. Shouldn’t it be “Only Democrats Can Send Trump TO the White House?” Unless the Dems deliver.

  15. tuttabellamia says:

    Lifer, so I guess leaving IS an option after all, despite your blog subtitle, since you have publicly announced you would vote for Mrs. Clinton in the general election, although I guess you could just consider it a furlough.

    Does that mean you will be voting in the Democratic primary?

    • tuttabellamia says:

      BTW, I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I commend you for choosing to vote according to your conscience, even if it means going against your party in this instance.

    • flypusher says:

      I am strongly considering voting in the GOP primary this time.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        You’d be voting according to your conscience, eh, Fly?

      • flypusher says:

        Yes I will. If I do end up voting in the GOP primary, it will be to make a statement against the crazy. If the vote was right now, I’d be leaning towards Christie, for 2 reasons. First, he is one of the saner ones. Second, how he acted in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. If your constituents have been hit by a natural disaster, partisan politics need to be put aside. The fact that some people are upset over him working with President Obama shows just how far off the rails they have gone. To those people, I flip the bird, because any attempt at adult discourse is futile.

        (OT, damn what a play GB made to force OT!!)

      • flypusher says:

        And AZ answers in OT with their own amazing scoring drive. Nice!

    • MassDem says:

      It’s not really leaving; it’s just visiting.

      Ho-hum, the Patriots won again.

    • goplifer says:

      No. We’ve got important stuff happening in the Republican primary here. President, Schmezedent.

  16. WX Wall says:

    There are two separate questions here, 1) Can Sanders beat Clinton in the primary and 2) Can Sanders beat Republican XXX in the general?

    Your points about African Americans preferring Hillary are well taken. Many of them to this day think of Bill as the actual first Black President. But that only matters in the primary. (To make one note about the primaries, Obama had young millenials, white progressives, and African Americans. Hillary had hispanics , rural, and elderly dems. And Obama still won the primary. In Bernie vs Hillary, I would say Hillary gains the black vote, but loses a lot of rural and elderly dems. So in the end, I think Bernie’s coalition is still viable, although it’s certainly still a long shot).

    In the general, I’m sorry to say this, Chris, but Bernie doesn’t need your vote. I presume you voted for both McCain and Romney, and if that’s the case, that means you weren’t a crossover voter in those elections, and Obama won without you. You were the last vestige of the sane Republican party, but you were still part of the Republican party (and still are). While you might vote for Hillary, your vote is not necessary if she manages to hold Obama’s coalition together.

    So would Bernie hold the coalition? My best guess is yes.

    WRT to African Americans: many of them may prefer Hillary to Bernie for personal reasons (lingering affection for Bill, deep ties to many black groups, etc.), but there’s really no policy differences between the two and in a general election, you can be sure that Bernie will establish those personal ties. Bill’s “Sistah Souljah” moment in the 1992 race was far more damaging than anything Bernie has said on gun control (which is actually a very rational understanding that gun regulation needs to be different in rural vs urban areas), and yet African Americans still came out and voted for Bill. I suspect they’ll do the same for Bernie.

    WRT to hispanics: not only are they a rising percentage of the vote base, but I think any democrat will increase his share compared to the last election, and that’s even if the Republicans nominate Cruz or Rubio (both Cubans, whom many non-cuban hispanics don’t like). Given how toxic the Republican party has been for the past 8 years, and Trump / Cruz / Rubio’s wholesale embrace of that platform, I think Bernie actually gets a higher number of hispanic votes than Obama did.

    So that leaves the question of how Bernie will do with the moderates, the ones who are even more disgusted with the republican party than you and have actually ceased identifying as one, and voted for Obama in ’08 and ’12. I don’t know the answer to that one, since there isn’t enough polling yet, but given how popular Bernie’s positions actually are (once you get away from simple scary labels like Socialist! Communist! Dirty Hippy with Unkempt Hair!) I think there’s a good chance a lot of moderates will like what he has to say (and if Socialist is the worst that Republicans can do when they called Obama a Kenyan Muslim Communist community organizer from Chicago, I think they’re going soft 🙂 .

    Sanders’s recently unveiled Wall St. reform package is a great example. IMHO, it is exactly what centrist moderates would like (it was based off a a bill by Warren that was backed by several Republicans including McCain): enforce the rule of law on Wall St and provide a reasonable set of new regulations to prevent it from happening again, while still preserving the essential services that banks provide to the economy. I don’t know if you’ve read his proposals yet, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on that policy.

    At the risk of sounding like a psychoanalyst, I think you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance: you’re correct that the American public is more liberal than the extreme right Republican base. But you have trouble accepting that they’re also more liberal than the center-right “sane Republican” position that your ideal politician occupies, despite numerous polls showing just that (huge majorities support single-payer healthcare, increased taxes on the rich, defense cuts, jailing Wall St. bankers, getting out of the middle east, more money for college, etc. etc. etc.). Whether those are correct policies or not doesn’t change the political calculation that a politician who embraces those views can be popular. And given that the dem coalition has only grown in the past 4 years (millenials, urbanites, and hispanics especially) Bernie has more cushion to thread the needle than Obama did before (remember when many pundits wondered if the Dems could ever win the Presidency again after the South turned solidly Republican?)

    So I say, discard your GOP vestiges, GOPlifer, and Feel The Bern!! 🙂

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      With all due respect to Sen. Sanders, being popular doesn’t make you a leader and it sure as hell doesn’t mean you can win. It just means you’re popular. President Clinton once said that elections are always about the future, so you tell me what it is about Bernie Sanders’ proposals that speak to that view and channel the energies of the American people into building a future brighter and more prosperous than any that have come before it.

      Single-payer healthcare, whatever you might think of it, is still healthcare and it’s BORING. It does not incentivize people to come out and vote for you. One need only look back at the last seven years to appreciate that fact.

      Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr and adjusting it to inflation, while it sounds very nice, doesn’t affect the populace as a whole and would likely have to be done in increments so as to not adversely affect businesses. It doesn’t hold a candle to something like a federal minimum income; the possibilities of which, once you know the basics, are limited only by your imagination. It’s a simple, easy to understand concept that affects every man, woman and child in this country.

      His union proposals are, frankly, a blast from the past. People don’t care about the past. I’m all for unions, collective bargaining and giving working men and women a voice so that they’re not railroaded by big business and the like, but the truth is is that corruption has sunk its poisonous teeth into too many unions and stripped away the very voice that they’re supposed to protect. If Sen. Sanders would come out and address this concern, I would certainly find it very refreshing, but I have no expectation for him to do that I feel that that’s the case for many, many other people.

      And on and on it goes. Bernie Sanders, much as I like him, is not a voice for the future and does not deserve to be this country’s next president.

      • moslerfan says:

        Economically speaking, inequality is the biggest threat for the future. As the game of Monopoly shows (yes, I really said that) when wealth becomes extremely concentrated, the game ends. Concentrated wealth leads to concentrated power, and concentrated power leads to more concentrated wealth. It’s inherent in unregulated capitalism.

        There’s a tendency to blame Wall Street bankers for the financial collapse in 2008 — and, possibly for political reasons Bernie Sanders does — but the result was inevitable given the way capitalism and finance work.

