Link Roundup, 2/16/2016

From Politico: Our first taste of a potential Trump/Sanders campaign

From The American Conservative: The Right discovers budget math

From Inside Higher Ed: Why tuition is so high

From Aeon: Frustrated by your country? See what it’s like to not have one.

From The Daily Dot: A glimpse at the next anti-science freak-out from the left – Monsanto caused Zika

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.

Posted in Uncategorized
106 comments on “Link Roundup, 2/16/2016
  1. 1mime says:

    A little tax policy scrutiny here fro the Tax Policy Institute on Ted Cruz’ plan. As with other GOP candidates, the wealthy do very well. One interesting thing is Cruz’ announcement in SC that he will greatly expand our military – numbers, equipment, etc….as for how he will pay for it? He admits it will be very expensive but it’s important. Just cut all the waste and fraud in government and it will pay for itself….smoke and mirrors anyone? Pandering, anyone?

    “TED ON TAXES: The Tax Policy Center’s verdict on Sen. Ted Cruz’s tax plan is in: Simple. Regressive. And expensive.

    Our Brian Faler with more on a plan the joint venture of the Urban Institute and The Brookings Institution found would cost at least $8.6 trillion over 10 years, and then another $12.2 trillion over the second decade: “The wealthy would be the biggest winners, according to the group’s analysis, with the top 1 percent getting an average tax cut of $400,000. Those at the bottom of the income ladder would get a tax cut of just $46 in 2017, the analysis said, and by 2025 would actually see their taxes go up,” Brian wrote. http://politico.pro/1R6yFGi (Read the analysis for yourself here: http://tpc.io/20COyXG)

    Cruz’s plan includes a 10 percent tax on income and a 16 percent business flat tax that is a form of a value-added tax, and would get rid of all but a couple major tax incentives, along with the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Medicare. The Texas Republican has cast his plan as sticking it to “the Washington cartel” by getting rid of all those tax breaks, and has denied the wonks’ consensus that his plan is a VAT.

    But as Vox notes, the Tax Policy Center also found that his plan appears to have even more benefits for the wealthy than GOP rivals like Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. And it has that double whammy that would end up raising taxes by an average of $116 for the poorest 20 percent of taxpayers by 2025 – the cost of consumer goods would go up under Cruz’s consumption tax, and wages would likely go down because businesses couldn’t deduct them anymore. http://bit.ly/1QjfRGJ.

    Still, getting rid of all those tax breaks also means that Cruz’s plan would dramatically reduce the number of itemizers, and the TPC’s Len Burman did tell reporters Cruz’s plan was the simplest of all the GOP plans the center had examined so far.

    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The Tax Policy Center’s findings are in the middle of the Tax Foundation, which found Cruz’s plan would lose about $3.7 trillion, and Citizens for Tax Justice, whose analysis came in at $16.2 trillion. The Tax Foundation actually found that Cruz’s framework would lose well under $1 trillion when taking economic growth into account, a figure that Cruz has cited approvingly. The Tax Foundation’s Alan Cole noted on Twitter that his group projected that Cruz’s business consumption tax would raise more revenue than the Tax Policy Center’s estimate, accounting for basically all of the difference between the two groups. http://bit.ly/1Qky5Br

  2. MassDem says:

    Maybe we should give poor Chris a break and swear off fighting about the Dem race in the comments section of “GOPLifer” for a few days.

    And yes, I know I’m one of the guilty parties….

  3. Rob Ambrose says:

    Newest polls out if Nevada this morning has HRC 48%, Sanders 47%.

    And frankly, considering the obvious momentum of Sanders campaign, that 1 point deficit for Bernie kinda feels like a 10 point lead.

    The plot: it thickens.

  4. 1mime says:

    Re: Budget crisis in LA. Jindal gets the lion’s share of blame as he was gov for last 8 years (except he wasn’t around a lot…he sort of lost interest in state politics while he was running non-stop for prez)…His predecessors, share also.

    Here’s the thing. LA, like many states, has a large, lower income and poor population. They don’t pay much if any property taxes in the state but they do pay lots of sales taxes. They also have lots of commensurate health problems which were being addressed through the state’s public health system until Jindal ended that while not expanding Medicaid. Result was same sick people, less money available to care for them, more debt piling up.

    The wealthy class in LA is pretty small on a percentage basis. They don’t like to pay taxes for all the poor people. Sound familiar? So, the formerly Democratic Legislature and now Republican Legislature (many of the same faces, they’ve morphed from jackasses to elephants but not much else has changed)…kept doing business as usual, while cutting state taxes which benefited this group principally, and the poor just couldn’t make up the difference. They are poor, you see. The hole kept getting deeper. Meanwhile, all state employees retire with pretty nice pensions, and healthcare for life (or death – whichever comes first). Other taxpayers pick up the tab, until they can’t anymore.

    Meanwhile, all these accruing expenses are starting to pile up and the well of one time revenue fixes is dry. What to do?

    Elect a Democratic Governor. One who tells the truth. One who means what he says. One of “those” liberals who actually work at making government run. The Republican Legislature? They’ve got some hard choices to make, but, in true form, they will blame all the hard stuff on the Democratic Governor. It’s always worked for them before.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      And so the near billion-dollar question is whether Republicans will agree to raise taxes to help fix the mess that they created or… well, it ain’t pretty, that’s for sure.

      • 1mime says:

        Our grandson is a nationally ranked golfer. He has been offered scholarships from several major universities. One is LSU, his dad’s alma mater. You can bet your buns that I have sent these LA news articles to our son as I’m not sure the full scholarship LSU offers him is viable for the duration of his school years. Moreover, I’m not sure (as his grandma) that I want my bright, capable grandson to matriculate in a state which is so backwards. (I love the people but I abhor the governance….but then I live in TX, which ain’t much better. They balance the books by hoarding dedicated taxes from the programs the voters constitutionally approved!)

        I want more for our grandson. I want more for my family who still live there. As long as some of them vote for these dumb-ass politicians, they are part of the problem.

      • flypusher says:

        “Our grandson is a nationally ranked golfer.”

        Did he try Rice?

      • 1mime says:

        Rice is a private university and as such, our son felt that he might not have scholarship opportunities. They wouldn’t qualify on the basis of income. I had recommended he consider it as our grandson is in the 9th grade and taking several AP courses and making very good grades in a strong school district. I will suggest Rice again as I feel it is such a fine university although I know nothing about their golf program. Our grandson has aspirations of being a professional golfer but is smart enough and motivated enough to have a solid career in the math/science field as well.

        Thanks for the encouragement, Fly.

      • 1mime says:

        Our son said Rice reached out to our grandson. I think he has more interest in some of the SEC schools. His loss, but then I’m more into academics than golf (-:

    • MassDem says:

      Hard to believe that Bobby Jindal is a Brown graduate, in biology no less. The seduction of power makes people do strange things.

      Poor LA, toxic waste site of the nation. If the poor are kept poor and struggling, they won’t ever demand better. So there’s a vested interest in keeping them down.