        There are two mechanisms (at least) that push this result. One of course is regulatory capture, or good old fashioned corruption. The other is compound interest. Financiers including banks lend money at interest. The bulk of this lending is used to purchase assets, mostly real estate but also stocks. People borrow money to buy these assets expecting price rises (capital gains). So, asset purchases drive price increases and price increases drive asset purchases, using borrowed money. This works until it doesn’t, and a crash occurs. Home prices collapse but the inflated mortgages remain. Banks pick up the pieces in foreclosure. But there’s another factor adding to that process, and that’s interest. Banks recover their principal plus interest, and most of that is recycled into new loans. The nature of compound interest is compound growth, and compound growth in the real world is unsustainable long term. And no bankers went to jail because bankers made sure that all of this was perfectly legal.

        So how to counter this process, and whose economic plan does that? We can eliminate the Republicans because all they are proposing is tax cuts favoring the rich. Hillary’s economic advisors will all be from Goldman Sachs. It’s unlikely they will fix the problem that is delivering them a windfall.

        The answer must be to tilt the playing field less in the favor of creditors and capital and more in the favor of debtors and labor. Higher tax rates on wealth, and probably taxes on transactions, and eliminating tax breaks on unearned income (interest and rents). Elimination of excess taxes on labor (SS and Medicare). Regulation of loans so that creditworthiness is based on ability to repay, not value of collateral. If I was smarter this list would be longer, I’m sure.

        Bernie Sanders’ proposal isn’t perfect, but its the best out there.

      • moslerfan says:

        I should have probably mentioned how demand ties into this. In life, as in Monopoly, when too much income is devoted to interest and rent payments, demand for real economic output is reduced. Lack of demand means new investments will not be profitable. We’re seeing all the growth in the finance and real estate sectors, and little in the real economy where most employment takes place. We’ve set up a system that concentrates wealth.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Please. No one, including myself, would argue that we should let income inequality continue to swell or that we should let the conditions that nearly tanked our economy happen again. Of course we need to do something about that – in a smart, cost-efficient way that doesn’t lend to bureaucratic corruption of course – but we can’t just cherry pick those selective issues at the expense of everything else.

        Hillary Clinton isn’t perfect, but she’ll be a lot better for the future of the country than Sen. Sanders who, whatever you might think of him, has his policies rooted in the past. We can’t wax nostalgic about what America was and think that we’ll just recreate that economy all over again. It’s dead and it’s never coming back.

        So no, and with all respect, you are dead wrong when you say that his proposals are the best out there. They’re not, and they never were.

      • Creigh says:

        I shouldn’t make fun of Hillary because I will support the Democratic nominee no matter who she is, but I looked at her website just now. One of her proposals is to encourage corporations to share profits with workers. She will offer them a 15% tax break if they do. I’d like to meet the economist (lobbyist?) who came up with that one.

        Setting aside the fact that any corporation with a decent tax lawyer and a competent lobbyist doesn’t even pay taxes, if the Government wants people to have more money, why doesn’t the Government just give it to them directly? Or do we have to have the corporation’s permission now?

        Sadly, most of the rest of her ideas are goals, not plans. There’s a difference that politicians generally would rather you overlook.

  17. MassDem says:

    Things have been kind of grim lately, what with the 2016 campaigns and the plunging stock market…
    So here is a funny story out of RI. It’s a delightful state (I lived there for about 7 years), but it’s an odd place. And nothing is odder than its politicians:

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/647a5e0e16964d3583d3ea04174fcf64/city-official-has-man-dress-old-woman-photo-op

    Why??

    BTW-don’t get hung up on the politician’s party. This behavior is par for the course in RI. Historically, It was the colony where all of the misfits from the other colonies got exiled.

  18. Stephen H says:

    “Our invasion of Iraq enjoyed overwhelming Democratic support.”

    This is false. It had mixed Democratic support, but surely not overwhelming support. A majority of Democrats in Congress voted against the authorization of the use of military force against Iraq.

    61% of House Democrats opposed the invasion of Iraq.
    41% of Senate Democrats opposed the invasion of Iraq.

    97% of Republicans in both the House and the Senate voted for the invasion.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution#Passage_of_the_full_resolution

    • goplifer says:

      And who, among the Democratic delegation, supported the Iraq War? Both Kerry and Clinton – in other words, every Democrat with any serious ambitions or influence in the party.

      • Stephen H says:

        It is very true and regrettable that Kerry and Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq. But that’s a very different statement than your original statement of “overwhelming Democratic support.”

        Clinton’s support of the invasion of Iraq is a major reason Obama was nominated in 2008 and not her.

      • goplifer says:

        Only real opposition was on the irrelevant fringe.

      • flypusher says:

        How are you defining “fringe”? Here’s a breakdown of the Senate vote. Which of them is fringe-y (other than Byrd, I’ll give you that)?

        https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/107-2002/s237

      • goplifer says:

        The ones who lacked the influence to change the outcome.

      • flypusher says:

        The House vote:

        https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/107-2002/h455

        Ron Paul is definitely fringe, but at least he had the spine to call a huge pile of bullshit a huge pile of bullshit.

        The Senate Dems who voted “yes” share some of the blame/responsibility, I agree. They could have stopped it, because they had a majority. Kerry’s vote probably contributed to his defeat in 2004. It’s not much of a choice if you must decide between the guy who launched the FUBAR and one of his main enablers.

  19. Chris, just to be clear, are you saying you would vote Clinton over Trump? Would you vote her over any of the other Republican candidates?

    • goplifer says:

      Look, I have (or should I say ‘had’) fully resigned myself to voting for a Clinton for the first time this year. She’s the only remotely qualified person running this year in either party.

      I hate the Clintons. I fear Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Bush, Rubio and the rest of the ramble don’t warrant attention either way.

      I’d much rather have a President I find personally loathsome but entirely pragmatic and competent than a raving ideologue whose ideology trumps any dissonant information.

      So yes, I’ll be voting to put that horrible family back in the White House in the fall if I get the chance.

      • texan5142 says:

        The first step of recovering from addiction is to admit one has a problem. Bad analogy I know. Admitting that Chris took intestinal fortitude…..a tip of the hat to you my good man.

        Clinton knows the system and how to use it. You would think that the business minded people of the GOP would be all over this. You hire the person who will get the job done, you may not personally like the hire, but you want the hire that gives you the best chance to keep ones business running and profitable. Clinton is that hire, the rest are the dumb f!!ks in a tight job market who are not employable. The pickings are thin.

      • flypusher says:

        “Clinton knows the system and how to use it. You would think that the business minded people of the GOP would be all over this. ”

        Many of them may well be, but unlike Chris, they’re not openly admitting it.

        Like Chris, I’m no fan of Hillary, but holding my nose and voting for her looks like my most likely action come November. Seriously, why should I vote for any other potential candidate? If you pander to the anti-science crowd, that is an absolute deal-breaker. Likewise if you are a darling of the Dominionist set. Embracing trickle-down economics is a big negative on my political score card. So is all the knee-jerk bellicose saber rattling as a first response to any problems abroad (recent example, the American ships that strayed into Iranian waters). I absolutely, totally, and strongly disapprove of Hillary’s “yes” vote on invading Iraq. But at least she cut her losses on that one and didn’t double down on that FUBAR.

      • lomamonster says:

        Your reasoning is quite sound about the Clintons in spite of the rest of the presidential candidates, and I think that it will be shared in the end by all who seriously consider the consequences of reversing the process we have engineered to take us into the future without undo harm.

        I fear the unfolding of reason more than almost anything else that relates to our possible demise on this planet…

      • lomamonster says:

        Perhaps its time for me to read “The Mind Parasites” again just to brush up on that spectacular scifi explanation for the contamination of reason on this world, eh? It sounded plausible 50 years ago in high school anyway! One of the first basic arrrghs I ever saw.

  20. n1cholas says:

    So, the Republican party has been cultivating its base to think like Trump and vote for Rmoneys, and lost control of their monster.

    But it’s now up to Democrats keep out social dominator Trump and his right-wing authoritarian followers.

    And we have to nominate a center-right neo-liberal neo-conservative to do it.

    Bernie Sanders positions are popular with America in general, but, but, socialism! And communism!

    Yeah, right. Of course.

    It’s us dirty hippy democratic voters who are going to be responsible for Trump. Trump is making you less and less reasonable by the day.

    Seek help.

  21. Trump is leading because of one thing; charisma. It has nothing to do with an angry electorate, or fear of ISIS; it is the cult of personality. At this stage of the game, Bruce Springsteen would easily be leading the D primary if he were running; same for Jon Stewart, or Angelina Jolie. Lifer has bought into the Trump near-inevitability like every other pundit….how sad. Trump will get flushed (talk about schadenfreude), and Clinton will win, in a wave election.

    • n1cholas says:

      Donald Trump is a social dominator. His base is the Republican party base, who are right-wing authoritarians.

      Charisma is what the “libruuul media” is trying to sell you because they’ve been complicit in the BothSidesDoIt™ BigLie that nets them their elaborate wealth and status, and aren’t willing to quite yet admit that Republicans have been wrong about everything for the past 50 years, and the dirty, very punchable hippies were right all along, go figure.

      Here, have a read. It is very, very accessible, relatively funny while dealing with a very heavy topic, and can be read in just a few hours.

      http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

      • Doug says:

        au·thor·i·tar·i·an adj.
        1. favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom.

        There are many flavors of authoritarian. Bernie is among the worst, just on different issues.

      • n1cholas says:

        Haha, now that’s hilarious!

        Sanders supports increasing the minimum wage, that is, government legislating that FreeMarket™ pay individual citizens more money. Now that is bigtime authoritarianism, since giving people more money will surely result in less personal freedom!

        Sanders supports a tax on Wall St. transactions, and we all know that if Wall. St. isn’t able to commit as much fraud as they do now, tax-free, that we all lose personal freedom!

        Sanders supports Medicare-For-All, which means that people won’t have to worry about finding an insurance plan, or paying a fine if they don’t have one…or going bankrupt if they don’t have insurance. Nothing takes away your personal freedom like not worrying about going bankrupt because of medical costs!

        Sanders supports family and medical leave, along with child care. Nothing takes away your, my, and everyone else’s personal freedoms like being able to take off work to take care of family, or having access to child care!

        Sanders supports investing in US infrastructure so that we can join European hellhole countries in having a modern, up-to-date infrastructure. Nothing takes away our personal freedoms as much as having functional bridges and adequate roadways!

        Of course, all of that is absolutely terrible, if you, like me, enjoy personal freedoms. But, I haven’t gotten to the truly outrageous things that Sanders supports.

        Sanders supports demilitarizing our police. Nothing shouts TOTALITARIANISM as much as a President who doesn’t want the county sheriff rolling into your neighborhood in a tank!!!

        And don’t even get me started on the clear TOTALITARIANISM that Sanders will bring about by supporting LGBT rights, women’s rights, Veteran’s rights, the elderly’s rights, and by making voting much much easier than it is now.

        And of course, let us never forget that Sanders supports diplomacy rather than unilateral warfare, is a fierce critic of the NSA, and wants to limit spying on US citizens. I mean, limiting spying against US citizens?

        THIS GUY IS A TOTAL AUTHORITARIAN!!!

        No, but seriously, Doug. You’re a joke. Keep that hilarious analysis comin’.

      • Doug says:

        So what you’re saying is money equals freedom? That’s not the definition I use, but let’s go with it. All this freedom he wants to hand out certainly is not coming out of his own pocket, so whose freedom is he taking? And what happens if they refuse to pay? Not more freedom, that’s for sure.

      • n1cholas says:

        You and your buddies are more than welcome and move to Somalia to maximize your personal freedoms, or you can hang out here with us in the first world.

        Have a great day!

    • goplifer says:

      It will be interesting to see what happens if Kanye is serious about running in 2020. You may be right.

    • Creigh says:

      Clearly, BS’ shtick is about opposing the power of Wall Street, which he sees as bad economics and bad democracy. I think he’d say, with considerable justification, that personal freedom is endangered by economic forces as well as by governmental forces, and his proposed policies would increase personal freedom.

  22. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    OT, but relevant with respect to Lifer’s belief that the party will split if Trump wins the Republican nomination. If this report is to be believed, more and more Republicans are resigning themselves to the possibility of Donald Trump being their nominee, and not in a hair on fire, “if this is how it’s going to be, I’m outta here” way either.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/first-read-has-trump-already-conquered-gop-n497246

    Donald Trump has, without question, shifted the trajectory of this Republican primary in a damn near irreversible way. We know this, and most of us just assumed that behind all the bullshit and talking points, the Republican establishment would never line up behind him. Surely they know it’s political suicide and that they’d get their asses handed to them on a silver platter in November.

    What if that assumption’s mistaken though? If Trump dominates the primary and lines up even more of the base heading into Cleveland, what incentive is there for the establishment or anyone else to call it quits and split the party apart? We know there’s an America out there that would vote for the kind of platform that Lifer advocates for in a heartbeat, but does that kind of message resonate with establishment Republicans enough for them to feel that leaving is an option?

    And what happens if they do, however begrudgingly, actually line up behind The Donald and the Republican Party becomes the party of Donald Trump?

    • Doug says:

      “We know there’s an America out there that would vote for the kind of platform that Lifer advocates for in a heartbeat”

      Definitely there is. But most of them vote D.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        I have to respectfully disagree. It’s been said many times before, but it’s worth repeating: “Most Republicans aren’t crazy.”

        Despite supporting a truly batshit crazy candidate like Trump or whatever else, most Republicans are intelligent, forward-looking and hard-working people. They just don’t have an agenda out there that represents their best interests and so we have what’s happening right now. If there were a national political party that could articulate a 21st Century Republican Agenda, I would bet you everything I am that they would support it. Some would have to be dragged along kicking and screaming, yes, but they would eventually come around too.