      Won’t forgive them for those Duck Dynasty dudes tho–country club Republicans masquerading as rednecks. Shameful.

      • flypusher says:

        For a brief moment I thought Jindal could be one of the smart ones. He disabused me of that notion pretty quickly.

      • 1mime says:

        I have more respect for former (convicted) Governor Edwin Edwards than I do for those foul (hehe) Duck Dynasty members.

    • rulezero says:

      Same thing with Brown in California and Dayton in Minnesota. Both states are operating in the black now.

      What I find astonishing is that Sam Brownback got reelected. His opponent, if I remember correctly, was a moderate conservative. Nope… Brownback got enough votes due to active level pulls and voter apathy.

      Maybe I’m noticing wrong, but it seems that the best run states seem to be places where the legislature is mostly center-left with moderate Republican governors. Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, etc.

      I think Chris said that when a governor is GOP and the legislature is mostly center-left, they get to simply govern without having to throw meat to the fringe.

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct. Governing is hard. It should be hard. It should also be fair and compassionate along with responsible. I will never be in favor of one party – regardless which party – controlling all branches of government. Checks and balances are important and produce good governance. That said, I think there is much that needs to be changed with the mechanics of governing to ensure balance and fairness.

  5. flypusher says:

    Is the GOP stand against Obama making a SCOTUS pick not quite so solid?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/thom-tillis-supreme-court-nominee_us_56c3702be4b0b40245c8173f

    Sen Tillis, you’ve partially acknowledged reality, but you need to complete the journey. The chances that Scalia is going to get replaced by someone just as conservative are microscopically thin and none. You are making a very long shot gamble.

    And kudos to Ben Carson for keeping it real here-damn straight a GOP Prez in year 8 would be nominating!

    • 1mime says:

      I heard Jeb! backtrack on his magnanimous comment from the debate in which he indicated it was a President’s right. Took all of 24 hours for him to join the herd.

    • flypusher says:

      Another vulnerable GOP Senator wavers:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ron-johnson-supreme-court_us_56c38b7ee4b08ffac126d21d?2c4hd7vi&utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

      I get that in public you guys need to show a unified front, but in private I hope some of these on-the-bubble Senators gave McConnell a choice earful about so stupidly opening this battle with such a blatantly obstructionist move. He really screwed his party over doing that.

      • 1mime says:

        I hope there is a special place for McConnell for the despicable, disrespectful, hurtful way he has treated Obama. From Day One, as he so famously stated. What a pitiful excuse for a human being. One day he will get his and I will not cry for him.

      • 1mime says:

        McConnell deserves no respect from anyone. His actions have been highly partisan, mean-spirited, and a disrespect to the position of Senator and Senate leader.

        I have maintained that Obama will nominate someone well qualified and moderate rather than overtly liberal – because that is consistent with his personal standards of presidential conduct. These two statements in the Fortune article stood out to me:

        “If there is such a thing as ethical politics, this should be his choice, for a President should try to seat on the Court the person he thinks best suited for the position. ” Irrespective of party.

        And, this: “Republicans would have a hard time justifying rejection of a judge who in many ways is a model of what a nation that believes in the rule of law seeks. ”

        Those two points I believe will be uppermost in Obama’s selection. He will rise above the petty (and very stupid) McConnell, as he has done for seven years, and will simply “do the right thing for our country.”

        Shouldn’t this be the basis for all nominations to all positions in our judiciary and government service? Man, America has really slipped into the toilet bowl in our politics. Hopefully, there will be consequences. Hopefully, the people of our country will lift America up. Hopefully, it will be soon and resounding. Sadly, I am not certain it will happen.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know if any of you watched “W” make his remarks at an appearance in SC for Jeb, but I couldn’t help but contrast his presence with that of O when he addressed reporters at a press conference the next day. The difference in substance, presence, and personal bearing was palpable.

  6. lomamonster says:

    Chris, the Daily Dot has it all wrong. Monsanto didn’t cause the rise of Zika in mosquitos, it was those dang smart meters! Just kidding, and thanks for everything you toss out there for us consider…

  7. vikinghou says:

    Today’s discussion hasn’t considered a possible Bloomberg independent run. If it looks like it’s going to be a Trump/Sanders election, Bloomberg may jump in. I’m not sure which party would suffer more damage. I can see Bloomberg drawing votes from both sides: GOP establishment types and moderate Democrats. From what I’ve been reading, Bloomberg has until May to make a decision. After that, he wouldn’t be able to be on the ballot in all 50 states.

  8. flypusher says:

    For you, Chris, from one of your sane conservative brethren, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

    http://theweek.com/articles/605312/conservatives-have-failed-donald-trumps-supporters?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

    As I’ve said, the lower class Whites have legit ecomonic issues, and it’s in our country’s interest to find actual solutions instead of lecturing. But I have to wonder how many of these current victims, back when their situations were better, offered the same sort of patronizing advice to poor minority people who were struggling (Get a job! Get off the gov’t teat!!).

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Excellent article. I’m especially interested in the importance of social structures such as churches and civic organizations in people’s success. Chris has also brought this up on more than one occasion.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Also, social structures such as marriage and family.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I keep lamenting the loss of social structures but ironically, I have never been a people person myself, and I shy away from most things social, including family.

        Maybe it’s just important for me to know the social structures are there for me should I ever need to call upon them, a sort of “social safety net” made up of people, not money. Perhaps I should “contribute” to this social safety net with my own personal social capital and not be so selfish. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Depending on your philosophical philosophy, we keep looking toward politicians and the government to solve our problems, or we insist on personal responsibility, or we want our employers to take on the responsibility of the safety net, as if those were the only options available. Maybe each of us should be more proactive and reach out to people and provide a sort of social sustenance, participate in organizations, or form new ones, not the hate-filled type, but something positive, and help to sustain or create those social structures that are important for success in life, not just our own but others’ as well. Politicians like Trump can help create jobs, Sanders can provide social programs, and the individual can help himself as best as he can, but they can only accomplish so much. The biggest part is up to us as a society, working directly with our fellow man and not through the remote ideas of “jobs, social programs, and personal responsibility.” Politicians keep promising a return to “family values,” which is absurd, because who can better provide family values than your own family, friends, or neighbors?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sorry, I meant to say “political philosophy,” not “philosophical philosophy.” 🙂

      • flypusher says:

        “Politicians keep promising a return to “family values,” which is absurd, because who can better provide family values than your own family, friends, or neighbors?”

        The phrase “family values” coming out of the mouth of a politician never fails to hit my cynicism button. Lots of people who use that phrase are flaming hypocrites, and it’s also often one of those dog whistles against feminism.

        My social networks come from my grad school alma mater, my past and current lab-mates, and those I play music with. I am typical of a lot of Americans these days in that I don’t know a lot of my neighbors. Some of that is my schedule, but there’s also the fact that I’m a demographic outlier. As an introvert, I’m going to be making connections if there is a critical threshold reached of having enough in common with the other person.

      • goplifer says:

        Actually, that term used to mean something and it was important. It’s largely forgotten now, subsumed under a mountain of bigotry, there was once a real, meaningful fight in the this country over the merits of “family values.”

        People forget what an earthquake the 60’s and 70’s were. One major theme on the left was liberation from the oppression of the nuclear family. We’re not talking about the right to get a divorce or women’s right to work and so on, but a real rebellion about the ‘bourgeois’ oppression of a civilization built on the nuclear family.

        You still run across it occasionally on the lefty fringes. In fact, a Black Lives Matter activists took some heat for a tweet recently stating that their goals couldn’t be met until we shake off the oppression of family life and reorganize into ‘villages.’

        Like everything else on the right, ‘family values’ got smothered by a larger racist ideology. Fact remains though, that people who believe in the value of nuclear families do not enjoy universal support. Not so long ago they had legitimate reason for concern.

      • 1mime says:

        Now it appears that it is the power of the individual that consumes the “family values” discussion. I have mixed feelings about having to choose one over the other. Why can’t individualism succeed within a family value construct? Where I agree is that one shouldn’t sacrifice the other, but surely, there is room for both. Of course, I guess we need to parse the term “family values” a bit more deeply to see exactly what that means today. Count me as someone who thinks family is important not only to its members but to our society. Its value is one of support more so than artifice – One’s “family” may not resemble the “nuclear family” but it may serve many of the same purposes. EXCEPT – for little children. There it really matters, but even there, mom may be grandmom, dad may be mom and grandmom and grandpa or uncle joe….Still, the “construct” of unity and support exists and works. Because “family” in its broadest sense, is necessary and valuable.

      • flypusher says:

        Thing is, the more natural family model for humans is the extended family. Our social and economic model in some ways has severed that, what with the expecting that people would move around the country due to job demands.

        The first seven years of my life were the nomadic existence of the military family. I have three siblings, and we were each born in a different state. Other jobs commonly have people uprooting and moving every few years. The nuclear family will become more important in such cases, because you lose daily contact with grandparents, cousins, etc., don’t have long term relationships with neighbors. I don’t think there’s an actual oppression from the nuclear family, just a diminishing of other important ties. We need to regain a balance.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        As a Mexican-American . . . I’m an only child, and my mom was widowed when I was 10, so I have always been a loner and a bit of a social misfit, but I have a “YUGE” extended family — 61 first cousins just on my mother’s side (and I know all of them), not to mention their kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. And then of course there’s my dad’s side, which is also sprawling, but I am not as close to them.

        My mom is deceased, and I am actually closer now to my boyfriend’s family. He is an only child as well, and neither of us has kids, so the social insulation continues. 🙂

        My mom and I were always very private and too proud to be discussing our problems with other people, especially since we felt those other people did not really have out best interests in mind. They were just busybodies. In any case, we felt it was nobody’s business but our own, and my mom never did like people who talked too much, always complaining about one thing or another.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        My mom would tell me of going on Catholic retreats, and how all the ladies would be talking about their problems with their husbands, and when it was her turn she would say she had no problems with her marriage, and the other ladies would insist that she MUST have problems.

        Of course, she did have problems, but she felt her marital problems were no one’s business but her own, and she looked down on people who shared such sensitive information so openly in a public setting. Not for her.

    • MassDem says:

      That was a great article. I think we’re seeing a similar phenomenon on the left.

      My parents have always been Republicans, but they didn’t go full conservative until my father lost his job in his mid-fifties, and had a heck of a time getting a new one (this was in the early 90s). He finally landed a sales job (which being a natural introvert was like torture for him) which required long hours on the road, where he tuned in to Rush Limbaugh. And thus began his conversion into a right-wing warrior. My mother being of an older generation followed his lead.

      My parents had worked really, really hard all of their lives. They were ashamed that they had to take unemployment, they felt betrayed that my dad was cast aside in the job market, and they were seriously scared about their prospects. Fortunately in the end, it all worked out for them in retirement, but there were some very bad years beforehand.

      The thing is, my parents (especially my dad) had social capital like you rarely see today. They have always been active in the church, and various town organizations. That all got put on hold when my dad took the sales job requiring so much time away from home. Networking with former colleagues did help him move into a better job eventually, but his personal safety net of church & civic organization membership did not help him because he didn’t want people to see that he was in trouble.

      I’m a great believer in social capital, because I think it makes you a happier person to have more connections in your life. I’m not convinced that it will save you when times are bad, but that could just be a weird holdover from Puritan times–too much pride to ask for help.

      Incidentally, I am the only Dem in my entire family. My parents for years wondered where they went wrong.

      • flypusher says:

        Some GOP members of my family no doubt have the same feelings about me. There’s been kind of a moratorium on political discussion since late 2000.

        Some of the problem is that we still have this fiction of the American Dream[TM] being shilled, and it doesn’t line up with today’s economic realities. American once had this huge economic advantage by virtue of not getting bombed into rubble during WWII, and we had a good run with it, but other economies have rebuilt and we’re not going dominate the way we used to. We’re not going to have all those good paying jobs that don’t require a lot of education anymore. I have to give Trump credit for at least acknowledging this problem indirectly, although I don’t see any real attempts at solutions (the wall won’t work).

        I can feel for your dad having to take a sales job. I’m an introvert too, loathe meaningless small talk with strangers, and while a bit of job related travel adds variety, I’d hate to have to be on the road ALL the time.

      • objv says:

        MassDem, My parents started out as Republicans but are now quite liberal. They are German immigrants and feel that the government should support numerous social programs. My sister and I are staunchly conservative, my three brothers are not interested in politics – although I’ve heard from my sister that one of my brothers claims to vote Democrat. (shudder)

        I’m originally from Ohio and most of my extended family still lives there.

      • 1mime says:

        What do your family members (who live in OH) think of Kasich?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, as I noted above, my extended family is huge, so that’s too many political preferences to keep up with, but I notice that the ones who are business owners tend to vote Republican, plus there is a major pro-life streak in my family who votes Republican as well.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, and sad to say, a major chunk of my family is apolitical and doesn’t even vote.

    • 1mime says:

      As I recall, Obama tried to get a jobs bill passed. It seems there is a convenient loss of memory on this effort from both the American people and his own party. Democrats are terrible at selling themselves as a party. They DO care about those who need work, and not just through the welfare structure. (which I whole-heartedly agree is abused even as it is absolutely critical to have in our nation). The Infrastructure push Obama has supported would have put many of Trump’s supporters to work. It is no accident that conservatives used the mantle of “cost” to oppose this legitimate effort to achieve both critical maintenance on our transportation system and offer job opportunities.

      Time and time again, Republicans have blocked efforts and programs which are needed for our country’s welfare in order to advance political partisanship and at times of common need. Democrats have failed to “sell” their plan to the American public as effectively as Republicans have disguised their own mal-intent. That has to change.