      • Griffin says:

        But they’ve had the opportunity to line up behind a pragmatic capitalist multiple times. They could’ve gone for Jon Huntsman in 2012 or Kasich this time around but they’ve repeatadly rejected it. The implication seems to be that they will get behind the agenda if there is some perfect candidate and orator who can articulate it perfectly but that could be said for virtually any agenda. I feel like we’re not respecting the will of Republican base, and are instead exerting a lot of energy to dismiss their stated positions and preferences.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Griffin: With all respect, it’s ridiculous to say that you could say the same for any agenda. If it’s not one that would have a genuine chance at making their lives better and replace the economic structure that white supremacy gave so many of them over the course of many, many years, then it’s not going to get through.

        Much of the Republican base that seems to be gravitating towards Trump is one that feels that despite the fact that they’ve consistently voted Republican, they’ve never gotten anything for it. I don’t remember specifically what poll it was, but I recall seeing one not too long ago that among Republicans, a fair majority of them DO want the government to do more for them.

        This isn’t some far-fetched theory or blind optimism. There are many, many Republicans out there (like my mother, as a matter of fact) who would support the kind of agenda that Lifer and others advocate for, if only they could be given the chance.

      • Griffin says:

        I’m not saying that the GOP base would get behind any agenda, just that you could excuse the lack of popularity for any agenda by saying that it doesn’t have a great spokesman yet. At the moment I think they would rather stick with White Supremacy since it’s a safer bet for them and they’re more comfortable with it. When that agenda clearly fails on the national stage and there’s no where left to turn then they would probably support a new policy agenda, but for now there is no way for either of us to know if they would support a less cowardly version of Marco Rubio over Donald Trump.

  23. Griffin says:

    I don’t know how much of an edge this will give Sanders but a bunch of progressive economists (170 to be precise), including Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and leading post-keynesian Dean Baker, just endorsed Sanders’ Wall Street reform plan. I don’t think it will change much, seeing as how he was already popular with this crowd, but it could give him a new talking point in the next debate.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2016/01/14/170-economists-bernie-sanders-plan-reform-wall-st-rein-greed.html

  24. CaptSternn says:

    Hey Turtles, Ted Cruz. You said you would vote in the GOP primaries for the candidate of my choosing. There it is. But you seem to have a very selective memory, so I won’t be surprised if you selectively forget you said you would do that. If he drops out before the Texas primaries your word is excused and you can do whatever you want in any party’s primary without breaking your word. I would probably vote for Rubio in the primaries if Cruz drops out and Rubio is still in the running, but he is not my choice.

    Lifer, since I choose to grace your blog with a comment a year after what happened, I may as well address your entry here. If it is Trump vs Clinton, Clinton wins. If it is Clinton vs any of the other candidates, she loses and the republican wins. Especially if Rubio gets the nomination. Might be closer if Cruz gets it but Cruz still wins. If Sanders gets it, you are right that even Trump could beat him, unless Trump runs a third party candidate..

    I don’t like or trust Trump. I think he is trolling the GOP primaries. If he doesn’t get the nod and runs as third party, we have the Perot situation all over again and Clinton wins. Maybe even Sanders could win in that situation. But if Trump does get the GOP nomination, I will have to decide if I will hold my nose and vote for him or say to heck with it and vote third party as I have done in the past. Then again, even Trump would be better than Clinton, Sanders or any other democrat.

    If Trump doesn’t get the nomination and doesn’t split the vote by running third party, I will come back in November to either admit you were right about that “blue wall” or rub it in because you were wrong. If Trump runs as third party, it proves nothing about your “blue wall”.

    I like TThor;s reference to that John Mellencamp song.

    Hello TThor and OV. Hope y’all are doing well. And a shout out to Kabuzz . Wish all of you health, wealth and happiness.

    See y’all in November.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Welcome back Cappy. I do remember my promise and I plan on keeping it.

    • johngalt says:

      I have no words to describe how your decision to grace us with your presence again makes me feel.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      >] “If he doesn’t get the nod and runs as third party, we have the Perot situation all over again and Clinton wins.”

      You’re free to check out the counts in 1992 for yourself, but Ross Perot took votes pretty evenly from both George H. W Bush and Bill Clinton, so Clinton would’ve won the election either way. Here’s a report from the NYT at the time confirming that: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/05/us/1992-elections-disappointment-analysis-eccentric-but-no-joke-perot-s-strong.html

      Take a look at this summary in particular: “Mr. Swindle’s prideful sentiments notwithstanding, the impact of Mr. Perot’s supporters on the campaign’s outcome appears to have been minimal. If Mr. Perot had not been on the ballot, 38 percent of his voters said, they would have voted for Gov. Bill Clinton, and 38 percent said they would have voted for President Bush. Of the 31 states where Mr. Perot garnered more than 20 percent, 17 were won by Mr. Clinton and 14 by Mr. Bush. A Breeze, Not a Storm”

      George H. W Bush got beaten in November in 1992 because the economy sucked and his approval ratings were stuck in the 30s at the time.

      That aside, you’ll have to pardon me for seeming overly focused on such a small thing, but this one historical rewrite on Republicans’ part that really just needs to die already.

    • objv says:

      Well, hi Cap! Long time no see. I’ve been busy with a new puppy. She’s a Border Collie mix. Poor thing had bite marks on her muzzle and face, and at seven months, already had a cracked permanent tooth that needed to be pulled. Her owners wanted to dump her on a reservation. Their loss; my gain. She’s a sweet little dog and I’ve enjoyed getting her settled in.

      I’ve missed your posts … although I can’t blame you for leaving.

      • Aw! My goofy Labra-raner (or is that Weim-ador?) has scars on his head and throat, too. Makes one wonder how many poor stray pups get tossed into the ring as training fodder for fighting pit bulls. (Yeah, that’s right, Michael Vick, there’s a special corner of hell waiting just for you…)

        On the plus side, unlike purchasing medieval papal indulgences, or Al Gore carbon credits, I’m pretty sure providing a good home for a critter in needs puts you on the plus side of the cosmic ledger. 🙂

    • Cap! Howdy! Good to hear from you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. Turtles Run says:

    OT

    Seems the first of Bundy’s Flashlight militia has been arrested. One of the thugs took a federal vehicle into town and was arrested at the local Safeway (possibly buying lotto tickets). Seems even Uncle Sam had a line these morons couldn’t cross.

    As for the debate as to whether Black protesters would be permitted to act in the same manner as these militia types. The Oregonian found a similar incident from 1979 where unarmed Black protesters occupied land the government confiscated from their parents and grandparents and was turned into a wildlife reserve. Well the police stepped in immediately and jail time was given to these people. These people unlike the Bundy thugs had a legitimate grievance yet the law was quick to act.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/history/2016/01/oregon_standoff_feds_forcibly.html

    • MassDem says:

      The guy in OR who was arrested was Bundy’s bodyguard “Fluffy Unicorn” and the reason was an outstanding warrant from AZ.

  26. flypusher says:

    I have to give credit where credit is due. I did not watch the latest GOP debate (I had an enjoyable evening at the Rice KYU basketball game instead), but by now I’ve had time to review the highlights, and I want to give Trump credit for that smackdown of Cruz over “NY values”. While I think politicians overplay the 9-11 card, in this case it was valid. New York is just as American as any small town in the Heartland. As is San Fran. And D.C. And Houston. And any other place that’s actually part of the United States.