      And, that, MassDem, is why I will continue to speak out on a conservative blog, especially one in which the participants are willing to engage in a civil, intellectual manner. I thank Lifer for offering the platform and will continue as long as he allows me to speak. Someone in the Republican Party needs to hear the lament of the dissenting party and take that message back to a new leadership. I think Lifer has that desire and capability.

  9. MassDem says:

    You at the barricade listen to this….

    OK Sandersnistas, I’m going to lay down some harsh truths. You are big boys and girls, so I know you can take it. This revolution you seek; it is NOT happening. Not this time.

    Suppose Sanders is elected. Suppose your fondest wishes & dreams come true and not only do the Dems retake the House but they retake the Senate with a filibuster-proof majority. What then?

    Do you think it’s going to be hugs & kisses all around for the new Pres and his Dem Congress? Really?

    Sanders has used the Democratic Party to advance personal goals, but he has very little political capital with the powerful Dems whose help he will need to advance his agenda if he actually is elected. That’s pretty clear from his lack of endorsements from Dems, who have almost 100% rallied around Clinton. Do you think Chuck Schumer is going to tell his friends on Wall Street to eff off for the benefit of Bernie Sanders?

    If Sanders is going to work productively with Congress, he will have to morph into a third term Barack Obama, and risk the wrath of his followers. Or he can be the one term, cranky old man president who accomplished nothing. Because what you need for your glorious revolution is a massive overnight leftward shift of the Democratic Party. Good luck with that.

    • Griffin says:

      To play Devil’s advocate Sanders is doing what you’re supposed to do if you’re running as a progressive by supporting a progressive agenda. Can he pass all of it? No. But if he starts at the left-wing position and has a centrist Democratic Congress then he can meet them in the middle, at the center-left. During a campaign you practically have to promise more than you can deliver so you can compromise for something more reasonable latter on. If you’re like Hillary, who starts at the centrist position, then when you compromise latter on it will be so watered down as to be almost meaningless.

      And if the GOP controls the House neither Sanders nor Clinton will get anything done. This idea that Clinton can “work with” the GOP House is as much a fantasy as the idea Sanders could get 70% of what he wants. At most she’s better at playing politics so she can damage some of their support and slowly push them out of the House.

      To be clear I want Hillary to be the nominee, but I’m not sure about this criticism. If the Dems take the House and Senate then yes, he would probably push for a more progressive agenda than Clinton. Dems who opposed everything he did because of “wall street” would get nervous around primary time, since they pissed off the liberal wing of the party. The problem is that the Dems probably won’t get the House, and Sanders might lose the election.

      • MassDem says:

        I’m not convinced Sanders’s support is strong enough or long-lasting enough to provide any real challenge to other Dems. Gawd help us if we end up with a liberal version of the Tea Party.

        What I see as a problem is how invested Sanders supporters have now become in this idea of a sweeping revolution. Right now he has the momentum, no doubt about it, so it seems like the sky is the limit for him. That is delusional.

        BTW, I’m not basing my opinion solely on what I see on this blog. My son’s college friends idolize Sanders to the point of absurdity.

        Hey if Clinton is good enough to play politics so Republicans get pushed out of the House, I’ll take that.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I’m sorry, I read your post, and I totally get your arguments for HRC, against Sanders.

        While your reasoning is sound, I just disagree. I’m sure there were many good quakers and abolitionist who thought there’s no point in selecting an anti slavery president because there was just no possible way politically it could be ended.

        And that was true. Until it wasn’t.

        And with all due respect, when you say you think Sanders could lead a left wing version of the tea party, it frankly diminishes the credibility of your argument, as it makes it appear as if you don’t really know anything about Sanders other then “bit….but….he’s a SOCIALIST!!”

        The poison of the Tea Party is not really that they’re so ideologically extreme. Its that they reject basic facts, science, and even the Constitution they purport to hold dear in their “logic” they use to come to their positions.

        The two movements have nothing in common other then they both lie outside the mainstream.

      • Griffin says:

        The problem is that Clinton is a horrible campaigner. She needs to be promising progressive reforms that she’ll try to fight for, but right now her “pragmatism” comes across as defeatism. She inspires virtually nobody, when that’s part of the point of a campaign. Some progressives are actually starting to see Sanders as the better choice (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/the-pragmatic-case-for-bernie-sanders/462720/).

        I don’t think there will be a “liberal version of the Tea Party” in terms of extremeness or organization. But if a politician is consistantly going against what the voters want in favor of an agenda that doesn’t benefit them, they shouldn’t be surprised to get primaried, that’s democracy. Really the main problem with the Tea Party primarying people is that they are doing it over absurd reasons (someone supports ONE moderate immigration reform and gets primaried, or because they don’t want to impeach Obama) over an objectively insane agenda. If Republicans were getting primaried for sane reasons (such as for supporting idiotic wars or for homophobia or conspiracy theorizing) I don’t think that would be an issue. Even for Lifer to get his agenda to domiante the GOP it would require some wingnuts to get “primaried” by a centrist Republican, so there’s a time and place for it. If someone constantly goes in favor of “wall street’ over their voters it’s their fault when they get voted out. If someone gets primaried for disagreeing on a couple issues because they aren’t “purists” or for voting for moderate reforms or because they aren’t extreme/insane enough, that’s when it gets bad. I suppose it’s a thin line between the two though.

        “My son’s college friends idolize Sanders to the point of absurdity.”

        This is what a good campaigner does. It’s what FDR did and it’s what Reagan did. You shouldn’t be asking yourself “Why do those idiots love Sanders”? You should be asking yourself “Why is Clinton such an AWFUL campaigner”?

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Got off track a bit there, but to summarize, most Bernie supporters I know are well informed, politically aware voters.

      We don’t need an education and we aren’t naieve. We just have ideas about the biggest problems facing the country, and we think Sanders is the candidate who best says what we’re feeling.

      One can dissect this three ways from Sunday, but at the end ofbthe day, its just democracy at its simplest. We think Bernie would make a better president then HRC.

      Theres a pretty distinct generational gap at plau in the dynamic. You think we’re all naive kids with no idea what a Bernie vite “really means. And we think you’ve all been living under the old rules and assumptions for so long about what is or isn’t possible politically that you’re too traumatized to take the political al risks needed to make real, dramatic change. Were

      In short, you think we’re political dummies, and we think you’re political cowards (without any animosity behind those terms, of course, at least for me). We think you’ve been traumatized from the last 30 years, when ” liberal” , “progressive” and even *gasp* “socialist” were dirty words. We’re not happy with simply slowing a right wing shift, and playing defense. We want to go on offense and lead a leftward shift, and that takes more then business as usual. We’re hungry for big progressive ideas, and Hillary doesn’t have any yet. And if she refuses to come up with some in order to attract me and ppl like me, then she’s frankly not going to get our vote (in the primary. Of course she’ll get my vote in the general if she gets there).

      But regardless of where we stand, there is a quality, nuance and substance to the debate on the Dem side that is completely lacking in the GOP one.

      • 1mime says:

        Well stated, Rob, but let’s add this twist: Most “coming of age” young people think their parents are not too swift….They love them, they’re mom and dad, after all, but they really believe that they just don’t “get it”. Maybe not in all ways, but, mom and dad have lived longer, seen more, also once were coming of age themselves (and grew up to be your fine parents in spite of it), and maybe, just maybe, what young adults are mistaking for generational disconnect and political cowardice is seasoned, reasoned judgement. Maybe, just maybe, mom and dad know something you don’t or can’t see.

        The problem here isn’t that young people are so inspired by Sanders, a candidate who has an inspiring message but some fundamental weaknesses. Rather, it is that they are not taking the long view, you know, the one their parents take? The view that says, vote for the one who is competent, experienced, skilled, and will protect Democracy best. The ultimate tragedy will be, HRC eeks out a close win, and all those inspired and very disappointed young Sanders’ supporters might say: screw you, I’m not voting for her no matter what. THAT would be the worst outcome.

        HRC is a hard working, less inspiring campaigner but she’s like your CPA or attorney. When you have a problem, you want the best professional you can get because they know more than you do and you need them to save your bacon. Being President is many things, but it is a job, a very hard job, and it absolutely requires a steady hand, a smart mind, and a strong moral compass. Vote for the boring, most competent one. I can assure you, Republicans will not make it any easier for O’s successor. Whoever that person is, if a Democrat, they better have more than inspiration to guide them.

      • Creigh says:

        Mime, plenty of old folks support Sanders too. (I know, no fool like an old fool.) I’m still listening, but still not convinced Sanders isn’t as electable as Clinton, and also not convinced he will be blocked any more than her. As it happens, I won’t be voting for 4 months or so, things might be settled by then. If it’s Trump on the R side and still open on the D, that might tilt me more toward Sanders.

      • MassDem says:

        Mime, you are a nicer person than I. I love what you said.

        Perhaps I am traumatized by the last 40 years. Or perhaps because of the many people I cross paths with in my life, a number of whom are Republican or lean Republican, I am not so convinced that we are due for a leftward shift, not immediately. Shift to the center maybe.

        If that makes me a political coward, so be it.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Rob Ambrose: Rob, you’re just killing me with this. Half of me loves your idealism and your progressive values, but the other half of me just wants to strangle you because you and your friends just don’t get it. You keeping drinking the Sanders’ kool-aid because he keeps telling you what you want to hear, in spite of the fact that he will NEVER be able to deliver on those promises.

        Now one of the most frequent counters I hear to this is that Sanders isn’t pandering and that he’s been advocating for these issues for years and years, hence his authenticity and why young people feel they can believe in him. This, however, is missing the forest for the trees when you come face-to-face with the reality that Sanders has never come anywhere close to getting any of his ideas enacted. And so I ask, why do you think he would do any better as president?

        Democratic turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire has actually been LESS than what we saw in 2008, which runs counter to Sanders’ claim that he will bring new voters into the political process and produce amazingly YUUUUUUUGE turnout. If he couldn’t do that in the two states where his message resonates best, then why would it be any different elsewhere and particularly in a general election?

        Furthermore, a whopping 50% of Americans have said that they will NOT vote for a socialist, even a democratic socialist.

        Again, an expected counterargument to this is that the people haven’t gotten to know Bernie Sanders yet and once they do, THEN they will turn right around and vote for him. Wishful thinking, if I have ever heard it.

        Lifer has said it time and time again and I’ll repeat it too. Even if this assertion were correct (which I don’t believe it is, but simply for the sake of argument), Bernie Sanders will not get even the slightest chance to prove it because the Republican Attack Machine will make damn sure that he is defined as a tax-raising, government expanding socialist who wants to take away your freedom, your private health insurance, etc, etc.

        Rob, when you get right down to it, you and your friends’ support for Sanders is an emotional one that doesn’t translate to success in reality. It’s tough, but all the enthusiasm and passion in the world doesn’t mean shit if you aren’t strong and you don’t win.

        Nominate Clinton and we win. Nominate Sanders and it’s a coin toss. Pick wisely.

      • Griffin says:

        @Ryan. How Mime argued was polite, effective and resonates well with people. How you argue just pisses people off and feeds into the stereotype of Clinton supporters basically being cankerous old grumps yelling at kids to get off their political lawn. You should be thankful Sanders has generated this much excitement among young peope and have gotten them more involved in politics on the Democratic side, it could have been a Ron Paul 2.0 pushing them to the right.

        “you and your friends’ support for Sanders is an emotional one that doesn’t translate to success in reality”

        That isn’t neccessarily true. Say Sanders does get elected thanks to GOP dysfunction and the electorate being in a populist mood. If he gets the House by 2018, then he probably would pursue a more progressive agenda than Clinton. Even if he only gets half of what he wants it would still be more progressive than Clinton. Clinton starts at the center and compromises from there. Sanders starts on the Left and compromises at the center-left/center.

        If you support a more progressive agenda and Democratic Party and think it would benefit you, and you think Sanders could win, then that is a rational reason to support him. People were willing to vote for Reagan, a guy who was labeled radical right in his day, because of shifting moods. Same for FDR, who was labeled a fascist/socialist by the GOP at the time. Is it the same for Sanders? Maybe not. But I don’t think he’s a lost cause.

        At the end of the day this really is Clinton’s fault for (I must sound like a broken record now) being such a God-awful campaigner. She should fuse pragmatism with a progressive message, saying she’ll push for universal healthcare when the opportunity presents itself and will push the Republicans out of the House if they remain radical, but right now she just comes across as cynical and defeated. Seriously she’s so bad at this I’m wondering if she has as much of a lock on this election as people think she does.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        >] “@Ryan. How Mime argued was polite, effective and resonates well with people. How you argue just pisses people off and feeds into the stereotype of Clinton supporters basically being cankerous old grumps yelling at kids to get off their political lawn. You should be thankful Sanders has generated this much excitement among young peope and have gotten them more involved in politics on the Democratic side, it could have been a Ron Paul 2.0 pushing them to the right.”

        With all due respect to Mime, whom I like, I’m not a nice person like her nor do I particularly care to be. I make no bones about the fact that I relish crushing my opponent’s arguments and leaving them in a tattered mess on the floor. If that pisses you off, then there’s a simple way to make me care. Best me on the issues and show me your strength. If you’re too weak to do that, then I won’t. That’s all it amounts to.

        That aside, you’re absolutely right that Sanders deserves his due credit for getting so many young people into the political process and I’ve said as much before, but that only counts for something if they turn out to vote in the general election. That’s certainly a reason why Clinton is walking a fine line in trying to discredit Sanders, but not alienate his supporters in the process (try telling that to the crowds who booed seeing her on television though and called her a liar…). If she can have Sanders out campaigning for her in the fall, that will certainly go a long ways towards keeping those voters out and about.