    A NY response to Teddy:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/new-york-daily-news-ted-cruz_56989bc4e4b0778f46f8f078?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

  27. unarmedandunafraid says:

    Now stop it Chris, You’re scarin’ the kids.

  28. Tom says:

    But kudos for noting the tone-deafness that white “progressives” (or sometimes tone-deaf might be too nice) have toward the black community.

    You saw that in the Houston mayoral race with Chris Bell endorsing King over Turner, and many of Bell’s supporters doing the same. You see it as well with many progressives disagreeing with the tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement (which is frequently used as cover for disagreeing with the cause.)

    Republicans are in a better position to exploit the white progressive side of that fissure though. It’s not necessarily “logical” but Sanders supporters would likely be a better source of crossover votes for a Republican than Clinton supporters, because the people supporting Sanders tend to be less loyal to the Democratic Party.

  29. MassDem says:

    Wow, I was reading through the comments section, and it occurred to me that maybe Millenials are supporting Sanders cuz their Boomer parents like Clinton.

    The comments on this one are priceless. I especially love the one from the kid who thinks Bernie “speaks the truth about weed”. Talk about your single-issue voter.

    http://www.alternet.org/comments/news-amp-politics/millennials-prefer-sanders-clinton#disqus_thread

  30. Matt Sweeney says:

    Every poll I’ve seen shows Bernie crushing any Republican nominee, with a significantly higher percentage than Hillary.

    Where are you getting YOUR facts?

    • goplifer says:

      Come September we’ll start to get our first reliable, state by state poll results. It will be too late then.

    • Tom says:

      That’s mostly a difference in name rec.

      Sanders, for better or worse, hasn’t been through the vetting process yet. Clinton has been in the public eye for two decades and all of her warts are known quantities at this point.

      As for Sanders, you’d be just as well off plugging any Democratic Senator into those polls. He’s basically “Generic Democrat” to the average voter.

  31. johngalt says:

    Fivethirtyeight is tracking endorsements of the candidates with a weighted score. On the Democratic side, it’s Clinton 457, Sanders 2. Sanders might excite liberal activists and college kids, but he’s not going to pull out multiple wins in the deep south in the SEC primary.

    Sanders is also not going to alienate black voters into opting for Trump. He might alienate them enough to stay home. Trump will also alienate a lot of Republicans, who might also choose to sit this one out.

  32. Rob Ambrose says:

    You may be right in your assessment that Sanders would be a disastrous president Chris.

    But I don’t think your rght in that Trump could beat Sanders. I don’t think Trump could beat anybody.

    I think Trump scares more ppl in America then Sanders does, by a YOUUUUUGE margin.

    Ppl wouldn’t be voting for Sanders as much as for ng for whoever is not Trump.

    That’s what happened in Canada recently, Trudeau didn’t win so much as the Anybody But Harper train.

    • goplifer says:

      I’m not sure Trump or Cruz could beat Sanders. There’s no question that they’d fail to beat Clinton. Democrats have been handed a virtual lock on the Electoral College. Sanders would end that geographic advantage, perhaps permanently.

      The point really is that none of the GOP candidates can win unless the Democrats do something stupid. And in fine Democratic tradition, you can’t be too sure they won’t.

      • flypusher says:

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, after the electoral farce of 2000, I assume that NOTHING is a lock.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Fly, once again, you say what I am thinking.

        I was so sure the supremes wouldn’t step in. After all, that’s not what they do…when they did, I had to sit down, that’s how stunned I was.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m wondering if O’Conner has any angst over her vote. But all the bad feelings I had that election night turned out to be justified several times over. If Bush doesn’t turn out to be the worst President of the 21st Century, we have some terrifying times ahead.

        (And we all know the odds of a President Trump, while currently minuscule, are still greater than zero.)

  33. Griffin says:

    “The guy wrote those posts will not vote for Bernie Sanders under any circumstances”

    The guy “who” wrote those posts?.

    I think you’re overstating the differences between Sanders and Clinton. Neither will get a majority in congress and they will largely have the same appointees in the cabinet and neither will be able to pass much legislation. The most important difference to me will be on foreign policy, where Clinton has shown herself time and again to be far too hawkish. If she takes out Assad we will be stuck in an even larger quagmire, and I don’t want to see that happen.

    I also think you’re overstating his stance on trade. The guy has a “mixed record” on trade policy from CATO of all places, not exactly Patrick Buchanon 2.0.

    Also his argument is not that someone like you would support him, since you’re not a blue collar worker. He thinks the blue collar Republicans and elders who want social security protected may crossover to vote for him. I don’t know if it’s true or not but that’s his argument.

  34. Well, I was kinda wondering when (or if) this post was going to show. With all the (banally predictive) negative energy focused on the GOP slate by a wildly (and increasingly obviously) biased MM, the sheer lunacy of the Dem “contest” has remained largely unremarked upon.

    Bernie “The [F-ing] Commie” Sanders? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? LOL. Better dead than red, boys and grrls.

    Marin “I’m going to take *all* your guns” O’Malley? You know, that unidentified third guy in the picture? LOL.

    And then we have Hillary, the target of an *FBI criminal investigation*, who brought us the reset, Benghazi, the email server, and a whole new standard for feathering one’s nest whilst in office. Simply marvelous. So marvelous that her former boss refuses to endorse her. And you think Trump’s negatives are high? LOL, again.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Tracy, the fact that you would relate Bernie’s brand of democratic socialism with communism shows you either have no idea what actual policies Sanders stands for, or no idea what actual communism is, or both.

      Sanders policies are in line with just about every other capitalist, market oriented, modern nation.

      • Griffin says:

        But Rob Bernie is DANGEROUS because he has… silly hair!!!!

      • Rob, I understand Bernie all too well. As for “every other capitalist, market oriented, modern nation,” you will note that throughout our history the U.S. has differed from these countries in subtle, but rather important ways. Little things that are embodied in our Constitution, Bill of Rights and system of jurisprudence. You just might want to check your enthusiasm. Or, if you really have such a jones on for socialism, consider emigration to a “modern nation” more consonant with your values. You’ll be doing us both a favor. Think win-win, friend. 😉

      • johngalt says:

        Sanders is not going to be the nominee, but Rob is right – he is miles away from being a communist. Words have meanings, Tracy.

        And if Trump is capitalizing on the anger of old white people who think they are getting the shaft in this economy, then Sanders is capitalizing on the anger of young (mostly) white people who think they are getting the shaft in this economy. The young people have a much better case on this point.

      • texan5142 says:

        “consider emigration to a “modern nation” more consonant with your values.”

        Gun nuts and small government types should take heed of that advice, I hear Somalia is nice this time of year.

    • MassDem says:

      Tracy, you never disappoint! But I question your choice of John Mellancamp–self-described “as left-wing as you get”, he asked Ronald Reagan to stop playing his songs at campaign rallies. Springsteen, same deal. You’ll have to settle for the infinitely less delightful Ted Nugent. Here he is performing “Great White Buffalo”

      Hold on, that song is about resource conservation, mistreatment of Native Americans…huh?
      Ok, now I’m confused. Or maybe it’s an allegory & the Great White Buffalo is Trump?