        >] “That isn’t neccessarily true. Say Sanders does get elected thanks to GOP dysfunction and the electorate being in a populist mood. If he gets the House by 2018, then he probably would pursue a more progressive agenda than Clinton. Even if he only gets half of what he wants it would still be more progressive than Clinton. Clinton starts at the center and compromises from there. Sanders starts on the Left and compromises at the center-left/center.”

        No, it is absolutely true and your reliance on what-if scenarios only serves to bolster my point because you didn’t and can’t provide an argument on how exactly that happens. Even if Sanders is fortunate enough to win the primary and the general election (and that’s a BIG if), he ain’t winning the House. That’s a fantasy of a dream within a dream. Why? Because his assertion that his being on the ballot will inspire new voters to come and turn out in record numbers has already fallen flat in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states outside of Vermont where his message resonates best. If he couldn’t do it there, he’s not doing it anywhere.

        In addition to that, we come back, as we so often do, to minority voters. Sanders’ economic populism does not speak to the many specific concerns that minorities and African-Americans deal with every day. Many will likely resent him as the embodiment of white progressives’ choice that, once again, was put ahead of their own and shoved down their proverbial throats. They will not support him as they have President Obama or would with Hillary Clinton.

        That aside, you seem rather enamored with this notion that Sanders is THAT much more progressive than Hillary Clinton. I strongly disagree with this idea. Clinton comes off as a pragmatic centrist in the context of this primary and likely would be as president because she’s concerned about what can get accomplished with Republicans who will, at some point, control one or both Houses of Congress again during her presidency.

        Keep in mind that both she and Sanders have the same goals, but different means of going about getting them done (‘dat Nixon vs. Kennedy again…). It isn’t a stretch to say that Sanders and Clinton are progressives in the same mold, but Sanders is just unfiltered in that he swings for the proverbial fences without any real thought as to the practicality of what he’s talking about. Clinton is just the opposite.

        >] “If you support a more progressive agenda and Democratic Party and think it would benefit you, and you think Sanders could win, then that is a rational reason to support him. People were willing to vote for Reagan, a guy who was labeled radical right in his day, because of shifting moods. Same for FDR, who was labeled a fascist/socialist by the GOP at the time. Is it the same for Sanders? Maybe not. But I don’t think he’s a lost cause.”

        Nope, you’re not getting away with that. It is not “rational” to think that Sanders could win without an idea as to how. It’s indulging in self-satisfying emotionalism that blinds one’s self from the realities of just how fickle Sanders’ support is in a general election and how easily it could turn against him and hand the White House to the Republicans.

        That aside, your comparisons of Reagan and FDR to Sanders are indeed misplaced. Reagan has and always will be infamous for his “government is the problem shtick” but he didn’t run for president as a candidate threatening to overthrow the system in the way Sanders is, and FDR obviously never did any of that.

        >] “At the end of the day this really is Clinton’s fault for (I must sound like a broken record now) being such a God-awful campaigner. She should fuse pragmatism with a progressive message, saying she’ll push for universal healthcare when the opportunity presents itself and will push the Republicans out of the House if they remain radical, but right now she just comes across as cynical and defeated. Seriously she’s so bad at this I’m wondering if she has as much of a lock on this election as people think she does.”

        She isn’t much of a campaigner, I’ll certainly agree with that much. She’s much more in her element as a policy wonk who works on getting actual things done.

      • Griffin says:

        Wait you don’t think that Sanders isn’t going to endorse Hillary after this? When she gets the nomination (and I do mean WHEN not IF) he will absolutely endorse her, and probably campaign on her behalf if she asks him to. He’s already said he would consider the GOP a disaster in comparison to a Clinton presidency, I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t.

        “No, it is absolutely true and your reliance on what-if scenarios only serves to bolster my point because you didn’t and can’t provide an argument on how exactly that happens”

        But that is my point. If you’re a progressive going through “what-if” scenario’s as to the best chances of getting a progressive agenda through, and you don’t consider Hillary a progressive (I think she’s just a reflection of whatever voters want her to be), you might come out with the possibility that your ONLY chance to get a progressive agenda within the next 8 years is to support Sanders and hope he gets the House at some point. You would argue it’s a slim chance, but they would argue that a slim chance is still better than no chance.

        I’m not sure about the turnout argument. 2008 was pretty unique in terms of Edwards vs Obama vs Clinton. I’m sure the argument would be that voters are far more disillusioned than they used to be, and that if he got more prominence could find it easier to rally them. He’s also arguing he could flip some lower-middle class whites who might not ever vote in the Democratic Primaries but would vote for him over Social Security and other economic issues come November (think reverse Blue Dog Democrats in 1980). Personally I think he would win against the currently dysfunctional GOP, but it wouldn’t be a landslide or enough to take back the House.

        Personally I think Clinton will be mildly liberal while in the White House, thanks to shifting public opinion and party pressure, so I’m not sold on this being the one shot progressives have at changing national policy. But (stick with me here) if you can imagine being someone else for a second who doesn’t think Clinton is progressive at all, then you would think Sanders is your one shot until 2024. Clinton’s job is to convince them she’s a progressive.

        “She isn’t much of a campaigner, I’ll certainly agree with that much. She’s much more in her element as a policy wonk who works on getting actual things done.”

        Which means didly if she’s too incompetant at politics to even get herself elected. What is it you said “enthusiasm and passion in the world doesn’t mean shit if you aren’t strong and you don’t win.”? If she somehow loses to Sanders or the GOP, it’s on her.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        >] “Wait you don’t think that Sanders isn’t going to endorse Hillary after this? When she gets the nomination (and I do mean WHEN not IF) he will absolutely endorse her, and probably campaign on her behalf if she asks him to. He’s already said he would consider the GOP a disaster in comparison to a Clinton presidency, I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t.”

        I said that Sanders would need to get out there and campaign for Clinton. An endorsement is purely a matter of course as the loser, in exactly the same way that Clinton did for Obama back in 2008 despite their bloodbath of a primary.

        My concern is that an endorsement could easily be written off, so unless Sanders gets out there and campaigns hard for Hillary, that could leave a sizable chunk of his supporters feeling berned out (hehehehehe) and not going out to vote on Election Day. Maybe that wouldn’t matter, but maybe it could also be the difference between Democrats winning a Senate race or a House race somewhere. You can never have too many votes.

        >] “But that is my point. If you’re a progressive going through “what-if” scenario’s as to the best chances of getting a progressive agenda through, and you don’t consider Hillary a progressive (I think she’s just a reflection of whatever voters want her to be), you might come out with the possibility that your ONLY chance to get a progressive agenda within the next 8 years is to support Sanders and hope he gets the House at some point. You would argue it’s a slim chance, but they would argue that a slim chance is still better than no chance.”

        Well, I believe Hillary Clinton is a progressive as seen through the political spectrum of what’s politically feasible at the moment. Call that an argument of semantics if you want, but if you look at her record over the course of many years, you can’t argue that she has spoken up and fought for causes near and dear to the hearts of progressives, from women’s rights to health care to education and many other things.

        That aside, I wouldn’t argue that it’s a “slim chance” that Sanders gets the House. I argue that it’s a nonexistent chance. Would. Not. Happen.

        Contrary to Sanders’ chances, I actually think Hillary does have a chance to take the House this November. It’s a slim path that only gives Democrats a very modest majority that they would all but certainly lose in 2018, but it’s still a majority. It requires that Trump or Cruz be at the top of the Republican ticket, losing in an absolute landslide with many moderate Republicans and others being so put off by them that they either choose to simply stay home or hold their proverbial noses and vote for Clinton, as is the case with Lifer.

        In addition to that, Clinton also needs to hold the Obama coalition together (with some help from President Obama himself, of course) while, hopefully, making some modest inroads with white voters. Also, so-called Millennials (ugh, that word again…) need to turn out and vote (Bernie Sanders) along with strong majorities of African-Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups.

        Do all that and Democrats have a chance to retake the House.

        >] “I’m not sure about the turnout argument. 2008 was pretty unique in terms of Edwards vs Obama vs Clinton. I’m sure the argument would be that voters are far more disillusioned than they used to be, and that if he got more prominence could find it easier to rally them. He’s also arguing he could flip some lower-middle class whites who might not ever vote in the Democratic Primaries but would vote for him over Social Security and other economic issues come November (think reverse Blue Dog Democrats in 1980). Personally I think he would win against the currently dysfunctional GOP, but it wouldn’t be a landslide or enough to take back the House.”

        That’s exactly the kind of pie-in-the-sky thinking from people who piss me off when they talk about Sanders’ chances in November. It’s that kind of wishful thinking that got George McGovern walloped by Nixon in 1972.

        That aside, I don’t and haven’t argued that Sanders would be an absolute lose in November. I think it would be close, and like you, think that it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to take back the House.

        >] “Which means didly if she’s too incompetant at politics to even get herself elected. What is it you said “enthusiasm and passion in the world doesn’t mean shit if you aren’t strong and you don’t win.”? If she somehow loses to Sanders or the GOP, it’s on her.”

        Absolutely, it would be on her, no question. What I said applies to absolutely everyone, no exceptions.

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, I don’t agree with your point about Clinton being as progressive as Sanders. He is taking her further down the road than she ever would have willingly gone. That’s not all bad. I do agree with you that “Hillary Clinton is a progressive as seen through the political spectrum of what’s politically feasible at the moment”. And, this matters. It matters from the standpoint of efficiency of effort and time. Consider the energy the office of President requires. Long days, big problems, so many egos. Conservation of purpose is critical. Really, time does matter. The one quality that HRC lacks that BS has in spades is passion. Evidently that inspires today just as it did in ’08. Let us hope that passion doesn’t overtake common sense.

        Finally, I want to say a word about civility in the political arena. It is important to stand on principle but it is more important to get things done in the best way possible for the greatest needs for the most people. I know we agree that compromise is not a dirty word but a necessary, important part of the political process – that has been denigrated by Republicans both without and within their party, and that has hurt our nation and devastated our politics.

        I listened to the Charlie Rose Show on Scalia. It was most interesting if any here would like a more nuanced treatment of his life and death. David Boies and a veteran SC journalist (sorry can’t recall his name) joined Jeffery Toobin and Rose for an analysis of Scalia and archival footage of previous interviews by Rose of Scalia over the years. One of the interesting points of agreement (beyond his great intelligence and his personal force on the court) was that Scalia was so rigid in his personal philosophy of jurisprudence that he failed to be effective in his ability to garner support for his positions. He was divisive. He could get personal. He liked to dominate the discussion. He asked the “best” questions. He was always well prepared. He always spoke his mind. He was spirited and enjoyed by his colleagues, but warily so. He just couldn’t compromise, and that hurt his cause and impacted many decisions.
        I honestly believe this is why he became so publicly, overtly political in his later years. He wasn’t able to win at court so he took his case to the public arena….which was unbecoming and inappropriate, but he didn’t really care. It sullied his reputation.

        There’s a lesson there for all of us. Knowledge alone will not guarantee personal or professional success – in government or elsewhere. Principle is admirable and important, but the most successful people in all walks of life are those who are able to influence outcomes and bring about lasting change. Sometimes “boring” fits the times. Other times, inspiration does. We’ll see which is most important to the people of America. May we live to not regret the choice.

    • 1mime says:

      Let us not forget that Sanders is using the Democratic Party to advance his goals. HE is an independent. Frankly, I wonder at the DNC for allowing someone who is not a registered Democrat seek this office under the Democratic label. Let him run as an independent. Why didn’t he, I ask? Does that disparity not bother anyone else?

  10. Rob Ambrose says:

    Pretty powerful video of Erica Garner (Eric’s sister) supporting Sanders.

    Politics is an emotional business. Hillary needs to offer more then incremental change and “Anybody But GOP” to combat this kind of stuff.

  11. Griffin says:

    Is it weird I find anti-science leftists even more annoying than their right-wing counterparts? Sure at the moment there are FAR more anti-science rightists and they’re doing far more actual damage but I dunno, there’s something about the sanctimonious, stereotypical tree-hugging attitute of anti-science leftists that really pisses me off. Maybe I just expect the fundies to hate science and have a lower bar with them to begin with.

    But Lifer you didn’t even find the craziest leftists. This is how much crazier the moonbat circuit can get (http://thespiritscience.net/2016/01/25/transmute-energy/).

    • Anse says:

      I know a few New Age weirdos. I suppose it’s fair to call them “leftists” though I find most of them to be somewhat outside the political norm. I mean, they’re fruitcakes, but that doesn’t mean they’re “leftists” or even conservatives. They’re just weirdos. This one chick I went to high school with is like this. She’s staunchly anti-Wall Street, somewhat anarchist, anti-genetically modified foods, pro-organic, anti-Monsanto, etc; but then she’s also pro-gun rights, anti-vaccines, and subtly anti-Semitic (some criticism of Israel does indeed venture into anti-Semite territory and she toes the line very closely). I wouldn’t try to pin her down on the political spectrum. She’s just basically nuts. She also sells essential oils, if you’re interested.

      • Griffin says:

        My Grandmother believes a lot of this stuff and she’s an old-styled paleoconservative who loves Donald Trump so yeah it can span the political spectrum. When they’re more explicitly leftist it does annoy me even more though.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Griffin, I feel the same way when progressives who vociferously denounce racism show subtle, racist beliefs of their own, yet they get a pass.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      They’re the worst.

    • 1mime says:

      Hypocrisy isn’t the sole province of Republicans, Griffin.

      • Griffin says:

        Of course not I was just saying I find it even more annoying when leftists go haywire because they are supposed to be on the pro-science side at the moment. Technically I don’t think the religious fundamentalists who are anti-science are really hypocrites though, since they never claimed to care for science in the first place.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re probably right about that, Griffin. They’re waiting for god to tell them climate change really is happening and that they better get their ark ready (-:

        I know you didn’t mean that, G. You are a very fair-minded person. No problem.