      • And then we have “Saturday Night Special” by L. Skynyrd. You know, the band worshiped by Confederacy/gun/-loving GOP racists like Chris. Go figure. Just enjoy the song for what it says, MassDem. 😉

      • MassDem says:

        Ah, the deep-fried Southern music of my youth! How I miss those days.

    • flypusher says:

      “Bernie “The [F-ing] Commie” Sanders? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? LOL. Better dead than red, boys and grrls.”

      Seriously Tracy you need to update here. Commies are pretty much extinct these days. Basically just CINOs in Cuba & China. NK is a cult of personality.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “Marin “I’m going to take *all* your guns” O’Malley? You know, that unidentified third guy in the picture? LOL.”

      How is the heck is Martin O’Malley going to take all of our guns if Obama is already going to do it?

      • Griffin says:

        It’s called moving the goalposts. You should try it sometime, it makes much easier to maintain a massive persecution complex over a long period of time, and it’s refreshing to be the oppressed one once in a while (as in just imagining you’re being oppressed, ACTUALLY being oppressed would just suck).

  35. MassDem says:

    Lifer, if the worst happens on the GOP side, and you end up having to choose between Trump or Cruz and Hilary, just know that in the 1990 MA gubernatorial race, I voted for William Weld (R) over John Silber (D) based solely on the horrific personality of the Dem candidate. And it was OK.

  36. M. Qtips says:

    This is the first time ever that I’ve seen one of your posts display cluelessness or lack credibility, but it does, on both counts. I realize it’s not much of a contribution to say that without taking the time to go into detail; but I don’t have much time, and just wanted to mark the occasion because it’s such a very notable departure from your usual perspecuity. I think your characterization of Sanders is far enough off-base to be a genuine disservice to your readers, and, if sincere, may even be correct in some details but displays an overall inability to grasp the bigger picture that seems at odds with your usual excellent insight.

    Claiming that black voters will cross over to vote for Trump? Treating Cruz as if he has any credibility at all, rather than as epitomizing what, at least until the rise of Trump, were the failings of, and internal threats to, the modern GOP?

    Are you feeling ok?

    I’m honestly mystified by your apparent shift, on this one page, away from pragmatism and skeptical analysis, towards the more conventional neocon tactic of wishful thinking.

    • goplifer says:

      Lots of ad hominem. Not a lot of content. Apart from your belief (evidence?) that all will be well with the Democratic Party’s extremely frustrated and angry black base no matter how flatly they reject that base’s wishes, what did I actually get wrong?

      It might be a mistake to lecture someone about “pragmatism” while defending Sanders.

      • Griffin says:

        I think the problem isn’t that you don’t like Sanders’ agenda but that you’re being so hyperbolic about it. Sanders is not nearly on the same level as Trump or Cruz in terms of extremeness and actually has alot of defendable policy proposals you don’t seem to give him credit for (transaction tax, new marginal top tax rate, raise cap on social security, debt free public college, not running head first into more Middle Eastarn wars, even single-payer as much as you hate it would be an improvement for most people, etc.). Even if some of his ideas are old-fashioned around a handful of his positions (trade and minimum wage, and Sanders isn’t as protectionist as Trump either and he would have to compromise on the $15 minimum wage anyways) he’s hardly the threat to the American economy you seem to be making him out to be.

        His general stance is for the USA to be more in-line with perfectly functional Western European social democracies, whereas Cruz and Trump seem to want to emulate Eastern Europe instead. If Sanders got much of what he wanted (which he wouldn’t) there would actually be a Nixonian opportunity for the GOP to sell itself as reforming many of the programs he put in place to make them more efficient, like they did with the Great Society.

        Also I’m still fairly certain Sanders would still beat any Republican except maybe Marco Rubio, but you’re probably right that the result would be more unpredictable.

        I don’t agree with him on everything and I’m only voting for him over Clinton because of foriegn policy, but I understand why you don’t like him. However I think it would be a good idea to take a step back and wonder if you should tone it down a little bit. Also, at the end of the day, he won’t get the nomination.

        I think what’s most annoying is that Sanders having a couple of bad ideas is treated the same as the GOP having almost nothing but bad ideas. Seems the bar is much lower for them.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      I kind of have to agree.

      I completely understand why someone would not vote for Sanders or think he wouldn’t make a good president.

      But to conflate him with Trump, or suggest Trump could beat Sanders in the general (he couldn’t) shows a total lack of understanding about what each candidate stands for and what’s going on with the country as a whole.

      Sanders seems kooky, until you dig into his actual policies (and ignore the absurdist fear ofbthe “dreaded” S word) and then you realize they’re actually almost solutions that are:

      A) based on real, fact based problems (income inequality is a serious threat to national security. illegal immigrants, Muslims, and abortions are not)

      B) well articulated and well thought out (whether you agree with them or not)

      C) broadly popular

      Trump, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He seems good on his face (successful businessman, business owner etc). But when you dig into his policies, you realize he literally has none. At all. He just spouts offnonsense that is impossible and everyone but his brain dead supporters know this. Anybody with sense knows be isn’t actually building a wall that Mexico will pay for. They know the prez doesn’t have the power to prevent Muslims from entering the country. They know a round up and deportation of 12 million undocumented immigrants is simply not happening.

      He just spouts a bunch of nonsensical platitudes To appeal to his mouth breathin supporters, but as policies, they don’t make any sense.

      Sanders is a serious politician tgats been a senator for decades and has spent his entire career championing the same causes he is now.

      Trump is a buffoon and every word out of his mouth seems at odds with something else hes said in past years.

      The two are not in the same league.

      Now, Sanders and Cruz is at least a fair comparison. Both are on the fringes of their parties and both have ideas that may seem extreme to the other side. But at least Cruz articulates actual policies and has been consistent mostly.

      Cruz will beat Trump in the primary just the same as Sanders would beat Trump in the general.

      If the GOP nominates Trump, they lose the white house, regardless of who the Dems nom.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        >] “If the GOP nominates Trump, they lose the white house, regardless of who the Dems nom.”

        I don’t want to take that chance. Whenever I read Sanders’ supporters comments, they always come as one of three things: Anti-Hillary, overly optimistic and/or cherry-picking (opinion pieces like this – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/bernie-sanders-will-win-the-democratic-nomination-and-presidency-in-a-landslide_b_8968048.html – where one goes so far as to compare Sanders to Teddy “Deeelighted” Roosevelt illustrate that point perfectly) or in seeming resignation to a politics and system that is beyond repair.

        As I’ve said numerous times, I like Sen. Sanders and think he’s a good man, but raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, trying the roll back the clock on unions, instituting a single-payer health care plan and others; while seemingly laudable goals on their face, don’t meet the expectations of an ever-changing world and economy that’s waiting for us to give an answer.

        Simply because Trump is batshit crazy does not necessarily translate into Sanders’ strength. Hillary Clinton is the kind of boring, competent leader that will win an election. And when push comes to shove, I want to WIN, and so my mind’s made up.

  37. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Whenever I hear ‘populist’ I wonder what its opposite is.

    Because apparently that’s what we have except during national election campaigns.

    Populist = of the people; a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.

    Wow. That sounds really bad — shakin’ in my boots.

    That other thing = of the banksters? for the banksters? banksterism; representing the interests of banks. Or maybe corportism? representing the interests of corporations.

    Couldn’t possibly what makes ordinary people gnash their teeth, could it?

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      be what makes ordinary people

    • MassDem says:

      The opposite is “establishment”. As in those who hold power, as opposed to Average Joe Citizen.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      It depends on how “the people” is defined. Sometimes “the people” is an exclusive group that doesn’t include all people, just we the people.

      Also, the opposite of “the people” can be big government, even though government is theoretically “the people.”

    • tuttabellamia says:

      “Populism” may have a bad name because it suggests mob rule — chaos and disorganization.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Then, of course, you have the big people versus the little people, but, hey, we are all people, so we are all populists, right? It reminds me of how we are all equal, but some are more equal than others.

  38. Tom says:

    Sanders is not getting the nomination.

    The Democrats’ institutions have declined, to be sure, but they are nowhere to the point of the GOP where there exists a possibility that somebody who does not have the support of higher-ups in the party can have a chance at the nomination.

    Now, the DNC chair is dangerously incompetent; the debate schedule which was designed to help Clinton is ironically hurting her because the debates have made clear what should be obvious to anyone with a brain (that Sanders has no business being in the White House) already knew, only nobody saw them. Sanders might win Iowa and/or New Hampshire but his weakness with black voters will prevent him from winning a lot of states.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Just out of curiosity, what makes Sanders worse with black voters then HRC?

      If the polls suggest a wide discrepancy, I would probably think it’s because of a lack of recognition of who Sanders which should correct were he to win the nomination.

      I don’t see any substantive policy difference between the two that would make black voters like HRC but dislike Sanders

      • goplifer says:

        Answer: Politics.

        The Clintons have deep, deep ties in black grassroots politics. Those ties were strong enough to be a drag on Obama early in the ’08 campaign. Sanders and his base are almost as isolated from the black community as the Republicans are.

        That has concrete consequences. People in senior positions know what they will be doing for a living if Clinton is in the White House. Lots of them will not be working in govt if Sanders wins.

        Beyond that, Sanders has no campaign ties to major African-American political blocks. Doesn’t understand the issues in those communities, and has demonstrated a degree of tone-deafness that has left a lot of people upset.

        In places like Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and elsewhere, tensions are heating up between white Democrats in the progressive wing and urban black communities. Police violence and education reform are the key flashpoints. Clinton’s team gets that and has the capacity to manage it. Sanders has none of the contacts or insights needed to keep those voters lined up.

      • Tom says:

        What Chris said.

        There is also a difference in tone. Sanders is either unaware or unwilling to acknowledge that blacks face challenges that even poor and working-class whites do not.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Makes sense, good points.

  39. Creigh says:

    “As Republicans prepare to assemble the most wildly incompetent slate in modern history.” I’m not enough of a historian to know conclusively, but I stand in awe of the depth of their bench.

  40. Ed K says:

    I like Bernie, but will do my part to support Hillary.

  41. MassDem says:

    Who are these people,and how did the Atlantic find them?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-lifelong-conservatives-who-love-bernie-sanders/417441/

    Trump and Sanders are similar in that they have populist messages–very different, true, but still constructed to appeal to the average joe.

    I’m not worried for Hilary-yet. If you look at who won past primaries, NH Dems tend to go for New England candidates if they are available. Iowa, Clinton still leads, although Bernie is closing. I think Hilary has a good lock on the Southern Dems. CA is in Hilary’s column for now.

    Do you think the black community is going to crossover and vote for Trump? I know his support is greater than zero, but is it really that significant? There’s already some footage that Dems could use for attack ads where his supporters are shown beating up a black protestor. And then Trump defended their actions.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/11/22/3724879/donald-trump-black-lives-matter-protester-beating/

  42. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    Much as I enjoy the spectacle of seeing some of my fellow Democrats tear their hair out at the thought of anyone disparaging Bernie Sanders (a man whom I like), the truth, as far as I can discern it, is that he will not be the Democratic nominee for president. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

    Yes, he does well among lily-white Democratic voters in places like Iowa and ESPECIALLY in New Hampshire. Good for him. He is getting crushed in places like South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and others. Factor that in with Clinton’s superior campaign structure and the lessons learned from 2008 and I do not see how Sen. Sanders, despite his formidable fundraising and support, overcomes all that.

    You want to convince me that Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic nominee? Show me where his support among minority groups is, ’cause it sure ain’t there right now.

    But wait, some might say, remember when Clinton was supposedly unstoppable in Iowa and New Hampshire and look at things now? And that would an argument, if not for the inconvenient fact that that line of reasoning does nothing against my point that Sanders does well with white voters and pretty much no one else.

    All that said, and with respect to Lifer, by and large I have no problem with his analysis concerning the Electoral College and others. I would be genuinely surprised if the Republican nomination deviated in any large scale from posts and comments that he’s made.

    Still, where is Sanders’ path to the Democratic nomination? To the best of my knowledge, I have yet to hear Lifer or anyone else explain that.

    • Crogged says:

      Sander’s path is the same as Mr. Trumps-just win, baby. Mr. Sander is extremely popular with the liberals I know (very small pool of course) in this state-and despite a few broad strokes-he is a nutjob and has always been one. Medicare for all in this country-the most liberal doctor will never ever pull a voting lever which might lead to this. No one can stop ‘jobs’ from exporting, no one is going to vote for adding one more level of bureaucracy via ‘unions’ as protection from these horrible business owners. He’s a cranky weirdo from a tiny state who should pick a former governor from Alaska in order to balance his ticket. Enough of this nonsense of ‘pissed off’ voters.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Then Sen. Sanders, ironic as it is, cannot win for the same reasons that Trump can. His appeal to a minority of the Democratic base which aspires to an era that is behind us may land him a victory in Iowa (which is by no means certain, mind you) and New Hampshire, but it will get him walloped in places like South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and California.

        And while we’re at it, let’s take a closer look at the Democratic stronghold of California as it serves my point perfectly. At the beginning of last year, Clinton had 59% among likely voters. Sanders was stuck at a paltry 6%, with other potential candidates (Warren, Biden, Webb, etc) scooping up the rest. Since then, Clinton’s support has dropped some to 46% with Sanders at 36%.

        Essentially, Sanders scooped up the entire Warren bloc (no surprise there) of supporters and managed to pick up about 10% amidst the rest. And that’s in moderate California; with its sizable block of minority voters among whom Sanders has a considerable deficit, I would be nothing short of shell-shocked if he came within 5% of Clinton there.

        Take a look among his support in the deep South and the disparity becomes even more profound, particularly in states like Texas.

  43. Martin says:

    Chris, who takes all the credit for the Iraq war again? I find it ironic that Clinton delivered a surplus and now Obama can point to having cut the deficit in half. I wonder what happened in between.

    So if the GOP nominates an unqualified candidate, are you saying it is the democrats fault if he gets elected? Politics is truly crazy, we have always agreed on that.

  44. James White says:

    1. there’s a difference between leading and complicity. Clinton was complicit in removing glass steagal, but phil gramm is the reason it happened. BTW, it was pretty much only Democrats that brought oversight back with DF.

    2. There may be an electoral college lock for Democrats (I’m not sure about that though but it is clearly an advantage). Let’s don’t forget that massive republican gerrymandering has disenfranchised voters across states and municipalities. Just look at total D votes vs total D representation.

    3. Bernie Sanders is far from a nutjob, even if you disagree with his advocacies. But, say, he thought more guns made us safer but had not yet applied to emmigrate to somalia, then well, you might have chestnut there mr. squirrel.

    4. To make a logical construct (If me as a republican voter won’t vote for mr. democrat then…) misses a truism that contains more truth than truthiness: we’ve sorted ourselves and there are NO crossover voters (excepting of course variations standard deviations of magnitude from nomality.)

    I’m not sure what points you think you’re making, but I bet they are epistemic echoes in your mind.

    • goplifer says:

      Nominate Sanders, and you’ll get introduced to the “crossover” voters you thought didn’t exist. Democrats have no idea how tenuous their hold on the black community is. This is where they’ll find out, especially if Trump is the Republican nominee.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        LIfer, would you vote for Trump over Sanders?

      • vegasnative says:

        Not that I think Sanders is going to get the nomination….but if you think that Trump attracts black people over anyone; then you really don’t understand the average black voter and citizen. This is the man who went out of his way to try to illegitimatize the first black president & greatest black role model short of MLK by consistently pushing the racist notion that Obama isn’t a real American. As a minority proud of what Obama accomplished; we don’t easily dismiss that. This is also the same person who just last night said that the police were the “most mistreated people in America”. Talk about a blatant disregard for everything that is coming to a head with the police and AA community. Add that to all the other racist and bigoted things Trumps has said about other minorities & religions to appeal to the worst of the Republican “base” and there is no way in hell that he gets black support. And don’t get me started in the all disrespect that the Republican party has demonstrated over the decades for black people prior to Trump getting on the big stage. I know you are a pretty enlightened guy, but as a black man I can tell you that you are way off base if you think that African-American voters are going to disregard Sanders for Trump and all the regressive policies that he brings. Way off base…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I am guessing Black Democrats prefer Mrs. Clinton but would support Sanders if he is the Democratic nominee, definitely if Trump is the Republican nominee. I could see them maybe crossing over to support Jeb Bush over Sanders.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “I could see them maybe crossing over to support Jeb Bush over Sanders.”

        I really do not see the Black community supporting a former Governor that explicitly stated he will do nothing for them.

      • goplifer says:

        Trump or Sanders = “Which limb do you want me to saw off?”

        Honestly, both would harm my life in pretty concrete ways. Presidents have enormous discretion over trade agreements. Either Trump or Sanders (though notably not Cruz) would devastate the global economy with trade policy. Back away from our existing and planned trade agreements, as both of them have promised to do and the only driver of economic growth for the past twenty years would disappear in a blink.

        There’s very little talk about this, because the value of these trade agreements has been solidly understood by grown-ups on both sides for more than a generation. For all the rhetoric, no one has threatened them in a serious way until now.

        A Sanders nomination would make Cruz potentially tolerable as an alternative.

        If it came down to those two I’m not sure why I’d bother to vote. There might be a credible independent challenge (Clinton/Graham?).

      • Doug says:

        Trump: “You only have to look at our trade deficit to see that we are being taken to the cleaners by our trading partners. We need tougher negotiations, not protectionist walls around America. We need to ensure that foreign markets are as open to our products as our country is to theirs. Our long-term interests require that we cut better deals with our world trading partners.”

        Sanders: “If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.” Pretty sure he’s in favor of those protectionist walls, as long as they don’t keep out future voters.

        On the trade issue, I’d have to go with Trump.

      • MassDem says:

        Clinton/Graham? You mean the guy who said this (NYT August 4 2015)

        “I am fluent in Clinton-speak,” [Graham] said. Then he added: “When Bill says he didn’t have sex with that woman, he did.” Continuing his witless attempt to smear Mrs. Clinton, he said: “When she tells us ‘Trust me, you have all the emails you need,’ we haven’t even scratched the surface.”

        Oh, that would be interesting….

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Ill buy that perhaps a Sanders nom could cause masses of moderate Dems to sit out. I think it stretches credulity to assume they’ll actually vote for Trump.

        I think theres lots of moderate Republicans who would never vote for him.

        In my opinion, of course.

      • I find it interesting that in the debate Rubio was the guy who first mentioned the one person who always takes it in the shorts in a trade war: the consumer.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Chris, unless you’re keeping it intentionally private, what specifically do you do?

        I assume you’re in export/import of some sort? In general, how would a Trump or Sanders presidency affect your livelihood?

      • goplifer says:

        I’m in software. Trump/Sanders would affect my life in much the same way they would everyone else’s.

        Since the 90’s, just about the only global economic growth (by traditional production measurements) has been a consequence of trade agreements both men demonize, and immigration patterns that both men promise to shut down (look closely at Sanders’ plans and the far left’s history on the subject). Particularly in my industry, immigrants have been crucial to growth, not just as the entrepreneurs creating new companies, but as the engineers who make things work.

        Our ability to bring them and their talent here to work in our companies is one of the reasons that the US remains the center of global technology innovation even though we have a relatively small population with a declining relative share of global markets. Those trade agreements are critical to maintaining this situation, as they fed the rise in capital investment in higher-value businesses. We depend on those trade agreements to make it possible to leverage foreign talent for low-value activities and to protect our patents, opening up access to massive new foreign revenue streams.

        And at the lower end of the economy, people talk about the “loss of jobs” from trade as if that was a real thing. It is a complete fantasy. If it weren’t for NAFTA in particular we probably wouldn’t have a single US-based auto company anymore (the US is only about 20% of the global market for cars). It is a very big world out there. If we scaled back our commitment to broader trade we would basically be engineering a reverse industrial policy for the rest of the world. It would push everyone’s wealth generation down while driving up the cost of everything we buy,

        Presidents don’t need a lot of legislative support in the area of trade agreements. That is one area where a Sanders/Trump Administration could wreak holy havoc and no one could do much of anything about it. Everyone would suffer.

        i could go on. Sanders’ tax policy would make it pointless for many major employers to continue to base their operations in the US. We already impose higher corporate taxes than any major European nation, not to speak of the increasingly attractive option of basing operations in Singapore or Qatar.

        We are competing against a wider world that is much larger than us and increasingly friendly to business. Say what you want about all those evil corporate types, not very many people get their paycheck signed by a homeless guy or a single mother. If you want work, you need to live in a place that has healthy business enterprises in some form earning profits. Alienate them and there will be unpleasant consequences. Alienate them at the moment when the rest of the world is aggressively embracing capitalism, and those consequences could be very hard to repair.

        In some ways a President Sanders coming along at this juncture in history could be the worst thing that could happen to us.

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