  12. Turtles Run says:

    First, Trump steals Jeb2016.com and now he stole jebbush.com. How in fudge can a political campaign be so incompetent?

  13. Rob Ambrose says:

    Found that specific McConnel quote.

    Mitch McConnell, 2005: “The Constitution of the United States is at stake. The Republican conference intends to restore the principle that, regardless of party, any President’s judicial nominees, after full debate, deserve a simple up-or-down vote.”

    When combined with Obama nominating a guy who passed a 97-0 vote through the Senate two years ago (I think it will be Sri) , those two things would pack a devastating 1-2 punch if the Senate delays on the nominee.

    The Dems couldn’t have asked for a better smoking gun to destroy the “both parties are responsible for DC dysfunction” narrative then this.

  14. MassDem says:

    Re Nevada: wonder who’s getting the coveted Michele “Cancer is a fungus” Fiore endorsement? Never mind; it’s Ted Cruz. That figures.

    Time to change the GOP mascot to the naked mole-rat: ugly, useless, and above all, coprophagous.

  15. MassDem says:

    Trump versus Sanders is the ultimate pick-your-poison. Trump would definitely win; Sanders is on record with supporting higher taxes, and that NEVER sells in the general.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      higher taxes on the rich.

      Huge difference politically.

      Speaking of things that tend not fly in general elections in the past 80 years or so: naked xenophobia, overt racism and complete and total lack of any political experience.

      voters tend to want to hear details on policies too.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        As well, Sanders routinely beats Trump in polls, often by double digit numbers.

        Not saying Trump couldn’t possibly beat Sanders at all, but there is far more support for the idea that Trump couldn’t beat Bernie then the opposite.

      • MassDem says:

        You forget, every Joe Plumber is convinced that he will be rich some day. That is why Conservative Republicans and their right-leaning sympathizes fight against their own interests on behalf of the rich, and have done so for years. And also explains why their man-of-the-people is a freaking billionaire.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I can’t argue too much because your take is generally what the conventional wisdom would say. And as they say, past is the best predictor of future.

        But its also true that Conventional Wisdom is only right until it isn’t anymore.

        As an amateur investor whose learned some painful lesson, I understand the concept “the trend is your friend” or “never try to catch a falling knife” all too well.

        The point being, while huge reversls in long term trends can and do happen, its a mug’s game to try to predict them beforehand.

        Tgats basically a long winded version of saying I can disagree too strongly since history strongly supports your argument.

        I just feel like this cycle, many of the old rules no longer apply.

        I don’t think Sanders would beat Sanders, barring a black swan event like a major terrorist attack in October or something

    • tuttabellamia says:

      So, who is the bitter pill we should accept?

      • MassDem says:

        The million dollar question (sigh). Sometimes there is no good answer. I will vote Dem, but with grave misgivings. If Sanders is elected, he will not be able to make good on a single one of his promises, thereby dooming us to a two-term GOP president immediately following, and driving all of his disillusioned supporters away from the Dem party for years to come.

        With Trump, on the other hand, we end up with someone who is unafraid to scapegoat various groups to increase his own popularity, which is incredibly scary and a danger to the country.

        Seeing as the national interest outweighs party interest, I would have to go with Sanders.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Is it not a reasonable assumption to make that there’s a good chance they’ll regain the Senate though?

        There is no feasible path to a Sanders presidency other then some sort of “Mania” or mass excitement, kinda like when Obama in 2008.

        Like, Sanders is NOT winning a stable, typical election with turnouts merely average. For him to win will require his “revolution” message resonating with a LOT of ppl. We can say that for sure without debating the likelihood of such an event, which is an entire other debte.

        Or, put anither way: In the political environment required to elect Sanders, isn’t it pretty likely the Dems would also do well in the House?

        Which would change entirely the prospect of Sanders implementing his ideas.

        Also, its generally understood that if a politician gets elected on “revolutionary” ideas, that that leader is generally felt that they has a mandate to implement them.

    • Griffin says:

      I’d prefer for Hillary to be the nominee but c’mon, Sanders is the obvious choice between those two. This is the “centrist” version of a liberal sitting out the 2000 election (or better yet voting for Nader) because “they’re both the same anyways”. Errr… no, they’re not.

      Sanders has an idea (if a flawed and oversimplified one) of actual problems gripping the nation (mainly economic inequality) and actual policy proposals to deal with it. There’s at least hope that if the Dems eventually get back the House he could pass some of them in a moderated form. His .5% tax on financial transactions is desperately needed (though I hope Congress trims it down a bit to .3%-..4%) to cut down on rampant speculation, as is his reinvestment in infrastructure. He will never get single payer but he will expand Obamacare if he can, and that’s not even getting into the Supreme Court considering Trump will nominate Scalia 2.0. Sanders has at least been in Congress long enough to understand basic operating procedure, can work with the Democratic Party and its infrastructure, and isn’t a buffoon who would destory our international credibility.

      If this is a “pick your poison” decision it’s like choosing between eating too many sugary foods and feeling a bit queasy or drinking a gallon of cyanide.

  16. RobA says:

    man, we all knew GOP arguments would be weak re:the Scalia thing, but this is really bad.

    Cuomo is at least trying to be gentle lest he be accused of being partisan. But even just basic questions expose the ridiculous weakness of the GOP strategy here.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/a-4-4-court-is-not-a-good-thing-cnn-host-tells-orrin-hatch-to-do-his-job-and-hold-confirmation-hearings/

    I understand why they’re doing it, but Hillary is going to eviscerate them for it in a general, and any possible defines of it will come across terrible.’

    Especially when they play McConnel himself saying in 2008 how unprecedented it would be to NOT nominate a justice in an election year.

    There’s also a quote I saw from Saint Ronnie in 88 when he said something like “every single day that goes by with an empty seat on the SCOTUS means this crucial body can not properly do the People’s Business” or something to that effect.

  17. 1mime says:

    “her campaign is less confident of defeating Sanders in the Nevada caucuses, which for Democrats take place on Saturday.”

    That is amazing. Mega head start and they screwed it up. Man. That’s how you lose campaigns. Not to mention, the Hispanic vote.

    • vikinghou says:

      1mime,

      I think Bernie’s strength is that he has a very compelling message is resonating with voters. He has given voters a strong reason to vote for him. It’s in many ways unrealistic, but it’s strong nonetheless.

      So far, Hillary’s message seems to be “vote for me because I’m the most qualified.” When voters are in an anti-establishment mood this isn’t going to cut it. She needs to come up with a more compelling case for herself.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        There’s a big appetite for Big Progressive Ideas and HRC just isn’t giving up any.

        And frankly, the further she goes without coming up with some, the more weight Bernie’s argument that she’s too beholden to lobbyists has, IMO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 472 other followers

%d bloggers like this: